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Teach me about alternators for the C5 A6...

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Old 03-12-2014, 02:14 PM   #1
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Default Teach me about alternators for the C5 A6...

I emailed ECS tuning and they said that there are two different alternators that fit the 2002 A6 2.7t, one by Valeo and one Bosch.

This one
http://www.ecstuning.com/ES11643/

and this one
http://www.ecstuning.com/ES2221004/

Now the wording on the web site for the genuine OEM Audi alternators make it sound very specific that you need to order the one that corresponds to what comes off the car, either the Valeo or the Bosch one. Is it true that these two units are interchangeable? Or is it that they'll fit, but one will be a huge pain in the *** and the other will pop right in just fine?

Also, everything ECS sells is remanufactured, even the genuine audi ones that are like $200 more expensive then the valeo and bosch ones. (Which, if there are two different genuine Audi parts, one for cars with valeo and one with bosch, they're probably exactly the same just with the stamped Audi logos, right? I figure if I'm going to go after market on ANYTHING the alternators probably is a direct OE part, right?) Is buying remanufactured ok for alternators? Is just about everything rebuilt because they're easy to replace the parts that wear out in them?

genuineaudiparts.com has one but doesn't state if it's remanufactured or not, and it doesn't say if it's for cars with valeo or bosch ones, they don't really provide much of any kind of information on it.

Also, do I replace the voltage regulator too, or is that PART of the alternator and only something you replace if you were rebuilding your own alternator? The parts diagram makes it look like the voltage regulator is nestled inside the alternator housing...
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Old 03-12-2014, 03:14 PM   #2
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I'm not a big ECS fan.
Try Carson at Millburn Audi. He has special pricing for forum peeps.

http://www.millburnaudiparts.com

That said, yes, there are two different alternators. Yes the regulator is included. Yes, you need to put the car back in service position to remove it.
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Old 03-12-2014, 03:30 PM   #3
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I'm not a big ECS fan.
Try Carson at Millburn Audi. He has special pricing for forum peeps.

http://www.millburnaudiparts.com

That said, yes, there are two different alternators. Yes the regulator is included. Yes, you need to put the car back in service position to remove it.
But I don't have to remove the timing belt, right? (So no crank lock pin?)

I've become fairly good at getting it into service position, a lot of the time is that crack lock pin and removing/remounting the timing belt. Actually, do I need to remove the viscous fan or clutch? I just need to be able to reach the tensioner for the accessory belt to loosen it and remove the belt from the alternator and then remove the alternator, correct? Would the type of alternator be in the VIN or do I physically have to pull the unit to get the type off the old part? (I tried looking but I can't even fit my phone down there to take a video/pic of it without service position, if I get it in service position, might as well pull the unit and verify the part number)

So sounds like I just need to get the alternator and verify that it comes with the pulley.
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Old 03-12-2014, 03:44 PM   #4
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Call or email Carson. He can probably tell you with the VIN.

The only thing you need to remove is the accessory belt. But the alt slides out the front, so you will need to have the radiator far enough forward to sneak the alt out.
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Old 03-12-2014, 03:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 4Driver4 View Post
Call or email Carson. He can probably tell you with the VIN.

The only thing you need to remove is the accessory belt. But the alt slides out the front, so you will need to have the radiator far enough forward to sneak the alt out.
Email already sent mentioning that you guys sent me over to him and with my VIN and all details. I'm hoping I'll be able to get enough room in service mode without disconnecting the lower radiator hose since I don't want to drain/fill/bleed the system for a THIRD time, lol. I can get a good couple inches with that hose still attached though, so here's hoping *crosses fingers*

I don't mind replacing the stuff (well, kinda, though at the same time it gives me an excuse to cuss all day long AND listen to some podcasts...) but it's always having to send away for the parts that's killer. I wish my local dealership actually stocked parts or I wish there was a closer online site, like Seattle or Portland area or something where I could do ground shipping and still get it a day or two later, not fork over $60 extra for overnight or second day air. (Ground would seriously take like 7 days and with my weird schedule of only having time on certain days to work it turns a six hour job or something into two weeks, lol)
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Old 03-12-2014, 03:57 PM   #6
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Also, I'm replacing it for good measure since it's probably very old (164k now, bought the car at 95k, I've never replaced it, who knows before that) but the big issue was the surge to 16v for 10 second or so and the CLUNK and then limp mode (I think?) for the rest of the way home... car started again fine and transmission seemed to be fine, but I'm almost positive I'm running off reserve battery power only now (showing like 11 to 12 volt MAX). I'm confused why the alternator would have pushed me up to 16 volt before the system killed it to protect it from over voltage (?? maybe?) or it burned it's self out...

