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Old 06-11-2012, 08:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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One wire alternator & idiot light

I just converted my 1960 Falcon from a generator to a 1 wire alternator. I got some instructions from the man at the shop where I purchased the alternator. after everything was hooked up I noticed that my alt. light was on, without the key being on. I finally found the wire that was the problem and disconnected it. Now I need to know how to wire it up, so it will work like it used to work. I am really not very good at the electrical part of a vehicle. Need help. Thanks
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: One wire alternator & idiot light

Basically, you run a switched hot to the bulb and the ground goes to the I terminal for the voltage regulator. Don't break the regular wire connections though because if your light burns out it will stop the system from charging.

Oops, 1 wire - internal regulator. Ah. You can run one wire to the bat terminal on the alternator and the other to a switched positive like the coil or the ignition switch. I think that will work but you need to double check my two brain cells(only have two left).
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Old 06-12-2012, 04:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: One wire alternator & idiot light

A true one-wire alternator has only 1 wire going back to the battery and needs a voltmeter to monitor the charging system.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: One wire alternator & idiot light

So there's no way to use the idiot light?
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: One wire alternator & idiot light

I found this diagram on a web site, which don't make any sence to me, since the Number 1 and 2 connections are arttached to each other. Anyway, I tried it and it didn't work.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: One wire alternator & idiot light

#1 on that alt goes to the light. The other wire on the alt light goes to +12 volts switched. It works because #1 is grounded when not charging so when you turn on the key you get #1 ground and +12 switched from the key. When you crank up #1 is energized so you have voltage on both sides and the light goes out.
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: One wire alternator & idiot light

I drew a little diagram here, to make sure I understand what you are saying. Is this what you are talking about?
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: One wire alternator & idiot light

That is supposed to work from what I have seen on doing the conversion. I was going to convert my mustang but I got a great deal from a friend on a standard alternator.

You must have a 2 wire bulb socket and the bulb socket should not be grounded in the instrument panel(they are generally plastic). I would temp this and test it to be sure before doing a permanent wiring job on it.

Technically an alternator with the bat lead and the 1 and 2 terminals is called a 3 wire but it will also run in 1 wire mode with a jumper.

Gm drawing but the same. #2 terminal wire is jumpered to bat on yours I would presume?
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: One wire alternator & idiot light

I do have a 2-wire bulb socket on the generator light, and the socket is plastic. I do not have anything connected to the No. 1 or No. 2 terminals. There is a rubber plug covering them. I have had the plug off, and did some experimenting, with no success. I only have 1 wire connected to my alternator. I will try this method that you have described tomorrow. I will let you know what happens. Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: One wire alternator & idiot light

I tried this method and this is the problem. When this is connected like the diagram that you posted, there is power from the Number 1 terminal on the alternator, so the light is on even if the key is off. When you turn the key on the light then goes out. I don't understand why it goes out, but the light can't stay on with the key off. This is similar to the method that I found earlier, which I have attached to this post. What I don't understand about my situation is that the number 1 and 2 terminals are the same. There are 2 blades, numbered 1 and 2, to plug into, but you can see that these are in one piece, so it's the same connection. I think I will just connect a voltmeter to the system to monitor voltage.
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