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Old 10-07-2002, 12:42 PM
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Is the cheap Voltage Regulator unit any good?

Is the $14.00 voltage regulator marked Germany from FastLane any good? The Bosch version is about $50.

I lost my alternator this morning and depending upon the condition of the rotor, I may just put a VR/brush unit in instead of an alternator.

The amazing thing is that I bought the car at about 80,000 miles with complete records. I could not find indication of the PO replacing the alternator. I have'nt replaced it, so it has gone at least 150,000 miles and possibly 230,000 miles. This is just unbelievable.

I will be surprised if there is enough slipring surface left to put a VR/brush unit in and get it back on the road without replacing the alternator, but you never know.

Have a great day,
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Old 10-07-2002, 01:58 PM
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Look at it this way ...

$14 ain't that much so what have you got to lose? I'm gonna buy one as soon as I can get motivated to work on mine again, and you tell me that it was a good deal!!!
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Old 10-07-2002, 03:01 PM
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How are the old brushes?

If they are short, I would try it. It worked on my car.
'86 300E
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Old 10-07-2002, 03:30 PM
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I bought one of the $14 ones for my 190e a month ago. I only have about 200 miles since replacement, but seems good to me. My alternator has 170K on it.
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Old 10-07-2002, 03:45 PM
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My alternator is on 223K and still going. I had to replace the brushes not long ago after getting stranded on fwy. The cheap German version has worked well for me. Buy 2 if you feel uneasy and you're still in the $$$.
'01 E430, Sport 72,000 mi
'98 C280, 126,500 mi
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Old 10-07-2002, 08:56 PM
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Mine gave up last summer with 230,000 on it. Lets just the New Bosch replacement lasts as long as its predecessor

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Old 10-08-2002, 07:05 AM
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Thanks for the responses.

I got the car home last night and pulled the regulator. I was amazed that there is only a shallow groove in the rotor sliprings. The brushes still had some length but only one was shiny, the other had not been touching the slipring.

I was so curious, that I went through the original records that I recieved with the car which are quite thorough. There was no alternator replacement indicated. The alternator appears to be the original. I even went through my own logbook that I have kept since I purchased the car to ensure that I had not replaced the alternator and forgotten about it. Everything indicates that this alternator was bolted on in Germany 14 years ago and has not been touched since.

What are these things made of, Kryptonite? These are a far cry from the old two brush generators that lasted 50,000 miles if you were lucky.

I will order a voltage regulator, take the 3 minutes required to put it on and should be back on the road for less than $20.

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Old 11-01-2002, 08:46 AM
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Larry, do you have an update for us? How do the " cheap" regulators work?
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Old 11-01-2002, 11:04 AM
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Sorry for not wrapping it up.

I got in the $14 special, and put it in. The rotor had very little wear. I checked it with a voltmeter and it was putting out. I have driven it well over a week now and everything is working perfect.

I see no need to buy the expensive Bosch one as long as these are available.

Have a great day,
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Old 11-01-2002, 11:18 AM
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I realize this is a highly subjective question, but did it LOOK like a quality part? I trust your judgement.
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Old 11-01-2002, 08:56 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Carol Stream, Il, USA
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Have you inspected the bearings in your original alternator?

My bearings went out on my Chevy Van at 145K miles even though the regualtor was fine. I replaced the entire unit since I felt I got my $ worth with it lasting 145K miles.

Its easy to overlook the mechanicals on an "electronic" part.
1998 Mercedes E320, 200K Miles
2001 Acura 3.2TL, 178K Miles
1992 Chevy Astro, 205K Miles
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Old 11-02-2002, 10:39 AM
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The construction of the cheap regulator looks different but it looks plenty okay. As a matter of fact, it looks just like the ones that come in every rebuilt alternator for an MB that I've ever seen. I feel very good about it.

As far as the bearings go, it was not long ago that I put a new serpentine belt on this car. Every time I replace belts on anything, I always spin any accessory that is exposed to see that it turns smoothly before I put it back together. The alternator was fine. You did very good to get 140,000 miles out of a GM alternator. This is not, however, a GM alternator. I learned in this thread or another that this kind of mileage on these alternators is not uncommon. They MUST be made of Kryptonite.

Have a great day,
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