September 1, 2009 at 10:08 pm #232726
Is there a visual way of determining if an alternator has an internal or external regulator? I bought an alternator with fan/shroud attached for $20 off Craigslist. The seller didn’t know what year it was and I didn’t think to ask about the regulator.September 4, 2009 at 8:00 pm #239653
Since I first posted this question, I’ve been told that Volkswagen changed to an alternator with an integral (internal) regulator in late 1974. If this is true, do the numbers on the alternator tell if it does or dosen’t have an internal regulator? Oh! the price we pay when we choose to take the cheap route.September 4, 2009 at 10:30 pm #239654Larry MurphyParticipant
Bill, When you first asked the question about VW alternators ,I looked on the Rock Auto Parts site and all the regulators I saw listed looked like they mounted inside the alternator. Could it be that all VW alternators have internal regulators? I hope someone with more exact info will reply.My VW based car is still running a generator so I am grasping at straws. Hope this helps.September 4, 2009 at 11:06 pm #239655Steve CritesParticipant
I took a look in my Bentley manual and found this.
“All 1974 and later cars have alternators. But since late in the 1974 model year, the alternator has had an intergral-type regulator mounted atop it.”
So, it looks like most alternators have external but intergral regulators. What the heck that means I don’t know since all my beetles had generators. Anyway, maybe it will help.
RingoSeptember 5, 2009 at 12:16 pm #239656PhilParticipant
My second car was a 74 beetle and it had an alternator with external regulator as does my mgtd.
I don’t know for sure but the way to tell if it has an internal or external regulator may be by the number of terminals in the connector on top of the alternator.
If it is the original alternator it likely has an external regulator. I think that all of the aftermarket ones came with an internal one.September 8, 2009 at 10:32 pm #239657
Thanks for the input. The generator on my MIGI is not putting out the full 14.2 volts, or I’d probably leave well enough alone. With the engine idiling, the turn signals will come on but will not flash until reving the engine. Same for the horn, it won’t honk at idle, but is nice and loud at higher RPMs. I’d rebuild the generator, but an alternator seems like a more modern route to take. The manual says that the alternator’s external regulator is under the back seat on the drivers side. My generator regulator is mounted on the fan shroud. (I don’t know if that’s the stock location or not.)September 8, 2009 at 11:09 pm #239658Larry MurphyParticipant
Bill, Have you checked the electrical connections? Pay close attention to the ground connections. These fiberglass bodied cars are known for poor grounds since each electrical item must also have a ground wire to complete the circuit.The turn signals should blink and the horn blow even if the engine is not running at all as you should have 12 volts from the battery . Do you have a ground strap from the engine/ transaxle to the body?This item was missing on my VW based car,and installing it made a world of difference in the entire electrical system’s performance.I know that alternators are far better then generators but if you have other problems the alternator will not fix them.September 9, 2009 at 10:42 am #239659Mark HendricksonParticipant
You could also have a bad battery. Try what Larry did first…a good braided ground strap.
For great VW info: http://www.thesamba.com
On VW’s with external regulators, weren’t most of them mounted to under the back seat on the driver’s side? On some of the generator models, it was on the generator.
I have a ’74 Beetle with an alternator and the regulator is under the driver’s side back seat…must have been an early ’74???
I have a ’69 Beetle with a generator and the regulator is also under the driver’s side back seat.September 9, 2009 at 6:30 pm #239660
When I bought the car, it had been parked in a garage for way more hours than it had been driven. The battery would crank the car, but was old. I purchased a new battery and cables and the neg. cable bolted to a reinforced part of the floorpan. That ground is good. However I took for granted that the motor to floorpan ground was also good. Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll make sure everything is grounded properly. I’m still not sure about the alternators regulator, but you’re correct about an alternator not solving a bad ground problem. Thanks again
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