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November 2, 2016, 10:46pm Report to Moderator

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Hi, new here, had my triumph for about 5 months. Had my first breakdown today in my herald 13/60 tonight, probably a problem with battery or dynamo. Dynamo charging at a rate of 12V max (according to RAC man) which isn't as high as it should be? The car doesn't have enough power to turn over so will only start when jumped. There are a lot of sparks coming from the dynamo when at high revs (unsure if this is normal). Was wondering if anyone knew if i could find out if it was the dynamo or battery that was the issue and whether an alternator conversion would be advisable (and if so an idea of the cost).
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Nick Jones
November 3, 2016, 9:21am Report to Moderator

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Sparking from the dynamo at high revs is NOT normal and almost certainly related to your problem.  Most likely knackered brushes in the dynamo (fairly easy to change).

The dynamo system (the regulator box mounted on the bulkhead is also part of it) is quite capable of doing the job if in good order but my own preference is for an alternator, especially if you are using the car as a daily driver through the winter.

There is loads of information about converting on the web, including this one.

Personally I'd use something other than a Lucas ACR series as this is very old technology and now mostly available as Chinese copies or reconditioned using Chinese copy parts.  There is a more modern Lucas alternator available and also a selection of Bosch ones that fit.  Some also like the lightweight Denso units as used on Mini diggers and the like though these are trickier to mount and wire up.


Nick Jones
Somerset UK

Vitesse Mk 1.5 Convertible EFI, Survivor of RBRR 2008, HCR & 10CR 2009, HCR 2010, 10CR2011, HCR 2012, 10CR2013, 10CR2015, HCR 2016 & HCR 2017.
GT6 Mk3 Roto - project in progress
Spitfire MKIV son's project now on the road as a daily driver
2.5 PI Saloon now EFI (PIe?), Engine rebuilt and running sweet.  Diff howling...... Survivor of HCR 2013 & 2014 Gone to live in Swansea
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November 3, 2016, 10:00am Report to Moderator

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Dynamos can spark a little but as Nick says it's normally a sign that the brushes are on their way out. The other possible cause of poor charging is the control box - it's electro-mechanical with carefully adjusted relays to set the charge level. Stickiness or spring aging can throw these off adjustment.

Converting to alternator may be the easiest fix, but my experience of dynamos (on a Mk1 Vitesse and a 13/60, both years ago) was that they work really rather well - better than a low-rated Lucas ACR - as long as you do as many day time journeys as night time.

Current fleet
1967 Vitesse 2L conv "Tessa"
1970 Spitfire Mk3 (project) "Toby"
1972 GT6 Mk3
Not enough time or space
Recently sold:
1972 2.5 PI estate "Harry" (gone to russell on here)
1973 Toledo 2-door "Spike" (gone to a club official)
Used to have:
1968 Vitesse 2L saloon
1980 Dolomite 1500
1977 Dolomite 1850
1980 Dolomite Sprint
1982 TR7 DHC Sprint
1975 2500S saloon
1971 Herald 13/60 Estate (with 1500 Spit engine)
1975 Stag
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