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Generator to Alternator conversion on 64½ Mustang

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SixCylinderMike
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Generator to Alternator conversion on 64½ Mustang

Post #1 by SixCylinderMike » Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:25 pm

Hi all,

The time has come for an electrical upgrade for my Mustang, after one of the brushes in my generator somehow managed to wiggle just enough out of its housing to short out (I've no idea how, it's only done a few k miles since I had the whole thing professionally rebuilt). The wiring from battery to reg to genny overheated and melted / burned all the insulation. I managed go get myself out of the car and disconnect the battery before anything worse happened.

I had been considering buying an aftermarket AC kit, which comes with a compressor bracket for an alternator, but not a generator, so I have decided to make both changes (alternator conversion and adding AC) at the same time. Here's the AC kit that I bought: https://www.classicautoair.com/shop/1964-ford-mustang-air-conditioning-system/

I have some questions that I'm hoping you all can help me with.

1. Bracket for compressor / alternator

The kit comes with a bracket that is advertised for Ford small block sixes from 64-81. In the Mustang at least, the 64½ is the only year that still had a generator. The generator bracket fits to the passenger side of the block with 2 bolts that are ~2.75" apart. The alternator bracket on the 65 and onward fits to the front one of these holes, and to a hole on the side of the timing cover about 2" further forward. My timing cover has no such bolt hole.

The bracket they are sending me has all three holes; the left one and middle one line up with the holes for the generator bracket, and the right one lines up with the additional hole that would be in the timing cover.

My question is this: will the bracket be sufficiently held by only those bolts that line up with the generator bracket holes? Or do I need to track down an appropriate timing cover from a 65 (or newer) engine?

2. Does anyone have any suggestions for what to look for in an alternator? I'm not running much electrical right now, but I will be adding the AC and I may upgrade the stereo at some point in the future. I would love for the GEN light on the dash to still do something useful, but I have no particular desire to have a separate voltage regulator if there's no practical benefit to one.

3. Any particular tips for wiring changes I'll need to make? Obviously I need to completely replace the wiring harness that burned out, but the rest of the electrics had been working before the genny blew up. Do you think I need to be swapping out all the rest of the electrics for 'alternator style' components?

Thanks everyone!
1964½ Mustang
170ci inline 6, stock 3-speed manual

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wsa111
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Re: Generator to Alternator conversion on 64½ Mustang

Post #2 by wsa111 » Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:30 pm

Welcome aboard Mike.
One of our experts will help you on this conversion.
67 mustang,C-4, with mod. 80 hd, custom 500 cfm carb with annular boosters, hooker headers, dual exh.-X pipe, flowmaster mufflers, DSII dist. MSD-6425CL & MSD-Blaster 8252 Coil. Engine 205" .030" over with offset ground crank & 1.65 roller rockers. 9.5 comp., Isky 262 cam.
2003 Ford Lightning daily driver. Recurving Distributors. billythedistributorman@live.com
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bmbm40
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Re: Generator to Alternator conversion on 64½ Mustang

Post #3 by bmbm40 » Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:46 pm

Not a good generator story and the burnt wiring but as you know the alt is better. Good luck I am looking forward to following your progress.
66 Bronco-1970 250, NV3550, DSII, 4 turn ps, uncut, 1" bl, 2.5" sl, front disc, twin stick D 20, 30 x 9.50
NEXT- direct mount 2v, power brakes, rear LS, 3G, electric fan, electric upgrades, custom curved DSII, header, 31" tires

New guy? Get the Falcon Performance Handbook and Ford six high performance parts from https://vintageinlines.com

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bubba22349
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Re: Generator to Alternator conversion on 64½ Mustang

Post #4 by bubba22349 » Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:03 pm

I don't know what bracket they will be sending you but usally on the older aftermarket and the old dealer installed AC systems had their own seperate engine mounting bracket were the compressor is mounted on passenger side top of engine.

Here is what the the Generator to Alternator conversion mounting bracket and belt adjuster arm would look like. https://www.falconparts.com/ford-falcon ... 24p157.htm

For the Alternator you can use one of the first generation alternators used in 1965 to the early 80's Ford Six'es and V8's. I have used all versions but mostly used the latest models with the largest factory amp output ones I even use to have some custom built at my local alternator rebuilder into 90 amp output externally they all look the same. This is what the 1st gen. Alternators look like. https://www.falconparts.com/ford-falcon ... -p6820.htm

Some people are even upgrading now to the 3rd generation alternators. I have done this swap many times using the above 1st gen. alternators. I haven't yet done the 3rd generation Alernator swap, but severial site members have and can maybe of help if you want to go that direction.

