This will take you to the main site where there is history, technical information and other information on these cars.
This takes you back to the main page of the forums.
This is the control panel to change your password, information and preferences on this message board.
Click here if your lost your password or need to register on this message board. You must be a registered user to post. Registration is free.
Search this board for information you need.
Click here to buy cool Squarebirds mechandise.
Click here to support For $20 annually receive 20mBytes webspace, a Squarebirds e-mail address and member's icon on the message board.
Old 10-22-2009, 02:48 PM
rickauf rickauf is offline
Join Date: Sep 9 2006
Posts: 39
rickauf is on a distinguished road
Default alternator made to look like generator?

Hi all.
I know this question has been posted a million times. I have searched the web on the bird sites.. glaxies, merc, everywhere.. i see a lot of input.. but no definitive answers.
here is the deal:

i have a 59 vert bird. The generator has given up the ghost. it has the 352 with the low mount genny.

now. my first thought was since i was going to replace, why not convert to an alternator. (my car is a driver.. not a show car)
after some searching in some forums i found a company called CRAP and Crites both have low mount alt brackets for conversions on early fe blocks.. (without changing the waterpump, etc).
ordered both... but now i am told they will not work with a simple (gasp) gm 1 wire alt. i have to get a wire harness , etc and early ford alternator to convert over.

i don't want to rewire, go to a boneyard, etc. no one makes a kit. or does anyone know of a way to hook up a one wire alt?
also.. i cannot find it.. burt i swear i saw a forum about a place that will rebuild your ford genny into an alternator.
has anyone done this? does it work out well, and where is the shop? do they do the conversion such that the external volt reg is just bypassed?

or should i just order a new generator from one of the vendors.. new belt and reg and just put back on what i had.

i would really like an alt.. but have had the car for years with the genny with no problems. perhaps i am overthinking things too much.

i want to keep it simple.

any help, input, slurs, directions, etc are greatly appreciated!

Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 03:40 PM
YellowRose's Avatar
YellowRose YellowRose is offline
Super-Experienced and a HELLOFA nice guy
Join Date: Jan 21 2008
Posts: 12,621
YellowRose is on a distinguished road
Default alternator made to look like generator?

Hi Rick,

This subject has been kicked around a lot in recent years. Here is one link. Look in the Technical Resource Library Forum about this. You will find the link to the company that will build an alternator into your generator shell. For about $800 I think! Also a number of us have changed out our generator for an alternator. Some, like myself, went the 1 wire version, and hooked it up through the VR (which, except for some connections is no longer used if your alternator has a VR built into it). Hooking it up through the VR allows us to continue to use the GEN light. There are those who prefer the 3 wire units to. I had to have my GEN support bracket modified to handle the smaller size of the alternator, but it worked. There is plenty of posts on here about generators. Just do a search using the Search button on generator or generators. The easiest way to go, of course, is to just replace the generator with another one. But if you want an alternator, it is not that hard to do. Richard D. Hord and others, should be able to advise you better than me. Here is that link. I think that RustyNCa has the CRAP mounting bracket and an alternator on one of his Tbirds. I have never heard that before that you cannot use the CRAP mount with a GM 1 wire Alt. That is a new one on me!

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

Last edited by YellowRose : 10-22-2009 at 03:44 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 04:44 PM
tbird430's Avatar
tbird430 tbird430 is offline
Join Date: Jun 18 2007
Posts: 2,625
tbird430 is on a distinguished road

I think Mac's auto parts sells that same alternator stuffed into a factory Ford generator case. I think the name of thet company who makes this unit is called "PowerGen"?

They are pricey though...


The 1960 Ford Thunderbird. The WORLD'S most wanted car....

