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56 Champion Alternator conversion?

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  • #16
    I had a '71 Caddie with a two-wire alternator. There is a plug that the ground and field wires go into. One of the wires bridges back into the hot wire, the other is the #2 wire. This is the standard setup that I've seen on Caddies (or at least those I've owned). All of my other GMs have had three wire setups.

    I'm currently using the 100amp Caddie alternator on my Champ. I'm completely flummoxed as to where the second wire goes though. Here's a picture:



    The mechanic I was going to here for a while rewired the regulator for a one-wire a couple of years ago. The system works fine. Here's what it looks like:




    I put the alternator in the Champ as I intend to tow with it. Just as soon as I replace Frankentrailer. This little Champ just isn't up to that kind of weight.


    Lotsa Larks!
    K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
    Ron Smith
    Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
    K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
    Ron Smith
    Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

    Comment


    • #17
      quote:Originally posted by Transtar60


      Actually according to MAD electrics history/explanation, 1 wire alternators were originally adapted for industrial/agricultural uses.
      IE irrigation pumps, forklifts, and tractors which have/had few or no accessories.
      Hey, those forklifts have pretty sanitary engine compartments too [)]




      Dick Steinkamp
      Bellingham, WA
      Dick Steinkamp
      Bellingham, WA

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      • #18
        quote:Originally posted by John Kirchhoff

        Dick, if a one wire alternator cleaned up the engine compartment that much, where do I install one to clean up the outside of my car? It needs one really bad!
        P.S. Magnificant engine compartment!
        Thanks, John [:I].

        I'd go with the one wire tail light system to clean up the outside of the car [)]




        Dick Steinkamp
        Bellingham, WA
        Dick Steinkamp
        Bellingham, WA

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        • #19
          quote:Originally posted by fifthave

          Poor s1B...he ask a simple question and now he is no doubt more confused than ever. Ok A 1-wire alternator was introduced in the mid to late 70's originally for race car applications that powered mostly ignition and battery. Most race cars do have a higher than normal idle speed in the 1200-1500 range. The 1-wire alternators were a simple solution a way to keep the battery charged so they did not have to put the batteries on a charger between races. From there they drifted over and got used on some ag applications and a few industrial applications which had little or no accessories, mainly battery and ignition. That worked ok because most ag and industrial applications spend their time at working rpms, combines, field cutters, swathers irrigation engines and the like. I have installed my share of 1-wire alternators on these applications with good success because these engines spend most of there time at the higher working rpms..

          The standard GM Alternators of the 70's are often referred to as 2-wire because of the square plug that plugs into the top of the alternator. Technically there is three wires but the output wire that attaches to the BATT post on the back of the alternator is a given and both types of alternators have them.

          Now for the difference between the two....the one wire stores electrical current in the rotor from the last time it was ran. When the engine is started and the engine rpms rise to between 900-1200 rpms depending on the regulator used, the stored current is released to the fields and the alternator begins to charge.

          By contrast a "two-wire" alternator used a wire called an "exciter wire" which receives battery current via the ignition switch, which is used to excite the fields inside of the alternator to make it begin charging. So the advantage here for antique vehicle applications is the battery current from the ignition switch will excite the fields as soon as the ignition key is turned on so you will have alternator output immediately, regardless of engine idle speed.

          With some 1-wire antique vehicle applications you may have to rev up the engine to make the alternator rpms come up high enough to engage the alternator. You can help that by running a smaller diameter pulley and a few other tricks. You have no doubt seen a few applications where the alternator did not start to charge until the engine rpms came up, Now you know how that works.

          When I do an alternator conversion I always consider the application and how it is gong to be used. We typically do not get in our antique cars and head out on a 300 mile trip every time. We do parades, short trips to the store, a cruise on saturday night etc. You need an alternator that will provide enough current at idle and low rpms to keep the battery fully charged and the lights bright during the slow times. That is why I wind my own stators for my alternators, to change the output curve of the alternator to better match the antique vehicle applications. You can read more on my web page www.fifthaveinternetgarage.com Mine is not the only way but after 20 years of hands on experience I have learned a few ways to make things work better, be more reliable and easier to install.

