Author Topic: Use a car alternator on an A10?  (Read 2000 times)

Offline rowan.bradley

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Use a car alternator on an A10?
« on: 26.11. 2017 16:22 »
Has anyone successfully fitted a car alternator to an A10? Since I can buy a car alternator for about £10-20, whereas I have to pay nearly £500 for an Alton one that is designed to look like a Lucas Dynamo, the temptation to find a way of fitting a car one is high. I suppose the issues are:
  • Exactly where to fit it.
  • How to organise the drive. Maybe one would have to cut away some of the outer timing cover, and fit a special ribbed belt type pulley to the idler pinion. Then one would have to get a ribbed belt of the correct length. Then it would need some kind of cover to stop one getting one's leg caught up in it. Or fit it on top of the cush drive, driven directly by the crankshaft? Then one would have to cut a big hole in the primary cover.
  • It won't look in the slightest genuine.
Rowan


Current bike: 1958 A10 Super Rocket (in bits), purchased in 1967.
Previous bikes: M21

Offline gpo746

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #1 on: 26.11. 2017 16:49 »
Even though my A7 is still in the collecting parts to add to boxes stage I fear that size will be a big issue . All the alternators I have had dealings with are the size of washing machine motors . Would it be more tempting to look at some sort of stator conversion ? However, I have literally just stumbled on this :
https://www.ebay.com/itm/KUBOTA-TYPE-PERMANENT-MAGNET-ALTERNATOR-TRACTOR-EXCAVATOR-MOWER-12V-14A/112377360831?rt=nc&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D49476%26meid%3D6ba7e5094c114d4f884627f2bcf044a5%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D6%26mehot%3Dpp%26sd%3D171661166652&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m2219

Looks tiny ,
Body is 90mm dia
Pulley is 65mm dia
Unit length 82mm 
Generates 14A @ 12v so would be fine for our bikes even with H4 Halogens front and traditional Tungsten filament rear & Electronic ign (not having to skimp power with daft LED bulbs)
As I have not received my dynamo yet (ebay purchase) I could not guess if it has a hope of fitting or not . It is japanese made so should be poop hot for reliability and price on these  is good too .
Hope this helps

Offline bikerbob

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #2 on: 26.11. 2017 17:02 »
 The car alternators that I have seen are all much bigger in diameter than the dynamo so I doubt if you could fit one in place of the dynamo, it may be possible it is not something that I would ever consider doing  taking into account the work involved ie the engineering fitting it then you would have to work out what pulley sizes to fit to get it to run at the correct speed to give the correct current output I presume you would have to go to 12volts. Finally at the end it would just spoil the look of the bike. Stick with the dynamo you can get parts for them quite easily I have overhauled the dynamo on my A7 by buying an overhaul kit everything is relaced except the outer casing from memory I think it cost about £140. I did a similar overhaul on an A10 and that was still working perfectly after I sold it some 16 years later. Just seen the above post that may be possible instead of a car alternator but  I would still not change if you are worried about lighting then you can buy a 12volt kit just the same without spoiling the looks of the bike.

Offline JulianS

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #3 on: 26.11. 2017 17:15 »
My simple basic Fiat Panda has an alternator rated at 70 amps.

I wonder what you would do with 70 amps, supposing it could be fitted, and whether the bike wiring and battery would survive such current without going up in smoke?

A simple Lucas E3L dynamo produces enough current at 12 volts to power an H4 bulb, choose a 35/35 one plus an LED rear and speedo bulb you will have plenty of electrical power.

Online RichardL

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #4 on: 26.11. 2017 18:22 »
I believe the 70A would only cause a short circuit to flash much brighter, hotter and faster, otherwise, only the necessary current will be drawn.

Still not the way to go.

Richard L.
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Offline Sluggo

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #5 on: 26.11. 2017 22:06 »
I looked at this problem for other early type bikes that use the Generators.  It IS solvable.

NEWS FLASH:  Alton does NOT make all their components, they adapted parts from other applications.
So can you.

I started looking at other designs, And there are a few that are similar in size and shape of the E3L alternator/generators, and thats what Alton did is adapt one of those in a cylindrical body similar to the E3L,
Look at tractors, lawn mowers, ATVs and some motorcycles.  (There are catalogs for armatures that manufacturers use is a good place to start).  The biggest problem I found was heat.  A typical auto type alternator tends to be short and larger diameter along with alloy body and lots of venting.  In a cars engine compartment there is also airflow,, not a lot, but enough.  If you seal up the armature in a solid body you have to dissipate heat somehow.  (I believe thats what kills most ALTON units, they do fail sometimes)

The second problem is drag, In high loads the tooth load for a gear driven unit can be quite high and I was told early ALTONs had some teeth shredding issues on Triumphs. (Resolved with better materials. I have always felt that off the crankshaft is superior to off the timing gears.  So did Triumph-BSA-Norton in later designs whether it was  a rotor/stator or, as Velocette or Indian did with a belt.

The problem is adapting and room.  Early EVO sportsters (1986 and up) ran a stator assy on the backside of the clutch basket, there was some issues of them failing, later models moved them to the crank position.  To adapt one to a A7/A10 crank you have the crude cush in place, If you could move the cush elsewhere such as later BSA-Norton-Triumph did it is possible to install a skinny asian made rotor/stator.  Or, if a belt drive is installed you could run a pulley up to a external alternator body.

Or,, do your research and make your own version of the Alton.  I was in the midst of this in the 1990s when the early versions of the ALTON came out, looking at such a limited market I concluded wholesale manufacturing and production with an existing product was not worthwhile/viable. 

I still believe a superior product could be made from a quality and price standpoint.

