How-to: Rebuild an Alternator in Africa

Bernard took me to see Stephan, an auto mechanic who is a master of fixing things with very few tools or supplies. Stephan is truly amazing, an example of an African who uses his ingenuity to solve problems that would seem insurmountable to others.

One of the things Stephan has done, is figured out a way to rebuild alternators with limited materials. Below are some pictures and a video that discuss how he does it. Supplies needed:

Rebuilt Alternator   newish alternator

  • 17 gauge copper wire
  • plastic sheet
  • bamboo
  • broken alternator

Here’s the video showing how it’s done:

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  6. NOTE: There is actually one more video, but it’s taking to long to upload in Nairobi. I’ll try and put it up later.

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  11. My father did this back in the 60’s he ran a machine shop/junkyard, but he made his real money rebuilding alternators and starters. Of course this was in Alabama not Africa.

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  13. In all of my years I have never had an alternator die because of the coils. I have had brushes burn out, I have had bearings go bad. I had one expensive jap one die because the integrated regulator took a dump, but the coils themselves seem like a pretty rare failure, at least to me. Perhaps in africa they have less raw junk to pick nad choose from, but if I had to choose one to rebuild, I would go for one with a simpler problem like brushes. Use the one with the bad coils as a parts doner. Then again looking at the video, it seemed he had both the stator and a coil of wire he pulled from something.

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  16. “african ingenuity”..? interesting term, but where i come from we have a better name for it: “nigger-rigging.” and it’s only good for one thing– COMEDY.

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  18. Wow, Gary. Your such an asshole, it bends the mind.

    good luck with that.

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  25. The question remains, what exactly makes these things “African” despite of the fact that they are made in Kenya (or any other African country).

    Good story, though, Hash — nice. Especially since you managed to upload the video from Nairobi – considering the speed of their inetconnections it is just awesome.

    Let me pls work on sometthing I would like to add here in future (some jua kali stuff I learned in Kenya and that I’ll need to blog hapa soon).

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  32. Eric thanks for all this.

    Abit off topic:how can I share my idea with you here on the technology we Have in the North?
    I have failed to post it but I need to help in that.

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  39. Pingback: Africa Technology and ingenuity : Rebuilding an Alternator - SocioLingo Africa