To wire the first generation alternators is basically plug and play here is the correct stock type Alernator wearing harness.
These 1st generation Alernators are easily found at most auto parts stores in new and rebuilt units. https://www.falconparts.com/ford-falcon ... 03p762.htm

This is a stock type alternator voltage regulator that plugs right into the above stock type alternator wire harness this is a listing for a 1977 Ford Maverick with a 250 (4.1) six the part number is the same for many years band models. https://www.napaonline.com/en/search?q= ... ified=true

As you can see they come in the mechacnical or electronic type replacements, both work well, for most of my project cars I have been using the electronics type for many years as they are smaller and lighter. These are easyly found at most auto parts stores or online.

Just remove all the generator parts its wiring harness and the voltage regulator. Install the alternator engine brackets and the Alernator, hook up the new wire harness to the new alternator and the new alternators voltage regulator and the job is done.

This same company offers a 1st gen. one wire alternator conversion kit here. https://www.falconparts.com/ford-falcon ... -p1013.htm

Used with a single alternator output wire like this it eliminates that above stock type wire harness for nice clean install, so far I haven't used this type yet but may try it on my next project. https://www.falconparts.com/ford-falcon ... -p6867.htm

Best of luck :thumbup: :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am hunting for a cheap project car to build up. My Ex-Fleet of Sixes sadly these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Generator to Alternator conversion on 64½ Mustang

Post #5 by B RON CO » Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:05 pm

Hi, I put a Vintage air system in my 66 Mustang, 289 engine, but some of the things I learned are: be ready to do some things that are not spelled out in the installation book. Like the sheet metal screws to put the heater box in, top of the box to the cowl, the ones in the kit were not long enough, I used double sided tape to put the vents on the bottom of the dash instead of drilling and the on compressor bracket I needed to hog out 1 bolt hole out of three to get the bolts to line up. And they give you a good assortment of spacers and washers to fine tune the pulley alignment.
So hopefully you will get a bracket that will mount the alternator under and the compressor over. I would wait until you get the new bracket before you worry about the timing cover because maybe all you will need is a longer bolt and a spacer to get it mounted. This compressor and bracket will put a big load on the engine block so make sure it is solid.
One more thing is most of the modern replacement alternators are 65 amp, the biggest, and you don't want a 35 amp replacement. You should also use the later electronic voltage regulator, rather then the older mechanical voltage regulator, both regulators use the same plug. A good Ford electronic voltage regulator just might last forever. Good luck
B RON CO. Still workin' on it!

1933 Ford Pickup - 59A Flathead V8
1966 Ford Bronco - U14 - 170/200 Straight 6
1966 Ford Mustang - 289 V8

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SixCylinderMike
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Re: Generator to Alternator conversion on 64½ Mustang

Post #6 by SixCylinderMike » Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:21 pm

Thanks for the good advice, everyone. I'll let you know what I go with when I buy the components.

I'm just thinking a couple of steps ahead now to installing the AC, and specifically what I should be doing to the coolant system at the same time. I need to drain the system before I install the alternator (one of the bolts for the bracket is behind the fan pulley and too long to get out without removing the fan and radiator), and I figured I wouldn't flush the system right away so that the residual antifreeze continues to protect the system from corrosion for the time (probably a couple of weeks) that I'm working on it. I'll then flush the system right before I start adding the new hoses and heater etc.

I'm just wondering if I should plan to replace the water pump and thermostat at the same time? I suspect they're still the original components, but they work fine (as far as I know), so is it worth swapping the out while the system is dry, or is there no point?
1964½ Mustang
170ci inline 6, stock 3-speed manual

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bubba22349
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Re: Generator to Alternator conversion on 64½ Mustang

Post #7 by bubba22349 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:24 pm

Check for any bearing play in the water pump if there is any I would replace it since the AC will also be adding to its load. If there's not any play then I don't see any harm in leaving them until they need to be changed. Good luck :thumbup: :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am hunting for a cheap project car to build up. My Ex-Fleet of Sixes sadly these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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SixCylinderMike
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Re: Generator to Alternator conversion on 64½ Mustang

Post #8 by SixCylinderMike » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:27 pm

Progress! Here's an update, and a follow up question.

First off, I decided to go with a one-wire alternator setup. I figured since I'm ripping out the fried harness anyway and upgrading everything, why install a legacy system with an external regulator? I bought the Tuff 7068 alternator (which has plenty of amps for current and future needs), and I have assorted wiring (of the appropriate gauges) and connectors en route from the internet.

The short that got me into this situation has me thinking about circuit protection, and I'm keen to install some appropriate breakers or fuses. The question is at which point(s) in the circuit? Some forums recommend a breaker in between the alternator and the +ve terminal of the solenoid, which would protect against the sort of short that caused the initial problem. But what about shorts elsewhere in the system? Shouldn't there also be a master fuse at the +ve terminal of the battery? What do you guys have in your setups?
1964½ Mustang
170ci inline 6, stock 3-speed manual

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