** There is MANY ways to engineer something, just consider some Asian 2 stroke enduros use a stator for charging and ignition, But thru eeelecktrikal trickery,, it also can be a starter.  (See Yamaha DT1),  I dont think it could ever work on a A10, but it IS an interesting and clever design.
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Online Black Sheep

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #6 on: 26.11. 2017 22:37 »
A good friend made up a mounting for a Lucas RM19 alternator on his A10. Not especially beautiful but it worked. Essentially it was mounted on the end of a dummy dynamo. What finally did for it was impact with a con rod.
The bog standard 6 volt E3L on ours does a pretty good job.
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Offline JulianS

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #7 on: 27.11. 2017 09:01 »
You could search for an A10 alternator crank and primary chaincase as fitted to Police spec bikes if you really need extra amps.

Or if you have Roy Bacons book "BSA Twins and Triples" see page 35 for photo of a plunger A10 fitted with a car dynamo in front of engine. Looks like it might be driven from the drive side of original dynamo.

Online Rex

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #8 on: 27.11. 2017 09:23 »
The easiest route would be to research forums for bikes which are fired by coil and points rather than mags, as those are the bikes which need a good and reliable generating system.
My Indian Chief's weak point was a ***-poor dynamo (by design, not my individual one) and lead to two trips home by recovery. I finally bit the bullet and bought a Cycle Electrex unit (which looks the part but would be too large a dia for an A series) though there's many others which have been adapted over the years, from Vauxhall Viva, Kubota (very common) Suzuki Samural car, VW Beetle, etc etc.
The Kubota unit seems to be the most adaptable.

Offline duTch

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #9 on: 27.11. 2017 09:58 »

 There was a new blow-in/out member four or five years ago from South America had a car type alternator stuffed into his Plunger ride- just had a dig but can't find it/him. Was in Argentina/Brazil/Paraguay  *dunno*
Started building in about 1977/8 a on average '52 A10 -built from bits 'n pieces never resto intended -maybe 'personalised'
Have a '74 850T Moto Guzzi since '92-best thing I ever bought doesn't need a kickstart 'cos it bump starts sooooooooo(mostly) easy
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Offline JulianS

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #10 on: 27.11. 2017 10:39 »
This link takes you to a photo of the Police A10 with car dynamo;


https://www.a7a10.net/forum/index.php?topic=1096.0


There are alternators on the market which look like old car dynamos so could probably be used should you figure out the drive. But expensive.

Online chaterlea25

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #11 on: 27.11. 2017 17:48 »
Hi Al,
As Sluggo wrote there would be problems with using a Kubota type alternator due to the shock loading at low rpm
These units have really strong magnets and they rotor really "snaps" from one pole to the next when turned by hand
I obtained one some years ago with a view to experimenting  on it to see if it could be adapted to a BSA
It was eventually fitted to the Guzzi flat single that won the AMD world champion freestyle custom bike build a few years ago (much disguised  *work*

I believe a guy in USA or Canada has gotten this type of alternator to work on a Vincent ??
It uses a centrifugal clutch and some kind of freewheel device as far as I know ?

A further problem that few people think of is the charge rate a car alternator can give
This high current will fry a normal type bike battery  *eek*
A friend had a Vincent Comet that came fitted with a 2CV alternator,
it ate any type of motorcycle battery that could be hung onto a Comet *problem* *problem*

The recent Allton's do not have the shock loading issues of the first generation,
I fitted one to a Velo recently and it's doing what it should  *smile*

John
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Online Triton Thrasher

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #12 on: 27.11. 2017 20:56 »
Just be careful.


Online bsa-bill

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #13 on: 27.11. 2017 21:38 »
haven't seen old Ogri for a while
All the best - Bill
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Offline Sluggo

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #14 on: 27.11. 2017 21:51 »
<liked that Ogre comic strip>,  I knew a guy in the mid 1990s I worked with who had a SA A10 and loved the bike but was exasperated with the mechanical parts, Got taken by some local shops for a lot of $$$, So, I tried to help a bit but finally he concluded Lucas parts were junk. He worked swing shift and went to work in the afternoon and did not need much for lighting, but return at night was the real issue.  Since he lived in a urban area with lots of street lights it was not too bad overall so, he took an old bicycle dynamo and mounted it so it rubbed on the tire  and produced a feeble beam.  I dont recall what he did for bulbs but it worked to some degree.  He loved the engine though, but the electrical was a deal breaker for him and eventually bought a Harley.   I am always amused by some peoples bodgery though so here is a picture of another solution i culled from the internet from another forum.

As to fitting the "Kubota" units, I too looked at these, but here is a FYI-Tangent.  I Have  a Yanmar 4wd tractor with the 3cyl diesel.  Its a grey market tractor and identical to most Kubotas.  YANMAR makes virtually 90% of the compact diesel tractor market power trains.  That means John Deere, Kubota and others all dress up their pig with their own lipstick but the chassis, trans and motor is made by Yanmar.  Mine is a 250D and we saved $10,000 USD over the same model with Kubota lipstick.  A local guy imports them by the container load from Japan, all are low hour models and he spruces them up and adds accys.  We use the heck out of it year round on our little farm.  Many comnmercial John Deere mowers also use these motors.
When purchasing parts, It PAYS huge to shop carefully,, a JD part will be 3x the cost of the same Yanmar part.  The Starter motors on modern Nortons are fitted to a variety of motorcycles such as HD and Buell but the same starter (With a different nose) is ALSO fitted to these Yanmar/Kubota/John Deere tractors  and mentioning this on a well known Norton forum will get many people very upset.
Remember that any advice received on a free internet forum is generally worth about 1/2 of what you paid for it.
We overcharge every 3rd customer to pass the savings onto you.
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