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544 Diesel Alternator


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I'm currently having my students finish up a 544 diesel with a failed head gasket, and now fixing all the "little stuff".  One major issue is the alternator does not charge.  This still has an externally regulated Delco alternator and the wiring is an absolute disaster of course.  For simplicity sake the owner and I agree on switching it over to an internally regulated unit.  What comparable alternator will fit in place?  

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Show your students the right way to fix an old tractor wiring harness.   Call Porch Electric and order new ones - for the alternator of your choice.

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Better yet get your students to build the wiring harness. If this is to be a learning experience then show them the steps to lay out and design of a harness. Make the calculations for wire sizes and circuit protection especially if going to a bigger alternator over what was probably a 32 amp charging system to begin with. You have the old harness for a pattern and I would bet the wiring diagrams can be found for the tractor. There was nothing wrong with a 10DN system if you wanted to go back original. I would probably wire in a 10SI 3 wire if starting from scratch.

We have to may parts replacers in the world now days and not enough skilled people who actually know how to repair. 

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One thing teaching has taught me is you need to gauge your students capabilities.  In a perfect world I would get students capable of completing everything on the task list.  Unfortunately you get everything from kids who can leave and immediately get a job to the ones 3 years in you have to remind lefty loose rights tighty.......

The group working on this are only going to be "helpers". Good kids, they love being there but honestly giving them the head job was a risk, I REALLY had to keep an eye on them.  I try to give those kids some bigger jobs, but if I ask them to rewire this I'll end up doing it myself which isn't an option with 25 other kids yelling my name.  I do have a few other groups who could maybe tackle it buy they're occupied.  

Also comes down to money and time.  It needs to leave by the middle of April, and for the price of an internal regulated alternator I likely couldn't buy the wiring, and regulator.  This isn't really an irreversible hack repair either, if someone wants to put it back it's pretty easy.  

Lastly, I hate to say it, it's ridiculous to teach students about 60 year old technology that unless they work at a restoration shop they'll never see it again (go ahead, throw bricks, stones and bottles at me).  It's a good subject to mention and discuss, but to me that's it.  

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I hear you, man.   About the wiring, frankly very little has changed in design/mfg of wiring "basics" in those years.  Most are still built them by hand much like they were all those years ago (yes, automated crimp tools etc, but laying out & bundling a harness is still a lot of hand work)

I design & build harnesses as a job - and its still more efficient to just buy them. Porch's already have all the correct wire sizes and colors and plugs.

 

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Get a one wire 10si alternator and just hook up the wire that goes to the battery.

Applications include most GM products from the late 70s and early 80s with smaller alternators (35-63 amp).

Here's an example from rock Auto.

1980 GMC 1/2 ton pickup.  63 amp one wire universal.

ACDelco 3342614

Interchange numbers from rock Auto

334-2614

88861357

$72 + shipping and sales tax 

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4 hours ago, Cdfarabaugh said:

Lastly, I hate to say it, it's ridiculous to teach students about 60 year old technology that unless they work at a restoration shop they'll never see it again (go ahead, throw bricks, stones and bottles at me).  It's a good subject to mention and discuss, but to me that's it.  

While I agree with you and see your point the one area that I do not is wiring. I have wiring in a Model T Ford dating back to 1917, 300 utility from around 1956,  most everything else from late 70's to 80's. Same basic thing you will find in something dated 2024. It really has not changed any. Sure now we have connectors that may have up to 60 wires or so in them and we may be moving digital information on those wires, harness still goes from point A to B and is moving electrons. The charging system back when would have been a generator where now we have alternators in both cases electromagnetic energy is used to produce electricity that we could use. My point is electricity and how it is used in ag, auto, and truck worlds is still very much the same as 100 years ago. IMHO you would still be teaching modern technology if you were looking into either building new wiring or repairing existing.

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Doesn't matter what the wires connect - its still a wire from point A to point B (and maybe C & D) that has to be routed, stripped, terminated, and bundled.   All of which are hard to automate.

