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New Alternator Setup


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Otis' new dial-a-volt, dual-output alternator system arrived today via the FedEx dude (thereby depriving me of seeing my favorite UPS Girl, but I digress). The system replaces the old Streetwires dual-output alternator, which petered out because of heat (the coating trapped the heat and caused the alternator to fry itself).

Here is the new setup (alternator, regulator, powder-coated brackets), fresh out of the FedEx box. Now all I have to do is put it in (along with the radiator and electric fan and the air horns and some other cool stuff).

The alternator was built by Rush Power Systems, http://www.rushps.com/ What is cool about the system is that I sent Darrin the old Streetwires alternator and he built a much higher-output alternator to the same dimensions (and with only minor modifications to the bracket). Darrin be one bad mama-jama.


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So what is a "dual output alt."?

One output for the stereo and one for the car?


Sorry, John, I should have explained - you have that exactly correct, and I need to make one clarification. In the old dual-output Streetwires alt, there are two single-point posts on the back of the alternator. That eliminated the need for a separate battery isolator. Darren converted me back to a single-post. Since I have a separate 1/0 cable running to the trunk for the stereo batteries (with the cranking battery still up front), I have to call Darren to make sure (and double and triple check) that I'm wiring up everything correctly. Further pictures to follow.

Ken - I'll take pictures as well, although I'm waiting on Darren to ship his electric fan set up, prior to install. By the way, Darren modified my bracket for me - if my cell-phone camera photo wasn't so crappy, one could see the small weld mark where he cut and re-welded the bracket prior to powder-coating it for me.

John_in_VA - you were right all along. It was the alternator. That little red light was trying to tell us something, way back when I drove Otis to the car gathering in your neck of the woods. I should have listened to you then ...

The major lesson that I learned through all of this - don't buy a powder-coated or chomed alternator. The coatings trap heat, and heat destroys alternators (memo to self - Duh!).

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The major lesson that I learned through all of this - don't buy a powder-coated or chomed alternator. The coatings trap heat, and heat destroys alternators (memo to self - Duh!).

I'm curious if your car still has the stock engine-driven fan or an electric unit. Engine-driven fans create constant airflow thru the engine compartment - possibly helping to cool components such as the alternator. Applying a coating to the alternator housing would certainly retain the heat, but a constant airflow over the housing may lessen the potential for damage.

This picture is from the 2008 V@V show. Did you make cooling system changes after that? Is this the reason for the H.O. alternator and dual batteries?? Is your "pole-dancer" drawing too many amps? Did you install a 12V x 110V inverter? See you at Chapterfest ? - I've never heard your sound system in action.


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Wow, Jim - what a great picture!!! I've only made one cooling change to the system since 08 - this summer I flushed the coolant and put in a higher velocity fan to pull more air through the trunk radiator. Now the system can play for an unlimited time; the old fan didn't move enough air so the system would shut itself down after about 30 minutes.

To answer all your questions engine-compartment-related questions, Otis fried the alternator and was running on the battery. That explains the red light, which was constantly on. But it fooled me since I run two volt meters and both were showing 12-14. In reality, the amp was fried and simply fooling the meters by putting out just enough juice to keep the car running for a while. But it finally fully fried and Otis died about 1/2 mile from my house - that's when I yanked and bench-tested everyting, which showed that the alt was toast.

For re-assembly, Otis headed up to Mark Raspi's place, where we're going to figure everything out (including all the fin damage to the AC rad). When I raised questions about electric fans with Mark, including spacing/motor mounts/etc., he said, "all my cars have electric fans - just get your butt up here!!!" Mark is a great guy. The race car is up there, so Otis will have company while he's in the shop. We have lots to do, including the train horns!

I plan to use one of Darren's fans, if they'll fit, plus the x-large radiator that I bought from BLUNT. The picture that I took of the new alternator is a really crappy photo - in person, it looks way-cool. I can't say enough good things about RPS (and BLUNT, for that matter).

I doubt I'll be at chapter fest - I've nothing to drive but the E-30 (which is pristine, but nobody gets excited over a 1984 325e). Izzy is still in the paint shop, and Otis will be at Mark Raspi's. We did finish the bodywork on the three PAV-40 trailers (technically one is a PAV-41), but we still have a ways to go before the Isetta-plus-trailers is finished (I plan to add two trailer hitches so that I can hook up three trailers, golf-course-mower style).

Your buddy, Otis

PS - the pole dancer is driven by UBS port. I have yet to figure out where to put in an on-board computer so that she can dance to the on-board stereo. But give me time - there is a new product out that deletes the entire head unit and allows all sorts of cool stuff, and the new small computers are a possibility (the inverter will be in Otis' new trailer). I'm trying to sketch out the wiring diagram (it's a bit difficult since all of the stereo wiring is DIN-cord, and proprietary to Precision Power, which went out of business and was bought by a mega-corp that can't answer my tech questions - arghh!!!).

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OK - here's mine. Not all wired in yet. Darren is sending me a kit with fuse to wire it into the harness.


Remember - here's what we started with:


To wire it in, I've cut the original battery wire. The only thing I'm using out of that harness is the wire to the alternator. I probably need to clean up the harness now. I'm going to come off the post on the alternator and go through a fuse, and into the small power block I've put on the front firewall.

I think it's looking good so far. Can't wait to get it moving again.


PS - There will soon be an alternator sale in the "for sale" section.


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