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VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old December 23rd, 2014, 17:35   #1
Digital Corpus
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Default Bosch Alternator Rebuild Info

This is a thread for the culmination of info to rebuild the Bosch 123-505 alternator in the B4 Passat that is rated for 120 amps. If any other TDI alternators are wanted to be placed. There is a lot of scattered information around online and not every place you hunt has all of the details. It's usually encompassing the voltage regulator, the carbon brushes and slip ring, the bearings, or a mix thereof, but not all of this. Any new information towards rebuilding these alternators will be updated in this post when possible. This first post will be specs and details, the second post for parts, and the third for and index tutorials/how-tos.

When first searching this, I came across one thread on the forums:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=408651

For general part number references, woodauto.com has been cited:
http://www.woodauto.com/Unit.aspx?Ma...Ref=0123505011

This thread is my continuation of the sort with more detailed specs for the bearings and carbon brushes that I've dug up over the past few months.


Bearings
As stated in the aforementioned thread, the bearings in our particular alternator are 6203 and 6303, which are 17x40x12 mm and 17x47x14 mm respectively. Reputable brands are always suggested over the forum-known C.R.A.P. and the bearings should preferably be sealed on both sides, which limits their maximum RPM. From what I've read, such brands in no particular order are Boca, OSR/AST, FAG/INA/Schaeffler, KML, Koyo, Nachi, NTN/SNR, SKF, and Timken. Most sealed bearings are rated for 11,000-15,000 RPM from what I've been able to gather.


But what RPM rating do we need???
The answer to this is really very simple if you have caliper or measuring tape. Since we're working with a pulley system, we just need the ratio of the harmonic balancer to the alternator pulley. Now, you can find the specs of similar HBs online, but to be precise the circumference/diameter we're after is where the lays, not the OD of the edge portion to keep the belt in check.

I measured ~20.25-20.325" for the circumference of the HB, which is the updated one from idparts.com FYI. This gives a diameter, averaged between the two, of 164 mm. My caliper reports ~49.5mm for the diameter of the Gates clutched pulley. This means that the alternator is being driven at ~3.313:1 compared to the engine. Set a redline of 5000 RPM, the alternator is spinning at ~16.6K, and for a 6000 RPM engine this means almost 20K for the alternator.
  • If you're the easy going TDI driver who never goes over 3500 RPM, then you can pick nearly any sealed bearing that is rated for 12,000 RPM.
  • But say your turbo is clean(er) with occasional spirited driving topping off with 4500 RPM, then the average bearing rated for 15,000 RPM bearing will be fine.
  • Though if you're more *spirited* than that, but don't ever plan on taking your TDI beyond 5000 RPM, then a bearing rated for 17,000 RPM is perfect.
  • Lastly, if you're the type who's not afraid of 5500-6000 RPM your choices become limited to needing ratings for 18,200 RPM to 19,900 RPM.

Please keep in mind that if you see just one max speed rating for a bearing listed, I'd imagine its safe to assume it's the "oiled", not "greased" speed rating. The latter will always be lower and I've seen disparities of 8K RPM, i.e. 20K for oiled and 12K for greased. Now, I've spent hours trying to go through various catalogs, but I've not found one as comprehensive as Boca's searchable catalog.

Now, if you've looked around at various manufacturers' sites, you'll note various C0/C3/C5 or even C2 tags onto the part number/name. This is the rating for radial clearance. Since both bearings on this alternator are interference fit, choose a C3 or C5 bearing. One with a C0 rating has tighter than normal clearances and C0 is standard. If a standard C0 bearing is used, its possible that the positive radial clearance will be completely taken up or maybe not be enough, thus hastening a short life for the bearing.


Voltage Regulator
When the voltage to our alternator drops to below 14-14.4V when, it typically means that our VR is "bad". Usually meaning that the carbon brushes have been worn too far and are not making appropriate contact with the slip ring. It is common practice to replace the VR with a new one from any one of our reputable vendors. However, if you have a drill and a soldering iron, there is a less expensive option.


VR Brushes
As just mentioned, the brushes on the VR are primary part that needs to be replaced on our alternators in order to keep them running and charging our batteries. Instead of spending $30-$60 on replacing your VR when its brushes have worn off, most have either picked up new ones or scavenged one from compatible alternators in the junk yard. However, it is possible to replace the brushed on the VR with a little elbow grease if you have a drill and a high capacity soldering iron.

