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So, how about an update on the saga that is the alternator on the Cobra?

As a refresher:
Alternator died in March. I fiddle faddled around and finally got it pulled sometime in early May. Dropped at the local alternator shop. I was in no hurry with upcoming vacation, didn't tell him that. He told me to come pickup up in a week.

Went to pick it up, not done. Many promises and apologies, definitely have it by Wednesday. Nope. Friday. Nope. Informed him I'd get it after my vacation the following week.

Went the Monday after vacation. Nope. Promised for sure next day.

Picked it up next day (early July). Got it on that weekend. Not working right. Acts like it's a low amp version, as it can't keep up with ac/mkviii fan/headlights (running voltage at that point was just over 13v at idle, supposed to be 140a alternator).

Take it back, he thinks voltage regulator is cutting out under high load (whatever, I know enough about alternators to be dangerous).

Once again, takes 9-10 days for him to open do whatever he does, with multiple promises of "drop by tomorrow, it'll be ready". It should be noted, it's 1/2 mile out of my way to pick it up on way home from work.

Finally get it picked up, installed and started last. You guessed it! Now it's not charging at all. It's a one wire setup (they engergize around 1500rpm) and it isn't charging at all. Voltage on batter is 12.05 v, and same voltage at the post coming off the alternator. Discovered that last night at 930. Didn't have the heart to pull it back off last night as I was pretty ticked.

Granted, I'm only $60 in, but if it's not working, not doing much good now, is it?

I'm going to stop by today and talk to him one more time and see what he says. Hopefully he can put his beer down long enough to stay on point on the conversation. If it wasn't a chrome housing, I'd have already just bought another. Very frustrating.
 

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Thats exactly why I eventually gave up with my local alternator rebuilder guy. Incompetence demonstrated multiple times and I gave up and bought a new one.

I understand the “suck” about possibly losing a polished housing!
 

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Like I said before, he wouldn't look out of place on the set of Sanford and Son. I suspect half his day is spent sitting in a chair talking and drinking beer.
 
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Yea and I did check Griffin. They have one for $1025 ish. A Beauty I am sure! I may get that next but discretionary income at present won’t allow that after the Jasper engine.

The custom Griffin I bought on my Mustang was top end available 22 years ago and it’s held on PERFECTLY of course. The Jeep may get one next go around.
I searched a bit for a Fox radiator in Winter, and came up with what Michael said, the Griffin has had QC problems. But several people suggested a Cold Case brand, this one for a Fox, $363;
 
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I searched a bit for a Fox radiator in Winter, and came up with what Michael said, the Griffin has had QC problems. But several people suggested a Cold Case brand, this one for a Fox, $363;
Looks nice Don. Hopefully my Griffin in the stang will continue to behave perfectly for years to come. TBD.
 

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Looks nice Don. Hopefully my Griffin in the stang will continue to behave perfectly for years to come. TBD.
I hope so too, most failures should happen early on, or ages later from old age. My home AC system is still down, the installer tech they sent last November "found" the leak, said it was the evaporator. Now two months after they ordered that(I waited until Spring to push it), they should come again, soon, to do the condenser. They installed the evaporator I paid for, finally almost three weeks ago now, and it leaked very loudly immediately. So they "guessed" wrong, don't you just love models and official conclusions we hear all the time? They are going to cover this one, but it's a shame they didn't diagnose it properly the first time.
 
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These days it seems more likely than not that someone screws up or parts are late/ impossible to get. We are becoming more like Socialist Cuba day by day.
 

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Went exactly as I figured “you’re going to have to bring me the car, somethings wrong with it.”

brahahahahhaha good one.
One wire alternator that supposed energizes at 1500 rpm. Brand new battery reading 12.2v. Post on alternator reading 12.2v.

You screwed something up, bud. Just like this whole calamity from the beginning

Grrrrrrrrr.
 
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Sorry to hear about the ordeal Richard....although I'd think an unpolished replacement would be an upgrade. ;)

When I ordered my replacement Cometic head gasket, Jegs estimated 7/1 ship date. On 7/2 they estimated 7/11. On 7/12 they estimated 8/15. I'm now exploring buying one in Japan. About 50% more -- but I think I can have it in about 10 days. Cometic builds to order. Kameari looks to have them in stock.
 

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Thanks for the correction Michael, I misread your email.

I also noted the Bugatti seemed to have positive camber on the front wheels. Any idea why they ran it like that versus slight negative camber I am running these days?
If I remember correctly it had to do with the roads at the time. Most were dirt/gravel.
(my response above from earlier that didn't post for some reason. Come back now and it shows up after I hit post.... can't explain it)


From someone on Jalopyjournal that seems to know of what they speak....seems there were several reasons for it. With modern roads/race tracks (very little crown, relatively speaking) and modern tires - the set up would be different today.


