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Discussion Starter #1
There are some other posts about this but so far my experience has been unique. I have a 2004 Touareg v8 but with air suspension which apparently has made a difference.

The repair book says you need to take the engine out of the car, a daunting and expensive task. I was quoted about 3k to do it. I did find a thread on this forum about a v8 that the guy went through the wheel well so I figured I would try that.

So I just started into it, you have to remove the air box on the passenger side, the alternator is there up against the frame. You need to disconnect the battery before you go any further, too many systems would be active in my case the suspension would react badly to being jacked.

Next jack the car up, remove the front tire then remove the plastic wheel well shield. Here was my suprise. I had decided I would cut away the inside metal wheel well if needed but to my suprise it was all open. The shock tower in mine is different than the standard suspension. I thought this would make it worse for me but it made it far easier.

It's been tricky getting the original alternator out. After the air box, next you detention the serpentine belt, the idle pulley is right by the alternator, it takes a 19mm socket on a breaker bar.

Once disconnected, the alternator has two bolts holding it to the engine these you get from the front with an Allen key socket or a T130 torx socket. There is no concern about the alternator falling it has no place to go. Ok now the fun.

Normally the alternator would be ready to come out but no this one. Its watercooled and has two metal lines that come off the block into the rear of the alternator.

First, the pipe closest to the block is secured in the block with a bolt, I think is was also a T130 so that one comes out. A ratchet with a couple extensions does it, it's a long bolt. The pipe will not detach yet it is retained in the alternator with an allen screw strangely it's like a 5/16 if I remember right, actually is really metric and a T30 also fits it but you cant get to it yet.


Next je closest or outer tube is bolted into the engin using the same size allen screw. This is hard to get on. I was lucky that I was able to break it free with a standard allen wrench but did not have room to turn the bolt....

Soooooo you need a very long allen key, I had one about 10" long that I fed in from under the frame by the catalytic converter and being patient turned the screw out.

Now the outer pipe will pull out, this exposes the retainer screw for the inner pipe and a standard allen wrench will do the trick.

Ok now we pull the alternator in my case it needed persuading so I used a pry bar and hammer a few taps and a bit of working it and it was loose.

Next disconnect the wires, and it's free. A little wiggling and patients and it comes out through the wheel well.

So far I am at about 3 hours, mostly finding the tools really. I have battery powered impacts and ratchets, and a few sets of sockets. As noted the allen wrenches are key I think they are about 5mm so have a good selection and Torx bits work great both sockets and bits. Ok that's where I am it may be a couple days before I get back to it. Since all the tools are assembled I figure it's about another 3 hours as alignment will be time consuming.

So NO you do not need to pull the engine to replace an alternator if you have a 2004 v8 with air suspension and are a mediocre back yard mechanic it's about 6 hours, if you are a pro with a lift it's probably like 4 for the full job. Picts to come.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok today I put it back together.
A few prep points...the alternator is bolted on with two bolts that go through ears top and bottom these fit very tightly, not an issue if the engine is out but this will make installation difficult. So take a grinder and grind off a bit on the inside ears, it really wont effect anything but it will.make installation far easier.

Second new o rings on the metal water cooling pipes, lubes them with STP it will make the process a little earlier. I also reccomend getting some spare cap bolts they are 6mm my local hardware store carried them and frankly they never have anything I'm looking for so they are common. I also put never seize on the bolts and dielectric grease on the electrical connections.

Ok here we go, the alternator will go in pretty easily. first thing connect the main wire.

Next put the alternator in position I got the bottom in first as I wanted to leave the top a bit loose to put in the inner water pipe. I got the bolt in b
 

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Bolt in but only finger tight. Go ahead and also put the upper bolt in, u found the having it loose did not help.

Here is the worse part, the inner water pipe is challenging, you need to push it into the block by twisting it a little, next slide it into the back of the alternator this is going to take you the most time. Then once seated you put in the first 6mm bolt, it took me forever. Ultimately I had to pull out the pipe again and ream out the hole slightly. Finally I got the bolt started and was able to tighten it down.

The second water pipe (outer) was easier, it may have been luck. This one you need that 10-12" allen wrench tighten it by going up under the car near the catalytic converter and fish it to the allen screw. I modified my key by welding a bolt to it making it a T handle it made tightening far easier.

Ok now tighten down all the bolts including the two main bolts on the alternator. Plug in the last wire to the alternator.

Ok that's the main part of the assembly. Now reconnect the hoses, and the serpentine belt.


Ok for me here is the weird step. Put the tire back on and lower the car back to the ground. Add in the coolant. Keep additional on hand as you will need to add as it burps the air out.

Why is this weird notice I did not put the wheel well back in or the air filter. I want to start the car and run it to check for leaks. Next hook up the battery and start the car. Check for leaks also hopefully your alternator is now working.

Another problem may come up no breaks yup if that happens check the vacuume line it is a plastic line that connects to the silver vacuume pump in front of the airbox you removed and runs to the back of the engine any leak her and no brakes. If the pipe is cracked I found fuel injector hose is a very good replacement.

Ok if all is good, rejack car take tire off replace wheel wheel, replace airbox reconnect maas air sensor and any disconnected lines then replace tire and lower.

I noticed, unrelated I had two broken throttle actuator arms and I replaced the serpentine belt. Both I got from Amazon.

I found the alternator at NAPA auto parts. They seemed to be the only one around me that could source it other than VW.


Time- with all the additional checks 3hours so 6 hours for the job. Not how you want to spend a day but better than 3k.
 

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Ok ran and checked for leaks, of course use pink antifreeze in the 2004. I am waiting on the linkage I ordered to finish the job but i cant be happier.

I was really going to junk the car if i couldn't do this, a shame as far as i am concerned as i have never seen a car perform as well on or off road as this car. I am ski patrol and have been in plenty of nasty snow storms and it never phases this car. It's been places i would never take my F450 or my Suburbans, and the air suspension gives it the clearance of a jeep. I am so glad I took this on. So to all of you, this is something you can do in about 6 hours with some fairly basic tools and a bit of luck. I still owe photos and once I get to my PC I'll add them. Thanks for the support this forum really helps. Now my next challenge...get a key or get the immobilizer removed any ideas??? I have had zero luck getting a spare key and the 400 from the dealer is ridiculous on a 2004.
 
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