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Old 12-29-2009, 08:34 PM
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Cool Alternator that looks like a Generator - Help

I need some help from those that might just happen to know of a company I havent heard of nor found in my searches.

I would really like to convert my 56 Fairlane to a 12 Volt Neg ground alterator. Drawback is since its a restoration I want the alternator to be in a stock looking generator housing.

The follow places are those that I already know about and are no go's.

Powermaster. Their Power-Gen alternators that look like generators are nice but they are one wire. Which means I would have to splice in my reproduction factory harness to get the Gen light on the dashboard to work. Like wise its a one wire alternator which means got to spin the alternator fast enough before it will start charging, not to mention it only senses voltage at the regulator at the alternator and not remotely which means theres a possibility of having 11 volts or less after the junction box (or in this cars case after the female bullet connector terminal). So this company is out.

I was told by Powermaster in a email about this other company called Gener-Nator which has been shown and a video about it on Jay leno`s garage. They use the orignal generator housing to put in new alternator guts. Jay leno bragged about how you use the exsisting factory wiring that hooks up and works like factory. Well after a email to Don of Gener-Nator, I found out that this is basically the same unit that Powermaster is selling under the Power-Gen name. It is a 1 wire alternator itself and the external regulator and factory wiring that hooks up to it is for the most part dummy wires only one wire is real and it goes to the battery. This company is out because as I stated above I dont want a inferior 1 wire alternator as a conversion. For those that think their great good for you but I just want it to work like the factory generator just be an alternator.



So if anyone out there knows of a company that sell or convert old generators to be alternators and most importantly be able to custom convert them to an external regulated alternator guts where it would hook up to a external regulator and work just like stock let me know.
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1978 Mercury Cougar XR7 - 351W V8 2V - FMX
1982 Ford F150 - 302 V8 2V - C6
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Old 12-30-2009, 06:49 AM
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Here it is: GenerNator high amp classic car alternator built inside generator
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:57 AM
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as Rusty said, this is a one wire setup, and will not work with the wiring in his car.

Rusty, how about talking to an alternator rebuilding service to see if they can custom build something for you??

there is a rebuilder up the road from me that can build just about anything.
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Old 12-30-2009, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by tjc transport View Post
as Rusty said, this is a one wire setup, and will not work with the wiring in his car.

Rusty, how about talking to an alternator rebuilding service to see if they can custom build something for you??

there is a rebuilder up the road from me that can build just about anything.
I am thinking about that, there is a old generator/alternator/starter repair shop around here but hes not going to be open till Jan. I will call them then, how ever I did get a reply from Gener-Nator and he said that it would be best to talk on the phone that he could explain better so I will give him a call maybe I am misunderstanding. Maybe its a one wire but all the wires hook up just the regulator wires dont work since its internally regulated but I shall see.

But thanks for the replies though.
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1963 Chevrolet Belair - 283 V8 4V - Powerglide
1978 Mercury Cougar XR7 - 351W V8 2V - FMX
1982 Ford F150 - 302 V8 2V - C6
1988 Ford Escort GT - 1.9L EFI HO - 5spd Manual (Found a good home)
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Old 12-31-2009, 06:43 PM
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Nevermind. I just found out that I was under the wrong assumption. The major reason I was wanting to switch from generator to alternator was I was under the impression that they needed to be rebuilt on a almost monthly basis. I asked my relative who I was orignally told and they said I misunderstood. That they can go many months without a rebuild and that the generator on my 56 was rebuilt only 2 or 3 times in the life of the car when it was being drove daily from 56 - 86.

