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View Full Version : Replacing the genny in a '56 wagon with a GM Alt.



studeclunker
01-01-2007, 03:18 PM
Ok, they're both three wire, externally regulated. The GM has a spade connector. A blue and a white wire. Which is which in compatibility to the Studebaker wiring. Isn't one a field wire and the other, what, a ground? I don't want to burn this thing out, or anything on the car, for that matter.

So, help please. This is for a '56 Parkview. Colour to colour, what is the connection?

Correction!
Sorry, the Genny has two wires, both white, one is considerably thicker than the other. The Alternator has three, red, blue, and white, the red being the heaviest.

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/studebaby/54wagonblue-2.jpg
Lotsa Larks!
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
Ron Smith
Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?

John Kirchhoff
01-01-2007, 11:14 PM
Alternators use voltage regulators that regulate voltage only, not voltage and current (amperage) like a generator uses. The Delco internally and externally regulated alternators look almost identical on the outside, the way to identify the internally regulated one is to look at the backside and you'll see a finned thing through one or two of the holes. If you see fins, the regulator is inside the alternator. If you don't see the finned thing, it's an externally regulated and you'll need to get a regulator for it. If it's internally regulated, you can run a field wire from the spade terminal marked "F" (or 2 on some I think) on the alternator over to the existing voltage regulator and connect it to the field or "F" terminal. A crimp on forked terminal will attach to the regulator terminal easily. You can then run a wire from the threaded lug on the alternator over to the "BAT" terminal on the existing regulator. You could use the existing wire that went to the generator, but the old regulator will prevent the alternator from sending juice to the battery at low voltages, so it's best to simply run an additional wire. Tape up the ends of the wires that connected to the old generator and you should be set to go. If you have a 63 amp alternator, it would be advisable to run heavier wire than the old wire was. There should he an amperage rating stamped on the top of the alternator behind the adjustment lug. the old externally regulated ones were usually 37, 42 or 55 amp.

If you have an externally regulated alternator and get a regulator, there will be four terminals numbered 1 through 4. I'll have to check, but I THINK the #1 goes to a switched "run" wire that is hot only when the ignition switch is in the on or run position. I think #3 goes to the F terminal, I don't think any of the external regulated alternators used numbers, just letters. If this is the type you have, let me know and I'll check the regulator numbers to make sure, just going off memory right now.

I don't know about your car, but I think the field wire on my car is white with a black stripe. Better to ask more knowledgable folks out there.

ST2DE5
01-02-2007, 03:24 PM
I am also using a GM alt. On mine it has a plug in on the side. 1 red and 1 white. The red goes to the back of the alt. and white goes to a idiot light and to the switch. And # 10 to the starter and battery conection. I haven't had any problems.

John Kirchhoff
01-02-2007, 06:09 PM
If your alternator isn't too powerful, say more than 40 amps, you could use the thickest of the two wires that connect to the generator and connect it to the threaded lug on the back of the alternator. On my Hawk it's solid white but since it could be different than yours, just go for the fattest wire. If your alternator is higher amperage, you should go to a heavier wire to prevent overloading the wire should you have a low battery, lights on and heater on all at the same time.

If you have a good sized alternator, you can do like ST2DE5 said and connect a heavier wire to the soleniod connection where the battery cable connects. If your car just has a generator light, that method will work fine. If you have an ammeter, the alternator will still work fine but the ammeter will show a different reading. It will show discharge in the number of amps the system is using for lights, etc. This is because normally the alternator provids energy to the load and then extra electricty flowing to the battery shows up on the ammeter. When the battery is full, the alternator is still generating energy for any loads, but very little is flowing to the battery. Hooking the alternator output wire to the battery causes all load to be transmitted through the ammeter causing it to show discharge.

studeclunker
01-07-2007, 02:55 AM
I think I'll take your advice on the extra wire. It's the other two that concern me on the Alternator though.

this is a wiring diagram for a genny on a '60 Lark. It's very similar to the '56:
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/carter/gennywiring60.jpg

This is a wiring diagram for my alternator:
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/carter/alternatorwiringGMC.jpg

Both the wires for the Genny are white. The thinner of the two seems to be the Field wire. I've coloured the diagram for the lark according to how I think it would correspond to the alternator's wiring. The problem is the third wire on the Alt. There is a blue (labeled F) and a white (labeled either A or R) going into the modular plug on the alternator. I assume (and we all know what that word means) that the blue is Field? Then what is the white? Can I just ignore it without harming the alternator? Will the alternator work without it? If not, where should I route it? The car has an idiot light, the truck had an ammeter. At least I think the car does. If that's an ammeter on the car's dash, it's a damned odd one. then again, it's a rather odd looking dash anyway with that cyclops speedo...



http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/studebaby/54wagonblue-2.jpg
Lotsa Larks!
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
Ron Smith
Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?

John Kirchhoff
01-07-2007, 12:13 PM
Yes, the F is for field. I find it helps to know how something works, so without going into too much detail, the field wire provides electricity which turns the wire windings inside of the alternator into an electromagnet, which is an integral part of electicity production. The more juice flowing through that wire, the stronger the magnet and the more electicity produced. The regulator simply controls the amount of juice going to the field. The armature wire at the generator, the bigger of the two, can be attached to the insulated, threaded lug on the alternator. From the output side of things, you can stop there if you leave the old regulator in place. If you don't want to leave the old regulator, at the old regulator, disconnect the A (armature) and B (battery) wires and connect them together. I'm not sure which lugs are which on the old regulator because their location wasn't standardized. The regulator should have the lugs marked, but if not, the one with the biggest wire and probably a second one attached should be the armature wire. The field terminal of the regulator should be in the same loom as the armature wire. The battery wire should be seperate from the other two wires, but can't be sure though.

