I've replaced the generator in my '57 as part
of an AC upgrade project. At that time I removed all of the wires from the voltage regulator and applied heat shrink to them. And I reused the wire from the A terminal for the GEN light from the alternator. Now I'm in the process of installing a new main wiring harness
. My question at this point is as long as the main 12V lead from alternator is not connected to the voltage regulator, can I reattach the other wires that are included with the main wiring harness
? Or should I leave them off and apply heat shrink them? I was thinking that the install would look cleaner if I can reattach them to to voltage regulator.
Since I will soon be doing and alternator upgrade from the old generator, I will throw in.
If you go with a one wire operation like the Powermaster Alternator, this is a great choice and made specific for the 55-57 Thunderbird. It looks and mounts just like the original generator, and easy to install other than you might need to shim with washers and a smaller fan belt since the new pulley is smaller than the OEM
one. You want to get (PN: 82101-2) This version comes with the ground and Gen light hook ups. PN 82101 does not.
As for what to do with that old regulator? CASCO has a great install write up.
Basically, you can keep it in the car if you want for authentic looks and use the old regulator as a place to connect some wires for the new Alternator. Or you can take it out completely if you want.
From the Regulator terminals:
You will have two wires from this terminal. Take the old wire off the regulator ARM terminal and move it to BAT. Connect this to the "Battery Output" terminal on the Powermater alternator. The other wire from the BAT terminal on the regulator should already be going to the Battery wire.
you should have nothing on this terminal
: You will have two wires from this terminal. Take the old wire off the regulator FLD terminal and move it to ARM. Connect this to the "Charge Lamp" terminal on the Powermater alternator. The other wire from the ARM terminal on the regulator should go to "Gen Light" wire (the indicator light on your dash)
Then of course connect the ground wire from the regulator to the ground post on the Alternator.
I would recommend, if you can, to just put all new wires in for these hookups as I know the wiring in my 57' are old as crap and not trustworthy
Here are the instructions with pictures from PowerMaster
Hope this helps. Someone correct me if I am wrong on anything be sure to do your own learner and research too. I am no expert