The brushes in my Huco VR are 4x6x19mm. If you measure from the press fit braided wire, it's 16mm. However, the depth of the socket in the Huco VR for a brush is 1" and it will accept 1/4" wide brushes as long as they are less than 0.17" thick. In metric this equates to 6.35mm x 4.32mm maximum dimensions. With the slip ring worn down, you need ~0.25" of the brush protruding from the VR in order to make contact, thus you need to find a replacement that measures no less than 1.25", ~32mm, combined length of the brush and wire/shunt and spring length. The uncompressed spring length is ~36.5mm or ~1.437".


Slip Ring
This is what the brushes make contact with. It is a wear part, but from the 3-4 slip rings I've seen, they have a fair amount of meat on them and will last 200K miles or more. In order to replace the slip ring, you need to remove the smaller bearing on the alternator. It's relatively easy to press on/off either of these, though the soldering of the terminals on the stock SR is a bit tedious. This is because the wires are pressed on and lightly soldered. I'm not sure of the method specifically, but having a 30w soldering iron, patience, and a small flat head screwdriver got them free. I resoldered the new ring on with SAC-305 solder.


Alternator Pulley
If you've come across this thread, you probably know that we have a solid pulley from the factory and that the clutched pulley from the MK IV Jetta will fit our alternator. This is a worthwhile upgrade to reduce wear on the accessory belt's hardware and the alternator itself. If you're looking for OE PN's regarding the solid pulley, you'll have to look elsewhere at this time. Anyhow, a clutched pulley alloys the alternator to be spun in one direction. Until it fails, which it then becomes a solid pulley effectively, the backlash from the accessory/serpentine belt isn't transferred into the alternator. This consequently also reduced the amount of load on the serpentine tensioner spring and reduced the dynamic load on the bearings in the system.

There are 2 pulleys that fit onto our alternator, though only one of them is proper and that is the Gates 37010P. However, it is $70-$80 and I already had a failure on the one I've used. The alternative is the ALH clutched pulley but it has 2 technical downsides that should be made known. The largest and most significant is a simple one where instead of having a diameter of 49.4 mm for the belt, it has a diameter of 55.6 mm. This lowers the alternator's RPMs by ~12%. If you do a lot of short trips, this can impact your battery life in the long run. The second difference is the offset. Though it's a 5 mm difference, depending on how your shaft was cut, it can be low like mine and only stick out ~2.5 mm. The closest pulley to the alternator is the air conditioner and a little trig says that this offset creates a hair over 1 angle on the belt due to the offset. So why would you use the ALH pulley? Well, the INA version of it is half the cost of the Gates pulley at most. The other upside of spinning the alternator slower is longer life of all rotational components. Call me biased, but I do long enough drives that the RPM difference matters not and the cheaper pulley makes everything cheaper to maintain.


Tensioner Pulley
Though not a part directly from the alternator, it's within close proximity and as of late, several individuals have had failures. Don't let that worry you as this is a part that is supposed to be swapped with every timing belt and won't typically fail with this change out frequency. However, due to it's construction, it is a throw away part and this doesn't sit well with me for long term maintenance. There seem to be some alternates available but these are tentative as they require documentation as to what needs to be changed or added to let them work.


Amazon
You'll notice that a good portion of the links below are from Amazon.com. This was done so as the part is readily available there and if you happen to be one of the many Amazon Prime members, it's likely that you'll be able to get the part without having to pay shipping and quicker than most other sources. Effort has been taken to try and ensure all links are valid, but you're encouraged to lookup the references yourself in case I become delinquent in keeping this thread up-to-date.


Cost
You've probably noticed that "lifetime" alternators from your local parts store have a tendency to not last long in our cars. This is why identifying the individual parts is so significant. All in all, a full R&R of the alternator will cost:
  • ~$50 in parts if VR is good: This is both bearings, brushes & slip ring
  • +$40-$60 if new VR is required or you don't want to change the carbon brushes
  • +$25-$65 for a new clutched pulley
  • +$60 for a bearing puller and alternator drive bits


To-do List
Voltage regulators and carbon brushes need to be compiled and evaluated along with the clutched pulleys and metal tensioner rollers. These will be added when time permits.
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Last edited by Digital Corpus; April 28th, 2017 at 15:50. Reason: ALH pulley details
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Old December 23rd, 2014, 17:35   #2
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Bearings (Sorted from smallest to largest, alphabetic by brand, then ordered by $-$$$ if applicable)

