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Replacing the Generator/Alternator

The VW Beetle is one of the easiest cars to work on until it comes to replacing the generator/alternator. This is because the cooling fan is attached to it making it an integral part of the cooling system. Nonetheless it is a job you can do and we will show you how. To replace the generator, the fan housing (top shroud) with the generator has to be removed from the motor. This can be done if you remove the rear deck lid and the hinge brackets. I find it easier and quicker to just remove the motor from the car instead.

Before pulling the motor out of the car be sure that the thermostat is disconnected. It is under the cylinders on the right side. Most have been removed years ago. With the engine out loosen the 36 mm (1 7/16) nut holding the fan.
Remove the belt.
Loosen the strap holding the generator and pull back off the generator stand.
Loosen plug wires from the shroud and unplug the coil wires. Don't forget to pull the throttle cable tube out of the shroud.
Remove the screws from the side of the shroud.
Now you can lift the shroud straight off the motor.
Remove the pulley and take note of the shim arrangement. It should be close later.
Remove the woodruff key from the armature and put in a safe place. These are easy to loose. Remove the four 10 mm bolts from the fan cover.
Lift the generator and fan out of the shroud.
Setting the generator on the edge of a bench or on a block makes it easier to handle at this point. Now remove the fan while taking note of the shim and washer arrangement.
Remove the hub and woodruff key.
Remove the two 10mm nuts holding the fan cover to the generator.
The 6v has a single cover with a reinforcement ring. The 12v has an outer and inner plate with a reinforcement ring in the middle.
Notice that the 12v inner plate has a vent that goes down when you install it on the new generator/alternator.
Install the hub and fan with the same shims.
Then check the clearance between the fan and cover with a stack of feeler gauges of .080 or 2 mm. thickness. Somewhere close to this will work.
Now put it all back together in the reverse order. Be sure to tighten the nut on fan to about 45 FT LB. and you are back in business.This can be seen in greater detail along with many other electrical related repairs in Vol.10 of our Bug Me Video series now available on DVD.

Rick Higgins and Crew
Bug Me Video, Inc

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