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  #1  
Old 02-23-2003, 06:12 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: SW Chicago Suburbs, IL
Posts: 290
Alternator Help Needed 87 300SDL

I was driving home today and had some very strange things start to happen with my electrical accessories. The Valentine One kept resetting itself, the radio started turning off and on, turn signals stopped working, and the windows were dead. I pulled it into the garage and tried to restart...totally dead.

The battery was my first suspect, as the battery was installed in 1997. The car ran fine, so I didn't really think the alternator was to blame.

I installed a new battery. The car fired right up and it seems to be operating normally...the power accessories are working fine. However, I noticed in the dark garage, the red battery light is lit ever so slightly. It doesn't change in intensity when a load is put on it.

I'm now thinking the alternator may be to blame. I've done some reading here and there has been mention of brush and/or regulator replacements rather than needing to replace the entire assembly.

If you think this may be the way to go, how would I go about obtaining the brushes and regulator? And how do they get installed once I pull the alternator?
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Lance Allison
Lance@LanceAllison.com

Current:
11 MB S550 4Matic, 55k miles, Designo Black/Black
14 Ford F150 XLT Lariat Crew Cab. 73k miles, 5.0
Coyote V8 4x4. Black/tan.
09 GMC Envoy Denali, 5.3 V8, 4x4 SWB. 38k miles,
Jewel Red Tintcoat/Med Gray.
04 Buick Park Avenue Ultra. 3800SC, 225k miles,
White Diamond/Shale.

Previous:
87 MB 300SDL, 320k miles, Astral Silver/Blue.
98 VW Jetta TDI, 488k miles, Classic Green/Gray.

MBCA Member, Chicago Region
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  #2  
Old 02-23-2003, 07:01 PM
jobah's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Chicago native-W.MI transplant
Posts: 278
I finally had my alternator go out on my 190 at about 300kmi. I did a little research and decided to purchase a rebuild. A rebuild is about $100 from Cano Electric on the north side of chicago (on western at about 3000 north as I recall).

I also purchased an alternator for my 617 123 from them as well. I have about 50kmi on the 190's new alternator and about 25kmi on the 123's. So far so good.

BTW, my 190 had the same symptoms and I did the same thing you did, I first purchased a new battery.
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'84 (11/83) 190D 2.2 5-Speed; Silver/Blue; Motor No. 00354, 402k mi (340+kmi mine)

'89 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe; Black/Black; 45kmi
'05 BMW 530i 6-Speed; 215kmi
'10 Range Rover; 30kmi
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  #3  
Old 02-23-2003, 07:34 PM
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Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
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Lance,

The brush assembly fits into the back side of the alternator housing and includes the voltage regulator. There are some on the site that know how to change out the brushes themselves for a few bucks. I have taken the tact to change out the assembly. They used to be between $20 and $30, but I do not know what they go for now. At any rate, the job is relatively easy - you have to unplug the wire held in a socket by a little spring clip, then unscrew the two mounting screws on the "ears" of the flange that holds the assembly in place. Once the screws are out, you kind of roll it towards the centerline of the alternator to get it out.

Examine the unit and if you see the brushes, carbon sticks, are worn down under half an inch or so, they are shot. Examine the arc worn into the bottom of the brushes and look to see if it is smooth. They should be smooth and about the same length. If they have big grooves or are very uneven, there is a mechanical or electrical problem in the alternator. Changing the brushes will make the unit work again, but they will wear out relatively quickly and will likely not be charging your battery correctly.

If the brushes show signs of other problems in the alternator, try ordering a replacement from Fastlane. I think they have the voltage regulators too, but if you need one right away, try the dealer or an auto electric shop. Good luck and I hope this helps. Jim
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Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #4  
Old 02-23-2003, 09:40 PM
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Location: Annapolis,Md
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Thumbs up

FastLane has the volt.reg./brushes unit for approx. $15+ bucks. They probably have it for your model Benz. With overnight delivery, your ready to go. I carry a spare in my car. It's so cheap, I'd say it's worth a chance. Good Luck.
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  #5  
Old 02-24-2003, 01:26 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: SW Chicago Suburbs, IL
Posts: 290
Thanks for the replies so far!

Another question I should probably ask is what is the best way to get the alternator out. Looks as if it will be relatively easy to remove from the bottom, but what should I look for?

I have the 126 service CDs, but they really aren't all that much help for this.
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Lance Allison
Lance@LanceAllison.com

Current:
11 MB S550 4Matic, 55k miles, Designo Black/Black
14 Ford F150 XLT Lariat Crew Cab. 73k miles, 5.0
Coyote V8 4x4. Black/tan.
09 GMC Envoy Denali, 5.3 V8, 4x4 SWB. 38k miles,
Jewel Red Tintcoat/Med Gray.
04 Buick Park Avenue Ultra. 3800SC, 225k miles,
White Diamond/Shale.

