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OMG! voltage regulator more $ than an Alternator...


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i just pulled my 02 out of a winter slumber and am having an old problem again. i've got the initial tell-tale sign of melting brown wire coming off the back of the 3-prong plug of the alternator. i wrote about this last september and the consensus was a grounding issue which i thought i had resolved.

well, cheapo me thought i could buy a generic beefy ground wire to connect from engine to frame rail. i have a secondary ground wire from engine block to connection point adjacent to regulator. also have a ground from alternator to upper timing belt cover. at the time of initial installation, it seemed to work, but i'm back to slow starter cranking and observed that my replaced wire is starting to melt again.

i've resolved to install an OEM braided ground strap and split open the wiring loom from alt to reg to check for condition. i was thinking of replacing the regulator for good measure but was shocked to see it listed at $100+ (on sale) at Arizona Autohaus. They have an alternate brand for a third of that, but i'm unfamiliar with it.

i've got to get this grounding issue resolved. it's more than just installing thick copper, i'm finding.

Former owner of 2570440 & 2760440
Current owner of 6 non-op 02's

& 1 special alfa

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Before you completely freak out check with your dealer. Last year I purchased one for around $40 and it was a new Hella branded plastic unit that churns out a perfect 14 volts when several of the old style used ones I had on hand would only hover around 12. I believe Susquehanna motorsports sells the hella version as well for a good price, plus shipping.

--> 1968 2002 --> 1971 1600 --> 1987 325 -->2006 530xit

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We have the Genuine one for $45.62.

I'm no longer affiliated with Maximillian Importing Company in any way, please address any questions directly to them.  -Thanks.

2002 "tii" coupe 1970
E21 320/6 2.7 Stroker 1981
E23 730 1978

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Got a Beru brand from Blunt for around $38.

1995 Toyota Landcruiser

1975 2002A

1989 Dodge Raider (sold)

1974 Toyota Landcruiser (very sadly sold)

1994 BMW 530i (sold)

1992 BMW 325i (sold)

1970 2002 auto sunroof (sold)

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Both the Beru and Hella voltage regulators have a set point of around 14.4 Volts which is nice. The original Bosch regulators as well as the the newer Bosch units have a set point that's quite a bit lower than 14.4 Volts ~13 Volts. I actually prefer the Beru or Hella units because of this. If you order one of the Wehrle brand units shown on the AutohausAZ website, they'll send you one of the Beru units, at least that's what I got from them.

The Beru one's look very similar to the original Bosch ones (metal can w/yellow tape). The Hella ones are black plastic and the regulator is encased in epoxy. They both work great. There's also these adjustable voltage regulators (Made in China) that allow you to adjust the set point of the regulator. I've played around with one on my coupe and they also work great (metal can with regulator encased in epoxy). You really don't want the output to be more than 14.4V, so the Hella and Beru are safe bets if you want slightly more output than the stock Bosch units.


1973 tii Inka - Oranjeboom

1974 tii Fjord/Primer - The Thrasher (my daily driver since 1986)

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