Internal or external regulator? - Chevelle Tech
2002 General Tech questions from 2002

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 02, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
Senior Tech Team
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Wallkill, NY
Posts: 1,063
I need to replace my alternator and I can't tell whether I've got an internal or externally regulated one. The wiring looks a bit hacked up, plus I'm not sure what to look for to tell what type I have. What do I look for to tell what I have? Which type is better and why?

------------------
1970 Chevy Custom El Camino
Originally was & will be Green Mist & Silver w/Green Vinyl Top (now black)
350ci/300HP 4bbl & Dual Exhaust
TH-350 - 2.73 Posi Rear - Factory PS, PDB, PW, Tilt, A/C & More
My El Camino Home Page
Other Restorations -1969 Snowco Trailer & 1967 Sears Custom 600 Tractor
Team Chevelle Member #995
Shawn is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 02, 11:05 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,030
Internal regulator is inside the alternator. it uses 1 wire.
External uses a box with a number of wires attached to it.This allows the removal of the external regulator for a cleaner look under the hood. Single wire is the only way to go.
al carson is offline  
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 02, 11:09 PM
Senior Tech Team
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: central Georgia
Posts: 1,066
I believe that Chevy discontinued the use of external regulators after '68. For your 70 to have one would require a significant change in the stock wiring harness.
2BlueLS6's is offline  
 
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 02, 11:21 PM
Team Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 5,066
My 72 has an external regulator stock.

I have converted to an internally regulated unit.

Doing this swap is analogus to changing from short water pump to long. It's just easier to find things for the latter.

Having an external unit, usually an old one, makes things going wrong later more of a problem. Look into replacing that guy and you'll start to see the light.

An internal regulated alternator has a two-terminal fitting and One screw termnial lug. The purposes are:

Lug: out to charge the battery
fitting wire 1: monitors battery voltage to determine amount of compensation.
fitting wire 2: goes to you "gen" light for fault warning.

You can just take fitting wire 1 and screw it to the screw terminal lug with the large gauge (10-12) battery wire.

VERY EASY SWAP!
Pop out the connector on your external regulator (usually up by the drivers side head light). Jumper the middle two wires. Then jumper the outter two wires. viola.

------------------
71' 3880# with me. Big Block 402, Merlin oval heads, 10.2:1CR, TH400, 3.73 posi,
1/8th: 8.0 @ 88mph
BEST 60': 1.85 w/street tires.
BEST 1/4: 12.5 with 1.89 sixty foot (street tires)
BEST MPH: 109mph

Picture of me roasting the tires and other guy stuff
Video of me staging (smoke of course)
BB_Mike is offline  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 02, 1:39 PM
Tech Team
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: austin, TX
Posts: 659
So internally regulated and one wire alternators are not necessarily the same thing?

From what you describe (BB_Mike), a "one wire" alternator is pretty much just a "3-wire" with the voltage sensing terminal (fitting 1) hooked to the output lug and no "fitting 2" warning light terminal. Is this correct?

I am planning on upgrading mine to a higher output unit, and just want what is most economical and what works best. I am also wanting to ditch my amp gauge and go with a voltage gauge.



------------------
Charles Perrell
[email protected]
65 malibu SS Convertible
283 2v powerglide
cperrell is offline  
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 02, 3:01 PM
Team Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 5,066
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by cperrell:

From what you describe (BB_Mike), a "one wire" alternator is pretty much just a "3-wire" with the voltage sensing terminal (fitting 1) hooked to the output lug and no "fitting 2" warning light terminal. Is this correct?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Very much so. Just done internally. Yet summit likes to charge soo much more for those Chrome one-sire units. "Oooo, one wire, that'll be so much cleaner in the engine bay than two wires" It'll be in black umbilical channeling anywho.

Do some searching in the Elctrical forum for "Alternator" and you'll find a post by me about a 95Amp alt that stores like Auto Zone carry. Comes in a late 80s camaro and costs as much as a 45Amp piece. Mine is up high on the passenger side. You may have to swap pulley's, but that's easy.

Good call on the Amp to Volt gauge conversion. much better way of doing things.

------------------
71' 3880# with me. Big Block 402, Merlin oval heads, 10.2:1CR, TH400, 3.73 posi,
1/8th: 8.0 @ 88mph
BEST 60': 1.85 w/street tires.
BEST 1/4: 12.5 with 1.89 sixty foot (street tires)
BEST MPH: 109mph

Picture of me roasting the tires and other guy stuff
Video of me staging (smoke of course)
BB_Mike is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 02, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
Senior Tech Team
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Wallkill, NY
Posts: 1,063
I looked at it and on the back of the alt is a little box, which is plugged into two terminals in the middle. The box has two wires going to one lug, and one to the other with one going to the junction on the core support. Something must be out because when the alt died, the GEN light didn't come on.

