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Old 08-01-2013
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name that alternator! and other questions

As I previously posted (well over a year ago), my alternator has been on the fritz. I finally decided to do something about it. I pulled it off the engine (a 1979 Perkins 4-108) today and took it to Autozone for testing, but they said they can't test it if they don't know what it is. It has no markings on it except for the back part (regulator?) which says "Motorola". I'm hoping if I post a couple photos, you folks can tell me what kind it is, or at the least, what the three wires coming out of it are.

Top
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Back after removal from engine

The big lug with the fat wire coming out of it goes to the battery (via a weird can-shaped component... what is that thing? Visible in the "top" photo, it connects the fat blue wire to the fat red wire). The two thin wires are the mystery wires... in the third photo, you can see the blue mystery wire go off the top of the photo; it connects to the plug on the red wire visible in the "back" photo. The red mystery wire connects to the lower-left lug in the third photo. There was some kind of electrical component bridging the two bottom lugs in that third photo, but as you can see it's broken. I'm not sure if that happened before or during removal of the alternator from the engine.

So, anyone want to hazard a guess as to what the connections are? Anyone able to divine a model number? Do you know what either of mystery electrical components are? Are you good enough to identify the exact cause of my woes from such laughably incomplete information? Thanks!
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Old 08-01-2013
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Lightbulb Re: name that alternator! and other questions

At the risk of belaboring the obvious, you appear to live in an area with a marine industry.
Why take it to an automotive store when you can perhaps find a marine electrical shop?
In our much smaller metro area we have an excellent marine-focused shop that does most all of this work. Heck, he routinely converts standard self-regulating alternators to external reg. (like all those 25 year old) Moto alts on 3 and 4 cylinder sailboat diesels)

You may want to re-ask your question toward finding references locally for this work.
And, I sure do agree that the wires and long-worn-off writing on these old devices can be baffling for us average guys.
Been there......
Tag and take pix of everything before you undo it, OK?

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Loren
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Old 08-01-2013
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Re: name that alternator! and other questions

Quote:
The big lug with the fat wire coming out of it goes to the battery (via a weird can-shaped component... what is that thing?
I think that's a dealy-bob to quiet down the alternator for radio interference noise.
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Old 08-01-2013
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Re: name that alternator! and other questions

Find a starter and alternator shop. They'll be able to look it over and tell you whether it's working properly or not, and fix it up if it needs it.

car and auto alternator generator and starter repair Boston | Find car and auto alternator generator and starter repair in Boston, MA

Boston Alternator repair | Alternator repair in Boston, MA - YP.com
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Old 08-03-2013
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Re: name that alternator! and other questions

I'm not aware of a marine electrical place around here that does this kind of work... they seem to all be the "install new radar" kind of marine electrical places, which I guess actually makes them marine electronics places. I took your advice and went to an alternator repair shop. They told me the alternator was putting out voltage, but conjectured that the brushes might be at the end of their life and thus intermittent and not putting out as much current as they should. A new alternator was $150, and having them rebuild the old one was estimated as similar, so I just bought the new one.

They explained that one of the wires -- the one that goes into the square-ish plug connector -- is "excitation", and provides 12V from the ignition to enable the alternator. The other mystery wire is the tachometer. They were not able to identify the mystery can-shaped component from my photos.

The new alternator is a World Power Systems 8625N, for anyone who cares. I can't find anything about it or the manufacturer online, but the guys at the shop told me it outputs 65A, which seems like plenty. They conjectured that the old alternator was about 50A.

Of course, while installing the new one, I dropped the big mounting nut into the bilge, and it being stainless, I can't use a magnet to find it... guess I need to make a trip to the hardware store in the morning. And then hopefully the new alternator actually solves my problem.

Thank you all for your help.
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Old 08-03-2013
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Re: name that alternator! and other questions

Glad the alternator guys were able to help. The guys I used for my starter were incredibly helpful and happy to talk about their work with someone who was interested in learning. Sounds like you had a similar experience. I also like the fact that they were honest about your rebuild cost and didn't waste your time/money.
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Old 08-03-2013
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Re: name that alternator! and other questions

the can shaped thing is a radio noise suppression device.
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Old 08-03-2013
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Re: name that alternator! and other questions

It is an old Motorola alt, now Prestolite/Leece-Neville
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Re: name that alternator! and other questions

Functional alternator again! Thanks again for your help, everyone.
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Old 10-02-2013
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Re: name that alternator! and other questions

Looks like a Motorola 8MR series alternator.
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