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    1. #1
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      S40 alternator woes

      So I've been chasing this cold start squeaking sound (initially) and then a hot whining sound (finally) out of my engine bay for a few weeks, but the whining sound only came on for an afternoon and then disappeared... before today. Thought nothing of it except maybe it was the PCV system acting up or a belt slipping. So today driving home from work, the whine was back. Now it was more persistent and prenounced than ever before. But I figured since the car ran well and otherwise had no signs of issues, that it was a bad tensioner pulley. Minding my way home on the interstate, I start getting dash lights and info messages, then only idling power, then no power, then no lights, then nothing. As I glided to a graceful stop amidst stop and go traffic on top of a overpass, I found myself wishing I had followed my instincts and replaced the alternator the first time the whining showed up. So anyways, now I'm in a bit of a bind and I'd like to hear some suggestions: since my FoMoCo 3M5T-10300-SD alternator couldn't even make it 135k miles (seriously, I've never had an alternator crap out on me), I'm very reluctant to replace it with another FoMoCo alternator or get it rebuilt (if I even can).... and new is out of the question financially. So, is there a superceded alternator from a C30 that will work without some sort of weird Volvo regulator issue? I noticed this Bosch unit on ebay... thoughts?

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-ALTERNAT...84a626&vxp=mtr
      2005 V50 T5 AWD M66

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    3. #2
      Member pczeilon's Avatar
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      Our alternators are tricky. You can't run the Bosch without changing some wiring. There is a kit from Volvo to do so but I can't find the info on it at the moment.
      I think having a 2006 you may be in luck as there were a couple "1 year wonders" in 2004.5 & 2005. The best one to find is a Denso rebuilt (actually rebuilt by Denso).
      2007 V70 5 Speed
      2005 S40 2.4i 5 Speed

      1995 855 5 Speed SOLD

    4. #3
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      So even if I get a 3 prong alternator (as opposed to the 2 prong, other style alternator), I can't run a Bosch unit? Do you know what part of the harness needs to be changed? How about aftermarket units - Napa's BBB Industries, or Rockauto's MPA Pure Energy - any experience?
      2005 V50 T5 AWD M66

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    6. #4
      Member pczeilon's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by mercdude View Post
      So even if I get a 3 prong alternator (as opposed to the 2 prong, other style alternator), I can't run a Bosch unit? Do you know what part of the harness needs to be changed? How about aftermarket units - Napa's BBB Industries, or Rockauto's MPA Pure Energy - any experience?
      That is correct, the Bosch needs different wiring regardless. It's an old TSB that was issued when due to "supplier issues" Volvo couldn't supply replacement Denso alternators for some period of time. I don't know the exact details of the wiring change & I don't see anything in the parts book.

      I wouldn't touch an aftermarket alternator with a ten foot pole. Nothing but issues from "brand new". You might need to install 2 or 3 before getting a good one. The correct Denso is about the same $$ as the Bosch you linked to. I once found one on Amazon for under $200 but it looks like it's gone now. Most are in the mid $200s.

      Ebay Unit Price includes $68 core charge.
      2007 V70 5 Speed
      2005 S40 2.4i 5 Speed

      1995 855 5 Speed SOLD

    7. #5
      How about just replacing the rectifier, pulley, the brushes or whatever went wrong with the alternator? It should then last another 135k miles if it get fixed, if the fault was not caused by a bad connection or a poor battery

    8. #6
      Member pczeilon's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by torro View Post
      How about just replacing the rectifier, pulley, the brushes or whatever went wrong with the alternator? It should then last another 135k miles if it get fixed, if the fault was not caused by a bad connection or a poor battery
      Parts for our particular Denso are notoriously hard to get & expensive. Even the few people who took them to professional rebuild shops had difficulty.
      2007 V70 5 Speed
      2005 S40 2.4i 5 Speed

      1995 855 5 Speed SOLD

    9. #7
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      Yeah, rebuilding was my first thought as well; except, the professional shop here in Nor Cal couldn't even get parts for the unit... so, unfortunately, it's a waste of time.

