A USA 203 Moves+ Charging System help
  • Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 Last
Results 1 to 25 of 28
Like Tree2Likes

Thread: A USA 203 Moves+ Charging System help

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! leregulage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    The hills of Virginia
    Posts
    136

    Default A USA 203 Moves+ Charging System help

    Its been a while since I've had any updates of the car. Back in November we bought a 403, and rebuilt its engine. After all was said and done. The 203 lives again. She is nowhere near finished -but a large step has been completed.

    https://youtu.be/k6KmOsA57FI


    Now with that said. She is having some trouble charging. I had used a Lucas 22 amp adjustable regulator-with no luck. Then we tried a crippled Harting box from the 403. One of the posts on the inside had been clamped together... Going by the 203's amp gauge that 403 box made it charge somewhat, but not much. Im in the green untill the high beams come on. Lets not even bring up the fog lamps..
    I have not got to shorting the genny out yet to test. So with all of this said. Anyone have some suggestions? Anybody have good success with putting an alternator in place? If so what type-model-etc. I have a few older Datsun Units, but all would have to be heavily modified for use. Gets dang expensive buying random alternators-not knowing where too start!

    Advertisement


    Adam.

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger!
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Bungendore NSW
    Posts
    498

    Default

    We have fitted an alternator to Caroyn's 203. It was just a proprietory brand with an inbuilt regulator. It was no problem but we fitted a warning light and as a consequence the ameter no longer works. The fiddly bit was ensuring that the drive pully was the right size and lined up correctly for the belt.
    We haven't looked back and it has been there for the last 20 years (at least). Most people don't even notice it when they look under the bonnet.
    FLASH
    Wildebeest likes this.

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Peter C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    SWOTR
    Posts
    3,660

    Default

    Congratulations on the 203 now being mobile. You must be very pleased and relieved to finally have reached this milestone.

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! leregulage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    The hills of Virginia
    Posts
    136

    Default

    Yeah its kinda freaky to be honest. After seeing it as a stationary object, for so long- will take some getting used to.
    It is the 403 unit. That 403 had 300K miles on it, so maybe its just had enough... On the bench everything looked, and tested just fine. I'm all for an alternator. I have a 203 genny. Might as well try that before anything else. I know at best its only about 15 amps(on a really good day). Might just be a regulator issue.
    We shall see.

    Adam.

  5. #5
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Melbourne / Caulfield
    Posts
    19,211

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by leregulage View Post
    Yeah its kinda freaky to be honest. After seeing it as a stationary object, for so long- will take some getting used to.
    It is the 403 unit. That 403 had 300K miles on it, so maybe its just had enough... On the bench everything looked, and tested just fine. I'm all for an alternator. I have a 203 genny. Might as well try that before anything else. I know at best its only about 15 amps(on a really good day). Might just be a regulator issue.
    We shall see.

    Adam.
    Check the obvious stuff on the dynamo. Brushes making firm contact, commutator clean and smooth, windings not cooked nor insulation falling off, bearings OK , armature not scraping. After that there is not much you can do yourself unless you know all dynamos.

    Remember the 403 dynamo is not a big machine and doesn't charge until the engine is revving at highway speeds.

    Find an old dude, someone who is 60 plus if you need it fixed.

    Take Russell's advice if originality is major concern.

    Otherwise find a cheap and cheerful used alternator, and fit it.

    However 203/03 engines have a very small crank pulley. It can be difficult to find an alternator pulley, wih a wide belt groove that's small enough diameter to run the machine at 2x engine speed.

    Even if you find a pulley (or bore an off the shelf pulley) because of the small diameter and the wide belt unless you have almost 180 degree belt wrap the belt can slip. You need to factor this into your bracket design.

    There are ways of retaining te ammeter but you need to design a shunt and then the meter reads 1/4 of actual current. Ask me if you want to keep the ammeter reading both + and - charge.

    This thread covers the conversion in general terms . Although a Bosch unit is discussed. I'd suggest most 80 Amp Bosch alternators of similar vintage would be suitable.
    gererator to alternator conversion.......
    The less one interacts with rude, ignorant, critical and argumentative members. The more peaceful life becomes.

