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Old 06-14-2011, 01:23 PM
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Engine Swap - Electrical Questions

I will be swapping a small block Chevy into my 62 Studebaker Lark. I've got the mechanical stuff figured out, but will admit to being less than proficient when it comes to electrical. When it comes to wiring the starter, alternator and coil, do I use Chevy parts and try to duplicate what GM would have used with a small block, or do I try to use the Studebaker wiring and adapt it to the Chevy? I'm kinda lost and not sure where to start, but want to do it right. The car is very basic: no A/C, or other accessories. There is an existing "starter magnetic switch" that the Positive battery cable connects to and from there also goes to the starter. There's also 3 wires that go from a "current regulator" to the generator. Of course I will be using a GM alternator and an HEI distributor. Any help or resources will be appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 06-14-2011, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougie
I will be swapping a small block Chevy into my 62 Studebaker Lark. I've got the mechanical stuff figured out, but will admit to being less than proficient when it comes to electrical. When it comes to wiring the starter, alternator and coil, do I use Chevy parts and try to duplicate what GM would have used with a small block, or do I try to use the Studebaker wiring and adapt it to the Chevy? I'm kinda lost and not sure where to start, but want to do it right. The car is very basic: no A/C, or other accessories. There is an existing "starter magnetic switch" that the Positive battery cable connects to and from there also goes to the starter. There's also 3 wires that go from a "current regulator" to the generator. Of course I will be using a GM alternator and an HEI distributor. Any help or resources will be appreciated. Thanks.
Easiest way out is to follow the GM design. At least the Stude is 12 volt positive ground. It used points ignition which usually means two wires from the ignition switch, one will be 12 volts to a resistor, or a resistive wire used during "run". The other will be 12 volts used only during cranking. The starter switch key position selects which, both end up at the coil. Sometimes the start 12 volts comes off the solenoid instead of the key switch. If you use HEI and if the Stude uses an external resistor just eliminate the resistor tie both wires together and feed a pig tail to the HEI as it just uses 12 volts for both cranking and running.

On the alternator output end use a Delco single wire out put and 2 wire control (voltage sensing actually) and remove the Studie's generator and electro-mechanical regulator. The only wire you need is the chassis battery wire, this is usually a number 10, maybe an 8 so it's large but not so big as to be confused with battery cables. This is also known as the B+ wire, it services everything except the starter system. It needs to tap both the one wire off the alternator and the battery. The two small wires are for voltage sensing and the idiot light. If there isn't an idiot light just use one wire to B+ for sensing.

The Stude probably has a Ford style relay on the fender between the starter and battery. The Chev starter is self contained and doesn't need this. The small wire that comes from the key switch to the small terminal that is adjacent to the big battery terminal is the wire that switches the solenoid, it's rerouted to the small terminal on the solenoid at the top of the Chevy starter. The other wire in the Ford style solenoid is the 12 volts to the coil wire, it can be moved to operate off the small terminal of the GM solenoid if you're using the HEI ignition. Or the Ford solenoid can be left in place and used to operate the Chevy solenoid, it is necessary the Chevy solenoid operate as it not only switches the motor but engages the the starter pinion where the Stude will use the classic Bendix inertia engagement starter which doesn't need such an arraignment electrically so nothing will be there the Chevy needs.

This is somewhat general data as the specific GM alternator and starter may be a little different as they experienced changes over the years, so when you have the details nailed down this can be made tighter.

Bogie
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:55 PM
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Wow. I'm more than impressed with that response. I'm going to print it and read it about a dozen times to try to absorb it all. I hope you don't mind if I send you a few private messages for help as I get into it. It is still a few months away as I'm just getting ready to pull the Stude 6 cylinder. I was looking around online and saw some Chevy engine harnesses. Would it help to get one of those?
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:22 PM
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You could buy a harness, but the wiring is so simple that I don't think you need it.

On my SBC these are on a few only wires that are connected from the engine to the vehicle:
- positive battery cable (0 gauge?) from battery to starter lug
- negative battery cable running to alternator bracket
- vehicle power wire running from starter lug up to a junction on firewall. Fuse box in vehicle is powered from that junction

- Ignition-on power to distributor
- tachometer lead from distributor to instrument panel

3 wire alternator wiring is part of the engine if it is a complete engine
- alternator charge wire running from starter lug to BAT terminal on 3 wire alternator
- alternator sense wire running from 2-wire plug on alternator to junction on firewall
- alternator excitor wire running from 2-wire plug on alternator to ignition switch.

Bruce
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:44 PM
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If you keep the fender well-mounted Ford relay, you will need to either use a shunt between the large terminal (for battery cable) at the top of the GM starter solenoid and the "S" terminal of the GM starter, or hook a wire from the Ford relay "S" terminal to the "S" terminal on the Chevy solenoid. The latter method should be used w/a permanent magnet-type starter motor.
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