VTCI Member#6287.
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 04:51 PM
Richard D. Hord Richard D. Hord is offline
Super-Experienced and Proud Kentuckian who bleeds Ford Blue.
Join Date: Dec 16 2008
Posts: 2,868
Richard D. Hord is on a distinguished road

Hey Rick,
Here's what I did some time back and have not had any problem.
Generator to Alternator conversion
Houston we have power!
Boy it was a booger. I'm going to try to explain what I done to complete this project. Special thanks to Ray Clark for all his information and his input.
I tried to contact C.R.A.P. for bracket and never got a response. So I used what I had and it don't look bad at all. And best of all it works!!!
Disconnect and remove battery!
First you want to purchase one wire GM Del-co alternator with internal regulator and pulley. Remove old generator.
Measure from the radiator (the radiator is a stationary point of reference) to get you a dimension to the center line of the crank pulley and the fan pulley, (this dimension should be the same) write this dimension down. The alternator pulley needs to be the same dimension.
If your bracket is like mine it was all one piece, You got the front part that mounts to the water pump, a cross piece that ties to the rear part that bolts to the block.
Take a reciprocating saw and cut cross piece out, close to the back part and close to the front part.
Measure from the radiator back to front part of bracket, write that dimension down.
With pulley on new alternator hold rule, center line of pulley, on dimension you got on fan pulley and crank pulley center line (should be same) see how much you need to get to the front of mounting position on new alternator. EXAMPLE: mine was 3/4"
Remove fan and fan pulley from engine. Remove front part of alternator bracket. Remove upper stud, it will come out with vise grips and twist.
Now you need to make a list of things you need. I needed 12" 7/16" all-thread rod, two lock washers, two nuts, 2" x 3/8" bolt, 3" x 3/8" bolt, 6" x 1/2" ID galvanized pipe, 4" x 1/2" ID galvanize pipe, 3' number 8 wire, wire-end terminals and metric bolt and lock washer to fit Alternator hole for adjustment mounting bracket.
With the extra dimension you need to get front bracket out to be in line with outer pulleys, cut you two pieces off the 4" x 1/2" galvanized pipe (this is best done in vise)
Next is for the replacement for the stud you removed from the water pump. Take the 4" x 3/8" bolt and cut off threads and cut it long enough to accept the top part of front bracket plus shim, drive it into place where stud was and install galvanized pipe shim.
With the pieces of pipe you cut, shim out the front part of the bracket (stud and bolt) Attach front bracket to water pump. Use the 2" x 3/8" bolt.
Now measure from the front bracket to the rear bracket and deduct the Alternator mounting position. (Mine was minus two inches) this will give you the dimension you need to cut the 6" piece of pipe. Cut 6" pipe to that dimension.
Next measure from front bracket to back bracket and add enough to that dimension to except two lock washers, two washers and two nuts. Cut your all-thread rod to that dimension.
Remove tension bracket (mine had two bends in it) get bracket on solid surface and straighten bends with hammer (it needs to be straight) after you have done this reinstall.
Use your all-thread rod, put washer, lock washer and nut on one end. Start this into rear bracket and install pipe you have cut as shim. Work alternator into place and slide all-thread rod threw front bracket. Now install washer, lock washer and nut (hand tighten only) Bracket will be on front of alternator.
Now that alternator is hanging, jack up car set car jack stand in place and get under it. Align lower bracket and install metric bolt and lock nut (hand tighten only) Bracket will be on front of alternator.
Reinstall fan pulley and fan. Install belt. Tighten tension on belt, tighten tension nut and nuts on all-thread rod.
Take ARM wire (yellow wire that was attached to generator) and attach it and new number 8 wire with wire end connector to back of alternator. Tape up other two wires as they are not needed.
Attach other end of new number 8 wire with wire end terminal to battery side of solenoid. (where positive or red battery cable is connected)
Now to the voltage regulator. Gut it, disconnect any connections inside, and underneath, It is not needed, but I left mine because I wanted it to look original. Reinstall and hook it back up the way it was.
Arm post on voltage regulator you should have yellow heavy gauge wire and small yellow wire with black stripe. Go to wires on drivers side at firewall and look for small yellow wire with black stripe, cut it.
Reinstall battery.
Start car and check on fire wall for 12 volts, (I found this at relay in front of passenger) turn car off check for voltage again at that location, if it is dead attach wire then run to yellow wire with black stripe coming through firewall. Tape off other wire coming from Voltage regulator.
Start car and check voltage at ARM and BAT at voltage regulator, you should have 12 volts or a little more. (I had 13volts)
You should now have power and GEN light should go out when car is running.
Richard D. Hord
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ALTERNATOR.jpg (44.0 KB, 96 views)
'60 Thunderbird "Christine"
Registry #33436
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 08:19 PM
protourbird protourbird is offline
Join Date: Apr 29 2008
Posts: 153
protourbird is on a distinguished road