      Okay pczeilon, for the life of me I can't figure out what the difference is between three prong alternators - it LOOKS like the electrical connector is the same between three prong units and the main power harness is the same - is it possible that Volvo went from a 3 prong (early chassis) alternator to a 2 prong (late chassis) and then when it had to replace the 3 prong alternators it couldn't meet the demand because denso stopped making them? To me, that would make sense why an updated wiring harness has to be integrated with bosch units - they are later chassis, 2 prong units. This is, of course, speculation because I don't have any physical bosch and denso units to compare... yet.
      Last edited by mercdude; 10-30-2014 at 05:08 PM.
      2005 V50 T5 AWD M66

    10. #8
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      Btw, I've located denso remanufactored alternators (reman BY DENSO) for around $250. The 3 prong alternator is DENSO Part #2100764 and if you look it up on Denso's auto parts website, they can direct you to the closest distributor. In my case, it was Riebes Auto Parts in Nor Cal. Since I mentioned rock auto, they matched the price + shipping cost. COmes with a 3 years warranty... I'll update next week.
      2005 V50 T5 AWD M66

    11. #9
      Member pczeilon's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by mercdude View Post
      Btw, I've located denso remanufactored alternators (reman BY DENSO) for around $250. The 3 prong alternator is DENSO Part #2100764 and if you look it up on Denso's auto parts website, they can direct you to the closest distributor. In my case, it was Riebes Auto Parts in Nor Cal. Since I mentioned rock auto, they matched the price + shipping cost. COmes with a 3 years warranty... I'll update next week.
      This is the way to go. Still expensive but it's rebuilt properly & way cheaper than what Volvo wants.

      I'm not the great alternator expert, just going by what I've seen. I believe all our Denso alternators have the 3 prong plug. HOWEVER, if you unplug it you will only see 1 or 2 terminals in the plug. In different locations depending on year. On top of that in some years the two outer pins are effectively jumped by a wire hidden in the harness. FYI, the wire/s head straight to the ECM so you really don't want to mess up. I would avoid all the unknowns, bite the bullet & buy the Denso factory refurb. Yes, I believe 210-0764 is the correct number.
      2007 V70 5 Speed
      2005 S40 2.4i 5 Speed

      1995 855 5 Speed SOLD

    12. #10
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      Huh. well my alternator is three prong and the wiring harness plug had three connectors in it and three wires going out of it. I dunno. sometimes I wonder about Volvo design engineers.... I will say that it took me a leisurely 1 hour to get the the alternator out by myself, including jack time.

      Also, I double checked with a local auto electrical shop - the main issue with rebuilding these alternators is that they are wired through the CPU so there's no way to bench test them. But, I was told that rectifers, brushes, slip pulley, and even the regulator could be gotten... just the unit can't be tested as a whole and it'll take them a week or more to do the job. Right now, that's my backup plan.
      Last edited by mercdude; 10-31-2014 at 08:18 PM.
      2005 V50 T5 AWD M66

    13. #11
      Member pczeilon's Avatar
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      Loads of fun. Check the diagram for 2006 & you'll see it shows 3 white/red wires all traveling to a single pin.
      2007 V70 5 Speed
      2005 S40 2.4i 5 Speed

      1995 855 5 Speed SOLD

    14. #12
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      Okay, I checked page 62 for 5 cyl charging system and, unless I'm reading this wrong, shows three white/red wires going out to the ECM. Two connect up at the "ECM" and one goes to the "ECM Turbo" (whatever that is). Did I look up the wrong schematic?
      2005 V50 T5 AWD M66

    15. #13
      Member pczeilon's Avatar
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      No, you did nothing wrong. You've just confirmed your statement is correct:

      Huh. well my alternator is three prong and the wiring harness plug had three connectors in it and three wires going out of it. I dunno. sometimes I wonder about Volvo design engineers....
      2007 V70 5 Speed
      2005 S40 2.4i 5 Speed

      1995 855 5 Speed SOLD

    16. #14
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      Another interesting question: Since I've got my alternator out, I've had a good chance to examine the tensioners and their pulleys. Looks like the AC Comp pulley bearing has seen better days, but the tensioner itself is just fine. *note, the alternator and AC Comp tensioner pulleys are slightly different diameters (1/4")* The pulleys are replaceable but I'm having a hard time sourcing the AC Comp tensioner pulley. I've checked tasca, local auto, and rockauto... all have pulley for the Alternator tensioner but not the AC Comp. I'm starting to wonder if it would make that much difference if I put the alternator pulley on the ac comp tensioner and call it a day. Can anyone see any reason that wouldn't be advisable?
      2005 V50 T5 AWD M66

    17. #15
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      Just in case someone goes to replace their tensioner pulleys, here's some technical info: the larger (alt) pulley is 70mm in diameter and can be replaced via aftermarket, but the volvo bearing seal (plastic cap) won't fit on the aftermarket pulley. The smaller (ac) pulley is 65mm in diameter and there's no direct replacement listed anywhere. But, I matched a (ford, I assume) metal pulley from napa with the same bear dimensions: Gates B/S Pulley# 36220.

