Alternator wire question - Team Camaro Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical.

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 15, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
Ben
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Ms
Posts: 362
Alternator wire question

Ok I finally got a alternator in that wasn't damaged from factory. I took me a while but anyway, I have a question now. It's a 80 amp proform 1 wire alternator, it says that I need a 10 gauge wire. I can't find my gauge tool to check the size on it right now, before I drive all the way to town, and get new wiring (and gauge) what size is the stock wiring? I bought this one over the 100 amp cause I didn't want to run new wiring. I called the supplier and they said that the 70 amp model runs 10 gauge as well, so I decided to get this one. The alternator replaced was a 60 amp.
Sixty8-camaro is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 15, 10:25 AM
Senior Tech
Dave
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 4,749
Re: Alternator wire question

You should have a 10 gage wire from the factory as they used the same wire for the biggest and the smallest alternator as that is cheaper than stocking multiple parts that could be installed improperly and has to be paid for with smaller orders and higher business taxes on inventory. (you have top learn to think like a bean counter sometimes to understand the logic of the executive board at Chevrolet).

Though an 80 Amp is still only small to middling in comparison to today's one wire alternators that run up to 230 Amps I would still run an 8 gage wire and upgrade the supply wires to the fuse bus as well if it were my car as I worry about the current carrying capacity of the factory wiring which was based upon the smallest gage to carry the load (has no room for heavier loads being installed such as electric fans, fuel pumps and stereo amps).

Big Dave
Larger Dave is offline  
post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 15, 10:37 AM
Senior Tech
Scott
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Southern NH
Posts: 2,457
Re: Alternator wire question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixty8-camaro View Post
Ok I finally got a alternator in that wasn't damaged from factory. I took me a while but anyway, I have a question now. It's a 80 amp proform 1 wire alternator, it says that I need a 10 gauge wire. I can't find my gauge tool to check the size on it right now, before I drive all the way to town, and get new wiring (and gauge) what size is the stock wiring? I bought this one over the 100 amp cause I didn't want to run new wiring. I called the supplier and they said that the 70 amp model runs 10 gauge as well, so I decided to get this one. The alternator replaced was a 60 amp.
The heavier gauge wire from the alternator (within reason), the better and especially as the length increases. You can accomplish the same thing by running a second wire in parallel next to the existing wire or you can replace it with a single heavier gauge wire.

69 Camaro Z/28 RS, original Azure Turquoise, M21 & 3.73 12-bolt posi. NOM 406ci, AFR 210 heads, Straub hyd. roller cam & Dynatech 1-3/4" > 1-7/8" headers, QuickFuel 750 Annular. Photos at:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
NH69Z28RS is offline  
 
post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 15, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
Ben
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Ms
Posts: 362
Re: Alternator wire question

I traced my wiring straight to the battery. I before thought it ran to the horn relay but doesn't. It runs direct to battery. So, I should Change that wire to 8 gauge. What about the fuse bus. I'm not following, what is the fuse bus. If it run direct to batt, do you mean add a fuse in between. I'm sorry I'm kinda slow ha ha.
Sixty8-camaro is offline  
post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 15, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
Ben
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Ms
Posts: 362
Re: Alternator wire question

It is a short wire. Less than a foot long.
Sixty8-camaro is offline  
post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 15, 10:43 AM
Senior Tech
Scott
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Southern NH
Posts: 2,457
Re: Alternator wire question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixty8-camaro View Post
I traced my wiring straight to the battery. I before thought it ran to the horn relay but doesn't. It runs direct to battery. So, I should Change that wire to 8 gauge. What about the fuse bus. I'm not following, what is the fuse bus. If it run direct to batt, do you mean add a fuse in between. I'm sorry I'm kinda slow ha ha.
Your wire from the alternator should not run to the battery, that's the quick & dirty way to wire it. The correct way is to wire it to the horn relay so it can feed the load point and also charge the battery.

I'll let Dave answer as to the fuse bus he commented on.

69 Camaro Z/28 RS, original Azure Turquoise, M21 & 3.73 12-bolt posi. NOM 406ci, AFR 210 heads, Straub hyd. roller cam & Dynatech 1-3/4" > 1-7/8" headers, QuickFuel 750 Annular. Photos at:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
NH69Z28RS is offline  
post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 15, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
Ben
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Ms
Posts: 362
Re: Alternator wire question

Please explain the horn relay a little more please. Is it a junction point for all power? Why would they bypass it when everything is VERY neatly done and wrapped correctly. Would the battery not charge properly this way? I do have amps and speakers but they are small power. They have there own wires run direct to there own junction block then to battery. Not thru horn relay. I bought this car this way and I'm not sure why the installers would take the time to make everything so nice but not correct. I'm lost really so just wanting to learn.
Sixty8-camaro is offline  
post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 15, 11:33 AM
Senior Tech
Al
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Vancouver, USA
Posts: 10,512
Re: Alternator wire question

Probably over simplifying, but....

