Lotus Elan

Alternator not charging?

PostPost by: Frank Howard » Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:56 pm

Dan,

The starter is further from the battery than the solenoid was. Unless you replaced your battery wire with a longer one when you installed your Super Starter, there must be a place where you connected the original batttery wire to a new wire going to the Super Starter. That is where the brown wire from the alternator should go.
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PostPost by: neilsjuke » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:15 pm

Image

hope this helps
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PostPost by: JimWol » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:45 pm

See the attached diagrams for the difference in connections of a dynamo and an alternator. Hope this helps.

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Lucas RB106 Control Box Dynamo.gif and
Lucas RB106 Control Box Alternator.gif and
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:29 am

1) Battery indicates 12.1 volts
2) Fan belt not slipping.
3) Indicator bulb did not light up when starting the car. I checked the bulb and its working.
4) Alternator not charging, also indicates 12.1 volts, same as battery.

If the alternator's not charging, shouldn't the indicator light be coming on? Also, I removing the lead going from the terminal block to the indicator light, which you would think would make it go on, and nothing happened.

Is it possible that no charge is coming from the ignition to the indicator light, therefore its not getting a charge either from the alternator or from the battery, hence it not coming on or the alternator charging?

I appreciate any help. I am way out of my knowledge zone here.

Dan
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:34 am

It sounds like you may have a faulty regulator in your alternator. I had exactly the same symptoms over the weekend when the alternator failed in my Elan during a race. It appears that when the regulator failure occurs the alternator stops charging but the ignition light does not come on because inside the regulator the parth to earth has gone open circuit as part of the failure

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PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:22 am

Dan, I am thinking the same as Rohan and John above. You have a problem with grounding the alternator if your ignition light does not come on when you put the ignition key in the "run" position before moving it to the "start" or cranking position. This has to happen for the thing to work. Is this what you mean when you say the light didn't come on? The idea is the light must come on in "run", and then be extinguished once the car is started and running. The alternator is imposing a nominal 12v on the ignition light, which puts it out. The other side of the light is always at 12v nominal with key in "run" as it is supplied by the battery.

One thing that I did not see in Ray's instructions that were in the instructions for the Dave Bean kit; have you grounded the alternator body itself? I ran a black wire from one of the screws on the alternator body to a reliable earth on the motor mount ground strap. This is how the ignition light is grounded before the car starts. Try a reliable temporary ground from the alternator housing to see if this is an issue; if it is and fixes things, install a permanent one. You may have adequate grounding through the mount, but something to check.

As Rohan says, it is possible you have a pouched alternator (or unfortunately it got pouched if the wiring is not correct), but check your ignition light carefully to ground (lights up) and to the alternator (lights up in run) first.

If you do not have the high capacity ammeter mentioned above, you can adequately check that the alternator is at least putting something out by confirming the voltage on the main brown output wire. Voltmeter goes from alternator terminal to ground. It should exceed the battery voltage by a couple of volts, say 13.5 to 14 or so.
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:05 am

Dan

You may have missed this......

Dan

Step 1
With your ignition on,the thin wire at the alternator when disconnected should test 12volts,and if you earth it the "ignition" light should come on...this is the excitement feed for your alternator...

John :wink:

Looks like the above is not happening? if so there must be a break in said wire...find it and fix..

John :wink:
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:51 pm

I think I am onto the problem, thanks to all the help I've received. Something is wrong with the connection of the thin wire at the alternator that goes to the light. I need to do more investigation tonight, but after playing around with that connection, I was able to get the light to come on dimly when starting and the car to keep running with the negative terminal removed from the battery. I tested the voltage at the battery, 12.1 before starting, after starting, it was still 12.1, but after my wife took off her slippers and ran the rpms up to 2K, the reading started going up to 13... I suspect the wire that I received with the kit, which has a short jump wire, going from one spade to another on the alternator, then out to the terminal box. Everything seems tight, but maybe its connecting to insulation, not wire, or something like that. John, I don't know how, but I did miss your suggested test. I will try that tonight. I'd also like to get an ammeter and test the output. Thanks all. More later, Dan
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:28 pm

collins_dan wrote:. . . and the car to keep running with the negative terminal removed from the battery.

Don't have my notes here but I seem to remember that you are never supposed to disconnect the battery when the engine is running or it may inflict permanent damage to the alternator. :shock:
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:07 pm

Well that's the last time I follow suggestions for how to test the alternator from a YOUTube video. Thanks. Dan
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:18 pm

Dan

This is a long shot but are you sure the thin (ignition lamp)wire goes to the small connector and the thick wire (battery) to the two larger connectors?

John :wink:
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:37 pm

Yes, the connections are totally different. The large wire has a large circle connector that fits to a nut and bolt connection. The thin wire is the 2 spade set-up. Even I couldn't mix the two up. Thanks. Dan
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PostPost by: alan71 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:39 pm

Not sure what type of alternator you have but some need a separate switched ignition feed and ign lamp connection

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PostPost by: RotoFlexible » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:45 am

Dan,

I second Stu's suggestion about checking that the alternator is grounded. The grounding lead in my kit was defective (bad crimps) and eventually the alternator failed to charge, with the symptoms you experienced. Replacing the terminals on the lead, making sure the crimps were sound, restored operation. The things are dead simple to wire, you probably did it right.
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:36 pm

Just to close this out. I removed the alternator and had it tested. It was producing very little charge. The supplier sent a new one and I installed it and raced this weekend. Worked great. Thanks for all the advice. I'm certainly more knowledgeable now about how to check for faults. Dan
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