Previous:
87 MB 300SDL, 320k miles, Astral Silver/Blue.
98 VW Jetta TDI, 488k miles, Classic Green/Gray.

MBCA Member, Chicago Region
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  #6  
Old 02-24-2003, 07:40 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
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Lance,

I have not done the job on your model, but I have never taken an alternator out to replace the brushes. If you have access to the back side of the alternator it is relatively straightforward.

Taking the alternator out can be a chore due mainly to accessibility. Good luck, Jim
__________________
Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #7  
Old 02-24-2003, 09:05 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: SW Chicago Suburbs, IL
Posts: 290
Okay, I ordered the regulator assembly from FastLane. Do you think this includes the brushes as well? It looks like it may from the pic.

Thanks again!
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Lance Allison
Lance@LanceAllison.com

Current:
11 MB S550 4Matic, 55k miles, Designo Black/Black
14 Ford F150 XLT Lariat Crew Cab. 73k miles, 5.0
Coyote V8 4x4. Black/tan.
09 GMC Envoy Denali, 5.3 V8, 4x4 SWB. 38k miles,
Jewel Red Tintcoat/Med Gray.
04 Buick Park Avenue Ultra. 3800SC, 225k miles,
White Diamond/Shale.

Previous:
87 MB 300SDL, 320k miles, Astral Silver/Blue.
98 VW Jetta TDI, 488k miles, Classic Green/Gray.

MBCA Member, Chicago Region
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  #8  
Old 02-24-2003, 09:10 AM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596
It should definitely include the brushes. Good luck, Jim
__________________
Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #9  
Old 02-24-2003, 02:07 PM
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Posts: 693
i changed mine today and it was about a 15 minute job, with the bumper stabbing me in the stomach that is
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  #10  
Old 02-24-2003, 10:16 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 876
What do you guys think of upgrading the alternator size? This current 55A is puny. Would an 80 be ok? I see the local parts stores sell 80A that fit my car, or so their websites say. Or are there mercedes alternators that are bigger that can still fit in my car.
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  #11  
Old 02-25-2003, 01:20 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 165
Lance:

Don't pull the alternator. Just slide under the car and bring a short flat screwdriver and a flashlight with you. 10 minute job max. I did mine at about 275,000 miles.
Good thing you replaced your 97' BATT. My experience is that the diesel's never give you notice. One day, all of a sudden, the Batt is just useless.


87 SDL 296,500
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  #12  
Old 02-25-2003, 07:57 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: SW Chicago Suburbs, IL
Posts: 290
So you really think this can/should be done without removing the alternator...sounds fair to me.

I'll be giving this a shot probably this weekend. If there are any tips that can make the job easier, maybe let me know.

Thanks again for all the responses.
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Lance Allison
Lance@LanceAllison.com

Current:
11 MB S550 4Matic, 55k miles, Designo Black/Black
14 Ford F150 XLT Lariat Crew Cab. 73k miles, 5.0
Coyote V8 4x4. Black/tan.
09 GMC Envoy Denali, 5.3 V8, 4x4 SWB. 38k miles,
Jewel Red Tintcoat/Med Gray.
04 Buick Park Avenue Ultra. 3800SC, 225k miles,
White Diamond/Shale.

Previous:
87 MB 300SDL, 320k miles, Astral Silver/Blue.
98 VW Jetta TDI, 488k miles, Classic Green/Gray.

MBCA Member, Chicago Region
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  #13  
Old 03-01-2003, 12:53 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: SW Chicago Suburbs, IL
Posts: 290
Problem has been resolved. The brush/regulator assy took all of 5 min to replace and all is fine.

Pretty good---5 min of time and less than $20 to get my car up and running correctly again!

Thanks for the advice.
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Lance Allison
Lance@LanceAllison.com

Current:
11 MB S550 4Matic, 55k miles, Designo Black/Black
14 Ford F150 XLT Lariat Crew Cab. 73k miles, 5.0
Coyote V8 4x4. Black/tan.
09 GMC Envoy Denali, 5.3 V8, 4x4 SWB. 38k miles,
Jewel Red Tintcoat/Med Gray.
04 Buick Park Avenue Ultra. 3800SC, 225k miles,
White Diamond/Shale.

Previous:
87 MB 300SDL, 320k miles, Astral Silver/Blue.
98 VW Jetta TDI, 488k miles, Classic Green/Gray.

MBCA Member, Chicago Region
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  #14  
Old 03-08-2003, 02:56 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 165
Good to hear you got it fixed.

Next repair may be the electric cabin air fan that above the front passenger's feet. The electric blower motor's don't seem to make it to 300,000. More time involved than the voltage reg, but not too bad of a job. Carefull not to damage the expensive plastic fan portion of the unit.
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