waterproof an alternator? or mod somthing else up? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 11-30-2006
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waterproof an alternator? or mod somthing else up?

ok i saw a topic about this in orr but i got shi*ty feedback for my idea, no offence to any one whos part of that site but i find that you really have to bug them for answers and half the time they joke around and dont give you staright answer...that jus my opinion, but anyways as the ttle goes how would you be able to waterproff an alternator? i came up with an several ideas.

1. seal it entirly and build a new case but with waterjackets to cool it??

2. a in cab self powering high output low input generator, so say you have a highout generator you a have a batery hooked up to it to power it and then the hough output part of chrages the battery as well as the accesories??

3. a water proof solar panel??

these are just some of the things that came to my mind, what do you guys think? are any of these feasable or should i keep dreaming? lol
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Old 11-30-2006
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Well most all solar panels are waterproof by design -- I have two on my toolbox keeping my auxiliary battery charged until I need it. But they aren't adequate to run the vehicle (comments below).

Alternators are usually permanently harmed by water. Dirt, mud and general debris are another matter.

The alternator is extremely simple: there is only 1 moving part really (the rotor), and it gets it's excitation current from two "slip rings" fed by carbon brushes. The excitation current is a tiny fraction of the alternators total output capacity and the brushes are not stressed much and last a long time.

Debris can scratch the insulation off, jam the rotor, collide with the connections on the rotor and break them (happened to me) etc. It can also jam the brushes so they don't touch the slip rings. The regulators are often sealed "bricks" now and can be easily damaged by water or debris.

Option 1 is probably just too much trouble, but you could do it. You need a source of cooling water and a way to get rid of the heat. I don't know that the radiator is the right source or not. It would be interesting to experiment with I suppose, if you were that paranoid about alternator contamination.

Option 2 makes no sense, sorry: you can't get more out of a generator than you put into it. A generator powered by a motor run off a battery makes less power than it consumes. You couldn't use it to charge the battery back up. Think about it: you're describing a "perpetual motion machine" -- a machine that generates more energy than it consumes. Doesn't exist in practice, as far as I know although people have made claims for years about that.

Option 3 can't be easily used to power the vehicle. A typical vehicle uses 100+ watts when running and that's a lot of solar panel area -- and of course you would have NO charging at night.

Best to just "shield" the alternator as best you can, and carry a spare. I can swap mine in about 15 to 20 minutes.

If you don't think I know anything about wet alternators, just take a look at my avatar, lol. I go through stuff like that quite a bit.
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Old 11-30-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
Well most all solar panels are waterproof by design -- I have two on my toolbox keeping my auxiliary battery charged until I need it. But they aren't adequate to run the vehicle (comments below).

Alternators are usually permanently harmed by water. Dirt, mud and general debris are another matter.

The alternator is extremely simple: there is only 1 moving part really (the rotor), and it gets it's excitation current from two "slip rings" fed by carbon brushes. The excitation current is a tiny fraction of the alternators total output capacity and the brushes are not stressed much and last a long time.

Debris can scratch the insulation off, jam the rotor, collide with the connections on the rotor and break them (happened to me) etc. It can also jam the brushes so they don't touch the slip rings. The regulators are often sealed "bricks" now and can be easily damaged by water or debris.

Option 1 is probably just too much trouble, but you could do it. You need a source of cooling water and a way to get rid of the heat. I don't know that the radiator is the right source or not. It would be interesting to experiment with I suppose, if you were that paranoid about alternator contamination.

Option 2 makes no sense, sorry: you can't get more out of a generator than you put into it. A generator powered by a motor run off a battery makes less power than it consumes. You couldn't use it to charge the battery back up. Think about it: you're describing a "perpetual motion machine" -- a machine that generates more energy than it consumes. Doesn't exist in practice, as far as I know although people have made claims for years about that.

Option 3 can't be easily used to power the vehicle. A typical vehicle uses 100+ watts when running and that's a lot of solar panel area -- and of course you would have NO charging at night.

Best to just "shield" the alternator as best you can, and carry a spare. I can swap mine in about 15 to 20 minutes.

If you don't think I know anything about wet alternators, just take a look at my avatar, lol. I go through stuff like that quite a bit.
ok thanks for the input, just some thougths floating around in my head...lol

lol yea i saw that, i was doing the same thing with my truck but the puddle wasnt that deep, about a bit higher than hub deep but i hit it at a good speed....try bout 50km/h lol and i dont know if my alternator is fried but when it idles and i give it gas everything sorta lights up a bit brighter than at idle...and with the idea of shielding it would have to be really tight cuz stuff can also get trapped in the shield couldnt they>?
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Old 11-30-2006
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Yes, but the main shielding you need is under the front of the truck and in the wheel wells (extend the existing guards forward) to keep stuff from being "thrown" up there. That's what I did after having problems with two of them. So far, so good.

My skid plate helps a lot, as does the bigger guard I cut and mounted in the right wheel well.
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Old 11-30-2006
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so by doing all that it can greatly reduce the chance of water and crap gettin in there and screwing my alternator?
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