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Old December 5th, 2011, 11:14 AM   #1
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One-wire alternator and idiot light in dash

I realize this might be a literal interpretation of "idiot light," but I don't have any experience with wiring. How do I convert the stock plastic two-slot connector (on the wire that comes through the firewall) that clicked into the back of my old alternator into something that will work with my new one-wire alternator, so that the idiot light on the dash doesn't stay on? I have a Tuff Stuff performance alternator.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 05:23 PM   #2
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For a one-wire alternator you leave the two slot connector disconnected. All a one-wire alternator needs is that one charge wire hooked up. The external regulator does not need to be hooked up either and your gen light will no longer come on when you disconnect it.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 07:27 PM   #3
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The point of the one-wire alternator is that there is no alternator light.

There is only one wire. It goes to the battery. That's it.

No light. No voltage sensor wire. No external regulator. Nothing.

That is why many of us would never buy a one-wire alternator, and prefer a cheaper original Delco alternator, which retains its full functionality.

I know of no justification for using a one-wire alternator other than "It's cool," and allegedly higher output ratings, which may be exaggerated, or which may be possible for only limited periods before overheating components that were not designed to shed that much heat in that small a case.

[/rant]

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Old December 5th, 2011, 08:04 PM   #4
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personally the only good use of the one wire alt. is in a race car or similar where the engine is always up in the rpm. one wire alts do not charge at idle which is a problem on street cars. everyone seems to think that they are easier because there is only one wire to hook up but a standard three wire is just as easy and you can still use the idiot light. BTW the wire for the light is looking for a ground which occurs when the regulator fails to see a charge current so if you dont hook the wire to anything the light stays off.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 06:07 AM   #5
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There are a couple of ways to make a 1 wire alternator. On one the indicator lite will work on others it will not. The performance of a 3 wire is superior due to the fact it has a sense wire. If the sense wire is located at a strategic location away from the the alt it will work much better. If the sense wire is connected to the alt output post it is essentially a 1 wire setup with the lite as an exciter. The 1 wire is internally sensed. You can connect a 3 wire alt without the lite wire using only the sense wire connected to the alt output post and you will have a basic 1 wire alt but using 2 wires-no lite. The 1 wire will charge at idle, but only after it has been energized. It is energized by increasing rpm to the point the alt kicks in. Once it is activated it will continue to charge even at idle. Some 1 wire alts require a very high rpm to activate. This is due to the air gap between the rotor and the stator. When using rewound or aftermarket windings the air gap may be too big to allow a low rpm activation.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 06:48 AM   #6
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I appreciate all the advice (and rants), and I'm aware that a one-wire alternator means you don't have to connect to the idiot light in the dash. I just want the idiot light in the dash to go dark, so I'm not driving around with a red light in front of me. What do I have to disconnect to make that happen? Do I disconnect the external regulator from the harness? If so, how?
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Old December 6th, 2011, 07:56 AM   #7
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I'd take the bulb out.

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Old December 6th, 2011, 08:05 AM   #8
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Just disconnect the external regulator on the firewall and the light in the dash will go out.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 08:18 AM   #9
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Perfect. Thank you very much.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 08:18 AM
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