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! leregulage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    The hills of Virginia
    Posts
    136

    Default

    Had a really good look at the generator today. For a lack of better words-she's had it. Shorts and what not. I've been peaking through that alternator thread. Darn good read. Already made up the lower bracket to fit an alternator from a late 80's Toyota Truck. Really easy to get over here. Since I want to drive this thing it makes better since all around. Almost any parts store carry's the Toyota unit. Really cheap too.

    Rob- yes i would like to still us the old meter. Most meters have an internal resistance. My digital test meter only does from 1+ ohms. No milliohm stuff. I get no reading. The gauge does work though. Any idea of the internal resistance? With that I could calculate the shunt required.

    Adam.
    Last edited by leregulage; 26th March 2015 at 04:18 PM.

  7. #7
    VIP Sponsor
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Posts
    9,287

    Default

    I found an alternator from a 1XX series Volvo fitted exactly, just need to work out suitable mounting bolts and bend the tensioning stay slightly.

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger! leregulage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    The hills of Virginia
    Posts
    136

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS View Post
    I found an alternator from a 1XX series Volvo fitted exactly, just need to work out suitable mounting bolts and bend the tensioning stay slightly.
    Ah rats. All that work for nothing. Almost done with my conversion. Basically I went to the shelf, and used what I had. Still could be a possibility though.

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Melbourne / Caulfield
    Posts
    19,211

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by leregulage View Post
    Had a really good look at the generator today. For a lack of better words-she's had it. Shorts and what not. I've been peaking through that alternator thread. Darn good read. Already made up the lower bracket to fit an alternator from a late 80's Toyota Truck. Really easy to get over here. Since I want to drive this thing it makes better since all around. Almost any parts store carry's the Toyota unit. Really cheap too.

    Rob- yes i would like to still us the old meter. Most meters have an internal resistance. My digital test meter only does from 1+ ohms. No milliohm stuff. I get no reading. The gauge does work though. Any idea of the internal resistance? With that I could calculate the shunt required.

    Adam.
    OK from the way you talk you are on top of the theory.

    Lacking a milli-ohm meter you can calculate the value of the internal shunt using a volt meter, most digital meters have a 200 millivolt DC range.

    Set the 203 ammeter up on the bench, you need a couple of 12V DC loads (head light globes , plus a heavy duty rheostat is useful).

    Hook up the loads in series with the ammeter and the battery, and adjust the rheo/ shuffle the lamps to get a reading of 10amps on the meter (either + or -_ doesn't matter)

    The measure the DC voltage drop across the meter.

    The use ohm's law to calculate the resistance of the meter.

    Ie R = V/I ,

    Where R is the meter resistance in ohms,
    V= measured voltage drop in VOLTS (need to convert if measuring millivolts)
    I = current displayed on meter in amps.

    These 203 ammeters are notoriously inaccurate so the reading will be an approximation .

    OK so now you know the dc resistance of the meter.

    A shunt across the meter of the same value of the meter resistance will double the range (40-0-40)
    A shunt across the meter of 1/3 the value of the meter resistance will give 4 times the range (80-0-80)

    Shunts are best made from constantan wire. 1.58 mm diameter is 0.24 ohms per meter. Calculate your shunt value by length.
    Remember the soldered section of constantan where the lugs connect doesn't have any resistance. Allow this in your length calcs.

    Once it's all soldered up, you can wind it around a 1/2 or 5/8 twist drill to make an compact shunt. Obviously none of turns should touch.

    It may get quite warm!

    Since all the charging current of 60 amp or 80 amp alternator is now through the original, puny, 203 wiring that should be upgraded to a minimum of 6mm^2 (10 awg) right up to the ammeter and battery.

    It would also be a good idea to source an alternator with a "voltage sense" facility. Are you familiar with the function of "sense" on alternators ?

    Toyota Nippon Denso alternators are brilliant machine, reliable and long lived but the wiring will be different . I can probably help if you tell me the donor vehicle.

    I think that's enough for now !
    Last edited by robmac; 26th March 2015 at 05:19 PM.
    The less one interacts with rude, ignorant, critical and argumentative members. The more peaceful life becomes.

