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Old 01-02-2010, 05:02 PM   #1
Michael Mayben
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Default The Delcotron 10si Alternator Thread

This thread is going to discuss the generalities of the commonly used delcotron 10si internal voltage regulator alternator.

This part replaced the older delcotron external regulator alternator used in ihc light line vehicles after the move away from using generators.

The basic unit is common on many GM-produced vehicle apps over the years, as well as hundreds of industrial engine applications. While not the only alternator that ihc used across several platforms, it certainly is the most common unit we deal with on a daily basis here at ihon and binder university.

These units were produced for ihc apps primarily in outputs of 37amps and 61amps. However, they were manufactured by delco in many different ratings, from 15amps thru 135 amps. Custom builders can provide a unit in nearly any rating from 15 amps to over 150 amps. They also are probably the least expensive replacement electrical part for the ihc vehicles we deal with. All of the 10si versions share a common case, the primary differences amongst the variations is the diameter and style of the drive pulley, and the "clocking" of the rear section of the case which denotes the position that the wiring harness connector plugs into. Any 10si can be easily "re-clocked" to place the harness connector into any of four positions.

The unit shown throughout this series of pics is a remanned 10si rated at 63amp output (however, the case stampings indicate that the core was originally manufactured for a 55amp rating). It is currently installed on my own 196-powered Scout 80 which has been set up with a full custom wiring harness and all electrical apparatus has been deep-sixed and replacement components of somewhat higher ampacity used. The oem alternator on this engine was a delcotron external regulator version which was in sad shape. Earlier Scout 80 rigs used a delco generator set up on a mount that is somewhat different when compared to the alternator mount.

Keep in mind, unlike other ihc platforms, a Scout 80 did not use an ammeter in the instrument array, only a charging indicator light (idiot light) somewhat inappropriately labeled "amp"! Nor did the s80 have a voltmeter as standard equipment.

The unit in this pic has also had a greatly simplified wiring harness installed for the charging system, an item which we'll discuss later in this thread.
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Delcotron 10si Alternator Thread

This pic shows one of several different alternator mounts that IH used on the I-4 and sv engine apps. However...all the various mounts will interchange on all the various engines per se. There May be some minor differences in the belt adjustment support, some have provisions for an idler pulley for an ac compressor, etc.

This particular item is a welded/fabrication, stamped from steel plate. These seem to be more commonly used in the first couple of years of production of engines that were equipped with the first delcotron external regulator alternators. It's not unusual to find these mounts kinda "tweeked" in some regard, that leads to severe misalignment of the drive belt(s).
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Delcotron 10si Alternator Thread

These alternator mounts are a later version done in cast iron.

These mounts can also exhibit alignment problems due to elongation of the lower pivot holes and the increasing of the distance between the lower pivot ears caused by running with the pivot bolt loose.

The actual mounting bosses/holes which attach to the cylinder head are not precisely drilled, but rather a bit oversize. That allows the bracket itself to be fudged around in order to more accurately align the belt/pulley run. Because it uses both a horizontal and a vertical attaching boss, both of which May have become worn if allowed to loosen over time, when swapping these mounts around on different heads, ya May have to grind/file/shim the bosses a tad for best belt alignment.

The mount on the left is the "late" version which positioned the alternator in a slightly different relationship as compared to the other mount on the right.

The mount with the idler pulley attached was used to keep the belt away from the water tube on the passenger side. Iirc, these were only used on the 266/304, the increased deck height of the 345 (and subsequent 392) blocks probably allowed the mount to be re-designed and the issue was resolved. Also, I believe a change was made in the alternator driven pulley diameter (as compared to a generator) and some rigs May have used a different diameter driven pulley depending upon the intended vocational use of the vehicle. If anyone out there knows the details of this change, feel free to add your observations.
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Delcotron 10si Alternator Thread

Yet another alternator mount used on both sv and I-4 engine apps.

This one swings the 10si below the ac compressor pad.

The same cast iron mount was also used on the I-4 engine when equipped with an a.I.r. Pump as required by the emissions system design level. The a.I.r. Pump mounted in the same position as the york or tecumseh ac compressor on the sv motors.

There is also one more alternator mount that was used, but I have no sample for a pic. That one is near identical to the cast iron ac mount unit in the pic, but it was fabricated out of steel stampings, most of those I've seen included an idler pulley also, including some that had a crude spring tensioner included.
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Delcotron 10si Alternator Thread

Here's an example of probably the most common alternator-related problem I see. Major misalignment of the drive belt(s)/pulley set.

