V8 Staff

The original alternator started to whine, so I popped for a parts store replacement and will eventually rebuild the original. It still made decent power, but the bearings are drying out and won’t last long.

These cars use an external voltage regulator, and mine was starting to go south. In the Riv, the regulator is mounted on the firewall right behind the dash, so you can hear the coil and contact points operating as the regulator works. It’s a “tinny” mechanical clicking sound that lets you know it’s working, but my dash lights were getting really bright at night, signalling an over-charge situation. While I like the light, the battery does not. Overcharging a battery will cause a premature demise. And we have plans for some audio upgrades, which require a consistent power source, as electronics don’t like high voltage either.

The original regulators are adjustable, and this one probably can be calibrated to be back within specs, but that won’t erase the zillions of cycles and nearly ½ century of life it has lived. We elected to replace it, and the cool thing is that the modern replacements have solid-state electronic internals.

The old & the new

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