6203 - 17x40x12 mm (bearing that goes over slip ring)
Boca 17K RPM - ~$11
Boca 19.9K RPM - ~$35
Boca 26K RPM Grease type #1 - ~$60
Boca 26K RPM Grease type #2 - ~$60
Boca 26K RPM Grease type #3 - ~$60
KML 15K RPM - 6203-2RDC3P6QE6
KML 18K RPM - 6203-2RSC3
KML 18K RPM - 6203-2RDA - Listed as an "alternator" version
Koyo 12K RPM - 62032RS - ~$15
Koyo 15K RPM - 6203-2RD-C3
McMaster-Carr 12K RPM - 6661k104 - ~$11
Nachi 12K RPM - 6203-2NSE9C3 - ~$9
Nachi 18K RPM - 6203-2NKE9C3 - This is listed as a "no contact" sealed bearing
NSK 12K RPM - 6203DDU - ~$12
NSK 17K RPM - 6203VV - ~$12 - This is listed as a "no contact" sealed bearing
NTN 12K RPM - EC-6203LLUC3
NTN 18K RPM - 6203LLUNRC3
NTN 18K RPM - 6203LLBC3
SKF 12K RPM - W 6203 2RS1
SKF 19K RPM - 6203 2RSJEM C3 - ~$13

6303 - 17x47x14 mm (bearing pressed into pulley half of shell)
Boca 13K RPM Bearing - ~$16
Boca 19.5K RPM Bearing - ~$56
KML 14K RPM - 6303-2RDC3P6QE6
KML 16K RPM - 6303-2RSC3
KML 16K RPM - 6303-2RDA - Listed as an "alternator" version
Koyo 11K RPM - 6303-2RS - ~$20
Koyo 14K RPM - 6303 2RD C3
Nachi 11K RPM - 6303-2NSE9C3 - ~$9
Nachi 16K RPM - 6203-2NKE9C3 - This is listed as a "no contact" sealed bearing
NSK 11K RPM - 6303DDU - ~$26
NSK 15K RPM - 6303VV - ~$26 - This is listed as a "no contact" sealed bearing
NTN 11K RPM - EC-6303LLUC3
NTN 16K RPM - 6303LLUNRC3
NTN 16K RPM - 6303LLBC3
SKF 11K RPM - W 6303 2RS1
SKF 17K RPM - 6303 2RSJEM C3 - ~$23


Brushes - Bosch BX213 or 1127014028 or generic brushes with similar dimensions
eBay Int'l sold BX213 - ~$7 per pair
eBay 4mm x 6mm x 16mm brushes - ~$4 per pair - unknown quality
eBay Int'l sold BX213 - ~$6 per 4
eBay 4mm x 6mm x 18mm brushes - ~$8 per 15 - unknown quality
Brushes listed below this point have questionable dimensions
Hubner 30-231571 - ~$26 - too short?
Hubner ACP-377 - ~$24 ea. - too short?
Eurton 22-0480 - ~8 ea. - too short?
Hubner 30-151941 - ~$5 - too small?
Bendix 68-002361 - ~$16 - 6mm cylindrical, too long?
Napa - ECH-M407 - ~$4 ea. - Unknown dimensions


Pulley - Clutched
Gates 37010P - ~$72
INA W0133-1735740-INA - ~$36 - ALH pulley
LActrical - ~$26 - ALH Pulley


Slip Rings
Slip ring + Brushes Int'l sold - ~$14
Replacement slip ring replacement for Bosch 1124303007 - ~$13


Tensioner Roller
Dayco 89071 Roller - ~$21 - plastic/composite, 15mm hub
Gates 38087 Roller - ~$25 - plastic/composite, 17mm hub
INA 55423 Roller - ~$25 - plastic/composite, 15mm hub
The 15 mm hub roller are 78 mm in diameter and the 17 mm hub rollers are 76 mm in diameter
Even at when you're redlining at 5000 RPM, either roller spins just under 11K RPM
Dayco 89007 Roller - ~$19 - metal, 17mm hub
Gates 38006 Roller - ~$18 - metal, 17mm hub
Continental Elite 49006 Roller - ~$20 - metal, 17mm hub


Tools
Metalnerd Alternator Bit set from ID Parts - $30
CTA Tools 8088 - ~$23
CTA Tools 8089 (bit for clutched pulley removal) - ~$15
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Last edited by Digital Corpus; November 12th, 2017 at 14:34. Reason: Updated prices
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Old December 23rd, 2014, 17:36   #3
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reserved for how-to's and tutorials