          There is no black and white answer, as long as you know how each type of alternator works and what type of output you can expect at what rpms then you can match the alternator to your application based on the facts. After all it is your car so you can put any o'l type of alternator on that you want too.....

          Thanks and Merry Christmas to all.....Randy

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          • #20
            Studeclunker, that extra wire that comes from the "R" connection taps into the ac voltage before it goes through the regulator and diodes and will run 50-60 volts AC. I'm not sure of the reason for it either. Alternator driven tachometers use the ac voltage, but an alternator like yours would have an additional connection for the tach that does the same thing. The old externally regulated Delcos are the same and it isn't necessary to use that R connection either.

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            • #21
              So, John, does that mean I can remove the plug and red wire completely? or should I just cap off the white?


              Lotsa Larks!
              K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
              Ron Smith
              Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
              K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
              Ron Smith
              Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

              Comment


              • #22
                use one wire Delco alternator - they make them in 12 volt negative ground - make in 6 volt negative ground and 6 volt positive ground - they cost around $95

                Vern Ediger

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                • #23
                  One more thing about the one-wires. After starting your motor, you need to rev the engine a time or two. This is because the alternator won't start charging till the RPMs reach a certain point. Then it will charge even on a very slow idle.


                  Lotsa Larks!
                  K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                  Ron Smith
                  Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?
                  Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                  K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                  Ron Smith
                  Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    re: the idle speed issue - a guy here at work has a newish Mach 1 (older body style, not the latest one) and based on the exhaust note, it does sound like it idles significantly higher than my '55. I would guess around 1000 RPM or so; I will have to ask him now just to assuage my curiosity.

                    nate

                    --
                    55 Commander Starlight
                    http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
                    --
                    55 Commander Starlight
                    http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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                    • #25
                      I found a great website the other day and I've been in hog heaven ever since.
                      delcoremy.com/LiteratureDownload/Documents/06SpecGuide.pdf

                      It gives the performance curves for different alternator models, sizing the pulley so you get adequate performance at idle without over reving it at high speeds, starter performance, sizing cables, batteries and so on.

                      What I found really interesting is that the 63 amp model 10SI produces more amperage than does the 72 amp 10SI at alternator shaft speeds of less than 5000 rpm. Depending upon crankshaft and alternator pully size, this comes to approximately 1800-2000 engine rpm. At a fast idle, the 63 amp would produce 7-8 more amps than would the 72 amp model. That's something I never would have expected. I printed a bunch of it off, so I'm going to have some great reading material in the bathroom for a while.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        quote:Originally posted by John Kirchhoff
                        I printed a bunch of it off, so I'm going to have some great reading material in the bathroom for a while.
                        [|)]









                        Dick Steinkamp
                        Bellingham, WA
                        Dick Steinkamp
                        Bellingham, WA

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Speaking of reading material, my ex-wife may have been cheating on me but at least I know my 11 year old daughter is mine. How so? She keeps a German-English dictionary on the cabinet next to the toilet. Ain't no denying she's my girl! Ha!

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                          • #28
                            John, you scare me.

                            I dug aroung on the MAD enterprises website and found that they have a wiring harness for my alternator. Happy, happy! So I just might get it. After I get a @#@!!! starter.


                            Lotsa Larks!
                            K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                            Ron Smith
                            Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?
                            Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                            K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                            Ron Smith
                            Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Studeclunker, what's up with your starter? Sick, DOA or MIA? They aren't really that complicated to work on. If they're just slow, often times all that's necessary is to grease the bushings. If extremely weak, check the ground wire connections between the body, engine and battery. Stupid me, after spending much time scratching my head, nose and every other offensive part of my body, I woke up in the middle of the night thinking of the ground. Sure enough, that's all it was. Talk about feeling dumb afterwards!

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