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1 wire alternators

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  • #16

    Re: 1 wire alternators

    Yes I read the the other day. Not being an electrical engineer, I assume he has some valid points. My normal thought process though is actual user input trumps theory 9 times out of 10. That's why I asked here.

    The 3 wire may very well be technically 'better', but does that 'better' really translate to any end-user benefit? based on things I have read, I am having a hard time seeing that it does for normal passenger car applications.

    I am just thinking of upgrading the alternator (Ford 1g) on the Mustang because I think it is dying or is simply under powered. I have no idea what it is out of or even what it's output is. I did drive the car for 45 minutes the other day in stop/go traffic and when I was ready to leave my destination, I had to jump start it. I thought it was just heat soak making it hard to start, but went out yesterday and tried to crank the car and the battery was too weak to turn it over. The battery was new in October of last year so I'm guessing the alternator is just not keeping up with the electric fan and electric fuel pump. I want to upgrade to at least 100 amps and thought a 1 wire would be a quick/easy/inexpensive way to do that (and subsequently eliminate some of that *wonderful* early 80's Ford wiring). I'm not worried about a GM part on my Ford, I just want something that works well.
    The practical aspect is the amount of output the alternator will have at idle or slow stop and go traffic on a hot day. What I saw with the first one wire I had was very low voltage at idle and say 1700 -2000 RPM. I had similar starting issues after a similar drive to what you described. A smaller pulley helped and fortunatly the Powermaster unit was set up so that a (second) exciter wire could be connected by pulling off the small rubber plug on the back of their 130 amp alternator.

    Never the less after running through the load calculations, (MSD used to have a cheat sheet on their web site, I'm sure others do too) I saw the overall load was more than 130 amps so that was when I bought the MSD unit. As previouosly posted it worked perfectly unitl DW 11 when it just died at the same time I tossed the alternator belt. I don't know which happened first but it still spun, so it didn't freeze up.

    So after reading about the output levels of the PowerMaster units, they send a card that shows what your particular unit did on their test bench, I bought the 200 Amp unit. I know it sounds excessive but with the exciter wire its rated to output 140 amps at the speed my car idles at with 2.8 pulley ratio. This just covers the fans, pumps, ignition etc. So now driving around I see 14-14.2 consistently on the voltmeter guage and which is backed up by the datalogs. No starting issues after driving at WOT for the road course and the drag slalom or a bunch of start-ups and shut-offs testing the cooling system.

    Your needs and results may vary.
    Last edited by CDMBill; April 10th, 2012, 09:39 PM.
    Drag Week 2012 - Winner Street Race Big Block Naturally Aspirated - Big hat no horses Drag Week 2013 - Watching the live feed Drag Week 2014 - Maybe I'll go faster with a 1000 fewer pounds?

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    • #17

      Re: 1 wire alternators

      I don't have any insight into your question, but I'm using a 130amp 3g alternator that was intended for an early/mid 90's Taurus.
      This is on the Ranger. It fit the stock Mustang bracket, and I got a good deal on it- someone purchased it new and sold the car, that sort of thing.
      1997 Ranger 5.0L HO, GT40 heads/tubular intake, 65mm TB, 1.7rr, B303, Tri-Y headers, dual 2.5" exhaust, Flowmaster mufflers, T5 trans, Tri-Ax shifter, CenterForce Dual Friction clutch, 8.8 Traction Lok 3.55 gears, Cobra 13" front brakes, Cobra 11.65" rear discs.
      1997 Mustang GT
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      • #18

        Re: 1 wire alternators

        Bill, you kick ass.
        https://scontent-a-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/...ac&oe=54FE283A
        1974 F-250 460/C6 -1983 Mustang GT 545/C6 - 10.46 @ 130 - Drag Week 2012 - SRBB N/A runner-up - Drag Week 2014 - kapooya

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        • #19

          Re: 1 wire alternators

          I pulled the alternator out of the Mustang in preparation of swapping water pumps and the only identifying mark on it was "Autolite" cast into the back. I have no idea what it's out of or it's output, but it looks pretty darn old. I almost had forgotten Autolite even made alternators.
          https://scontent-a-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/...ac&oe=54FE283A
          1974 F-250 460/C6 -1983 Mustang GT 545/C6 - 10.46 @ 130 - Drag Week 2012 - SRBB N/A runner-up - Drag Week 2014 - kapooya

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          • #20

            Re: 1 wire alternators

            BBR - if you have a "clamp on" inductive ammeter - you can test directly what the output of the alternator is at different rpm with different loads on, then make a purchase decision from there.

            Summit used to sell alternator kits - I got one when I put an MSD and unilite in my '70 mach1 years ago, I haven't seen them for sale in a long time but I haven't looked for them specifically. You might be able to upgrade yours without having to change wiring and bracket/pulley set ups.

            Found this after some quick googling:

            http://www.aspwholesale.com/index.ph...wCat&catId=652
            Last edited by milner351; April 10th, 2012, 01:05 PM.
            There's always something new to learn.

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            • #21

              Re: 1 wire alternators

              So... I jumped and I bought a 1 wire. 105 amp from dbelectrical for $68. The Mustang's starter came from them as well.

              The diagram below shows the alternator's output at various alternator rpm's. At idle (1100-1200 crank rpm) the alternator will be spinning 2700 rpm (2.45 times faster than crank rpm, based upon pulley size). According to the diagram, this will be in the neighborhood of 85 amps. More than the old alternator (assuming it was a 60 amp) put out at full tilt. Going down the highway at 2800-3000 crank rpm, it should easily be making it's full amperage.

              https://scontent-a-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/...ac&oe=54FE283A
              1974 F-250 460/C6 -1983 Mustang GT 545/C6 - 10.46 @ 130 - Drag Week 2012 - SRBB N/A runner-up - Drag Week 2014 - kapooya

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