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  • Generator to alternator conversion

    Where can I find a detailed description with good pictures of a generator to alternator conversion for a 1958 t-bird?

    Thanks

  • #2
    If you look in the Technical Resource Library there are a number of articles on converting to an alternator. The link is under my signature. There isn't one tried and true method. I've used both Ford and GM alternators in my conversions. There's a link to a company called C.R.A.P. that makes a conversion bracket for 352's but you must use a Ford alternator. There are also generic brackets available that allow you to use any type of alternator. You can also fabricate your own brackets as others have done.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

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

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    • #3
      Generator to alternator conversion

      David, if you decide to go with the C.R.A.P. mounting bracket, be aware that the early 352 engine blocks probably do not have an additionally drilled hole in the block to mount their bracket to. However, they do have an additional version of their alternator mounting bracket that takes care of that problem. A number of people on here have used their mounting brackets and they work great.

      As for an alternator, you will want to get a three wire version, so that you can continue to use the Gen light on the dash. You might also want to get an alternator that handles 100+ amps in the event you ever want to add an electric fan behind that radiator for improved engine cooling. Or if you plan in the future to add other features to the car that are going to draw more amps than a 35-65amp rated alt... Just a few things to think about. If you do this conversion, you might as well go with the higher rated amperage rather than to have to change alts in the future.. IMHO..

      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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      • #4
        Thanks for the info. I knew someone here would have the answers I am looking for!

        Being a rookie,I need allthe help I can get,lol

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        • #5
          Alt. to Generator conversion

          I looked into this quite a bit, I found someone on e-bay that sells a 65 amp unit, guaranteed to work on my 1960 thunderbird and with the brackets it's about $190.00, he sell a 90 Amp unit for about $290.00

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          • #6
            Let us know what you work out. If you have pictures of your conversion that would be great.

            There is an easy route but you will want to be sitting down when you look at the price.

            http://www.powermastermotorsports.com/powergen.html



            Eric

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DKheld View Post
              Let us know what you work out. If you have pictures of your conversion that would be great.

              There is an easy route but you will want to be sitting down when you look at the price.

              http://www.powermastermotorsports.com/powergen.html

              Eric
              I have two of the PowerGen alternators on my 56's and they work great. Yes they are expensive but if you want a stock look and mounting then they are the way to go.

              Tim Daleo
              Azusa, California
              https://www.flickr.com/photos/daleo1/albums

              Thunderbird Registry Entry

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              • #8
                The engine bay looks nice & clean Tim. Not to get away from the subject, have you done any custom work in the engine bay as the Generator bracket sticks out like a sore thumb. I'm looking at the amount of adjustment. Just curious.

                Chris.....From OZ.

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                • #9
                  Generator to alternator conversion

                  The following is the e-bay link:

                  http://www.ebay.com/itm/1958-59-60-6...fce0c1&vxp=mtr

                  I did a bunch of research, and I think this is the most frugal approach, but there are other, more expensive options that seem a bit better. I'm going with ebay when I do mine.

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                  • #10
                    I've tried using a 10SI alternator with the existing generator brackets and it DOES NOT WORK. The lower bracket does not line up with the alternator and I had to make an adapter bracket. Also the bolt that they show is not nearly strong enough and the alternator will twist under load. I would not recommend buying this.

                    John
                    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                    Thunderbird Registry #36223
                    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I tried a 10 or 12si with one of the multi-adjustable brackets similar to the one linked below. Had planned on welding it all together once I had it adjusted to fit. I did have to drill out the holes in the bracket for the larger original bolts to fit.
                      http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tractor-Gene...7f53b5&vxp=mtr

                      It worked but there was only about 1/8 inch clearance between the back of the alternator and front edge of the engine.

                      The other bad part was there was only about 1/2 to 3/4 inch movement between the block and and the A-Arm for belt adjustment - then the alternator either hit the A-Arm or the adjuster bracket hit the generator fan. Notice how close the adjuster bracket is to the generator fan in his pic.

                      Hope the guy has done his homework with the Tbird. Although it seems like you would have tons of room - it's very tight down there between the A-Arm and block.
                      (make sure he will let you return it and maybe you will only be out shipping costs)

                      Eric

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                      • #12
                        Generator to alternator conversion

                        I am going to suggest something here that all of you contemplating or actually working on repairing or restoring that old Tbird of yours should keep in mind. Before you go throwing parts at a problem you are working on, let the people on this Forum who have been there and done that, often more than once, give you some input BEFORE you buy parts. They can tell you what parts you should look for, stay away from, and what worked and did not work for them. Get all the information you can on how to correctly fix that problem, what will work or not and what parts to get, or not get. Then, after you have gathered a lot of information, consider what parts you really need to get. Otherwise, you may just be throwing parts at a problem that are not going to work, might not be returnable, or were more costly then they should have been. As has been said before, we happen to be fortunate in having some the greatest experts on this planet on this Forum when it comes to repairing and restoring Tbirds. Some of the people on this Forum wrote the books on restoring and repairing Fords and Tbirds. One of them in particular helped build Fords in the Detroit plants, our webmaster... Others have restored more Tbird's of the '50's and '60's in the last 40-50 years or so than they can remember. They want to help you save time, delays, repetitive repairs, and money. That's my 2 cents...

                        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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Generator to Alternator Conversion

                          I read the e-bay testimonials and they seemed ok. The set up seems flimsy, but I wanted to try to install, then if it was flimsy, at least I have something in place to serve as a template for a stronger bolt and bracket. The setups I saw online (C.R.A.P. and other sites) were very expensive. And I know some will say, you get what you pay for, but i'm willing to try to fabricate my own brackets. But I do appreciate the constructive feedback.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jopizz View Post
                            I've tried using a 10SI alternator with the existing generator brackets and it DOES NOT WORK. The lower bracket does not line up with the alternator and I had to make an adapter bracket. Also the bolt that they show is not nearly strong enough and the alternator will twist under load. I would not recommend buying this.

                            John
                            I'd like to add to John's comment... This alt doesn't put out enough to run an electric fan. Maximum amps mean very little. The most important question is, how many amps does it put out at idle speed?

                            Your modern car can live in stop and go rush hour traffic all day long (with the A/C on) without draining the battery. The alt you buy for your Squarebird needs to have the same capability or you might end up buying this system twice.

                            Squarebirds are notorious for over heating. An electric fan will shed a lot more heat than the mechanical fan but it needs an adequate alt.

                            I don't like one-wire alt's because they don't produce power until the engine revs. They won't work with remote start, either.

                            Did you ever wonder how Remote Start knows when to quit cranking? A conventional alternator immediately produces 13.5-14.5 volts as soon as the engine turns. The remote start circuit sees this elevated 'charging voltage' and it quits cranking. If you have a one-wire alt, it won't produce voltage until the rpms go over 1,500. That's how it knows the engine is running because there is no key switch 'sense' wire.

                            Bottom line: Go get a regular alternator that produces at least 100-amps. I don't care what brand it is. - 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

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                            • #15
                              Generator to alternator conversion

                              Very good information, I did install an electric fan and it eliminated the overheating problem I had while in stop an go traffic will driving in San Francisco (I go out to dinner and such).
                              I did read everything in the technical forum and the electrical principles between a Generator and Alternator. I'm going to take everyone's input into consideration and finalize what's the best approach. I currently don't have any issues with my electrical, but I want a augmented system since I also have a couple of stereo amps as well. Perhaps a member one day can post in the technical documents a comprehensive implementation guide, which is also not cost prohibitive.

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