Installing an alternator
By Bill Maloney (OVLR)
Recently the regulator on my IIA 88 packed it in, and I was faced with the decision of whether to buy a new one or to convert to an alternator with internal regulator. As I happened to have a Lucas 16ACR alternator that I had previously rebuilt and the necessary brackets, I chose the alternator route.
The alternator (Lucas 16ACR) cost $10 at a British car show, and the bearings were $8, rectifier was $12, and the regulator was $17 (from a local generator shop). You could opt for a Delco alternator but the bracketry will be slightly different (I believe that British Pacific or Pacific Northwest sells them). The tools needed were a 15W soldering iron and a gear puller. The most difficult part of dismantling the alternator was to unsolder the connections for the slip ring as it is a large chunk of copper and acts as a terrific heat sink. Make sure your iron is clean and the tip is tight. The brushes had plenty of life left in them so I left them as is.
To buy the brackets as a kit from Rover's North was $90 US in 1990, but I'm not certain it includes the long spacer and bolt for the upper timing pointer mounting. It does include the alternator terminal plug, which I bought separately for $14 US with shipping ....I discovered that this was not necessary, as the existing connectors will plug right in.
The most difficult part of the conversion was to remove the front generator bracket (FIRST disconnect the battery). One of the bolts holding it also holds the lower end of the timing pointer and fouls the crankshaft pulley upon removal. At this point you can either cut the bracket with a cutting disc (very carefully) or pull the crankshaft pulley. If your front crankshaft seal is leaking, this may be a good time to replace it and tackle both projects at once. The long stud holding the front and rear brackets to the block may require some persuasion but will give way eventually.
The alternator goes on without much fuss, but you must use the long tubular spacer (lots of flat washers would make a good substitute) and longer bolt for the upper timing pointer bolt to mount the upper alternator bracket. Add a fan belt and the alternator is physically in place. At the alternator there are two wires, one with a large connector and one with a small connector. Plug the large connector onto one of the large spades on the alternator (there are two and they are connected on the Lucas alternator) and the small connector onto the smaller spade and you're done with the alternator wiring.
Now move to the regulator. Looking at the regulator from the front the connections from left to right are:
E - Ground
D - Large
Charge light - Small
F - Small
A - Large
A1 - Large
If you happen to have the Spring 1990 Rovers North flyer with the alternator conversion instructions, you will notice that the connections are listed in reverse order. That is because they are listing the connections as they appear from the BACK of the regulator. This would be difficult to see unless you unbolt and flip over the regulator or hail from the planet Krypton.
Change the F connector from a female to a male and connect to the Charge Light connector. Connect A1, A, and D together (if you can locate large 3/8" male spade connectors you can make a neat 3-way junction and save yourself the hassle of splicing the 3 together - you don't have much room here) and your done (make sure all connections are well insulated and solder them together). If you cannot find the spade connectors (I couldn't) wrap the 3 together and solder them securely. My 15W iron was not up to the task so I used a propane torch on a low setting. Again, make sure they are well insulated.
With a fire extinguisher at the ready replace the battery connection, checking for sparks. If it sparks and the ignition is off and you have no accessories on, you must determine why before continuing. Turn the key to the ON position and keep an eye out for smoke and flames. If none appear, turn the key to START (or press the starter button) and start the vehicle. Blip the throttle and the charge light should go out. And stay out. What a novelty! Your lights don't dim and your directionals no longer slow down at idle. And I always thought that the reason my forward lighting was so poor was due to the headlights being in the radiator breakfast!
Reprinted from the Ottawa Valley Land Rovers newsletter, June 1995