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Got it on the lift today, but me and 2 other buddies spent 1.5 hours ******* with that plug and couldn't get it to budge, even using every trick I read on this thread. I quit for the day but he convinced me not to button everything back up and give it one more go tomorrow.
 

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Got it on the lift today, but me and 2 other buddies spent 1.5 hours ******* with that plug and couldn't get it to budge, even using every trick I read on this thread. I quit for the day but he convinced me not to button everything back up and give it one more go tomorrow.
You have to shove your hand up there from the space in front of the sway bar and squeeze the tab on the plug. Were you just pulling on it?
 

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I had my left arm up and around the alternator, pushing the tab while trying to pull with the other. Part of the plug (the base of it) pulled away, and I pinched some nerves in my arm form the awkward angle, so I said **** it after my hand started going numb. At least I was able to drive it home even with the charging indicator light on. I have an 08 TL as my DD so it's not a dire situation.
 

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I had my left arm up and around the alternator, pushing the tab while trying to pull with the other. Part of the plug (the base of it) pulled away, and I pinched some nerves in my arm form the awkward angle, so I said **** it after my hand started going numb. At least I was able to drive it home even with the charging indicator light on. I have an 08 TL as my DD so it's not a dire situation.
I'm rather skinny and lanky, but I was able to contort my arm to get my whole hand up above. From that point, I was able to press with a bit of leverage using my thumb on the bottom and finger on the top (release). Here is an image of the plug so you can get an idea where you need to be pressing down at
 

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I'm rather skinny and lanky, but I was able to contort my arm to get my whole hand up above. From that point, I was able to press with a bit of leverage using my thumb on the bottom and finger on the top (release). Here is an image of the plug so you can get an idea where you need to be pressing down at
It's a pain, but mostly awkward. Did this over the summer and it took as long to get the plug off without breaking things as the rest of the job.

Totally worth the effort though, for the easy and noninvasive fix.
 

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Yeah I had seen that picture and was definitely pressing the tab, and on my last effort the bottom snap-together part of the plug slid down the wire, so that's when I called it. I know the alternator isn't too hard to remove, but after awhile it's just not worth my time anymore to mess with it.
 

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I'm rather skinny and lanky, but I was able to contort my arm to get my whole hand up above. From that point, I was able to press with a bit of leverage using my thumb on the bottom and finger on the top (release). Here is an image of the plug so you can get an idea where you need to be pressing down at
I'm 6ft/180 and it took no more than 10 seconds either one of the times I've done it. The trick is to push the connector towards the alternator before pulling away from it all while squeezing that tab.
 

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Well through a friend of a friend of a friend, I was able to get it on a lift at Eurocharged after hours and the fella got the damn plug out in about 5 minutes and the regulator done in about an hour. So I'll just chalk this one up to a WTF moment. Runs like a champ now
 

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Anybody have symptoms of ABS/DSC/BRAKE trifecta lights on the dash?


Symptoms are:


heavy steering as if its always in M Mode.



oil temperature gauge jumping around on dash.


car starts but seems to be a "weak start" .

having slight idle fluctuations when stationary.



Could a VR be the cause of (some) of these symptoms ?
 

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Anybody have symptoms of ABS/DSC/BRAKE trifecta lights on the dash?


Symptoms are:


heavy steering as if its always in M Mode.



oil temperature gauge jumping around on dash.


car starts but seems to be a "weak start" .

having slight idle fluctuations when stationary.



Could a VR be the cause of (some) of these symptoms ?
Yeah, especially the jumpy gauges. I wouldn't wait - usually when the VR fails it oversupplies voltage, so it can toast much more expensive modules. In my case it was a rapid decline and it ended up with the car stalling a block from home (thankfully). You can buy the valeo part (same company that supplies the OEM alternator) for less than $50.
 

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Yeah, especially the jumpy gauges. I wouldn't wait - usually when the VR fails it oversupplies voltage, so it can toast much more expensive modules. In my case it was a rapid decline and it ended up with the car stalling a block from home (thankfully). You can buy the valeo part (same company that supplies the OEM alternator) for less than $50.

