Three-Wire Delco 10SI/12SI Alternator Question
There's a lot of information out there about the three-wire versus one-wire alternator setup, and I'll just share this:
One-Wire versus Three-Wire
Explanation of how the idiot light circut is wired and how it works.
Explanation of how the voltage sensing circut is wired and how it works.
And a picture of the wiring using a 1N5408 diode and NOT using the voltage sensing circut.
While the picture suggests a 10-guage wire from the alternator stud, my perference is to use 8-guage wire. And rather than pig-tail the voltage sensing line to the stud, I run a wire to the feed stud of the fuse panel so I can atually get some value from voltage sensing.
Anyway, enough sharing. My question is this:
In all I 've read it's not been clear whether any Delco 10SI/12SI can be used in three-wire mode just by connecting all three wires or if only some of the built-in regulators are capable of doing it.
What's the answer?
The main difference between a 1 wire and a 3 wire is the regulator. I have read that some of the 1 wire regulators will work exactly like a 3 wire if you connect all three wires and some wont. Depends on the manufacturer. Maybe this is why there is no clear cut information.
I don't think Delco ever made an OEM alternator that was designed for 1 wire operation. If you have a real OEM Delco 10si or 12si alternator, or equivalent, it should always be a 3 wire. However, if you have a Delco that was converted to 1 wire it would have a self energizing regulator.
These links explain what regulator is used in a 1 wire alternator.
why would be practical to have only one wire to the alternator?
if for looks, the 3 wires can go inside a nice loom and would make no difference,
I have used one wire alternators and they need to be revved up to start charging, I don't like that much.
so why going one wire if 3 is fine?
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