ALTERNATOR FAILURE on ESPRIT TURBO - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 95 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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ALTERNATOR FAILURE on ESPRIT TURBO

How many replaced the OE 90A alternator on 4 cyl cars?
How long do they last?
Are they all failing the same way?

Are V8 alts better?

Your story?

Last edited by MRDANGERUS; 11-01-2012 at 11:33 AM.
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post #2 of 95 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 11:17 AM
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Had mine rebuilt locally.

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post #3 of 95 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 12:20 PM
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My old original Valeo served me a long time with no issues until one morning out in Buffalo, NY when the girlfriend and I were headed to Niagara Falls {no not to get married} I packed up the car in the pouring rain and fired her up for warm up.

The charging light came on... ... I need my lights and wipers plus I'm 600 miles away from home. I called a local Lotus owner for assistance and drove over to his house. Less than two miles from leaving the motel the charging system came back on line and the light went out. I checked the belt, alternator mounts, etc. and couldn't find anything wrong.

Welcome to the 'Black Goo Syndrome' As it turns out the voltage regulator melts down causing the brushes to stick when the alternator is cold but once it warms up they slide into place and the system will charge. This is a common problem with the original Valeo.

I've read all of the posts about converting over to Bosch, etc. however my favorite parts supplier convinced me to stay with Valeo. Since I had many years of service from the original I decided to buy another and the nice thing was I didn't have to give up my core, adapt the new one to fit and I can rebuild the old one for a spare.

A+ for the Valeo, I drove it for a few years with this problem and it never let me down. Even though I had a replacement I never had the time to replace it until I had to dig into the motor this summer, problem happened back in 2007. Although I never go far from home anymore it has not let me down and that's 'My Story'
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post #4 of 95 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 01:47 PM
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Valeo is good and it should be easy t have a local shop rebuild it. You would want to get the voltage regulator (source of the black goo) replaced. You can get one from JAE - it is not very expensive. Take it and the Valeo to a local shop and they should be able to make it look and function like new.

I recently did a big renovation to my car and decided to give the Bosch AL49 a try after reading high praise for it (and a lot of complaining about the Valeo). I haven't had enough time or miles to form an opinion on the Bosch. You do have to do a few minor adaptations to fit the Bosch to the Esprit.

Tom Mieczkowski
1989 Esprit Turbo
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post #5 of 95 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRDANGERUS View Post
How many replaced the OE 90A alternator on 4 cyl cars?
How long do they last?
Are they all failing the same way?

Are V8 alts better?

Your story?
I bought the car July 2011. Started driving Oct 2011 after refresh. In Dec 2011, alternator failed during 4 hour stop/go tourist trip to San Francisco. The engine temps were assumed to be very hot, causing the black goo to drip and interfere with the stator/commutators. Ironically, it was a fairly cool day in San Francisco - ambient temps in the low 60s, but the 'taxi' mode of driving slow with stops apparently were not Valeo-friendly.

Covered to Bosch alternator and no problems since.

I have the details and tons of pictures here:

1988 Lotus Esprit Turbo alternator failure pictures by eberin - Photobucket

Eddie B
87 Esprit 'SLEEK GT'

Last edited by sleekgt; 11-01-2012 at 05:48 PM.
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post #6 of 95 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 06:16 PM
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The V-8 alternators suffer from the same "Black Goo" syndrome. I replaced mine with the one from a Cadillac Catera.
David Teitelbaum
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post #7 of 95 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 06:20 PM
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Bosch is Better

I've had problems with the OE Valeo on both my G-car and the 91 SE. Late this Summer I had no time to do the work myself so the local shop said they could take it on--and he found the Bosch solution himself. The Turboesprit group curses the Valeo over and over. The Bosch makes better electricity for the FI system and greater demands of the later 4-cyl models on the electrics--one just has to change the pulley out. I replaced the regulator on my 81 Essex and it seems to be doing ok. Check your battery and make sure it is fully charged and this will ease the strain in the Fragile Valeo. As soon as it gives out on the 81, I'll put a bosch in that one too.
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post #8 of 95 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 06:41 PM
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My '83 has an OE Motorola alternator, never had a problem with it in 10 years.

Modern alternators are not designed to charge a completely flat battery, so boosting or jumping a car to get it running may cause the alternator to overheat and fail with the high load demand , unless you can get some cool air flow around it which is just about impossible on an Esprit.

Cars that sit on car dealers lots tend to be boosted alot BTW.
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post #9 of 95 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 07:16 PM
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Using the Bosch does require a few tweaks. As mentioned you'll need to swap pulleys. You'll also need to rotate the back of the case 180 degrees to get the terminal on the correct side for the 910 engine layout. You also will need to use a different bolt to lock the alternator to the adjuster bracket. LotusRacer Ed has a great write-up on how to do the conversion:

Lotus tips page 3

It includes photos, etc. It's a job that shouldn't take more than an hour or so for the reasonably experienced mechanic.

