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Old 11-15-2010, 05:51 PM
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Basic 3 wire alternator wiring question

I've searched and can't find an exact answer...I have no confidence on how I've wired my alternator.

I have a '41 Ford truck with a Chevy 327 motor with a very basic wiring harness (and self made). Here's what I have. Forgive me this is my first post and I'll do my best to get it right.

I have the main wire from the battery wire directly to the starter lug (I'd guess 2 gauge wire).

Then a 12 gauge wire from the starter lug to lug on the 3 way alternator (I honestly don't no if it's internally or externally regulated...I'd guess internally).

I have a "wake-up wire" from the ign on terminal to the #1 blade on the alternator.

I've left the #2 lug unhooked.

I've had both the battery and the alternator tested and they both have passed their respective tests at the auto parts store.

The problem: I have no confidence it's wired correctly and the battery doesn't seem to be charging. I had a battery that would not turn over the motor yesterday...nothing was left on. Just want to know if it's wired right?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 11-15-2010, 07:05 PM
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Hope this helps.
Internally regulated
Externally regulated
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:02 PM
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Hay Bigdog. I have wired just like your drawing for internal regulator except for the resistor. What is that for?
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:55 PM
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thats your excitor wire(wake up wire) the resistor or the indicator light must be inline or your alt. will not put out. One or the other must be used, but both are not needed. The factory used both in case the bulb burnt out. the bulb will be lit until the alt. starts charging then will go out.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:26 PM
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Hey Bigdog,

That's a great diagram! I cut and pasted it to Word to save it. Hope that's OK.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DOCTOR DC
thats your excitor wire(wake up wire) the resistor or the indicator light must be inline or your alt. will not put out. One or the other must be used, but both are not needed. The factory used both in case the bulb burnt out. the bulb will be lit until the alt. starts charging then will go out.
Oh Daa. I forgot that. I have a light. I guess the resistor threw me off. If I don't want to use a light what size resistor do I use?
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:08 PM
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resistor

I think 40 ohm. Nice diagrams.
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Old 11-20-2010, 02:42 PM
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Bigdog,

Thanks for you help! I am more confident I have the alternator wired correctly...now I'm on to wiring the coil through the resistor. Keep your fingers crossed that I got that wired right!
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdub45
I've searched and can't find an exact answer...I have no confidence on how I've wired my alternator.

I have a '41 Ford truck with a Chevy 327 motor with a very basic wiring harness (and self made). Here's what I have. Forgive me this is my first post and I'll do my best to get it right.

I have the main wire from the battery wire directly to the starter lug (I'd guess 2 gauge wire).

Then a 12 gauge wire from the starter lug to lug on the 3 way alternator (I honestly don't no if it's internally or externally regulated...I'd guess internally).

I have a "wake-up wire" from the ign on terminal to the #1 blade on the alternator.

I've left the #2 lug unhooked.

I've had both the battery and the alternator tested and they both have passed their respective tests at the auto parts store.

The problem: I have no confidence it's wired correctly and the battery doesn't seem to be charging. I had a battery that would not turn over the motor yesterday...nothing was left on. Just want to know if it's wired right?

Thanks in advance!
12 gauge wire to the main stud on the alternator is NOT BIG ENOUGH. You need 8 gauge. That alternator is capable of at least 60 amps and that 12 gauge will burn up. It would be a shame to burn your car over 5 bucks worth of wire. You also need to connect the number 2 terminal to a switched source somewhere near the fuse block if you want the alternator run run at peak performance.
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:02 PM
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Thanks Chet!

I just looked again and it might be 8 gauge. In any event, I'm going to re-wire with 8 gauge so I'll know for sure.
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:07 AM
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The stock charge wire on my truck, which came with a 63 amp 10si alternator, is a 10 gauge charge wire with a 14 gauge fusible. 8 gauge charge wire is better, but 8 gauge is much harder to find than 10 gauge wire in most of the parts stores.

During a trip to the pick and pull I got a section of 8 gauge wire charge with a 12 gauge fusible link from a 90's GM pickup, and replaced my stock wire. There are a lot of these trucks in the junkyard, and they charge you very little for the wire.

Bruce
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Old 11-21-2010, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 75gmck25
The stock charge wire on my truck, which came with a 63 amp 10si alternator, is a 10 gauge charge wire with a 14 gauge fusible. 8 gauge charge wire is better, but 8 gauge is much harder to find than 10 gauge wire in most of the parts stores.

During a trip to the pick and pull I got a section of 8 gauge wire charge with a 12 gauge fusible link from a 90's GM pickup, and replaced my stock wire. There are a lot of these trucks in the junkyard, and they charge you very little for the wire.

Bruce
10 would be ok for a 63 amp but I get concerned that if a larger alternator was installed you could be on the edge. My thought with wiring is the bigger the better in most cases. Fusing the alternator wire is a good idea as well as it has full battery current available on it.
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crownver
Hey Bigdog,

That's a great diagram! I cut and pasted it to Word to save it. Hope that's OK.
That's cool, i just found it on the internet.
Just to clear it up, the top one is internally regulated and the bottom is external. The writing didn't show up in the place i wanted it too. lol.
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:07 AM
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There's a two-terminal connector on either the internal-regulated 10- or 12-SI style, or the external regulated 10DN alternator.

External regulator connectors are side-by-side parallel like this: ||

Internal regulator connectors are in-line parallel like this: - -
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:36 AM
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on an internal regulated alternator, of the two small terminals in the side. the terminal nearest the battery post on the back is the warning light terminal

I converted my 72 monte from external to a basic internal 10si, up to a 12si ,back down to a 10si, and finally up to a CS130 series alt...
just put a CS130 in it and forget the rest, you will be much happier
once I upgraded to dual electric fans, the si series alt's just can't produce enough output at idle to keep up with the demands of the HVAC, lights, electric fans, rear blower motor, stereo.. etc.
it was fine while moving.. but at an idle... voltage would just drop off down to 11v and that wasn't a good thing
the CS130 charges like gangbusters at idle. and I've heard the CS144's are even better.
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