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Alternator Conversion

Discussion in 'Engine & Transmission' started by Doob, May 6, 2020.

  1. Doob

    Doob Member

    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Perth
    I am restoring a 1971 Kombi (with stock standard 1600 cc dual port motor).
    It currently has a standard 38 amp generator/dynamo. Down the track a little, I would be looking to install better/additional driving lights, fridge, modest sound system ..dual battery system...etc..
    I am looking at the option of doing a conversion to an alternator. There are several suppliers advertising alternator conversion kits - (e.g. Just Kampers, Classic Vee-Dub, Volks Online, Vee Dub Center..). It appears 55 amp and 75 amp alternators are available. Does anyone have any recent experience with such alternator conversion kits? Any comments on sizing the alternator (i.e. choosing between 55 amp vs 75 amp)?
    Any down-side in going from the old dynamo system to more modern alternator systems?
     
  2. galp

    galp Member

    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    ulverstone
    pretty straight forward improvement just have to shim the fan distance to give clearance inside the engine shroud
     
  3. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,570
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Don't go a cheap one or eBay sellers.
    Have a chat to Kai at just campers re best option.

    An advantage of alternator is not as dependent on high revs for watts produced.

    Going LED for spotlights saves heaps of power.
     
  4. Doob

    Doob Member

    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Perth
    Thanks for all your input. Just some feedback on the job.

    I ended up going with a 75 amp alternator with internal regulator from a reputable local supplier here in Perth.

    I am not sure I really needed the 75 amp vs 55 amp unit, but the incremental cost for the larger capacity alternator was not too great.

    The new alternator came with a new mounting stand and tie down strap. I was able to use my old pulley, tinware backing plate and fan.
    As mentioned by 'galp' - I needed to re-shim the fan to give correct clearance.
    The new alternator did not foul the existing fuel pump so no modifications required there. However there was interference between the new alternator and the existing carburetor (a standard single Solex 34 PICT-3 – mounted on the original standard VW dual port inlet manifold).

    To help alleviate the fouling I installed a 10mm carburetor spacer bushing to raise the carbie. This helped, but did not fully eliminate the interference. In the end I had to modify the carburetor accelerator pump linkage by slightly bending the linkage plates – to clear the new alternator.

    I would be most interested to hear from others who have fitted after-market alternator conversions, and any problems they had with fouling of the carburetor (or other issues).

    I had the luxury of doing this dynamo to alternator conversion while the engine was out of the vehicle, mounted on an engine stand. I am full of praise and awe for those who achieve this change out with the engine still in the vehicle!
     
  5. galp

    galp Member

    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    ulverstone
    Hi Doob , Im sure there is an offest adapter available for the carb as I remember seeing one in my travels
    have a good day cheers
     
  6. galp

    galp Member

    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    ulverstone
    EMPI 98-1293-B offset
     
  7. Doob

    Doob Member

    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Perth
    Thanks 'galp' . Little out of my field, but I thought these EMPI adapters are made to allow fitting different size carburetors (to accommodate different bolt spacing).
    I think 98-1293-B adapter is to allow smaller 28/30/31 PICT carburetors to be fitted to a larger 34 PICT manifold. I guess I would need a 34 x 34 offset adapter ? Not sure they make them?
    Also found this You Tube clip on modifying carburetor linkage - clever !!

    I think JK have their own version of this linkage modification (Part No J40709).
    https://www.justkampers.com.au/carb...2-split-vw-t2-bay-1600cc-with-alternator.html
     
  8. Mordred

    Mordred Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    Location:
    Penna, Hobart
    Just a heads up too, keep in mind that the 75 amp rating is a max for a short period. For working out your actual loading use 75% of the rating of the alternator. You shouldn't be anywhere near that under normal use, but it is a good guide.

    Adrian
     
  9. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,985
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    I did this conversion to my son’s’71 lowy......I’ll see if I can find the thread here......
    I also added a finned alternator pulley to help cool it.....as recommended by Steve Muller.
    Replaced the stand, shimmed the fan and everything cleared carb. and (just) the stock fuel pump.
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  10. Doob

    Doob Member

    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Perth
    Thanks Adrian - Good point on limiting amp loading to 75% of alternator amp rating. Based on current plans I should be well under this, but will double check. I will also check the need to upgrade any wiring harness for the additional amps.
    Thanks Mark - I will look into a finned pulley - good point. If you find your notes / thread on the conversion you did, that would be great.
    Based on my experience - and research I have done, I have discovered the following about converting from a dynamo (generator) to an alternator.
    An alternator style stand is required - the old generator stand will not accommodate the alternator.
    The generator backing plate can probably be used on the new alternator. In my case it was tight but I used the existing backing plate. I understand that on some earlier models the old generator backing plate may not be compatible with the new alternator?
    Need to check the fan to backing plate clearance and re-shim as required. I only needed to make minor changes.
    May need a new tie-down strap for the alternator. My new alternator came with a new strap, so I did not bother trying the old strap.
    There may be issues with clearance between the fuel pump and new alternator. A new fuel pump may be required in some cases. I had adequate clearance between the fuel pump & alternator, so I have not changed out the pump. Not sure how I would go if I ever need to remove the fuel pump? - It will be tight.
    For me the big issue was clearance between the new alternator and my existing carburettor (Solex 34 PICT-3). I have since learned that when VW changed from generators to alternators (circa 1972 ??) they also changed the configuration of the accelerator pump adjustment linkage on the carburetor so it would not foul the alternator. See attached image. This is a recognised common issue for generator to alternator conversions. Several parts suppliers can provide the later alternator style carburetor linkage plates to replace the generator style linkage plates. [Or guess you could try to modify the linkage yourself as per the the video clip above.]. Using a spacer bushing to raise the carburetor helps reduce the fouling, but some folks are concerned that this may impact on the fit of the air cleaner ducting hose - I'm not sure, I have not re-fitted my motor to the vehicle yet.
    Thanks for all your comments - Cheers.
     

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