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Old Ammeter to 1-wire Alternator?
#1377681 Sat Sep 19 2020 10:50 PM
Joined: Sep 2020
Posts: 4
K
Moderated
Doing a '48 Chevy Coupe. With SBC 350/th350 using a 1-wire GM Alternator. Wondering if using the old gauge is safe? If so, how do I wire it? The two posts on the back of the gauge have no markings. Would I be better off not wiring the Ammeter and just add a Volt meter under the dash??
Any thoughts or suggestions gladly accepted and appreciated.

Last edited by Kenny Who; Sat Sep 19 2020 11:01 PM. Reason: Spelling

Kenneth R Brown
Re: Old Ammeter to 1-wire Alternator?
Kenny Who #1377682 Sat Sep 19 2020 11:02 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 9,025
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
Thank you for posting your questions here in the “Spoon”. What is an 11 wire alternator? Do you mean 1 wire alternator? I’m sure one of the guys in the know will be along shortly with your answer. BTW, cool project, not a truck but still cool.


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
‘65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2)
‘39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe
USAF 1965-69 Weather Observation Tech (got paid to look at the clouds)


"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line"! Hug a cop!

Re: Old Ammeter to 1-wire Alternator?
Kenny Who #1377684 Sat Sep 19 2020 11:13 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,128
Master Gabster
What's the output of the alternator? The stock system puts out around 35 amps. If you're going to be blasting 100 amps through the ammeter after a hard start you risk doing damage to the ammeter. I did that with my 38. You can fix (prevent) that by running a 10 gauge wire directly from the alternator to the battery, bypassing the stock system but the ammeter won't read right because the current will sometimes be coming from the "wrong" direction. Have a voltmeter under the dash will help with piece of mind that you are charging when the ammeter shows discharge (if you run the bypass wire).


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Re: Old Ammeter to 1-wire Alternator?
Kenny Who #1377685 Sat Sep 19 2020 11:13 PM
Joined: Sep 2020
Posts: 4
K
Moderated
Thanks. Yes it's a 1 wire ( fat fingered).🙄


Kenneth R Brown
Re: Old Ammeter to 1-wire Alternator?
Kenny Who #1377688 Sat Sep 19 2020 11:26 PM
Joined: Sep 2020
Posts: 4
K
Moderated
Thanks so much. It's just a stock, re-man unit. I think you are correct..I will keep the original dash cluster but just not hook up the Ammeter and go with a separate Voltage gauge under the dash. I'm going for a nostalgia look in flat black. I may christen it "Sentimental Journey "...if I ever get it finished. I've had it 5 yrs and had both shoulders replaced in that time. Just recently got it down on the ground and running.


Kenneth R Brown
Re: Old Ammeter to 1-wire Alternator?
Kenny Who #1377689 Sat Sep 19 2020 11:32 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 9,025
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
Kenny, just for your information, posts here in the “Spoon” do not count towards your post count. Stop in a couple of the other Forums and comment so you can get your “Magic 5” and thus no longer have to have your posts approved.


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
‘65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2)
‘39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe
USAF 1965-69 Weather Observation Tech (got paid to look at the clouds)


"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line"! Hug a cop!

Re: Old Ammeter to 1-wire Alternator?
Tiny #1377690 Sat Sep 19 2020 11:33 PM
Joined: Sep 2020
Posts: 4
K
Moderated
Thanks for the advice. I am thinking I will skip hooking up the Ammeter and just go with the separate Volt Meter. I'm going for the nostalgia look so having a gauge under the dash will be cool.


Kenneth R Brown
Re: Old Ammeter to 1-wire Alternator?
Kenny Who #1377704 Sun Sep 20 2020 12:25 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 7,488
B
General Purpose
If you hook up the ammeter backwards you will know it. Then you just reverse the wires. Provided you know which wires go together. But as said, if it is a 48 ammeter it probably will be toasted. Also if you are modernizing to 12V, 350 and alternator. You don't want an ammeter. So abandon it as you say. Install volt meter.
Do you know about all the rest of the wiring? Is it a points motor or HEI? Are you doing a new harness?


Commentary:
Both terminals of an ammeter are "hot". You are just passing the voltage and current thru it and taking a small sample to "gauge" the flow direction. As in: Charge or Discharge. It also shows the level/rate of C and D. It's a multiwire, always hot, place under the dash and was abandoned by the automotive industry and all the Harness Kit makers recommend it not to be used.


Watch out for careful drivers!!!
I'm away on an ego trip. Will be back on Feb 30.
I'm not an Auto Mechanic, but I play one on TV.
I charge $0.02 for every opinion and I take Paypal.
Plan B is always better than plan A, by definition.


Re: Old Ammeter to 1-wire Alternator?
Kenny Who #1377707 Sun Sep 20 2020 12:40 AM
Joined: Sep 2020
Posts: 4
K
Moderated
Thanks bartamos. Great advice and info. There was a hotrod wiring harness in the box. I contacted the manufacturer and they sent me the instruction sheet.👍😁. I was just studying it so far. I made the wiring harness for my Studebaker onthe shop floor....but no more of that.


Kenneth R Brown
Re: Old Ammeter to 1-wire Alternator?
Kenny Who #1377708 Sun Sep 20 2020 12:46 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 7,488
B
General Purpose
I agree, I did a diy harness once. Never again.

1. Points or HEI distributor?
2. What harness brand and what part number?
3. What year is the motor?

Should be fairly easy harness install unless you have a bunch of tricky add-ons.


Watch out for careful drivers!!!
I'm away on an ego trip. Will be back on Feb 30.
I'm not an Auto Mechanic, but I play one on TV.
I charge $0.02 for every opinion and I take Paypal.
Plan B is always better than plan A, by definition.


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