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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 13, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Another alternator question...

I just installed a 3 wire alternator which went well, thanks to Everette and Al . New gauges (not installed yet) will not have the warning lights. I bought aftermarket Brake and Alt idiot lights. Both are LED. My plan was to route the wire from Alt tab #1 (which is blue, connected to brown) to the back of the idiot light and red ignition power to the other tab on the light. My understanding is - Wire 1: Field Excite/Warning Light Indicator Input. When ignition is on the circuit is closed which gets the alternator going. Correct so far? Will having the LED in the circuit work, in place of a standard bulb?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 13, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Another alternator question...

After doing more web research I've found using just an LED won't work. Something about the minimal load from the led won't allow the alt to begin charging. To get it to work a diode of a specific rating and a resistor need to be added. Just not worth the hassle since I don't know what ratings to use, so back to the bulb.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 13, 03:39 PM
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Re: Another alternator question...

So the new 3-wire alt is working?
Voltage across the battery posts when running?
LED does not provide enough load.
With alt running, what is the voltage reading of #1 & #2 terminal to ground/alt case?

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 13, 04:44 PM
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Re: Another alternator question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Everett#2390 View Post
LED does not provide enough load.
Everett - Not to discount your knowledge on the issue - but that reads to me like the alternator won't charge if the gen light burns out - which would mean that the thing that alerts you to system failure can cause the system to fail, except you wouldn't know it until the battery drains, unless you happen to notice the gen light doesn't come during the light check right before cranking.

It seems to me that (at least on 69s) there is a resistor wire parallel (?) to the gen light circuit for just that - if the bulb fails the system keeps trucking along. If that's the case, maybe an LED would work here??


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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 13, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Another alternator question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Everett#2390 View Post
So the new 3-wire alt is working?Yes. And no. Got the new alt installed but didn't have enough wire to route everything away from the headers, so just the power is connected. Went and got 8 gauge red and enough white & blue at the store today, so I'll connect all tomorrow
Voltage across the battery posts when running?will test when wiring done
LED does not provide enough load.This is what I found on-line when I researched it. Apparently you can add resistors and other stuff to make it work, however even then some people had ongoing issues so It's just not worth it to me.
With alt running, what is the voltage reading of #1 & #2 terminal to ground/alt case?
Quote:
Originally Posted by BPOS View Post
Everett - Not to discount your knowledge on the issue - but that reads to me like the alternator won't charge if the gen light burns out - which would mean that the thing that alerts you to system failure can cause the system to fail, except you wouldn't know it until the battery drains, unless you happen to notice the gen light doesn't come during the light check right before cranking.

It seems to me that (at least on 69s) there is a resistor wire parallel (?) to the gen light circuit for just that - if the bulb fails the system keeps trucking along. If that's the case, maybe an LED would work here??I read about the parallel wire on another site. That wire is there for the reason you said - keeping everything trucking, but it doesn't address the load issue with an LED. Below is a screen shot of part of the post, although this section deals with adding a resistor and/or diode. In all cases I've found it's been said that the LED will not work on it's own for the Alt idiot light without additional monkying around. The lighting in the new gauges (Auto Meter Cobalt) are LED but they don't have to do the same thing as the Alt light.
Only reason I wanted LED was durability and reliability. The lights are going on the console and once the console gauges are in and everything is wired I'd prefer not to have to pull it all out to change a burned bulb.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 13, 06:36 PM
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Re: Another alternator question...

Shiny new alternator Carl! Do you have the correct spacer/rear support bracket on there? Can't tell from your picture. You can see it on mine if you look closely. (black with SS bolt) Helps with bearing life or so I've read. Here's one on ebay - they're surprisingly hard to track down. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Chevrolet-Sm...8b3480&vxp=mtr





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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 13, 07:11 PM
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Re: Another alternator question...

Al, you're correct. A brown/white wire, 11 ohms, I think, is in parallel with the GEN bulb to do exactly like you suggest, keep the alt working if bulb burns out.

If an LED is subbed for the filament bulb, LED does not have enough resistance, nor the current handling ability to keep the alt working.
A 10 ohm, 35 watt resistor will work in place of the brn/wht wire.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 13, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Another alternator question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BPOS View Post
Shiny new alternator Carl! Do you have the correct spacer/rear support bracket on there? Can't tell from your picture. You can see it on mine if you look closely. (black with SS bolt) Helps with bearing life or so I've read.
I knew I was going to get razzed for the bling! I'll have you know it's polished, not chrome! The parts store didn't have the powermaster natural in stock so he gave me a deal on the polished. Nice catch on the bracket - I'm impressed with your eye. The original support bracket is a little short so I picked up a longer one at the store today as well. Goes on tomorrow with the new wiring. Can you guess what finish it is? That's right, chrome .

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 13, 07:38 PM
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Re: Another alternator question...

Nah - I wasn't razzin ya. If were to razz you about anything it would be your rubber fuel line

The important thing about the spacer/brace is the little tab that wraps around the backside of the alt and bolts to the boss that is there. They really sell those at the auto parts store? I had a heckuva time finding one....


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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old Jan 29th, 13, 03:59 AM
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Re: Another alternator question...

And remember, you'll need a metric bolt for securing the bracket to the alt case.
Chrome would nice...

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old Jan 29th, 13, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Another alternator question...

I was going to replace the top bracket with a chrome piece but it didn't fit. The lower part of the bracket (the long groove that let's you adjust the alt position) was too thick and the alt fan blade would touch it. Parts guy looked and said usually this bracket mounts to the intake manifold, whereas mine connects to the water pump. Sound right?

Anyway, for now I'm keeping the dirty, crusty rusty old bracket. I'll take it off when I add the lower spacer/bracket, sand it then paint it. Maybe gold with a metallic green dollar sign stenciled on it? Pimp my ride .

Al, the spacer I bought was labeled Alt Support and is just a tube - no part that wraps around the alt mounting tab.

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old Jan 29th, 13, 10:39 AM
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Re: Another alternator question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 67Carl View Post
Parts guy looked and said usually this bracket mounts to the intake manifold, whereas mine connects to the water pump. Sound right?

Half right anyway. Since your 67 has been converted to the 69 & later long WP/pass alternator it's hard to say what a p/o did. The 69 style connected to the water pump and to the pass side thermo housing bolt/stud thing. A few years later they changed it slightly and connected it to the water pump and to a threaded boss on the front of the intake.

Al, the spacer I bought was labeled Alt Support and is just a tube - no part that wraps around the alt mounting tab.

It'll work but I would imagine GM bolted it to back of the alt for a reason. When I did my conversion the only one I could find was chrome aftermarket, so I sandblasted it and painted it black, and I can't even find those anymore. The one I linked to a few posts up seems to be the only one for sale on the planet which is nuts because they had to have made millions of them.


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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 13, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Another alternator question...

I unwrapped all the wires and traced the red power from the Alt to a junction with other red power. Other side of that junction one of the red wires goes to horn relay/bus. Should I run new red power in the same configuration or go from Alt straight to horn buss, as shown in a diagram I got from the archives? I've seen directions for both methods and wonder what to do? As always, thanks.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 13, 06:38 PM
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Re: Another alternator question...

Less wire length, less voltage lost due to heat.

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 13, 07:41 PM
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Re: Another alternator question...

If your car has essentially factory electrical accessories I would just leave it as is. The alt will only supply the current demanded of it. If you have a 100A alt but the system only draws 20 then the alt will deliver 20.

If you have a mondo stereo or elec cooling fans then disregard as you will need to upgrade the wiring.


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