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M62 8-Cylinder Engine Alternator Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

M62 8-Cylinder Engine Alternator Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Set of sockets: 10mm, 17mm, flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW X5 Sport Utility (2000-06)

Parts Required:

Alternator, drive belt, idler pulley

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Car will charge properly

Complementary Modification:

Change serpentine belt, idler pulley

A faulty or failing alternator can cause many problems, from a simple discharging of the battery to an engine drivability problem. There are a few signs and tests you can perform to determine if the alternator is the root cause of your problem. If you get lucky, your battery light (charging system indicator) will illuminate to warn you of a possible failure. When the battery light (charging system indicator) is ON, this means a voltage difference has been detected between battery positive (+) constant (terminal 30) and the ignition ON circuit (terminal 15), indicating a fault in the charging system.

It is common for an alternator to fail slowly. When this happens your symptoms will be present when the electrical system has the highest load, i.e. at night. Driving at night, you may notice the instrument panel lights dim, or the radio or headlights flicker. This is a good indication that the alternator cannot handle the excess load. Another sign of a charging system problem is headlights or radio dim when lowering your window. When the alternator can no longer charge the battery, you may park your vehicle and not be able to start it. Of course, this could be a faulty battery too.

Always check the voltage of your charging system under load, voltage should be within 13.2: 14.5 volts d/c. To load, have the engine running at idle, turn on the headlights and HVAC blower motor. Never disconnect a battery cable while the engine is running to test alternator. You may cause damage to the alternator or other electrical components from the surge in amperage. Before performing any tests of your alternator, charge and test your battery. If the battery is faulty, your alternator tests will not be accurate.

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with replacing the alternator on the BMW E53 X5 models with the M62 8-cylinder engine. Be sure to work with a cool engine and disconnect the battery before beginning. E53 models can come with a few alternator amperage ratings. Be sure your replacement alternator has the same rating as the faulty unit. You can usually find the amperage rating on the alternator housing.

Working in the trunk, disconnect the battery negative cable and cover the battery terminal so the cable does not accidentally come in contact with the negative terminal. See our tech article on battery replacing for notes on disconnecting and reconnecting the battery.

Remove the engine cooling fan. See our tech article on radiator cooling fan replacing.

Drain the cooling system. See our tech article on draining and filling your cooling system.

The alternator on BMW E53 models with the M62 8-cylinder engine is located on the left side of the engine (green arrow).
Figure 1

The alternator on BMW E53 models with the M62 8-cylinder engine is located on the left side of the engine (green arrow). The yellow arrow points to the water pump. The alternator is water-cooled. This adds a step normally not required for alternator replacement, since you need to drain and fill the cooling system. Be sure to inspect the coolant hose once it is removed from the alternator, as I have seen them leak when reinstalled.

Working at the top of alternator, disconnect the electrical connector (green arrow) by squeezing the release tabs (inset) and pulling it off.
Figure 2

Working at the top of alternator, disconnect the electrical connector (green arrow) by squeezing the release tabs (inset) and pulling it off. Pull the wire out of its holder (blue arrow) and place it out of the way.

Using a flathead screwdriver, release the coolant hose (green arrow) clip.
Figure 3

Using a flathead screwdriver, release the coolant hose (green arrow) clip. Pull the clip until it reaches the stop (blue arrow). Then pull the hose off the alternator. Place the hose aside and out of the way.

Working at the front of the alternator, remove the 17mm main power cable nut (green arrow).
Figure 4

Working at the front of the alternator, remove the 17mm main power cable nut (green arrow). Once removed, remove the cable from the alternator (inset).

Then remove the six 10mm alternator housing fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 5

Then remove the six 10mm alternator housing fasteners (green arrows).

To remove the alternator, slide it straight out of the housing in the direction of the green arrow.
Figure 6

To remove the alternator, slide it straight out of the housing in the direction of the green arrow.

Be sure to clean any debris (blue arrow) out of the housing before installing the new alternator.
Figure 7

Be sure to clean any debris (blue arrow) out of the housing before installing the new alternator. Be sure that the O-ring sealing surface (green arrow) is clean as well.

If reinstalling an old or used alternator, replace the sealing O-ring (green arrow).
Figure 8

If reinstalling an old or used alternator, replace the sealing O-ring (green arrow). Then install the alternator and tighten the six 10mm housing fasteners. Attach the electrical connections to the front of the new alternator and tighten. Install the drive belt and check that the belt is properly aligned in the alternator pulley. Then reassemble the remaining items in reverse order of the removing steps. Connect the battery negative cable. Check the operation of the charging system and the alignment of the drive belts.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:24:13 AM