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Euro alternator “W” wire question 1.9 AAZ [updated CONVERSION]
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Alaskaberrys Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:38 pm    Post subject: Euro alternator “W” wire question 1.9 AAZ [updated CONVERSION] Reply with quote

Details;

Diesel 1.9 AAZ TD from Germany, originally 1.6TD - assuming the alternator is from the donor, but perhaps the original.

Ever since I’ve owned it the alternator light on the dash has always glowed red when idling - been getting brighter and more frequent over the last year.

I added a voltage indicator about a year ago - alternator putting out 13.5-14v when RPM’s up.

Belt started squealing earlier this year, charge voltage dropped - replaced belt.

Couple weeks ago tachometer started jumping around and voltage indicator showing sporadic charges no matter the RPM. Ordered a GW Bosch alternator but I see it does not have the “W” terminal which I’ve learned is a European configuration. I’ve looked at my copy of T3 current flow diagram and as far as I can tell the “W” (0.5 red/black) ends up running to the tach via B19.

Just before new alternator arrived, old quit one all together - no tach, no charge indicated.

My question - can I reconfigure how the tach is powered? Or do I need to find a “W” alternator?
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Thanks,

Mark
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'91 T3 Syncro Doka, Escorial Green 1.9L TD AAZ “Gremian” (to provoke, irritate, exasperate, vex...)


Last edited by Alaskaberrys on Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:00 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:44 pm    Post subject: Re: European alternator “W” wire question 1.9 AAZ Reply with quote

Simplest would be an Alternator with a W terminal. Look at Golf diesels of that era. Don’t give yours up yet. Might have a part number on it. The W terminal is a diesel tach driver. The glowing warning light is a different circuit.
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:58 pm    Post subject: Re: European alternator “W” wire question 1.9 AAZ Reply with quote

You can easily add a W-terminal to the alt. I've done so to several.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Green arrow shows where the wire is fed through an existing hole in the case. Red arrow points at the wire connector.

W-signal is just the alternator signal before it is rectified by the diodes. Do a little google search on adding the w-signal wire and I'm sure you'll get many hits.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:59 pm    Post subject: Re: European alternator “W” wire question 1.9 AAZ Reply with quote

Thanks MarkWard, good to know what to look for - shipping is a bear here.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:01 pm    Post subject: Re: European alternator “W” wire question 1.9 AAZ Reply with quote

Here's a good writeup. If you are using the stock vanagon diesel alt then it is the same alternator.

https://www.vwwatercooled.com.au/forums/f28/how-tachofy-your-mk-1-diesel-31515.html

I would find adding an w-terminal to an alt that I already had to be easier than pulling an alt from a junkyard vehicle or dealing with an alternator exchange at a parts store.


Last edited by ?Waldo? on Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:04 pm    Post subject: Re: European alternator “W” wire question 1.9 AAZ Reply with quote

?Waldo? wrote:
You can easily add a W-terminal to the alt. I've done so to several.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Green arrow shows where the wire is fed through an existing hole in the case. Red arrow points at the wire connector.

W-signal is just the alternator signal before it is rectified by the diodes. Do a little google search on adding the w-signal wire and I'm sure you'll get many hits.


Thanks ?Waldo?, I found one post in the many alternator threads where someone had converted a non “W” alternator but no real “how to”, just a pic of a soldered connection.

If I open mine up will it be relatively easy to see? Don’t mind the challenge but don’t want to fry anything either.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:05 pm    Post subject: Re: European alternator “W” wire question 1.9 AAZ Reply with quote

?Waldo? wrote:
Here's a good writeup. If you are using the stock vanagon diesel alt then it is the same alternator.

https://www.vwwatercooled.com.au/forums/f28/how-tachofy-your-mk-1-diesel-31515.html


Perfect! Thank you.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:58 am    Post subject: Re: European alternator “W” wire question 1.9 AAZ Reply with quote

Mine's a 1,6TD and my charge light has always flickered slightly at idle. It's very faint so I only noticed it the first time when I went out in the van after dark.

Oddly enough, my rev counter has also recently started jumping about all over the place. It does this for the first 10 minutes or so after start up and then settles down again and behaves normally after that.

I've checked the voltage at the battery and the alternator is putting around 14,5V in. So that's working at least and I've just assumed the problem is somewhere along the line with the wiring between alternator and dashboard.

So far, it's not actually bothered me enough to overcome my reluctance to start the tedious task of trying to trace an intermittent fault on a quarter century old wiring loom. But I'm sure I'll get round to it some day.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:56 pm    Post subject: Re: European alternator “W” wire question 1.9 AAZ Reply with quote

stuzbot wrote:
...
So far, it's not actually bothered me enough to overcome my reluctance to start the tedious task of trying to trace an intermittent fault on a quarter century old wiring loom. But I'm sure I'll get round to it some day.


You might check the connection on the back of the alternator that goes to the little black boxy job - not sure just what it does - but when I removed the alternator for dissection to “covert” the new one, that little connector was pretty severely corroded and fell right off. Not sure if that had anything to do with the lazy idiot light but it was surely failing it’s job....
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:35 pm    Post subject: Re: European alternator “W” wire question 1.9 AAZ Reply with quote

That 'black box' is just a 2.2nF quenching capacitor to prevent voltage spikes. If it's not connected then some electronic devices might play up or even fail - but that's unlikely.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2020 4:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Euro alt “W” wire question 1.9 AAZ [Updated CONVERTING] Reply with quote

I figured I'd post my "conversion" following the post ?Waldo? posted above.

