Author Topic: Use a car alternator on an A10?  (Read 2001 times)

Offline Sluggo

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #15 on: 27.11. 2017 21:56 »
Here is details on the Vincent adaptions, As you can see, they addressed many of the issues at hand. (I have no involvement with them, But have researched some vincent issues helping a friend with his Rapide project)

See: http://www.thevincent.com/McDouglator.html  (Pictures on site)

"  I have discovered an alternator that in my estimation virtually solves any problem we may have encountered with a reliable charging system for our Vincent motorcycles.  It will crank out 20 volts, 15 amps and 150 watts. The supplied regulator cuts back the volts to 13.8, perfect for a 12 volt charging system.  Best of all, the unit has been tried and proven for the past 15 years on dozens of Vincent twins and a couple of Comet singles. You do not need to modify or change anything on your bike to install this alternator. Not only does it bolt right on but it has been proven as reliable production unit on thousands of tractors world-wide.

One John McDougall, a long-time VOC member who now resides in Vancouver, British Columbia has re-developed a Kubota tractor alternator to give Vincent riders all the power from a generating unit they would ever want.  The McDouglator as it is known, comes complete with a virtually indestructible regulator. John has run the alternator unit in a drill press and literally tried to ruin the regulator with no success in doing so. If you ever do fry a Kubota regulator, you can buy a replacement in virtually any country in the world.  John discovered the Kubota unit back in the early 1990’s when it was advertised as being a replacement for early Harley-Davidsons. His pal George Hacking, who has racked up some miles on a Vincent himself, brought the unit to John’s attention. The original manufacturer of the conversion made a fateful decision in his version, as he believed the bearings on the front of the alternator would keep oil from entering the unit itself. However, oil from the timing chest on the Harley did seep into the rotor area thereby negating its performance. Basically, the man who developed it for the Harley took the Kubota unit, knocked the mounting ears off of it, put in a couple of heli-coils and bolted it to the Harley. The oil found its way past the sealed bearings and rendered the unit inoperable.  McDougall, a pipefitter by trade and accomplished machinist set about to make a drive system that would dovetail with usage on the Vincent. In all, he has made three separate drive units to accommodate the Series “B”, “C” and Comets. The geometry of each is different thereby necessitating engineering for all three separate bikes.

 What he came up with is a small gearbox he machines from billet that ultimately turns the Kubota at one and one half-engine speed. Our original generators were driven at one and a quarter engine speed. John cuts his own gear blanks and has a gear cutter finish them. The drive gear has 18 teeth, the driven gear 15. The gears are literally the same as we use in the timing chest of our Vincents, 16 DP (diametrical pitch). His gearbox carries 30 ML of oil you fill through an Allen setscrew and care must be taken not to tip the alternator (during installation) so the oil has no chance of reaching the rotor. This act presents no problem as the unit slides past all existing lubricant hoses with ease.

 Although John’s first incantation of his modifications and attendant gearbox served well in his 12,000 mile test on his own ’54 Shadow, he noted the inertia loads caused by the unit were extremely high. He was about to ruin the primary chain. Because the unit is being over-driven at one and a half times engine speed, if you snap the throttle shut at say 6,000 RPM and the Kubota is running 9,000 RPM, it tries to keep on going. This action will beat the primary chain to death. John came up with a very simplistic slipper clutch arrangement made up of steel washers that is about as foolproof as the alternator itself.   To install the Mcdouglator you utilize the standard Vincent dynamo sprocket boss (PD 16) its oil thrower (PD28) called an oil flinger in John’s literature. We discard the Dynamo Drive Plate (PD17AS). You are supplied with a pair of hardened steel washers, one that goes behind the oil thrower and another that goes on his shouldered spacer. In-between the pair is what John is calling a Bellville washer, a large conical washer whose cone face rides against our standard drive sprocket. The oil thrower needs to have a pair of dimples punched into its face via a dull punch that will index with the dynamo sprocket boss. You are supplied with a shouldered spacer that aligns the whole plot along with a drive end nut and star washer.