"There were a few reasons for it. One of the most quoted had to do with the high crown and heavy ruts of the roads back then. With a beam axle there is very little camber change during suspension travel, especially when both wheels bump up (camber change only happens when one wheel travels more than the other). In heavy ruts the positive camber helped keep the car in the ruts, as versus climbing out and getting all sideways on the road. It also helped to counteract bump steer issues (and the dreaded death wobble) as well as creating much lighter steering effort. With the narrow tires and round profile, camber was of little or no benefit to cornering forces.
It has been said that Mercedes, during the early 1900’s would actually measure the crown in a road when doing endurance racing and set the positive camber to match as it made the cars more stable at speed.
One other thing to consider is wheel bearing loads and the technology in the early days. Have you ever noticed how the inner bearing is larger than the outer? Well on these really early cars it is even more so. By putting positive camber in the wheel the load is directed more towards the inner bearing. The vertical load is more direct with the inner bearing and this kept them from snapping off spindles which was a problem early on."
I had remembered it being because of the roads. Mainly the fact that there weren't many paved roads and the ruts were huge. HUGE. That positive camber can help you get up out of a rut easier.
 

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Richard, what is the interest in a one wire alternator, just curious. I am running an SN95 on mine. If I replace it one day I’ll look for an aftermarket one with even more amps as well to handle fans/ ac etc. even better. In worst summer conditions with ac interior fan on MAX and tranny cooler fan also running the voltage of my system drops a bit lower than I’d like (12.5-12.7ish I think) and my alternator is clearly barely adequate in worst case conditions. Granted it’s a toy and not a DD so it’s not critical at this point. I’ll take another car on the worst days no matter how much I wanna drive it.
 

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Richard, what is the interest in a one wire alternator, just curious. I am running an SN95 on mine. If I replace it one day I’ll look for an aftermarket one with even more amps as well to handle fans/ ac etc. even better. In worst summer conditions with ac interior fan on MAX and tranny cooler fan also running the voltage of my system drops a bit lower than I’d like (12.5-12.7ish I think) and my alternator is clearly barely adequate in worst case conditions. Granted it’s a toy and not a DD so it’s not critical at this point. I’ll take another car on the worst days no matter how much I wanna drive it.
Well, when I got it the 3g upgrade was in its infancy. I didn’t want to cut my oem harness. Also, I wanted a “factory look” alternator with the exposed fan, as opposed to the internal fan of the sn95 style.

of course,when I got it I opted for chrome so I hate to just replace it. 1 wire setups are super simple. Literally charging cable and that’s it. Energizes at 1500 rpm and stays until it turns off.

12.5 is way low for alternator running. Not a daily so prob not a big deal but will shorten its life.

I guess I’ll go back through our posts for something in knoxville area to rebuild/fix. Something tells me I have 65a guts even after I told the guy I needed 130a minimum.
 
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That ‘whatever low voltage’ I have at WORST conditions rarely happens as I choose not to drive it on 100F type days when I must have the ac and interior fan on MAX. Also my interior vent fan is likely at end of life and I’ll bet if I replace THAT I’ll less load on the alternator as well. It’s OEM at 130k miles and on my other vehicles changing that helped fwiw.
 

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Here I am complaining about an alternator on and off three times, and our boy Michael has done the head and front dress three times lol.

I think I'll take my vacation at the end of this month, pull it and take it apart and see if I see anything obvious. After that, I'll take it to a different shop and see what they can do. Really want to keep the chrome and avoid buying a new alternator. They run 150+. Mainly because I'm stubborn and know something isn't right on this thing.
 
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The Yen and the yang of it all. Actually Chris, I've been using a good ol' Cometic MLS gasket made right here in the US of A and sourced through Jegs.

Here's the kicker - don't even know if I can explain it here. I've been using Cometic head gaskets for the pushrod version of the engine, not for the DOHC version. The difference is that on the DOHC, the front of the head comes further forward to cover the top of the timing chain cover. It doesn't do that with the pushrod head because the cam is in the block. Since I'm using the "wrong" head gasket, I have to find another way to seal the top of the timing cover to the head. Just crankcase pressure -- but lots of oil gets thrown around in there to lube the timing chains.

In a perfect world, when you take a clean up cut off the deck, for the DOHC engine, you'd also bolt on the front cover so that the top of the front cover sits at exactly the same height as the head. That way, the head gasket is sitting on a totally flat surface -- both block and top of front cover. Builder of this engine didn't do that. The top of the timing cover sits about .0003" - .0005" higher than the block. If I hadn't checked that, and bolted on a proper DOHC MLS head gasket, since there's no "give" in the gasket -- the front cover would have caused the head gasket not to seal.

SO - if I use the proper Japanese gasket for this engine - I have to true up the top of the timing cover to match the block. I have done that by hand - files, block sanding - careful measuring with a straight edge and a .0002" feeler gauge. But I think I decided today I'm probably better off just waiting for the Cometic --- and using a bead of RTV to seal the small bit over the top of the front cover.
 

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Picture - pushrod head gasket - you can see the part of the front cover that is missing a “gasket”. I didn’t get that sealed properly last time. The Japanese HG for the DOHC application extends out and covers the top of the front cover.
Gear Automotive engine gasket Engineering Machine Auto part
 
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