Run a wire from the F (field) terminal and connect it to something that's energized when the key is on but not when it's turned off. I don't know if someone has messed with the wiring before me, but on my car one of the terminals on the OD kickdown switch fits that category. So does the water temp sending wire but that wire's a little small for my tastes. You can always run it to the ignition switch and hook it up to the run terminal. Don't hook it to the wire that energizes the coil, with the resistor on there, all the juice will go to the alternator and none to the coil and the engine won't start.

The R terminal is made to power an idiot light. On my shop manual for a '59, the wiring diagram shows the idiot light sending wire attaching to the A lug on the old regulator. This will be the smaller wire. I've never switched over one with an indicator light, but I believe you need to connect that smaller wire to the R terminal. I wouldn't attach it to the armature wire as before because that wire will now be hot all the time instead of being switched off by the old regulator.

Clear as mud, eh? Hope it helps!

studeclunker
01-08-2007, 12:30 AM
Ok, I connected the Field wire and The Amature wires and started the car (YAY! First time in twenty years!). The Genny light was on till the car started and it went out. When I shut off the car (the pump in the carb was spraying gas everywhere) the Genny light came back on. So everything seems to be working how it should. I was just concerned about burning up the alternator by not connecting the R wire. I'll do some re-wiring on the harness later. Just want to make sure everything works now. I'd like to get this car up to the house so that I can start working on it. I just can't wait to drive the thing.

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/studebaby/54wagonblue-2.jpg
Lotsa Larks!
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
Ron Smith
Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?

John Kirchhoff
01-08-2007, 09:44 AM
You don't need the R terminal connected, it's only used with an indicator light. Good to hear you got things going! About the only way to burn one up is to make it run at full charge for an extended period of time. That'll overheat it, melt the varnish on the wiring inside and then it shorts out, but as long as the regulator is working, no problem. Usally when the regulator poops out, it stops charging so that's seldom a problem.

studeclunker
01-11-2007, 08:49 PM
Well, couldn't get either of the alternators to work. So I took an old Genny that I had sitting about (came out of the Champ) and put it in. Worked like a charm!:D Charged up the battery tout suite. I put a little 3-in-1 oil in each of the ports and it just humms along. Since this seems the way that Ol' Bess wants it, that's the way it's gonna be.:D[:X]

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/studebaby/54wagonblue-2.jpg
Lotsa Larks!
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
Ron Smith
Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?

John Kirchhoff
01-12-2007, 11:05 AM
Your alternators may just need brushes. Delcos have two little brushes that wear and cause them to stop charging. It's not if but when they wear to that point. Usually the diodes and internal regulator are pretty dependable. Many automotive parts stores can put the alternator on a machine and will test them for free or maybe $5 depending upon the place. They can then give you a better idea as to the condition of the unit and if you want to repair it. Brushes are cheap and very easy to replace. Diodes are kind of a pain but if much of anything else is bad, you might just as well get a good one from a salvage yard. Lot less hassel.

HammondA100
10-06-2007, 02:08 AM
Excellent post. thanks for the helpful information but one question,
Would there be an advantage of useing a externally regulated alternator (I have a spare rebuilt 1968 GM model) with the external GM regulator only for the sake of trying to re-use existing wireing? It appears that could be possible without running extra wires.

Ches in So.Dakota
55 Commander Coupe in parts.

John Ratliff
10-06-2007, 06:04 PM
quote:Originally posted by John Kirchhoff

If your alternator isn't too powerful, say more than 40 amps, you could use the thickest of the two wires that connect to the generator and connect it to the threaded lug on the back of the alternator. On my Hawk it's solid white but since it could be different than yours, just go for the fattest wire. If your alternator is higher amperage, you should go to a heavier wire to prevent overloading the wire should you have a low battery, lights on and heater on all at the same time.

If you have a good sized alternator, you can do like ST2DE5 said and connect a heavier wire to the soleniod connection where the battery cable connects. If your car just has a generator light, that method will work fine. If you have an ammeter, the alternator will still work fine but the ammeter will show a different reading. It will show discharge in the number of amps the system is using for lights, etc. This is because normally the alternator provids energy to the load and then extra electricty flowing to the battery shows up on the ammeter. When the battery is full, the alternator is still generating energy for any loads, but very little is flowing to the battery. Hooking the alternator output wire to the battery causes all load to be transmitted through the ammeter causing it to show discharge.
John, does this mean the amp meter in my hawk would not work as it should if I change to an alternator?

John Ratliff

DEEPNHOCK
10-06-2007, 06:41 PM
Amps are amps.
Your ammeter will still work.
Make sure your connections are clean and solid.
Jeff[8D]


quote:John, does this mean the amp meter in my hawk would not work as it should if I change to an alternator?

John Kirchhoff
10-09-2007, 03:39 PM
Your ammeter will display an odd reading (discharge) anytime you connect up an appreciable load between the battery and the ammeter rather than between the ammeter and the generator. The ammeter does nothing but display any current going to the battery that is above and beyond the load. It doesn't matter whether your loads are pulling 2 or 20 amps, the ammeter is only going to show the couple of amps going into a fully charged battery. When you connect a load between the battery and ammeter, the ammeter is going to show that load as a discharge. While technically not the correct way to do it, I've added a number of extra lights on combines to light up things at night. Since the existing wiring wasn't nearly heavy enough, I instead connected the extra lighting system to the terminal on the starter solenoid. Flip on the lights and the ammeter shows an 8 amp discharge even though the battery is being kept fully charged.