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(1) 2 »

One Wire 6 volt positive ground alternator
#1
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ThePackRat
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Hey guys, I'm looking to update/replace the Gen & VR. When installing an aftermarket one wire +ground alternator, what else would need to be done. What will still work, and what will not? The one I'm looking at, is a 60 amp 6V... Pros and cons would be greatly appreciated 😁 I'm not so worried about the look, more the efficiency. Beefing up a bit to install an electric fan, and possible a simple stereo.

Posted on: 2015/8/25 10:22
2292 49 touring
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Re: One Wire 6 volt positive ground alternator
#2
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Phil Randolph
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You really don't have to do much and everything will work. Just connect the alt wire to your ammeter. I ran mine through the voltage reg only for looks and also to be doubly safe I jumpered the gen and batt terminals together(I've been told that it really isn't needed but I did it anyway). As for a radio you will have to get an 6V + grnd to 12V -grnd converter. I got mine off EBay. I can run a simple AM/FM radio and a GPS charging plug (12V).

Pros--- you can charge at idle speed

Cons- Looks- but you could always spend big bucks and get one of those alts that looks like a gen.

Posted on: 2015/8/25 12:58
1938 1601 Club Coupe
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Re: One Wire 6 volt positive ground alternator
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DavidPackard
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Posted on: 2015/8/25 15:21
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Re: One Wire 6 volt positive ground alternator
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BigKev
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I used a GM 10SI in my '54 Clipper which I converted to 12v. I went with a 3 wire version as I wanted to maintain my GEN light functionality. If you go with a 1 wire version, you would loose that if your car is equipped with a GEN light as opposed to AMP meter.

The purpose of the other wire, which is the "Voltage Sensing Wire", is to tell the regulator in the Alternator what the voltage is at the main harness junction so it can adjust output as needed.

A lot of folks simply bridge this to battery post, which works and is how single wire alternator are hooked up internally. But being bridged at that point is telling the internal regulator what the voltage is of the battery and not the voltage that is present at the main junction point after it gone through the resistance of the longer wire path, and possible multiple connection points. Hence why most auto makers use a 3 wire version, and hook the sensing wire to the main junction point (fusebox feed). That way the internal regulator is getting what the load voltage is on the harness as opposed to what the current battery voltage is. Which if you test with voltmeter without the alternator charging, you will see if probably different.

Just some food for thought.

Posted on: 2015/8/25 16:47
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Re: One Wire 6 volt positive ground alternator
#5
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ThePackRat
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Awesome! Thanks guys😉

Posted on: 2015/8/26 0:02
2292 49 touring
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Re: One Wire 6 volt positive ground alternator
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DavidPackard
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Hello again;
As a parting shot I've included a photo of the PowerGen 'old school generator' alternator installed in my '48.
I completely agree with BigKev on the superior attributes of a three wire installation, versus the quick and dirty one wire installation of a Delco 10SI type alternator. You can dramatically change the 'cut-in' speed of a Delco 10SI by trickling an excitation current to terminal 1. I would recommend something near 1 ampere of current. That would be 6 ohms of circuit resistance if your car is 6 volt, or 12 ohms for a 12 volt system. I have many years of experience with an alternator with one ampere of excitation. That amount of current lowered the cut-in from 1100 rpm to 400 rpm on my '30 Model A ( converted to 12 volt negative ground ). When that car was 6 volt positive ground with an alternator I did not perceive a late cut-in. By the way I have a few pages from a Toronado shop manual, and that shows a 10 ohm resistor in parallel with the 'idiot' light, with both connected to terminal 1 of the alternator.
Terminal 2 is intended to be the battery voltage feedback to the alternator . . . very useful if the battery is electrically a long way from the alternator. Note the emphasis on 'electrically a long way' that could be a short distance with undersized conductors (wires), or a large physical distance, as in the battery mounted in the trunk. I think that feature was built into alternators to help reduce the amount of copper GM was putting in cars. My shop manuals show this terminal connected to a battery junction block. The Saturday night show crowd run a short jumper wire from the alternator output back to terminal 2. The irony is that many 'one wire' internal regulators have this feature built-in.
I have a pretty comprehensive Delco alternator parts book. I have not found rotors or stators specifically for 6 volt applications. I do find a distinction between 12 volt versus 24 volt components. I've assumed 6 volt alternators are assembled using 12 volt components. There are 6 volt specific voltage regulators ( no surprise there ), and positive or negative ground specific rectifiers ( again no surprises ). Some of the regulators are clearly described as 'one-wire', and some regulators have webbed terminals ( terminals 1 and 2 connected together). I'm not sure what that's all about yet.
You can go too far wrong installing a 'one wire' alternator with only one wire connected . . . that is the intent of that product. My motivation with the Model A was to configure the wiring to accept a standard replacement alternator available as a 'rebuilt' from any parts house just in case of a break-down a long way from home. The GM standard was a three-wire configuration, so that's how I wired my Model A. Along the way to that goal I got a cut-in speed more suited to the Model A's idle speed. If the PowerGen on the '48 lets me down on the road, then a considerable more creativity will need to be exercised.
dp

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Posted on: 2015/8/26 22:23
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Re: One Wire 6 volt positive ground alternator
#7
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PackardDon
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I've never seen or even heard of one the PowerGen units before. Do they mount to the stock bracket and use the same belt in a '51-'54 model? Once I get my 1954 Patrician up and running again, I would love to get one for it but I am not keen on physical modifications to the actual car.