  10. #10
    VIP Sponsor
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Posts
    9,287

    Default

    You won't damage the meter by putting more than 20 amps through it and anything above 20 amps either way doesn't matter, just means the battery is really flat or you have a heap of lights turned on with the engine not running. Just leave it the way it is, then it is far easier to read the current when it matters.


    Quote Originally Posted by leregulage View Post
    Had a really good look at the generator today. For a lack of better words-she's had it. Shorts and what not. I've been peaking through that alternator thread. Darn good read. Already made up the lower bracket to fit an alternator from a late 80's Toyota Truck. Really easy to get over here. Since I want to drive this thing it makes better since all around. Almost any parts store carry's the Toyota unit. Really cheap too.

    Rob- yes i would like to still us the old meter. Most meters have an internal resistance. My digital test meter only does from 1+ ohms. No milliohm stuff. I get no reading. The gauge does work though. Any idea of the internal resistance? With that I could calculate the shunt required.

    Adam.

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Melbourne / Caulfield
    Posts
    19,211

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS View Post
    You won't damage the meter by putting more than 20 amps through it and anything above 20 amps either way doesn't matter, just means the battery is really flat or you have a heap of lights turned on with the engine not running. Just leave it the way it is, then it is far easier to read the current when it matters.
    Sorry Graham I strongly disagree.

    The meter movement will pin full scale (and potentially suffer mechanical damage)because the alternator will charge x3 of the full scale deflection of the ammeter.

    The 203 ammeter has an internal shunt, passing 3x the current through the shunt will at best overheat at worst cook it.

    If you are suggesting not to run the alternator through the existing charging wiring and ammeter I would agree with you.
    That would be my recommended way , ie hook the alternator straight to the battery and let the ammeter read discharge current only.
    The less one interacts with rude, ignorant, critical and argumentative members. The more peaceful life becomes.

  12. #12
    VIP Sponsor
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Posts
    9,287

    Default

    No, I've used these ammeters for years with no problem at all on rally cars.
    The only time the meter will pin is when the battery is dead flat, most of the time the current will be around 10 amps or less.
    There is very little force involved with the needle movement.

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Sorry Graham I strongly disagree.

    The meter movement will pin full scale (and potentially suffer mechanical damage)because the alternator will charge x3 of the full scale deflection of the ammeter.

    The 203 ammeter has an internal shunt, passing 3x the current through the shunt will at best overheat at worst cook it.

    If you are suggesting not to run the alternator through the existing charging wiring and ammeter I would agree with you.
    That would be my recommended way , ie hook the alternator straight to the battery and let the ammeter read discharge current only.

  13. #13
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Melbourne / Caulfield
    Posts
    19,211

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS View Post
    No, I've used these ammeters for years with no problem at all on rally cars.
    The only time the meter will pin is when the battery is dead flat, most of the time the current will be around 10 amps or less.
    There is very little force involved with the needle movement.
    Doesn't pin even when the alternator makes up surface charge on the battery ? Ie headlight left on 10 min without engine?

    On the basis of experience I have to believe you. Although, on reflection it's net current ie (I charge - I load)
    The less one interacts with rude, ignorant, critical and argumentative members. The more peaceful life becomes.

  14. #14
    VIP Sponsor
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Posts
    9,287

    Default

    Yes, just the current to and from the battery.

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Doesn't pin even when the alternator makes up surface charge on the battery ? Ie headlight left on 10 min without engine?

    On the basis of experience I have to believe you. Although, on reflection it's net current ie (I charge - I load)

  15. #15
    Fellow Frogger!
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    olinda victoria australia
    Posts
    731

    Default 203 generator/ammeter etc

    Hi

    Datsun 240z's used an ammeter with an alternator, so the wiring diagram / specs may give you what you need.

    There are a number of 240z bits suppliers in the States ( Black Dragon being one ), so parts and wiring diagrams should be relatively easy to procure and you may have a better chance of finding an Auto Elec who could talk sense based upon experience about the arrangement needed if you use this as a base.

