Charging system

bwana

New Member
I have recently purchased another 1963 Amphicar that has already received a poor do it yourself restoration. The battery kept going dead so I ran a volt meter across the battery and found it was not charging although the ignition light did not come on in the dash, I checked the wiring on the voltage regulator and found the wiring was incorrectly installed on the regulator, I repaired the wiring according to my other Amphicars and it now resembles the manual wiring diagram, but still only charging 11 volts. I rechecked the generator output as explained in section 1 page 111 of the manual where it states to link terminal "D" to terminal "F" and recheck with a voltage meter. I did this and found at idle there was only two volt charge but when I bought the R.P.M. up to a 1000 the needle went off the scale 16+ volts. My question to fellow members is what does this prove, the manual describes how to do the test but does not give indications of the results, is it my generator, voltage regulator or wiring that is at fault? Is there a better test to prove generator or regulator? According to the D.I.Y. seller both items were replaced several months ago during the restoration. Thank you. Bwana
 

dougklink

Member
After rereading the post, it sounds like the test full fields the generator to check function. I don't have my manuals here but if applying full voltage to the field causes generator output that isn't occurring during normal operation, then the voltage regulator would be suspect. The fact that you are getting 16 volts indicates the generator is properly polarized.
 

SNOWBIRD

Amphicar Expert
If the Reg was wired wrong it probably got fried.
if my memory is correct, from the Solenoid wires should be,, Thick RED Thick Black, Brown from harness, Blue, then a brown wire at end going to a GOOD ground.
I stock Voltage Regulators.
I install a volt gauge on my cars rather than relying on the light(which might be burnt out in your case)
should read between 12.5 and 14V when traveling depending on what power you are using(lights)
 

mike_israel

Amphicar Forum Admin
Staff member
Unless you are going for 100% originality then you are usually better off ditching the whole generator set up and going with an alternator. You will likely have to fabricate some sort of bracket although I think there are forum members who sell them.

I do not have any experience with these but I see there is a company called gener-nator.com that is producing alternators inside a generator housing. That might provide modern benefit with classic appearance.
 

dougklink

Member
I installed a one wire Delco alternator, after converting to negative ground. It's a totally reversible installation. You get charging almost at idle. The genernators seem great but are very pricey.
 

jfriese

Active Member
Triumph used Lucas alternators on their later Spitfire engines and had perfect mounts for them. They also even use the same connectors so that it is a plug and play affair if you want to convert to your car to negative ground. Both mine were converted at restoration. You can find the alternator and mounts at junk yards but the alternator is also sold as a rebuilt unit through O'Reilly auto parts.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 
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jfriese

Active Member
The carb is a Weber DGV-5A with an adapter to bring the input back to the size of the Amphicar air cleaner. This is a 1296 engine though and this won't work on standard 1147's.
The radiator was custom made in Indiana a few years ago and I suppose they would make another. Today it would cost an easy $700+ though. I was experimenting with various engines back then and wanted all the cooling I could get. Actually, nowadays I haven't been doing such experiments and would rather go back to the stock look of the Amphicar radiator but haven't got around to switching the radiators. If you would like this one I would sell it for $500.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 

bwana

New Member
Triumph used Lucas alternators on their later Spitfire engines and had perfect mounts for them. They also even use the same connectors so that it is a plug and play affair if you want to convert to your car to negative ground. Both mine were converted at restoration. You can find the alternator and mounts at junk yards but the alternator is also sold as a rebuilt unit through O'Reilly auto parts.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 

bwana

New Member
Thank you for the great information on the charging system. I could not help but notice in your engine photo you have a P.C.V. system, it appears the oil filler cap is blocked off creating the engine to be a sealed system. Without make-up air being replaced in the engine the P.C.V. and subsequent vacuum will suck the oil from the engine top end. I may have missed it in your photo but just make sure you have some sort of a vent. Also make sure a baffle is on the inside of the valve cover. I have worked for B.M.C. and seen many engines sucked dry without a vent or baffle. Bwana
 

jfriese

Active Member
I'm not sure when the change occurred in Amphicars but both mine came with the closed off filler caps and a crude form of P.C.V.. Actually there was no real P.C.V. valve but just a hose running from the valve cover to the outside of the air cleaner. Even though both cars had baffles inside those covers when pushing the engines hard, as in freeway driving, enough blow-by gas and oil vapor would rather quickly somewhat foul the air cleaner. I added a slightly modified (a split hose added internally to slow the oil vapor and better condense it into droplets) oil catch can to both cars and I drain the oil from the can whenever it gets high enough to show up on the site gauge. This happens perhaps 2 or 3 times a year and it drains easily through a petcock I put into the bottom of the can.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 
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