The thing is im not getting over supplied voltage. Im not getting any voltage from the alternator. Could the IBS be responsible for this or failed alternator ?



in other words im getting the same 12.2-12.5 volts from the battery - does not matter if the car is running or not. Eventually battery dies out.
 

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I just want to say Thank You to the OP for taking his time to write up this DIY.

I tackled this DIY yesterday and my beast is running well again.


A few stuff I want to add:

Watch this YouTube video on how the brushes on the voltage regulator makes contact on the slip ring.

<iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/aVvPzwtxdrM" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe>

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVvPzwtxdrM


I know some of you guys are still having problems after replacing the VR. My guess is, the slip ring of your alternator is dirty and its not making a good contact with the brushes of the new VR.
I cleaned the slip ring of my alternator with some strips of sandpaper to make sure it will have a good contact with the brushes of the new VR.

Also, to remove the plug, its alot easier with a pry tool. With your left hand, reach the plug through the top of the alternator and push the down the tab with your thumb. With a pry tool on your other hand, gently pry the plug away from the alternator. You'll be amazed on how easy it was.

Here are some picture of my install:

Old Voltage Regulator:


Old vs New Regulator:


New Regulator only has one prong and the old one has two prongs. No worries, the plug only has one wire.



The brushes is being held by the round plastic cup. They will release once you push the round plastic cup in.



Round Plastic Cup - you need to push this in after you securely screwed in the VR to the alternator so the brushes releases to the slip ring.



Picture of the Slip Ring:



Cleaned Slip Ring:



If you guys have any question. HMU, I might be able to help or answer your question.


Good Luck....
 

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This thread has been a massive and invaluable source of information. Thank you all for putting this up. I've been looking for this kind of detail for an E92 M3 and haven't found much. The information here will definitely help me this weekend when I replace my voltage regulator.
 

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Went ahead and did this last night and just a tip for anyone having issues removing the power connector... remove the alternator heat shield above (two bolts) and the access is a cinch. The alternator rear cover was the hardest part but I finally got it off after quite a bit of struggling.

Went to test the car this morning and it appears I am having an issue... after starting the car I measured voltage under the hood at the battery terminals and am getting 11.xx volts with the engine running. iDrive and cluster report "charging malfunction." Which tells me the alternator is not working.

I thought this was pretty straightforward as this isn't my first rodeo working on these cars. I followed all the tips regarding issues people struggle with on this job and even made sure not to press the button on the new regulator until it was bolted down. I did indeed press it and thought I heard a click but am I supposed to press this even harder?

I will be checking tonight to make sure everything is seated properly but if I need to remove the regulator I'll have to lookup a reset procedure for the pins.

The only thing that concerns me is that before all this, there was no warning that the alternator was going out. Not a single code or battery warning. The only sign I got was one day I was driving down the road and the idrive and HUD just shut off momentarily out of nowhere. It was then that I found on the boards here that the alternator was failing from outputting too much voltage. Stopped driving the car (it's not a daily) but have moved it in and out of the garage 2-3 times since.

One day I go to work on the car and the battery is completely flat. Left it on a 15A charger overnight in AGM mode and couldnt get more than 6V. Determined at this point that clearly the alternator fried the battery and the car for a period was running on no alternator at all which sucks. Had to buy a brand new battery.

That was two weeks ago and I finally did the regulator last night. It appears the battery did drain to 53% over that two weeks of sitting which is no surprise, but this charging malfunction did not occur once until AFTER I did the regulator.

Do you all think the alternator is actually toast at this point or did I probably just not make a proper connection somewhere upon reassembly?

Car is an 08 (I think 10/08 build) so I used BMW part number 12318510092 which is indeed the correct number according to realoem and translates to the correct Valeo unit that I picked up.

Anyone else run into the same issue? I see most people forget to push the button on the regulator but I did that after I secured the bolts so I dont see how that could be wrong?
 

