Alternator move

And some music stuff too – further down…

I’ve not been happy with the alternator mounting method, on the end of the otherwise redundant PAS pump bracket. The drive belt is very long (I think that in its host vehicle the alternator is driven from the secondary pulley of the PAS pump), the angle of the adjuster is not ideal and it’s always in the way. The alternator fixings on the PAS pump bracket are prone to cracking when used like this. Possibly without the pump, the bracket is less rigid, or maybe it just wasn’t designed to be tensioned at this angle. Another minor issue is that to remove the alternator, the whole bracket has to come off as the long bolt won’t clear the radiator.

See image taken last year while the front panel was out:

Alternator existing arrangement

So I decided to mount the alternator straight into the block using a standard series alternator bracket and a heavy-duty spacer specially made for this purpose.

Planned new location for the alternator

I removed the bracket and alternator as one (the only way) and separated them. I now have another part to sell on my next Gumtree session.

200tdi PAS pump / alternator bracket ERR1115

Series alternator bracket (574855) availability

It would have made sense to do this while the front panel was out but at that time I wasn’t prepared to pay £40 for a used bracket, I should have – now they are making £50 and still going up. So I bit the bullet and bought one from eBay.

Spacer for bracket

These alloy spacers are available from the Bits4Landys eBay shop for £26.95. This might seem a lot but it is a quality, beautifully CNC-machined item and I was pleased when it arrived, a much better solution than tubular spacers. Interestingly, from their feedback, it seems that there’s still a steady trickle of people buying these so either people are still carrying out the 200tdi/200di conversion, or improving previous installations like me, or maybe overcoming a cracked PAS pump bracket.

Bolts required

I will detail these for the benefit of others as it took me 2 goes to get it right. We are fitting a 1950’s bracket to a 1980’s engine, with a hefty lump between. There is quite a strain on this assembly so we want maximum thread penetration. The 2 bolts that screw into the block, allowing for one flat and one spring washer, are M8, 70mm long. The bolt that goes through the lug on the block, into the bracket is 5/8 UNF, 124mm long for which I removed 3mm from a 5″ bolt. I found that a 4 1/2″ bolt wasn’t quite long enough.

The cleaned and painted bracket and adjuster, alloy spacer and bolts cut to size:

Bracket, spacer, adjuster and bolts

Bracket and spacer bolted to block

My alternator

Of course, all of the above is to facilitate the fitting of the standard Series Alternator (Lucas 16ACR) to the 200tdi engine. On removal, I noticed a red ‘Motorcraft’ label that I recognised from years ago when I owned a Transit van. This worried me at first but it turns out that this model (Motorcraft EGL-206 as used on Transits, Granadas Sierras etc) has the same physical dimensions and connector, but supplying 55A, was once a common ‘drop-in’ upgrade to Series vehicles in place of the Lucas unit that managed only a measly 36A.

Everything looked good so I lowered the alternator in to the bracket and pushed the two bolts in and I could see that the pulleys line up great, except now, the lug for the adjuster bar is in the wrong place.

Lug for adjuster on wrong side

No problem I thought, I should be able to split the alternator apart and ‘clock’ the case so that the roles of the lugs are reversed, easy! So as the light was beginning to fade I took the alternator up to the shed with a fresh mug of coffee and a mighty-thick roll-up.

Whatever I tried, I couldn’t loosen even one of the four bolts. Unlike the good old Lucas units that have hex heads, this uses cross-head bolts. So I left the offending bolts to soak overnight in Plus Gas and retired for a later than planned tea.

Next morning (Saturday) I didn’t have much time. I had arranged to dep with my friends ‘Hi-Definition’ in Hemsby. I’d had their set list for over a week but hadn’t even looked at it, very unlike me, normally band comes first in every part of life, but with the lovely evenings of late I’d rather be outside than learning guitar parts.

See: Alternator move complete.

Professional help

So after finding they were still frozen in place, I drove up to the local Auto-Electrical specialists, planning on getting them to undo the bolts. They were busy and as I had started to panic over my lack of preparation, and wanted to fit it the next day, on the spur of the moment decided to replace the alternator for a shiny new one. So I purchased a Lucas A127 (Wow – 75 Amps!) for £63 minus the pulley. They kindly swapped the pulley from the old one and informed me the old one was knackered anyway, apparently at some time it had become very hot and in any case that particular alternator couldn’t be ‘clocked’.

It was tempting to lift the bonnet as I walked past Dilly, but NO, I spent the next few hours going through the 3 sets for tonight’s gig.

My music situation

I haven’t mentioned music for a while, simply because I’ve been quite settled since January, playing lead guitar every week with Kenny and The Motives. Our fantastic guitarist, Dirty Dave, decided to leave in January and I was offered a change, moving from bass to guitar. A mighty challenge for me, stepping into the shoes of a musician whose talents exceed anything that I’ve ever witnessed, anywhere. I couldn’t hope to approach what he can do, but fortunately for me, the material we cover doesn’t need anywhere near that ability, but it does need the right sound, something I can do. This means mostly a clean, non-processed guitar sound, so instantly the band sounds completely different. So long as you can play ‘their’ songs, the punters are happy and apparently none-the-wiser of the loss of immense talent from the band. We found a great bass player from Norwich called Stef.

