Results 1 to 28 of 28

Thread: One Wire Alternator Conversion Schematic

  1. #1
    11SecAvanti
    Guest

    One Wire Alternator Conversion Schematic

    Have decided to go one wire GM alternator on my 61 Lark. Can I use the large out put wire from the generator as the new line and tie off or float the other lines at the regulator? The generator has two wires and a ground and the regulator has three wires and a ground. Thanks.

    Start and Stage Your Studebakers

  2. #2
    Golden Hawk Member Dick Steinkamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Bellingham, WA, USA.
    Posts
    11,051
    quote:Originally posted by 11SecAvanti

    Have decided to go one wire GM alternator on my 61 Lark. Can I use the large out put wire from the generator as the new line and tie off or float the other lines at the regulator? The generator has two wires and a ground and the regulator has three wires and a ground. Thanks.

    Start and Stage Your Studebakers
    I wired the one wire alternator on my '54 direct to the ammeter, like this...

    http://mightymo.org/Proj_OneWire.htm...20to%20vehicle

    If a '61 Lark doesn't have an ammeter, I don't know. I do believe that a one wire alternator does not support an "idiot light" however.

    -Dick-

  3. #3
    President Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Corydon, Indiana, USA.
    Posts
    883
    You might get more satisfactory performance from a 3 wire setup.
    True one-wire alternators are best suited for stationary engines/agricultural applications with few or no accessories(ie lights , heaters etc)

    http://www.madelectrical.com/electri...hreewire.shtml


    http://www.madelectrical.com/catalog.shtml

    I used their wiring kit for GM alternators and found the performance good.

  4. #4
    President Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Arnold, Missouri, USA.
    Posts
    513
    I installed a one wire alternator on my 60 Lark and you are correct it will not support the idiot light but I installed an aftermarket volt meter and I took the wire that came from the voltage regulator to the ammeter and connected it to the positive side of the new volt meter and then grounded the negative side of the volt meter. it works great. But if you are going with a higher amperage alternator, I would not re-use the original wires that go to the generaror, I would recommend using a new 6 gauge wire from the battery source to the alternator, and either remove or abandon the original wires. If I am not mistaken the original generator wire is a 10 gauge wire and the field wire is a 12 gauge wire. I bought a 1eZwire wiring diagram on CD and mapped out the wiring before I did the alternator and wiring change. The eZwire wiring diagram is much easier to read that the one in the shop manual. It is really pretty simple.

    Studebaker Fever
    60 Lark
    51 Champion
    Phil

  5. #5
    President Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Buda, Texas, USA.
    Posts
    1,154
    Transtar60,

    Thanks for that link about the 3-wire alternator system vs. the 1-wire alternator. My truck came to me converted to 12v, with a 1-wire alternator. After reading that article, I think I may change to 3-wire.

    I would appreciate any of the more electrically-inclined forum folks looking at that article and let us know what you think.



    1955 1/2 Ton Pickup

  6. #6
    Deactivated
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    , , USA.
    Posts
    140
    im a streetrodder and streetrod builder by trade and this is the way weve always done em ( 1 wire alts )

    a number ten or larger from the battery connection on the starter sol. to the big post on the one wire alt

    then a hot wire to the + side of a volt meter and a grounded wire to the - side

    never once had a problem
    and thats what in running on my bulletnose with no problems ever
    and ive put 10000 + miles on my stude since putting it on the street last september

    so thats my recomendation

  7. #7
    Silver Hawk Member N8N's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    7,100
    Speedway sells an adapter plug to run a 3-wire alt. without an idiot light - has a little diode in line with the exciter to keep from backfeeding. I like the 3-wire much better as it starts charging right away and also you get more voltage at the battery with the remote sensing (don't hook the voltage sense wire from the plug up to the battery terminal on the back of the alternator; extend it over to the starter solenoid where the battery cable hooks up.)

    But a '61 Lark *does* have an idiot light... so the logical thing to do IMHO would be to just get a regular plug for the 10SI/12SI alternator and run the idiot light wire to the three wire plug on the back of the alternator. It will be the little wire crimped to another wire at one of the spade connectors at the regulator. I guess you could use the field wire as a voltage sense wire, it runs about the right place, so you'd only need to run one new wire over to the alternator.

    good luck,

    nate

    --
    55 Commander Starlight
    62 Daytona hardtop
    http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

  8. #8
    President Member Chris Pile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Wichita - The Air Capital of the World
    Posts
    4,833
    If 1 wire alternators had a problem, GM wouldn't be using them for years - now would they?