First off, I'm not sure I'd recommend this approach unless you know more than I do - being an electrical novice and willing to risk a few hundred dollars learning how to potentially fry your electronics - not great reasons to dive in Rolling Eyes The prospect of lots of seized bolts, stuck bearings/what-not and ruining any chance of reclaiming my core charge - not to mention a perfectly good reman alternator. But what the hell. I also wasn't keen on waiting another couple of weeks for another (living in the sticks with no local FLAP's). All that said - it worked! Cool Thanks ?Waldo?.

My original alternator was pretty well toast - not because it was no longer working it turns out, but the + post was broken loose from a previous attempt to remove the nut and clean it up. Red/black 0.5 wire plugged into the spade 'W' connection on the back
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I did not measure the voltage produced before removing it - I already had a new remanufactured BOSCH alternator from GoWesty shipped up. I wasn't sure if it would work or not - but figured worst case if I didn't ruin it we'd use it in our 2.1l Westy.

So now, to try to 'convert' the new BOSCH alternator to run the diesel tach by adding a "W" wire.

A comparison on the bench. These are different than the one pictured on the above post on adding a 'W' wire. More differences to come....
Also, hard to see from the back but the bracket mounting holes are 'flipped' necessitating re-using the old front bracket.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Old OEM alt with the 'W' spade (I'm not sure if this is be the original 1.6TD OEM alt or new 1.9l AAZ alt - perhaps they are the same?)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

New rebuilt BOSCH w/o the 'W' spade but with the same rear casting.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


First task was to "explore" the OEM alternator - I knew I needed to re-use the front mounting bracket as the hole pattern is reversed from the WBX set up. Plus I wanted to see if the insides were the same....

First surprise - keyway holding fan/cog was gone
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Voltage regulator brushes were close to gone
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All four connecting bolts holding the rotor/windings/bracket together were quite seized - had to cut all four.
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Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This looked quite different than the linked pictures from the conversion. Another wire - four total Confused
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However the new alt looked identical
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Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The rear casting 'W' slot was right above the right side single wire, but not knowing if that would work similarly as one of the three stator 'phase' wires I routed the wire to the stators center wire
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And out the back with a grommet
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Next to reassemble and swap mounting brackets - remembered to locate small insulator where + post runs through back
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Removing OEM mounting bracket from rotor - lucky only one seized bolt to be drilled out
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Part numbers on the inside - hidden for posterity I guess
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


New alternator with old bracket mounted - bearing fit quite snug, had to tap gently with nut on shaft to get bolts started.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Add fan
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Mount up - re-located the adjustable arm to the outer most hole, previously to tighten the belt the arm was maxed out.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Connect 'W' wires
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Put on brave face Pray and fired it up - works!
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Showing 13.7 at idle. Dancing
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I noticed after driving that the dash alternator light will start glowing softly at idle after its warmed up - not as strong as before. Could this be from bad grounds perhaps?
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2020 4:34 pm    Post subject: Re: European alternator “W” wire question 1.9 AAZ Reply with quote

fxr wrote:
That 'black box' is just a 2.2nF quenching capacitor to prevent voltage spikes. If it's not connected then some electronic devices might play up or even fail - but that's unlikely.


Thanks for the info fxr. I had hoped that the new one might influence the glowing alt light at idle but obviously not its job.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Euro alternator “W” wire question 1.9 AAZ [updated CONVERSION] Reply with quote

Question: Why did you have to use the old bracket on the new alternator?
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Euro alternator “W” wire question 1.9 AAZ [updated CONVERSION] Reply with quote

old_man wrote:
Question: Why did you have to use the old bracket on the new alternator?


The 1.9 AZZ set up has the hinge pivot bolt on the left side with the adjustable arm (with the threaded hole) on the right (passenger) side. The WBX alt is flipped - pivot on right, adjustment on left. I thought originally I'd have to do some fabbing to make it work, but with just the four screw bolts holding the bracket to the rotor it seemed a better approach to swap.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Euro alt “W” wire question 1.9 AAZ [Updated CONVERTING] Reply with quote

Alaskaberrys wrote:
...All that said - it worked! Cool Thanks ?Waldo?.


Phew! Very Happy

I guess I've taken apart quite a few alts so it doesn't seem particularly risky to me, but I can also understand your perspective on it. Glad it worked out!

What you have is the 1.6TD alt. The AAZ alt is fairly different and uses the serpentine belt system.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2020 9:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Euro alt “W” wire question 1.9 AAZ [Updated CONVERTING] Reply with quote

?Waldo? wrote:
Alaskaberrys wrote:
...All that said - it worked! Cool Thanks ?Waldo?.


Phew! Very Happy

I guess I've taken apart quite a few alts so it doesn't seem particularly risky to me, but I can also understand your perspective on it. Glad it worked out!

What you have is the 1.6TD alt. The AAZ alt is fairly different and uses the serpentine belt system.


It is fairly simple/easy procedure as far as what is to be done, but this doka has been a rusted bolt jigsaw for me from the get-go - pretty well trained me to take no disassembly for granted. I wouldn’t have tried it without the guide.

Good to know on the AAZ alt. Glad to not have to touch the serpentine belt - hope I have a year or two before going down that road...
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