Lotus Elan

Alternator that Looks Like Generator

PostPost by: danielmo » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:42 pm

Has anyone installed one of those alternators that looks like a Lucas generator? I'm looking one that is 45 amps and wondering if that is sufficient. I like the idea of just bolting it in (besides the wiring) and the light weight (7.5 pounds). Any thoughts?
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:05 pm

I installed one recently
https://www.bpnorthwest.com/alternator- ... to-70.html

Quite happy with it. It charges (light goes out) almost immediately, vs the Hitachi alternator that I
had on before. The light trigger wire comes off the case and is easily seen because of the white
plastic that surrounds it. A bit of black paint and it's almost oem looking..

I probably won't know how sufficient it really is until I'm out after dark, it's raining, and I'm stuck in
traffic. :-)
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PostPost by: danielmo » Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:11 pm

Greg,

That's great. Thanks for the info.

I am also planning to order from BPNW, as they are having a 10% off sale with free shipping (and no tax). I just need to measure the distance between the mounting lugs. My car is a Series 3, but on rd's web site they list two different distances for the Lucas generators, so I just want to be sure I get the right one.

Thanks,
Dan
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:38 pm

I think the difference is between the C40L and the C40. The C40L is longer.
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PostPost by: danielmo » Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:41 pm

I'm not sure what my car currently has. I suppose it's only a matter of swapping out the mounting bracket if needed, though.

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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:29 pm

^^Correct.
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PostPost by: danielmo » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:41 pm

Greg, did you need to swap the pulley from the existing generator? Which of your Elans did you install this on?
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:52 pm

Yes, a pulley needs to be installed. I've run an alternator for the past 20 years or so but have about
a half dozen old generators laying about.

I put this on my Sprint, as it originally came with a generator, negative ground. I converted my 67
Coupe to negative ground and currently running the Hitachi alternator that I had on the Sprint. An
alternator/generator is in its future.

My only concern is longevity. When you look at any alternator, the case has dozens of openings for
cooling. The generator look-a-like has only the rear openings and the fan behind the pulley to cool it.
Time will tell. At least it looks the part and works great, which is all I'm after, for now.

Let me take back my statement about the bracket. I ended up making my own because the bracket I
had (YMMV) had short lugs and wouldn't allow the gen/alt to swing properly for belt adjustment.
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PostPost by: DavidLB » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:00 am

I've had one on my MK14 Elite for about 10 years no problems at all David
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:40 am

@Dan: I have bought a Dynator and have not yet fitted it. It certainly looks very convincing and for the local HTP people (of the FIA race commission), this is an acceptable "alternator". It was supplied with the pulley.

@gjz30075: very fair observation on possible overheating issue. I was planning to dismantle the dynator (after testing it works first) and then "add lightness" with a number of ventilation holes. I bet someone has already done this!



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PostPost by: derek uk » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:23 pm

If using one of these for racing, do you increase the pulley size over standard? A good alternator is usually good for about 15000 rpm max and I wonder what the max rated revs for these are. I suspect a dynamo wouldn't want to be running at these revs due to the much longer shaft than that of an alternator. Just some thoughts.

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PostPost by: Frogelan » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:48 pm

The "dynator" is an alternator in a dynamo style packaging.

I agree that I'll probably need to look at the pulley size as my engine is set up to max at 7250 RPM.

I have so many other things to do first before setting up the dynator !
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PostPost by: rcfurse » Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:07 pm

I believe that you do need to change the pulley size. This based on buying one for another (non Lotus) car and being explicitly supplied with a larger pulley and fitting instructions.
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PostPost by: derek uk » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:34 pm

For clarity, I wasn't implying that this was still a dynamo just that it was in the style of a dynamo. I haven't seen a cross section of the construction or one in pieces on the bench but was guessing that the shaft was long (between the bearings) like a dynamo and not short like an alternator.
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:09 pm

danielmo wrote:Has anyone installed one of those alternators that looks like a Lucas generator? I'm looking one that is 45 amps and wondering if that is sufficient. I like the idea of just bolting it in (besides the wiring) and the light weight (7.5 pounds). Any thoughts?


Unless you have an off-road light bar on your Elan for rallying, it's hard to imagine needing more than 45 amps. Just add up everything electrical in the car except the starter and assume it is all turned on (which, BTW, would likely melt the Lucas harness). Or the other way to look at it is, what is the Lucas harness rated for? Because that is what you'll melt just before the body ignites. :shock:

Bigger is not necessarily better; you need to understand the impact of the changes you're making. The rating of the alternator is what it is capable of passing back through the harness to the battery if there is demand for it. The set of things turned on all at once represents the demand.
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