Zena Onboard Welder Install

After unpacking the boxes, this is what we had: the new high-output alternator, mounting hardware, the control box and welding leads.

The install vehicle is a 19xx Suzuki Samuri.

The Suzuki had an AC unit, shown still on the vehicle in this picture (yellow arrow).

It was decided to take the AC out and install the Zena alternator in its place.   Since the AC was not hooked up this was a simple task.   It was planned to convert the AC pump to an air compressor but since the vehicle owner already had another compressor it was not needed.

The Zena unit came with a wide array of mounting hardware!   None of the items were simple steel stamped items, but high quality CNC machined aluminum.

This is a universal alternator mounting bracket.

Here is an Add-A-Pully kit.   If you need to add a belt to drive your second alternator, you can add a pully on top of an already existing pulley to make things simple.   It comes with various pieces to fit a wide variety of factory setups.
An alternator extension bracket and turn buckle tension bracket.

This amazing piece of bracketry is a complete universal alternator mounting kit, called the UB2 Universal Piggyback Bracket Kit by Zena.

Again, its made out of aluminum!   The amount of possibilities with this bracket is almost endless!

 

Another shot of the Universal Piggyback Bracket Kit.
Here it is with an alternator installed.   Note that it even has a tensioner pulley there if you need it.

All we could say was WOW!   Just looking at it you can start to think of all the possible way to re-configure it to suit any need.

For more info on this bracket click HERE.

Zena also offers custom direct bolt in brackets for most U.S. made trucks.

With the factory AC unit out,  we found that the Zena alternator was an almost perfect fit into the factory brackets.
The spacer that came with the Zena was just a bit too long, about the thickness of the cutoff blade was all that had to be removed from the spacer.
After the slice was removed, the edges are cleaned up.
The Zena alternator is bolted into place.

 


The factory sliding tension bracket was also reused. Had the spacer been just a hair thinner the alternator install would have been a perfect direct swap!   You cant ask for more!
The wiring harness for the Zena unit is very simple.   Here you can see the bulk of it!
The control box was the smallest of the three installed welders, its about the size of a pack of cigarretts.   It came attached to the alternator, but we decided to mount it to the fender.
The control box is also made out of aluminum, and completely sealed with no buttons or switches.
We figured out the rough location for the control box, then set out to mount it.
A small tab was attached to an existing bracket for the control unit.
Here it is all attached and ready to go.   We angled it down so that water would naturally run away from where the wires enter the box even though it is sealed.
With the alternator in and control box mounted, we started wiring things up.

The alternator wires were attached, and the plug for attaching the welding leads to was routed to the front of the engine compartment.

Keep in mind that this is a second alternator on the vehicle, so there is no need to worry about the charging system wires and such.

Because the wiring is so simple, it only takes a few minutes to hook it all up.

The next step was to attach the throttle control.   Here Tony looks up under the dash at the gas peddle setup so he can hook the throttle control up.
A small tab and stud was attached to thesteering colum brace under the dash.
This was used to mount the vaccum controled throttle actuator.

With the vaccum unit mounted and the chain hooked up here is what it looked like.

With this setup, when you press the gas, the small chain will just go slack and have no effect on the throttle.

When the lever on the vaccum actuator is used, it will pull the linkage and move the throttle just like you are pressing on the gas.   

Setting the throttle control up was by far the hardest part of the installation.   Because every vehicle is different, this may not work for your vehicle.

 

All of the controls for the Zena system are on the stinger (the piece that holds the welding rod)   This is a great system for a number of reasons.

First, the system is not on or hot until you want it to be.   You can be laying under a vehicle getting ready to weld, maybe playing with how you are going to get the welding rod to the place it needs to be without any worrys about striking an arc accidentally.   

Second, when you are ready to weld, or when its time to make an adjustment you can do so without having to get up and go back to the control unit.

The power adjustment knob is shown towards the bottom of the picture, used to adjust the amount of power you want to use to do you welding.

The two bottons up higher are the power button (black button) and booster button (red button).   When you are ready to weld, you can just press the black button and start welding.   The control unit back under the hood will automatically boost the engine RPM and away you go!   When you are done, the control unit drops the engine speed back down automatically also.

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1-22-2006