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Old 02-28-2002, 09:46 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 325
Angry Life Expectancy of Rebuilt Alternators

Hi Guys,

The car is an '82 240D that I purchased in August of 2000. I noticed in the maintenance records that the alternator was replaced with a rebuilt unit a couple of years before I bought the car.

Last year in November, the alternator quit and I purchased a rebuilt Bosch for about $140 from a local parts shop. But before I purchased that rebuilt unit, I did try replacing the regulator and that didn't work.

Well, last weekend, the alternator quit again. I did happen to have the extra voltage regulator on hand thinking this was the cause. It wasn't. Fortunately I had the receipt for the $140 alternator and it had a two year warranty on it so I took it in and the parts place exchanged it with another rebuilt unit; I installed it and I'm back in business.

I am beginning to wonder how long this one will last.

Do any of you experience short lived rebuilt alternators?

Also, do any of you buy new (not rebuilt) alternators when it is time to replace, and how long do they last in your MB diesel?

I wonder if the short life has to do with the diesel engine shaking the alternator to the point that the diods may become dislodged.

'82 240D
'87 300SDL

Last edited by airfoill; 02-28-2002 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 02-28-2002, 10:16 AM
Posts: n/a
I have several diesel cars. Vibrations do not affect the life of the alternator from what I experience. The only thing I can suggest is that the alternator belt may be tightened too tight which puts undue stress on the bearings causing premature failure. Other than that you might be buying rebuilt alternators that have not got new fields or armature in it, only new bearings and regulator. If that is the case - the fields and/or armature have many more miles on them than you think.
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Old 02-28-2002, 10:38 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Plattakill, NY
Posts: 137
Thumbs down

When I bought a rebuilt alternator for my Volkswagen the counter guy said "I will see you again" and I said are they that bad, and he said that the import ones seem to come back every 9 months. This was for a cheap one not Bosh. It has been in for over a year and a half, so I consider myself lucky. The car is just used for local commuting so I can deal with it if it goes out and it has a "lifetime" warranty and was only $65. I needed it because we were leaving on a trip and Advance Auto was the only place open. I think it is kind of "luck of the draw." I have a local electrical shop that does a good job and if my Mercedes goes out I will take it there but they need a day or 2 to fix it..
1991 Mazda Miata 174000
1991 Subaru 189,000 Winter beater

got rid of:
1984 VW Vanagon 195,000
1976 350SE Euro 185,000 KM
1973 280SE 4.5 (boy do I regret that)
1980 280SE European W126 4 speed manual (miss it)
1989 BMW 735iL 119000 (good riddance)
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Old 02-28-2002, 10:45 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 87
Thumbs up

I had the same experience with a rebuilt Bosch, it only survived for 10 months. I replaced it with a "New" Bosch unit and it has not given me any problems.
'88 300E
'00 Expedition
'86 Alfa Romeo Spider
'84 Harley Davidson FLH"X"
Special Edition
'70 FJ40 Land Cruiser (basket case)
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