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Author Topic:   one wire alternators
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 143
posted May 31, 2004 10:01 PM  
Are one wire alternators worth running? No one uses them where we race, they just recharge the batteries after each race. Does any out there run one and how do you like it ?

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 428
posted June 01, 2004 02:52 AM  
I just started using one this year, & I'm with Jay. It sure is nice not charging the bat all the time!

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 569
posted June 01, 2004 12:07 PM  
Buckle up, everybody. We're in for installment #342 of the great alternator debate.

I run a stock alternator with an external regualtor. I stay right at 14 on the volt meter with it. Without it, I would start the night around 13 and end around 11. That's not too good, IMO.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 396
posted June 01, 2004 03:21 PM  
I perfer running an alt., but they seem to come apart on the race car more often than they should. However they really do work well on my 3 tractors.

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 103
posted June 01, 2004 05:30 PM  
Is their any way to make a stock alternator into a one wire alternator?

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted June 01, 2004 07:18 PM  
Both the red and white need to be have power for the alt to work. One stays hot and one runs to ign switch. If the round magnet on back of the alt is not sticking than the alt is not charging.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 428
posted June 03, 2004 06:15 AM  
Jay is kinda correct about wiring an alternator but you need a little more info. There are 2 wires going into the plug on a Delco alternator. The larger (usaully red) can be mounted to the main stud on back of the alternator. Jay is correct that the other smaller wire (usaully white) goes to the idiot light, but there is a reason! That wire is what "excires" or starts the alternator. That wire need a quick shot of voltage to start the alternator. The idiot light acts as a resistor. If you think of what a bulb is, it is just a resister between power and ground. If that bub is blown the alternator will not charge! An easier way to wire it is to hook it to the "R" post on the starter solenoid. That is the other small post on your solenoid. When chanking the starter it puts power out the R terminal, put it stops when you let off the starter. I have done literally 100+ of these coversions on various equipment that didn't come with Delcos, it works well. Hope that helps?

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 136
posted June 03, 2004 08:33 PM  
just combine the two small wires and run one from them to your positive side of your ignition switch. that turns on your ignition and alternator then.

the other must be at least a 10 gauge wire and goes to the battery or your solonoid...

thats it very simple

get a moroso larger pulley from summit for 22.00 and it will last forever..

I have allways ran a stock one like this.

I bought a shogun charger now, its the size of a half a pop can, and puts out 14 volts.. its $350.00 bucks though.

Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 93
posted June 05, 2004 08:31 AM  
UNVRNO, putting power to the small wire all the time it hard on the alternator and will take it out.I have also seen a good alternator hooked up that way make it so that when you shut off the key the car will not shut off. That wire wants just a brief shot of power to excite the alternator. When wired in a stock application the way it works is this;Key on, not started the idiot light has power from the fuse box and that wire acts as a ground,lighting the bulb.When the alternator starts cranking, the posite voltage going thru the bulb (whose element acts like a restistor) energizes the alternator. If an alternator or regulator fails, the curcuitry in the regulator makes that wire ground again, turning the idiot light back on. And the larger wire just need power and can be jumped directly to the back of the alternator. Rebuilder can put a regulator in them that is self exciting and make it a one wire set up, but it still charges the same. Most heavy duty trucks run these self exciting alternator now. Hope this info helps someone out.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 280
posted June 05, 2004 02:07 PM  
You can buy the self exciting regulator for 22-24 bucks. i found numerous websites that have pictures and step by step info on doing it.

Good luck,

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 136
posted June 05, 2004 03:45 PM  
brett, thats the way I wired my cheap rebuilt alternator for my stock car in 1994, it hasnt failed yet.

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 168
posted June 05, 2004 10:57 PM  
I run mine wired like that also, but I run it to it's own switch, charge it while packing and under yellows, off during green flags for a couple extra horses. Been that way for years, same alternator, same battery too. Good luck.

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 109
posted June 07, 2004 02:25 PM  
How long does it take for the Alt. to start charging the Batt? I just got the motor running for the 1st time, let it idle for about 15 minutes. My Alt. light stays on. Do I need to rev it up, or do I have it wired wrong?

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 296
posted June 08, 2004 08:24 AM  
mavrik82 has the goods!!
thats exactly the correct way. Dont forget that your pulley sizes may make the system not charge at idle even thought the sytem is "excited" and working fine, they just arent designed to put out juice at such a low rpm. rev it up a bit and check the battery with a multi-meter. I used to just grab a 1156 or 1157 (turn signal) style bulb and socket(the 194-blinker bulbs work fine) and just hang it in the engine compartment. A ton of people would come running over thinking there was a fire under the hood when the car was starting up.. Kinda funny, to get into peoples head just before a race. the ol psycho wameee!! i eventually ended up putting a power resistor across the 2 poles that MAVRIK82 describes.. power resistors are the ones that have the aluminium outside and 2 mounting holes. real durable!!

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 265
posted June 09, 2004 06:20 PM  
I would bet you aren't gaining to many horses from flipping the switch off. I know it lowers drag a bit but your still turning the alternator and belt. Not to mention no longer running 14 volts out. I'm not spending the time on a dyno to test it but I wonder if having it on a switch and not running it during green flags really gives you anything you would notice.


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