    I put one on my '49 Champion and it worked GREAT!

  9. #9
    President Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Buda, Texas, USA.
    Posts
    1,154
    Gotti210 and Chris,
    Maybe you guys were not replying to my query several posts above, but if you were, did you actually READ the information at the link Transtar60 posted? It seems to me the company offering that setup for using a three-wire alternator made a very good case.

    I just want to know what you guys think of the logic in that article, if you could put aside your string of successes with one-wire alternators.

    (posted the next day: In hindsight, I was rather ornery toward you guys. Sorry about that)

    1955 1/2 Ton Pickup

  10. #10
    Golden Hawk Member Dick Steinkamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Bellingham, WA, USA.
    Posts
    11,051
    quote:Originally posted by Chris Pile

    If 1 wire alternators had a problem, GM wouldn't be using them for years - now would they?

    I put one on my '49 Champion and it worked GREAT!
    Chris,
    GM never installed a one wire alternator from the factory. They (Delco) make the alternator that is CONVERTED by the aftermarket to a 1 wire, but no one wire alternators were stock. I have one on my '54 and have never had any noise or other trouble. The only downside (other than the lack of idiot light support) is that you have to rev the engine to around 1500 RPM to initiate the charging process. After one trip to 1500 they will charge at idle like any other alternator.

    -Dick-

  11. #11
    Silver Hawk Member N8N's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    7,100
    Dick,

    there's one other downside to a one-wire and that is no remote voltage sense. I don't know if that's an issue for you but in my car ('55 Stude with Stude engine) there's about 12 feet of 8 AWG (or more!) between the alternator and the battery cable. The wire runs from the back of the alt. on the pass. side of the car all the way around the engine compartment into the pass. compartment and to the ammeter, then back to the starter solenoid where it meets the battery cable. I just like the three wire because it provides for remote voltage sensing; I can compensate for voltage drop over that long wire run (and with a lot of accessories on, it can be significant.)

    Now if your alt. is mounted on the driver's side and you don't have an ammeter, you probably don't need that feature...

    nate

    --
    55 Commander Starlight
    62 Daytona hardtop
    http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

  12. #12
    Silver Hawk Member N8N's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    7,100
    As an aside, meant to mention but I forgot - the voltage drop is also the reason that Stude mounted the regulator on the driver's side inner fender next to the starter solenoid in most of the later cars; this performs essentially the same function as using the remote voltage sensing feature of the 3-wire alternator. We really don't care what the voltage is at the back of the alternator; all we care about is that there's a minimum of 13.7V or thereabouts at the *battery.* If it's higher at the back of the alternator it doesn't hurt anything however, since there's generally nothing connected there Most accessories pick up their power either at the starter solenoid, ignition switch, or ammeter - and all of those are a long way away from the alternator. (in fact, one can even put the higher voltage at the alternator to good use by using the alternator as the power source for a headlight relay harness... it's on my "things to do" list. I'm thinking of mounting the relays in the same spot as the original voltage regulator.)

    nate

    --
    55 Commander Starlight
    62 Daytona hardtop
    http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

  13. #13
    Golden Hawk Member Dick Steinkamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Bellingham, WA, USA.
    Posts
    11,051
    quote:Originally posted by N8N

    Dick,

    there's one other downside to a one-wire and that is no remote voltage sense. I don't know if that's an issue for you but in my car ('55 Stude with Stude engine) there's about 12 feet of 8 AWG (or more!) between the alternator and the battery cable. The wire runs from the back of the alt. on the pass. side of the car all the way around the engine compartment into the pass. compartment and to the ammeter, then back to the starter solenoid where it meets the battery cable. I just like the three wire because it provides for remote voltage sensing; I can compensate for voltage drop over that long wire run (and with a lot of accessories on, it can be significant.)

    Now if your alt. is mounted on the driver's side and you don't have an ammeter, you probably don't need that feature...

    nate

    --
    55 Commander Starlight
    62 Daytona hardtop
    http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
    Good point Nate. I route that wire along the intake manifold to the rear of the engine, then through the firewall to the ammeter. Maybe 5-6'. My car is "simple" electrically (simple mind, simple car <g&gt. If I had power windows, big stereo, etc., I would probably be in trouble even with the relatively short alternator lead.

