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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-27-2013, 08:56 PM
FLE39 FLE39 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 530i 5spd Manual
Alternator noise...

Just started this week. Very noticeable at idle. I took the belt off and checked the idler pulley which only has 30k on it and it's fine. I spin the alt by hand and yup... making noise. Sounds like a bearing is going bad. 123k on it. looks original. I just got done doing the oil pan and all this work and now like 2 months later the alternator bearings go. This is my work car and now I don't feel confident driving it out of town. What are my options here... Napa?
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Last edited by FLE39; 08-27-2013 at 08:58 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-27-2013, 09:49 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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How about a factory Bosch rebuild sold through www.autohausaz.com for $200 with free shipping? ($108 core charge refunded when you return your old alternator)
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  #3  
Old 08-28-2013, 07:19 AM
small_525 small_525 is offline
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WOW that's a big core charge. I got a Bosch rebuild at Autozone under $250 including the $15 core, at $15 I'll rebuild my old one for a spare. Alt also came with the autozone life time warranty for whatever that is worth.

I don't know how far you have to drive to work and back and its hard to say if the alt will last another 10 miles or 10,000 if you have the time shop around if not take whats in stock. See the sticky on best link for info on alt bearings and where to get them good info there.

Last edited by small_525; 08-28-2013 at 07:20 AM.
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  #4  
Old 08-28-2013, 07:59 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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The V8 alternator is always expensive.

Anyway for I6, this is a very good deal for a brand-new (not rebuilt) alternator:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Genuine-...-/141035603526
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  #5  
Old 08-28-2013, 08:45 AM
crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
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Autozone sells the Bosch units also. My experience with the Autozone offerings has not been great, so buyer beware. They did honor their warranty which is a good thing but IMO the alternator I purchased from them failed prematurely.
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  #6  
Old 08-28-2013, 08:48 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Rebuilt alternators these days are so unreliable, it basically wastes people time/effort.
The rebuilders are very shady, this is why I tell people to rebuild the alt themselves.

The other option is to buy it NEW, the link above is for NEW alt.
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  #7  
Old 08-28-2013, 11:03 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Rebuilt alternators these days are so unreliable
I'm not going to disagree with you, as I only have one datapoint, and I do understand your arguments (that the rebuilders put the cheapest parts they can get and don't replace all the things they should) ...

But, I will say that my rebuilt Bosch 120A alternator from Max at OemBimmerparts is still going strong after three years and about 50K miles ...
- One users' example of total electrical failure (AAA towed away) alternator repair (1)
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #8  
Old 08-28-2013, 02:00 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
The V8 alternator is always expensive.

Anyway for I6, this is a very good deal for a brand-new (not rebuilt) alternator:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Genuine-...-/141035603526
CN90, I also noticed no core charge, which means the OP could keep his old unit to rebuild as a spare, or sell separately on Ebay. That is a great deal for "new".
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  #9  
Old 08-28-2013, 02:10 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy4trains View Post
Autozone sells the Bosch units also. My experience with the Autozone offerings has not been great, so buyer beware. They did honor their warranty which is a good thing but IMO the alternator I purchased from them failed prematurely.
Rebuilt by Bosch, or a third party? According to the Autozone website they currently sell "Duralast" rebuilt alternators....they are not rebuilt by Bosch. My personal experience with third party rebuilders is they can be spotty on reliability. Some are okay, others put out gussied up and shiny clean pieces of crap. In other words they do a great job of cleaning the housing, and painting it, and putting it in a nice new box with a 'lifetime' warranty, but who knows what they actually replaced, and with what quality standard of parts used?

I have never had an issue with a rebuilt starter or alternator by the oem manufacturer, such as Nippondenso or Bosch. OEM manufacturers have a reputation to keep, so they seem to put out a quality product in my experience.
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  #10  
Old 08-28-2013, 02:21 PM
nedmon nedmon is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i, 1987 Carrera,
At 160k I installed a rebuilt Bosch from Rock auto. That was about a year ago. Think I will treat it to a fuel pump next.
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  #11  
Old 08-28-2013, 02:35 PM
crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Rebuilt by Bosch, or a third party? According to the Autozone website they currently sell "Duralast" rebuilt alternators....they are not rebuilt by Bosch. My personal experience with third party rebuilders is they can be spotty on reliability. Some are okay, others put out gussied up and shiny clean pieces of crap. In other words they do a great job of cleaning the housing, and painting it, and putting it in a nice new box with a 'lifetime' warranty, but who knows what they actually replaced, and with what quality standard of parts used?

I have never had an issue with a rebuilt starter or alternator by the oem manufacturer, such as Nippondenso or Bosch. OEM manufacturers have a reputation to keep, so they seem to put out a quality product in my experience.
Unsure. It probably was "Bosch equipped" and not truly rebuild by Bosch. I do remember having more than just the three choices shown on their web site now.
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  #12  
Old 08-29-2013, 06:18 AM
FLE39 FLE39 is offline
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I'm probably going to do the cheapester rebuild altnerator I can get. Autozone, Autohaus, Napa Etc. I'm spending too much money on this car and still have a old car. Love the E39 though. Literally the best car I've driven for daily use. But I'm debating a new, 0% Ram 1500 or something. The new RAM trucks really caught my attention. And I can use it more for work and personal use. Rear coil springs, 8spd ZF german transmission with rotary shifter, air bag suspension, remote start, AC seats.... I've been average more than a monthly payment for a new vehicle since I bougth this E39 last Oct. I'm just about over being nickel and dimed to death.
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DD: 2003 530i 5spd manual sport package. Conti DWS's, Llumar ATR, White LED lighting. TLC on-going.

Garage queen: '07 335i Sedan, base pkg, 6spd Manual, Procede 3 V5 w/NLS, staggered 18" 313's w/Conti DWS's, OS Giken TCD LSD, VAC Street Diff Cover, Akebono Euro Pads, CDV Removed, Black BMW Grilles, Interior & Exterior white LED lighting, LUX Angel Eyes, Debadged, Llumar ATR Tint.

Last edited by FLE39; 08-29-2013 at 06:26 AM.
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