    Best Wishes

    Andrew



    Quote Originally Posted by leregulage View Post
    Had a really good look at the generator today. For a lack of better words-she's had it. Shorts and what not. I've been peaking through that alternator thread. Darn good read. Already made up the lower bracket to fit an alternator from a late 80's Toyota Truck. Really easy to get over here. Since I want to drive this thing it makes better since all around. Almost any parts store carry's the Toyota unit. Really cheap too.

    Rob- yes i would like to still us the old meter. Most meters have an internal resistance. My digital test meter only does from 1+ ohms. No milliohm stuff. I get no reading. The gauge does work though. Any idea of the internal resistance? With that I could calculate the shunt required.

    Adam.

  16. #16
    1000+ Posts fnqvmuch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    port douglas
    Posts
    1,043

    Default

    no help, but
    ' ... to those about to rock, we salute you ... '

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Melbourne / Caulfield
    Posts
    19,211

    Default

    You must have a heap of circa 90s 2VZ engined Camry's around.

    If so, it's a good donor alternator.

    A USA 203 Moves+ Charging System help-nd-.jpg


    Here is a wiring diagram, but I would switch the "S" line with a relay powered off the ignition.

    The circuit reflects ND's over-the-top use of fuses.

    A USA 203 Moves+ Charging System help-nd2.jpg
    The less one interacts with rude, ignorant, critical and argumentative members. The more peaceful life becomes.

  18. #18
    Fellow Frogger! leregulage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    The hills of Virginia
    Posts
    136

    Default

    Wow sparked a bit of a debate eh? It will be a bit before I get back to the ammeter. Who ever did the wiring liked to just tie wires together, and electrical tape them. Never seen one wire have SO many splices. Its a good idea about putting a load on the meter. Though I imagine I will need a milli ohm meter again. So after some looking around, I found this simple project.


    A milliohm adaptor for multimeters

    If our local "Radio Shack" hasn't gone bankrupt, I'll pick up the things soon.

    The alternator I was trying to use is from a 87' Toyota 22re(carb) Truck. At the moment its not going well with my bracket. To keep things from being a royal pain. I might give the Volvo unit a go. Its much cheaper than buying the materials for a bracket. That alternator in the picture looks about right. Though ours has the standard v belt pulley. One can't throw a stick over here without hitting a Toyota.
    Its a good idea about the Datsuns. I have 3.5 -620 trucks at the moment. With a shelf full of alternators. Their bottom brackets fit the 03' motors well. The B$#!H is in spacing out the pulley. Some have longer shafts than the others-quite random. Of course these have the external reg. boxes. The 620 came with "adjustable" units. When it was in 1976 that's just fine. Time is a harsh mistress!
    These itty bitty things just ad up.

    Found it quite interesting there is an oil pressure warning light. It plugs in behind the temp gauge.

    If one was careful. Can the headlight stalk switch thingy be taken apart, and cleaned?
    Also did the wiring to the engine bay , lights-etc. Run through some holes in the firewall? Kinda going by pictures on this one...

    Adam.
    StephineS likes this.

  19. #19
    Fellow Frogger! leregulage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    The hills of Virginia
    Posts
    136

    Default

    Alright finally time to report with my findings.

    I went ahead and used a Volvo 1 series alternator, with external regulator. The unit bolted right on, with NO bracket. I did have to use a few washers, and longer bolt. Mine didn't come with a pulley, so one from a Datsun 620 worked well.

    When it starts, it is not charging, I have to rev it a little bit(only once) then it pegs the Ammeter, and settles back down.

    I did do all the calculations for the resistance wire. Since the meter is nothing more than a needle, that senses a flow. There is no need for the other wire. It is so well made, it's no issue. I've driven the car at night, nothing dims at all! Nice not to worry about it. With all the lights on, the needle stays around +3 amps. Doesn't matter what you do, it will just flicker, then come right back to that spot. Couldn't be happier!

    The car is on the road now. Not really the best video, but it gets the point across. You can see what happens when I start-then rev it.

    https://youtu.be/gpH9_lLuAtE

    Thanks again for the help!

