Latest Reader Comment: Old Beetle Alternator (May 11, 2018)

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Here’s the latest reader comment, along with my reply!

Robert writes (in reply to my article about dealing with a throttle linkage problem on a ’73 Beetle): When VW  put the alternator on in mid-73,  the fuel pump changed. The alternator fuel pump leans to the left, away from the alternator field coils. The german factory fuel pump was taller than the current Mexican/Bazilian pump you have on the car now. If you get the pump that leans away from the alternator, you have to change the fuel pump push rod, which is slightly longer. When i sold the kits by parts,  we sold the generator stand, the longer fuel pump push rod, the alternator, the left leaning fuel pump,  and the external voltage regulator. The first generators from Bosch and Motorola had external regulators;  the newer alternators that came out in mid-’74 had internal regulators. Most times you could fix a generator with a set of carbon brushes. About $3 in 1975. That’s what usually wore out but we sold a bunch of “alternator updates.” Of course I still remember the alternator part numbers if you need them.

My reply: Thank you for the explanation, Robert! One of the fun things about classic Beetles is deconstructing decades-old parts mix and match, undoing the “engineering” performed by prior owners! In the case of Sexual Chocolate, my protege’s Beetle, the car also had an EGR intake – the EGR port having been beaten off the intake flange with a hammer and a chisel (apparently) and the resultant damage/hole “repaired” with a big bolt and a dollop of RTV.

I also had to deal with the interference issue you reference. I wondered about the generator stand/fuel pump and figured there had been some mismatch of components. We “engineered” the problem by reversing the linkage on the throttle, and it actually seemed a reasonable and not too sexually chocolate work around. The linkage has full/normal travel and it feels normal from the standpoint of your right foot.

Putting the right size carb on the poor thing helped a lot, too!

Thanks again..

. . .

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