      Also, it's confirmed that Denso Alt #2100764 is the exact 3 prong replacement for the FoMoCo early p1 alternators. I now get 14.2 volts during idle vs. a 13.7 before the alternator went out. I assume my alternator has been going out for some time because the car, since I've owned it, has never ran as good.

      Despite all this during cold startup, I'm still getting what sounds like a belt squeak at startup. Sounds like it's coming from the crank pulley, perhaps the timing belt (?) or a bad ac bearing (?). I'll post a video soon, but any help in the meantime is appreciated!
      2005 V50 T5 AWD M66

    18. #16
      Member carreragt7's Avatar
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      Hey all. Anyone source one of these 3 prong alternators lately? Best place to buy? I'm seeing a few on ebay that are remanufactured as well as on a couple other sites (such as RockAuto) but not sure if there is a more reputable option than the others. Thanks in advance for any info.

      Edit: I contacted the Riebes Auto place mentioned a few posts up and they didn't have any Denso parts, just Napa Power and a Vision brand. But they couldn't tell me if the part was 2 or 3 prong. The Vision one supposedly has a lifetime warranty though, but not sure what the fine print is on that. It was right around $200 plus a core charge of 80 something.
      Last edited by carreragt7; 02-22-2015 at 02:43 PM.
      SATIN PEARL WHITE S40 T5 AWD with some sweet custom bodywork by concrete medians...

    19. #17
      Junior Member bv343's Avatar
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      Last month, I thought I needed a new alternator when I had the whine(turned out to be a weak battery) I searched and found this place:http://www.maniacelectricmotors.com/1042103560.html. I'll be getting one from them if/when I do need a replacement.

    20. #18
      Member carreragt7's Avatar
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      I've got that site bookmarked as well. I was hoping to find one locally as time is a bit of an issue. Weather turned crappy this week, I had been commuting on my motorcycle but don't like riding in ice and snow conditions for obvious reasons.

      Just picked this alternator up from Auto Zone. It is the right plug and everything else appears identical, EXCEPT the end part on the grooved shaft. It's been a couple years since I replaced my original alternator: does not having the hex/allen head prevent me from installing the part correctly?
      Here are some pics to explain what I'm talking about:
      Original:


      Both side by side:




      New one with plastic end cap popped off:
      [IMG]https://scontent-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/10982113_10152874774619442_5128683726719938954_n.j pg?
      oh=e1be3fc2364d5a99567c2ab4d1f8470a&oe=559457AA[/IMG]

      New one showing the pin better:


      Thoughts? It looks like the physical dimensions and bolt areas are correctly spaced, but that end could be the deal breaker.
      I cant remember if I have to use that hex on the end to tighten the alternator on the belt or whatever. I can return it to AutoZone if I attempt to install and it doesn't work. IF it is compatible I like that it has a lifetime warranty. It cost $309 including the core charge. Core charge is only $25, so less than most places but when factoring in shipping (of new and core sent back) it probably equates to about the same.
      Last edited by carreragt7; 02-22-2015 at 05:13 PM.
      SATIN PEARL WHITE S40 T5 AWD with some sweet custom bodywork by concrete medians...

    21. #19
      Member pczeilon's Avatar
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      Shouldn't be an issue.
      Long time no see. I'm still enjoying those radio controls for the steering wheel you sent years ago. Thank you!
      2007 V70 5 Speed
      2005 S40 2.4i 5 Speed

      1995 855 5 Speed SOLD

    22. #20
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      My 06 V50 needed the Bosch 3 plug. Made it 153k miles before it bit the dust. I bought a refurb here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/161578405175...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
      2006 Volvo V50 T5 FWD - My first Volvo
      2000 V70XC - dear god what a mess
      1999 S70 GLT - work in progress

    23. #21
      Member carreragt7's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by pczeilon View Post
      Shouldn't be an issue.
      Long time no see. I'm still enjoying those radio controls for the steering wheel you sent years ago. Thank you!
      Yeah, I didn't think it'd be an issue but didn't want to get into the middle of the job and realize I was wrong. About to remove my old one and get the new one installed. Have to go grab some new torx bits as it seems my old roommate made off with the ones I had. I think I'm going to be able to squeeze out the old alternator and fit the new one without removing the throttle body. Not having the stock airbox in is really nice in many instances.

      Glad the radio controls are getting some good use! The rest of that steering wheel is still in my storage, along with other random parts I've yet to sell or use. Fun stuff.

      Leroy, thanks for the link! I'll add that to my bookmarks just in case. I'm hoping this one works great as they claim it has a lifetime warranty. Most of the rebuilt ones I've seen only have a 90 day warranty, so hoping the slightly more expensive cost of this one ends up paying for itself over time.
      SATIN PEARL WHITE S40 T5 AWD with some sweet custom bodywork by concrete medians...

    24. #22
      Member carreragt7's Avatar
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      Anyone have any tricks to getting the bottom left bolt out of the alternator? For the life of me I can't seem to get it to unbolt. I'm going to grab some PB Blaster at the store and let it sit overnight, hoping that will work. I just can't seem to get the leverage needed to get it to move any. It almost feels like it is stripped and just spinning in it's place.

      The official alternator removal instructions make it sound like the 3 screws/bolts just come right out, but isn't the case right now. I've got everything else removed besides this bolt. I've tried getting to it from the top and the bottom, just no luck.
      SATIN PEARL WHITE S40 T5 AWD with some sweet custom bodywork by concrete medians...

    25. #23
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      Quote Originally Posted by carreragt7 View Post
      Anyone have any tricks to getting the bottom left bolt out of the alternator? For the life of me I can't seem to get it to unbolt. I'm going to grab some PB Blaster at the store and let it sit overnight, hoping that will work. I just can't seem to get the leverage needed to get it to move any. It almost feels like it is stripped and just spinning in it's place.

      The official alternator removal instructions make it sound like the 3 screws/bolts just come right out, but isn't the case right now. I've got everything else removed besides this bolt. I've tried getting to it from the top and the bottom, just no luck.
      That was the hardest bolt for me, too. It was really hard to get to, no visibility. I think I used a 1/4 ratchet on it with a deep socket, no extension. It had some corrosion or something on the end, but I don't think it was locktite. I ended up reinstalling that bolt from the bottom on reinstall with my brother's help.
      2006 Volvo V50 T5 FWD - My first Volvo
      2000 V70XC - dear god what a mess
      1999 S70 GLT - work in progress

    26. #24
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      Quote Originally Posted by carreragt7 View Post
      I contacted the Riebes Auto place mentioned a few posts up and they didn't have any Denso parts, just Napa Power and a Vision brand.
      You have to check to see which alternator your S40 came with - mine was labeled FoMoCo with some Denso numbers thrown in for extra confusion. I looked up http://densoautoparts.com/find-my-pa...icle-selection and found the location nearest me that sells remanufactured Denso (by Denso) units - it was Riebes auto. Your location may vary the auto parts store, and you may not need a Denso unit.
      2005 V50 T5 AWD M66

    27. #25
      Member carreragt7's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by mercdude View Post
      You have to check to see which alternator your S40 came with - mine was labeled FoMoCo with some Denso numbers thrown in for extra confusion. I looked up http://densoautoparts.com/find-my-pa...icle-selection and found the location nearest me that sells remanufactured Denso (by Denso) units - it was Riebes auto. Your location may vary the auto parts store, and you may not need a Denso unit.
      My original was stickered with the FoMoCo and Denso part numbers. Riebes didn't seem to think they had it and couldn't order it. No worries, as the AutoZone one seems to be decent for now, and has a lifetime replacement warranty supposedly.

      After all the labor of getting the old one out and the replacement in, I still was having basically the same issue I had before I'd been told by the shops that my alternator was going out. So, despite having had my battery tested a few times and asking if it was the culprit, I got a new battery last night. Seems to have fixed my issues. So either both my alternator and battery were starting to fail, or perhaps my alternator wasn't. I'm going to see if I can find anywhere local that can bench test my old one, if I can and it is fine then it is worth the couple of hours of labor to pull the new one and return it. Or I might just call it good and keep it.
      SATIN PEARL WHITE S40 T5 AWD with some sweet custom bodywork by concrete medians...

    28. #26
      Member volvoNB's Avatar
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      carreragt7, so the alternator from Autozone worked? If so, what's the part number.
      I just got my first Power system error message. I'm about 160k, so I'm fairly sure it's the alternator.
      Cheapest alternator so far is from tasca, but it's still $360 + $30 core. Not sure if it's worth spending shipping to send back to core.
      2005 S40 T5 BSR Stage 3

    29. #27
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      That's a killer price from Tasca. Last I checked, my alternator was almost $900.
      2005 V50 T5 AWD M66

    30. #28
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      Quote Originally Posted by mercdude View Post
      That's a killer price from Tasca. Last I checked, my alternator was almost $900.
      I fired up VIDA and checked the alternator part number. This is what I found.