    Adam.
    Last edited by leregulage; 15th May 2015 at 01:47 PM.

  20. #20
    1000+ Posts Peter C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    SWOTR
    Posts
    3,660

    Default

    In love your Youtube clip and I don't envy you driving one handed, in a right hand drive car on the right hand side of the road!

  21. #21
    1000+ Posts
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    9,036

    Default

    I loved your corner of Virginia.

  22. #22
    VIP Sponsor
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Posts
    9,287

    Default

    Possibly you don't have an exciter wire so the alternator is self energising at the higher revs?

    Quote Originally Posted by leregulage View Post
    Alright finally time to report with my findings.

    I went ahead and used a Volvo 1 series alternator, with external regulator. The unit bolted right on, with NO bracket. I did have to use a few washers, and longer bolt. Mine didn't come with a pulley, so one from a Datsun 620 worked well.

    When it starts, it is not charging, I have to rev it a little bit(only once) then it pegs the Ammeter, and settles back down.

    I did do all the calculations for the resistance wire. Since the meter is nothing more than a needle, that senses a flow. There is no need for the other wire. It is so well made, it's no issue. I've driven the car at night, nothing dims at all! Nice not to worry about it. With all the lights on, the needle stays around +3 amps. Doesn't matter what you do, it will just flicker, then come right back to that spot. Couldn't be happier!

    The car is on the road now. Not really the best video, but it gets the point across. You can see what happens when I start-then rev it.

    https://youtu.be/gpH9_lLuAtE

    Thanks again for the help!

    Adam.

  23. #23
    Fellow Frogger! leregulage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    The hills of Virginia
    Posts
    136

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS View Post
    Possibly you don't have an exciter wire so the alternator is self energising at the higher revs?

    No, I think its to do with the RPMs in general. This unit needs a certain speed to make power. Once the gas gets bumped, it always makes charge(at any RPM). My pulley is not quite big enough... All the leads are connected.

    The RHD is fine by me. Though a good crown on the road, and in the ditch you go. Gotta stay focused much more.
    Since that video we've put around 250 miles on it. If I stop, and get out in a public area. Swarms of older gentlemen will ask many questions. Gonna wear out the hood latch cause of it soon! Its basically my everyday car. Might try to find it a new home soon. Had the family out in it today. Our driveway is very steep. She got beached like a whale!

    Those pesky front spring nuts caught us. She hauls a family of 4 with ease though. 40 MPH is about my max for now. Need to balance the tires. Have had no issues with over heating. Might need to install a thermostat though, would regulate things better.For a car built from boxes, its pretty neat. Probably get drowned like a rat in the rain!

    Adam.

  24. #24
    VIP Sponsor
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Posts
    9,287

    Default

    Once a certain revs are reached the alternator will stay energised until you stop the engine.
    An alternator should still charge at idling speeds. Internal or external regulator?


    Quote Originally Posted by leregulage View Post
    No, I think its to do with the RPMs in general. This unit needs a certain speed to make power. Once the gas gets bumped, it always makes charge(at any RPM). My pulley is not quite big enough... All the leads are connected.

    The RHD is fine by me. Though a good crown on the road, and in the ditch you go. Gotta stay focused much more.
    Since that video we've put around 250 miles on it. If I stop, and get out in a public area. Swarms of older gentlemen will ask many questions. Gonna wear out the hood latch cause of it soon! Its basically my everyday car. Might try to find it a new home soon. Had the family out in it today. Our driveway is very steep. She got beached like a whale!

    Those pesky front spring nuts caught us. She hauls a family of 4 with ease though. 40 MPH is about my max for now. Need to balance the tires. Have had no issues with over heating. Might need to install a thermostat though, would regulate things better.For a car built from boxes, its pretty neat. Probably get drowned like a rat in the rain!

    Adam.

  25. #25
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Mangonui NZ
    Posts
    82

    Default well done!

    Well done!! Enjoy the quirky 203. In my fleet the 203 is still the favourite & has had virtually nothing done to it since taking it over to Oz for Graham's 2003 Redex Rerun. Dave Duirs Far North NZ

Page 1 of 2 12 Last

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •