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Chevy Impala

On a 1961 Impala how do you modify the wiring harness from a generator to a modern alternator with a built-in regulator?


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2008-01-12 05:30:42
2008-01-12 05:30:42

Hey Ginger==It is very simple.The alternator has 3 connections. One big one for the hot wire from the battery whivh is hot all of the time. The F terminal needs a wire that has voltage when the ignition is turned on and the L terminal goes to the light on the dash. These three wires are at the regulator and just need a little of checking out to find out which one goes where. GoodluckJoe THE EASIEST WAY IS TO INSTALL WHAT'S CALLED A SELF-EXCITING OR ONE-WIRE ALTERNATOR. THE ARE AVAILABLE AT AUTO PARTS STORES AND ON THE Internet THROUGH RETAILERS AND E-BAY. YOU WILL PROBABLY NEED TO PURCHASE A MOUNTING BRACKET KIT IN ORDER TO ADAPT YOUR NEW ALTERNATOR AS WELL. THE BEAUTY OF THE ONE WIRE IS THAT IT ELIMINATES THE NEED TO FIGURE OUT WHICH WIRES GO WHERE. ALL YOU SIMPLY HAVE TO DO IS RUN A CABLE FROM THE B+ STUD TERMINAL ON THE BACK OF THE ALTERNATOR TO THE BATTERY. THAT'S IT, NO FUSS. ERICK When you convert from the external regulator alternator, you no longer need the regulator that is mounted on the radiator support. You also don't need some of the wiring that is present in the loom. The diagram below shows the original connection at the old regulator. (I'm sorry, but the wire that is colored yellow, is really white)

The next diagram shows how you modify the loom at this location. Notice that the blue wire is jumpered to the brown wire. The white wire and the orange wire are just capped off so that they will not short out to anything. This next diagram shows what you have to do at the new alternator. The wire that goes from the "BATT" terminal to the #2 terminal is a new wire that you will have to add. You can use a 14 gauge wire. The white wire (shown yellow) just gets capped off. You will need a new connector to fit the new alternator and they can be purchased at almost any auto parts shop. Due to my being bothered by the "extra" wire being in the loom, I totally removed the dead white and orange wires. I also wired the brown wire to the alternator directly. It just gets rid of some extra length of wire. The prior paragraph has caused me a lot of e-mail feed back and hopefully the following information will clear it up. In my final wiring configuration, the "brown wire" comes from the alternator indicator light, through the firewall connector, and directly to the alternator. The result is electrically the same as the diagram at the top of the sheet, just cleaner. The diagram above would have the brown wire coming out of the connector at the firewall, going toward where the regulator was, connecting to the blue wire, then the blue wire goes to the alternator. As I said, I cleaned up the wiring (and in the process, dirtied up the wording). In order to ensure good connections, I recommend that you always solder the connections and then use heat shrink tubing to seal it.


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The regulator can be found on the top of the alternator. Remove the wiring harness from the regulator. Remove the retaining screws from the regulator. Reverse the process to install the new regulator.

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Should be in the harness between the voltage regulator and the alternator

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Remove the accessory drive belt. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Disconnect the generator electrical connector. Remove the engine harness terminal from the generator: - Slide the boot back along the cable. - Remove the engine harness cable nut (3). - Remove the engine harness terminal from the stud. Remove the generator bolts and generator. Install the generator. Install the generator bolts. Tighten the generator bolts to 50 N

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The wiring harness from a typical alternator has three wires. One is for grounding, one is from the battery, and the other is from the voltage regulator. In a GM alternator however, there may be two wires or only one wire. It depends on whether you have an external voltage regulator or not, and if the alternator simply grounds itself to the bracket it's attached to. The best way to find out is to trace the wires to their sources.

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