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One Wire Alt Conversion
#1205809 Sat Feb 25 2017 04:53 PM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 77
1
1965t5 Offline OP
Shop Shark
I know that changing to a 12v alternator setup is common but wondering if theres a plug/ pigtail, etc to enable a clean one wire alt setup to get the wires from the firewall mounted regulator to the alt or do those wires just stay at the firewall and the pigtail pickup at the leads that originally attach to the generator? Long question - hope it makes sense. thanks guys

Re: One Wire Alt Conversion
1965t5 #1205816 Sat Feb 25 2017 05:33 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 21,650
H
Boltergeist
"One wire" is a myth. It requires two, at a minimum, but one of them is only about 3" long.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: One Wire Alt Conversion
1965t5 #1205822 Sat Feb 25 2017 06:25 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 30,847
ace skiver
What is the 3" wire connected to, Jerry?

I had a 12v one-wire alternator a few years ago on 12v (conversion) 54 truck with 6-cylinder engine. I do not remember 2 wires being attached (by me) to the alternator (but, my memory on this is very dim. I bought the 1-wire alternator - I did not convert an alternator to 1-wire.

Here is the "wiring" diagram I used - found on the Internet.
Taken from the old web page.


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com [1954advance-design.com]
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [stovebolt.com] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [1954advance-design.com] - part of the family for 15 years
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engines are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. [chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com]
Re: One Wire Alt Conversion
1965t5 #1205835 Sat Feb 25 2017 07:22 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 21,650
H
Boltergeist
The 10SI alternator that most everybody uses has two blade terminals on the outer perimeter of the housing and one large terminal at the back where the main charging wire attaches. The two small blade terminals are on the onboard regulator, and one of them needs to be connected to the charging output to monitor the voltage. Some (not all) regulators will self-energize from the internal circuitry of the alternator without the external reference lead connected, but it usually requires the engine RPM to be goosed after starting to begin the charging process. To make a 10SI charge at idle speed without the initial speedup, connect a short jumper wire from the main charging terminal to the blade terminal marked "2" on the perimeter of the alternator housing. The #1 terminal grounds an idiot light if you choose to use one.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: One Wire Alt Conversion
1965t5 #1205839 Sat Feb 25 2017 07:59 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 33
B
Wrench Fetcher
I have a 1 wire, there is a internal regulator that jumps to the terminal to activate it, cost less than 10 bucks (the regulator). I have had it for over 10 years and works great. I do not have a gauge hooked up.

Re: One Wire Alt Conversion
1965t5 #1205844 Sat Feb 25 2017 08:44 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 30,847
ace skiver
My true 1-wire alternator "became excited" at around 700RPM - which is what the start-up RPM was/is on my 235/261 trucks. Once "exited", the alternator stays/stayed excited.


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com [1954advance-design.com]
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [stovebolt.com] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [1954advance-design.com] - part of the family for 15 years
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engines are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. [chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com]
Re: One Wire Alt Conversion
1965t5 #1206028 Mon Feb 27 2017 02:09 AM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 79
E
Shop Shark
Hot Rod Lincoln That is interesting I am familiar with the 1 wire alternators from them being used to replace generators on older farm tractors. When the one on my Farmall Cub failed I went back with the Delco with internal regulator because the Cub engine would have to be revved to the 1800 rpm governor limit to excite the alternator. That and the 1 wire is $20 more expensive.


ESum
Re: One Wire Alt Conversion
1965t5 #1206032 Mon Feb 27 2017 02:18 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 21,650
H
Boltergeist
GM used the same wiring system- - - -they just connected the constant 12V reference from another location, possibly the fuse block, IIRC. Some people claim the jumper from the main charging connector to terminal #2 is too close for good voltage regulation, but since electricity travels at approximately the speed of light, I can't see where a few feet compared to 186,000 miles per second makes much of a difference.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: One Wire Alt Conversion
1965t5 #1206050 Mon Feb 27 2017 03:17 AM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 79
E
Shop Shark
The way I was taught to wire them was connect main charging (BATT) terminal to battery positive at battery or starter solenoid and terminal 2 to ammeter and ammeter to ignition switch. The first one I used was off of a mid 80's Old's Delta 88 it would peg a 60 amp ammeter at engine start, then drop to less then 10 amps.


ESum
Re: One Wire Alt Conversion
1965t5 #1206100 Mon Feb 27 2017 11:09 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 619
M
Shop Shark
1965t5, there is an easy way to do it the way you describe in the initial post. Not sure what year model truck you have, but here is how it works on my '57 3600.

Leave your voltage regulator where it is on the firewall. Use it as a dummy and a terminal block. Disconnect the ARM and FIELD wires at the regulator. You will not be using those terminals. Re-purpose one of the generator wires that ran to the voltage regulator by making it the 'one wire' for your new alternator and connecting it to the BAT terminal on your old voltage regulator. Keep the battery feed and the gauge feed on the BAT terminal (no change). Your firewall mounted voltage regulator will no longer function, but will still be there. The BAT terminal is now simply a junction terminal.

If you opt to use a three wire alternator (less expensive and better voltage reading), the installation is almost as easy. You'll need a diode in the ignition wire, but you can wire one in yourself with a Radio Shack diode or you can buy a plug that includes the diode for about $10 on eBay. Wire as described above, but also connect the remote voltage sensing wire to the BAT terminal of the existing voltage regulator. This will allow the internal voltage regulator on the alternator to operate using a voltage reading from the load at the junction terminal instead of at the alternator. Wire the ignition wire (the one that requires the diode) to the ignition switch side of the ignition resistor on the firewall. Very easy. Don't be afraid of a three wire thinking it is a more difficult installation. The remote sensing wire will give you better performance when lots of accessories are operating.

Matt

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