Lotus Elan

Alternators

PostPost by: elanman » Mon Dec 05, 2005 11:16 am

Gentlemen I need desperately urgently to see a STANDARD alternator installation for my book, The rebuilding of a Lotus Elan. I have to say STANDARD again, not a cobbled up one. I will go anywhere in the country immediately. To the person who helps me a free gift of the book. It will take me 5 minutes to see what I want to see and nothing will be taken apart, loosened or whatever.

Brian Buckland, the Elanman.
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PostPost by: cliveyboy » Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:10 pm

Brian
I believe my Sprint is a standard alternator set up.
The car is off the road for a couple of weeks so you could even dismantle it if you wanted.
Clive

" After talking to Brian I find out my alternator conversion is not the original Lotus conversion. It had me fooled as it looks and fits great"
Last edited by cliveyboy on Tue Dec 06, 2005 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: M100 » Mon Dec 05, 2005 3:51 pm

Unless I missed something, no two seat elan ever left the factory as standard with an alternator. There is nothing in any Lotus service manual, parts lists, or parts price lists to suggest otherwise.

The off the shelf alternator looms only became available for (relatively) easy conversions in the 80's - Lotus never did one, only the alternative suppliers like Chris Neils and Paul Matty's had anything off the self that at the end of the day resembled a "factory" installation.
Martin
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Mon Dec 05, 2005 4:16 pm

Now that's how to put the cat amongst the pigeons!!!!!!

John :wink:
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PostPost by: sk178ta » Mon Dec 05, 2005 4:21 pm

John, you can look at mine at Hargate Hall Wormhill SK17 8TA tel. 01298 872591. Only 20 mins. from you I think.
Jim
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PostPost by: dougweall » Mon Dec 05, 2005 4:21 pm

Martin,

Just out of curiosity I looked in my 1970 workshop manual and in the electrical section there is a whole raft of info regards an alternator.
However when reading through the text it does say under M11-Alternator installing
Quote "the alternator can be fitted as an accessory, providing the earth polarity is NEGATIVE EARTH." unquote

I received a new loom wired for an alternator, with my S4 when I bought it, along with an alternator it looks to me like it always belonged there.

So maybe only a higher authority on Elans would know the answer if an Elan left the factory with an alternator fitted.

Doug.
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PostPost by: M100 » Mon Dec 05, 2005 4:57 pm

dougweall wrote:Martin,

Just out of curiosity I looked in my 1970 workshop manual and in the electrical section there is a whole raft of info regards an alternator.
However when reading through the text it does say under M11-Alternator installing
Quote "the alternator can be fitted as an accessory, providing the earth polarity is NEGATIVE EARTH." unquote

I received a new loom wired for an alternator, with my S4 when I bought it, along with an alternator it looks to me like it always belonged there.

So maybe only a higher authority on Elans would know the answer if an Elan left the factory with an alternator fitted.

Doug.


Oh I know the info on the conversion is in the workshop manual, but all the part numbers are "50" numbers (i.e. Elan +2 first usage) and the standard Elan dynamo wiring loom is modified to connect to the alternator, the regulator is removed and jumper wires installed. This is the standard way of doing a conversion (some would say its a bodge!) BUT In terms of a factory installed installation, with dedicated alternator specific wiring then it simply doesn't exist, otherwise there WOULD be an entry in the parts manual or parts price list - prices are actually in the price list for some parts that never even made it into series production!

I remember mentioning the alternator conversion to Miles Wilkins (Fibreglass Services) back in about 1985 or so and nearly getting my head chewed off for even mentioning an alternator conversion on my Sprint (again he cited the fact that the 2 seater had never left the factory so equipped) and added that If the battery isn't charging right its either got an electrical problem or the car is not being driven fast enough!

Miles has been around Lotus's for many years and he usually knows what he is on about! I'm not saying anyone is right, just all the readily available evidence i've seen indicates that the alternator conversion along the lines of a neat and tidy factory install with a dedicated loom (i.e. no bundle of wires in lieu of the regulator) never happened.
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Mon Dec 05, 2005 5:15 pm

I have to agree.

