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One Wire Alternator Conversion Schematic

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  • 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
    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-
    Dick Steinkamp
    Bellingham, WA

    Comment


    • #3
      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.

      Comment


      • #4
        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

        Studebaker Fever
        60 Lark
        56 Power Hawk
        Phil Hendrickson
        Arnold, Missouri

        Comment


        • #5
          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

          Paul Simpson
          "DilloCrafter"

          1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
          The Red-Headed Amazon
          Deep in the heart of Texas

          Comment


          • #6
            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

            Comment


            • #7
              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
              --
              55 Commander Starlight
              http://members.cox.net/njnagel

              Comment


              • #8
                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!
                The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

                Comment


                • #9
                  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

                  Paul Simpson
                  "DilloCrafter"

                  1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
                  The Red-Headed Amazon
                  Deep in the heart of Texas

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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-
                    Dick Steinkamp
                    Bellingham, WA

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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
                      --
                      55 Commander Starlight
                      http://members.cox.net/njnagel

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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
                        --
                        55 Commander Starlight
                        http://members.cox.net/njnagel

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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-
                          Dick Steinkamp
                          Bellingham, WA

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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
                              --
                              55 Commander Starlight
                              http://members.cox.net/njnagel

                              Comment

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