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Generator to alternator conversion

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  • #16
    Electrical systems are always figured the same, even in your house. Simply put, the first statement about this in the National Electrical Code is that the supply MUST meet the demand. Then they de-rate ampacities to give a 20% safety factor in each branch circuit. Your car is no different except that car wiring is not hidden in walls, the environment vibrates and it is exposed to heat and harsh chemicals.

    Start by adding all your accessories. (Everyone's car is different.) Consider battery losses when cold and 'sitting for days or weeks', trailer hauling, inverters, stereo systems, headlight upgrades, etc. Now look to the future and always consider this question, 'what do modern cars use?' If your system falls short you will be buying a bigger alternator very soon.

    Never depend on the battery to deliver power that the alt should have produced. I tried running a 75-amp alt with an electric fan. During the Woodward Dream Cruise our cars are in a big parking lot for miles, all day long. It ends up where the electric fan cools the engine but the alt is too small to charge the battery AND run the fan at idle. So, the battery drains and I'm looking to get off Woodward so I can run the car at 40-mph to shed heat and charge the battery. Now, I have a 130-amp alt and all is very well.

    Also consider the progression:
    1955 T-birds had a 30-amp 6-volt gen that output 180 watts.
    1956 T-birds had a 30-amp 12-volt gen that output 360 watts. (doubled the year before)
    Alternators appeared, producing much more power at idle and low engine speeds.
    1980's saw 75-amp alternators
    1990's Fords came with 100 amps and now 130 amps is very common. Some alternators output 200 amps (200 X 12-v = 2,400 watts, a far cry from the original 180 watts).

    I've never heard anyone say, '****, I wish I had bought a smaller alternator.'

    Also consider the horsepower your new alt will need... 746 watts = 1 hp. 2,400 divided by 746 = 3.2 HP. <--this needs enough belt surface area or it will slip and scream. That's why new cars come with that wide serpentine belt with so many ribs. You can do the same with a double-groove pulley or a slightly larger diameter pulley. All the old pulleys (Ford and GM are interchangeable) fit new alternators if you use the spacer behind the pulley (it looks like a ring) then tighten the nut and lock washer. - Dave
    My latest project:
    CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

    "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
    --Lee Iacocca

    From: Royal Oak, Michigan

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    • #17
      Generator to alternator conversion

      I have gone through many of the threads, including this one, and compiled comments of Dave~simplyconnected, and John~ jopizz, regarding "Selecting The Right Alternator For Your Tbird". Dave went through my comments, added some, corrected some, and I just put it into the Technical Resource Library (TRL) for posterity. You will find it in the Engine section, Final sub-section with the Generator and Alternator information. I hope it will help ya'll in the future, when you decide you want to replace that generator with an alternator. Thanks, Dave and jopizz, for the help.

      Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
      '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
      "It's Hip To Be Square"
      Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

      Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

      http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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      • #18
        Generator to Alternator Conversion

        I talked with Larry today, at Custom Replacement Automotive Products (C.R.A.P.) and he informed me that he has a new bracket available for the pre 1963 FE engines. It's not on the website, because he is having problems updating the C.R.A.P. website. With his permission, I'll attach his correspondence and also the pictures of the new bracket assembly. He also references a Summit Racing alternator, which he recommends. BTW, he has a late 60's model Mercury and Ford convertible, which he drives.
        Here is his email he sent:
        "I have attached photos of our 2 piece gen to alt conversion kit. This item is new and is not listed on our site. It is available in two versions, the first being raw unpainted steel ($109.00) and the 2nd being powder coated gloss black ($124.00). The small side bracket which allows you to mount an alternator on an early FE block is also steel and painted silver. The 2 pc allows you to use a Ford or GM standard size alternator. If you need more amperage we recommend an aftermarket alternator sold by Summit racing. Brand name Tuff Stuff in a Ford configuration Summit part number 7068. Of course we still sell the one piece stainless steel kit ($129.00) in polished version or black powder coated but it requires the use of a Ford 1st generation alternator, or an aftermarket alternator such as the Tuff Stuff mentioned above. If you have any questions feel free to contact me @ 815 634 8216. I am retiring now and will be putting up a new website and cutting back on development of new kits. I will still carry all the items I have listed now and a few extras that my existing website won't let me load. Some people have noted they are having trouble accessing my existing website due to using the latest Windows operating systems. Best to call in your orders and I can enter them for you. All prices plus shipping.

