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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I searched all day, but didn`t find the answer I was looking for. Is there any reason why a 1 wire alternator can`t be used on my truck? I have a short somewhere in the part of the harness that connects to the alternator. Sure I could take the time and rewire it, but I would rather use a 1 wire setup. I know that they have drawbacks compared to a 3 wire, but is it bad enough to keep it from being practical? My charging system doesnt work at all, so anything is bound to be an improvement. Will it keep the battery charged? What amperage do I need? Thanks guys.
 
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I would say no it will not work cause if you use that 1 wire alt, theres nothing to regulate your voltage coming out of you alt and you could blow a fuse or something if it was to generate more that 12 volts, unless they come with a built in voltage regulator then it might work...

your alt with 3 wires is important...

read this, http://ramchargercentral.com/electrical/understanding-the-dodge-charging-system/

it will help you under stand the charging system, also Joe has a good diagram in there...
 

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I don't know exactly what truck you're running but it'll work. I have a '91 250 conversion van and it came with a GM one wire on it when I got it. They regulate themselves. I did have to replace it recently but it charges fine, right around 14V unless I am running both AC's or something similar.
 

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Kenneth Turcotte said:
I would say no it will not work cause if you use that 1 wire alt, theres nothing to regulate your voltage coming out of you alt and you could blow a fuse or something if it was to generate more that 12 volts, unless they come with a built in voltage regulator then it might work...

your alt with 3 wires is important...

read this, http://ramchargercentral.com/electrical/understanding-the-dodge-charging-system/

it will help you under stand the charging system, also Joe has a good diagram in there...
1 wire alternators are internally regulated. And why would more than 12 volts blow a fuse?
 

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I could type it all up, but it'd be easier if you read this:

http://www.madelectrical.com/electricaltech/onewire-threewire.shtml

Do yourself a favor. Fix your wiring issue instead of installing sub-par components around a problem and retain the factory designed operation of your truck. Retrofitting and wiring for a one wire alternator would probably take the same amount of time (or more) to find a short in some wire.
 

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Kenneth Turcotte said:
I would say no it will not work cause if you use that 1 wire alt, theres nothing to regulate your voltage coming out of you alt and you could blow a fuse or something if it was to generate more that 12 volts, unless they come with a built in voltage regulator then it might work...

your alt with 3 wires is important...

read this, http://ramchargercentral.com/electrical/understanding-the-dodge-charging-system/

it will help you under stand the charging system, also Joe has a good diagram in there...
More reading, less writing.

'88, the one-wire will work fine. There are drawbacks but as you asked, it does not prevent it from being practical enough. You will have to blip throttle a little to excite the field when you first start it, otherwise a simple start and idle will not charge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That shouldn`t be a problem. I swapped the tbi over to a manual choke Edelbrock 600, so I usually have to rev it a few times when I start it.
 

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Apparently it's pretty common around here because the guy at the local Autobone knew what was going on as soon as I had him run the numbers on the alt.
 

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I have been running a one wire Delco in my 75 PW w/360 for many years (like 15+) with no problems. I had to "shim" the alternator out with some washer and get a shorter belt. Other than that, I used all the stock brackets. (I do not have AC). They are self regulating and other than the "blip" of the throttle on start up, it works great. My OEM amp gauge still works just fine. The one wire will go directly to your battery or you can use the starter solenoid as a connection. I run two batteries with an isolator. The nice thing about a "one wire" is they put out adequate voltage even at idle, unlike the OEM Chrysler alternators and you can get a high amp (mine is a 95amp unit) rating and still maintain the same size. At idle, I am getting 12.7-13+ volts depending on the state of charge of my batteries. With a full load, lights, heater on full and the wipers running, I still will get 13+ at idle, something the OEM Chrysler would never do. They are real easy to fix when the brushes wear out.
 

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webbcraft2150 said:
I have been running a one wire Delco in my 75 PW w/360 for many years (like 15+) with no problems. I had to "shim" the alternator out with some washer and get a shorter belt. Other than that, I used all the stock brackets. (I do not have AC). They are self regulating and other than the "blip" of the throttle on start up, it works great. My OEM amp gauge still works just fine. The one wire will go directly to your battery or you can use the starter solenoid as a connection. I run two batteries with an isolator. The nice thing about a "one wire" is they put out adequate voltage even at idle, unlike the OEM Chrysler alternators and you can get a high amp (mine is a 95amp unit) rating and still maintain the same size. At idle, I am getting 12.7-13+ volts depending on the state of charge of my batteries. With a full load, lights, heater on full and the wipers running, I still will get 13+ at idle, something the OEM Chrysler would never do. They are real easy to fix when the brushes wear out.
If your factory alternator wasn't able to maintain around 14-ish volts, either you had too much load for that alternator at idle or there was an issue with your system. One-wire alternators will usually put out less voltage vs. a properly running 3-wire or factory system.

Read the link that Hybrid posted, the main reason one-wire alternators are inferior is that they can only sense voltage at the alternator itself. If it can't sense the voltage further down the line (where your componants are getting power), it can't maintain the right voltage further down the line. All your electrical components will likely receive less than ideal voltage.
 

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Having been a hard core Mopar fan for years and owned many, including my 75 PW that I bought new and still have, I can only say my experience with Mopar alternators is they don't put out enough at low RPMS on a  carburated, "old school" V8's. I swapped out for the one-wire Delco years ago and it is still hangin tough. At idle (800-900rpm), I no longer have the dimming headlights, slow wipers or straining heater motor. I can power up all 6 driving lights and my amp gauge dosen't take a dive to "discharge". While my experience may be unique, I consider the one-wire conversion on of the better modifications in the 35 years I have owned the truck. {beer}
 
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