Alternators, is 60A worth the upgrade? | The Z Club of Great Britain
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Alternators, is 60A worth the upgrade?

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by istoo, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. istoo

    istoo
    Z Club Member

    Well the 240z didn't start on me for the first time in three years.
    No output from alternator, so looking at replacements, normally I have gone to Mike for everything so its out to the masses. Realizing more how much he/club was central to my ownership.

    Considering upgrading to a 60A option if it doesnt require a lot of deviating from stock, again want to keep this OEM as possible. Looking for feedback on;

    • Anyone who has upgraded to a 60A alternator, did it improve matters and what/where did you buy from?
    • Anyone running one of the Z store 60A motorsports alternators? https://www.thezstore.com/page/TZS/PROD/12-4068 they state 70-72 only, my car is a nov 73 stamp, will it work?
     
  2. franky

    franky Well-Known Forum User

    Rockauto.
     
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  3. uk66fastback

    uk66fastback
    Z Club Member

    I would guess not, as it specifically says:

    "1973 owners, please give us a call for options."

    Probably worth an email ... or buy from Rockauto for the standard replacement one.

    Edit: you've set me thinking now whether I could benefit from the upgrade, as I've just redone all the connectors on my voltage regulator as they were very crusty ... the trouble I had getting the connector apart tells me it might have been the first time in 48 years it had been ...

    Luckily, mine is a '72.
     
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  4. MCBladeRun

    MCBladeRun
    Z Club Member

    I believe you can get these rewired and increase the output and still keep the original size/shape? But you'd need to find a reputable firm to do so.

    I'm planning on upgrading to a GM model that outputs at 80amp, but needed to buy new mounting brackets to fit it etc. The nice thing about this, is the adjustment on the belt is easier, and it also has an internal regulator as opposed to the external regulator. However, it's not original to the car.
     
  5. peter_s

    peter_s
    Z Club Member

    I have a modern Nissan alt on my engine from Datsun Spirit. I have asked what the model is. I looks like it's mounted with the stock hardware
     
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  6. MaximG

    MaximG
    Z Club Member

    I think it all depends if your car is running an external regulator or has been ungraded to an internally regulated alternator.
     
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  7. toopy

    toopy
    Z Club Member

    I bought the plug in adapter thingy for the voltage regulator on it's own from Zstore and then bought a 60 amp alternator for a 280zx from Rockauto.
     
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  8. AliK

    AliK
    Z Club Member
    Staff Member Moderator

    Exactly! Mine had the external regulator and I bought the MSA thing too. As Franky says, Rockauto is your best friend.

    60A should deal with most things you throw at it, unless of course you plan to go big subs and under car lighting ;)
     
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  9. peter_s

    peter_s
    Z Club Member

    If it were me I would take the opportunity to change to an alternator with internal voltage regulation and delete the external one on the car.

    The old voltage regulator on these cars are prone to failure, and seems to be a common cause of being stranded. At least on the 280Z.
     
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  10. MCBladeRun

    MCBladeRun
    Z Club Member

    I guess at the end of the day, it depends how precious you are with keeping things standard with all the limitations of older technologies?
     
  11. peter_s

    peter_s
    Z Club Member

    That is a fair point. It's easily reversible though if you car about that. You can jumper the contact and disconnect the regulator that way. No wires need to be cut that way
     
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  12. MaximG

    MaximG
    Z Club Member

    Externally regulated was a bit old hat even then. I just look at it as a reliability upgrade, same as going to a 280zx dizzy.
     
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  13. peter_s

    peter_s
    Z Club Member

    Exactly my view
     
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  14. istoo

    istoo
    Z Club Member

    This is where my head is at.
    I like originality but where I can make a reliability or drivability improvement,ideally from the family, then that sits well with my precious-ness!

    Forgive my lack of knowledge but what is the difference between internal and externally regulated alternatives?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. istoo

    istoo
    Z Club Member

    Alternatives - alternators

    This is a good reason not to use Tapatalk, predictive text and my thumbs are a bad combo


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. MCBladeRun

    MCBladeRun
    Z Club Member

    So, alternators are dynamos that convert the rotational kinetic energy into a usable electrical energy through the use of small copper windings around an iron core that is rotating.

    The revolutions in the engine are controlled by the position of the accelerator or gas pedal etc and are connected to the alternator via the v-belt.

    So, if you allowed the alternator to output what the engine was delivering, you'd have a variable voltage coming through - which could damage your 12v components.

    The regulator helps keep a cap on this in order to protect the electrical system.

    I welcome corrections to my knowledge of course; it is incomplete as of writing.

    Martin
     
  17. peter_s

    peter_s
    Z Club Member

    Martin is right, a great explanation.

    Just to add, back in the day the regulators were a little bigger, so it was placed in the engine bay. As they got smaller they found their way into the alternators, and in the process simplifying wiring
     
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  18. istoo

    istoo
    Z Club Member

    That’s what I was asking
    All for simplification


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  19. istoo

    istoo
    Z Club Member

    Following this line.
    My alternator looks pretty new, previous owner replaced before I bought it (3 years ago) so it’s not done a lot of miles/aged/car garaged

    If it does have an external regulator where are they located in the car. Assuming a wee box somewhere... nothing immediately behind the wiring loom from looking about.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. MCBladeRun

    MCBladeRun
    Z Club Member

    Ah, thats an easy one, it's located inside the engine bay, on the bodywork of the inside wheel arch and is usually opposite the alternator, it looks like a rounded metal box with wires going upwards towards its underside. DSC_2017.JPG
    Can you see it top left of this image? It's tucked below the engine bay inspection light, left of the suspension pillar, right of the fuel filter.

    (My engine bay)
     
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