Tom Mieczkowski
1989 Esprit Turbo
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post #10 of 95 (permalink) Old 11-03-2012, 07:39 PM
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My 88 has the cross referenced "Duralast" from Autozone and it has been working like a champ, I think it crosses to a BMW. You have to swap the pulley and fan though for it to fit.

I do recommend removing it from the box at the store though, as they are remanned and the quality of the reman can vary. Some had rust on them right out of the box. I had to go to 3 different stores before I got what I considered a good one.
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post #11 of 95 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 05:00 AM
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I actually have a brand new OEM 90A Valeo Esprit alternator (Lotus P/N A910E6604F) that I will never use just sitting on a shelf. If one of you guys is looking to stay with an original alternator, send me a PM.
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post #12 of 95 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 02:37 PM
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I purchased a Bosch AL49X (12/2017) off eBay (new in box) and it doesn't look like you can clock it as easy as previously mentioned. There are four black insulated ~2" wires that go from the electronics inner-side to the wound copper wire. I broke one of them thinking you just had to undo the 4 outer housing screws and then rotate. I'm not sure if something changed in the design but it looks like I have to cut the 4 wires and then solder in some longer wires to reach the new 180 degree location. Does anyone have the procedures for clocking the Bosch alternator they can send me or recommend the best way to resolve this issue?

Thanks.
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post #13 of 95 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 07:02 AM
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I recently found my old Valeo alternator's regulator in a box in the basement with other old lotus parts. The black goo had oozed out all over the place. So they don't just do that with heat!

Travis
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post #14 of 95 (permalink) Old 01-01-2018, 01:57 AM
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Separaph!!! Oh YES YOUR ARE! Oh no no YES YOU CAN!

Its on the youboob posted right here in this sub forum by... ME.


The AL49X is too large and just clears just gotta stick a nice big n LONG extension under it get some belt tension on it oh and yeah buy a 60 cent bolt with a lock nut.

Also Sepraph. If you get that reference I will die laughing.


Also MR.D you know my story. I cooked the coils on my 27 year old Valeo and didnt know what it was because it didnt blow black schmoo everywhere instead decided to work intermittently for a week. Out here in japan I had to wait a month for one reasonably priced from the U.S. also rewinds take a month of the unit on the shelf here.... Also the supplier I mentioned to stay away from is a bunch of prius loving ****** Get the parts from a reputable parts slinger.

1990 SE.

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post #15 of 95 (permalink) Old 01-01-2018, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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AL48X is not my favourite. Not enough power.

FYI, new gadget:
Balmar UBB Universal Adjustment Arm with Belt Buddy Tensioner device

Balmar UBB Universal Adjustment Arm with Belt Buddy Tensioner

ALSO, see post #229 here: https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f164...5/index12.html
.

Last edited by MRDANGERUS; 01-01-2018 at 08:05 AM.
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post #16 of 95 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 04:19 AM
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Rotate

Getting the screws loose is the hardest part. Took a lot of muscle with my son to get the screws loose. The rest was a breeze and it work perfectly. Go Bosch




Quote:
Originally Posted by Seraph View Post
I purchased a Bosch AL49X (12/2017) off eBay (new in box) and it doesn't look like you can clock it as easy as previously mentioned. There are four black insulated ~2" wires that go from the electronics inner-side to the wound copper wire. I broke one of them thinking you just had to undo the 4 outer housing screws and then rotate. I'm not sure if something changed in the design but it looks like I have to cut the 4 wires and then solder in some longer wires to reach the new 180 degree location. Does anyone have the procedures for clocking the Bosch alternator they can send me or recommend the best way to resolve this issue?

Thanks.
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post #17 of 95 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenna'sEspritTurbo View Post
Getting the screws loose is the hardest part. Took a lot of muscle with my son to get the screws loose. The rest was a breeze and it work perfectly. Go Bosch
I think what Seraph is suggesting as that he found internal wires prevented clocking the face around so it would fit. Perhaps Bosch has changed the internals or is there some other trick?
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post #18 of 95 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 02:41 PM
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Not clocked my Bosch spare yet, but shouldn't the center stator coils rotate with the rear cover relative to the front (pulley side) cover, so the wires stay in the same relative position?

1985 BRG Turbo Esprit
Chargecooled w/Megasquirt EFI
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post #19 of 95 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 05:01 PM
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I am mystified by the issue of the wires unless Bosch changed something design-wise. Everything rotates with the stator on the two or three AL49's that I have installed.

Tom Mieczkowski
1989 Esprit Turbo
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post #20 of 95 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 04:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowrx View Post
Not clocked my Bosch spare yet, but shouldn't the center stator coils rotate with the rear cover relative to the front (pulley side) cover, so the wires stay in the same relative position?
Yes that would be correct. Something isn't right. Just setting time is basically str8 forward. Not sure if there was a design change without holding it in my hands. Not sure why there is a 4th wire inside either. Setting time doesnt require opening the alternator up just loose and back up a "smidgen" and tighten up again
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