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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 7 Series / 8 Series > 7 Series - E65 / E66 (2002 - 2008)

7 Series - E65 / E66 (2002 - 2008)
Discussion of BMW's 4th generation E65/E66 7 Series flagship. The E65 generated much controversy, due to its radical styling and iDrive user difficulties. Nonetheless, the E65 broke records to become the best-selling 7-series iteration ever, especially after its 2005 facelift.

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  #1  
Old 02-10-2015, 08:44 AM
jkess114 jkess114 is offline
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Alternator change: How difficult?

How difficult is an alternator repair? I expect that is the problem i am having. My battery was replaced and reprogrammed less than a year ago (Thank you BMWOEM!), and this morning after driving to work and sitting with the car idling for a moment I turned the car off and got the warning in the cluster: Recharge Battery! My commute to work is about a half hour, so I am thinking the alternator must be going. This evening, I'll check for codes but I expect with 120k it may be time.

So, how hard is this repair? Do I need to change the formed alternator gasket? I've see it but I am not sure what its purpose is.


Thank you for your help.

Best,
Josh
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2015, 03:46 PM
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collins912 collins912 is offline
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Depending on whether or not you have the liquid-cooled alternator will determine the severity of the task. If you have a regular alternator on there then its fairly easy from a mechanics perspective and you don't have to worry about draining the coolant. It is a good idea to take care of the gasket while you are working on the alternator...it will save you some time down the road.
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2015, 02:41 AM
gattor gattor is offline
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water cooled alternator

I don't know about e65 but on my old e38 it took about 3hrs followed the threads here wasn't that hard.take your time step by step
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  #4  
Old 02-13-2015, 02:48 AM
gattor gattor is offline
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PS I bought a second hand alt of a wrecker first one was burnt out too had to do the job twice paid $500 Australian ,was OK in the end
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  #5  
Old 02-15-2015, 11:30 AM
FOEFIRSTPAGE FOEFIRSTPAGE is offline
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If you have a water cooled alternator prepare yourself for a long day! It's in a very weird location and the idler pully has to be removed from behind the alternator housing. If you have a water cooled alternator and you are looking to do the repair yourself pm me and I will walk you through the whole task
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  #6  
Old 04-30-2016, 12:14 PM
DSantana DSantana is offline
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Re-Install

How are you guys gettting the alternator bolt holes to line up with the bracket? I've tried for days now and i can't get the stupid thing to line up.
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  #7  
Old 04-30-2016, 06:10 PM
WillyMammoth343 WillyMammoth343 is offline
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How do I know if I have a water cooled or air cooled alternator? I have an 03' 745li.
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  #8  
Old 05-01-2016, 05:49 AM
javito javito is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillyMammoth343 View Post
How do I know if I have a water cooled or air cooled alternator? I have an 03' 745li.

