Lotus Elan

Alternative alternators

PostPost by: 69S4 » Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:55 pm

jeff jackson wrote:Thanks for all the comments chaps.... it is much appreciated. My wifes car is now fixed, so no need to take the elan out in this miserable weather.
First thing to do is to measure and renew all the earth connections. .

Jeff



It's not just the earth connections. When I went through this saga a few years ago I must have replaced forty or fifty corroded bullet connectors on the feed side all over the car. Most of them were forward of the radiator in the area feeding the lights, indicators etc but I found quite a few balls of rust in other spots - even some behind the dash. It took me the best part of a week's effort to resolder them all (including sorting the earths) but it made a huge difference - brighter lights, faster wipers, faster fans, no sidelights flashing in sympathy with the indicators etc.

I've had a voltmeter in the car for over twenty years, most of that time still with the dynamo and it does give you a fairly good idea of what's happening electrically. For normal running the 22 amps the dynamo could provide was fine but stuck in traffic on a dark wet night with the lights on, the cooling fan running and the wipers flapping the voltage was regularly way down around 11v. After redoing all of the connections and changing to an (45A) alternator I'm now getting 12.5v under the same circumstances. I'm still not sure I'm actually charging the battery under those conditions but it's a lot closer to breakeven than it used to be. On a normal sunny day at idle with just the ignition as a load the voltmeter stays well on the charging side of the scale.
Stuart Holding
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:05 pm

Not to hijack Jeff's thread but thanks Jeremy and Galway for the replies to my interjection! I am in a similar situation in that I have fitted a new alternator but am still not getting the charging level I would have hoped for. I think it is undoubtably an earth issue although I think I should check out the feed from the alternator to the solenoid too.

Time to refresh my memory on how to do voltage drop tests!

Cheers and Merry Christmas to all

Robbie
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:08 pm

69S4 wrote:
jeff jackson wrote:. I'm still not sure I'm actually charging the battery under those conditions but it's a lot closer to breakeven than it used to be. On a normal sunny day at idle with just the ignition as a load the voltmeter stays well on the charging side of the scale.

You're charging the battery if its voltage dropped below the charge level. If it isn't being charged at those conditions it most likely doesn't need any more charge.
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