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During a recent March serpentine swap, I also swapped my old alternator for a 100amp 1-wire unit. I left the additional two wires from the old alt connected to the voltage regulator and did nothing with the regulator itself.

My voltmeter used to run around 14.5v to 14.8v and now runs in the low 13's. Is this normal and was my old one too high?

Should I do anything with the wires on the regulator or just leave it alone?

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Dale McIntosh
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Hey Dale, is that new 1-wire unit a chrome piece made by a company that begins with the letter "P"?
Sure hope I didn't give you the hex I once had! If so, I've got the solution for you.


When I switched to a 1-wire set-up, I just removed the old wiring altogether and unplugged the 4-wire cluster at the voltage regulator. I think your idiot light 'ALT' light stays on if you don't unplug it.

CopperTop could give you some better insight on alternator output but I believe anything under 14.5-14.8 (measured at the back of the alternator) is considered safe for most batteries...don't quote me on that though!

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502 Rat Infested 1970 Malibu - Gold Member #39
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It's the *P* alternator, from Summit. We'll see if the battery dies with prolonged driving. I don't have any factory gauges or lights anymore so I don't know if the idiot light is *on* or not. Maybe I'll just unplug the regulator for now and see what happens (?).

Anyone else, I'm open to ideas.


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Dale McIntosh
TC Gold #92
ACES #1709
www.dalesplace.com
Restore it or customize it, but drive it and enjoy it!
 

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The *P* from Summit has been notoriously problematic as Wes has eluded to. Summit will make it right though.

I've had much better luck with the CS Delco conversion as outlined in the Tech articles.

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Discussion Starter #5
All that aside, it still doesn't answer the question of what the volt meter should be reading. If low 13's is insufficient, I'm sure they'll swap it out for another - but is this voltage output good?


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Dale McIntosh
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www.dalesplace.com
Restore it or customize it, but drive it and enjoy it!
 

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Dale, if it's a faulty 'P' alternator, I would HIGHLY ENCOURAGE YOU to get a different brand altogether. I wound up going with a 1-wire 110amp East Coast Auto Electric unit and it keeps the output at 14.5v at idle or at 3,000rpm's under full electrical loading (highbeam lights, MarkVIII fan, etc..). With a seperate internal fan, it stays alot cooler than any other alternator I've ever touched.

I went thru two of the 'P' units...one was completely dead and the other one kept boiling over my battery.
If you do some searching under the 'P' word, you'll find that others have had similar experiences as well. They do have some slick marketing though.
Love the part about dyno testing each unit before it leaves the shop - give me a break!

No, low 13's is not sufficient IMO. Are you measuring from the back of the alternator?

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502 Rat Infested 1970 Malibu - Gold Member #39
Keep America Beautiful - Drive A Brute Force Chevelle!
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[This message has been edited by Wes Colby (edited 05-06-2001).]
 

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Dale- Isn't the March serpentine conversion an underdriven set?If so,have you revved the motor to compensate for the difference?I used factory deepgroove crank & waterpump pulleys and a Moroso alternator pulley,and have to rev it 40-50% higher to reach the old output.

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Discussion Starter #8
Wes-I've got Dakota Digital gauges and the volts I'm quoting are from the dash gauge...14+ for the old alternator and just over 13 for the new.

The specs between the High Water Flow and the Performance kit are the crank pulley, High Water Flow uses a 7" pulley and the Performance Kit uses a 5.75" pulley. both use the same alternator pulley. I brought the rpms up to about 3000 and the voltage did jump from just over 12 to over 13, but not the 14+ I used to get.

I'll try to do it right tonight and hook up a voltmeter across the battery and see what I'm getting.

Just for clairification, the alt is a ProForm and not a PowerMaster - guess I was assuming the wrong *P* word? That and I got it from Jegs, not Summit. I buy from them both but this one I got with the March kit from Jegs.
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Dale McIntosh
TC Gold #92
ACES #1709
www.dalesplace.com
Restore it or customize it, but drive it and enjoy it!

[This message has been edited by Dale McIntosh (edited 05-07-2001).]
 
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