View Full Version : alternator question

05-15-2005, 07:17 PM
I have a rebuilt (TRF) stock alternator in my TR6 and it seems to be doing the job. I also am using a quality gel battery. Since I always run with my headlights and fog lights on (fog lights are wired separately from harness, directly off starter through a relay but wired to only work with lights on) I wonder if a more powerful alternator might be the thing to do. I know in the past this subject has been broached a few times but I want to know specifics, who markets a "heavy duty" alternator that will plug right into the existing '73 TR6 harness. I just feel that I don't have enough "zap" with the stock unit. Any suggestions?


05-16-2005, 04:09 AM
Hello Bill,
what is your system voltage when you are running with the lights on?
I am also interested to know why you always run with headlights and fog lights on?


05-16-2005, 08:00 AM
Hi Alec,
First, with all lights on, my voltmeter reads closer to 12 than 13. Engine only, at speed, consistently reads above 13. I realize this is not a huge difference but I feel that the volts should read the same at speed, with or without lights burning.

Why lights? Alec, where I live and mostly drive, eighteen wheelers, giant sport utilities and other inconsiderate drivers give me about as much respect as they would a motorcycle. What I get with lots of lights is increased visibility! I have tried running without and notice that crosstraffic will routinely jump out ahead of me, just as I begin to bear down. With all lights ablaze, they think I am much larger than I am and usually don't challenge me. I think we oft see this in nature. Methinks this is why cars are quite often given names of wild animals. Haven't you ever heard of the wild Dolomite?
Anyway, what about a stronger alternator?


05-16-2005, 09:26 AM

I upgraded to a Bosch unit, which I think has the same connection that you have (three prong?) If not, then moss sells the conversion kit for $5.00. My particular alternator runs at 60amps. Although not neccessary, I did run an auxillery wire from an unused positive terminal over to the battery connection on the starter, just to keep my stock wiring from becoming fried if my battery went dead and the alternator tried to charge at full bore. I did not have to modify anything to fit it, except for the above mentioned plug, but I think the pre 73's had a different plug. I even use the same fan belt.

Another popular conversion is to a GM unit, which from what I read requires minimal modification as well. Both work well, however the GM unit maybe more available than the Bosch.

As for performance, I had the same dim lights that you had. I also upgraded to Sylvania halogens, and I have great lights now... nearly as good as my newer cars. I'm planning to get some driving lights as well, once I find a set that I like, what kind do you have?

05-16-2005, 01:19 PM
On my GT6 I have the Delco conversion but I was replacing the 22Amp generator so there was no existing alternator wiring to tie into. The beauty of the Delco is that they are readily available rebuilt with lifetime warranties.

My Mini currently has a Motorola alternator. This unit is actually a copy of a Bosch and was designed to replace the unit originally used in the OLD Ford Capris. The Motorola was recommended to me because "supposedly" it can plug in directly to the Lucas wiring harness. This implies that the Bosch unit should as well. It's bigger than the Delco and has been very reliable.

05-16-2005, 01:58 PM
Shannon, I am using the Cibie soda glass headlights and H4 halogen bulbs, which give me an astonishing bright light. The yellow fogs (not driving) are Cibie Airports, a rectangular fog light that I mounted low, beneath the bumper, where fogs should be (unlike driving lights which should be higher up). They, too, give a great illumination of the roadway. The downside to Cibie lights is the soda glass lenses fracture easily with rocks and other road debris. I solved this problem on the fogs (was replacing them every two months - $$$) by sealing a layer of the 3M product that glues on over the lense. Forget what it is called but available from most vendors. (There is a trick to applying it if you ever decide to use the stuff.)
I really want some Cibie Super Oscars but they are way too big and will blind oncoming traffic. Used to use them off road, when I was young and wild.


05-16-2005, 02:28 PM
Although an unpopular view among some folks, it's potentially dangerous to use auxillary lamps for other than their intended use (i.e., fog lamps for fog/inclement weather; driving lamps only at night, only with high beams, and with zero oncoming traffic). These extra-intense lamps can blind people at great distances and at all angles.

It only takes a split second to blind an oncoming driver with these lamps. Yes, even properly aimed fog lamps. For instance, some folks who've had cataract surgery or who wear contact lenses can be temporarily blinded by bright lamps, which may have tragic consequences. Again, it only takes a second.

It seems to be a "cool" trend to use fog lamps in the daytime these days. Tons of folks do it, and it's potentially dangerous. Trust me, it's not "cool", it's discourteous at best.

I'm in the safety business, and volunteer on a local rescue squad as well. And, I've had to clean up the mess caused by improper use of lamps.

Please use auxillary lighting with great care. It's about courtesy, and safety.

05-16-2005, 05:59 PM
I always run with my headlights on. I feel I stand a better chance of being seen with them on. NY drivers can be crazy and I want to everything I can to be seen. Just my 2 cents worth.

05-16-2005, 06:03 PM
I ordered an alternator form NOPI 1 and received a "Bosch" alternator. It looks, as best as I can remember, to be a stock alternator with a Bosch label. I am glad my TR6 is illiterate as I am sure it would rebel having a German part on it.

05-16-2005, 08:13 PM
I am glad my TR6 is illiterate as I am sure it would rebel having a German part on it.

[/ QUOTE ]

Later TRs definitely must be. My Spider has German fuel injection (Bosch JetTronics) and French (Delco) ignition system.

05-16-2005, 11:49 PM
In Canada all modern cars (last 15years) have Daytime Running Lights (DRL) mandatory. These can be quite bright particularly in cloudy lower light conditions. They're a safety measure that really works. Can't say I've ever been blinded by them except at night time.
Those bluish headlights mounted on the high end new cars give me some trouble at night since they're exceptionally piercing light beams.

05-17-2005, 03:54 AM
Hello Bill,
you should have more than 12 or 13 volts even with the lights on, which suggests that your alternator is overloaded or that the drive belt is not correctly tensioned.

I can't say that I'm impressed by the driving standards that you need to appear 'Bigger' so as to enjoy your right of way. I wonder how the poor pedal cyclist copes?
I personally do not like daylight running lights that use full headlight power. It has become common in the UK to use dipped headlights in rain but it creates as many hazards as it purports to overcome due to the fact that all you see is light and background disappears. (The spray of course, creating more dazzle) I much prefer the headlights that incorporate side light lamps making the vehicle visible but with none of the dangers I outlined earlier.

My suggestion to the hazards of your environment would be to use the headlight flashers as you approach a junction, to put the lights on, assuming of course the other party doesn't take that as an invitation to proceed!!.