How do I figure out if I need just an Alternator or an Alterator & Generator. I know I need one or both but I know very little about mechanical workings. Don't laugh but I don't have a clue.
I have a 1978 450SL,
I have a 1978 450SL,
because the original is only a 55 Amp and the other one is an 85 Amp. Maybe it's my Minnesota bias, but I think bigger alternators are better since they have enough output to allow for all of the electrical to be in use and still charge the battery. At 55 Amps, you can have a problem even though everything is up to snuff. I am thinking in terms of headlights on, heater/AC on and stereo going. In stop and go traffic, the 55 Amp is likely to have a problem. This would be especially true if the headlights are upgraded.Why replace the alternator when all that is need is a voltage regulator?
I'll see what I can find.
Sure it was--you asked me why replace it and I told you why I did it. When the one in the 560 goes, someday, I will replace that one with an 85 Amp too. Over the years I have just come to the conclusion that in the case of alternators bigger is better. I still have shops around here that will rebuild any alternator or starter. But in the case of what I think is a marginal amperage, I will replace rather than rebuild it. Neither of these cars will be driven in winter weather, as a general rule of thumb. But there are times here when the weather just hits you and it's nice to have the power to run everything and not worry about it. If these cars had a voltage meter in the dash (can't figure out why they didn't) I might not worry about it so much. But at my age, when it's raining and dark out, I need all the light I can get to see the lines in the road. I upgraded the headlights and whatnot on both of them. Those lights suck more juice than the originals did and if I went to Xenon like ScottinSoCal did, I would need more, possibly.I'll give you that but it wasn't the question. 55 amp. will handle the standard electrical system. Nothing wrong with upgrading for us but the OP appears to have limited knowledge and ability. This is not an insult to him and hope it is not taken that way.