Alternators have a means of sensing voltage so that the voltage regulator can adjust output voltage to its set-point, usually about 14.2 volts

The farther electicity travels in the elec system, the more voltage drops when compared to the source. Thinner wire also drops more voltage compared to thicker wire. (8ga wire is thicker than 10 ga, and so forth)

A 1 wire alternator senses voltage internally (at the alternator) - the highest voltage the entire system will see is at the big stud on the back of the alternator.

The factory 3 wire system senses voltage real close to the horn relay, which is more centrally located in the system, as a result the entire system will see more voltage compared to the 1 wire.

The horn relay is a major junction, and is the best place to get power for high-draw accessories if you have a 3 wire system. In your case, with a 1 wire and the battery a foot away, the battery (or back of the alternator) is a better choice due to higher voltage there.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
BPOS is offline  
post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 15, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
Ben
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Ms
Posts: 362
Re: Alternator wire question

Ok thank you so much. Hopefully last question. Should I put a fuse in between the batt and alternator if so what size?
Sixty8-camaro is offline  
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 15, 01:31 PM
Senior Tech
Dave
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 4,749
Re: Alternator wire question

No you normally fuse on a load not the charging device.

The back of the fuse box has a buss bar (a copper or yellow brass piece) that is stamped out of flat metal that distributes the power equally to all of the fuses in the box. If you increase the size wire that goes to the fuse buss you increases the power available inside the box to add fuses or connect an electrical draw to the spades terminals sticking out of it. Electricity can be thought of as being analogous to water. Water flows more freely through a ĺ" inch hose than it does through a Ĺ" inch hose. That is because electrical resistance (Ω ohms) can be thought of as fluid friction. Voltage is analogous water pressure, and Amps as gallons. The buss bar is like a manifold.

It is easier to run power to a single centrally located buss bar and then tap power as needed from it than it is to run wires all over the car going back to the battery as a cable of smaller wires.

Big Dave
Larger Dave is offline  
post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 15, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
Ben
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Ms
Posts: 362
Re: Alternator wire question

I understand now I got ya. Thanks for explaining it. I just went and ran new 8 gauge wire and started to get everything in place so I can finish it tomorrow. The setup had a 10 gauge wire run to a split pos terminal. I bought a pos connector with two (inputs). One side will be main batt cable and other will be for the alt. Thanks to everyone, now if I can find that washer I dropped for the bolt on the alternator.
Sixty8-camaro is offline  
post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 15, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
Ben
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Ms
Posts: 362
Re: Alternator wire question

I hooked up the alternator yesterday ran a 8 gauge wire and tested it. It works great thank you guys for the help, I also fixed a thermostat housing leak too, so I finally got to drive it today for only the forth time ever (I hate winter). Thanks for the lesson on alternators and charging.
Sixty8-camaro is offline  
post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 15, 03:57 AM
Super Moderator
Bess-68's rule
 
Everett#2390's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Va Beach VA
Posts: 32,005
Garage
Re: Alternator wire question

Congrats on the drive and your education.
This might help you:
Original design alternator is an external regulated and since your configuration is a one-wire alt, apparently the previous owner rewired the Camaro for this configuration. Not a bad thing, just make sure the Charging System works and Power Distribution is supplying the correct power.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Power_Distribution.pdf (39.1 KB, 52 views)
File Type: pdf Charging_System.pdf (30.2 KB, 46 views)

Give a man a rescued dog for the health of both their souls. May 2017 ROTM Winner - Thank you!
'
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
CUBS - 2016 World Series Champions - Thank you, Joe Madden Ö enjoy your next chapter.
Everett#2390 is offline  
post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 15, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
Ben
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Ms
Posts: 362
Re: Alternator wire question

Thank you for the charging diagrams. I haven't gotten a chance to order an assembly manual or wire diagrams so this is a big help.
Sixty8-camaro is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Team Camaro Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address.
NOTE we receive a lot of registrations with bad email addresses. IF you do not receive your confirmation email you will not be able to post. contact support and we will try and help.
Be sure you enter a valid email address and check your spam folder as well.



Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome