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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 07-28-2012, 03:04 PM
ZR2Mike ZR2Mike is offline
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Z3 2000 Roadster 2.8 - Alternator replacement with higher amp model?

Z3 2000 Roadster 2.8 - Alternator replacement with higher amp model?

My alternator has gone out and I'm having trouble finding the correct replacement. The workers at Autozone are just guessing for the correct replacement model number. The original is a Valeo 50/90A model #2514912A.

Cross referencing the original alternator's model number brought up nothing in Autozone's computer. Been to Autozone, Advanced Auto Parts and O'Reilly's Auto Parts. I find online that the original is listed as a 90 amp unit. Locally I can only find a 80 amp or 120 amp unit. There might have been a higher amp one as well. I have replaced alternators on US domestic cars with higher amps with no problem but I am not familiar with doing so on a BMW.

So, can I replace my 90 amp alternator with the 120 amp model? Are the electrical connections the same? Any issues? Or does anyone have a suggestion of what model replacement I should get? I don't really want to go to the stealership to buy one but I will if I have to. Please help. Thanks

Here's the label on the original alternator:
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  #2  
Old 07-28-2012, 09:08 PM
ZR2Mike ZR2Mike is offline
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Anyone??
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  #3  
Old 07-29-2012, 05:58 AM
aba4430 aba4430 is offline
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Not sure what the production date of your Z3 is, but just put in 12/1999 (for a 2000 model) on RealOEM, and came up with this:

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...26&hg=12&fg=20

It lists both, the 90 and 120A versions. Amazon and Advance have several options listed for Bosch and Beck & Arnley as well, including 140A versions. I have a 98, 2.6 and have not had to replace the alternator as yet, so cannot tell you what fits etc.; but a couple of leads anyway. Good luck.

Advance link for the 98 Roadster (change it to a 2000, and select exact fit option):
http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/web...p2HomeClicked=

Amazon link for the 2000 Roadster:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/part-finder...&vehicleType=5
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  #4  
Old 07-29-2012, 06:13 AM
wifesauto wifesauto is offline
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auto salvage yard or auto electric shop can rebuild yours or you replace voltage regulator if integral [ some old bosch units had the regulator held on the back of the alt with 2 screws]
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  #5  
Old 07-29-2012, 07:24 AM
ZR2Mike ZR2Mike is offline
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Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it.

But still the same problem. All those listed on the Advanced site are either 80, 120 or 180 amp models and not the 90 amp model original to my roadster.

So, I need to know can I install the 120 amp alternator with no issues? I assume it would work but I'd really like to know before I order one just in case so I don't waste my time and money.

My production date is 04 2000. I did look it up on RealOEM.com and it lists the following:

No. Description Supplement Qty Part Number Price
01 AT-COMPACT ALTERNATOR 120A 1 12311432981 ENDED
01 AT-COMPACT ALTERNATOR 120A 1 12311432980 $421.85
01 AT-COMPACT ALTERNATOR 90A 1 12311432982 $477.22

Since the 2000 also came with a 120 amp this leads me to believe this would be a direct fit like the 90 amp. Correct assumption or am I off base?
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  #6  
Old 07-29-2012, 07:26 AM
ZR2Mike ZR2Mike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wifesauto View Post
auto salvage yard or auto electric shop can rebuild yours or you replace voltage regulator if integral [ some old bosch units had the regulator held on the back of the alt with 2 screws]
I did think about having it rebuilt but not sure if there is a place that does it locally. Perhaps a google search is in order.

Edit: Found a couple re-builders. Both located in not so good areas.

Still would like to know if the 120 amp is a direct replacement for the 90 amp alternator. Going to dealership tomorrow if no answers.

Last edited by ZR2Mike; 07-29-2012 at 09:08 AM.
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  #7  
Old 07-30-2012, 02:42 PM
ZR2Mike ZR2Mike is offline
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OK... Here's the scoop!

The 120A alternator is NOT interchangeable with the less common 90A model. I found one at a foreign car salvage yard and was able to compare the two in detail. The 120A model is slightly larger but the mounting looks to line up exactly. However, the electrical connections are completely different. So, its a no go. At least on the one I was able to find. So, I'm glad I found this out before ordering one.

Apparently the 90A model was more common in European markets. Why? I have no idea. And why 90A's were slapped on just a few US market Z3's? Only the BMW Gods know the answer. But I can picture in my head seeing workers on the US production line running low on 120A alternators and their bleep'n supervisor yelling at them so they go borrow some 90A models off the European shelf! lol

The service tech at my BMW dealership said he has only seen a couple 90A Alternators ever and that he was surprised it wasn't the 120A. I'm glad I took it with me to show him. They ran the numbers off the 90A alt's label and said they only found 3 of them listed in the US (BMW dealership alternators anyway). So, I have one on order and should get it in 2-3 days.
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  #8  
Old 08-03-2012, 08:13 AM
ZR2Mike ZR2Mike is offline
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New alternator installed and working great. Back on the road!
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  #9  
Old 08-03-2012, 08:22 AM
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BeemerMikeTX BeemerMikeTX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZR2Mike View Post
The 120A alternator is NOT interchangeable with the less common 90A model. I found one at a foreign car salvage yard and was able to compare the two in detail. The 120A model is slightly larger but the mounting looks to line up exactly. However, the electrical connections are completely different. So, its a no go. At least on the one I was able to find. So, I'm glad I found this out before ordering one.

Apparently the 90A model was more common in European markets. Why? I have no idea. And why 90A's were slapped on just a few US market Z3's? Only the BMW Gods know the answer. But I can picture in my head seeing workers on the US production line running low on 120A alternators and their bleep'n supervisor yelling at them so they go borrow some 90A models off the European shelf! lol
So, if the electrical connections are different on the 120A and 90A alternators, how did they go to the "European shelf" and put one on your U.S. model car?
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  #10  
Old 10-07-2012, 08:08 AM
Jacob welsh Jacob welsh is offline
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Mein Auto: Bmw 2002 z3 roadster
Changed battery,alternator,tensioners,belts and idler pulley

Now I am having problems with my Z3 3.0 light lights dimming? Alternator 120v same as old one just different name.Im thinking something might be loose,going to go back in and try retighting everything,any ideas I'd really appreciate it trying to teach my 15 year old to DIY and not let the dealer take the fun out of it!! ***128591;
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