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Re: Dynamo

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:02 am
by billwill
Dynamo v Alternator mostly depends on whether you want to drive a great car or show a pet classic car.

If you want to use it extensively, especially in winter, with headlights on, fit an alternator, if you want a classic show-piece stay with a dynamo.

Even if you fit an alternator you can always keep the dynamo, control box, bracket and belt in a safe place and then re-fit them when you want originality back.

Re: Dynamo

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:27 am
by elancoupe
billwill wrote:Dynamo v Alternator mostly depends on whether you want to drive a great car or show a pet classic car.

If you want to use it extensively, especially in winter, with headlights on, fit an alternator, if you want a classic show-piece stay with a dynamo.

Even if you fit an alternator you can always keep the dynamo, control box, bracket and belt in a safe place and then re-fit them when you want originality back.



Around here, if you used your Elan during the winter, whether you had a dynamo/alternator would be the least of your worries.

There is no doubt that an alternator is superior.

I have run a dynamo on mine for 33 years, and not really ever felt the need to change. I regularly inspect the dynamo and belt, and always have a good battery.

Re: Dynamo

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:56 am
by RichC
another vote for Dynamo . Don't give up with the control box .. tinkering may be in order .
I do like the stuff found via hyperlink from previous post regarding 'simple electronic RB106 Mk2a' [is that the same as our one?]. this will be for the time in the future when the control boxes are no longer available ... thank you to author and poster.
Rich.

Re: Dynamo

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:09 am
by Elanintheforest
billwill wrote:Dynamo v Alternator mostly depends on whether you want to drive a great car or show a pet classic car.

If you want to use it extensively, especially in winter, with headlights on, fit an alternator, if you want a classic show-piece stay with a dynamo.


What complete nonsense!

I've never seen a road test of the Elan from the 60s or 70s where it said that the car was unreliable because of the lack of alternator, or the car couldn't be driven at night!

I drove my Elan for many years as an everyday car, commuting with headlamps on, wipers on, heater blower on, both ways in the dark and often wet in the winter. The car was parked outside in the street, and I couldn't have reached it with a battery charger or trickle charger. It never failed to start.

There was a time when the indicators got a bit slow on tickover, but that was just due to poor earths and was soon sorted out.

The same sort of mis-information is spoken about polybushed suspension vs standard, electric headlamp lifters s vacuum, etc. etc. When a knackered suspension is rebuilt using polybushes it is transformed, and polybushes are the only way to go, and the original stuff is spoken about as crap! The vacuum headlamp system full of leaks and with rusty pods is also obviously poor and can be transformed with Toyota electric motors. Both systems can also be transformed by getting the original stuff working properly.

I'm no originality nut, and most of my cars have some period mods fitted. I do agree that a Zetec is a far more efficient, powerful and reliable engine than a Lotus Twincam, but that doesn't mean that if you don't fit a Zetec in you Elan then the car is just a 'pet classic just for shows'.

Mark

Re: Dynamo

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:49 am
by AnthonyBelcher
I can't believe that just wishing to leave my car with an original but replacement dynamo has proved to be so controversial.

I just like to try and keep my cars looking and feeling as they did in their day. I do make some changes though. I have fitted xennon headlights to the Elan as I do like to see where I'm going at night. The dynamo I'm going to get is hopefully uprated with an output of 35 amps. But like others I have never had a problem with a dynamo. My first car an 850 mini had a dynamo and the only problem with the electrics was that I could not afford a new battery. The dynamo had more than enough power to drive the heater headlights and wipers and really that's all I require from the Elan dynamo.
Thank you to those that have supported my decision and to those that haven't please keep your jump leads with you you never know I might need to borrow them?

Re: Dynamo

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:27 pm
by gjz30075
Just don't ask about lubrication for the trunnions :-)

Greg Z

Re: Dynamo

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:43 pm
by Galwaylotus
AnthonyBelcher wrote:I just like to try and keep my cars looking and feeling as they did in their day. I do make some changes though. I have fitted xennon headlights to the Elan as I do like to see where I'm going at night.

I, too, like to keep my Elan's basic characteristics; however, I am quite happy to make changes to enhance reliability without changing the feel of driving the car. That's why I converted to an alternator! I noticed immediately that some of my weak electrics were no longer weak due to the higher voltage output of the alternator that complements its higher potential current output. 8)

Re: Dynamo

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:47 pm
by billwill
Elanintheforest wrote:
billwill wrote:Dynamo v Alternator mostly depends on whether you want to drive a great car or show a pet classic car.

If you want to use it extensively, especially in winter, with headlights on, fit an alternator, if you want a classic show-piece stay with a dynamo.


What complete nonsense!

