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View Full Version : So why rebuild rather than buy a new generator?



tdskip
10-07-2006, 06:09 PM
So the pricing I'm getting to rebuild my TR4A generator is about $100 locally, but a new one from Moss is about $110. If I ordered the new one through one of their distributors I know I can get it for closer to $80.

Is there a reason to rebuild instead of buying new? Can anyone comment on the quality (or lack there of) of the new ones from Moss?

Thanks!

Andrew Mace
10-07-2006, 06:38 PM
I've only heard a few comments on the "new" generators from Moss (actually from China, as I recall), and they've not been terribly favorable. Thing is, original Lucas generators seem to be almost infinitely rebuildable. In reality they often need no more than brushes and cleaning of the commutator; sometime, though, they'll need a bushing or other bit...and most of those "bits" are still readily available.

There is a major parts vendor that makes some "fuss" about buying a rebuilt, noting that you don't know how many times it might have been rebuilt or how well, etc., etc. From my experience, these units tend to last a very long time unless something mechanically breaks or the whole thing fries so badly that the armature or the magnets or field coils are shot. But at worst, one can usually make at least one good generator out of two "iffy" ones and a couple new parts. (You can easily get brushes for a typical C40 Lucas generator from NAPA, although they'll likely not be in stock at a given local store.)

tdskip
10-07-2006, 06:42 PM
Thanks Andrew.

I kind of 'want' to rebuild and support the local folks doing the work, but if the new ones were better then that might change the equation....

Andrew Mace
10-07-2006, 06:44 PM
You could do this: look at the date code on your generator and see how long it's been around...then ask yourself if you can be relatively sure that "new" Chinese replica will last so long AND be rebuildable when it goes. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Brosky
10-07-2006, 06:56 PM
I had my alternator rebuilt by a local shop and I'm glad I did for a number of reasons. One, it helps keep a local family in business, two, they used genuine Lucas parts from his huge inventory, three, they made it look like new, four, he showed me every part removed and exactly what was wrong with it.

Add to that they he did for me on an emergency rush basis at 3:00PM on a Friday afternoon and had me finished and out by 5:00PM, including the R&R labor for less than the big 3 wanted for the part alone.

Needless to say, when my transmission was out, they got my starter for a complete overhaul even though I saw nothing wrong with it. I know that it was fully disassembled, cleaned and tested with new bearings and brushes installed. I've seen some rebuilts taken apart after failure and it isn't a pretty site.

tdskip
10-07-2006, 06:56 PM
Sold!

Rebuild it is (and I get the warm fuzzy of supporting a local shop - which is actually pretty important to me).

Geo Hahn
10-07-2006, 08:30 PM
You're sold... but I'll add: The new ones look really cheesy, nothing like the Lucas original. I got one from the Moss distributors shelf whhen I was in a bind but only used it long enough to get a used Lucas and rebuild it. Now that 'new' one (made in India, not China) is just a spare for long trips.

YankeeTR
10-07-2006, 08:55 PM
At the risk of piling on.....I'd rebuild the original..I did on my last "3"...$85.00 ten years ago.

The only thing the Chinese make that's good is food....

tdskip
10-07-2006, 10:58 PM
Thanks guys - I'll pull the original tomorrow and drop it off for the rebuild this week!

Keoke
10-08-2006, 01:35 AM
[ QUOTE ]
At the risk of piling on.....I'd rebuild the original..I did on my last "3"...$85.00 ten years ago.

The only thing the Chinese make that's good is food....

[/ QUOTE ]

Just a note to set the record straight. All Lucas rotating electrical bits are made in India or South Africa. Not that they are any better than China IMOP.--Fwiw--Keoke

Brosky
10-08-2006, 01:09 PM
The key is finding a shop that has NOS OEM parts still left over from years gone by. My guy also buys from older shops going out of business or retiring, so there is still a pretty good supply left.

Geo Hahn
10-08-2006, 01:13 PM
Here's a pic of the India-made generator I got from Moss. Not a quality problem -- but the 'look' screams 'Not Lucas'.

In particular, those endplates are cast iron rather than the nice alloy Lucas used. Will make a suitable spare (have pulley & fan installed and polarity changed) for long trips but not something I want to see everytime I open the bonnet.

https://www.cybertrails.com/~ahwahnee/gen.JPG

tdskip
10-09-2006, 06:15 PM
I dropped the generator off at a local place today - he actually knew what it was which I take a good sign!

Thanks guys!