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Old 07-10-2001, 12:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Indpls.,IN. USA
Posts: 84
I'm hoping some of you southern techs have some advice that can help me. I've been working on a 1986 300E that is having trouble with the charging system staying up with the heavy load brought on by a car idling with the A/C on Max. as well as the auxillary fan and of course the engine management loads. At idle the new alternator is charging about 40 amps. but the consumers are using more than 60 amps.
After idling in rush hour traffic for 10 or 15 minutes the low voltage causes the ABS and the SRS warning lites to come on and if left idling long enough the engine starts to run poorly.
A full size MB 88 battery helps but the problem still happens eventually.
Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

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Old 07-10-2001, 08:51 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
The car was underdesigned. It has a truely crummy alternator. The output may be 70a but it won't keep even with the fans used in A/C at idle. It can produce about 25a at idle.

The easiest real solution is to replace the alternator with one from a 90 or newer 300e. It is a straight bolt-up. You will have to change the wiring harnes but it is relatively cheap and available.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 07-10-2001, 11:38 AM
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Razorback Soccer Dad
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
40 amps is less than the charging capacity of the stock alternator in my 73 Super Beetle (which is 45 amps). Consider that the early Beetles in general came with almost NO electrical assesories, NO power-assisted components, and no A/C.

When I added a high powered stereo and Halogen headlamps, I had the alternator beefed up to 75 amps.

2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
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