        Larry Gueths
        C.R.A.P.

        Nyles
        Attached Files

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        • #19
          I might be in the market for one of these. That is of course if this is a real company or a joke
          Rob
          1959 Thunderbird J-Code
          Tbird registry
          #15794

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          • #20
            They are not. I have the new 2 piece unit. Not mounted yet but looks good.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by p38fighter View Post
              They are not. I have the new 2 piece unit. Not mounted yet but looks good.
              What's the advantage of it over the old style?

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              • #22
                1959 Convertible

                Rusty I don't know the advantage have never seen the original.

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                • #23
                  If you have any questions, they have a phone number where you can talk with old guy that makes the brackets. That's what I did. I think the new bracket does not require the front bolt that is available on the later model engines, but I can't be sure of that.
                  Nyles

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Tbird1044 View Post
                    If you have any questions, they have a phone number where you can talk with old guy that makes the brackets. That's what I did. I think the new bracket does not require the front bolt that is available on the later model engines, but I can't be sure of that.
                    Nyles
                    Was just curious, I've been running his bracket on my TBird since way back in 2007 or 2006.

                    If you click this thumbnail, it's one photo that kinda shows the CRAP bracket I have.

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                    • #25
                      CRAP bracket and alternator choice

                      Originally posted by p38fighter View Post
                      They are not. I have the new 2 piece unit. Not mounted yet but looks good.
                      Did you get the alternator conversion completed ?
                      would like to duplicate a completed conversion...
                      latest lower crap bracket for my 60' sqr brd 352 FE block
                      look's reliable...WHICH tuff stuff unit with the oem 3 wire
                      i.e. 3 G alternator would align with the 352 fe crank pulley
                      had to go to a aftermarket harmonic balancer with the pulley bolted on, keep throwing the pulley for the balancer, and shredding belts....now using a lazer light to verify alignment. What power lead with fuse are you using for the charge lead to the hot side of the starter solenoid from the alternator ,i.e. 150 amp fuse ?

                      Steve M/Rockwall,Tx

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                      • #26
                        59 convertible
                        I have not installed it yet. The Tuff Stuff alternator is a one wire - part # 7068

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                        • #27
                          alternator choice with CRAP lower bracket

                          Looking at the Tuff Stuff 7124K 130 amp unit
                          3 wire....any comments

                          Steve M/Rockwall,Tx

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                          • #28
                            another alternator choice

                            found a Tuff Stuff 7127K 140 amp....3 wire
                            will talk to Larry at CRAP if compatible

                            Steve M/Rockwall,Tx

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                            • #29
                              I used the MAC kit which like the rest is over priced. You're paying for the smarts and bracket, mostly. This works on a 1960 352 just fine, except as Dave has pointed out many times, there's a drag on the pulley which will require a tight belt or a larger diameter alternator pulley. That larger pulley will decrease charging.

                              I saw a kit on Larry's which has a double pulley like the original generator's pulley. I have asked and tried researching the pulley because I'd swap out mine if I could ID and find it on the internet.

                              Dean

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                              • #30
                                Yellowbird (Leonard) on this site did just such a conversion on his stock Ď58 Thunderbird last year, he would be worth contacting.
                                (I cannot recall if he posted the procedure on here or not and at the moment donít have the time to search his posts)
                                A Thunderbirder from the Land of the Long White Cloud.

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