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Went ahead and did this last night and just a tip for anyone having issues removing the power connector... remove the alternator heat shield above (two bolts) and the access is a cinch. The alternator rear cover was the hardest part but I finally got it off after quite a bit of struggling.

Went to test the car this morning and it appears I am having an issue... after starting the car I measured voltage under the hood at the battery terminals and am getting 11.xx volts with the engine running. iDrive and cluster report "charging malfunction." Which tells me the alternator is not working.

I thought this was pretty straightforward as this isn't my first rodeo working on these cars. I followed all the tips regarding issues people struggle with on this job and even made sure not to press the button on the new regulator until it was bolted down. I did indeed press it and thought I heard a click but am I supposed to press this even harder?

I will be checking tonight to make sure everything is seated properly but if I need to remove the regulator I'll have to lookup a reset procedure for the pins.

The only thing that concerns me is that before all this, there was no warning that the alternator was going out. Not a single code or battery warning. The only sign I got was one day I was driving down the road and the idrive and HUD just shut off momentarily out of nowhere. It was then that I found on the boards here that the alternator was failing from outputting too much voltage. Stopped driving the car (it's not a daily) but have moved it in and out of the garage 2-3 times since.

One day I go to work on the car and the battery is completely flat. Left it on a 15A charger overnight in AGM mode and couldnt get more than 6V. Determined at this point that clearly the alternator fried the battery and the car for a period was running on no alternator at all which sucks. Had to buy a brand new battery.

That was two weeks ago and I finally did the regulator last night. It appears the battery did drain to 53% over that two weeks of sitting which is no surprise, but this charging malfunction did not occur once until AFTER I did the regulator.

Do you all think the alternator is actually toast at this point or did I probably just not make a proper connection somewhere upon reassembly?

Car is an 08 (I think 10/08 build) so I used BMW part number 12318510092 which is indeed the correct number according to realoem and translates to the correct Valeo unit that I picked up.

Anyone else run into the same issue? I see most people forget to push the button on the regulator but I did that after I secured the bolts so I dont see how that could be wrong?
Same thing happened to me when I swapped out the regulator. I started the car back up afterward and voltage reading on the onboard hidden menu still showed ~11V. I too thought I must not have seated the regulator correctly, or tightened the rear bolt back up, or even ordered the wrong regulator. I ended up replacing the alternator and that took care of the problem. With the new alternator in, the onboard voltage now kicks up to 13.8-14.0V within 10 sec after starting up. I didn't realize this upon my initial inspection of the old alternator, but it had a hairline crack in the rear bearing housing. I'm guessing this prevented the rotor from spinning freely. If you feel that click when pushing the regulator down, you did it right. I did the same thing also, I semi-secured the regulator in place with the bolts and then pressed the regulator down and felt the snap. That's the way to do it, your alternator might be the next target to go after. My was toast after 106,000 miles on a 2008 E92 M3. Good luck!
 

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Same thing happened to me when I swapped out the regulator. I started the car back up afterward and voltage reading on the onboard hidden menu still showed ~11V. I too thought I must not have seated the regulator correctly, or tightened the rear bolt back up, or even ordered the wrong regulator. I ended up replacing the alternator and that took care of the problem. With the new alternator in, the onboard voltage now kicks up to 13.8-14.0V within 10 sec after starting up. I didn't realize this upon my initial inspection of the old alternator, but it had a hairline crack in the rear bearing housing. I'm guessing this prevented the rotor from spinning freely. If you feel that click when pushing the regulator down, you did it right. I did the same thing also, I semi-secured the regulator in place with the bolts and then pressed the regulator down and felt the snap. That's the way to do it, your alternator might be the next target to go after. My was toast after 106,000 miles on a 2008 E92 M3. Good luck!
Damn confirmed my worst suspicion. I had a feeling with how this thing crapped out so unexpectedly that the whole unit might be done but wanted to believe changing the voltage regulator would suffice like everyone else here. Lol.

Appreciate your input. Now I can start looking forward to that horrible job haha. Thanks!

Looks like Amazon and Rockauto have the best prices right now on the Valeo 439559 alternator.
 
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