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  #1  
Old 05-07-2011, 12:39 AM
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Alternator help 3,000 miles from home in Seattle

Can't get much farther from home.
Parking in the hotel lot today after 400 road miles the alternator was squeaking loudly. Hoped that it was the belt but reasonably certain that it is the alternator. This is the first time I ever heard the squeak.

Can't get the part at O'reiley's or AutoZone.

Did get some liquid Wrench spray oil (not the penetration oil) but an actual spray oil. Gave it several shots towards the bearings and the squeaking diminished some, almost stopped. Gave it several more shots for the night and will see tomorrow.

130,000 miles on probable original alternator. Is this a normail failure?
How will it fail completely?

Ideas on how and where to get a replacement?

What is the probability that it has another 4,000 miles in it for me to get home in 3 weeks?

I have the tools (at home) and could probably do it myself. How much labor should I expect to pay for a removal and replacement around here?

Thanks

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  #3  
Old 05-07-2011, 01:00 AM
Diesel911's Avatar
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Sounds like a Bearing/s is/are shot.

Get the Yellow Pages and see if you can locate a local Alternator Electrical Shop that will change out the Bearings or maybe even rebuild that Alternator.

Is there a BOSCH Electrical Shop in the area?

I am suprised they did not have a rebuilt Alternator over the counter that you could buy.

How about National Auto Parts (NAPA)?

Is there one of our members who has a parts Car in the area?

The Bearing on my Alternator went out at about 200K miles. And, when I got it out I found it was a Rebuilt Alternator. So there is no way to say what is a normal life for one.
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  #4  
Old 05-07-2011, 01:03 AM
Doktor Bert's Avatar
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I will assume, from your signature you are in the "1999 Mercedes E300 daily driver"

That's not a good place for trouble.

The bearings in the alternator are sealed. Spraying lube should not reach the bearing if the seals are intact. Could it be the belt??? Perhaps you shot some oil and some residual lubricant reached the belt???

You wrote that "What is the probability that it has another 4,000 miles in it for me to get home in 3 weeks???"

I wouldn't risk it. If it is the bearing, and it does fail, you will be on the roadside.

My advice: Make sure you know what is causing the squeak. 3 weeks is enough time to have a replacement alternator shipped to you at your hotel. You can buy some tools if need be.

Or, you can have a shop do it if you feel more comfortable.

Best of luck...Robert
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  #5  
Old 05-07-2011, 01:47 AM
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IF push comes to a shove... find a machinist or mechanic who can press out the bearings...and take them to a Generic Bearing Place...to match up....and then let them be installed...

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  #6  
Old 05-07-2011, 01:53 AM
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Thanks for your replies.

I will try additional parts stores tomorrow when they are open.
Will also purchase some belt dressing.

Not practical to R&R myself so far from home without space, tools jack stands etc. I believe it comes out the fender well.

How will it finally fail or will it simply get embarassingly loud?
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  #7  
Old 05-07-2011, 01:57 AM
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It most likely will get hot and seize up... possibly messing up the place it is pressed into to where you can not fix it....and may not be useful as a core exchange either.... I guess at some point if you kept going.... the insides would contact things they are near... a really messed up situation... then perhaps the pulley would let go because the shaft was worn in two... and the belt running it ,,,if also running something else important would no longer be tensioned and come off....
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  #8  
Old 05-07-2011, 01:59 AM
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failing alt bearings have two outcomes... neither are good.
one, it'll wear into the shaft, and cause alignment problems with the belt as it fails, shredding or throwing the belt resulting in cooling problems and engine failure.
two, it could result in the bearing welding itself to the shaft of the field coil, and seizing altogether, shredding the belt, and resulting in either motor seizure or overheat problems...
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  #9  
Old 05-07-2011, 05:01 AM
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There must be a member some place near this guy. It definitely needs to be replaced. I would suggest a re-manufactured alt. Replace & forget for another decade.
The only thing you can be sure of is it wont go 4000 mile without a major failure.
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  #10  
Old 05-07-2011, 08:01 AM
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I don't know how fast fastlane can ship but may be just may be...

http://catalog.peachparts.com/ShopByVehicle.epc?q=1999-Mercedes--Benz-E300-Engine--Electrical&yearid=1999%40%401999&makeid=63%40%40MERCEDES+BENZ%40%40X&modelid=6385%3AFT|6%3AED|814%3AMBC|1572%40%40E300&catid=240798%40%40Engine+Electrical&subcatid=240866@@Alternator&mode=PD
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  #11  
Old 05-07-2011, 12:14 PM
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I had one alternator making a hellish racket that was not the bearing going south but the pulley coming loose from the shaft. I was able to fix it by cutting a new keyway in the pulley with a file and tightening it back down. With the belt off this problem is obvious.
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  #12  
Old 05-07-2011, 12:23 PM
Craig
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Sometimes the best thing to do is to find a dealer or and independent Benz shop and let them fix it for you. Looking for parts and trying to repair cars in hotel parking lots is sometimes more trouble than it's worth. Unless cost is a major consideration, just get it fixed and continue your trip.
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  #13  
Old 05-07-2011, 02:01 PM
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Two Seattle shop suggestions Ravelli Motors http://www.yelp.com/biz/ravelli-motors-seattle and Strickly Mercedes-Benz http://www.yelp.com/biz/strictly-mercedes-benz-seattle. Or, if you go over to Bellevue The Mercedes Garage gets great reviews http://www.mercedesgarage.com/MercedesGarage/Welcome.html

And two parts supplier suggestions, MBMW Parts http://www.yelp.com/biz/mercedes-bmw-parts-seattle and Aurora Auto Wrecking http://www.yelp.com/biz/aurora-auto-wrecking-seattle

Morris Ravelli at Ravelli Motors is my indy and I think he's pretty good, he's a quick worker and always reasonably priced.

Good luck!
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  #14  
Old 05-07-2011, 09:56 PM
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Where in seattle are you? I'm in Kirkland, and have a spare Reman Bosch stock Alternator.

Give me a call at **********
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  #15  
Old 05-07-2011, 10:19 PM
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Superman Mike ( needs a wagon ) rides to the rescue..

This brings up a good point... TomW in MI missing wheel lugs posted HIS phone number in his first post asking for emergency help...

That would be the logical thing to do for really fast help....

But Mike was nice enough to post his.... hope the OP checks back soon...

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