Jack Worstell

1937 Special Alternator

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We would like to put an alternator in a 1937 Special.    Any tips ?   Anyone tried a Delco Remy  10Si

   or  a  CS 121  or a  CS 130 ?      Any problems mounting the alternator ?

 

Photos ?

 

Thanks  Jack Worstell       jlwmaster@aol.com

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Hi Jack,

 

Please do not take this the wrong way. but you do know your Buick is 6 volt unless it has been modified.  I noticed you were asking about the factory radio also, so I kinda figured the car was still 6 volt.  If it is 12 volt you will have some issues with the radio.  If that is the case, be very careful with how you get it working on a 12 volt system.  The radio will not like higher voltage and a simple resistor conversion will not work very well as the voltage will change with the music and volume. Please be cautious and good luck.

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Jack,

 

The previous owner installed a 6 volt alternator on my Century. At one time I remember seeing the tag that identified who did the conversion but I don't recall what company it was.  A quick Google search shows this vendor http://store.alternatorparts.com/7127m-6volt-35amp-10si-series-self-exciting-alternator.aspx.  I think that this alternator is the same or similar to the one that is on my car. The only thing required to mount it, appears to be a small easily fabricated bracket. I can probably get you a photo of it if you need it. 

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Just a clarification......the intent is to keep the car  6V.     The   Delco Remy 10Si  and CS 121 ( and probably the CS 130 )  alternators are available in  6V versions.   No doubt there are also other 6V alternators  I would guess.

 

Matt yes...I would appreciate  photos.      You have a 320 engine and we have the 248  but I doubt this would make much difference so far as the mounting arrrangment.

 

Jack Worstell        jlwmaster@aol.com

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The website that carries that 6V alternator also sells the adapter so you can mount it properly 

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Thanks for the clarification Jack.  Just a question for info...  Why do you want an alternator instead of a factory generator?  Is it just for the higher output or is there some other reason?  I am a bit of a purest and it would really bother me to see a modern alternator in a vintage engine bay.  Just me, but I am curious.

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Robin....the car came with a radio and a heater.       We have added an overdrive ( via Lloyd Young )   driving lights     fog lights     back-up lights   and turn signals.

So the 27 amp generator is now borderline.   

We don't like to depart from originality ......but still we want to enjoy driving the car.

 

Jack

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Hi Jack,

 

I understand the need for the higher output with that nubber of accessories.  My 37 has the heater and radio but no driving lights.  My dad drove it daily for college in the late 40's through the early 50's without any charging problems. He may have just got lucky. I am leaving mine stock except adding turn signals. We will see how that works out.

  Making the car a reliable driver will definately make it more fun to drive.  Nothing is worse than breaking down when away from home. Even if it is just a dead battery.

 

Have Fun!!!!!!

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Jack,

Just to jump in here, there is a place on the "net" that sells a 6 volt alternator that LOOKS like a generator.

It is quite pricy, but you would have the best of both worlds.

It is called a GenerNator (?) and is 6 volts / 50 amps from Summit Racing @ approx. $400.00.

e-bay maybe a bit less.

 

Like we say out west, shoot - shovel - shut up.

 

Mike in Colorado

Edited by FLYER15015 (see edit history)

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Hi Mike!

Is the alternator made by summit just for the Ford Model "A" ?   I think it's positive ground ....  but it does look much more authentic!  Maybe it can be ordered in negative ground??

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Maybe someone can help.    It seems to me that PowerGen    and Gener Nator  are not the same thing.    

 

  PowerGen  units look like generators but for any specfic application are usually  not quite the same  dimensions ( and may differ in other details )  as  "original".

 Price   about $350 to $450.        Come in 6V and 12V     and PG or NG.  There are about 8 different models of PowerGen   ( if 6v/12V  and PG/NG permutations are ignored )

 

Gener-Nator units are built using the same housing as "original"   and thus all external dimensions are  the same.  So these would be more so "custom" than  PowerGen units

These come in 6V and 12V     and PG as well as  NG.   Not sure about the price but I think much more than PowerGen  and maybe pushing $1000.    These..... since they use original housings........ are true "bolt-in"        Because original housings are used I guess you could say there are hundreds of different models

 

Can anyone confirm this ?

 

Jack Worstell       jlwmaster@aol.com

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I installed a 6V alternator in my 1938 Special because I converted to 6V halogen head and tail lights and driving lights which draw over 30A by themselves. I purchased my alternator and adaptor bracket from Howard Enterprises and got it pre-painted in black so it would be a bit more unobtrusive. You can specify the proper 5/8” pulley for our belt width. I think mine cost about $150 plus the bracket.