    -Dick-

  14. #14
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Harrisburg, Illinois, USA.
    Posts
    90
    Pay careful attention to the recommendation in the 3rd reply above, from 60lark. If you go to a GM or any other alternator than the one Studebaker used the output wire gauge is TOO SMALL!! Stude alternators were 40 amp output and the GM's are at least 60 amp and higher. I persoanlly have watched two Avanti II's burn up in parking lots after they left their lights on accidently and the battery went dead. A good samaritan jump started the car for them, the GM alternator went to max output and in a less than a minute the output wire WHICH WAS TOO SMALL A GAUGE caught fire from the heat of the extra amperage flowing in it. It happens so fast you don't know what is going on until it is too late to save the wiring harness.
    The early Avanti II's used the original Studebaker wire sizes unknowingly until theu had a few fire reports and fixed them with larger gauge output wires. Stude8

  15. #15
    Silver Hawk Member N8N's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    7,100
    good point, I didn't think to mention it as that is not an issue in my '55 as it was originally a 6V car (therefore the wires were heavier than 56-up.)

    Wouldn't be a bad idea to install fusible links at the alternator and starter solenoid, either. (those are the two places where the harness can actually get power. If you break the harness at those two places, the whole car is dead.) Come to think of it, I should take my own advice, really... especially since my wiring is already somewhat "custom" (and some of *that* is because the PO had bypassed a circuit breaker... fried the blower motor wiring to a crisp, it did...)

    nate

    --
    55 Commander Starlight
    62 Daytona hardtop
    http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

  16. #16
    President Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Arnold, Missouri, USA.
    Posts
    513
    When I converted my 60 Lark to an alternator I did not install a fuse or fusible link in the 6 ga. wire from the starter solenoid to the alternator, but I did install an in-line fuse in the positive wire going into the wiring harness, to prevent any voltage back feed from the engine bay, if a problem occurs. My original generator shorted internally, I had just pulled into the garage and turned the car 0ff, I usually open the hood and disconnect the battery and then just leave the hood open until the next time I want to drive it. If this had not been my normal practice - my Lark, my wifes car, and my house would have burnt. Just as I opened the hood the generator and the feild wires from the generator flashed into a bright glow luckily my tool chest is directly in front of where the Lark sits, I grabbed a cable cutter and cut the positive battery wire, I then looked up and saw that the inside of the passenger compartment was filled with smoke, the short had back fed into the inside wiring harnes via the ammeter wire, for some reason [?] I had a gallon of distilled water in the garage I grabbed it and was able to distinguish the burning wires under the dash as well as the engine bay, before any major damage was done. When I replaced the wiring harness I added fuses that probably were not necessary but I do feel secure in the fact that the fuses will open before something like tat can reoccur I also decided that there would be no ammeter reinstalled in my car, I converted it to a volt meter (with fuse). Prior to this, I had no idea how FAST a car could go up in flames, Like I said if I had just turned the car Off and gone inside, my house would have been burning in a matter of a few minutes. I strongly recommend that you take the time to pop the hood and disconnect the battery, also add some fuses.

    Studebaker Fever
    60 Lark
    51 Champion
    Phil

  17. #17
    President Member studeclunker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Lewiston, California, USA.
    Posts
    4,725
    Gee... does'nt this sound familliar. That hint about the fusable links is interesting... I have a high output GM alternator on my wagon. It's a three wire setup. Question: Am I looking at a possible fire as well???

    Lotsa Larks!
    K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
    Ron Smith

  18. #18
    President Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Arnold, Missouri, USA.
    Posts
    513
    Ron, If the alternator would short internally, it could potentially back feed into positive wire that goes to your ammeter, if not protected by a fuse.

