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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-03-2009, 09:00 AM
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Fifty_Cent Fifty_Cent is offline
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Alternator bearings noise

What is the cheapest way to change this?
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  #2  
Old 12-03-2009, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fifty_Cent View Post
What is the cheapest way to change this?
Are you sure it's the alternator? The tensioner pulleys seem to have a higher failure rate, and they are a cheaper/easier fix than going after the alternator....
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  #3  
Old 12-03-2009, 11:11 AM
FCPGroton FCPGroton is offline
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+1

Take the belt of the accessories and spin the tensioner wheel. It is more then likely the wheel.
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  #4  
Old 12-03-2009, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew@FCP View Post
+1

Take the belt of the accessories and spin the tensioner wheel. It is more then likely the wheel.
I have already changed the tensioner wheel, and the v belt.
With a hearing aid we have concluded that it is indeed the front bearing of the alternator that is making the whistling noise.
Now I have to take out the alternator and take it to an electrician for installing new bearings, or buy a new alternator, or buy a second hand one.
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  #5  
Old 12-03-2009, 02:48 PM
3beemers 3beemers is offline
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Originally Posted by Fifty_Cent View Post
I have already changed the tensioner wheel, and the v belt.
With a hearing aid we have concluded that it is indeed the front bearing of the alternator that is making the whistling noise.
Now I have to take out the alternator and take it to an electrician for installing new bearings, or buy a new alternator, or buy a second hand one.
If you have that option where you live, that is good. Might as well replace the rear bearing and check everything else (armature, field, etc.).
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  #6  
Old 12-03-2009, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MicahO View Post
Are you sure it's the alternator? The tensioner pulleys seem to have a higher failure rate, and they are a cheaper/easier fix than going after the alternator....
Idler pulley.
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  #7  
Old 12-04-2009, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Idler pulley.
I just changed that with a new part, and the sound still continues.
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  #8  
Old 12-04-2009, 05:25 PM
LX-biker LX-biker is offline
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Hi Recently changed all pulleys and waterpump. Now I have whining noise when A/C engaged only! Try turn it off when you hear whine. Before I had two pulleys dry and going waterpump. So, it was dry bearings orchestra. So now I book appintment with dealer since I really don't want mess with pressure gauges and refrigerant. Plus I can't find in Canada canned R134 for try recharge cooling system. Here available Duracool R12 only, but I will try it when it last thing before dump car at junkyard.
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  #9  
Old 12-04-2009, 08:18 PM
ventsyv ventsyv is offline
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I have a noise coming from that area too. I thought its the alternator but then I decided it was the pulleys. I took the deflector pulley off and sure enough the bearings on that were bad. I think I'm having the same problem with the tensioner pulley. If you are sure its the alternator, I think you can change just the pulley.
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  #10  
Old 12-04-2009, 08:28 PM
Ryan M Ryan M is offline
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Originally Posted by ventsyv View Post
I have a noise coming from that area too. I thought its the alternator but then I decided it was the pulleys. I took the deflector pulley off and sure enough the bearings on that were bad. I think I'm having the same problem with the tensioner pulley. If you are sure its the alternator, I think you can change just the pulley.
You can change the pulley, but the bearing is not pressed into the pulley like on the idler or tensioner. The bearing is part of the alternator.
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  #11  
Old 12-04-2009, 08:36 PM
ventsyv ventsyv is offline
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That sucks. If you can have someone replace the bearing... but it might be cheaper to get a new one ...
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  #12  
Old 12-05-2009, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ventsyv View Post
That sucks. If you can have someone replace the bearing... but it might be cheaper to get a new one ...
There you go:

No 1 is making the noise most probably.
So far I have changed no 1 and no 6 from the bottom drawing.

Also note the following:
1. I have the mechanical tensioner not the hydraulic one as shown at the drawing.
2. when I pour water at the pulleys it stops and then continues.
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  #13  
Old 12-05-2009, 04:25 PM
mekaneck mekaneck is offline
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I'd say change #15 from the bottom pic, but if you are sure it's the alternator, then you best get a new alternator. #1 from your upper pic can't make noise unless the belt is slipping over it. It doesn't contain a bearing or anything, it is purely a puller mounted to the rotor of the alternator. So if the sound is coming from that pulley, it means your mechanical tensioner isn't providing enough tension in your belt, or a bearing is bad in your alternator.
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  #14  
Old 10-09-2012, 03:18 PM
wellssh wellssh is offline
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Same issue, replaced A/C, idler and tensioner pulleys, as well as the belt. Only thing left is the alternator pulley.

I'm guessing I can't just replace the pulley and bearing on the alternator, is that the consensus???
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