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Retlas "Manchester" Dynamo

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Quote from Doncaster Show post (reply 11)  by Alyn Foundry

“The AGB Dynamo....

Andy has a set of castings for the Retlas " Manchester " dynamo, Vincent and I developed this around the early Eighties. Once " fine tuned " we were able to light a 55W car headlamp bulb with no problem........

Cheers Graham”

So here are some pictures of the castings.

This is the base casting Graham gave me, he also gave me the keeper or top, I had them shot blasted and sprayed them with primer straight away. It might be another year before I can start work on this.

image by Andy, on Flickr

Graham also gave me the two brass oil reservoir covers and name plate. At the time he thought the armature would be very expensive.... The two bearing supports were cast by the AJD  Foundry  using patterns I borrowed from Graham.

Building Retlas 1034 by Andy, on Flickr

With the Retlas engine in the background.

Building Retlas 1035 by Andy, on Flickr

Building Retlas 1037 by Andy, on Flickr

Building Retlas 1038 by Andy, on Flickr

Building Retlas 1039 by Andy, on Flickr

Building Retlas 1040 by Andy, on Flickr

Pattern Lucas C40 armature obtained for £27.00 inclusive from a supplier in Warwickshire, England  :whoohoo:

Building Retlas 1041 by Andy, on Flickr

Building Retlas 1042 by Andy, on Flickr

Picture of the plan, the 'Keystone effect' is because the plan was large and I was using a hand held camera in Graham's kitchen

Retlas Dynamo 1 (2) by Andy, on Flickr


Alyn Foundry:
Hi Andy.

It's nice to see all the parts together in one place!

I was quite shocked by how cheap the armature was but they are probably being mass produced in the far East. There were literally millions in use on cars here in the UK before the alternator became popular. If you're a purist car restorer then the Lucas Dynamo is a must.

As you can see from one of your photos the armature will need some modifications, Vincent " upped " the shaft diameter to 3/4" and lengthened them too.

The final  touch was to " serve " the windings with a thin woven string using super glue dabbed here and there then he used Brown shoe polish to get the desired colour. A final coat of Shellac was given to improve the look and insulation.

I'll be following your progress when you start Andy. Please don't hesitate to ask for advice.

Cheers Graham.

Looks interesting Andy

Can I ask what the OD of the armature is, I got one that is a little on the small sid efor the main motor I was going to build at 27.5mm, cheap at under £10 and hiding inside a RS 755 motor. Would really like something about 38-40mm.

Nice to know another expert advocates the use of string ;)

Hi Jason,
The diameter of the armature is  2.376” / 60.34mm.



Hi Graham,
I’m sure I’ll take up your offer of advice when the time comes.


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