Initial 120A alternator teardown
http://www.3dzubehor.com/Rover/Boschrepair.html

Initial Parts List (not fully accurate for the B4 alternator)
1998-528i-Bosch-Alternator-Rebuild-for-30!
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Last edited by Digital Corpus; December 23rd, 2014 at 17:53.
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Old December 24th, 2014, 16:53   #4
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Thank you so much for this!
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Old December 24th, 2014, 18:43   #5
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You're very welcome. Please by all means put stuff up and I'll add it in where it fits asap.
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Old February 19th, 2015, 12:59   #6
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Added tensioner rollers, additional clutched pulleys, and tools for the pulleys to post #2
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Old February 27th, 2015, 13:03   #7
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Added 3 possible metal tensioner rollers. Along with the addition of the previous rollers, I'm aware they are not apart of the alternator, but they are near enough and are a simple device that is worthy of note imho.

Information regarding that last 3 metal rollers provided as a result of GTiTDi's post and subsequent memory in showing us where he came across the info. As long as the rollers fit without much trouble, they provide a longer lasting replacement that only requires new bearings from time to time and, imho, this is a wiser solution for requiring less maintenance.

The Goodyear part on Amazon provides a clear reading of the bearing, which happens to be a NTN 6203LU. This is a single side rubber sealed bearing of the same size as the rear/small bearing in our alternator. Very convenient. Though this bearing has a 17mm ID so a bushing would have to be used to fill the void.
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Last edited by Digital Corpus; February 27th, 2015 at 23:44. Reason: *redacted* bearings for the tensioner roller
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Old February 27th, 2015, 17:13   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Corpus View Post

Information regarding that last 3 metal rollers provided as a result of GTiTDi's post and subsequent memory in showing us where he came across the info.
Jeez Mike you didn't have to pick my post apart like that...google-fu is like a martial art...it needs to be practiced

Anyways this is a great thread! I need to rebuild my alternator and would like to have the housing powder coated black.
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Old February 27th, 2015, 21:06   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Corpus View Post
The Goodyear part on Amazon provides a clear reading of the bearing, which happens to be a NTN 6203LU. This is a single side rubber sealed bearing of the same size as the rear/small bearing in our alternator. Very convenient. Though this bearing has a 17mm ID, it can be swapped out with a 6202 for a smaller ID suitable for the threaded bushing from your old roller.
Huh?
I just today went out and bought a Gates roller, p/n 38006 which has the same 6203 bearing which is 17x40x12 as the Goodyear roller. However, it's not as easy as pressing out and popping in a 6202- those are 15 x 35 x 11, not gonna work. You need a bearing with a 15mm ID, and 40mm OD...what I'm finding is it's not a standard size, but they do exist from the preliminary research I've done but the speed ratings do not look favorable. Project for a project for a project is what this is turning into, forgive the pun. I may just use the smaller OEM size bearings for a better speed rating on a custom turned aluminum pulley, or just keep buying the friggen stock ones...easier than re-inventing the wheel. They can be the new N75's- replace them at every other oil change, regardless.



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Old February 27th, 2015, 21:21   #10
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Huh?
I just today went out and bought a Gates roller, p/n 38006 which has the same 6203 bearing which is 17x40x12 as the Goodyear roller. However, it's not as easy as pressing out and popping in a 6202- those are 15 x 35 x 11, not gonna work. You need a bearing with a 15mm ID, and 40mm OD...what I'm finding is it's not a standard size, but they do exist from the preliminary research I've done but the speed ratings do not look favorable. Project for a project for a project is what this is turning into, forgive the pun. I may just use the smaller OEM size bearings for a better speed rating on a custom turned aluminum pulley, or just keep buying the friggen stock ones...easier than re-inventing the wheel. They can be the new N75's- replace them at every other oil change, regardless.



So what you're saying is that in order to use the threaded bushing from the old roller you need some sort of sleeve to take up the slack?

I wonder if the other two manufacturers of the metal roller that were discussed in the other thread use the same bearing as the Gates?

Steve
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Old February 27th, 2015, 21:24   #11
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There is this at Gruvenparts, but it's $100 for the tensioner roller alone...

