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Old 06-09-2014, 08:11 PM
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1 wire alternator no operation

I have a powermaster 1 wire alternator that apparently is not working, I just installed it with a set of underdrive pullies on my big block chevy, the thing is just barely putting out 12 volts even when I rev it up, I load tested my wiring an all, there shipping me a new alternator this week, but im just wondering if anyone out there has had a problem like this or even heard of a powermaster alternator being bum out of the box?

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Old 06-09-2014, 10:44 PM
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Powermaster is garbage. I've been thru a few of them in a couple of year's time and they love to burn up. Smell really nice too! The ones I've used are a polished manufactured case with the guts from a 12SI GM unit. They rate them at 100+ amps. Well, my last one burned up really good and I had to replace the stator, rectifier and regulator. The problem is that they try to pack high output stuff into a case that doesn't have enough cooling vents. I'll run this one until it burns up again and then replace the unit with the GM CS130 style. Much more rugged.
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:48 PM
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What I don't get with the Powermaster alternators is they use the case and fan from a 10si but call it a 12si.

Why would they want to bump up the power output on an alternator and not use the improved cooling of the 12si?
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:00 PM
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Are you sure it's charging at all? I it's charging any at all the back bearing shell will be slightly magnetic, enough to attract a hacksaw blade or small srewdriver when it's running. If it does this and still doesn't put out more than 10-12 volts you probably have a bad diode in the alternator.
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Old 06-10-2014, 01:14 AM
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How high did you rev it up? You know one wire alternators need to be revved to a certain rpm to excite it and start the charging, after that, while running, it will charge normally, even at idle?
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:40 AM
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Yeah I reved it up to 4 grand and still nothing, there sending me a new one as we speak, strange acted up right out of the box
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuff82 View Post
I have a powermaster 1 wire alternator that apparently is not working, I just installed it with a set of underdrive pullies on my big block chevy, the thing is just barely putting out 12 volts even when I rev it up, I load tested my wiring an all, there shipping me a new alternator this week, but im just wondering if anyone out there has had a problem like this or even heard of a Powermaster alternator being bum out of the box?
It is very possible it is bad out of the box, Powermaster is not noted for their quality. Most of the companies today doing rebuilds are using cheap Chinese parts and they tend to have high failure rates.
Not sure what type of electrical accessories you are running but if there are a lot you probably will not be happy with the performance of the one wire alternator.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:48 AM
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Just get a real three wire alternator and don't worry about RPMs. I still fail to see the attraction of one wire setups. There's a reason why the factory used the extra copper.
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:22 PM
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Bad pun clearly intended. I just can't get excited over 1-wire alternators. I had one go bad on me, or so I thought. Started the car up for some reason and let it run (I think to get it hot to check something). I had the radio playing, doors were open to hear the stereo and I was puttering around in the driveway, giving the car a few minutes to warm up. I kinda got side tracked and when I went to start the car the next day.... dead. Now the battery was weak, and I had some grounding issues; but I didnt realize that 1-wires dont start charging unless you hit a certain RPM and this idled at 750-800 ish. It never charged well. Replaced it with a standard 3-wire Delco reman 12si and never had another problem till I sold the car.

Come to think of it, we converted an old JD tractor to a GM 3-wire alternator that was used to drive a flat belt at low speeds

Heres the Delco catalog. This has all kinds of nifty info; incl how to wire up 3-wire and 1-wire alternators in place of a generator

http://www.delcoremy.com/documents/e...ion-guide.aspx
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by AutoGear View Post
Bad pun clearly intended. I just can't get excited over 1-wire alternators. I had one go bad on me, or so I thought. Started the car up for some reason and let it run (I think to get it hot to check something). I had the radio playing, doors were open to hear the stereo and I was puttering around in the driveway, giving the car a few minutes to warm up. I kinda got side tracked and when I went to start the car the next day.... dead. Now the battery was weak, and I had some grounding issues; but I didnt realize that 1-wires dont start charging unless you hit a certain RPM and this idled at 750-800 ish. It never charged well. Replaced it with a standard 3-wire Delco reman 12si and never had another problem till I sold the car.

Come to think of it, we converted an old JD tractor to a GM 3-wire alternator that was used to drive a flat belt at low speeds

Heres the Delco catalog. This has all kinds of nifty info; incl how to wire up 3-wire and 1-wire alternators in place of a generator

http://www.delcoremy.com/documents/e...ion-guide.aspx


The only difference in the one wire and the three wire is the self exciting regulator. Any GM alternator can be converted for 15 bux by changing the regulator. Also, the newer one wire regulators are using a self excitation resistor that leaks a small amount of current so that high RPMs are no longer necessary. Fire them up and they charge. The drawback is that letting them sit dormant for too long will kill the battery.
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Old 06-13-2014, 07:57 PM
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It was the alternator for sure, I hooked up the new one and saw 14 volts right away, Guess I just got a bum one.
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:44 PM
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I would just get the alternator rebuilt by a reputable local shop or just replace it with a standard 12si.

Vince
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:03 AM
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Why waste time and money on ordering the Powermaster? You can get a stock 10SI or 12SI for $45-$70, and have local support. I usually just go to the local chain store auto parts and get one of the two, and then wire them as a one wire. Have three of them on my hotrods now, and all work perfect for years.
Here's a chart:
Catalog
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:31 PM
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He's already replaced it.
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