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Technical 1959 Lesabre Alternator Conversion Help Please...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Yaril, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. Yaril
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 989

    Yaril
    Member

    Good Evening!

    the time has come for me to throw in the towel on the factory generator system. the voltage regulator just keeps fouling out on me from time to time and not allowing the system to properly charge. so this post is not about how to fix or trouble shoot my generator system rather i am putting an Alternator. i have an amplifier for music and next year plan to install Air ride (Accuair) so ill be added air compressors, figure the alternator will come in handy for next year. i did the same alternator conversion in my 59 Elcamino and it works great.

    as for the bracket and belts i got that covered, installed and working properly.

    what i need help with now is the wiring. i have tried using search and google but can not find a simple diagram that will help me rearrange the factory wiring to work in conjunction with the Alternator. i purchased a typical GM Delco 3 wire alternator.

    not sure if my undoing the voltage regulator wiring has anything to do with the factory gas pedal start but currently that is not working.

    IMG_0529.JPG
     
    LONG likes this.
  2. flux capacitor
    Joined: Sep 18, 2014
    Posts: 673

    flux capacitor
    Member

    Go to www.madelectrical.com. Go to electrical tech, click, drop down and you will see a 2 part detailed with schematics article. All your questions will be answered, there are some excellent diagrams. Mark the orig owner of MAD elec. was one of the gm engineers from 1966-74 designing wiring for cars and trucks, he's since retired and sold business but they're a great resource and have many hard to find Packard style gm terminals.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  3. H.R.charlie
    Joined: Oct 23, 2006
    Posts: 61

    H.R.charlie
    Member

    Try a power gen. They will walk you thru it.They have a high amp product that will work fine for air ride and any thing else you throw at it.
     
  4. 24riverview
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 926

    24riverview
    Member

    From looking at the diagram this is what it looks like to me.
    The starting issue - it looks like the starter relay gets the ground connection needed for starting through the voltage regulator. I’m assuming it’s wired this way so that when vehicle is running/charging the starter can’t be engaged. Try grounding the 18g light green wire on the starter relay and see if it cranks. If this works, I would simply add a one terminal oil pressure light sender and hook this wire there, that will stop it from cranking when already running.
    Alternator, 2 problems there
    1. Looks like it has a ammeter? I wouldn’t trust the ammeter to handle what the alternator is capable of producing. Because of this I would run a 10g (minimum) wire from the alternator battery post to the terminal on the horn relay where the battery cables are connected. You shouldn’t have to do anything with the ammeter but it will show a discharge all the time. Add a 16g wire from the same horn relay terminal to the #2 terminal on the alternator.
    2. The #1 terminal on the alternator needs to be connected to the accessory side of the ignition switch but I’m not sure I’m seeing a accessory side in the diagram. This wire needs to be connected to a key on/off source that is not connected to the ignition circuit (or it will keep running when key is off). If an accessory wire is not available you can add a diode in that wire to keep it from back feeding the ignition.
    Again this is all just my interpretation of the diagram, hopefully someone with more Buick
    experience will post agreeing or to say I’m full of it.
    59 Buick.jpg
     

    Attached Files:


  5. Century
    Joined: May 28, 2009
    Posts: 176

    Century
    Member

    I'm not sure if your '59 is the same, but here's how I wired my '56 and retained the gas pedal push-to-start function:
    [​IMG]

    If I remember correctly, the starter relay ground is supplied by the ARM/GEN terminal on the voltage regulator in the original setup. That ground is only supplied when the generator is not charging. When the generator starts charging, there is no ground and the starter cannot activate, which is why your starter doesn't engage when the engine is running.

    The #1 terminal on the alternator is for the dash warning light. When the alternator is not charging, it also provides a ground. To replicate the original setup, I grounded the starter relay to this post. I was having trouble with the ignition not shutting off the car without the resistor (56ohm 5w I believe, 15ohm 10w worked just as well). Works perfectly after adding the resistor (see diagram).

    Additionally, I bypassed the ammeter on the dash by connecting both wires to a single terminal so as to not burn it out.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2014
  6. Yaril
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 989

    Yaril
    Member

    thank you all for shimming in!!!

    century i think your diagram is perfect! that is the main issue with the pedal start, it works in line with the gen / voltage reg so what you have done i think is exactly what i will need to do! ill give it a shot after Christmas and let you know.
     
  7. Yaril
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 989

    Yaril
    Member

    Does this mean you took one wire off the back of the gauge and put it on the other? Not sure what will "burn out" if i dont do this? So no volts guage? Not that i really need it...

    Thanks let me know all other wiring is done almost ready to test it out.
     
  8. Century
    Joined: May 28, 2009
    Posts: 176

    Century
    Member

    Yeah, I just connected both wires to one post on the gauge, effectively bypassing the ammeter.
     
  9. Yaril
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 989

    Yaril
    Member

    Century, I have been driving my 59 all weekend long now. everything is in working order. thank you and everyone else who chimed in. ill post a pic later on of my final install. thanks again.
     
  10. Century
    Joined: May 28, 2009
    Posts: 176

    Century
    Member

    No problem - glad it worked out for you.
     
  11. Kensey
    Joined: Sep 25, 2006
    Posts: 737

    Kensey
    Member
    from Pittsburgh

    God dam that car is beautiful!
     

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