Alternators were never fitted as OE on 2 seat Elans

Plenty have been converted of course.

The standard bracket used as far as I recall is the same one used on the later crossflow Fords.
John

No longer active on here, I value my privacy.
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Mon Dec 05, 2005 5:24 pm

Now this could turn out to be an iteresting thread!
I like Martin do not think the (SWB Elan :twisted: ) or two seater to clarify came as standard with an alternator..........I beleive it was an optional extra and my service parts list (two seater) and lists a generator only listing a later generator mounting although it does list the negitive earth generator.
I know the later plus two had one but I have never seen an original one on the two seater.
Below is a couple of paragraphs I copied from Elan.net showing the plus two had one in 1973 and note the plus two part number (B050 E)

Another artical seems to indicate the two seater only used a generator but I did not see a date indicated.
Brian
===============================================


Class 111
Number 1973/06
Type All +2
Date 02.04.73

Title: Alternator Type '17ACR'
Reason: To advise Dealer personnel of changes incorporated in manufacture to the Type '17ACR' alternator.
Parts Required: B050 E 6007Z Alternator
Action: The Lucas Type '17ACR' alternator, now incorporates an ' avalanche ' diode against surge which occurs in the regulator. The regulator is simplified, now having fewer separate semi-conductors, and is designated '14TR' . The regulator is still built in to the alternator.

===============================================
Elan Alternator Conversion

By Peter Jacobsen

The Elan came equipped with a Lucas DC generator and regulator. This system is adequate and essentially reliable, and is simple and "user-friendly" to work on. These positive thoughts about the generator set-up beg the question; why convert? Simply, an alternator can do a better job of keeping the battery charged. I imagine that most conversions occur as a result of failure of the existing system. I have done this conversion twice, and it was failure that prompted me both times.
===============================================
Brian
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Dec 05, 2005 6:55 pm

Interesting - I had thought the alternator became a factory optional extra later on with the Sprint. However it is not listed on any of the official price lists I have. Did it become a dealer fitted option later?

John Bolster carried out the last UK road test on a Sprint in February 1973 on one of the final cars, KAH 604L. From the engine photograph, it is clearly fitted with a dynamo, although in the text mention is made of "12 volt lighting and starting with alternator".

In Autocar's test of AVF 444J in June 1971, under Specifications, it quotes "Alternator ... Lucas 17ACR 35 amp ac" which is indeed an alternator, though that does not mean to say that car was fitted with one, of course.

My understanding is that the Sprint was fitted with either the Lucas C40L or LRD 102 dynamo as standard.

Tim
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Mon Dec 05, 2005 7:41 pm

Jim
I'm not getting involved in this one,i don't care wether it was or wasn't,I just mentioned that it might cause some feedback........

Looks like i was right!
John :wink:
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Dec 06, 2005 11:17 am

Just to add to the responses on a typical Lotus topic !

I have never seen an Elan with an alternator fitted as orginal although it is listed as an option in my Service manual ( part no. 36/T 327) even though I have looked at a few late Elan Sprints over the years

The service manual says on the topic

Page 23 of specifications provides details of alternator "when fitted"

Page 52 Electrical section M10 provdes details for maintenance of the alternator stated as fitted "to cater for increase electrical loading imposed by a wider range of equipment used on certain models"

However It does not appear in the 1976 Elan parts manual (part no X036T0325H) ??

But that is typical of Lotus - they probably ran out of generators in the parts bin and fitted alternators to a few Elans as they were being fitted to plus 2s at the time so they added the plus 2 manual section on alternators into the Elan manual and claimed it as an improvement !!!.


The alternator came as orginal on my 1973 plus 2S 130/5 for which I am forever grateful !


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PostPost by: pereirac » Tue Dec 06, 2005 9:46 pm

I like my dynamo... It's easy to maintain and cheap to replace, although the
wipers do slow down at night in the rain with the headlamps and heater fan blowing...(in the days when I used the car every day).

I have some parts to fit an alternator but never got round to fitting it, now that it looks like alternators were never factory fitted I think I will stick with a dynamo.
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