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Old 09-21-2014, 05:27 PM   #1
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Alternator dead.. where to buy replacement?

So I take off for a coastal ride with the wifey for her birthday. About a 110 miles out the battery generator warning lamp lights up. I pulled into an intersection the engine cuts off. Luckily there was a downgrade street I was able to push the car towards and coast us out of harms way.

I called up Triple A for service and decided to put a new battery in to see if would crank and have enough voltage to make it back into town. Luckily I was able to make it all the home 110 miles again! The warning message kept popping up and the battery generator light stayed on the whole time.

While the service guy was replacing the battery he checked the alternators voltage with the car on and it was flatline zero.

Questions:
When the alternator goes out does it have any voltage output at all? Or is it an all or none type of function?

Can somebody recommend a third party alternator replacement?

I'm going to check to see if the alternator connection somehow opened or other wiring failure possibilities. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 09-21-2014, 06:56 PM   #2
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I had the same issue about a month, I also thought it was a battery issue at first but it turned out it was the voltage regulator inside the alternator.
The voltage regulator costs only about $40 online (I got it from Auto Parts Warehouse) so I decided to replace the regulator first and see what happens. I was lucky as it turned out the regulator was the issue and i didn't have to get a rebuilt alternator (which cost way more than the regulator).
I understand that a faulty voltage regulator is quite common with Boxsters so I suggest you check that first before replacing the whole alternator.
Since I did all the labor myself the total cost was only $40.

Hope that helps.
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:12 PM   #3
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Thank you for the heads up. I did research on the regulator after you responded. From what I've read it may be a PIA to get the alternator out. I'm thinking if I pull the alternator out I want to do it only once Or.. did you replace the regulator then have the alternator checked out at a part shop?

Did you have to remove the passenger seat to perform this job? I'm unclear with some of the tutorials out there.

Thank you, I really appreciate it.

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Originally Posted by fab986 View Post
I had the same issue about a month, I also thought it was a battery issue at first but it turned out it was the voltage regulator inside the alternator.
The voltage regulator costs only about $40 online (I got it from Auto Parts Warehouse) so I decided to replace the regulator first and see what happens. I was lucky as it turned out the regulator was the issue and i didn't have to get a rebuilt alternator (which cost way more than the regulator).
I understand that a faulty voltage regulator is quite common with Boxsters so I suggest you check that first before replacing the whole alternator.
Since I did all the labor myself the total cost was only $40.

Hope that helps.
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:14 PM   #4
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+1 for regulator. Here's what I did when I had the issue a couple of years (after elimination of possible bad battery as the cause) ago.
1. Pull Alternator
2. Take alternator to parts store for testing.
3. Purchase new regulator. It installs easily on the back of the alternator.
4. Install alternator.

If the alternator had tested bad (bearing), I would have had it rebuilt. Our local Alternator/Starter business would rebuild it for $80.
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:34 PM   #5
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I would follow the same procedure as dghii described.

It is kind of a PIA to remove/reinstall the alternator but it took me only about 1/2hr to remove, I guess I was lucky. The MOST important step is to tap on the long bolt with a punch to push out the rear metal bushing. This is probably the most important step otherwise you can get stuck for hours. Follow the steps outlined here and you should be good:
Pelican Technical Article: Boxster Alternator Replacement - 986 / 987

I also found some YouTube tutorial videos that show you the different steps... what would we do without the internet

By the way, I did not remove the seat as a few of those posts suggested.

Let me know if you have any questions, I'll be happy to help. Good luck!!!
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:44 PM   #6
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I'm telling you this forum is great. I was thinking of just using a local indy shop and be done with it but I'm sure with all the miles already accumulated more mechanical failures will occur in the future. It seems logical for me to spend dollars for the more challenging repairs and do the ones that are within my comfort zone myself.

Thanks again, much appreciated!
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Old 09-22-2014, 03:21 AM   #7
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Just did this last week. I opted for a Advance Auto Parts rebuilt alternator. Was shockingly easy to replace, minimal cussing involved, LOL! In and out in about 30 minutes, going slow and cleaning everything up real good. My belt looked new, so I kept it.
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Old 09-22-2014, 03:42 PM   #8
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Must be that time of year: my alternator died as well, so I sourced one locally.

$450 CDN for rebuilt Bosch and install myself.

Or

$1700 CDN to have a local shop do it.

Guess which option I chose? :-)
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:59 PM   #9
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$154 at O'reillys with a lifetime guarantee. Replaced one of mine in July.

