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Old 05-01-2009, 10:04 AM
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danleblanc danleblanc is offline
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Default Generator to Alternator Conversion

1961-1962 Generator to Alternator Conversion
1. Remove Gen, Regulator and wiring from car and place in storage (don't throw away)
2. Remove lower bracket attached to manifold
3. Turn bracket to face opposite direction and reinstall on manifold
4. Purchase a common Single Wire Alternator with upper and lower tabs
5. Attach lower tab to front of bracket on manifold (formerly rear of bracket)
6. Attach upper tab to adjustable upper bracket coming off the engine block
7. Use washers to true pulleys if necessary

If going to a parts store, ask for a 1983 Olds Delta 88 with the 305 alternator. Otherwise, if you get some nut job who doesn’t know what they’re talking about and say you’re converting your Cadillac from a generator system to an alternator system, they’ll give you a blank stare. To use the idiot light, you'll need the three wire setup this car used. You'll also need to buy a 3" (possibly 3/8"-16) bolt for the bottom tab of the alternator as the stock one just isn't long enough. True-up the pulleys with either 3 or 4 flat washers and slightly bend the top link outward at the bend closest to the water pump and inward at the bend closest to the alternator to get it to meet the alternator at the right point for the bolt hole to line up and not put stress on the top tab of the alternator..

For the hookup, you'll find three terminals - Bat (+) 1 (sometimes labeled R) and 2 (sometimes labeled F).

Connect the Bat (+) terminal to the battery via a fusible link using a minimum of 8AWG wire.

Terminal 1 or R, is the relay terminal that your idiot light works with. Connect the brown wire from the vehicle's main wiring harness that used to connect to the generator to this terminal. It needs to have some sort of resistance – the light bulb is fine.

Terminal 2 or F is the field terminal. This should be connected to a central point in the electrical system as it monitors the voltage in the system and "excites" the alternator into operation if the voltage in the system falls below a preset value. Ideally this would be where all accessories connect to the vehicle and, since it doesn't carry much of a load, a 14AWG wire is sufficient. A good place to connect would be at the main power wire to the fuse box as this is the main point where all the accessories connect and is the most accurate point to measure voltage based on the load placed on the system.

Terminal 2 can also be connected to the BAT terminal for simplicity of installation; however, the alternator won't necessarily be regulating the overall system's voltage. It usually doesn't make a difference if you connect here or at the fuse box, just one point is more accurate at regulating the voltage than the other.

Voila – turn the key, start the car, and enjoy!
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:03 PM
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Thanks for posting this Dan, hadn't gotten to it.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:46 AM
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is this the only alternator to use? can you find one of these chromed out? i ask because atleast i can paint my generator, the generic zinc coated alt leaves much to be desired for me personally. is there another type that will fit application?
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Old 11-19-2010, 02:32 PM
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Just did this the other night and it went beautifully. Thanks a million danleblanc for the play-by-play instructions. I would have never thought to put the fusible link in--that's just the kind of tip a novice like me needs to make it a quality, safe install.

The alt housing does tend to ride up on the manifold bracket nut as I rotate it away from main pully when tightening the belt. It's a clearance issue that would probably be easily cured by a slightly shorter belt... Wondered if anyone else had this issue.

It sure is nice getting 14+ volts at idle with the high beams on!! Especially now that it's getting dark so much earlier...

P.S. The 'GEN' light actually works. I thought I read somewhere that it wouldn't work even with a 3-wire alt but mine seems to indicate just perfectly.
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:33 AM
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danleblanc = CADILLAC SUPERSTAR
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:45 AM
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I wouldn't say that . . . LOL.
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Old 11-21-2010, 04:11 AM
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I've just pulled my 61's generator apart for the fun of it .... am i wasting my time and should i just go the alternator option? The benefits seem worth it ... or are the generators OK?
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Old 11-21-2010, 08:21 AM
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Guy ... under the right conditions it can set the car on fire ....... Really!
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodfather View Post
Guy ... under the right conditions it can set the car on fire ....... Really!
Exactly the reason that this will be the first actual change I make to my 61 along with bypassing the glass fuel bowl/filter.
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Old 11-21-2010, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodfather View Post
Guy ... under the right conditions it can set the car on fire ....... Really!
Been there, done that. Luckily it was just the wiring harness in my case and not the car and the garage along with it.
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