After some issues with newly-acquired performance-anxiety affecting my playing (which I will deal with in a special post) I have now settled into it and gigs don’t seem worth mentioning in a Landy blog but some have missed this, hence a brief update.

I use my new Ibanez AR420 mostly, or my Hofner Club, I take them both and it’s always a last minute decision. I have always been, and always will be a ‘strat-man’ but we cover such a range of material in this band that I need both the single coil and humbucker sounds, both these guitars have that versatility, thanks to my wiring mod to the Club and the in-built coil switching of the Ibanez. I still use my Tech 21 Trademark 60 amp, no effects, just the built-in spring-line reverb. I cannot imagine ever wanting a different amp, there is nothing I don’t like about it. The footswitch switches between clean and overdriven channels and the boost switch for solos does as it says.

Ibanez AR420

Ibanez AR420

Dep – guitar with ‘Hi-Definition’ at the Sea Dell bar, Hemsby

I have known the boys in this band for 30-odd years and have depped on bass for them in the past because their bass player Mark is also a member of the Norfolk institution ‘Route 66′ that normally play Fridays. This time however, their keyboard player / guitarist David wanted to attend a ballet show that his little girl was appearing in. I despise Facebook and consider it to be the work of the devil, making work for idle hands etc, converting nuns into raging racists and causing fights and divorces. But apparently it also revealed that The Motives were having a week off for members’ holidays and that I was free, so that’s all OK then.

Their material is very similar to that of The Motives, but their main singer for tonight, John, has a remarkably low voice, very pleasant, but every song is in a different key to the norm, so basically I would be feeling my way, often transposing in my head from what I knew.

Another striking difference was arrival time. When The Motives play the Sea Dell we arrive at 6.15, to set up in time for 9pm. These boys are so relaxed, 7.30 (at the earliest!) arrival would be more than ample.

I think that maybe in The Motives we mess around and talk too much rather than get on with setting up the gear. Also, everyone is trying to kiss Kenny’s missus, sometimes ‘forgetting’ that we’ve already done that, trying to get a second bite of the cherry so-to-speak.  Plus, The Motives use a mixing desk that looks like something out of Abbey Road studios rather than the compact and simple Peavey Mixer amp that Hi Definition use with no loss of quality or functionality.

Hi-Def back-line

Hi-Def back-line

On John’s side is his ‘Frankenstein’ guitar, he has quite a collection and decides as he leaves the house which one to use. He uses a Mesa Boogie wotsit amp, and on the table is the sum total of the PA. A Peavey mixer amp, it’s how we all did it in the old days and after hearing it I wonder why we have all this extra stuff, this sounds really good. Somehow, we have all these extra things to plug in, requiring banks of sockets, miles of cable, and for what? Soundwise, there is no discernible difference. Out of shot, FOH, are two full-range Peavey passive speakers (15″ plus comp-drivers) on stands and two 15″ powered wedges for monitoring.

Hi-Def back-line

Hi-Def back-line

Centre-stage is Andrew’s Mapex kit, this is LOUD, and my Hofner Club.

Hi-Def back-line

Hi-Def back-line

And the other side is Mark’s bass rig and my Trademark 60. This band is loud and punchy. Mark had the Fender Precision bass above as a teenager and I’ve never seen him with anything else, it’s been refinished and I think refretted having completed well over 2,000 gigs. Here he is using his Fender 4×10 cabinet with a Peavey 1,000 watt head. It’s a flexible rig, with Route 66 he adds a further 1×15″ cabinet, and sends it to the PA.

No doubt there are many Norfolk people my age who suffered permanent ear damage from seeing Route 66 at The Oval in Norwich. The above bass is what caused it although in those days the speakers were much bigger.

Hi Definition as a band are very lucky in that they have three really good singers, all with different voices. Mark sounds like Robbie Williams, so naturally he (reluctantly) sings a few of his, and John’s voice can cover just about anything, but is rich and full at the lower end and can carry ballads particularly well. I was asked to sing a few, and I really enjoyed it. We had some stunning harmonies going once we got the feel of what each other was doing.

I know John’s guitar style well so from the off I was able to compliment what he was doing and we have such different sounds that nothing was lost or overpowered. I particularly enjoy playing with another guitarist because I can spend most of the night playing without a pick. Having this relaxed attitude in the band suited me so well. No nerves, just enjoying live music for what it is, rather than worrying too much about it as a product, basically just as it was when venues were plentiful. We now worry too much about losing a venue because a tie isn’t straight or someone uses a bad word or someone plays a bum note.

I came away feeling really pleased with my playing and singing, it just flowed, with no errors, as if I was playing at home, the audience loved it and it was lovely to play with old friends again, I hope we can do it again some day.

Thanks for reading, back soon with fitting the alternator!

2 thoughts on “Alternator move

  1. Hi Nigel
    Good to see the Landrovers is progressing and I must say I really enjoyed the music section – good to see that going so well for you !
    All the best
    Trev

    Like

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