Thoughts on Generator Reliability

R

rogtwo@aol.com

Guest
It seems some people are concerned about reliability, especially of the
electrical system. Now, I'm all for reliability; I drive a 2001 Toyota as my
everyday car. But, is that same reliability really that important in a car
that likely does less than 3000 miles a year?

I know Lucas doesn't have the best reputation, and my both my generator and
voltage regulator (old ones) did fail before I put 100 miles on my car, but
my car had been sitting for ten years or more before I bought it. How
unreliable can the electrical system really be?

I grew up in the '70's and '80's driving in a '53 Plymouth and a couple of
'62 VW Buses. These used generators and the Plymouth was 6V positive ground.
Although the Buses had an occasional generator or voltage regulator problem,
I don't think the Plymouth ever did. In fact, that Plymouth engine,
generator, and possible voltage regulator are still operational in my in-laws
'37 Dodge.

Besides, having a generator or regulator fail doesn't stop you dead. When my
regulator failed, I was still able to drive 2 hours or so to get home -- with
my HEADLIGHTS ON most of the time.

I understand the decision is different for everyone. But for me -- even
though I plan to use my Amphicar a lot and I am more interested in usability
than originality -- I just don't see the reliability of the generator and
voltage regulator as a serious problem.

Roger St. John
White '63
Seattle


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
 
A

a_colo_native

Guest
> It seems some people are concerned about reliability, especially of
the electrical system. <SNIP> But, is that same reliability really
that important in a car that likely does less than 3000 miles a year?

Speaking for myself, it is about not having a trip ruined because of
a problem or keeping me out of a problem situation. I like the luxury
of being able to get in my Amphi, fire her up and have reasonable
expectations that she will get me there, swim flawlessly, get me home
without problems. A car that is driven less is actually more prone to
problems than one driven every day. People who have high end cars,
have people who "exercise" them regularly to keep them in top shape.

> I know Lucas doesn't have the best reputation, and my both my
generator and voltage regulator (old ones) did fail before I put 100
miles on my car, but my car had been sitting for ten years or more
before I bought it. How unreliable can the electrical system really
be?

Our Amphi's nervous system is a Lucas product. Lucas has earned the
reputation for problems due to the way they connect and design
components. Some old jokes should shed some light (as long as it not
a Lucas socket!) ;)

~The Lucas motto: "Get home before dark."
~Lucas is the patent holder for the short circuit.
~Lucas - Inventor of the first intermittent wiper.
~Lucas - Inventor of the self-dimming headlamp.
~The three position Lucas switch - Dim, Flicker and Off.
~The Original Anti-Theft Device - Lucas Electrics.

"I have had a Lucas pacemaker for years and have never had any
trou..."

~If Lucas made guns, wars would not start.

~A friend of mine told everybody he never had any electric problems
with his Lucas equipment. Today he lives in the countryside, in a
large manor with lots of friendly servants around him an an
occasional ice cold shower...

~Back in the 70's, Lucas decided to diversify its product line and
began manufacturing vacuum cleaners. It was the only product they
offered which did not suck.

Q: Why do the British drink warm beer?
A: Because Lucas makes their refrigerators

~Alexander Graham Bell invented the Telephone.Thomas Edison invented
the Light Bulb. Joseph Lucas invented the Short Circuit.

~Recommended procedure before taking on a repair of Lucas equipment:
Check the position of the stars,kill a chicken and walk three times
clockwise around your car chanting:" Oh mighty Prince of Darkness
protect your unworthy servant.."

> I grew up in the '70's and '80's driving in a '53 Plymouth and a
couple of '62 VW Buses. These used generators and the Plymouth was
6V positive ground. Although the Buses had an occasional generator or
voltage regulator problem, I don't think the Plymouth ever did. In
fact, that Plymouth engine, generator, and possible voltage regulator
are still operational in my in-laws '37 Dodge.

None of these have Lucas designed systems, VERY different animals.

> Besides, having a generator or regulator fail doesn't stop you
dead. When my regulator failed, I was still able to drive 2 hours or
so to get home -- with my HEADLIGHTS ON most of the time.

