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Old 10-21-2004, 09:11 AM
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Generator vs Alternator/ac vs dc

I am in the process of trying to get a 1957 Olds 371 j2 to fire up after 30 years. It has a Hasco 12v generator on it. I like the look and want to keep and use it if possible. I'm pretty green where this sort of thing is concerned. Is there any way to convert that generator to put out an AC current? Would that even be necessary? BTW I am going to install a Pertronix Ignitor II and Flamethrower coil this weekend. I'm going to just use a battery and see if I can't get this thing to come back to life. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks - Raton

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Old 10-21-2004, 12:18 PM
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The name "alternator" is misleading.....they still put out DC current. All vehicles run on DC....usually 12 volts.
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Old 10-21-2004, 02:40 PM
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DC

Doc here

Poncho is correct...all systems are DC (with a few exceptions of OLD military Comm vehicles which can be 400 cycle)

The Alternator works by generating an AC signal internal to the alternator, or a sinusoidal wave form, and has a Diode pack inside the alternator that converts the AC to DC, (Flat wave form) at 12 volts..Works much the way a home power supply does when you plug it into the wall at 110 volts AC and get 12 volts DC out the front.

But the system will always be 6 or 12 volts DC for cars (and maybe up to 24 volts on Mil Vehicles , Airplanes or boats)

If you want an alternator (good idea) but want to retain the "Retro" look of a Generator, surf the web, there are company's out there that make those..but I would assume might be higher priced than your average alternator...]

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