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Author Topic: 3G Alternator Upgrade How To  (Read 61970 times)
mighty mouse
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« on: December 06, 2006, 11:57:50 am »

I found an article on this how to on another site - and modified it slightly to reflect my knowledge/experience on the subject:

3G Alternator Upgrade
1979-1993 Mustang
by Nathan Moonen

Most 79-93 Mustangs (and their Cougar/T-Bird counterparts) I have run into all have the same charging problem.  Dimming headlights when you turn the radio on.  This only seems to get worse whey you add on a nice stereo or instal underdrive pulleys - a very popular upgrade for these cars.

Stock Inadequacies:

Connect a volt meter to the terminals of the battery in your stock 86-93 Mustang. Run the car at idle, and watch the voltage dip below normal battery voltage level (as low as 10 or 11V) when the lights and heater are on. It should soon become clear why Police Special Service Mustangs were equipped with more powerful alternators. If a stock Mustang is left at idle with the headlights and heater on, the battery will be dead within a few hours.

Underdrive Pulleys:

This popular add on has an unfortunate side effect, it amplifies the electrical problems stated above. Underdrive pulleys reduce the speed at which the alternator spins. If you're running underdrive pulleys, have a stock 75A alternator, and are idling at factory 650 - 750RPM idle, your battery is probably being discharged. Add lights, heater fan, rear defroster, and a big stereo to this scenario, and your battery is definitely in trouble. To fix this problem, people commonly bump up the idle speed to around 1000 RPM or more. This brings the alternator back up to stock speed, but ruins stock idle, wastes fuel, and causes problems in some states with tight emissions control requirements.

Problematic Spade Connector:

The factory alternator uses a 3-prong spade connector. Two of the spades share the current coming from the alternator. These terminals often wear/corrode and cause a resistive electrical path for the current to flow. The resistance causes heat; enough to melt the connector, create a short circuit, or start a fire. If you've ever replaced the factory alternator, you probably noticed that it came with a fresh connector and big warning labels describing the dangers of not replacing the old connector with the fresh one. This problem is well known, and the cause of numerous alternator failures, engine fires, etc. The 3G 130A alternator does away with this problematic connector.

Stronger Is Better:

Running a 3G 130A alternator at 30% capacity is much better than running a 75A alternator at 60% capacity. A 3G alternator will last a long time when put on "light duty" use in a Mustang. This alternator is made to run winches, light bars, spotlights, etc. It has a tough diode pack and voltage regulator, improved bearings, etc. It's twice the alternator at only 25% additional cost.

The 3G unit looks good:

Internal cooling fan, modern design, clean and mean.


Get to know the 3G Alternator:
Electrical Differences:

The 3G model alternator feeds power through a high-power electrical terminal instead of the problematic spade connectors in the 75A model. The stator signal wire is located on a separate connector on the 3G model. Because of these differences, the stock wiring harness will need modification before the 3G alternator can be put to use.

Mechanical Differences:

The mounting holes on the 3G are in the exact same location as the 75A model. However, on some models, the top mounting hole is not threaded. It is necessary to use a nut, bolt, and two washers at the top mounting location.

There can also be a slight clearance problem requiring modification of the alternator bracket. It may be necessary to trim a triangular section of the bracket in order to make room for the larger 3G alternator. The modification is minor, easy to accomplish, and does not adversely affect the strength of the bracket. I have heard reports from several people that have done this install who state that clearancing was not required due to variations in bracket designs.

The pulley is larger. The alternator that this author purchased came with a pulley slightly larger than the one found on the 75A model. It's about the same size as the pulley that came with an AutoSpecialties underdrive pulley kit that was already installed on this vehicle, so there was no need to change it. If this pulley is retained on a vehicle with stock pulleys, the stock serpentine belt should still fit, but it may be a bit tight. The pulley can be changed if the smaller stock pulley is desired.


Shopping List:

Parts:


(1) 130A 3G alternator. Mine was purchased from Pep Boys for ($219.99)
It was specified as standard equipment for a '94 5.0L Mustang GT.
(1) 2" Grade 8 3/8" coarse thread Bolt (29 cents)
(1) Grade 8 Nut for above (10 cents)
(2) Washers for above (20 cents)
(1) 10" length of 10 or 8 gauge stranded-core electrical wire. (20 cents)
(1) FORD 3G Alternator stator wire connector (Junk yard, fabricate, etc.).
(1) Electrical screw lug connector (10ga) (10 cents)
(1) 12" length of ?" diameter wire loom. ($2)
(1) 2" section of 8 gauge heat shrink tubing (10 cents)
(1) 2" section of 14 gauge heat shrink tubing (10 cents)

Tools:

Socket set, Wrenches, Electrical pliers, Soldering Iron, Solder, Voltmeter (for testing). Dremel, Die Grinder, or equiv. (if bracket clearancing is needed.)

