External regulated alternator?? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 11-22-2005
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External regulated alternator??

Are the alternators in the Rangers (particularly my 2000) externally regulated?? I couldn't find an external regulator but I was reading a website about an onboard welder that mentioned this.

Thanks.
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Old 11-22-2005
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It is part of the complete alternator assembly, on the back as pictured below. Much older systems used a separate remote regulator.




Last edited by V8 Level II; 11-22-2005 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 11-22-2005
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And the modern regulators work by pulse width modulation to produce a variable field current. What this means is no big, heat producing resistors, no large heat sinks required for the transistors, and no "thresholds" where the regulator switches mode like on very old systems. It is a true regulator that TRIES to acheive a constant voltage output.

The most significant effect on output (other than load) is temperature. The integrated regulator senses the alternator temperature and folds the output voltage back as the alternator gets hot. You can observe this by monitoring the output. After the engine is first started, rev the motor and you'll have more than 14 volts. As the engine compartment and alternator heat up, the voltage at the same RPM will drop towards 13 volts some amount.

Just some random info on the alternator regulator....
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Old 11-22-2005
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Is there a way to get unregulated voltage from the alternator?? This is what's required for the onboard welder.
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Old 11-22-2005
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Ah, I see what you're getting at. Yes, I think it can be done -- let me take a look at the circuit.
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Old 11-22-2005
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You can still full field these alternators. I just don't know exactly how.
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Old 11-22-2005
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Exactly right, John, and here's how.

Tom, the regulator is a small black box that the connector plugs into on the back of the alternator. The connector faces up.

The box attaches to the alternator with 6 screws. Four of them are at the corners of the "box", and two are slightly raised, and close to the back end bearing cap/seal.

They can actually be labeled "F" and "A" -- but may not be. But, as the alternator is mounted, the one closest to the ground is the one you want. It may be labeled "Ground here to test".

That is the "ground side" of the field (rotor). It is what's switched to ground with pulses to regulate the output. If you put a lug/wire under that screw and ground it, you'll get unregulated output.

I suppose your welder warns you not to have it connected to your battery directly in those situations? It would be pushing some serious amps into it -- I haven't seen how they tell you to connect it.

Sorry, the camera's in the truck and I'm cold and lazy. If my description doesn't do it for you, I'll get a picture.

Edit: Here's a picture. The alternator is turned on it's side here, so the left most, inner screw in the regulator is the one you want.


Last edited by n3elz; 11-22-2005 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 11-22-2005
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I suppose that I could use a switch and solenoid to ground the field and switch the output from the batteries to the welder. That gives me power to the welder and protects my batteries but does make things a bit more complex.
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Old 11-22-2005
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Doesn't the welder tell you what to do (as in: instructions)? Is it a commercial unit of some sort?

Here's another pic highlighted:
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Old 11-22-2005
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No, it's a homemade welder that uses a power supply from Napa and unregulated output from the alternator to make sparks. I'm sure there are directions that come with the power supply, but I havn't gotten the power supply yet.
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Old 11-22-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBarCYa
No, it's a homemade welder that uses a power supply from Napa and unregulated output from the alternator to make sparks. I'm sure there are directions that come with the power supply, but I havn't gotten the power supply yet.
I just want to know what you need this on your truck for? A home made version is cost effective and all but you still stand the chance of euthanising your PCM and such.
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Old 11-23-2005
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Ha ha! He said "euthanising"...

Seriously though, if he's disconnected the hot lead he should be okay overall. Despite the schematic shown in the Ford manual, there is no internal connection between the battery terminal and the field terminal, so the current that flows out that terminal and back through ground shouldn't effect the trucks systems, which will be running off the battery. It will be ESSENTIAL to isolate the alternator hot from the trucks electrical system to do this.

We do offroading, John, and I'm sure Tom's thinking of trail breakage (which we have already experienced even with the relatively mild wheeling we do). He welds for a living now and so his abilities to take care of business with minimal equipment are getting pretty developed and I wouldn't mind having a welder with equipment along on a trip at all, lol.
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Old 11-23-2005
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I like to wheel alone so the more self-sufficient my rig is, the more safe I will be wheeling alone. Right now, my truck has two batteries so the electrical system is somewhat redundant (always have a backup battery) and I am looking into an onboard air compressor that runs from the serpentine belt as well as the welder. All of these things combined means there isn't much that I can't fix on the trail which increases my chances of being able to drive home.
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  #14  
Old 11-23-2005
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I like that air compressor idea. I've heard of people using the old air-pumps that used to be part of the emission equipment on older vehicles.
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Old 11-23-2005
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John I have heard of people trying to use the old air pumps to but I think the problem is that they do not put out enough volume. From my experence you cannot beat a old york ac compressor, alot of people I know from my old club use them with good results.

chad
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  #16  
Old 11-23-2005
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Was that an automotive compressor or something adapted? I believe I've heard or that or read about it somewhere. How do you lubricate them? I think they are normally lubed by oil in the refrigerant?

Sorry for the questions -- if you don't know that's cool and I'll just research it. Thanks for the tip either way!
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  #17  
Old 11-23-2005
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The York has an oil reservoir so there's no need for external lubrication.
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  #18  
Old 11-23-2005
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Cool! Are they JY fare? How do you find one?
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  #19  
Old 11-23-2005
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there are basicly two types of yorks, I know one is better then the other but not sure of the part number I can find out for you if you need to know. Just remember that an ac compressor put out alot of pressure so you have to use a pressure regulator of some sort. There was a offroad mag that did a write up on this but can not think of it off hand. I will e-mail my friend tommrow to get a how to for ya. An for the oiling they just used some slick 50 and a small kand n on the air intake.
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Old 11-23-2005
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I just found one reference that was pretty good about jeeps doing it for any who are interested. Talks about the types also.

http://www.jedi.com/obiwan/jeep/yorkair.html
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  #21  
Old 11-23-2005
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John try these guys out you mite find some more info.

http://www.kilbyenterprises.com
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  #22  
Old 11-24-2005
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Thanks, Chad.
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  #23  
Old 11-25-2005
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no problem John. I will have some more info for you when my friend e-mails me back

Chad
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