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Could also draw out the basic wiring diagram and have each student build just one piece.  
I took the generators off of both of our ford tractors that had them  30 years ago when I was in high school and didn’t know anything about what I was doing, other than the dealer said “You might need $100 generator, or you might need $100 regulator, better replace both” . And a 10si was $35 at Napa.  
Completely rewired an 806 last year on a stringent budget.   There wasn’t an inch of wire on it.  Replaced steering column  with a bare one out if a scrap yard . Owner didn’t care if any light worked.  I had every light and working. Utilizing only 14g outdoor rated, black extension cord,(Because it’s three conductors and a lot cheaper than automotive wire) solder, and a handful of crimp on 10 cent connectors.  (Don’t judge….those lights will all still be working 10 years from now, unless bulbs burn out).  Yesterday I pulled the plow and harness off our ‘19 superduty, and I’m pretty sure I’ll figure out how to put it on the ‘24 when it gets here. Plow shop wanted $850 to swap them.  Modern controls are tricky, I don’t claim to understand them,  but wires  are still just wire.  

863B630B-5660-4DB5-B846-3BFD02FEA3A4.jpeg

9BE0E842-9C09-4077-B12A-DFC11A438DE5.jpeg

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Not many wires in that 544 harness
would be a good learning experience in planning and layout

Logical thinking and imagination is one of the things that built this country
teaching that to the young skulls full of mush seems to be critical to me

Too bad you are rushed for time
that is a good learning opportunity that sounds like will be missed

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Sounds to me like it might be best to just go back with an OEM style Delco 10DN, which is going to be plug-and-play with the wiring currently on the tractor.

Anything else you're ultimately going to have to do yourself because they're going to require some level of wiring work. Even a 1-wire, because there is no wire that goes directly back to the battery. Everything goes through the external regulator.

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When I convert 10dn to 10si I just hook up the existing battery connector on the alternator wiring and leave the extra plug unhooked. They just work. 

Note that you may have to rev up your engine to get the alternator to charge after installing the single wire alternator.

Your not running AC or a high electric load so a single wire alternator is fine.

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3 hours ago, Matt Kirsch said:

Anything else you're ultimately going to have to do yourself because they're going to require some level of wiring work. Even a 1-wire, because there is no wire that goes directly back to the battery. Everything goes through the external regulator

False statement.

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With a one wire -- the main power wire still runs back to the battery
the regulator wires can be taped off @Matt Kirsch

I do not like the one wire because of the need to rev the engine to get them to charge
also you lose the "idiot light " feature
and the idle current draw is more -- this can be a problem with a tractor that sits a lot , drawing the battery down

A 3 wire is pretty easy to connect anyways -- and can use the existing wires , with some re-wire at the old regulator
you can throw the regulator away
just would connect a constant power
and switched power (idiot light)
so they run to the new alternator

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31 minutes ago, snoshoe said:

False statement.

Okay. On regulators I'm familiar with, BAT goes to battery, GEN goes to Alternator, L powers the tractor. Everything goes through the regulator.

24 minutes ago, HydroTek said:

A 3 wire is pretty easy to connect anyways

For kids who need to be reminded "righty tighty, lefty loosey" on a regular basis? 

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5 minutes ago, Matt Kirsch said:

. On regulators I'm familiar with, BAT goes to battery, GEN goes to Alternator, L powers the tractor. Everything goes through the regulator

Apparently not that familiar with those either. GEN goes to armature terminal of GENERATOR . L goes to light switch.

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Yeah , ...but we are talking about a 544 with an alternator here

Generators should not be in the convo

OP has an easy change over and is balking on doing the work
also a "teaching moment" for the kids
that would benefit them in other parts of their future

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2 hours ago, snoshoe said:

Apparently not that familiar with those either. GEN goes to armature terminal of GENERATOR . L goes to light switch.

Nope you're right I muffed the purposes of the terminals. Regardless, everything runs through the regulator:

h-m6volt.webp.e325ae2ac7a094c1d0b9fa636a3c8cae.webp

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On 3/11/2024 at 7:00 AM, Cdfarabaugh said:

 

Lastly, I hate to say it, it's ridiculous to teach students about 60 year old technology that unless they work at a restoration shop they'll never see it again (go ahead, throw bricks, stones and bottles at me).  It's a good subject to mention and discuss, but to me that's it.  

something that stuck with me since high school- I forget the class and what we were learning but I do remember someone asking the teacher 'Why do we need to learn this?" and everyone jumped on it

 the teacher replied " you probably don't need to learn this but we are trying to teach you to think"

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