So, the internal style alternators were original on 68+ cars, NOT external? The regulator on mine looks aftermarket, so I'm not sure.. I just want to put it back to the original config.
Shawn is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 02, 7:59 PM
Team Member
John
 
Join Date: Oct 1998
Location: Hagaman, NY
Posts: 2,737
Internal regulators were NOT in place yet in 68...my 71 had an external regulator...I now use a 1 wire, 100 amp unit..and a one wire is not the same as a 3 wire with a couple wires jumpered...a one wire is self exciting, which the other ones are not...its different internally..I took mine to an electrical shop that does alternators and starters, and it cost a whole 25.00 to have a new regulator installed, and it then became a one wire unit...they said thats the only way they do them now. John
Johnny O is offline  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 02, 8:39 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
Hoarder Deluxe
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Poughkeepsie NY
Posts: 3,438
Internal regulators started in 1973 on all GM cars that I know of. Caddys I havent checked Internals are the way to go, but Shawn considering your other posts on your plans for the car I am sure you will want the original external setup.

------------------
Dave
70 chevelle ss396 conv
66 chevelle ss396 hdp/conv
72 chevelle
55/57/61 chevies
TC member #493
Never forget Earnhardt!

[This message has been edited by drptop70ss (edited 02-09-2002).]
drptop70ss is offline  
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 02, 9:30 PM
Senior Tech Team
Jerry
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Somerset, NJ USA
Posts: 1,555
Shawn,
Take it from an old guy who's owned one of these cars for 32 years now, there is nothing wrong with an external regulator. Just be sure your harness hasn't been hacked up. Use a Wells Solid State VR-15 regulator (a direct plug-in) instead of the original mechanical one. It mounts in the same "footprint" as the original and you can even use your old cover (the Wells unit is chrome)if you want. I've been running like this for a number of years now. The system works, and is cheap and easy to repair. Even if you were out on the road somewhere and the Wells unit died, you could buy an old type and plug it right in. I put 100 miles a day on the Chevelle, 5 days a week, along with at least another 50 miles on the weekends, so my car is a good test bed.

------------------
MalibuJerry350
TC Member #1279
Original owner '70 Chevelle.
568,000+ miles on car.
Hey, if it's got wheels, DRIVE IT!
My Chevelle: http://hometown.aol.com/erie614/myhomepage/index.html
MalibuJerry350 is offline  
post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 06, 10:18 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2
Re: Internal or external regulator?

thanks for your help i have a 1967 chevelle 427 SS that would not charge when i put a chrome alternator with a internal regulator once i did the jumpers like you said.Now everything wis working and charging great.
Thanks alot
Joe Sanchez
El Paso texas
67JOE6767 is offline  
post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 06, 5:32 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 19
Re: Internal or external regulator?

First of all, go here Mad Electrical for alot of usefull information that you will need.

I just did this swap about a month ago. I have a '66 El Camino and it had an external voltage regulator. My problem was the GEN light came on one day. Ok, no big deal, I take out the alternator and voltage regulator to have them tested. Alternator comes back good, VR does not. I buy a new VR, install it and the light is still on. Long story short, the alternator was bad and the people at Autozone said it was good. It took a few trips and a few days of cussing and such until I was told about the MAD site. There is a whole lot of good info there, if you have the time, go through all of the tech articles. I also bought his "full power" set up, but ended up just buying a new foward lamp harness from M & H Electric Fabricators which I highly recommend. I also had M & H do the internal regulator mod to the harness. That guy at MAD has very nice quality stuff, I just decided to go a different route after I bought it. I still might install the relays for the headlights one day.

Here is the skinny of what I did:

-Changed out my externally regulated VR for an internally regulated alternator. The alternator is a 12SI, 94 amp, at 3:00 (AC-DELCO # 321-266, Lester #7294-3 which is out of a 1984 Chevy Camaro, with 5.0L (305G) engine. The clock position varies from car to car.

-Ordered a new foward lamp harness from M & H with the 2 wire plug mod (internal VR) done to it. It's an additional $15.00 for the mod I believe.

Hope that help! Like I said, if you have the time go through all of those tech articles. Very good reading!

Here is a way to do it without a new foward lamp harness as it was explained to me. You need to buy a two wire plug for the new alternator which is sold at any parts store. OPG sells a conversion plug if you want it. The plug I am talking about is the one towards the top of the pic. The lower plug should just slide into the excisting plug at the alternator.



1. Splice the white wire (at the alternator) in your harness to the white wire on the new plug
2. Put a ring terminal on the red wire (on the new plug)(blue wire on the OPG kit) and run it to the post on the back of the alternator, along with the original 10 gauge red battery wire .
3. On the drivers side where the voltage regulator is splice (or make a jumper) the white wire and the brown wire...do not hook back up to the regulator, you can remove it if you like.
4. Presto, you're a chargin, and your original dash light will still work.
5. These alternators max charge at about 3000rpm, where as the original style won't max until near 5000. Oh, as a side benefit your headlights won't flicker anymore.

Late- Alex

Last edited by r8rs4lf; Feb 17th, 06 at 5:50 AM.
r8rs4lf is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
 

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Chevelle Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address. Note, you will be sent a confirmation request to this address.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Old Thread Warning
This Thread is more than 4990 days old. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
If you still feel it is necessary to make a new reply, you can still do so though.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



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

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome