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  #21  
Old 06-21-2019, 01:51 PM
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Nice pics. Those slip rings look almost new. How worn are the brushes?

From your description, the thing that seemed most odd was the high voltage - 15+ Volts. And that would suggest a failed VR.

The Valeo alternator on my M54 has the brushes included in the VR, so when my brushes wore out, I replaced the VR to successfully fix it. Later rebuilt everything including slip rings, when I had the engine apart.

There is a trick I used to get the brushes on during reassembly, but I don't know if it would apply to your 4.4i alternator, which may be very different. Can you send a pic of the brushes assembly, looking back at where the brushes leave the VR?
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  #22  
Old 06-21-2019, 02:18 PM
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I replaced my brushes. I may have pulled in the braided wire before soldering them in. I forget


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  #23  
Old 06-21-2019, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewwynn View Post
You do have to push the brushes in while assembling and there is very little space. The answer is practice and experience. I usually find some very thin tool like a dental pick to assist with that issue.

Do you have valeo or Bosch?

You can drill a tiny hole in the plastic in just the right place and use a thick paperclip if needed to hold the brushes back also if you get close spin the armature if you can (might be impossible with water cooled model) to help seat.
I have the air cooled 180 Amp Valeo alternator. And I was thinking about drilling a small hole to push the brushes in and then sealing that hole up with silicone sealant or something.
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  #24  
Old 06-21-2019, 04:30 PM
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Yep exactly my suggestion.
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  #25  
Old 06-21-2019, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by oldskewel View Post
Nice pics. Those slip rings look almost new. How worn are the brushes?

From your description, the thing that seemed most odd was the high voltage - 15+ Volts. And that would suggest a failed VR.

The Valeo alternator on my M54 has the brushes included in the VR, so when my brushes wore out, I replaced the VR to successfully fix it. Later rebuilt everything including slip rings, when I had the engine apart.

There is a trick I used to get the brushes on during reassembly, but I don't know if it would apply to your 4.4i alternator, which may be very different. Can you send a pic of the brushes assembly, looking back at where the brushes leave the VR?
Here are some pics of my brushes and the voltage regulator. The hole you see in the cap was from me trying to keep the brushes down with a screwdriver so I can push the cap off but the plastic became hard and the screwdriver pushed right through.
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  #26  
Old 06-21-2019, 04:50 PM
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The puzzle shape implies the cylinder cap pulls off the center. That would make it stupid simple to address the brush install issue.
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  #27  
Old 06-21-2019, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewwynn View Post


The puzzle shape implies the cylinder cap pulls off the center. That would make it stupid simple to address the brush install issue.
Yeah it would be super simple to install the cap back on if I were to break the plastic pieces that "guard" the brushes, but I want to try to find another way without doing that.
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  #28  
Old 06-21-2019, 05:36 PM
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With the cap off (by pushing the bushes deep enough to clear the holes) you will have access to the brushes to push them back in to get the cap back on.


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  #29  
Old 06-21-2019, 06:13 PM
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Sorry I'm not too clear on what's going on here, but ...

For example, is that the old VR with the severely cracked off top, and you're installing a completely new one, just photo'ing that one for convenience?

On the idea to drill a hole through the top, use a paperclip to hold the brushes in, then reseal the hole when done ... yes, that's great. If you ARE talking about using that broken-top VR, then obviously no need to drill a hole; and probably something to cover / fix the hole in the shield would be good.

On different brush holder designs, I've found that a simple small zip tie can hold the brushes retracted while installing over the slip rings, and then the zip tie can pull out easily. I expect when installed in a factory, they use some special purpose implementation of this idea - similar for example to the little plastic pull tabs that electronic devices often have to make sure the battery is not connected prior to its unpackaging and first use. With your design, that may be tougher or less possible than the alternatives.

The trick I used on my Valeo 120A on my 3.0i looks like it should apply to yours, so here it is:

The yellow arrow from AndrewWynn's pic shows where the plastic cylindrical shell attaches. Clear how it might slide, but in my case it was NOT possible to simply slide it off while installing. And if it were possible to carefully get past the locking barbs and get it off, you would not be able to reinstall it once the brushes were installed and touching the slip rings, since the brushes go through the rectangular openings in it.

But it did have enough free play in it to shift it up slightly.

So I slid it as far as it would go in that direction (aligned with the rotor axis) to the point where the brushes could be one-at-a-time pressed back with a screwdriver and tucked under that plastic edge, holding them from popping out.

I needed to keep constant pressure on the plastic shell in this position, displacing it by a mm or two, otherwise it would just shift back and the two spring loaded brushes would pop out.

But after just a little trial and error, keeping pressure on it, I could slip it over the slip rings, then let the plastic shield return to its rest state, letting the brushes pop into position against the slip rings.
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  #30  
Old 06-21-2019, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by oldskewel View Post
Sorry I'm not too clear on what's going on here, but ...

For example, is that the old VR with the severely cracked off top, and you're installing a completely new one, just photo'ing that one for convenience?

On the idea to drill a hole through the top, use a paperclip to hold the brushes in, then reseal the hole when done ... yes, that's great. If you ARE talking about using that broken-top VR, then obviously no need to drill a hole; and probably something to cover / fix the hole in the shield would be good.

On different brush holder designs, I've found that a simple small zip tie can hold the brushes retracted while installing over the slip rings, and then the zip tie can pull out easily. I expect when installed in a factory, they use some special purpose implementation of this idea - similar for example to the little plastic pull tabs that electronic devices often have to make sure the battery is not connected prior to its unpackaging and first use. With your design, that may be tougher or less possible than the alternatives.

The trick I used on my Valeo 120A on my 3.0i looks like it should apply to yours, so here it is:

The yellow arrow from AndrewWynn's pic shows where the plastic cylindrical shell attaches. Clear how it might slide, but in my case it was NOT possible to simply slide it off while installing. And if it were possible to carefully get past the locking barbs and get it off, you would not be able to reinstall it once the brushes were installed and touching the slip rings, since the brushes go through the rectangular openings in it.

But it did have enough free play in it to shift it up slightly.

So I slid it as far as it would go in that direction (aligned with the rotor axis) to the point where the brushes could be one-at-a-time pressed back with a screwdriver and tucked under that plastic edge, holding them from popping out.

I needed to keep constant pressure on the plastic shell in this position, displacing it by a mm or two, otherwise it would just shift back and the two spring loaded brushes would pop out.

But after just a little trial and error, keeping pressure on it, I could slip it over the slip rings, then let the plastic shield return to its rest state, letting the brushes pop into position against the slip rings.
Yes that is my old Voltage regulator that I cracked when I was trying to remove the cap. I was practicing with the old VR to figure out ways to put the VR back onto the alternator when the new one arrives. I like the zip tie idea though! That might actually work without the need to drill. I'll try that with my old VR today and see if it'll work.

Thanks!
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