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Generator or Alternator?
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BJT
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 5:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Generator or Alternator? Reply with quote

My wiring is original and dirty, so Iím sure thatís one of the issues. The PO appears to have used it as a beach Thing, plenty of dust and some sand has been found by me. Havenít had a hard time cranking, new battery and all. Guess Iíll start cleaning all the connections first and testing the voltage
Thanks all
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kenj06
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 5:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Generator or Alternator? Reply with quote

Wildthings has a point about the voltage drops across the wiring. I've been going through my connections for a couple years. Pulling connections apart, cleaning or replacing the terminals. The latest one is the heater that I still haven't found but did find I was dropping a volt across the light switch. Cleaning the starter connections gave me a little more cranking speed and would be a good place to check.
I had the same issue, generator light glowing at night with the headlights on and replacing the regulator and generator finally cleared that up but I was running stereo and fog lights too. You can run that way as long as you are charging off idle and let the car run for a minute without the headlights on before shutting down. That was on a 5 year old battery that I'm still running 4 years later. Worst case a push start may be needed. Very Happy
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:49 am    Post subject: Re: Generator or Alternator? Reply with quote

BJT wrote:
Battery is a year old, belt is nice and tight. The gen light is very dim, but on when driving with headlights on, middle range rpm, at idle itís on brighter. Iíll get a voltage check done. Prob a 44 year old generator, would be surprised if itís not giving its best anymore.

The only extra thing Iíve added is an oil temp gauge, canít imagine thatís pulling much extra power.


I would say that this is pretty normal, you may well be getting excess voltage drop through the wiring and it is not uncommon for the generator not to be able to keep up with load at idle. After 10m minutes of so of driving with your headlights on you could pull over and feel the various connections in your B+ wiring and see if any are getting overly hot.

B+ = Regulator-starter-fuse box-ignition switch
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BJT
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 5:05 am    Post subject: Re: Generator or Alternator? Reply with quote

Battery is a year old, belt is nice and tight. The gen light is very dim, but on when driving with headlights on, middle range rpm, at idle itís on brighter. Iíll get a voltage check done. Prob a 44 year old generator, would be surprised if itís not giving its best anymore.

The only extra thing Iíve added is an oil temp gauge, canít imagine thatís pulling much extra power.
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kenj06
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 7:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Generator or Alternator? Reply with quote

Not normal.
The Haynes manual has some good troubleshooting for generator issues. And any repair info really.
wiring diagram here: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/info/wiring/181_Wiring_Diagram_4-73.pdf
Check grounds on generator and regulator. Check brushes and belt tightness.
Assuming good battery, with engine running, start by checking the voltage at the regulator B+, should be 13.3v to 13.8v depending on idle speed. If not, check the D+ on the regulator, should be above 14v. If not good on B+ but good on D+, probably regulator. If not good on D+, probably generator.
Recheck with lights on and voltages should all be similar. If not, generator may not hold up under load or could be grounds for lights, or voltage drops on wires, switch or fuses.
Does the light go out when at a higher RPM?
The generator should be able to run everything the car came with. unless you are running a lot of extras like fog lights, stereo and other accessories. You are better off finding the cause of the issues before switching out to an alternator.
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BJT
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 6:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Generator or Alternator? Reply with quote

Is it common for the gen idiot lamp to come on when driving with headlights on? Iíve got stock electric, no radio, nothing added, in fact even the power socket/ cigarette lighter socket is unhooked.

Thinking of switching to an alternator... or am I overthinking the warning lamp? Doesnít come on while driving without headlights.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Generator or Alternator? Reply with quote

From Page 1
uberautowerks wrote:
Let me give you all a tip that makes getting a generator or alternator out of our VW's, Things and beetles, heck even busses.

Use a 36mm socket and a longish breaker bar to remove the nut holding the fan to the generator. You know the one around the back? Leave the pulley on use a screwdriver to hold the pulley(as you would while changing the belt).
Once the nut is off, and it's washer, you'll have a lot easier time removing the generator and backing plate. Leave the fan in the shroud then reattatch when reinstalling the generator.
With this tip you don't need to remove or move the intake nor do you have to remove the shroud. You may still need to lift the shroud up a bit to get to the bottom two backing plate bolts, but you only need to lift it an inch or so.


I changed out the generator without removing the fan shroud. I think you should be able to get to the gaskets under the stand.
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BJT
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:46 am    Post subject: Re: Generator or Alternator? Reply with quote

So My 74 Thing is relatively new to me, and Iím learning about VWs fast, put in new Thing correct front end and exhaust and other minor stuff so far...

Looks like Iíve got some oil leaking from under the generator stand, to replace those gaskets and deflector, I assume the generator will have to be removed, which from what Iím reading requires removing the engine or dropping it at least to get the shroud off. Has anyone found another way to change the gaskets and deflector without dropping the engine?
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joescoolcustoms
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A magneto is what is required to fire a engine without a battery. It has permanent magnets the will generate enough power to fire and ignition and bring a engine to life.

Just like your push hand crank start lawn mower. No battery, just a magneto.
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Semper_Dad
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MRJEL wrote:
Did the early Kubels (hand cranked) have magneto ignition?

Generator or alternator, you gotta have some sort of power to get things sparking.


The Army's tech manual is in the Technical Archives.
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/manuals/TM_E9_...swagen.pdf
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MRJEL
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did the early Kubels (hand cranked) have magneto ignition?

Generator or alternator, you gotta have some sort of power to get things sparking.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A generator does not start charging until it hits a minimum RPM around 600 to 700 RPM.

Kinda hard to do hand cranking.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Captain Spalding wrote:
IIRC, the way it goes is this: to push start or hand crank you can have either a generator or an alternator, but in the case of the alternator the battery has to have at least a little juice in it. If the battery is totally disconnected or missing, you can push start or hand crank with a generator but not an alternator.


Ahh.... must be able to flash the field in the Alt.... OK, that makes sense now!
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IIRC, the way it goes is this: to push start or hand crank you can have either a generator or an alternator, but in the case of the alternator the battery has to have at least a little juice in it. If the battery is totally disconnected or missing, you can push start or hand crank with a generator but not an alternator.
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GI Joe
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thatthing wrote:
...but a comment was made earlier in the thread that you cannot push start with an alternator.



??? that's a new one to me... Our Jeep has an alternator and I bump start it periodically just for grins... Do the same with Our Thing and never had an issue... Sounds like a second hand comment made without verification...

No reason an Alt vs. Gen would matter for starting.... Just silly!
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

a 21 mm wrench is made to fit the pulley, and this is a factory boot.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
factory boot on a alt this is a external reg alt 4 terminals

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
21 mm wrench on the alt pulley
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gi Joe - agree I could get it installed either way, but a comment was made earlier in the thread that you cannot push start with an alternator. So does this mean you can't hand crank an engine with a dead battery if it has an alternator?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thatthing wrote:
reviving this old thread again -

I was thinking about getting the hand crank for my Thing. Will it work with both, an alternator and a generator - or only with a generator?


Don't see why it would matter. Alt/Gen are up out of the way enough to not interfere with crank pulley, and you use the same crank pulley for either application.
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Zylinderkopf
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

reviving this old thread again -

I was thinking about getting the hand crank for my Thing. Will it work with both, an alternator and a generator - or only with a generator?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, since a dead thread has been revived, I will just mention that changing out the fuel pump is not absolutely necessary to do the generator/alternator swap. The pump will still clear, its just a real PITA trying to remove a generator pump with an alternator in the way sometimes Laughing
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