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  • Electrical: Alternator Question

    My 56 PowerHawk alternator does not charge until I rev the engine to 3,000 RPM, then it works like normal until I turn it off. It has a Studie amp meter. I bought it this way a few months ago. I've attached a couple pictures. There are 2 sets of numbers (cant read them all) stamped on the Delco-Remy alternator: 1100111 68A, and under that L20-??VNE. Do I need a new alternator or something else? What alternator do you recommend?
    Thanks, Rafe
    Attached Files

  • #2
    https://studebaker-info.org/Tech/Alt.../hondaalt.html
    Bill Foy
    1000 Islands, Ontario
    1953 Starlight Coupe

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    • #3
      These old “Avanti Resource” pages are golden information. I don’t need an alternator but these entries would have made it a smart swap.

      Bill, thanks for posting and for your contribution in this particular issue.

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      • #4
        It appears you have created a one-wire alternator by wiring the connection to the output. I thought they would charge from 1500 rpm up but I believe that is your issue.

        Either leave it like it is as it works or add the constant 12v source to the correct terminal where the double contacts are. You can wire an idiot light from the other terminal if you want to. I won't speculate which terminal is which but Google can quickly help.

        Bob

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        • #5
          You need to wire that empty terminal with either a 168 bulb in series (like a charge warning light) or alternately a 10 ohm resistor of at least six watts, switched on with ignition... otherwise it will behave exactly like a one wire alternator.
          Whirling dervish of misinformation.

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          • #6
            I bought my car this way, currently fixing it up one step at a time. Got jacked up rear suspension down to stock, seats & seat belts, door windows almost done.
            So alternator is next. I'm good with mechanical, not so much electrical. Tho it works OK, I really don't like revving a cold engine to 3 grand, so a fix, for me is important.
            I have heard of 'one wire' alternators, not sure what they are, advantage/disadvantage. Write slowly and clearly, otherwise I will not understand.
            So how do I bring mine to normal?
            There are three connection places. 1) The bigger exterior bolt: what should that connect to? 2) The top inset spade connector goes to where? 3) The lower spade connector goes to where?
            Thanks,
            Rafe

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            • #7
              This should get you where you're going assuming you don't have an external voltage regulator.

              Click image for larger version  Name:	chargcircuit2.gif Views:	0 Size:	22.9 KB ID:	1896758
              Bob

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              • #8
                Thanks Sweetolbob,
                Several questions: 1) why is the light necessary? 2) My car has the factory Ammeter. Isn't that somewhere in this mix? 3) since both of the diagram 1&2 wires are positive, does it matter which one goes where? 4) The ground is thru the Alternator case to bracket to engine, right?
                Thanks,
                Rafe

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                • #9
                  --I know why the light is in the circuit, but my scrambled brain is struggling to explain it in easily understandable terms. Besides using it as a charging system indicator, that circuit does depend on the resistance through the tungsten filament as part of its function. My GM truck has a voltmeter instead of an indicator light, and there is a resistor taking the place of the bulb. Embarrassingly enough, I'm not 100% sure of where that resistor is even located, as I have never had any problems with that part of a Delco 10si or 12si charging circuit... with that said, my truck's engine wiring harness will probably go up in smoke the next time I turn the key

                  --The large gauge BAT wire out of the alternator runs directly into the passenger compartment, then passes through the ammeter before heading back out into the engine compartment to charge the battery.

                  --Yes. The one for the indicator light needs to be switched off with the ignition, or it will run your battery dead when the car is parked.

                  --And yep. The alternator grounds through the brackets and bolts. Some applications use an extra ground strap from the alternator case to a solid ground on the engine.


                  And it won't hurt anything to continue running without the terminal 1 connected, though it is the reason you have to rev it up to 3k before the alternator will commence charging.
                  Whirling dervish of misinformation.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The reason you have to rev it to 3 grand + is to "excite the field". That is what the #1 terminal does. Assuming your car is negative ground, It should be connected to + power, through either and idiot light or a large resistor as earlier mentioned. Before the alternator begins to make power that terminal needs power to excite the field. It gets it through the idiot light and acts as the ground side of the idiot light circuit. Once the alternator begins making power that terminal becomes a + power terminal and the idiot light goes out because it now has + power on both sides and is no longer a complete circuit.

                    That Delco SI alternator was added by someone as the car originally had a generator. It was first used in GM vehicles in 1975.

                    The bolt terminal should go to the battery, in your case it may go to the ammeter and then to the battery though. The #2 terminal is correct, it simply goes to the battery.

                    A "one wire" alternator is essentially the same alternator wired a bit differently internally leaving the #1and #2 terminals unused and only the bolt "batt" terminal is used and goes directly to the battery.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks. As usual, after excellent answers, I have no more questions. Nice to know the bulb goes out when it starts charging. I may wait a bit because I want to remove my dash and redo the wiring. Its like a spider web of wares back there... pretty scary, and I would like to clean it up.
                      Rafe

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