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Old 05-18-2013, 05:04 PM
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Tired of GM alternators

I'm running a 10SI self energizing alternator on my Ford engine. I'm using the 1 wire system. I just replaced the front pulley with a billet one which comes with the nose attachment to cover the mounting nut on the pulley. I also have a idiot light connected that shows charge and a voltage gauge as well. Since replacing the pulley, my light no longer works the way it did. (doesn't come on without a charge) Now I have to rev up the engine to 3K rpm for the alternator to begin charging normally. Does this mean I have to replace the self- ignitor in the alternator, is it going bad? I believe I've replaced it before, or should I just replace the whole alternator with a different model. Any recommendations? 12si? etc. that are more dependable than the older model S10?

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Old 05-18-2013, 05:21 PM
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The difficulty in the 1 wire jobs self energizing is nothing new.
I dont recommend them for that reason. Its so easy to wire the SI10 in a stock way. Even on a ford.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:26 PM
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Is the billet pulley a larger diameter than the original one ? This is normal for these alternators when using oversize pulleys. The alternators turn slower and require a blip of the throttle to reach the self exciting speed. Once it turns on, it stays on. I maintain a couple of road racers that have this setup and a little stab of the throttle turns them on.
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:59 PM
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This may be my problem. The original pulley measured 2 5/8" and the billet is 2 13/16", slightly larger, but may be the reason I have to rev it up higher to ignite the alternator. Once it ignites, it's holding charge at 14.4 volts. While messing with the ampmeter, I triggered something because now the dash lights comes on as before. I'm wondering if there is way of triggering the self ignitor when the ignition key is on without having to rev up the engine? I appreciate the help fellas...
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:23 PM
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If it has the normal terminal connector, it's easy to go two a three wire, then you won't need to blip the throttle etc....

#1 terminal goes to the idiot light.
#2 terminal goes to the hot side of the elec electrical system with a 5 foot, or so, run of wire. The extra wire allows the demand on the elec system to even out, so that the alt gets a nice even demand etc....
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kleen56 View Post
I'm running a 10SI self energizing alternator on my Ford engine. I'm using the 1 wire system. I just replaced the front pulley with a billet one which comes with the nose attachment to cover the mounting nut on the pulley. I also have a idiot light connected that shows charge and a voltage gauge as well. Since replacing the pulley, my light no longer works the way it did. (doesn't come on without a charge) Now I have to rev up the engine to 3K rpm for the alternator to begin charging normally. Does this mean I have to replace the self- ignitor in the alternator, is it going bad? I believe I've replaced it before, or should I just replace the whole alternator with a different model. Any recommendations? 12si? etc. that are more dependable than the older model S10?
the pulley you put on different size?? slowing down the alt. rpm?
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:33 AM
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If you want to "fix" your alternator problem read this...
Catalog
I would never recommend a one wire system for all of the reasons stated in the above article.
If you want to learn about wiring whys and hows read through the site. Enough knowledge and tips there to keep you busy fixing the rest of your wiring for a long time.
Mark
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:06 AM
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I wired an SI10 into my 64 and it was pretty easy. It energizes at an idle and is rock solid at 14.64 volts. Much better than the old external regulator system.
If you look at the picture, I still have a regulator but it is dummied out. I tied the 4 wires together -terminals 1 and 4 and terminals 2 and 3, then hooked them at the alternator at the 1 and 2 posistions.I ran a new 10 gauge wire for the 55 amp alternator and tucked it into the convoluted wrap. No muss no fuss.
The Idiot light works as it should also, plus the number 2 terminal (voltage sense circuit as mentioned before) is a long enough run to work correctly.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kleen56 View Post
I'm running a 10SI self energizing alternator on my Ford engine. I'm using the 1 wire system.
And that would be your problem. Note that GM, which is not in the habit of putting unneeded parts on their cars, never made a one-wire alternator, only all three. Millions of GM cars with three wire SI-family alternators are charging just fine.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:54 AM
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While we're beating this SI alternator three wire versus one wire to death, remember they have been obsolete for 25 years. There are much better alternators now. Delphi CS130d, CS144, Ford 3G,4G, and Nippondenso alternators all put out about twice the power, have dual cooling fans, much more precision voltage regulators and better reliability. If you are building a car with all the latest things (cooling fans, AC, sound system, and power everything), you need to upgrade to a more modern alternator.
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EOD Guy View Post
If it has the normal terminal connector, it's easy to go two a three wire, then you won't need to blip the throttle etc....

#1 terminal goes to the idiot light.
#2 terminal goes to the hot side of the elec electrical system with a 5 foot, or so, run of wire. The extra wire allows the demand on the elec system to even out, so that the alt gets a nice even demand etc....
I'm currently running a jumper wire from terminal #2 to the Batt post on the back of the alternator. If I run a wire from Terminal 2 to the battery direct, will that cause the alternator to energize quicker?
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:42 PM
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While we're beating this SI alternator three wire versus one wire to death, remember they have been obsolete for 25 years. There are much better alternators now. Delphi CS130d, CS144, Ford 3G,4G, and Nippondenso alternators all put out about twice the power, have dual cooling fans, much more precision voltage regulators and better reliability. If you are building a car with all the latest things (cooling fans, AC, sound system, and power everything), you need to upgrade to a more modern alternator.
I appreciate this info... Most of these alternators you mentioned run a serpentine belt. Unless the pulleys are interchangable, I prefer to stay with the V belt drive than change out all the pulleys.
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Old 05-19-2013, 01:06 PM
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Has anyone tried these.
Anti Feed Back Diode Harness 10SI 12SI 15SI 27SI Delco Alternator Regulator Lead | eBay
They claim you don't need to rev the engine to ignite the regulator anymore.
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Old 05-19-2013, 01:26 PM
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I'm currently running a jumper wire from terminal #2 to the Batt post on the back of the alternator. If I run a wire from Terminal 2 to the battery direct, will that cause the alternator to energize quicker?
No. The #2 terminal is the sense terminal that allows the regulator to sense voltage in the system and adjust accordingly. While it works when simply run to the BATT post on the alternator (I have one set up this way), the regulator will be more accurate if the wire is connected further down the line, like at a junction block.

The energize signal comes from the #1 terminal. This needs to be connected to a switched 12V source through a small resistor (approx 35 ohms or so). GM did it either through the GEN light (using the filament resistance) or through an in-line resistor when the vehicle had a VOLT gauge instead of a light. The harness you noted simply has the resistor built in.

To answer your other questions, yes you can swap the pulleys on the newer alternators, and there's even a CS130 that bolts in place of the SI family (be sure to measure the spacing between the mounting lugs). Of course "newer" doesn't necessarily mean "better" - otherwise everyone here would be driving new cars powered by LS motors. The CS130 and the like all work exactly the same as the SI family. They replaced the SI mainly because they are smaller and lighter - important for automakers trying to meet CAFE requirements but not necessarily better for a hotrodder. Ever priced rebuild parts for a CS alternator as compared to those for an SI?
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:53 PM
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You can use a 3 wire 12si as a direct replacement for a 10si, and the stock version is available with output up to 94 amps. If you use all 3 wires it will put out full voltage at just a few hundred RPM above idle. They are also cheap and very easy to find in any auto parts store.

There are newer alternaors (like the CS130) that have higher output, but they are more expensive. Unless you need more than 94 amps, the 12si is a good choice for a V-belt system.

Bruce
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