Posted on: 2016/1/5 21:54
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Re: One Wire 6 volt positive ground alternator
#8
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Owen_Dyneto
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Don, you been snoozing? These units have been around for some time, advertised in many hobby publications and regularly discussed on many sites. The are particularly favored by the Model A Ford folks.

Posted on: 2016/1/5 22:34
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Re: One Wire 6 volt positive ground alternator
#9
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PackardDon
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Yes, I have been! I'm only just getting back to working on my many cars after decades of not touching them.

Posted on: 2016/1/5 22:43
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Re: One Wire 6 volt positive ground alternator
#10
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DavidPackard
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The generator/alternator fits the lower attachment bracket (that's the one that bolts to the engine block) quite well. No fore/aft shimming was required to achieve proper belt alignment. The upper generator adjusting strap (PN 395585) needed a spacer. In the photo you can see the required thickness of spacer. Your '54 Patrician is likely equipped with a Delco electrical system, so the PowerMaster long case 'Delco' unit should be a direct replacement as far as bracketry is concerned. Dimensional information for all of the product line is available at the Quality Power or PowerMaster web sites. I believe all of the GM generator adjusting straps had a slight offset, and all of the Packard units were flat, so I suspect you will either need to come-up with a spacer (preferred), or bend the Packard part (not so much). I did try to bury the spacer at the engine end of the strap but on the '48 I was fighting a space issue and couldn't get the longer bolt into place. I tried but failed on that one, perhaps the '54 has a bit more room with the different motor mounts.
The 'up' side of these generator 'look alike' units is the optics, that is, you need to get real close before you can tell that it is not a stock generator. The 'down' sides are both cost and loss of the 'GEN' idiot light, which was not an issue on the '48 (ammeter not light). If you really want to retain the 'light' then installing a Delco 10SI with a 3-wire hook-up is the way to go, but you will lose the optic battle in a big way. I have had good success with a 1 ampere current flow to excite a 10SI alternator (lowers the cut-in speed).
On all of my 'older hobby' cars I use a voltmeter to let me know if all is well with the charging system. On the cars so equipped I've wired-up a digital voltmeter that plugs into the cigarette lighter, which is easily removed when the car is 'on display'. I currently use the small digital meters available on the internet for about $2 each (plus the cost of a plug). Just watch your P&Qs on the polarity. These units will work with a voltage input of 5 - 30 volts, so they work quite well on our 6 volt systems. I did have to clean the center contact of my lighter socket before it would work correctly.
If you go with the PowerMaster and you want to get even closer to the look of an original generator then you will need to add a Delco ID tag (available on the internet), 'dummy' field pole attachment stud, and a threaded hole for the condenser (if so equipped on your car). If you look at the photo posted earlier, the alternator is completely mounted in the forward end of the case (away from the wire connections). The aft portion of the case is nothing more than an aluminum spacer cylinder. It is this aft cylinder that is the difference between the 'long case' and 'short case' Delco units. The aft case is sandwiched between the alternator and the end cap. Two screws hold the whole mess together. If you feel up to it, the end cap comes off by removing the two screws (bolts), and watch your step here, there's a buss bar attached to the actual output of the alternator to the external post. You will need to keep the spacer cylinder quite close to the alternator while you remove the end cap. You then remove the electrical buss bar and remove the spacer cylinder. Once 'in-hand' you can modify the spacer as you see fit. Remember all of the 'dummy' electrical connections do not need to be insulated . . . . UNLESS you intend on hooking up the original field wire at both the generator and regulator ends. I did not try to add fore and aft oil cups, or change the Allen screw that holds the alternator 'guts' into the forward outer case, but I suspect that would not be difficult.
This is a single wire electrical hook-up alternator. A wire is run from the alternator output to the 'battery' side of the voltage regulator. An alternate hook-up would be to leave the regulator alone and connect the alternator output to the battery or the battery side of the starter solenoid. Insulate the original 'armature' and 'field' wires at the generator end. I left all of the wires connected to the '48 voltage regulator, ran a wire (red in the photo) from the alternator to the 'BAT' side of the regulator, and included a short 'dummy' field wire (light gray with single black tracer). All of the leads at the generator side of the original harness were insulated individually and wrapped to appear to be part of the harness that loops around the oil fill tube.
All is well so far.

Posted on: 2016/1/7 14:11
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