Generator vs. Alternator

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  sabreur76 6 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #303547

    sabreur76
    Keymaster

    @sabreur76

    Hey guys,

    I think my generator has gone to that great junkyard in the sky.  If I have to replace it what are the pros and cons of going with an alternator?  TIA!

    V.

     

    Vicenç - (bee sense)
    Pembroke Pines, FL
    1983 FiberFab MiGi II - "Montse"

    #303549

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Generator is rebuildable; usually just needs brushes. But to do it I think you have to take it out anyway and that’s most of the work.

    Advantages of the generator: There is a reason you don’t see generators on new cars, man. Alternators give a better charge at lower rpm, tend to run longer, and they’re lighter (though I don’t know what the VW air cooled gens weigh compared to the alts).

    The downsides: originality (not a concern with our cars, I dare say), and fitment. You might need a different stand to run the carb and/or the distributer, depending on what’s there now. Do a search on the samba for some of the technical concerns you might have.

    Be aware of this as well: if you change out the generator for an alternator (or a new generator), you need to get the fan off the front of it. To do that you need an air-driven impact wrench. Just about any other way of getting the nut off the fan will damage something.

    #303553

    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    A couple of other things.

    The new alternators come internally regulated therefore the current external voltage regulator is no longer required. You may find some outfit selling externally regulated alternators but there are not many.  The external voltage regulator can be removed but I’d save it.

    You’ll have to change the fuel pump and fuel pump shaft. The pump used on engines with generators hits the alternator at the fan belt end. The pump used with the alternator is shorter and slanted to give the necessary clearance. And because the pump is shorter, the fuel pump shaft is shorter.

    All in all, when you switch from a generator to an alternator theses are what you’ll end up purchasing: alternator, alternator fan, alternator stand (its cut different to fit the fat portion of the alternator), the fuel pump and the fuel pump shaft.

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    #303554

    royal
    Participant

    @royal

    I do not disagree with anything said previously except:  Why change???   I think that generators generally get a bad rap and are blamed for bad wiring, bad grounds, bad voltage regulator and bad battery.  The factory installed generator is adequate for all normal electrical needs.  (Normal does not include four extra high intensity headlights capable of illuminating the top of the Empire State Building.)

    I think that (because everybody seems to be going to alternators) you can find a good rebuilt generator for relatively cheap, and you save the hassle and $$ all the extra stuff costs.

    I realize that I am going against the grain with my comments.  (My opinions are based upon cost vs gain analysis.)

    #303555

    sabreur76
    Keymaster

    @sabreur76

    Thanks guys!  This really helps.

    Vicenç - (bee sense)
    Pembroke Pines, FL
    1983 FiberFab MiGi II - "Montse"

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