I have noticed the last two winters random times that it would dip down to 12v while at a stop light and then as soon as I got on the gas it would jump back to like 13.5 to 14v so maybe it was on it's last legs...

Only thing I can think is the little bit of coolant the spilled on it must have shorted it finally, but it's odd that it took three or four days of driving it before that happened... and it seriously wasn't a lot of coolant, maybe two ounces total with one ounce going into the alternator and one ounce on the pulley... which is why I originally thought the belt was just slipping on the slick pulley and causing it to drop to 12v more often then before (wouldn't jump back up to ~14v until I stopped the car and let it cool down and start again...)

Either way, might as well just replace it, I've freaking replaced everything else. I've got a new battery, I want it charged well, I want the car running well (boy it feels better then ever for the short time it WAS running!) and I seriously will now have VERY few things to worry about on that engine for another 50 to 100k!
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:16 PM   #7
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Sounds like a plan. 11-12 volts is bad.
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:53 PM   #8
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acarney, you started a great thread with very good questions!

4Driver4 is one of the best members for factual no nonsense advice as his calls are spot on when the problem details and specifics are presented accordingly.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:31 PM   #9
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You guys both are! But ya, 4Driver4 has always provided awesome feedback before to me. I like people that know their stuff (aren't just guessing) and provide links or details. Really helps with the confidence when doing the job!
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:38 AM   #10
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Ugh, CAN NOT tell which I have without pulling the part, PLUS he gets them remanufactured from Audi which means he has to order it and then have it shipped to me. Sounds like the car will be out of the game for about a week if I go with an official, if I pull it and it's a Bosch unit I still might be able to order a Bosch replacement (still remanufactured) from Amazon and get it shipped prime for Friday delivery... Plus like $70 cheaper too...

Not sure what to do...
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:19 AM   #11
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Luck with unknown suppliers has not been good.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Luck with unknown suppliers has not been good.
Isn't Valeo and Bosch the suppliers for Audi? The part on Amazon would be an official Bosch part that from Bosch's web site says is a fit for the 2002 A6 2.7T. I would only install it if it looked to be packaged from Bosch and not used/open box.

I just hate to wait like a week for something that should probably only take a couple hours if I had the part. Why the HELL don't the dealerships keep a couple of these kinds of things in stock?!
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Old 03-13-2014, 11:42 AM   #13
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As long as it is new, you should be OK.
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:31 PM   #14
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Bosch Re manufactured alternators are the only Remans i will buy for these cars. I have tried Napa alternators and it gets old real fast on the 3rd bad one in a row, then they try to say its a problem with the car..even though I replaced it for bearing noise not a charging issue. The two do interchange no problem, they are physically the same looking, I dont even know what the difference is because on the outside its just a printed label is different.. I have used bosch in place of Valeo because they seem more available with no trouble, fit right in and operate the same.
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acarney View Post
Also, I'm replacing it for good measure since it's probably very old (164k now, bought the car at 95k, I've never replaced it, who knows before that) but the big issue was the surge to 16v for 10 second or so and the CLUNK and then limp mode (I think?) for the rest of the way home... car started again fine and transmission seemed to be fine, but I'm almost positive I'm running off reserve battery power only now (showing like 11 to 12 volt MAX). I'm confused why the alternator would have pushed me up to 16 volt before the system killed it to protect it from over voltage (?? maybe?) or it burned it's self out...

I have noticed the last two winters random times that it would dip down to 12v while at a stop light and then as soon as I got on the gas it would jump back to like 13.5 to 14v so maybe it was on it's last legs...

Only thing I can think is the little bit of coolant the spilled on it must have shorted it finally, but it's odd that it took three or four days of driving it before that happened... and it seriously wasn't a lot of coolant, maybe two ounces total with one ounce going into the alternator and one ounce on the pulley... which is why I originally thought the belt was just slipping on the slick pulley and causing it to drop to 12v more often then before (wouldn't jump back up to ~14v until I stopped the car and let it cool down and start again...)

Either way, might as well just replace it, I've freaking replaced everything else. I've got a new battery, I want it charged well, I want the car running well (boy it feels better then ever for the short time it WAS running!) and I seriously will now have VERY few things to worry about on that engine for another 50 to 100k!