    Studebaker Fever
    60 Lark
    51 Champion
    Phil

  19. #19
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Harrisburg, Illinois, USA.
    Posts
    90
    Ron, remember the output post of that alternator goes direct to the battery + post, if the alternator suffers an internal short to ground (The metal frame?) as in a failed stator winding... the wire will go up in a bright glow instantly! I mean instantly, you have an infinite source of power in that battery, of course it is laced along with other cable wires in the harness and everything else goes up at the same time from core melt down. A fusible link is the safe way to protect the whole vehicle or if you don't mind the inconvenience of a battery switch every time you leave the car (Battery switch doesn't help the day it goes up when you are driving along). Plan a fix rght away. Stude8

  20. #20
    President Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Corydon, Indiana, USA.
    Posts
    883
    Ron,
    That is what I like about the MAD Electrical kit. It includes the fusible link which prevents the" Morning Sunrise under the hood syndrome".

  21. #21
    Speedster Member prager's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    South Bend, In., .
    Posts
    339
    Go with the M.A.D. kit..I ordered one, and like it allot..I spoke with the owner of the company before I bought it, I wanted to run my project by him...This guy had all the answers and then some!! He is a true guru of the automotive electrical system...give him a call, or look at the web site..This guy's know how and products are very solid.

  22. #22
    Silver Hawk Member N8N's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    7,100
    Stude8, that wire only goes to the battery directly on cars without an ammeter. In cars with an ammeter, the wire goes straight to the ammeter where the dash picks up its power, then back to the battery. Just to help people plan where to put the fusible links...

    Y'know, I actually saw a wiring harness nearly go poof in front of me once. I put a fusible link on THAT car. Now my car is nowhere near stock, and yet there's no fusible link. Do as I say not as I do? Guess I have another job to do...

    nate

    --
    55 Commander Starlight
    62 Daytona hardtop
    http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

  23. #23
    Speedster Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Richmond
    Posts
    332
    What is the blow amperage of the fuse link? Is this a Napa item?

    Start and Stage Your Studebakers

  24. #24
    President Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Corydon, Indiana, USA.
    Posts
    883
    The fusible link wire is 12 gauage and 5 1/4" long. Its attached to the batt terminal with a ring connector and then butt connected to the 10 gauge charging wire. All connectors are crimped and soldered and the splice covered with shrink tube.

    http://www.madelectrical.com/catalog/alt-1.shtml

  25. #25
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    , Michigan, USA.
    Posts
    97
    I just bought a 62 Hawk with a 1 wire alt installed on a sb350. No fusible link. Can the MAD kit apply to this setup without buying a new alternator??

  26. #26
    Speedster Member Rosstude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Riverside, Ca, USA.
    Posts
    378
    Thought I would chime in on this topic, seeing as I have retrofitted both one, and three wire Delco units.
    The MAD Company has a very informative web site, which I have found helpful. I am fortunate to have an electronics warehouse around the corner to get my bits and pieces from, so I have not bought from MAD.
    Anyway, I installed a one wire on the 66 Wagonaire, in place of the prestolight unit. It works, although you have to rev it up a bit to start the charging. Like I say, it works, and it was an easy install.
    I installed a three wire on a Transtar, in place of the generator. I soldered the armature wire to the ground wire, and then tied them to the harness at the solenoid. I used the field wire for the sensing wire, jumping to where the regulator was, and than into the harness. Had to run a new wire for the idiot light. I use to help a buddy who wired hot rods; he always used the 3 wire, most often with a diode in place of the idiot light, and with a volt meter. I really like the idea of protection via fusible link or other wise, something to add to the "safety" to do list.
    Please, do not go crazy on the amperage. The smallest Delco unit is about all the amperage I would push through the stock 12 volt wiring gauge.
    Here is another helpful site; it is OT a bit, being about lighting.
    http://danielsternlighting.com/home.html


    Ross.
    57 Provincial
    58 Transtar
    66 Wagonaire

  27. #27
    President Member ddub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Centralia, WA, USA
    Posts
    1,361
    Can anyone suggest a book that does a good job of explaining auto electrics to the uninitiated?

  28. #28

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 37
    Last Post: 03-18-2009, 05:15 PM
  2. Alternator wire question
    By Kdancy in forum Tech Talk
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-10-2007, 05:55 PM
  3. conversion to an alternator ????
    By bradnree in forum Tech Talk
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 08-28-2006, 01:19 AM
  4. 1-wire 6 volt alternator hookup
    By doctormap in forum Tech Talk
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-23-2006, 01:28 PM
  5. one wire Alternator
    By studeclunker in forum Tech Talk
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-19-2005, 10:28 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •