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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 10-07-2012, 06:19 PM
FLE39 FLE39 is offline
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alternator duct

Searched, only found 1 thread that really didn't go into detail. this is the first car I've owned that has a duct for the alternator. I'm sure it's there for cooling of the altnerator which is good. Does it have a filter or screen in the duct work somewhere? I mean, what is stopping leaves and dirt from entering it. Is that a maintenance items to take the duct apart and clean the leaves out? I'm goingto pull it apart make sure it's clean and clear for peace of mind.
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2012, 09:46 PM
aioros aioros is online now
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Mein Auto: '99 528i auto , '01 330xi
There is no screen or filter in that duct. Everything that can fly in there will get in there.

Sent from my MB860 using Bimmer App
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2012, 06:59 AM
FLE39 FLE39 is offline
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HOw is that good? Is it being directed toward a cooling fin section or the internals. I can't imagine piping dirt and debris into the alternator is a good thing.
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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.
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  #4  
Old 10-08-2012, 07:02 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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You have 2 options:

1. Install Vinyl Screen (Gutter guard from Home Depot for a few $).
I posted info on Step 12 here:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=379225


2. Get rid of the air duct (that goes from the body of the car ---> alternator itself).
My Honda and Volvo have no air ducts for alternator.

The air duct seems like a nice idea (if it works as intended). Unfortunately, leaves, debris fly in there, making it worse than w/o the air duct.
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  #5  
Old 10-08-2012, 08:14 AM
xraye39 xraye39 is offline
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I use the gutter card screening to block any leaf debris from getting in.

I put this in place years ago on both my E39s.
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  #6  
Old 10-08-2012, 11:20 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Got Fiber?

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  #7  
Old 10-08-2012, 11:24 AM
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BentValve BentValve is offline
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If you get a replica M bumper, it will block off the duct nicely...lol.
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  #8  
Old 10-08-2012, 05:04 PM
FLE39 FLE39 is offline
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^ Fiber!! WOW! Did you put the duct back on or not? I just dont see the duct being that useful, but I also don't remember seeing any fins on the alternator. Like other alternators. I think most cars have the fan blade behind the alternator. so even at idle they have something.
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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; 10-08-2012 at 05:11 PM.
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  #9  
Old 10-08-2012, 05:39 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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That wasn't -my- alternator but all these air-cooled units will have this problem to some degree. If you visit your local home improvement center and get a small roll of that flexible plastic netting (BLACK, about 6 in. wide) for rain gutters, you can cut a piece to size and strap it with small zipties into the front of the alt duct mouth but behind the grille piece on the bumper. It will eliminate most of this and no one will notice it's there. You can also pull the plastic tube connection off the plastic part on the rear of the alt. I've had my alt apart a couple times since doing the netting on the grille end and it was debris-free. First time I remove my alt, it had lots of maple "copters", pine needles, bee and hornet butts, butterfly wings, and even some Wrigley's chewing gum foil (probably from a jaded e39 owner....).

The alt has cooling blades on the front and rear edges of the spinning stator.
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  #10  
Old 10-08-2012, 07:53 PM
neilw neilw is offline
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Just changed my regulator, and mine was filled with dragonflies.
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  #11  
Old 11-16-2012, 08:05 PM
FLE39 FLE39 is offline
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I vacuumed mine out with the shop vac. Full of fiber! I really would like to remove the whole d uct system. never owned a car with it before... would open upt he engine bay even more.
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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.
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