I sent my old boss to him along with the oil thrower and John tapped the two dimples in, an act that you can surely do yourself.   The resultant stack of washers along with the Bellville washer allows the drive assembly to slip when it needs to. You install this AC alternator same way as you would your stock generator and torque the sprocket nut to 35 lbs. The rotor nut at the other end of the alternator has already been torqued in place at 60 lbs.  After installation you can check the movement of this slipper clutch arrangement by holding the sprocket nut with a wrench (11/16) and the alternator itself will still turn.   Although the rotor end of the unit appears to be large, the entire assembly slipped into place without touching anything. You move no hoses, make no modifications. The smooth rotor cover actually spins out in the breeze but it would take a real moron contortionist to inveigle his fingers to the spot on the bike where the cover is actually spinning. John has supplied dozens of the MacDouglators over the past 15 years and they are all giving dedicated service.

On my Series “C” it was necessary to take a half-round file and give the top of the generator clamp a bit of clearance for one of the Allen bolts that sticks out the front of the drive gearbox. John supplies you with a paper template you lay on the clamp itself to show where to remove some material. It did not take me five minutes to make clearance for the Allen bolt. You would never know the clamp was filed unless I told you so.

 John McDougal has spent more than a morning coffee break engineering the unit into place. I for one am enamored with the idea of installing something modern, unobtrusive on our machines that enhances performance. This alternator seemingly puts out enough juice to weld with.  He also supplies a small aluminum plate that bolts on top of the clamp that will accommodate the stock Kubota alternator. Of course the Kubota regulator is a big squarish thing, finned to relieve the heat. I went through a few machinations to hide it under my battery carrier and re-installed my old, cute little Miller cover that is now just a dummy box. It will hold one spark plug and/ or a variety of nuts, bolts, wire or rubber bands if you so desire. Consequently, when you look at my bike as you walk past, all you really see is the stock Miller regulator cover in place as it should be. I made simple angle bracket to hold the Kubota unit under my battery carrier and utilizes the same bolt that holds the battery strap to keep it in place. I mounted the ground wire to it as well. Naturally I have to fiddle a bit to get the wiring in, but I am used to that as all my wiring is hidden in my handlebars and out of sight to the viewer. I run a beautiful little Buell switch that handles the turn signals, horn, hi-low beam and flasher. So it has a lot of wires in it. Plus I have heated grips and a kill button on the bars with nary a wire in sight. My heated vest wiring is under the seat.

The price of the MacDouglator is a bit more than an Alton, around nine hundred U.S. dollars. I can tell you that with a 60 watt headlight bulb and running lights that double as turn signals on, the Kubota put out an immediate 2-4 amps just above idle. You just touch the throttle and it is putting out more wattage than we will ever need. I did not have the same luck with the Alton.

 The Alton is surely a fine device, but it runs at one and a quarter engine speed and my experience was that it needed quite some RPM in order to get the job done on a Vincent. Nevertheless, there are literally dozens of Altons in use on Vincents but it seems only reasonable we draw a comparison to the two. When McDougall’s pal George Hacking brought the Kubota to John’s house, John noted, “You ain’t going back home with that thing you know. Leave it here. I think I can make it work on the Vincent and it looks like just what we need.”

 He was right. We need all the John MacDougalls out there whittling away to make parts that keep our machines up to date. John is also one of the driving forces behind the fabulous Max Lambky streamliner project and is responsible for some of the internals that are never seen. He is one of the unsung heroes who has put his journeyman’s hand in the streamliner project as he is in love with the idea of seeing this great streamliner take a record home.  He has also developed an ignition system for the Vincent utilizing Harley-Davidson parts that we will tell you about in the future. Because John is a hobbyist he doesn’t advertise his products so you have to hear about them by word-of-mouth. He can be reached at his home in Vancouver, B.C. at 604 327-1019.  "


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Offline BSA_54A10

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #16 on: 28.11. 2017 03:40 »
As normal another interesting post.
What I find amusing is the alternator in question runs at crankcase speeds which would normally be 1800 or  3600rpm, these being std PTO speeds.
On a governed , full hydro system it is limited to 4000 rpm with an idle speed of 800rpm so why would you gear it up when fitted to something with a top speed of 8000 rpm & an idle 600 rpm
Bike Beesa
Trevor

Offline rowan.bradley

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #17 on: 28.11. 2017 20:01 »
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
That is a really interesting idea.  They don't seem very easy to buy in UK - most come from Australia or USA. There seems to be a similar one used by John Deere, rated at 20A though (even more watts for heated clothing...). I'm almost tempted to buy one just to see how it could be fitted :-). It seems the outer case rotates, so would need some kind of guard to protect fingers and trouser legs.

