ALH Alternator Replacement

NoSmoke

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2001
Location
Calgary, Alberta
TDI
2K2 Golf
Hey, my alternator gets v hot and smokes after a long drive (alternator light not on though). Anyhow, appears to need replacement and a search for a how to turned up this thread:


It's an old thread though and the images are apparently no longer stored. Was wondering if there is another source or, maybe another thread that describes the procedure? TIa for any assistance...
 

Mozambiquer

Vendor , w/Business number
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Mar 21, 2015
Location
Versailles Missouri
TDI
2004 VW Touareg V10 TDI, 2012 Audi Q7 V6 TDI, 1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,
Hey, my alternator gets v hot and smokes after a long drive (alternator light not on though). Anyhow, appears to need replacement and a search for a how to turned up this thread:


It's an old thread though and the images are apparently no longer stored. Was wondering if there is another source or, maybe another thread that describes the procedure? TIa for any assistance...
Likely the bearings are failed.
I personally like to put it in service position to do the alternator replacement, as its not hard to do and is way easier.
Id recommend not getting a parts store or aftermarket alternator though... well unless you like replacing these alternators so much that you'd like to do it every year or so...
The aftermarket replacement ones have a very high failure rate, and while the oem ones typically last 200k miles or more, the aftermarket ones often only last 50k miles at the most while being only marginally cheaper if that. A good oem Bosch or Valeo one can be found for less than $300, and a good remanufactured one which is OE can be $150 or so.
 

NoSmoke

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2001
Location
Calgary, Alberta
TDI
2K2 Golf
Thanks, yea it also makes a whirring noise so it sounds like bearings alright. But what do you mean by "service position"?

And thank you for the recommendation on an OEM replacement.
 

P2B

Top Post Dawg
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Jan 11, 2006
Location
Toronto & Muskoka, Canada
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2002 Jetta, 2003 Jetta, 2003 Jetta Wagon
I do it the Wingnut way, you don't really need the pictures.

You have to choose between service position or removing the large fan. In the salt belt that means you will be removing fasteners which will probably be crusty and will fight you. I remove the fan because it's only 3 fasteners, service position is a lot more. That gives you just enough room to get the alternator out, service position gives you plenty of space.

You need a couple of 8" M8 x 1.25 bolts with about 1" of thread to support the lock carrier in the service position. I got mine from Brafasco.
 

NoSmoke

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Apr 28, 2001
Location
Calgary, Alberta
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2K2 Golf
Mozambiquer, does that procedure remove the need to detach the AC comp. and remove the tensioner & fan? Does the alternator just come straight out?

P2B, yeah the service position seems more complicated to me and, more difficult to reassemble - don't really know having not done either. Still it would be nice to have some images of the Wingnut procedure - I have watched a few UTubes by others but they are dim & blurry so hard to see what is happening.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
I typically just remove the fan, and unbolt the compressor and hang it down and away, and wiggle/twist/turn/pivot the alternator down and out. But, if you put the lock carrier in service position, you'll have a lot more room... and that is not hard at all. 10 minutes, tops, to get the bumper cover off, then it is just a few easy to get at bolts.

Pop the grill up and off, there is a release in the middle near the latch.. the upper grill comes UP, leave the hood release attached as they can be a pain, and you can work around the grill hanging loose. There are a handful of T30 Torx bolts that hold the cover on, most will be exposed once the grill is off. Two more, one on each side, get exposed when the lower side grills pop out, tabs at the top push down and they just come right out. The lower center grill remains untouched.

In the wheelhouse, remove the T25 screws that go through the leading edge of the wheelhouse liner to the bumper cover (if the wheels are on the car, you'll have to turn them side to side for access). Then the whole bumper cover slides straight off the front of the car, and you'll have to reach in and pull the marker bulb holders out of the light fixtures... the driver side you can reach in once the fender liner is loose, the passenger side is a little tighter due to the intercooler.

Remove the two Phillips screws that hold the hood cable tight near the battery and remove that part of the duct (same part you'd remove to replace a battery or a headlight bulb).

Now, bumper cover is off, lock carrier assembly is exposed.... remove the two screws (one on each side) coming down through the leading edge of the front fenders (these are accessible just by opening the hood), then four bolts two on each side holding the assembly to the unibody.... do one side at a time, and thread in a longer M8x1.25 bolt so that once they are all loose, you can slide the whole assembly away from the car.
 
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Mozambiquer

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Location
Versailles Missouri
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2004 VW Touareg V10 TDI, 2012 Audi Q7 V6 TDI, 1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,
Mozambiquer, does that procedure remove the need to detach the AC comp. and remove the tensioner & fan? Does the alternator just come straight out?

P2B, yeah the service position seems more complicated to me and, more difficult to reassemble - don't really know having not done either. Still it would be nice to have some images of the Wingnut procedure - I have watched a few UTubes by others but they are dim & blurry so hard to see what is happening.
No, the compressor doesn't need to be touched for the service mode method.
 

