87 BMW (E30) 325IC CONV. ALTERNATOR NOT CHARGING

Discussion in 'Import Vehicles' started by 1983FJ60, May 20, 2011.

  1. 1983FJ60

    1983FJ60 Full Member

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    DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW MANY VOLTS THE VOLT REGulATOR SIGNAL SHOULD BE ? car towed in from another shop it has been sitting for some time previous shop installed new valeo (oem) alternator i pulled and had tested by a trusted alternator shop checked ok. i couldnt find signal voltage in alldata found i was only recieving 5v i belive its supposed to be 12v i supplied 12v+ alt charged for a few minutes now will not charge again did i screw up giving it 12v+ ?
     
  2. Ford_Dude

    Ford_Dude wrench

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    Mr Mitchel says the regulator is inside the alternator.
    I took a look at the diagram and the only thing I could think of was this:
    I wondered if the power to excite the alt. is supplied through the idiot light on the dashboard. Does the light come on during bulb check. I couldn't dig up very much info on this car either, its old and a BMW you know how willing they are to share info.

    Ford_Dude
     
  3. 1983FJ60

    1983FJ60 Full Member

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    its a bosch style regulator two screws and replace. yes it runs through the i/c. yes it lights. i am getting 5 v there but i think i should see batt voltage ie:(12v) i supplied 12v and it charged for a few minutes now i get no charging even with 12v i ordered a new regulator for monday. (cant find my old known good one to test with) i am stuck in a office or transmission build room most days so i am getting rusty on my electrical.
     
  4. metricwrench

    metricwrench Hero Member

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    5 volt, If light burn it use a resitor to keep it around 5 volt.
    wrench
     
  5. nickb2

    nickb2 Wrench. I help when I can

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    According to wiring, there is a resistor in place in case the bulb burns out to excite the field coil.

    [attachment deleted during maintenance]
     
  6. billr

    billr wrench

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    I know next to zip about BMWs, but the schematic nickb2 posted indicates 12V (at the D+ terminal) is normal. The current flow from the lamp/resistor is only for "bootstrapping" the alternator at start-up, after that it provides its own field power through the three half-wave rectifiers that are separate from the six-diode main bridge rectifier.
     
  7. NickD

    NickD wrench

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    Never though much about Bosch alternators, corrosion was always a major problem with these things. Circuit shown in Nick's drawing is not quite complete, these units are internally sensed. A wire from the positive battery output to the VR is missing. A spade lug terminal kind of thing that corrodes.

    Field voltage is supplied by a diode trio that works in conjunction with the three main negative diodes to produce a 14.5 V 5% ripple voltage to the voltage regulator and is also, "inputed" via the D+ input.

    What the diode trio does, is to isolate the field circuit from the main battery output, so when the alternator is stopped, no field current loading is presented to the battery. That would result in a dead battery if connected directly to the main diode output.

    But when the alternator first starts spinning no output voltage is generated because the diode trio output is zero volts. It does need help so a very small voltage is required at the D+ terminal to get the ball rolling. At start up, the battery voltage is greater than the output diode voltage, these diodes are reversed bias, so there is no load on the stator so its voltage builds up. As you can see in the circuit typically a 194 bulb that limits the D+ input current is all that is needed.

    First sign is when you turn on the ignition switch, that charging lamp should come on bright. The voltage at the D+ terminal will only be a couple of volts. As the stator voltage builds up, the diode trio outputs the same voltage as the main diodes, and since the other end of this bulb is connected to that main diode output, it should go out. If the lamp glows dim, a sign of either an open main or trio diode.

    I worked on one these recently, the real bitch was separating the case halves, the stator is in the front half, its wires go to the rear half, and that stator was corroded in tight. Don't dare pull on the halves, that will break the stator wires. I tossed it in my chamber and heated it to 400*F, and by tapping on the front case halve, finally broke it free. If only Bosch used anti-seize. Major problem with this one was the slip rings were coated with copper oxide, an excellent insulator, so just wouldn't start up. Brushes were hardly worn, VR terminals were all corroded. Just gave it a good clean up, used anti-seize on the stator core to make it easier for the next guy, but don't know why.

    Front and rear bearing had the usual dried up very little grease in them, after a good cleaning, checking the balls and races for pits, they were fine, and got filled with great Wolf's high temperature red bearing grease. Just saying, didn't spend a dime for parts, was all janitor type work. But something about German aluminum and copper, not as good as ours.

    Is this helpful?
     

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