Rowan


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

Offline Sluggo

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #18 on: 28.11. 2017 22:06 »
Rowan, re-read the posts, As I said, in this day and age manufacturing is largely standardized and MANY companies use the same components.  If you cant find one for a Kubota, try Yanmar, Try John Deere (Usually 3x the price) But I bet there is a wide variety of equipment that all use this same alternator. 
"Wally Whippet Dog motors"  Hurley Pugh Double Gentleman's combination?

In the US, for auto applications there is interchange manuals for auto and truck applications published by Mitchells and you can see that the part for a Ford Fiesta will also come on  XXXX years Toyota, Kia and VW,,
If you just broaden the search a bit, you will find a wide variety of applications for compact alternator designs.

Modern Nortons use Toyota Rocker arms, Suzuki Clutch, Suzuki Alternators, A Harley Sportster/Buell transmission and the starter is the same as a dozen other makes and models including Kubota tractors.
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Offline rocker21

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #19 on: 03.01. 2018 15:31 »
have a look at this.  https://www.autoelectricsupplies.co.uk/product/1176/category/250 i think this is the same unit.


Offline rowan.bradley

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #20 on: 03.01. 2018 19:39 »
have a look at this.  https://www.autoelectricsupplies.co.uk/product/1176/category/250 i think this is the same unit.
Yes, that looks like the one that is often sold as a Kubota spare. Interesting that there are two models with different power outputs. The problems with using one of these on a bike seem to me to be:
  • The whole body of the device seems to rotate, which implies that it needs some kind of cover, or it will keep trapping trouser legs etc.
  • It looks a bit too big (in diameter) to fit in the space of the Lucas dynamo. It looks as if the mounting ears will need to be cut off. Also getting the shaft to be on the same line as that of the dynamo may not be possible, implying that the v-belt pulley wont enter the timing cover in the right place, which will end up needing some butchery to the timing cover
Has anyone tried using one of these? I know it would be a more messy solution than using the Alton alternator, but that is such a high price, for what it is...

Thanks - Rowan


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

Online chaterlea25

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #21 on: 03.01. 2018 21:56 »
Hi Rowan,
Those who have modified those alternators for use replacing a dynamo usually make a dummy housing the same diamater as the original, This is fitted with an offset shaft so as the original method of drive adjustment is retained
The shaft of the "Kubota" type unit is removed and the rotor is mounted on the new long spindle at the end of the repalcemnt housing
Its quite a bit of work,
More or less any motorcycle alternator can be mounted in a similar fashion, and might not have the problems associated with the magnetic pulsing on the "Kubota" type unit
Too high an alternator charging rate damages small motorcycle batteries  *warn*

Attached is a pic of a heavily disguised "Kubota" type alternator  that I donated to the "Rondine" Guzzi that my friend Don Cronin built. It won the AMD world championship in 2013

Has anyone seen these dynamo replacement units?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dynamo-L-4-12V-100W-Lucas-E3HM-for-BSA-Norton-Sunbeam-Enfield-Ariel-New/182952823769?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

John
1961 Super Rocket
1963 RGS (ongoing)

Offline muskrat

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #22 on: 03.01. 2018 22:33 »
G'day John.
I haven't seen one yet but they look the goods. Same about the price, over a weeks pay for me.
Cheers
'51 A7 plunger, '57 A7SS now A10CR,  '83 CB1100F, 88 FXST .
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Offline rowan.bradley

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #23 on: 04.01. 2018 11:09 »
Those who have modified those alternators for use replacing a dynamo usually make a dummy housing the same diameter as the original, This is fitted with an offset shaft so as the original method of drive adjustment is retained
The shaft of the "Kubota" type unit is removed and the rotor is mounted on the new long spindle at the end of the replacement housing
Not sure how this can work. The Kubota alternator is surely 3 1/2" in diameter, so this won't fit in the original sized 3" case, and certainly not if the shaft is offset?
Also the Kubota doesn't really have a "shaft", does it, since the rotor is the outer bit. The stator where the coils are is presumably inside the rotor?
Please explain in a bit more detail how this works.
More or less any motorcycle alternator can be mounted in a similar fashion, and might not have the problems associated with the magnetic pulsing on the "Kubota" type unit
Too high an alternator charging rate damages small motorcycle batteries  *warn*
Please explain the magnetic pulsing problem.
I would have thought that limiting the charging current to the correct current for the battery in its present state of charge was the job of the regulator. Does a good regulator not sort this problem out?
Attached is a pic of a heavily disguised "Kubota" type alternator  that I donated to the "Rondine" Guzzi that my friend Don Cronin built. It won the AMD world championship in 2013
Where is the attachment?