So I am probably going to keep the generator that is if I can verify if it will be enough to power the lowly optioned car with a upgraded radio. The car doesnt have much electrical stuff on it just back up lights and a am radio and heater. I was thinking bout having the radio rebuilt and have modern AM/FM guts installed in the old housing by this guy in Flordia that does that. I dont know if the stock generator would be able to provide the amperage for that. I know the radio he claims will put out 220 watts. But in any case it looks like I am sticking with the generator still for now. But I will check with local shops to see if they could rebuild it with alternator guts inside using a externally regulated alterator as a donor so I can maintain the stock wiring and stock external regulator.
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1956 Ford Fairlane Town Sedan - 292 Y8 4V - Ford-O-Matic
1963 Chevrolet Belair - 283 V8 4V - Powerglide
1978 Mercury Cougar XR7 - 351W V8 2V - FMX
1982 Ford F150 - 302 V8 2V - C6
1988 Ford Escort GT - 1.9L EFI HO - 5spd Manual (Found a good home)
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:03 PM
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i think you should be able to get away with a generator set for higher amperage. the 56 T-Bird at the body shop has a 312 in it with a generator, and it has power windows and seats and never had any problems. and that generator has only been rebuilt once.
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:44 PM
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I do not think you will have a problem with the generator. I would put quick disconnects/marine terminals so if you use a battery tender, it does not mess up something in the car/generator. I am not sure older generators had zener diodes.
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Old 01-01-2010, 01:56 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I will have to figure out which amperage this one is. It wouldnt hurt to get a rebuilt one that has higher amperage for the year. I know theres was a heavy duty one. From macs they have a 30 amp one for 56-59 so I assume the 30 amp one is the standard one. The heavy duty one is a 40 Amp used on the 312 and 368 with A/C. Theres also a 35 amp generator as well listed for 56 - 59. I could always upgrade to that but then again what is 5 - 10 amps to be honest. I dont think I would really see a difference with a generator putting out 5 or 10 amps more.

On the charging issue if I have to charge the battery up I always remove the terminals and connect directly to the battery but I dont like letting any of my vehicles sit for more than a week without being runned and drove a good 40 miles at least.

I found a formula to figure out how many amps you need for an alternator I was just curious to see what would be needed. I dont know if its right but it basically says

Max vehicle amp load and says its typically 40% of the alternator output + 50% of the Amps/Hr of the battery + amperage added that isnt factory. So I came up with the following

40% of stock generator comes out to 12 Amps, 50% of 55 Amps Hr comes out to 27.5 Amps + 20 Amps (stock radio is 5 amps and my 220 watt aftermarket radio is 25 amps so I figure a am/fm guts installed in the stock would be 25 Amps itself so thats 20 Amps more than stock)

12 Amps + 27.5 Amps + 20 Amps = 59.5 Amps. Might as well say 60 Amps is needed. But even if you dont figure in the 20 extra amps its still 39.40 Amps. I cant remember how to figure up amperage for all the circuits I am trying to find that then I will figure up the amperage in fuses and see what the real Amp requirement for everything is.

If I am doing this correct I come up with the following

Headlights, Tail lights, stop Lights, and Instrument Panel = 12 Amps
Heater Blower = 14 Amps
Dome, Map, and Courtesy Lighs = 7.5 Amps
Radio = 5 Amps
Turn Indicators = 7.5 Amps
Clock = 1 Amp

So with every last thing turned on listed above I come up with 47 Amps total. But considering At the most I would have the headlights on, the heater, the radio, the turn signals and the clock is always on and that comes out to 32 Amps total. But the fuses isnt a good way to figure up the amperage the components are using thats the max amps it can use so basically I should be safe. If not then I will just have to look at getting a 40 amp generator.

Figuring in 50% amperage use compared to the fuse (the circuits cant use more than the fuse so they have to be 50% - 75% of the fuse rating) I come up with 23.5 Amps for all the fuses listed above at 50% and 35 1/4 Amp at 75%. I am not 100% sure but I am thinking the circuits are using 50% - 60% of the fuse rating. But this is all guess work. Oh well guess I shouldnt really worry bout it. The generator has to put out more amps than what the car uses otherwise it wouldnt have been drove up to 86.
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1956 Ford Fairlane Town Sedan - 292 Y8 4V - Ford-O-Matic
1963 Chevrolet Belair - 283 V8 4V - Powerglide
1978 Mercury Cougar XR7 - 351W V8 2V - FMX
1982 Ford F150 - 302 V8 2V - C6
1988 Ford Escort GT - 1.9L EFI HO - 5spd Manual (Found a good home)
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Old 01-01-2010, 07:45 AM
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first off, the radio is not 220 watts unless it is full volume. so it will only pull 5-10 amps. the turn signals and brake lights will only pull power when on.
same with the blower motor, and dome courtesy and map lights.
i will say normal driving power consumption is only going to be around 15 amps, so a 30-35 amp generator will do fine.
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Old 01-01-2010, 01:37 PM
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The real downside to a generator is that their power output is extremely proportional to the engine speed- IE if you go to a cruise night, and are idling up and down the strip with your headlights and radio on, you may wind up with a dead battery. Easy solution is to turn the radio down and use your running lights only. Other than that, a properly maintained generator is ok. Just make sure to replace the brushes BEFORE they wear out, and to keep oil in the cups.
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:23 PM
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The real downside to a generator is that their power output is extremely proportional to the engine speed- IE if you go to a cruise night, and are idling up and down the strip with your headlights and radio on, you may wind up with a dead battery. Easy solution is to turn the radio down and use your running lights only. Other than that, a properly maintained generator is ok. Just make sure to replace the brushes BEFORE they wear out, and to keep oil in the cups.
When I go cruising in my 78 I dont drive her slow. I typically keep speeds around 40 mph. The 56 would be the same way she would always be atleast 35 mph when driving. As far as the radio goes if I keep the oem stock AM without upgrading the guts the radio will probably never be on or if it is the volume will be low.