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Old February 27th, 2015, 21:48   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Addy View Post
So what you're saying is that in order to use the threaded bushing from the old roller you need some sort of sleeve to take up the slack?
Steve
No. That would be cheesy. I'd just reproduce the threaded hub in a 17mm size. That may be the best option since you'd *possibly* have to play with the side to side spacing to get the roller face inline with the belt and those changes could be designed into a new hub as well. However, the 6203 is a single row bearing and the OEM roller had two single row bearings. so basically you'd need a 15 x 40 x 15-17 double row sealed angular contact bearing with a speed rating above let's say 15,000 rpm to make all this work and be reliable. So at this point, it's easier just to make a custom roller based on a suitable bearing. I mean I did find 15x40 SKF bearings on Ebay but they are NOS and that size is odd and I'm not finding it anywhere readily available. I realize they are 6302 but other 6302 bearings I see are 42mm OD and yet more 6302's are 43mm OD so go figure. I'd really like to hear/see pictures from those that have done this.
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Old February 27th, 2015, 21:50   #13
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$100 to be done with it and it's a one-time, rebuildable expense...worth it!
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Old February 28th, 2015, 00:08   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTiTDi View Post
Jeez Mike you didn't have to pick my post apart like that...google-fu is like a martial art...it needs to be practiced
Anyways this is a great thread! I need to rebuild my alternator and would like to have the housing powder coated black.
Lol! I like keeping records of where information was originally found on the forums so I link back to where my sources were found for the sake of posterity :P
I practice it my fu as well, but not much with the forums
Quote:
Originally Posted by TDIDaveNH View Post
Huh?
I just today went out and bought a Gates roller, p/n 38006 which has the same 6203 bearing which is 17x40x12 as the Goodyear roller. However, it's not as easy as pressing out and popping in a 6202- those are 15 x 35 x 11, not gonna work. You need a bearing with a 15mm ID, and 40mm OD...what I'm finding is it's not a standard size, but they do exist from the preliminary research I've done but the speed ratings do not look favorable...
Eeek, thanks for the catch!
Quote:
Originally Posted by TDIDaveNH View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Addy View Post
So what you're saying is that in order to use the threaded bushing from the old roller you need some sort of sleeve to take up the slack?

I wonder if the other two manufacturers of the metal roller that were discussed in the other thread use the same bearing as the Gates?

Steve
No. That would be cheesy. I'd just reproduce the threaded hub in a 17mm size. That may be the best option since you'd *possibly* have to play with the side to side spacing to get the roller face inline with the belt and those changes could be designed into a new hub as well. However, the 6203 is a single row bearing and the OEM roller had two single row bearings. so basically you'd need a 15 x 40 x 15-17 double row sealed angular contact bearing with a speed rating above let's say 15,000 rpm to make all this work and be reliable. So at this point, it's easier just to make a custom roller based on a suitable bearing. I mean I did find 15x40 SKF bearings on Ebay but they are NOS and that size is odd and I'm not finding it anywhere readily available. I realize they are 6302 but other 6302 bearings I see are 42mm OD and yet more 6302's are 43mm OD so go figure. I'd really like to hear/see pictures from those that have done this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TDIDaveNH View Post
$100 to be done with it and it's a one-time, rebuildable expense...worth it!
The replacement roller I had had 2 sets of bearings inside. I didn't pop the rubber seal, but nothing in the part number and subsequent search revealed that they were 2-row bearings. Maybe it's just an alternate of just stacking 2 single row bearings side to side since that is what looks like is common practice. Whichever method you use to have them fit, please share so we know which can work the easiest. I would like to find a direct replacement and list that; or find a single part to make it work.

I haven't computed the speed rating on the bearings for the roller, but I can measure it when I get home. I suspect a standard 11-12K rated bearing would technically be sufficient.
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Old February 28th, 2015, 08:17   #15
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TDI(s): 97 Mk3
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Originally Posted by Digital Corpus View Post
Lol! I like keeping records of where information was originally found on the forums so I link back to where my sources were found for the sake of posterity :P
I practice it my fu as well, but not much with the forums

Eeek, thanks for the catch!


The replacement roller I had had 2 sets of bearings inside. I didn't pop the rubber seal, but nothing in the part number and subsequent search revealed that they were 2-row bearings. Maybe it's just an alternate of just stacking 2 single row bearings side to side since that is what looks like is common practice. Whichever method you use to have them fit, please share so we know which can work the easiest. I would like to find a direct replacement and list that; or find a single part to make it work.

I haven't computed the speed rating on the bearings for the roller, but I can measure it when I get home. I suspect a standard 11-12K rated bearing would technically be sufficient.
Actually that's what I suspected from the beginning. MB does the same thing on a lot of their roller and on tensioner pulleys, they're just two bearings backed up next to each other.

Steve
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97 Jetta TDI, 90 B3V TDI, 92 MB 300SD

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