Thanks - Rowan


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

Offline rocker21

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Offline rowan.bradley

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #25 on: 04.01. 2018 13:03 »
this looks a better idea, keeps the look and is an easy replacement,  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dynamo-L-2-12V-100W-Lucas-E3L-for-BSA-A07-A10-C10-C11-Ariel-New/182946694396?hash=item2a987904fc:g:mCwAAOSweM1aOllm
Unfortunately this costs about the same as the Alton. Also it is not clear what this actually is. It calls itself a "dynamo", but says that it "operates with the latest three - phase current technology", whatever that means (sounds a bit more like an alternator). Also it confusingly calls the Lucas E3L an "alternator", although we all know that it is not.
I was hoping that I could find a way of using a mass produced modern alternator which would be available at a much lower cost (possibly used) than a unit such as the Alton or this one that is specially made in small volumes for the classic bike market.

Thanks - Rowan


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

Offline rocker21

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #26 on: 04.01. 2018 13:14 »
i think some of the language used is a bit confusing as i suspect that is a result of poor transalation. it seems the original maker is in Poland and the the firm in Germany is a retailer of some sort. will try to find out a bit more.

Offline Sluggo

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #27 on: 04.01. 2018 19:46 »
Those who have modified those alternators for use replacing a dynamo usually make a dummy housing the same diameter as the original, This is fitted with an offset shaft so as the original method of drive adjustment is retained
The shaft of the "Kubota" type unit is removed and the rotor is mounted on the new long spindle at the end of the replacement housing
Not sure how this can work. The Kubota alternator is surely 3 1/2" in diameter, so this won't fit in the original sized 3" case, and certainly not if the shaft is offset?
Also the Kubota doesn't really have a "shaft", does it, since the rotor is the outer bit. The stator where the coils are is presumably inside the rotor?
Please explain in a bit more detail how this works.
More or less any motorcycle alternator can be mounted in a similar fashion, and might not have the problems associated with the magnetic pulsing on the "Kubota" type unit
Too high an alternator charging rate damages small motorcycle batteries  *warn*
Please explain the magnetic pulsing problem.
I would have thought that limiting the charging current to the correct current for the battery in its present state of charge was the job of the regulator. Does a good regulator not sort this problem out?
Thanks - Rowan

Rowan, If you are looking for a link to a plug and play cheaper alternative alternator that bolts right up to your BSA it does not exist.  However if you go back and re-read thru this thread I posted an excellent adverta and description of the Vincent folks who repurpose these tractor alternators and make a adapter to use these alternators on.........a Vincent.  If they can do it, it CAN be done on a BSA.  I saw something similar on a BSA at the annual clubmans show years back, so it CAN be done and HAS been done.  But seeing as the market is so limited,, nobody has commercially produced them.

 (Probably only sell 15-20 and then some wack-a-doodle on a forum somewhere would whinge endlessly about how its junk and ruins the character of the bike,, I see this all the time)

So, as has been discussed here, there is many different ways of doing this and there ARE other ways of doing this (Fitting an alternator) but if you are looking for a plug & play setup at a fraction of the current costs of the product on the market it simply does not exist.

So,, what to do??  Step up & warm up that credit card and buy the ALTON or build your own.
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.
You can have High Quality, Low price, and fast turnaround. Pick any 2, Never all 3 at the same time.

Online Rex

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #28 on: 04.01. 2018 20:18 »
Or third, stick with the good old Lucas dynamo and accept that an old BSA isn't going to have tarmac-melting lights or heated over-suits. That's the stuff of BMWs, and the like...

Offline muskrat

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Re: Use a car alternator on an A10?
« Reply #29 on: 04.01. 2018 21:16 »
Yes, for less than half the price of an Alton you can rebuild the E3L to new. https://tinyurl.com/yc4stbxj
Did both of mine years ago but in 6v, I use a DVRII to convert to 12v.
Cheers
'51 A7 plunger, '57 A7SS now A10CR,  '83 CB1100F, 88 FXST .
Australia
Muskys Plunger A7