List: Search for 'alternator' | O'Reilly Auto Parts
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Old 09-22-2014, 06:04 PM   #10
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Thanks again for the replies and information. I'll try my local auto parts store which is either Kragens, Autozone or PepBoyz. If you've heard any negatives about the alternators sold there please let me know.

Regards.
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Old 09-22-2014, 06:19 PM   #11
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Paul,

I didn't realize there was an O'Reilly's right down the street from me! I'm guessing I'll bring mine in have it checked and ask for a replacement model. My Boxster year is 2002, 5 speed. Hopefully they will have a drop in replacement with better or matching specs.

Thanks for the link!

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$154 at O'Reilly's with a lifetime guarantee. Replaced one of mine in July.

List: Search for 'alternator' | O'Reilly Auto Parts
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:28 AM   #12
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Just thought I would post a site that I have bought from (New not re-manufactured)

In my case I bought a starter and have had no issues, fast shipping and good prices.

NEW ALTERNATOR 07-08 PORSCHE 911 3.6 3.8 07-09 CAYMAN BOXSTER 2.7 3.4 0-124-525-107 997-603-022-01 with MT - Rakuten.com Shopping

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Old 09-23-2014, 03:32 PM   #13
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Be sure flaps is aware they are different between manual and auto trans
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxster6354 View Post
Just thought I would post a site that I have bought from (New not re-manufactured)

In my case I bought a starter and have had no issues, fast shipping and good prices.

NEW ALTERNATOR 07-08 PORSCHE 911 3.6 3.8 07-09 CAYMAN BOXSTER 2.7 3.4 0-124-525-107 997-603-022-01 with MT - Rakuten.com Shopping

These are surely Far East knockoffs, as price is less than for Bosch rebuilt.
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Old 09-23-2014, 05:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
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These are surely Far East knockoffs, as price is less than for Bosch rebuilt.
To each his own.

The company that sells them on that site is located in Atlanta, Ga. and I am sure the manufacture is in China, you do know that the majority of Bosh auto parts are manufactured in both China and Tunisia and only assembled in North Carolina (for sales in US).

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Old 09-24-2014, 06:30 AM   #16
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I have a tip to share - taking the alternator to a local shop for testing is not always accurate, as I learnt the hard way. Sometimes, an alternator may fail from excessive heat, after several minutes of running. In my case, when the car started up, the voltage readings were fine, but over time would gradually deteriorate and I did not realize that initially. I took it apart and took it to a local Advance auto parts and they tested it (2 min test) and everything checked out fine. So I figured the problem was elsewhere and in order to test anything else, I had to have the alternator running. I re-installed it (smh) and had the same issue. Finally, ended up buying a re-manufactured unit from AAP and it was easy this time to remove the alternator(coz I had whacked the bushings loose the last time, but was still a PIA to get the new one in. So far, it has been running flawless.
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:39 AM   #17
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Check my earlier post...may be late to the game, but it certainly solved my problem.

http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/29021-battery-light-came-fixed-cheap.html
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:25 PM   #18
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This is the route I'll be taking. I'm for replacing the whole alternator. I realize replacing the regulator would be the cost savings approach but I just want to get it over and done with. I planned on doing it this weekend but it's Street Vibes weekend

Thank you for the heads up!

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Originally Posted by amitmishra4 View Post
I have a tip to share - taking the alternator to a local shop for testing is not always accurate, as I learnt the hard way. Sometimes, an alternator may fail from excessive heat, after several minutes of running. In my case, when the car started up, the voltage readings were fine, but over time would gradually deteriorate and I did not realize that initially. I took it apart and took it to a local Advance auto parts and they tested it (2 min test) and everything checked out fine. So I figured the problem was elsewhere and in order to test anything else, I had to have the alternator running. I re-installed it (smh) and had the same issue. Finally, ended up buying a re-manufactured unit from AAP and it was easy this time to remove the alternator(coz I had whacked the bushings loose the last time, but was still a PIA to get the new one in. So far, it has been running flawless.
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:29 PM   #19
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Nice post, I think the photo you took is the clearest shot I've seen yet. I'm going to go with the alternator replacement but appreciate your time providing feedback. I can see how removing the passenger seat makes a difference. I'm definitely not small and nimble so I may end up having to do the same.

Regards.

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Originally Posted by jmatta View Post
Check my earlier post...may be late to the game, but it certainly solved my problem.

http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/29021-battery-light-came-fixed-cheap.html
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:09 PM   #20
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If you're going to re-use the pulley, make sure it's operating properly. I didn't even notice mine wasn't clutching properly when I replace my voltage regulator; good thing the guy at the alternator shop did.
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