I've never seen a road test of the Elan from the 60s or 70s where it said that the car was unreliable because of the lack of alternator, or the car couldn't be driven at night!

I drove my Elan for many years as an everyday car, commuting with headlamps on, wipers on, heater blower on, both ways in the dark and often wet in the winter. The car was parked outside in the street, and I couldn't have reached it with a battery charger or trickle charger. It never failed to start.

Mark


I didn't say it couldn't be driven at night. On long trips I usually drove at night to avoid other traffic (and speed cops).

I too drove my Elan as an everyday car in the 70's, summer and winter, daylight and dark, warm weather and cold weather, and as I said much earlier in this thread, I had many instances in which my Elan would not start because the battery was too flat. I live in London, so many trips were commuting 6 or 10 miles or shorter or stuck in rush-hour traffic jams. If you were in the country with longer trips and no traffic jams that might explain the differences in our two experiences. I think also that in them thar days, if you parked in a London street after dark, you had to leave the sidelights ON.

The increased power output of an alternator at low revs versus a dynamo simply makes the car electrics much more reliable.

Re: Dynamo

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:59 pm
by Galwaylotus
billwill wrote:
Elanintheforest wrote:
billwill wrote:Dynamo v Alternator mostly depends on whether you want to drive a great car or show a pet classic car.

If you want to use it extensively, especially in winter, with headlights on, fit an alternator, if you want a classic show-piece stay with a dynamo.


What complete nonsense!

I've never seen a road test of the Elan from the 60s or 70s where it said that the car was unreliable because of the lack of alternator, or the car couldn't be driven at night!

I drove my Elan for many years as an everyday car, commuting with headlamps on, wipers on, heater blower on, both ways in the dark and often wet in the winter. The car was parked outside in the street, and I couldn't have reached it with a battery charger or trickle charger. It never failed to start.

Mark


I didn't say it couldn't be driven at night. On long trips I usually drove at night to avoid other traffic (and speed cops).

I too drove my Elan as an everyday car in the 70's, summer and winter, daylight and dark, warm weather and cold weather, and as I said much earlier in this thread, I had many instances in which my Elan would not start because the battery was too flat. I live in London, so many trips were commuting 6 or 10 miles or shorter or stuck in rush-hour traffic jams. If you were in the country with longer trips and no traffic jams that might explain the differences in our two experiences. I think also that in them thar days, if you parked in a London street after dark, you had to leave the sidelights ON.

The increased power output of an alternator at low revs versus a dynamo simply makes the car electrics much more reliable.

'xactly!!! :lol:

Re: Dynamo

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:33 pm
by pereirac
Another happy dynamo user.. :)

Yes I do have problems running the wipers, headlights, indicators, radio and heater at the same time but as this does not happen very often (can't usually hear the radio anyway unless the car is stationary) it's never been much of a problem...

A question though, I wonder which puts more strain on the water pump pulley, a dynamo or an alternator?

Carl
I thought the Elan dynamo was the higher output C40L?

Re: Dynamo

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:47 pm
by AnthonyBelcher
The Elan indeed has the C40L which is half an inch or thereabouts longer than the C40. The distance between the mounting bracket on the C40L is exactly 6 inches.
The C40L being slightly longer does give a slightly higher output than the basic C40.

Re: Dynamo

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:56 pm
by AnthonyBelcher
I'm sure that the fan belt for an alternator has to be tighter than with a dynamo. At the moment my wifes fan belt on her Ford Focus slips when the front and rear heated screens are first switched on together as the alternator struggles to replace the power loss in the battery. The fan belt obviously needs tightening up to stop it slipping. Mind you I also think we will need a new battery soon.

Re: Dynamo

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:40 pm
by RichC
yes I had wondered whether the waterpump would be under more stress with the extra load , but presume that its just the tightness of the belt that would make a difference , and the tightness required is correlated with the draw from the dynamo/alternator which depends on the state of the battery as much as the amount drawn by appliances ...I can't think there is much, if any, difference with a decent modern spec battery

Re: Dynamo

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:07 pm
by Galwaylotus
After converting to an alternator I needed a slight longer fan belt but I can run it VERY loose with no slippage. Of course I'm not running a bunch of extra lamps, big stereo amp etc.
:wink:

Re: Dynamo

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:40 pm
by fatboyoz
You could always fit a Gilmer drive (toothed belt) to run the water pump and alternator. Can be run very loose, to relieve side loads on the water pump, with no slippage on the alternator.
Colin.

RichC wrote:yes I had wondered whether the waterpump would be under more stress with the extra load , but presume that its just the tightness of the belt that would make a difference , and the tightness required is correlated with the draw from the dynamo/alternator which depends on the state of the battery as much as the amount drawn by appliances ...I can't think there is much, if any, difference with a decent modern spec battery