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1-Wire Alternators--Bad idea??

Discussion in '1969-1972 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by ErikH, Oct 11, 2001.

  1. ErikH

    ErikH 1/2 ton status

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    I need to replace my existing alternator, so I called a shop here in Orange County that specializes in building alternators/genators for all types of vehicles, even commercial trucks. He highly advised AGAINST the 1-wire alternators (especially the high-output ones) for a whole host of reasons.

    For true reliability he recommended that I stick to an internally regulated factory-style alternator that puts out 75-80 amps AT MOST. For cost savings, he even recommended that I buy one from an autoparts store instead of buying a "custom" one from him (even though I told him I was willing to pay more.)

    So, I'm looking for any opinions or experiences that might contradict this guys rec's. He sounded honest and wasn't trying to sell me anything. I'm stumped.
     
  2. arq

    arq 1/2 ton status

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    ask yourself this question, do you really need 140 amps?

    I converted over to an internal regulator alternator about 1yr ago, no problems yet. I had a camaro for about 3yrs, never changed the alternator in that time. I did buy the new,not rebuilt alternators, though.

    ARQ.

    offroad baja!!!
    72 4x4 CST Blazer
    71 4x4 CST Blazer
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/ArqDennis>My Pics</a>
     
  3. JoshA

    JoshA 1/2 ton status

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    I switched to an internally regulated alternator when I first got my blazer a few years ago and have had no problems. an alternator takes about 5 minutes to change and can be done in the parking lot of the auto parts store if necessary, so I bought the cheap autozone lifetime warranty one. I don't ever plan on selling my blazer, so I'll definately come out on top on this one. besides, its been in for almost 3yrs and still running strong.

    -Josh

    '72 blazer 9" lift YOKO mudders 35x12.50 350/sm465/3.73 UTAH
     
  4. chevyracing

    chevyracing 1/2 ton status

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    I want to change to an internal reg alt. Does anyone have a write up on the directions?

    John

    Like to go sloppin' 'round in da mud in a rapid fashion....=) [​IMG]
     
  5. BobK

    BobK 1/2 ton status

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    The stock GM alt.'s are great for stock applications.If you don't have any high amp drawing accessories.Once you start adding winches,H/O ignition systems,powerful stereo's and amps,fog lights or offroading lights you may be drawing more juice than the stock alt can supply,especially at idle speeds.
    The early GM 72-89 internally regulated models work excellent and are very reliable and as stated are easily swapped out if something does go wrong.The newer "CS-130" models have trouble with excessive heat due to poor ventilation and burn up freaquntly.I have one in my wifes Chevy Lumina van ,a and it's burnt out twice in the last 3 years.The last time,I rebuilt it using the "Iceberg" alt. kit.It includes a better designed case with better ventilation and a larger bearing.Hopfully this will cure the model flaws.
    In my blazer I have put TPI fuel injection,50 Watt driving lights,dual electric 14" cooling fans,a winch and a mild stereo.I had one of the early model internally regulated H/O 100 amp alt.that worked fine untill I added the dual electric fans.This pushed the charging limits of that alt so I went with a 1 wire,140 amp unit from Summit Racing.Very simple install and mounts with the same bracketry.No problems with it so far but it's only been about 3 months since it was installed.I have not heard of any problems though.
    To sum up.If your truck is basically stock stick with the stock alt.But if your power demands are higher I have no problems recommending a high amp,1 wire alternator.

    <font color=green>BobK<font color=green>
     
  6. Tommy

    Tommy 1/2 ton status

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    I can't understand any reason not to use a one wire. I have had one for about 4-5 years, has provided plenty of amps, and good service. It is simple to install, works fine, why not a one wire???

    Drive it Like You Hate It!
     
  7. ErikH

    ErikH 1/2 ton status

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    The man's reasoning was based on that 1-wire alts don't charge unless engine RPM is over 1800, which means they don't charge at idle.

    Additionally, hi-amp alts (over 100-amps) have an extremely short duty cycle becaused they'd melt themselves otherwise. Once again, you're battery isn't recharging most of the time with a hi-amp alternator. He said you'd need a commercial-grade 65lb alternator to faithfully produce 120 amps.

    Further, and most importantly in his mind, is that one-wire alternators aren't found at most autoparts stores, which means an emergency replacement would be nearly impossible to find.

    For these reasons, I'm converting my externally regulated alternator to a 2-wire 70-amp alternator. I'm moving it to the passenger side of the engine... just salvaged the brackets and pullies today... along with the parts to convert to power steering.
     
  8. Tommy

    Tommy 1/2 ton status

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    That info is not correct! I watched mine operate, it does not start charging until the RPM rises above about 1500 on mine, but once it energizes the internal regulator it continues to charge even at idle. Not starting a flame, just want the right info out. I have no charging problems awith mine even idling around. Mine usually energizes while trying to warm it up revving the motor.

    Drive it Like You Hate It!
     
  9. ErikH

    ErikH 1/2 ton status

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    Ahhh... This is the sort of info I'm looking for. What alternator do you have and what's its output? What about radio interference? I still like the simplicity of the single-wire alternator...
     
  10. Tommy

    Tommy 1/2 ton status

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    Mine is a chrome 90amp, I bought it secondhand, but I think it came from summit. I have had no problems with interference. Good luck, Tommy

    Drive it Like You Hate It!
     
  11. BobK

    BobK 1/2 ton status

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    I got mine from Summit Racing <a target="_blank" href=http://store.summitracing.com/default.asp?target=search.asp%3FType%3Dbysummitpart%26Part%3Dsum-g1669%26Search.x%3D1%26SearchType%3DBoth>http://store.summitracing.com/default.asp?target=search.asp%3FType%3Dbysummitpart%26Part%3Dsum-g1669%26Search.x%3D1%26SearchType%3DBoth</a>,a little expensive at $169.99.140 amps.All I did was run a 2 gauge welding cable(overkill I know)from the back of the new alt to the battery.You could use 6-10 gauge wire if you want.Insall was straight forward.Just tape off the existing wires.All gauges work the same,no problems.Good luck!

    <font color=green>BobK<font color=green>
     

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