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Old 06-02-2003, 08:09 AM
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Michael Michael is offline
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: CT, USA
Posts: 2,699
'88 300TE: Bad alternator? Upgrade?

Wanted to get some opinions from the Forum. Upon starting the TE yesterday, all of the warning lights on the dash came on, dimly. Having had a bad alternator before, I immediately checked the voltage at the battery and found 11.2 volts. I shut the car off and tested it at the battery again, which registered 12.3 volts. Clearly the alternator's not doing much, if anything. I then pulled the plug off of the alternator, and found it to be a bit corroded. I gave it a quick cleaning, coated it in electrically-conductive grease, then re-inserted it. Fired the car up, and I saw 13+ volts at the battery.

However, when I turned on a few accessories (A/C, lights) the voltage dropped (again, measured at the battery) to about 12 volts, at idle. Shouldn't the alternator still be putting out some power at this point? Plus, I think I hear some noise coming from the alternator, and a new smell is coming up from under he hood.

FWIW the current alternator is 4 yrs/50k miles old, and is a Bosch reman. Presuming it's giving me a warning before it dies outright, I think I'm going to replace it. I'd like recomendations as to a higher-output unit (not the huge 143 amp unit though) that'll bolt right up - perhaps from a ;94-'95 E320? Any ideas?

Thanks in advance, guys
"If everything seems under control, you're simply not going fast enough" --Mario Andretti

1995 E500 street car
1986 Porsche 944 Turbo S track car
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