P2B

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Location
Toronto & Muskoka, Canada
TDI
2002 Jetta, 2003 Jetta, 2003 Jetta Wagon
10 minutes, tops, to get the bumper cover off
In the salt belt multiply by the number of winters since you last had the bumper cover off ;)

Those T30s have 1/2" of exposed thread on the back side of the lock carrier and are usually a real pain to get out. The large flat heads block penetrating oil, pounding on the bit with a hammer before attempting to turn is your best bet. Once loose work them in and out 1/2 turn at a time to break the crusties off the exposed thread or they can lock up half way out.

The two screws through the leading edge of the front fenders are pretty much guaranteed to break since you can't pound on them, the lock carrier just flexes when you try. Count on drilling them out and replacing with short sheet metal screws
 

P2B

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Location
Toronto & Muskoka, Canada
TDI
2002 Jetta, 2003 Jetta, 2003 Jetta Wagon
No, the compressor doesn't need to be touched for the service mode method.
The secret to easily lowering the compressor (and removing the alternator) is knowing that the bolts thread into compression sleeves which clamp them into their mounting brackets. If you undo the bolts 1/2 turn then tap the heads with a hammer the compressor and alternator will drop out without prying. Emphasis on tap - don't pound the bolts or you risk breaking the ear off.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
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Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Yeah, I know the salt stuff makes it worse.... I've had to deal with a few of those over the years. Certainly adds to the work.
 

J_dude

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Jan 9, 2020
Location
SK Canada
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2003 1.9l “Jedi”
I'm working on removing my alternator now- but the splash shield is kicking my butt- I can't find the dang screws to remove, giving me access to the serpentine belt, compressor, etc.... Any advice?


They're not screws really, there's two studs on bottom of the frame with some funky washers you have to spin loose with a flat screwdriver. Pain in the butt.

For clarity, 4:50 in this video shows what we're dealing with:
 
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NavyTDI2000

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Orlando, Florida
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2000 New Beetle 1.9L
They're not screws really, there's two studs on bottom of the frame with some funky washers you have to spin loose with a flat screwdriver. Pain in the butt.

For clarity, 4:50 in this video shows what we're dealing with:
Holy crud- I just never thought it was that simple!

The kit in that video is AWESOME!!! Thanks for sharing- I'm considering an upgrade to that. I live in FL, so no ice to worry about, but there are occasionally objects in a road or on the highway....that would really be a nice bit of protection.
 

J_dude

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Location
SK Canada
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2003 1.9l “Jedi”
Holy crud- I just never thought it was that simple!

The kit in that video is AWESOME!!! Thanks for sharing- I'm considering an upgrade to that. I live in FL, so no ice to worry about, but there are occasionally objects in a road or on the highway....that would really be a nice bit of protection.
You are most welcome buddy!
Yep a skid plate is a great addition on these cars with their low-hanging cast aluminum oil pans. 😬
Definitely not just ice chunks to worry about, before I had mine I nailed a chunk of semi tire at night, luckily it missed the oil pan but it sure had me worried for a bit.
 

jmodge

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2001 alh Jetta, RC2 w/.205's 5speed daily summer commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/.216's winter cruiser, 1996 Tacoma ALh
And for those in the rust belt, don’t put heat to the T30’s holding the bumper on. The insert the bolt goes through will spin right out of the plastic carrier it’s fastened to. A real “oh 💩” moment
 

J_dude

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Jan 9, 2020
Location
SK Canada
TDI
2003 1.9l “Jedi”
And for those in the rust belt, don’t put heat to the T30’s holding the bumper on. The insert the bolt goes through will spin right out of the plastic carrier it’s fastened to. A real “oh 💩” moment
Heh, I did something similar on my dirtbike, only I was drilling out the screw head and the heat from that melted the plastic and spun the insert 😜
 

NavyTDI2000

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Location
Orlando, Florida
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2000 New Beetle 1.9L
Ok, so I got my alternator out. Using tools beforehand to try and see which ALT I had, I came up with a 120A.

Guess what- NOPE. 90A.

So now I have a 120A ALT replacing a 90A. Can I "upgrade" the alternator to 120A without any risk to the car's electrical system?

Here's the pic of the 90A unit being replaced....
 
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jmodge

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 w/.205's 5speed daily summer commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/.216's winter cruiser, 1996 Tacoma ALh
I put a 180a on mine
 

jmodge

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 w/.205's 5speed daily summer commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/.216's winter cruiser, 1996 Tacoma ALh
No, you should be fine. Nice work with the zip ties on the lower engine side skirt. Reminds me of the plastic on our old Honda 90’s for the kids
 

boertje

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May 24, 2002
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Coeur d'Alene, ID
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'01, '01, '03, ‘06 NB - TDIs all.
Ok, so I got my alternator out. Using tools beforehand to try and see which ALT I had, I came up with a 120A.

Guess what- NOPE. 90A.

So now I have a 120A ALT replacing a 90A. Can I "upgrade" the alternator to 120A without any risk to the car's electrical system?

Here's the pic of the 90A unit being replaced....
Thats what i did on my bug.
 
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