Procedure:

Assuming moderate mechanical and electrical experience, this entire procedure should take less than 2 hours to perform. The author completed the install the first time in about 2 hours and the second time in approximately 45 minutes.

Prep the car:

1. Start by DISCONNECTING THE BATTERY and removing the serpentine belt.
2. Unplug the factory alternator connectors from the alternator.3. Unbolt and remove the factory alternator (2 bolts).
4. Tie top radiator hose out of the way.
5. Remove air filter housing and filter to give more room to work. (optional / recommended)
6. Peel back / unravel plastic covering on factory wiring harness.

Mechanical:

1. Test fit the 3G alternator, slide in the bottom mounting bolt, and rotate into position. If you have a supercharger kit installed, these instructions will not make sense but may be of some use.
2. Mark the factory alternator bracket needing clearance (if necessary).
3. Clearance the alternator bracket by cutting/grinding away the marked area with a die cutter or dremel. The author used a dremel and a small cutting bit. This part took about 10 minutes to complete.
4. Secure alternator using original bottom bolt and new 2" top nut, bolt, and washers.

Electrical:

1. Locate the point where the pair of MAIN wires (black/orange) join and become one.
2. Cut at intersection., leaving one MAIN wire.
3. Splice in new piece of 10 Gauge wire, solder, and use heat shrink tubing to insulate.
4. Test fit wire to alternator MAIN lug, trim as needed for good fit.
5. Crimp and solder on screw-terminal, use heat shrink tubing to insulate as needed.
6. Install screw lug on MAIN screw terminal. Once tight, slightly bend screw lug away from alternator housing.
7. Cut stator wire 2" from factory oval plug. This cut frees the factory 3-prong spade connector which can be discarded.
8. Splice in new stator connector, solder, use heat shrink to insulate.
9. Apply wire loom, plug in connectors, tie wrap as needed.

Finishing Up:

1. Re-install air filter and housing.
2. Reconnect battery and immediately check voltage across terminals. It should read above 12V. If not, disconnect battery and check installation.
3. Untie radiator hose.

Testing:

1. Connect voltmeter across battery terminals.
2. With key off, voltage should read 12-12.6 volts. My car was at 12.4V.
3. Turn off all accessories and turn key on. Instrumentation battery light should be on (dash). And voltage should drop to between 11 and 12V.***if voltage drops below 10V, remove key immediately and re-check installation.
4. Start car. Voltage should jump to above 13 Volts. Our car was at 14.2V. Battery light should turn off.***if this does not happen, shut off car immediately and re-check installation.
5. Bring engine to 2,000 RPM With all accessories off, Voltage should be above 14V. Ours was at 14.4V.
6. Return to idle. Voltage should still be above 13V. Mine was at 14.2V.
7. Turn on headlights. Voltage should still be above 12.5V. Mine was at 14.2V.
8. Turn heater fan on high. Voltage should still be above 12.5V. Mine was at 14.1V.
9. Turn on road lights. Voltage should still be above 12.5V Mine was at 14.0V.
10. Bring engine to 1,000 RPM. Voltage should be above 13V. Mine was at 14.5V.
11. Shut off car.


Congratulations, you have greatly improved your electrical system and can look forward to longer battery life, improved charging at idle, and plenty of power for even the most demanding electrical accessories. The authors vehicle can run the headlights, fog lights, heater fan, rear defroster, window wipers, brake lights, and a 250W 10 speaker stereo system...with the car at idle... without causing the improved electrical system to dip below 12.7V. Even with all these accessories on, the battery is still being charged!
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2006, 01:37:33 pm »

ok...how bout the really "old school" cars like mine that have the seperate voltage reg and a small 60 amp alt. How do I get that 3G wired and bolted up to this old timer and which 3G alt are we talking...the 94+ mustang alt?


Tim
« Last Edit: December 06, 2006, 01:54:39 pm by qtrhors » Logged

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Joel5.0
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2006, 01:56:04 pm »

Here you go.......


2G Wiring


TO

3G Wiring


* 3Ginstall_66_Stang.jpg (86.65 KB, 460x600 - viewed 30533 times.)

* 2G-ALT_wiring.gif (8.03 KB, 400x350 - viewed 32549 times.)