 

The alternator is rated for 75A and >30A at idle and performs great.  However I am not sure if the 1937 Special engine had the generator mounted the same as my 1938, but mine attaches to the block via a high mounted bracket with the slotted adjustment support mounted to the lower timing cover.  This required modification of the adaptor bracket, drilling another lower mounting hole in the slotted bracket to shorten it and using a different belt length.  

 

Once I got it mounted I had just barely enough adjustment distance on the slotted bracket with about 3/8” space to spare between the tip of the bracket and the body (see attached photo). So far the engine does not move enough on its mounts for the bracket to hit the body but my mounts have been refurbished.

 

This alternator is a single wire type and I also changed the feed wire from the alternator to the ammeter to a 12AWG size and added a 12AWG ground wire from the alternator bracket to the body.  I get 7.2-7.6V at the battery depending on load even at idle. 

 

Steve D

20161006_101807.jpg

IMG_2925.JPG

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Steve and Matt     Thanks for your photos of alternator installations......a big help.

 

We would like to install  a   Gener-Nator  unit but from what I hear these things are really expensive.       But maybe a  PowerGen   ??........still about $400

 

But for now we are thinking about a   6V   Delco Remy  CS 121....these are about 1" smaller diameter than a 6V  Delco Remy 10Si. .......   It should be easier to mount the CS 121

(   so far as I know the CS 121  and the   10Si   are the only commercially available alternators that can be converted to 6V   either  PG or NG  )

 

Jack

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I don't think I"ll ever catch ya Ben, but thanks anyway.

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If you are going to go to a 6 volt alternator, get a '3-wire' system.  The single wire alternator will produce 7.2 v  "at the alternator".   Then it begins to loose voltage as the power goes thru all the bad joints and grounds.    With the 3 wire system, you need to take the 'sensing' wire  to a point behind the dash.  Preferable point is around the ignition switch.    If you are fortunate enough to have the old 4 wire regulator, it has a wire that is labeled "ignition".  That lets you sense voltage further up stream.  The one of best point is the  clock power wire.  Since you are not drawing power, it does not effect the clock.   Check your electrical wiring diagram for points accessible  behind the dash.

 

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I’ve put a Powermaster 150amp alternator on my 40 Special and 52 Ford F1. Both 12v, had to fab a bit. Didn’t know how to hook up amp gauge 

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When you hook up the output lead from the alternator, you hook it to the wire you send to the amp gage - which then goes to the battery.    The wire from the amp gage goes to the battery.  Look at your wiring diagram.   Did you change the size of the wire from the generator to the regulator?   Mine was a #10 gage.   That passes a lot of current at 12 volts.    If you just ran a new wire from the alternator to the regulator, and used the regulator as a joint between the alternator and the amp gage and to the battery, that works nicely.   Then your amp gage works.    I put a 90A alternator on my Special for running my A/C.    IF you don't want to use that regulator point to run the output from the alternator,  I would cut off the wire that goes to the amp gage and attach the output from the alt. to it directly.   Solder the joint and heat shrink the joint with a double cover for protection.  I removed my regulator as it did nothing in the new system.    This way you send power to the amp gate and then on to the battery.   The original wiring had a soldered joint from the regulator on to both the horn circuit and  on to the battery.   So, having a soldered joint that connects two #10 gage wires is normal.   If that is confusing, let me know.   What year is your Special a '38'.  I have both a 37 and a 38 special.  Service manuals for both.    Your service manual will have a wiring diagram showing what goes where.   I like the 12 volt system.   Every thing is brighter.   Head lights, tail lights and even the dash lights (altho only marginally).   It overcomes some of the bad grounds a bit.   Still, chase the grounds and clean them up first.

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Jack,   I saw a 6 volt alternator that was painted black and on a '35' Buick.  I had to do a double take as I thought is was an 6 volt generator.   You can buy 6 volt alternators.    I would get a 3 wire alt.  10 SI  unit.  That puts out around 35A at idle and 70 A at full rpm.   Those cost around $160  to  $175.   If you trying to be original for some show, then "Generator" will cost you big bucks ($300 to over $450 ) to look original.   Otherwise, these regulator alternators painted black look good.   If you need more power,  then going to a 12 SI  alternator is the path. See my earlier post on this.

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My Powermasters came with a tag showing output at idle at 80 amps. Max 150.I wired the entire car myself knowing I would use no regulator.I didn’t go through the VR or amp gauge because it’s internally regulated and I figured 80 amps would fry them. Didn’t want to put a shunt in. A standard battery cable with terminals on both ends connect the alternator directly to the battery.A local instrument rebuilder is looking at a couple spare 1940 amp gauges I have to see if he can modify it to look and function as a voltmeter. We’ll see.

Edited by RiKi5156B
Change text (see edit history)

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