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MG TD TF 1500 - Alternator conversion. Not needed?

With LED taillights presently available at reasonable cost (for both negative and positive earth cars) and LED headlights now coming on the market is conversion to an alternator necessary? Dashboard lighting can be converted to LEDs, too. Portable electronic devices (phone and GPS) aren't big power users.

With the only other electric power consumer being the ignition system, it would seem an original generator should be well up to the task of powering all electrical systems (if lights are LEDs) and keeping the battery at full charge.

When available and cost-effective, I'll upgrade my headlamps to LEDs rather than consider a generator-to-alternator conversion.

Larry Shoer

larry, i agree. however, some people maybe concerned about the regulators getting long in tooth or related concerns i have not considered. so far after 10 years i have seen no reason to modify my car. regards, tom
tm peterson

Hi Tom,

If your regulator is faulty consider a Bosch 30019. It I solid state and encapsulated so excellent control and damp proof.

Jan T
J Targosz

I think an "ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy works well in this case. If you go with an electric fan, that adds about 8 to 10 amps, and you pretty much need an alternator. It all works well in our case, but I'm not sure it is really worth the extensive modifications.

J Barry

I agree, Larry. In my case I'm just researching the issue because it's interesting; I'm not convinced of any need. On the other hand, I can see one area where an upgraded alternator might be handy... COOLING. Running a bigger electric fan to cool the radiator is a major project for a TD... and here in Tucson, with 105 degree temps pretty much solid from here for the next month, it may be a necessity for me.

But I totally agree, my solution so far has been to upgrade to LED across the board, and when LED headlights drop some more in price, I'll be looking at those.
Geoffrey M Baker

I've been running an electric fan for 8 years and have experienced no electrical load problems. I have it wired to a thermostat, which works even when running high beams. I will admit that with the heater running, I can't keep it on the + side. But hey, who runs a heater when its +35C.(95f ??)

It doesn't come on when driving on the highway, but does cycle in urban traffic.

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qu.
Gordon A Clark

Gordon, did you remove the existing fan blades? Got any pix? Like I said, I'm concerned about the Tucson heat...
Geoffrey M Baker

My reasoning to consider an alternator is the possible addition of electric seats. The season is short in New England and I'm thinking a warm butt and back would go a long way towards extending it. The seats have no upholstery on them now so it won't be a big deal to add the pads.
JE Carroll

JE, climate drives us different ways. I'm thinking air conditioning :)
Geoffrey M Baker


I did indeed remove the ole' "hand chopper". In fact the fan I chose was only 10" whereas I could have put a 12" fan in my TF.

Its a 'puller' mounted VERY closely to the rad; but as I indicated it works well. I took the car to Gatlinburg in 2006 for the big MG International, and the temp all week never went below 90f (your system) and the car never overheated.

Gord Lawson was there with his TD and he had made exactly the same installation. The key for me was the thermostat that I physically soldered into the rad.

However, I believe those small thermostats that push through the finns, work equally well. Be sure to mount it as low as possible, where the hottest water is.

I do indeed have air conditioning. It operates by unscrewing the wing screws at each edge of the windscreen, and allowing fresh air to flow over one's face.Nothing more refreshing!

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qu.
Gordon A Clark

I am running the original headlamps (semi sealed beam quartz) and when the high beams are on unless you are running about 3,000 rpm, you are loosing ground with the original generator.

Everything else on the car is immaterial from a current draw perspective.
Christopher Couper

This thread was discussed between 10/06/2014 and 11/06/2014

MG TD TF 1500 index

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