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  #1  
Old 05-08-2017, 09:13 AM
tbirdmike63 tbirdmike63 is offline
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Default Alternator

Hey everyone, I thinking about buying a 65 amp alternator from AutoZone, it's a duralast, anybody hear good or bad things about these, is 65 amps good enough for all the electrics on our cars, should I get more amps? Thanks!
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:41 AM
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The problem with going to a higher amp alternator is that your wiring was only designed for 55 amps max. The higher the amps the larger the wires you need to safely carry that much load. You can probably get away with 65 amps but anything higher and you will have to install heavier gauge wires. As for the Duralast alternators I used them years ago before Rockauto and other online sources came along where you can get name brand for the same or less money. They were ok then but that was awhile ago.

John
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:15 AM
Deanj Deanj is offline
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I have a 63 amp GM style 3 wire alternator and it works just fine. It's fused with a 100 amp fuse. You'll see the red GEN light glow at bit when you're driving at night and stepping on the brakes, but 63-65 amps seems adequate and a vast improvement over the generator. I have to keep the belt tight to avoid a squeal. I take it you already have an alternator conversion.

Dean
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanj View Post
I have a 63 amp GM style 3 wire alternator and it works just fine. It's fused with a 100 amp fuse. You'll see the red GEN light glow at bit when you're driving at night and stepping on the brakes, but 63-65 amps seems adequate and a vast improvement over the generator. I have to keep the belt tight to avoid a squeal. I take it you already have an alternator conversion.

Dean
Alternators were standard equipment in '66.

John
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:19 AM
Yadkin Yadkin is offline
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Because of the V belt and limited amount of grip it has on the alternator pulley, stay with the lowest amperage alternator that you can find.

If you can't find a 55 amp alternator, install a larger wire and fusable link between the alternator output and battery. For up to 73 amps use 8 gauge. For up to 101 use 6 gauge. Match the fuse size with the alternator rating.

Then install a 55 amp circuit breaker or fuse between the battery and original fuse panel (large black wire).
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:14 AM
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The only reason to go with a larger-amp alternator is for decent output AT IDLE SPEED. That is why new cars come with 130-amp alternators. They can idle all day long with the A/C and electric fan going without draining their battery. For a classic car owner, this is very important if you are in parades or slow moving traffic. It is also important for police and taxi cars that idle for long periods.

A one-wire only outputs when rpms are over 1,200 or so because that is the only way they can 'sense' the engine is running. So, don't go there and forget 'electric start' with a 1-wire. Electric start senses alternator output to STOP cranking.

MY SUGGESTION: Here's a nice 130-amp rebuilt alt for $60 (to your door) with no exchange. CLICK HERE

Plugs are available for cheap, at rockauto.com. Look for both of these:
STANDARD MOTOR PRODUCTS S737 ($5)
STANDARD MOTOR PRODUCTS S545 ($7)

I use an oversized pulley from (Chevy, Ford) any of these old generators OR alternators. They all fit if you use the short spacer that comes from behind the serpentine pulley. The spacer prevents the pulley from dragging on the case. Some folks use a double sheave because in order to produce 130-amps this alt drags down over two HP. The original generator draw was 1/2-HP, so the 130 amp needs a large belt surface area. I put one on my Y-block ('59 Galaxie), now there is NO problem running an electric cooling fan all day long at idle speed. I made the mistake of mounting a 75-amp Mustang alt. That dragged my battery down in parades. The 130-amp won't because it outputs 25-amps at idle speeds.
Here's a typical wiring diagram for a Squarebird but you can use it on your '63: CLICK HERE
Notice the blue area. It shows your GEN light but they put a resistor around the bulb. Know why? That bulb gets power from your key switch. If the bulb burns out, the alt won't sense the key is on and it won't charge. Do you need the resistor? Not if you can guarantee the bulb is good.

This setup works the way you would expect: Get in the car and turn the key to 'ON' (GEN light comes on). Start the engine (Gen light goes out). Throw a belt, (GEN light shines).

Look at your 63's original wiring diagram... Your gen light wire (green/red) already connects to your voltage regulator ('I' terminal). Simply extend that wire and connect it to your new alt harness where it calls for yellow/black (now, green/red).

Also notice both alternator connectors get tied to each other. So, only three wires come off the alt; red (+), black (-) and yellow/black (now green/red). That's it. That MEGA fuse (175-amp) is there in case your alt ever shorts to ground inside. It rarely happens but solid state components can go bad. The fuse will disconnect the alt before your battery drains, so you can drive home.

Bird-in-the-bush just completed this project. You should shoot him a PM and ask how he likes it. - Dave
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Last edited by simplyconnected : 05-08-2017 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:24 AM
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One of the problems you will have upgrading to a larger amp alternator is that the amp gauge in your dash carries the full load of the alternator. You don't have a generator light like earlier models. That will also have to be upgraded if you want to keep it.

John
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Old 05-08-2017, 12:50 PM
tbirdmike63 tbirdmike63 is offline
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Yeah, tough decision, I will have my alternator tested, if this one is bad, I will probably get the 65 amp duralast at AutoZone, they say they are triple tested before shipping to insure quality, I think it would pose less problems, also the extra 25 amps will work well. Are these aftermarket alternators plug and play, or is there something I should know?
Does anyone know if I can use my stock voltage regulator, it should I get an electronic one? Thanks!
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Old 05-08-2017, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbirdmike63 View Post
Does anyone know if I can use my stock voltage regulator, it should I get an electronic one? Thanks!
It should say on the voltage regulator what amps it is. I suspect if it's like the original you will need to get one that handles 65 amps.

John
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Old 05-08-2017, 01:43 PM
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You can spend far more replacing your OEM alt and regulator, and end up with a weak system. Modern alternators are all internally regulated and you should question why all the car companies install huge alt's. But hey, it's your car and your money to do with as you please. - Dave
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