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Old 08-20-2012, 04:41 PM
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Smoking and Sparking Alternator Wires

With the help of my husband, I just finished rebuilding the 350 original engine in my 1977 Corvette, (automatic transmission). When reconnecting the battery I noticed the two small wires on the Alternator sparked and started smoking. Detached them, started the car, engine runs great, but not sure why I can't replug in the two small wires so I can drive it further than around the block.. Does anyone have a clue what might have happened? I took many pictures of the tear down...as this was my first attempt at an engine rebuild, so I'm 100% possitive that the wires are in the right place.

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Old 08-20-2012, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by pc_kitty View Post
With the help of my husband, I just finished rebuilding the 350 original engine in my 1977 Corvette, (automatic transmission). When reconnecting the battery I noticed the two small wires on the Alternator sparked and started smoking. Detached them, started the car, engine runs great, but not sure why I can't replug in the two small wires so I can drive it further than around the block.. Does anyone have a clue what might have happened? I took many pictures of the tear down...as this was my first attempt at an engine rebuild, so I'm 100% possitive that the wires are in the right place.
Trace the wires back to be sure they're not pinched between a bracket or something. A multi-page wiring diagram for a '78 'Vette is here.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:09 PM
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I had issues like this before, and it's always been a loose/bad ground. Make sure your ground strap from engine to body is good, clean and tight. Hell, add a second one.

Also, if the wires from your starter to the rest of your system aren't big enough you can cause draw issues as well, which is why I run the alternator straight to the battery.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:43 PM
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I should have joined this forum 8 months ago when I started the project! Thank you so much for the quick responses, I'll be checking out the wires asap. I was afraid that I might have wired the starter wrong and thats why the alternator wires were unhappy?!? But the starter works fine, I guess that means I got those wires right, it was really hard to find info on the wiring for the starter. I have 3 manuals that have helped me get this far, but not all info is in a book :-(
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:49 PM
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smoking and sparking alternator wires

Ok then, I was correct in that while wiring the starter I put the ground wire on the possitive conection by mistake, OOPS! So now, no sparks, no smoke and no pinched or damaged wires, just a happy alternator.
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