Water cooled alternator has like a sealed plastic cover in the front while the air cooled looks like a regular alternator with air vents on front and sides.
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  #9  
Old 07-29-2016, 11:38 AM
danny_745 danny_745 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FOEFIRSTPAGE View Post
If you have a water cooled alternator prepare yourself for a long day! It's in a very weird location and the idler pully has to be removed from behind the alternator housing. If you have a water cooled alternator and you are looking to do the repair yourself pm me and I will walk you through the whole task
Can you help me out man , i need mine changed
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  #10  
Old 07-29-2016, 01:00 PM
Javster9 Javster9 is offline
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Make sure you disconnect the negative cable before you start removing things!
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  #11  
Old 07-29-2016, 01:28 PM
veery veery is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSantana View Post
How are you guys gettting the alternator bolt holes to line up with the bracket? I've tried for days now and i can't get the stupid thing to line up.
A long tapered (drift) punch can help. You stick it in one hole and wiggle/lever it around until the alternator moves into position in that spot. Get that bolt started and do the same with the other. If you get frustrated, try doing the other one first.
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  #12  
Old 08-09-2016, 12:13 PM
danny_745 danny_745 is offline
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Originally Posted by Javster9 View Post
Make sure you disconnect the negative cable before you start removing things!
Yea i did that its just that i cant get that pulley out the way
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  #13  
Old 08-10-2016, 01:18 PM
danny_745 danny_745 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FOEFIRSTPAGE View Post
If you have a water cooled alternator prepare yourself for a long day! It's in a very weird location and the idler pully has to be removed from behind the alternator housing. If you have a water cooled alternator and you are looking to do the repair yourself pm me and I will walk you through the whole task
Help me plz
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  #14  
Old 08-19-2016, 05:47 AM
mrandrewjames mrandrewjames is offline
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Just found out yesterday mine is going bad. Everytime I start the car u get a generator fault that pops up until I put it in drive and go about 10 feet and the light goes away completely. Had it tested though and it says my voltage regulator is bad. The kicker is I just had replaced 10 months ago!! And yes it's the water cooled. Was looking for a good DIY and try to do it in my own this time but seem to be having a hard time finding one :/
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  #15  
Old 08-19-2016, 08:55 AM
danny_745 danny_745 is offline
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Originally Posted by mrandrewjames View Post
Just found out yesterday mine is going bad. Everytime I start the car u get a generator fault that pops up until I put it in drive and go about 10 feet and the light goes away completely. Had it tested though and it says my voltage regulator is bad. The kicker is I just had replaced 10 months ago!! And yes it's the water cooled. Was looking for a good DIY and try to do it in my own this time but seem to be having a hard time finding one :/
Try to find a used one at s local parts dealer and make sure it matches the amps
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  #16  
Old 08-19-2016, 09:41 AM
mrandrewjames mrandrewjames is offline
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Originally Posted by danny_745 View Post
Try to find a used one at s local parts dealer and make sure it matches the amps

Well I got a lifetime warranty on the alternator itself and it is the 180 amp which was the higher amperage of the 2 offered for that car. But labor doesn't have a warranty lol so I was hoping to do it myself but NOBODY had a DIY posted for the water cooled version for this car so most likely I'll be taking it to the hole in the wall shop that did it last time for relatively cheap.
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  #17  
Old 08-19-2016, 11:07 AM
danny_745 danny_745 is offline
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I had a really hard time finding a way ti do ut but ill be halpy to help you out bud
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  #18  
Old 08-19-2016, 11:15 AM
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Rick in Yuma Rick in Yuma is offline
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Error in post.. Deleted .

Last edited by Rick in Yuma; 08-19-2016 at 11:18 AM.
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  #19  
Old 08-19-2016, 01:07 PM
mrandrewjames mrandrewjames is offline
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Originally Posted by danny_745 View Post
I had a really hard time finding a way ti do ut but ill be halpy to help you out bud

Is it worth saving a few hundred bucks? I don't want to start something and end up not being able to get it so I put it back together and bring it to the shop.
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  #20  
Old 08-19-2016, 01:09 PM
danny_745 danny_745 is offline
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What model is your car?
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  #21  
Old 08-19-2016, 01:09 PM
danny_745 danny_745 is offline
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I have an 03 and it didnt take me long tbh
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  #22  
Old 08-19-2016, 01:09 PM
danny_745 danny_745 is offline
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All you need is the right tools and a good work space and patience
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  #23  
Old 08-19-2016, 01:18 PM
mrandrewjames mrandrewjames is offline
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Originally Posted by danny_745 View Post
All you need is the right tools and a good work space and patience

I have 2002 745i
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  #24  
Old 08-19-2016, 03:14 PM
danny_745 danny_745 is offline
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Should be the same as my 03 745li
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  #25  
Old 08-19-2016, 03:26 PM
danny_745 danny_745 is offline
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First step is to disconnect the battery. The wheels in white and red will be in the way so pop off the caps and remove them with a torx bit and remove the 2 cables from the alternator with the right socket and be very careful not to break the other one when taking it off.
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