In most cases this is true providing your battery is up to the task.
However, a failed regulator can cause fires (or the battery to
explode) by over charging or shorting out. Our Amphis do not have a
fuse between the source (battery/dynamo) and the fuse block in the
trunk. A short there will certainly let out all the smoke and easily
cause a fire.

> I understand the decision is different for everyone. But for me --
even though I plan to use my Amphicar a lot and I am more interested
in usability than originality -- I just don't see the reliability of
the generator and voltage regulator as a serious problem.

The original Dynamo does not put out a lot of power. Some modern
stereos can over tax it easily. I want to make every attempt to
ensure my car is reliable. Had my Amphi not performed flawlessly last
weekend when I got caught in the heavy winds and 4' waves, I would
have ended up on the rocks, under 190' of water, or worse. The
electronic ign, plenty of power for the bilge pump to operate, and
knowing she would run strong kept me reasonably safe in a situation
that could have ended very badly. She powered through the waves
without a miss and landed me safely on the beach.

Roger, In the end, you should do what makes you warm and fuzzy. If
you like the originality of it, I can certainly understand that! I
took great pains to make my car as correct an original as possible, I
opted for the few changes that make me feel warm and fuzzy while out
and about. If somebody else feels better knowing the alternator will
provide plenty of power to operate their 500A stereo, electric beer
cooler, GPS, cell phone, CB, and TV than they have that option too!

Carpe Diem!

John Bevins
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Kruser Rudders? any thoughts General Amphicar Discussion 2
Midwest Amphicar Hot Summer problems, poor equipment or ethanol? Your thoughts General Amphicar Discussion 4
mike_israel Your thoughts on new feature for amphi-lovers. General Amphicar Discussion 8
C reproduction thoughts General Amphicar Discussion 1
D Barrett thoughts General Amphicar Discussion 1
R OIL Thoughts General Amphicar Discussion 1
L Gator thoughts General Amphicar Discussion 15
D amphi thoughts General Amphicar Discussion 2
A Thoughts on moving Celina General Amphicar Discussion 0
A Thoughts on no start General Amphicar Discussion 0
M Thoughts on No Start? General Amphicar Discussion 4
D Celina thoughts General Amphicar Discussion 2
M Filter Thoughts General Amphicar Discussion 0
R More thoughts VIN Numbers General Amphicar Discussion 5
D just some thoughts General Amphicar Discussion 0
D Lip thoughts General Amphicar Discussion 0
D A few thoughts General Amphicar Discussion 0
C My thoughts and an offer... General Amphicar Discussion 0
D warm thoughts General Amphicar Discussion 1
S Generator to Alternator: Which One? General Amphicar Discussion 15
G Generator Stuff General Amphicar Discussion 0
R Need help - How to flash my generator General Amphicar Discussion 0
W generator pully General Amphicar Discussion 0
D Generator Oiling General Amphicar Discussion 0
K generator test General Amphicar Discussion 1
K Generator/Regulator test General Amphicar Discussion 3
D Generator Question General Amphicar Discussion 2
R alternator/generator General Amphicar Discussion 0
R generator General Amphicar Discussion 9
R generator or alternator General Amphicar Discussion 3
D Autozone Starter And Generator General Amphicar Discussion 2
E Generator on eBay General Amphicar Discussion 0
K generator testing General Amphicar Discussion 5
T I NEED HELP - generator/regulator problems General Amphicar Discussion 5
A Generator question... General Amphicar Discussion 0
M Polarizing a new generator General Amphicar Discussion 2
A Two Piece Metal Generator Fan/Pulley General Amphicar Discussion 0
A Generator Pulleys General Amphicar Discussion 0
D Alternator vs Generator General Amphicar Discussion 2
M Generator Pulley General Amphicar Discussion 0
M Re[2]: Generator Pulleys and Alternator co General Amphicar Discussion 0
M Generator Pulleys and Alternator conversions General Amphicar Discussion 2
M Generator Pulley Fun... General Amphicar Discussion 0
A Amphi TOPS in reliability!!! General Amphicar Discussion 0
Similar threads












































Top