View Full Version : Generator

01-24-2010, 12:48 AM
The generator in my TR4 is rattling so the bearings are shot. What is your experience with a rebuild vs. a replacement?

01-24-2010, 01:06 AM
Obviously if you want to keep it all original, you'll need to rebuild it, but Rebuilds can be so-so for reliability... I know theres an article somewhere about a GM or some other brand used as a reliable alternative, but I can't seem to find it. Granted, it is 1am and I'm a few beers in.

I know Andrew, Randall, or someone will pop in with the link/answer for this soon :smile:

01-24-2010, 01:32 AM
I've had pretty good luck with changing bearings in Lucas generators, although finding them can be a problem. ISTR that last time (which was quite a few years ago), I had to buy a longer rear bushing and cut it down. It'll probably be ready for new brushes as well.

Sorry, I'm not familiar with any GM DC generator that makes a drop-in replacement. The one on my 62 Chevy was quite a bit larger physically, and took a different regulator.

But lots of folks do various alternator conversions, I had a 60 amp Ford on my old TR3A; and at some point I'm probably going to try a Suzuki unit on the TR3.

PS, many years ago I limped home by cutting a strip out of a McDonald's drink cup and using it to fill the gap in the rear bearing. The bearing had gotten so bad that the armature was dragging on the pole pieces and making a terrible racket. Not a long-term fix, but it did get us home!

01-24-2010, 02:39 AM
Repair it would be my suggestion. Find the oldest alternator/generator shop around, and they'll restore it and replace the bushings for $60 or so, maybe less. It's a good feeling.

01-24-2010, 10:21 AM
I had some issues with local rebuilds failing too soon and eventually rebuilt the generators in my TR4A and Spitfire myself which ended up working very well. The only special tool I needed was a tap to pull the rear bushing out. The front bearing for my generators were held in by screws and not rivets though which made it very easy.

Be sure to soak the rear bush in oil for 24 hours before installing (I heated the oil slightly.). Someone is selling NOS Lucas bushes on eBay for $3.00 now.

Lucas generator bush (https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/NOS-LUCAS-GENERATOR-BUSH-COMMUTATOR-END-227818_W0QQitemZ130360951114QQcmdZViewItemQQimsxZ2 0100122?IMSfp=TL100122221008r16074)


01-24-2010, 02:13 PM
Consider this another vote for rebuild. If you do this yourself, plan on having to drill out rivets for the front bearing (if it's still original). As mentioned above, it's a good feeling to put the old part back in working order and continue to use it.

01-24-2010, 02:18 PM
I was going to rebuild mine, but the front bearing problem had less to do with the bearing than it did with the front plate which no longer held it.
The front plate is unobtanium, so, I opted to go with the Nippondenso alternator conversion.

01-24-2010, 07:35 PM
Thanks for the info. I have been looking at the generators from Moss and Victoria British. I think I will pull it off and take it to one of the old shops around town.

Andrew Mace
01-24-2010, 08:42 PM
Repair it would be my suggestion. Find the oldest alternator/generator shop around, and they'll restore it and replace the bushings for $60 or so, maybe less. It's a good feeling. This option gets my vote as well. In 2003, the original late 1961 Lucas generator in my Herald wouldn't respond to simply changing brushes and cleaning up the commutator, so I ended up taking it to a well-established local rebuilder (well-established in that they'd done a Volvo generator for me 25 years earlier!) It cost nearly $90, but a: it was the original; b: came back not only repaired but cleaned and repainted very nicely; and c: has worked for nearly seven years and 25,000 miles now!

03-22-2010, 10:23 AM
Had it rebuilt at a local shop. I installed it and it seems to be working perfectly. One question though. I didn't really pay too close of attention when I removed it because I disconnected the wires after removing all the bolts, but the wires where they attach at the back seem to be awful close to the manifold. I don't really see how the shop could have changed the location of the wires, but they now seem to tucked up under and close to the manifold. I am concerned abot the heat. Could one of you take a picture of yours and post so I can see how mine compares?

03-22-2010, 01:16 PM
Yep, the wires ARE very close. I'll post a pic of mine tonight.

03-22-2010, 01:27 PM
Here's a pic that might help:


My wiring is about 3 inches away from the exhaust down pipe....

Geo Hahn
03-22-2010, 01:36 PM
They are sort of close but I have never found that to be a problem.

There is a lot of heat nearby which does mean it is a good idea to regularly lube that rear bearing. I have a tiny oil can a friend gave me that I keep handy to add a drop of oil to the felt inside the rear hub -- esp prior to a long hot trip.


03-22-2010, 02:26 PM
As long as the wires don't touch the manifold you should be fine. Mine are just less than an inch away.