The alternator is called a Powergen and is manufactured by Powermaster and can be ordered from most restoration, specialty, or speed shops. They make two numbers a GM and a Ford. Try Summit Racing part number 82101 for under $400


Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 09:10 PM
rickauf rickauf is offline
Join Date: Sep 9 2006
Posts: 39
rickauf is on a distinguished road

Thanks everybody..

one last question. if i pony up to the powergen.. does it just bypass the VR? or plug in as normal? i guesss if the only reason to get a powergen is to not have to worry about brackets.. i am in good shape as i now have 2.

my Crites bracket and module came in today.. i just don't know about modifying the VR.

i think it would be easier to keeep as is, or elim all together with the "one wire".

i also think i am likely missing something here in the big picture!
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 10:23 PM
simplyconnected's Avatar
simplyconnected simplyconnected is online now
Slow Typist
Join Date: May 26 2009
Posts: 7,521
simplyconnected is on a distinguished road

Richard Hord's picture speaks volumes. It shows how easily anyone can convert to an alternator; in his case, a GM. Richard has given a shopping list of exact parts to buy, cutting dimensions, and complete instructions. His job looks real good and it is plenty strong. Good job, Richard.

This is exactly why there is no kit available, as anyone can make their own for a few bucks.

rickauf, you don't want to go to a bone yard, but the truth is, they throw good alternators away on a daily basis. You can get an alternator WITH the correct wires and plugs for half nothing. (Spending hundreds on an alternator setup is so unnecessary).

I don't have a 352, but I do have a Y-Block, where I bolted a Mustang alternator on the ORIGINAL BRACKETS and it used the original belt. This Ford alternator outputs 75-amps; twice your generator output. It also works exactly the way you would expect. It is self-regulating (so no need for your voltage regulator), and it uses TWO wires. One goes to your GEN light, the rest tie together and connect to your battery terminal.

My conversion has worked flawlessly for many years. Since then, I have retrofit my '59 Galaxie with the same alternator. My site includes the electrical diagram, so you can see where the wires go. This alternator uses two plugs, one from the regulator going to the stator. It is VERY easy to maintain because the brushes are on the back side of the regulator which is held in by two screws. New brushes cost $5, and are good for another 100k miles.

Here's the link:
Y-Block Generator-to-Mustang Alternator Retrofit

Using a little imagination and a few hand tools, you can do this yourself and for very little money.

As a side note, the GM 1-wire alternator doesn't work the way you might expect. That's why I stuck with Ford. - Dave Dare
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

Last edited by simplyconnected : 10-23-2009 at 12:53 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2009, 04:14 PM
protourbird protourbird is offline
Join Date: Apr 29 2008
Posts: 153
protourbird is on a distinguished road

The Powergen is a true one wire alternator with the built in voltage regulator so no you do not have to worry about your current voltage regulator.


Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:06 PM.

Driving, racing or working on cars can be hazardous. The procedures and advice on this website including the message board are opinion only. and its webmasters and contributors do not guarantee the correctness of the advice and procedures. The and its webmasters assume no liability for any damage, fines, punishment, injury or death resulting from following these procedures or advice. If you do not have the skills or tools to repair your car, please consult a professional. By using this site you agree to hold harmless the, its authors and its webmasters from any resulting claim and costs that may occur from using the information found on this site.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Any submissions to this site and any post on this site becomes property of . The webmasters reserve the right to edit and modify any submissions to this site. All material on this is site is copyrighted by the Reproduction by any means other than for personal use is strictly prohibited. Permission to use material on this site can be obtained by contacting the webmasters. Copyright 2002-2016 by