Adrian's Tomcat 100"

Charging Problem

Having tried to start the engine and just heard a "click click click" I knew I had a problem. It was nothing to do with the alarm / immobiliser. A check of the alternator by a recovery man revealed it was charging, but only just. The fact it was charging was demonstrated when the individual brown wire was removed and the engine sped up because of the load being removed. The previous owner had said the battery was fairly new, so it looked like I would have to replace the alternator.

My parts supplier said the best way to find the correct replacement would be to bring the alternator along and he would see what he could find as the parts list etc was not always a good guide. He was right. The part number had been superseded and the new alternator had the wrong sized shaft. After fetching box after box from the storeroom, we found one that was the correct size (nearly, see later) and had the correct output shaft with keyway etc. However the bracket was on the wrong side.

Old and new alternators
Screws I removed

All that needed to be done was to remove the electrical connectors, the two screws holding on the plastic cover and the 3 screws that hold the 2 ends together. Then the end with the bracket can be rotated until it is in the correct orientation.

I had to tap the end quite a lot with a small hammer and a block of wood (so that I did not crack the casting) to remove the end. I used lots of gentle taps around the entire rim to ease it off a bit at a time. It is important not to move the other end as it is attached to the coils etc. Then I just did all the bolts up again. Note: the boss mentioned below has been ground off in this photo. You can even see where I slipped with the grinder!

Bracket in its new position
Boss I ground off

Then came the size problem. There was a boss / spacer that was longer on the new alternator. It is arrowed in picture (before the bracket was moved). I ground it off otherwise the pulley would not have been in line with the other pulleys and the drive belt.

After putting the alternator back onto the engine, I also had an issue as there had been 4 wires to the old alternator (3 in a block and one by itself) and there were only 3 connectors on the new one. I hoped that just connecting the 3 way connector would work, leaving one wire spare. Looking at the ammeter, it did appear to work.

Original electrical connections

However, every time I came to start the Landrover, after taking it for a good drive, or even charging the battery using a charger, it did not start. Just an attempt, then "click click click". The temporary fix was to carry a spare battery and jump leads to start the engine. The longer term fix has been to replace the original battery with the spare. I need to give it a few more starts before I am sure, but it appears the battery had failed. Hopefully the original diagnoses by the 'expert' was correct, otherwise I have replaced a perfectly serviceable alternator. The rule is that you replace the cheapest item first. The alternator actually cost less than the spare battery, but it probably would have been easier to replace the battery first and ignore the advice from the recovery man.

Update: The new battery and alternator have worked through the winter with enough power to enable the starter motor to work every time, even when doing short journeys around town. Now that I have that sorted, I have to add another battery to power all the accessories I plan to add.


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