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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dear hubby was driving my 2002 2.0 beetle when the instrument panel "lit up" (battery, brake, and several other indicators simultaneously).

Car never lost power while he drove - taking it to the AutoZone to get the codes shortly. If it's the alternator, as some of my research has suggested, how hard a swap is this?

If someone could point me in a direction for tips and tricks, it would be very much appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update

It is the alternator on the car. Overcharging the battery (16 amps at the shop). Working on the swap tonight, and would appreciate insight.
 

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Hmm, never heard of an Alternator overcharging the battery.
What was the codes that came up?

Tried to find you a DIY on the 2.0 but couldn't find one. There are several for the 1.8.
The trick with the 1.8 is to pull the alternator out through the Passenger side Headlight opening.
Meaning you need to remove the headlight in order to easily slide out the alternator. Might
also work on the 2.0's.
 

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I believe that would be a failure of the voltage regulator, but I'm not certain. I've definitely heard of it before.
 

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New guy here, but some experience.

Did the thermostat on my 2.0l last week, was made easier by removing the alternator, took 20 minutes to do the t-stat, alternator removal and reinstallation included.

Remove the engine cover and its right there. I think there is a video for a 2.0L thermostat replacement on Youtube that will step you thru most of the alternator job as well. Toughest part was probably installing the belt.

And the regulator is part of the alternator, most likely would be as a "package".

Edit; > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmIbeUvoNu8 or http://youtu.be/kmIbeUvoNu8

Obviously, no need to drain or address anything coolant reelated, but does a decent job of showing the main questions on the alternator.
 

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Are we talking about 16 Amps or 16 Volts?

Overcharging will not be in Amps, but Volts. Anything much over 16 Volts actually will cause many ECM/ECU to shut down oil the engine to save the vehicle electronics. Typical charging Voltage is between 13.5-14.5 at the battery. Some exceptions are cars that actually shut the alternator down for fuel economy reasons, you have to be careful not to condemn one of these alternators as you can easily be fooled .

Yes, shorted regulator will cause over charging, some alternators will actually loaded with leaking engine from a valve cover or some other leak and cause havoc. Also if the lower engine cover is missing, sometimes water intrusion can also be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hello all. Thanks for the video, it was a huge help.

It was 16 volts and overcharging the battery. Concern was warping a battery cell with the over charge.

New alternator is 3 days in, charging properly, and no new warning lights being thrown.

New question now, though.. Ever since the install there is a distinct "whirling" noise that wasn't present before. Doing some research now, but suggestions are definitely welcome.

Thanks all!
 

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Hello all. Thanks for the video, it was a huge help.

It was 16 volts and overcharging the battery. Concern was warping a battery cell with the over charge.

New alternator is 3 days in, charging properly, and no new warning lights being thrown.

New question now, though.. Ever since the install there is a distinct "whirling" noise that wasn't present before. Doing some research now, but suggestions are definitely welcome.

Thanks all!
Since the "Whirling" noise didn't start until you installed the new alternator it stands to reason that it may be the New Alternator? Check the alignment with the accessory belt and make sure it's straight. Is the accessory belt tensioner doing it's job? How tight is the accessory belt? Worse case scenario it's a shaft or bearing within the alternator making the noise.
Also check that the belt is on properly and isn't dragging on anything.

Glad that the new alternator did the trick. I just checked mine and it is charging between 13.9 and 14.5 depending on engine speed.
 

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I have the same problem with 2.0L. 16V showing. Battery was smoking. I will ask the same question...looks pretty simple but is there a step by step or walk through for alternator replacement? Also would you recommend replacing the thermostat while the alternator is out just because it is easy to get to? I don't know the age of the thermostat.
 

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I have the same problem with 2.0L. 16V showing. Battery was smoking. I will ask the same question...looks pretty simple but is there a step by step or walk through for alternator replacement? Also would you recommend replacing the thermostat while the alternator is out just because it is easy to get to? I don't know the age of the thermostat.
There are plenty of DIY's for the 1.8 alternator swap but I haven't found one yet for the 2.0. Apparently it is a lot easier on the 2.0 so they figure you don't need a DIY.
Sure while you have the alternator out why not swap the Thermostat. But don't get a cheap aftermarket piece of crap Thermostat. They are more trouble then they are worth. In this case I would most definitely get the VW Part from the Dealer or ECS tuning.
Volkswagen New Beetle 2.0 > Search > Thermostat > ES#261231 87C Thermostat - 050121113C

I would also get a new Thermostat housing and O-Ring while you are at it. It's just cheap insurance.

Now since you don't know the age of your Thermostat. Do you know the age of your waterpump? Since the Thermostat should be changed with the very much needed and often procrastinated until something happens timing belt service I figure you haven't had the timing belt/water pump service performed on your car?? Something you really should think about along with the Alternator and the Thermostat. If you have the timing belt service/water pump and tensioner replaced recently then I appoligize and you should be okay. But a lot of people don't think about the timing belt service until it breaks and then the expense goes into the thousands to rebuild or replace the head plus all the things needed for the timing belt service that should have been performed in the first place.

Good Luck!
 

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Hello all. Thanks for the video, it was a huge help.

It was 16 volts and overcharging the battery. Concern was warping a battery cell with the over charge.

