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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I say "Lucky me" with sincere sarcasm though. Ten days after getting my 156 Sportwagon back from the garage (which cost me over £1000 and 6 months in the garage), I am dismayed that my alternator has died. I am already aware this is an incredibly difficult job on a V6, so I'm having to reach deeply into my pockets for a decent replacement (Bosch in this case). I'm not keen on cheaper parts that need replacing with every service - especially the alternator. So to save some money I already don't have, I am getting a litte help without going to a garage this time. But having never done this before, is it advisable to replace the auxiliary belt too? It is reasonably new - maybe 2 years old and looks in good condition. Also, to add more pain, the cambelt change is due before xmas. Would the aux belt usually be replaced with the cambelt? What about the belt tentioner too? Do I wait for a cambelt service and have those replaced then? I'm trying to keep cost as low as possible because by the end of the year my 156 will have cost me around £5k in general maintenance, repair and some nice shiny parts as a treat. I've seen some posts that say the alternator can be removed via wheel arches - is this the best way? Or does the subframe have to be unbolted? It does look depressingly inaccessible to do. Any advice is much appreciated...
 

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The guilty for a dead alternator is 90% the regulator. A bosch regulator is between 20-30 euros and it is very easy to change it yourself with a screwdriver. The pain is to get the alternator out of the engine.
 

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Guess being sat still did the alternator no favours. I've had them die in all sorts of stored cars...

The alternator on my regular use 156 died and the garage replaced it twice over after free of charge as their supplier gave them faulty ones. I'd have been pretty annoyed if I was the garage as that's quite a bit of labour.

Would guess at least one of those times was the regulator as the alternator was over charging at some points!
 

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An alternator consists of the following. The shaft with the winding, the bearings (top & bottom), the bridge rectifiers assembly, and the regulator. The winding is highly impossible to get damaged. The bearings can be clearly heard (if damaged) when the shaft is revolving and only after 200-300.000 kms. the rectifiers can be changed as well, though it is a rare damage in comparison to the regulator.
 

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I just had to replace the alternator on my V6 last week, and oh boy it was a pain to get it out as gnik61 said.
 

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Aux belts can be done with the cambelt. But they don't have to be done as they are relatively easy to access even on the V6 (in comparison to cambelt) at a later date and done as an independent job.

With the cambelt replacement you would replace the cambelt tensioner, and idler pulleys. Might as well do the waterpump as well, although by now it probably has a pump with a metal impellor, better than the earlier plastic ones. But gaskets and the like can still leak, especially when you will be looking at doing the cambelt in another 5 or so years time and the gasket could fail anytime then being already 5 + years old.

Not sure on your skills, tools or room you have to play with. But potentially you could remove the engine and work on the car that way, big job but makes access of everything better. The alternator, cambelt and even the ARB bushes are all easier to do then I am lead to believe. Given the car has already been missing in action for 6 months, whats another month or two in pieces strewn around your garage?
 

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Not sure on your skills, tools or room you have to play with. But potentially you could remove the engine and work on the car that way, big job but makes access of everything better. The alternator, cambelt and even the ARB bushes are all easier to do then I am lead to believe. Given the car has already been missing in action for 6 months, whats another month or two in pieces strewn around your garage?
I second this, it would be faster to remove the engine and replace the Alternator than doing it while the engine is in the car, for me pulling out the V6 usually take around 45 minutes to an hour, removing an alternator when the engine is out should take 10 minutes max, replacing an alternator when the engine is in the car, so I don't have to drain the coolant and clutch fluid, that took me like 4 hours, if you have to do the cambelt anyway just pull the engine and do everything all at once.
 

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Finally I know that in many countries the labour cost is exorbitant. If you were in Greece my AR mechanic (one of the best with a workshop looking like NY Memorial rather than a workshop) would remove and re-installed your alternator for about 60 euros and your total cost would be roughly 100. A good idea after summer and winter tourism, medical tourism or religious tourism would be....car repairing tourism
 
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