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Old 19th-May-2017, 02:38 PM   #1
randogf57
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Alternator

Hi Everyone! I posted a question earlier this week asking which alternator I presently have in my car, a one wire or a three wire. I am assuming that its a three wire, but i hate to assume anything. Would some of you please look at the pics and tell me if it is a three wire I would appreciate it. I just want to replace it with one thats a little nicer looking. Thanks!!
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Old 19th-May-2017, 03:06 PM   #2
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It's a 3-wire.
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Old 19th-May-2017, 03:22 PM   #3
randogf57
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Thanks!
Thats what I thought. Do you any idea whats up with the way its wired.
You can see in the one picture, that it looks like its spliced or a jumper wire ?
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Old 19th-May-2017, 03:27 PM   #4
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It is a early style alternator that uses a external voltage regulator. If you change to a one wire you would eliminate the voltage regulator and you would need to modify your wiring. You would still use the main large 12 gauge charging wire and you would not need the rest. GM used this type alternator until 1973 when they went to the internally regulated 3 wire alternator.
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Old 19th-May-2017, 03:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randogf57 View Post
Hi Everyone! I posted a question earlier this week asking which alternator I presently have in my car, a one wire or a three wire. I am assuming that its a three wire, but i hate to assume anything. Would some of you please look at the pics and tell me if it is a three wire I would appreciate it. I just want to replace it with one thats a little nicer looking. Thanks!!
Basically you have a three wire BUT with an external voltage regulator.

Your first picture is of the external voltage regulator. It should have a 4 wire connector on it.

Your second picture is of the rebuilders sticker for that alternator which gives you information as to how much is should put out at two different RPM's.

The third picture is of the alternator that requires an external voltage regulator like what you have in picture one. On the alternator, the two wires off of the back plug go over to the voltage regulator while the wire on the stud on the back goes into the main wiring harness and ends up at the battery junction block in front of the battery and on the backside of the radiator support and then with a splice" buried in the harness, this output wire from the alternator branches off to a terminal on the horn relay buss and on the last branch of this splice, a fusible link is put on and then connected to one of the 4 terminals on the external voltage regulator. So far, I've identified 3 of the 4 wires for the external voltage regulator and the 4th wire goes into the inside of the car to one side of the GEN light and then the other side of the GEN light bulb connects to an accessory 12V off of the fuse block.

SO, basically, you still have the wiring in place and the parts like how it was originally back before 1973. On the 1972 and older models they have what you have with an externally regulated alternator. This setup had the alternator and the external regulator wired to work with each other. On this system to upgrade to an internally regulated alternator, you would have to remove the external voltage regulator as well as the alternator you have now and an internally regulated alternator will bolt right in BUT the wiring will need attention. They do sell an external voltage regulator jumper plug and a conversion plug for the plug on your existing alternator to where you can make it a plug and play upgrade but to me, if the old setup is working, leave it alone.

If you want a better looking one, they should sell out there ones that will work with your external voltage regulator but they might be harder to find. The biggest thing is making sure the plug is on the back coming out the back.

This is how the back of your alternator should look:




Here's an ID chart:



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Old 19th-May-2017, 03:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by randogf57 View Post
Thanks!
Thats what I thought. Do you any idea whats up with the way its wired.
You can see in the one picture, that it looks like its spliced or a jumper wire ?
I don't know if this is what you are talking about with a splice but the round tubular covering is injected material into a mold to encase a connection inside of it between a regular wire and the fusible link wire.



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Old 19th-May-2017, 03:47 PM   #7
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Thanks!
Great Info!!
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Old 19th-May-2017, 03:53 PM   #8
randogf57
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on the picture of the wiring to the alternator, there is a wire that stick up out of the wiring, looks like a splice ?
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Old 19th-May-2017, 04:40 PM   #9
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on the picture of the wiring to the alternator, there is a wire that stick up out of the wiring, looks like a splice ?
On the loom of the wires going to the alternator, there should be a small gauge white and a small gauge blue that goes to the plug in connector on the back of the alternator and then a 10 gauge wire going to the output stud on the alternator. Normally this large wire is red but who knows, someone may have spliced in another wire as maybe the original one was not long enough due to the alternator being clocked wrong or the end was damaged. Some alternators may have a 4th wire that is a ground wire attached to a stud or a bolt hole also on the back of the alternator but this connection is different that the output stud in that the output stud has a round insulator around it that a rubber cap pushes over to protect the connection from accidental shorts.

The plastic push in clip looks original as well as the plastic loom tape so whomever did do a splice might have done it really nice and the black covering is nothing more than heat shrink tubing.

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