      Alternator, exch, 150A 1.00 EU 8602920 CH -45203
      Alternator, exch, 150A 1.00 EU 36001463 CH 45204-250052
      Alternator, exch, 150A 1.00 EU 36001497 CH 250053-


      Based on my vin (last 6 digits), the alternator for my car falls in the middle. This price for it from tasca is $443 + $50 core. Searching for that part number shows that the Bosch AL9436X might be a replacement for $300 cheaper. I need to a little more research before going that route.
      2005 S40 T5 BSR Stage 3

    31. #29
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      weird. I just checked Tasca and my alternator was only 350 That MUST be a recent change, otherwise I would have ordered a brand new one from Tasca instead of doing a rebuilt Denso unit back in October.
      2005 V50 T5 AWD M66

    32. #30
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      If you need the Bosch AL9436X, get it rebuilt on ebay. $195 with no core charge.
      2006 Volvo V50 T5 FWD - My first Volvo
      2000 V70XC - dear god what a mess
      1999 S70 GLT - work in progress

    33. #31
      Member volvoNB's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by leroy_sunset View Post
      If you need the Bosch AL9436X, get it rebuilt on ebay. $195 with no core charge.
      I see the seller on ebay. The thing that bothers me is 1 feedback as a buyer, 0 as a seller. Not sure if it's worth the risk putting it in and it doesn't work or breaks in a few months.
      2005 S40 T5 BSR Stage 3

    34. #32
      Quote Originally Posted by volvoNB View Post
      I see the seller on ebay. The thing that bothers me is 1 feedback as a buyer, 0 as a seller. Not sure if it's worth the risk putting it in and it doesn't work or breaks in a few months.
      I bought one one of these and put it in last week:

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bosch-AL9436...-/252032841421

      So far so good. $195, no core or shipping charges. The guy told me it has a one-year warranty.

    35. #33
      Take your original to a competent local rebuilder and have it rebuilt. Don't buy a rebuilt, have yours rebuilt. My xc90 was 800 new. I had the original rebuilt for 200.

    36. #34
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      +1 to what he said
      2005 V50 T5 AWD M66

    37. #35
      Member beachnut's Avatar
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      First off, this is a great thread with lots of good info ... I recommend it be stickied.

      I'm in the hunt for an alternator now as well. Mine has whined ever since we bought the car back in Dec 2014 with 59K miles. Nothing's changed since then, except that I needed a new battery almost immediately. Now we're at 65K miles and have been getting intermittent "key error" issues the past couple weeks. The only other time I remember seeing that was back when my battery died. So, perhaps the whine is the "long goodbye" and I better get a new alternator sooner rather than later.

      I currently had a FoMoCo Denso unit on the car now, and I have to admit that all the the Denso vs. Bosch posts above kinda make my eyes glaze over, but I think I have come to the conclusion that I can use a Bosch replacement unit without an issue. Here's a few reasons why:

      1. The ebay link for a remanned Bosch AL9436X that leroy_sunset posted is ended but I could still see the original listing. The seller had this in the notes "Knowing the color of the plug (regulator) on the back of the alternator. If it is white, this unit will work. Early 2005 models had a black plug (regulator), and in that case, this alternator is wrong.". The plug on my Denso is white (not the harness part, that is black).

      2. I look at iPd's website and I see two remanned Bosch units they sell for our cars, an AL7673X and the AL9436X with these notes:

      • AL7673X - fits 2004.5 all, and 2005 up to chassis -045203
      • AL9436X - fits 2005 045204+, 2006 all, 2007 up to -250052


      The numbers above are for the S40 only (V50 have different chassis number ranges). My number falls within the AL9436X range at 065613.

      3. I do have a 3-pin connector on the Denso unit with all 3 male pins present on the white built-in connector mounted on the alternator. When I look at the female harness part it is black as I mentioned already, and there are 3 wires. However, when I pulled back the tape and sleeve I see what looks like a black/white jumper wire between the outer two pins, and a red/white wire in the middle pin which I assume runs off to the ECM. This isn't really one of the reasons I'm saying I can use a Bosch, I'm just saying this is what I have.

      So, does anyone have a dissenting opinion on this, because it seems logical to me, but ... these are Volvos and they like to throw us curve balls, eh? I certainly would like to be able to use the Bosch unit versus the crummy FoMoCo Denso that gave out in 65K miles. I've never had to replace a Volvo alternator in the other 4 cars I own(ed) with a combined mileage of over 500K miles!

      As far as pricing goes on the remanned Bosch AL9436X unit ... there's the eBay one at $195, the iPd one at $322 (um, no), and FCP has one for $227. I'm inclined to go with FCP because I know them and they guarantee their parts for life.
      2004 S80 2.5T Pearl White/Sand, 17" Chrome Tucana, Dynaudio 125k
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