9/10 times it's just worn brushes on the VR. I've been able to replace some brushes on Bosch alternators (even used brush kits from the BMW-hisss! dealer) but the ones on the 150amp 4.2 alts are spot welded so I just replace the entire VR at 140K miles on General Principles. However, once the brushes are worn beyond the device limit and then some they will arc and probably damage the slip rings so the armature would have to be replaced and at that point it's rebuilt time. You can do it fast, cheap, or well. Pick two.
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Old 03-13-2014, 03:13 PM   #16
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And don't forget to disconnect the battery prior to removing the leads. Some people claim you can remove the alternator without putting the car in service position but I don't see how (maybe if you had a lift and could easily access everything from below but even then.....). MUCH easier to put it in service position as 4D4 says.
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Old 03-13-2014, 03:47 PM   #17
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Ya. I don't mind service position too much since this will be the 3rd time I've done it in two months... It's especially easier this time since the timing belt isn't coming off and no crank lock pin!!

This is the Bosch one I was going to get, anyone that's replaced one (either a Bosch or Valeo unit) remember what part number the replacement Bosch was?

http://www.boschautoparts.com/m/Page...rt_num=AL0727X

It's a good price, claims to be exact fit if my car shipped with a Bosch unit to start with and I can get it from Amazon with Prime shipping...

However, there's a second unit on Bosch's web site which says it's a Bosch replacement for cars that shipped with Valeo units and it's a different part number...

The back of the unit does look a little different and this one claims to be 150 amp... Though I'm not sure if maybe that is a typo...

http://www.boschautoparts.com/m/Page...rt_num=AL0803X

Almost thinking of just ordering both from Amazon and trying to return the one I don't use, I THINK I'll be able to return it no questions asked, but last thing I need is being stuck with an extra alternator, lol
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:52 PM   #18
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Nothing is ever easy... Started doing the job today nice and slow while listening to a couple podcasts. Got her in service position, got under the car & removed rubber pipe that goes to pass side intercooler, then the metal pipe/bracket that the rubber one connected to. Have decent access to the alternator and removed the front long hex bolt and the other shorter bolt. Now it'll rotate a bit but I can't drop it out the car or pull it forward. Apparently I need to remove the huge counter hold bolt on the back. I don't have a spanner larger enough (20mm) for it and there isn't enough clearance back there to get a hex key or socket in it, or a 20mm socket over it... So the game is over tonight and tomorrow I go shopping for the right tool again.

Also having an impossible time getting the plastic connector with the little wires off... any tips? I figure once I can start to drop out the alternator there will be enough slack on the wire to rotate it a little bit and get a better angle to remove the connector. The larger wire that's bolted down to the back also seems crazy hard to remove unless the alternator is free to rotate a little, is that how you guys do it or am I missing something?

(Btw, following the Bentley procedure and it suggests I should be able to remove both connectors before the 3 mounting bolts... Though it also says I need to remove a cool air duct for the alternator and I'm almost positive I don't have that on my car... Or I'm blind...)
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:46 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acarney View Post
Nothing is ever easy... Started doing the job today nice and slow while listening to a couple podcasts. Got her in service position, got under the car & removed rubber pipe that goes to pass side intercooler, then the metal pipe/bracket that the rubber one connected to. Have decent access to the alternator and removed the front long hex bolt and the other shorter bolt. Now it'll rotate a bit but I can't drop it out the car or pull it forward. Apparently I need to remove the huge counter hold bolt on the back. I don't have a spanner larger enough (20mm) for it and there isn't enough clearance back there to get a hex key or socket in it, or a 20mm socket over it... So the game is over tonight and tomorrow I go shopping for the right tool again.

Also having an impossible time getting the plastic connector with the little wires off... any tips? I figure once I can start to drop out the alternator there will be enough slack on the wire to rotate it a little bit and get a better angle to remove the connector. The larger wire that's bolted down to the back also seems crazy hard to remove unless the alternator is free to rotate a little, is that how you guys do it or am I missing something?

(Btw, following the Bentley procedure and it suggests I should be able to remove both connectors before the 3 mounting bolts... Though it also says I need to remove a cool air duct for the alternator and I'm almost positive I don't have that on my car... Or I'm blind...)
The two bolts that you've already removed are the only 2 securing the alternator, I'm not sure what 3rd bolt you're seeing.

If you look at the new alternator you'll see how the long bolt goes through to secure it.

The back of the alternator has to clear where the mounting point where the bolt goes through. You just gotta muscle it a bit, rotate, clear the mount, push it outwards from the back, then get from under the car and try to find the right way to angle it out from the top.

It's an absolute pain in the ***, where removal and reinstalling the alternator doesn't seem to get any easier no matter how many times you do it.
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:10 PM   #20
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Click the image to open in full size.

Just to help you reference where the alternator would be mounted:
Click the image to open in full size.

My attempt at an explanation:
Click the image to open in full size.
(Didn't feel like opening photoshop)

So as you can see, the ears of the alternator need to be rotated/pulled down out of the way to clear the mount.
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:10 PM
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