* 3G-ALT_wiring.gif (7.99 KB, 400x350 - viewed 34325 times.)
« Last Edit: December 06, 2006, 01:59:07 pm by Joel5.0 » Logged

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LUK  LMK  JIC  BTSTDTRT  YCYDYP  NFI-YTM  SPOBI, and the classic... DILLIGAS

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Quote from: Joel5.0
The right to be stupid is inalienable for sure however, there is no such thing as a right to impose stupidity onto others
Great Thoughts will Overwhelm a Feeble Mind
There is never money to do it right, but there's always money to do it over.
Knowledge based on external evidence is unreliable.
He, who doesn't ask, does not deserve an answer.
A mind is like a parachute it only works when it is open.  (oldmanjoe)
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. (Albert Einstein)
Tuning on a Dyno for the track, is like swim practice in a bathtub.
I can explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you. (90lxcoupe)
The proof of understanding is the ability to explain it. (H. Torruella)
Ignorance is bliss, but stupidity is orgasmic.
Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. (Samuel Johnson)
The chaotic resistance of the opponents leads to the conclusion that they are not prepared to meet the challenge. The problem is already much more psychological then technological. [Bojidar Djordjev]
Individuals are rational and humane... Crowds are reactionary and barbaric. (Jason)
The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it. –Chinese Proverb
Nothing sways the stupid more than arguments they can't understand - Cardinal de Retz
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2006, 10:15:42 pm »

As a side note. The "I" terminal must be connected to the idiot lamp/resistor. The resistence triggers the alternator to charge.

You can leave the stock bat terminal to regulator in place as it has a fuseable link, but you MUST use a fused 4AWG cable from the Bat terminal to the solenoid. Even the cars and trucks that came with a 3G alternator have marginal wiring.

I'm running a 200amp 3G.
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2007, 02:14:49 pm »

News Flip
News Flip
News Flip
As an update to this tech article, here is some information to complement the procedure provided by MM, in the form of, what else, but pics.......

Ford Alternators by "Generation"







USED IN FORD AMBULANCES, FIRE TRUCKS, ETC

Bracket Modifications for 3G Upgrade





Based on our continuous search, and to help you in your JY search, the following models came with the 3G 110/130A versions, this will be updated as more information becomes available:

  • 94-96 Mustang 3.8 V-6
  • 94-95 Mustang 5.0
  • 94-96 Thunderbird 3.8 V-6 (non SC)
  • 95-96 Windstar 3.0 V-6 (most are 3.8's)
  • 93-96 E/F series Trucks/Vans 4.9 L6(1)
  • 96 Sable 3.0 V-6
  • 94-96 Cougar 3.8 V-6
(1) Probably the best one if you can get it (should be easy to find, too) is off the E/F series...this series uses a threaded top ear like the stocker on the Mustang....E/F series with threaded ear uses metric bolt. ALSO, make sure the E/F series is 130 Amps.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2007, 04:40:08 pm by Joel5.0 » Logged

ACRONYMS:
LUK  LMK  JIC  BTSTDTRT  YCYDYP  NFI-YTM  SPOBI, and the classic... DILLIGAS

'86 Mustang GT, X-303 cam, Holley DP 700, RG Tran., 289 Heads   Ford Smilie 2


Quote from: Joel5.0
The right to be stupid is inalienable for sure however, there is no such thing as a right to impose stupidity onto others
Great Thoughts will Overwhelm a Feeble Mind
There is never money to do it right, but there's always money to do it over.
Knowledge based on external evidence is unreliable.
He, who doesn't ask, does not deserve an answer.
A mind is like a parachute it only works when it is open.  (oldmanjoe)
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. (Albert Einstein)
Tuning on a Dyno for the track, is like swim practice in a bathtub.
I can explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you. (90lxcoupe)
The proof of understanding is the ability to explain it. (H. Torruella)
Ignorance is bliss, but stupidity is orgasmic.
Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. (Samuel Johnson)
The chaotic resistance of the opponents leads to the conclusion that they are not prepared to meet the challenge. The problem is already much more psychological then technological. [Bojidar Djordjev]
Individuals are rational and humane... Crowds are reactionary and barbaric. (Jason)
The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it. –Chinese Proverb
Nothing sways the stupid more than arguments they can't understand - Cardinal de Retz
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2007, 12:55:36 am »

Just wanted to add my thoughts, I used this tech article last year fellas and it worked out great.  Though you can also get the 3g's out of Taurus sedans and wagons.   I believe I spent spent a total of roughyl 75 dollars on this upgrade INCLUDING the alternator and 4 gauge wire needed, and all other accessories.  Igot a brand new 3g alt from my local pull apart for 15$ out of a 93ish taurus wagon.  It took me roughly 3 hours start to finish. 

