What is the difference between 1 wire and 3 wire alternator?

Striking a compromise between functionality and looks is a battle that can arise when it comes to choosing an alternator. While the 1-wire units offer clean and simple installation with minimally visible wiring, the OE-style 3-wire units can provide better electrical performance for the demands of your hot rod.
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What is the advantage of a one wire alternator?

When you're building a car and have to start from scratch with your electrical wiring, the one-wire alternator will save you a lot of hassle – and help to keep the engine compartment tidy.
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What are the 3 wires for on a alternator?

A three-wire alternator wiring diagram shows how the various components of a circuit are connected. The circuit is made up of three major wires: a positive cable for the battery, a voltage detecting wire, and an ignition wire. The engine is connected to the ignition input wire.
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Can alternator work with one wire?

As the descriptive name implies, connecting a one-wire alternator to your ride is as easy as running a single charge wire from the battery terminal on the alternator to the positive terminal on the battery. With the Tuff Stuff units, no other connection is necessary.
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Does a 1 wire alternator need to be grounded?

To wire a warning light using one of these alternators, simply remove the terminal plug cover and connect the R (Left terminal, looking from the back of the alternator) to the warning light wire. In order for an alternator to charge properly, an alternator must be grounded to the engine block.
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One Wire Pros And Cons

Do you need a voltage regulator with an alternator?

Without the alternator voltage regulator, the input voltage would be too great and overload the electrical systems in your vehicle. To prevent that, the voltage regulator functions much like a linear regulator in that it ensures the alternator output maintains a steady charging voltage of between 13.5V and 14.5V.
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Are all 1 wire alternators internally regulated?

A 1-wire alternator offers a simplified installation and clean setup. It has one wire that connects the charge terminal directly to the battery or a 12V source. They are internally regulated and grounded through the block.
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How many wires does an alternator have?

3 Wire Alternator Wiring Diagram

The circuit comprises three main wires: battery positive cable, voltage sensing wire, and ignition wire. The ignition input wire is attached to the engine.
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How many volts should a one wire alternator put out?

The voltage regulator for the “ONE-WIRE” system gets the voltage reading from within the alternator, and it will maintain the alternator out-put terminal at about 14.2 volts.
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How do I know if my alternator has an internal regulator?

The voltage regulator is usually found inside or on the back of the alternator case. Increasingly, though, late-model vehicle have the engine control module (ECM) regulating alternator voltage output through a special circuit.
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What are the two wires on a GM alternator?

The 10- and 12-SI units use a different two-wire connector plug on the rear of the alternator. The Number 1 wire on the 10- or 12-SI is connected to the charge warning light on the dash. The Number 2 wire is what is called the voltage sensing wire.
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Can I add an external regulator to my alternator?

Balmar is right, an external regulator will not work with an alternator that has an internal regulator. You need an alternator that is wired for external field. Any qualified alternator shop can convert an alternator with internal regulator for external field.
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How do you check an alternator without a voltmeter?

You can still check an alternator without a multimeter if you don't have any available.
  1. Start the car and rev the engine to 2000 RPM. ...
  2. Open the hood and listen closely to the alternator while the engine is idling. ...
  3. Switch your car radio to the lowest frequency on the AM band, then lower the volume.
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Do I need to excite my alternator?

If you've installed an alternator and it won't charge, don't remove it just yet. Here's why: most Delco Remy alternators have "Auto Start" capability that doesn't require a separate wire to excite the alternator to charge.
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Why do you need to excite an alternator?

Without the excitation system the AC alternator would have no way of building its voltage as it starts to rotate, nor would not be able to regulate its voltage to the pre-set nominal level while running at its rated speed. So, without an excitation system, an AC alternator would be useless for its purpose.
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What is the S terminal on an alternator?

Alternators usually have four terminals marked with letters. The "B" terminal is the main output which connects to the battery. The "S" terminal also connects to the battery and measures the voltage. The "IG" terminal is connected to the ignition switch, and the "L" terminal is connected the charging light.
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What happens if your alternator is not grounded?

Poor ground connections are a cause of low charging output. There are positive and negative battery cable connections, the BAT+ power connection, and the engine ground strap. Overcharging can be caused by voltage dropping on the negative side.
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