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-   1961 To 1963 Bulletbirds, Rocketbirds - General Technical Discussion (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=24)
-   -   1963 generator or alternator (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=22087)

johnpaulny 10-21-2017 05:35 PM

1963 generator or alternator
The generator light on my 63 had been flickering, would go off with acceleration, and is now on solid all the time. I hooked up my battery charger/diagnostic and the battery is fine (12.6 volts) but alternator says "low". I read that some 63s have generators and some alternators. First question: How do I know what I have (I see it, down low on the passenger side of engine). Second: whatever it is, I started to loosen the main bolt, which was really, really tight, finally loosened just a bit, and was very slowly coming out but got to a point where it seems like further loosening is doing nothing. I figured I'm in over my head and decided to re-tighten again, and now even though I'm turning the bolt clockwise with my torque wrench it's not going back in. Anyone have a clue what's going on?

simplyconnected 10-21-2017 06:10 PM

There may be a nut spinning on the underside. That's why it won't tighten.

How many wires are coming off your gen/alt?

jopizz 10-21-2017 06:23 PM

All '63 Thunderbirds have an alternator. Which bolt is not tightening. One goes into the block (top bolt) and one is a nut and a bolt on the adjuster bracket (lower bolt).


johnpaulny 10-21-2017 08:05 PM

It's the one that goes into the block. It goes through the top of the alternator, then through what appears to be a spacer of some sort, then into the block.

jopizz 10-21-2017 08:12 PM

It sounds like the threads are stripped. Hopefully it's just the bolt and not the block. Try wedging a screwdriver between the spacer and alternator while you loosen it. Sometimes the spacer is rusted to the bolt. You might have to use a vise grip to hold the spacer. Most home center stores carry the correct size long bolt.


johnpaulny 10-21-2017 08:40 PM

The spacer is turning with the bolt. If it's stripped, how do I get the bolt out? It's definitely not turning freely, in either direction, I have to use my torque wrench because I can't get enough leverage with a shorter wrench. Just to be sure, unloosing this bolt is counterclockwise, correct? I appreciate all the help!

jopizz 10-21-2017 08:58 PM

As I said you are going to have to put a large screwdriver between the spacer and alternator and pry it out as you turn it. You need to put pressure on the bolt outward to get it out if it's stripped. It's easier to do if you can separate the spacer from the bolt. That's why I said to hold the spacer with vise grip pliers while you turn the bolt. Counterclockwise is correct to loosen it.


johnpaulny 10-21-2017 09:18 PM

OK, thanks, I'll give it a try.

johnpaulny 10-22-2017 04:23 PM

I got it off, but one of the bolts that holds the bracket was so close to the fan pulley that as I unloosed it it pressed against the edge and about a 2 inch arc of the edge of the pulley snapped off. I think this is major work. I assume this means removing the radiator to replace the pulley. Any Thunderbird specialists in western MA that you know of?

jopizz 10-22-2017 11:11 PM

Replacing the fan pulley is not that major of a job. The radiator does not have to be removed. The fan is held on by four bolts. Remove the four bolts and the fan and pulley come right off of the water pump. Remove the fan shroud to give you more room.


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