*be careful as my belt was a tad on the short side to begin with and the larger pulley on the 3G can make it a hassle to get the belt on if you have the same situation.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2007, 08:40:19 pm by 89white50 » Logged

The SofaKing
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2007, 10:51:16 am »

how would i do this if i have a duel battery set up?? do i just split everything?? it is for my 76 e350 motorhome..
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2007, 11:11:05 am »

Since you have them in series, whatever charging the main battery gets, also charges the secondary.......or do you have one isolated?....
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ACRONYMS:
LUK  LMK  JIC  BTSTDTRT  YCYDYP  NFI-YTM  SPOBI, and the classic... DILLIGAS

'86 Mustang GT, X-303 cam, Holley DP 700, RG Tran., 289 Heads   Ford Smilie 2


Quote from: Joel5.0
The right to be stupid is inalienable for sure however, there is no such thing as a right to impose stupidity onto others
Great Thoughts will Overwhelm a Feeble Mind
There is never money to do it right, but there's always money to do it over.
Knowledge based on external evidence is unreliable.
He, who doesn't ask, does not deserve an answer.
A mind is like a parachute it only works when it is open.  (oldmanjoe)
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. (Albert Einstein)
Tuning on a Dyno for the track, is like swim practice in a bathtub.
I can explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you. (90lxcoupe)
The proof of understanding is the ability to explain it. (H. Torruella)
Ignorance is bliss, but stupidity is orgasmic.
Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. (Samuel Johnson)
The chaotic resistance of the opponents leads to the conclusion that they are not prepared to meet the challenge. The problem is already much more psychological then technological. [Bojidar Djordjev]
Individuals are rational and humane... Crowds are reactionary and barbaric. (Jason)
The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it. –Chinese Proverb
Nothing sways the stupid more than arguments they can't understand - Cardinal de Retz
The SofaKing
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2007, 12:03:40 pm »

looks to be isolated... it is a deep cell that runs lighting and stuff in the camper part.. it has its own solenoid...
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2007, 01:16:48 pm »

That would be a parallel installation isolated or not.  Series would give you a 24 volt system.

The setup sounds to me like the solinoid picks up when the motor is running and parallels both batteries together. When the motor shuts off it isolates the second battery from the engine starting battery.  This charges the second battery when the motor is running and keeps the engine battery from draining when it's not.

You should be able to hook up the charging lead no different than a single battery system.
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Joel5.0
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2007, 01:30:21 pm »

Good catch Pete....thanks!...... Need Coffee
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ACRONYMS:
LUK  LMK  JIC  BTSTDTRT  YCYDYP  NFI-YTM  SPOBI, and the classic... DILLIGAS

'86 Mustang GT, X-303 cam, Holley DP 700, RG Tran., 289 Heads   Ford Smilie 2


Quote from: Joel5.0
The right to be stupid is inalienable for sure however, there is no such thing as a right to impose stupidity onto others
Great Thoughts will Overwhelm a Feeble Mind
There is never money to do it right, but there's always money to do it over.
Knowledge based on external evidence is unreliable.
He, who doesn't ask, does not deserve an answer.
A mind is like a parachute it only works when it is open.  (oldmanjoe)
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. (Albert Einstein)
Tuning on a Dyno for the track, is like swim practice in a bathtub.
I can explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you. (90lxcoupe)
The proof of understanding is the ability to explain it. (H. Torruella)
Ignorance is bliss, but stupidity is orgasmic.
Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. (Samuel Johnson)
The chaotic resistance of the opponents leads to the conclusion that they are not prepared to meet the challenge. The problem is already much more psychological then technological. [Bojidar Djordjev]
Individuals are rational and humane... Crowds are reactionary and barbaric. (Jason)
The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it. –Chinese Proverb
Nothing sways the stupid more than arguments they can't understand - Cardinal de Retz
pete
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2007, 04:00:46 pm »

No probelm.  I've been working with series/parallel battery systems for years.  I figured it was just a slip anyway Wink
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The SofaKing
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2007, 09:39:29 am »

WHAT DO THE 175 AMP ALTERNATORS COME IN??
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-94 Mustang GT coonvertable supercharged, headers, 3 inch X-pipe/exhaust flowmasters, crane ignition system
-76 E350 motor home project
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2007, 09:47:04 pm »

Okay, not trying to rattle any cages here;  instead of going to Pep Boys and spending $200 on a alternator and converting the wiring , couldn't you just spend $200 for a P/A alternator that comes with an adapter kit?
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« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2007, 09:49:56 pm »

Okay, not trying to rattle any cages here;  instead of going to Pep Boys and spending $200 on a alternator and converting the wiring , couldn't you just spend $200 for a P/A alternator that comes with an adapter kit?
+1 and get the one that is one wire hook-up
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