New alternator is 3 days in, charging properly, and no new warning lights being thrown.

New question now, though.. Ever since the install there is a distinct "whirling" noise that wasn't present before. Doing some research now, but suggestions are definitely welcome.

Thanks all!
Is the whirling noise coming though the radio speakers or is it coming from under the hood near the alternator??

If from the radio speakers, check the connections and make sure they are tight. Check your ground and positive connections at the battery and around the battery. I had a lot of alternator whine in my car at one point after the dealer had performed some work on the car, I think the recall for the front airbag sensor?? and they left the small positive cable connection that powers the module mounted on the battery loose. Once I tightened up this connection the alternator whine went away.

If from under the hood near the alternator, could be be alternator bearings or noise electrical noise due to a cheap rebuild or a loose connection on the output of the alternator??
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Is the whirling noise coming though the radio speakers or is it coming from under the hood near the alternator??

If from the radio speakers, check the connections and make sure they are tight. Check your ground and positive connections at the battery and around the battery. I had a lot of alternator whine in my car at one point after the dealer had performed some work on the car, I think the recall for the front airbag sensor?? and they left the small positive cable connection that powers the module mounted on the battery loose. Once I tightened up this connection the alternator whine went away.

If from under the hood near the alternator, could be be alternator bearings or noise electrical noise due to a cheap rebuild or a loose connection on the output of the alternator??
The noise wasn't coming through the speakers, it was the 1st "new" alternator. When we took it back off, you could spin it and hear a "grinding", so we just replaced it with a second alternator and everything is running quiet as it should be now.

Thanks for the info again.
 

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Good for you! I was just going to suggest that maybe your "new" alternator was "bad". I have had that happen to me more than once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have the same problem with 2.0L. 16V showing. Battery was smoking. I will ask the same question...looks pretty simple but is there a step by step or walk through for alternator replacement? Also would you recommend replacing the thermostat while the alternator is out just because it is easy to get to? I don't know the age of the thermostat.
Not sure if this is still relevant to you or not, but here's a basic step by step that I did for my alternator swap. Second time took me 45 minutes and that's including the run to the parts store and back.

1 - Disconnect the battery.
2 - Remove engine cover (10mm standard wrench needed). There is a single hex head bolt on the back side towards the left that needs to come out. Then the whole piece will pop off. Give it a gentle tug - there are two plugs that the cover will snap back in to once you're ready to reassemble.
3 - Take note of your belt path for the serpentine belt, because it's coming off. It will be the belt that is actually running over the alternator. I believe there are five pulleys on the 2.0 that this belt drives.
4 - Remove the black hose that is over the alternator; it should clip into a black metal bracket. I found that taking a small flat head screw driver and pressing the clip helped me to get it to release. If you look to the back side of this metal bracket, you'll see that it just snaps in. Once you've gotten it loose from the bracket, just move it so it's up and out of your way.
5 - Remove the serpentine belt - the tensioner has a handy little section that a 15mm wrench fits nicely over (little pertruding square that you can hook a wrench over). Pull that towards the front of the car, and you should feel the tension come off the serpentine belt, remove the belt...don't forget to make note of the path for the belt!
6 - Remove the tensioner that was holding the belt. I believe it's 3 bolts; you'll need a 15mm socket to remove these. Once the bolts are out (approximately 3" in length), the tensioner should come right out and to the left of the alternator. This is a good time to check the bearings in your tensioner. Give it a little spin, if it's quiet and spins freely, then it's good to go.
7 - Remove the alternator. There are two bolts (15mm) that are holding the alternator in. Remove these, and you'll need pry tool to get the alternator to release. There is a space at the top where the top bolt comes out, it's the most sturdy place to push the alternator towards the front of the car. If it doesn't want to budge, a little shot of WD-40 will break it loose.
8 - Once your alternator is loose, pull it straight up and it should release from the bottom. Turn the alternator to it's side, and remove the cable that is connected to the battery (10mm). It is imperative that your batter is disconnected here. If that wire is live and it hits the metal, it's going to instantly weld.
9 - Insert your new alternator - it should slide into right into where the original came out.
10 - insert the two alternator bolts. The bushings on these particular alternators are not fully installed - they finish when you screw in the bolts. Takes a little while, but they will tighten. It calls for 18lbs of torque, I tightened mine until tight and a little. I didn't go crazy tightening the bolts down (checked a week later and still tight).
11 - connect the batter cable (10 mm socket or wrench)
12 - Reconnect the tensioner (15mm sockets)
13 - (Helps to have a buddy here) - utilizing that diagram you drew for the belt diagram, replace the serpentine belt. I found that going from under the car while someone above is releasing the tension is the easiest way to put the belt back on. You have full visual of all the pulleys to ensure that they are all seated properly with the belt.
14 - Replace the engine cover (remember the two plugs at the front), and use the 10mm wrench to replace the engine cover bolt.
15 - Reconnect the battery.
16 - Replace the black hose that you moved aside to get the alternator out.

Hope this helps - if anyone needs pictures, let me know and I can post those to show what parts I'm describing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If I can save someone a an extra :30-1:00, I'm all for taking a few minutes to write up the tricks we figured out with mine. :bigthumb:
 
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