>>Is there any advantage to an alternator over a generator, and how does one
go about making the change?
When I changed my '54 3100 to 12 volts, I used an alternator at first, being
fed up just then with the stock 6 volt system. I followed the simple
instructions on the back of Patrick's catalogue, and it worked fine.
Later, when I decided to put in a new wiring harness, I changed back to a 12
volt generator in order to make it closer to stock. I didn't have too many
misgivings about this because I have a '55 Buick that has run just fine with
a generator for many years, drawing a lot more amps than a truck.
In fact, the generator works great in my truck, perhaps in part because it
has no overdrive, so the rpms tend to keep it charging. But whatever the
reason, it gives no trouble, and it looks better to me than a modern GM
alternator, which, in my opinion, is about the ugliest, most misshapen thing
Detroit ever tacked on an engine. I'm not being reactionary here. I think
the alternator in my '98 Dodge Ram 1500 is pretty cool looking, sort of like
a miniature radial airplane engine...
If you're contemplating an electrical system redo, let me put in a word for
a new wiring harness. These trucks are so simple that it's not an ordeal to
do. I think that trying to work with a cracked, dirty 50-year-old wiring
harness with broken and rusty connectors is asking for headaches. Having a
new one makes a noticable difference. Another advantage is that if you go
to an alternator, you can get a harness designed for it, so you don't have a
bunch of dead-end wires where the regulator used to be.
Grant S. firstname.lastname@example.org
oletrucks is devoted to Chevy and GM trucks built between 1941 and 1959