On the generators though did they have ball bearing support bearings? Reason I ask is because advance autoparts locally sells true ball bearing generator support bearings.
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1956 Ford Fairlane Town Sedan - 292 Y8 4V - Ford-O-Matic
1963 Chevrolet Belair - 283 V8 4V - Powerglide
1978 Mercury Cougar XR7 - 351W V8 2V - FMX
1982 Ford F150 - 302 V8 2V - C6
1988 Ford Escort GT - 1.9L EFI HO - 5spd Manual (Found a good home)
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Old 01-01-2010, 07:06 PM
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You could cut down on some of the load by using LED replacements where possible, especially the rear lamps and dome light. I have no idea what your car uses, but, if it is a 1156,1157,194 bulb they do offer those.

One thing you might want to check out and maybe replace is the external voltage regulator if you have the older ones with an open back and spring/arms. Best how I can describe it.
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:05 PM
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You could cut down on some of the load by using LED replacements where possible, especially the rear lamps and dome light. I have no idea what your car uses, but, if it is a 1156,1157,194 bulb they do offer those.

One thing you might want to check out and maybe replace is the external voltage regulator if you have the older ones with an open back and spring/arms. Best how I can describe it.

For the bulbs my owners manual lists the following bulbs

Headlights - 5400
Backup - 1073
Parking and Front Turn Indicator - 1034
Parking and Rear Turn Indicator - 1034
Dome - 1003
License Plate - 67
Map and Courtesy - 67
Fordomatic Drive Selector Dial - 67
Luggage Compartment - 67
Instrument Panel - 57

As far as for modern bulb numbers these are the follow that I know of for sure.

Headlights - 6014 (only one I found that is a non halogen bulb)
Backup - 1073
Parking and Front Turn Indicator - 1034
Parking and Rear Turn Indicator - 1034
Dome - 1003
License Plate - 67
Map and Courtesy -
Fordomatic Drive Selector Dial -
Luggage Compartment - 89
Instrument Panel - 57

So it basically appears to be the same numbers for the most part in 1956 as they are today.

Only thing though is I tried some LED bulbs on my 63 that plug into the oem socket and with the lens on they were considerably dimmer than the convential bulb. Now I dont know if all LED bulbs like that will be that way. The one I had was from Autozone or Walmart I belive. But I would consider giving LED bulbs a second chance.
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1963 Chevrolet Belair - 283 V8 4V - Powerglide
1978 Mercury Cougar XR7 - 351W V8 2V - FMX
1982 Ford F150 - 302 V8 2V - C6
1988 Ford Escort GT - 1.9L EFI HO - 5spd Manual (Found a good home)
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:06 PM
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The LED bulbs now are pretty bright, probably more so then the filament bulbs, though they run much cooler and draw less amps. Plus, they have the electronics built into the bulb now. I do not recognise 1/2 those numbers, I think they have been superceded by newer numbers. If I had to guess what the real changes were, it would be the newer ones have the locking tabs AND are brighter then the older numbers. Which is why I think sometimes older plastic lens melt when you use the newer bulbs.


Ebay search with "led bulb 1034" came back with 134 hits, such as

1157 Blue 31 LED Light Bulb Turn Signal 2357 1034 7528:eBay Motors (item 120511132751 end time Jan-03-10 23:00:00 PST)
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:17 PM
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1964 ford generator

check out this generator on cl
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:17 PM
 
 
 
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