You are looking at the pivot point in the 10si case where the long bolt attaches the boss to the engine mount. This one is terribly elongated on each end which allowed the case to "cock" on the mount...no way to align the belt/pulley set! This case is worn out...but unfortunately many remanned units look this same way when ya take 'em out the box!

Some versions of the 10si will have an oversize hole in the boss, then a steel "split" bushing was pressed in place after the hole was "re-aligned" and drilled oversize. This bushing is then "centered" when the pivot bolt is tightened the first time since it can move in the hole slightly.

Many oem applications of the 10si came with a split bushing installed just to provide a more adequate pivot point. But today, some remanned units May have a bushing, some will not.

Also,...these cases were produced with metric threads/holes/dimensions at some point! The reman industry pays no attention to mixing and matching these parts, so ya might get one that has some metric threads, and some holes drilled for uss/sae fasteners...very irritating! And that also includes the pivot hole which will be a bitch to align if ya don't have the right size case for your mount and pivot bolt!

When absolutely necessary, I have drilled out the mount and the 10si case very carefully in a drill press in order to install a larger diameter pivot bolt so that belt alignment can be corrected.
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Delcotron 10si Alternator Thread

Here's a comparison of two common 10si driven pulleys.

The one on the left is a machined/cast iron pulley with an industry-standard "a" groove which corresponds to the proper cross-section vee belt.

The one on the right is a "sheetmetal" fabricated pulley which is manufactured in a "variable" groove format. In other words, the groove is somewhere between an "a" groove and two/three other sizes of belt! No belt will ride in the proper position on this pulley, no matter what size is selected. It is also a pita to keep the belt properly tensioned, especially when a double belt drive is installed!

The variable groove pulley system is what was oem on the ihc versions of the delcotron alternators.
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Old 01-02-2010, 06:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Delcotron 10si Alternator Thread

Here's a top view of the two pulleys, but it's hard to see the difference in this pic. The variable pulley on the right looks like it's badly worn, but it's not!

These pulleys interchange exactly.

Many times, when ya buy a reman alternator over the counter at most chain parts stores, they will not have the correct pulley set for an ihc application even though the p/n sez otherwise! Same for the clocking!

Don't sweat tha small stuff...a 10si for a '75 chev pickup is usually 20 bucks less than the same item for an '75 IH pickup! Take the chev, re-clock as needed, and swap the pulley since you gotta do that anyway!
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Delcotron 10si Alternator Thread

Here's the rear of the 10si case. The circular portion dead in the middle is the back of the encased needle bearing that the rotor rolls in. The front of the rotor is supported by a sealed ball bearing.

Top left ya see the "output" stud/terminal. That is actually attached to a capacitor internally. Those can be kinda fragile so ya don't wanna really reef on the retaining nut. Most of the time that stud and it's companion nut are english threads, but nowadays it's the norm to find the reman units have a metric thread form/nut.

On top is the port for the harness connector. Notice the pinouts are marked "1" on the left and "2" on the right. All 10si units are marked/designated the same!

On occasion, you will find another threaded hole somewhere on the rear of the case which is provided to run a dedicated ground to the vehicle harness, which of course is either terminated at the battery negative terminal or an engine block/chassis ground point.

Through the cooling slots in the rear of the case (air is picked up by the fan behind the pulley and pushed through the alternator body and exits through those slots), you can barely make out the voltage regulator pod (a ceramic element), and the rectifier component. Ya can't see the brushes but they are there...two of 'em.

Because this particular unit is an el cheepo remanner, you can see from the finish on the case it's been glass beaded witha fairly coarse grit...probably several times since the castings were first popped!
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Delcotron 10si Alternator Thread

Here's the top of the case where the harness connector plugs in. Ya can see the connector has a "key" which insures it always is inserted the correct direction.

I've marked the top of the case so ya can see the terminal numbers.

That connector is an oem item taken from some pos I worked on around here that was "open", a very common issue which causes alotta these alternators to be replaced...and replaced...and replaced...when there is nothing wrong with it!

Notice the wire conductor for terminal #1...that is a resistance wire! Single strand,...when you look in your service manual schematic for your particular ride you will see a callout for that conductor to be approximately 60" long for both I-4 and sv engine applications and have a nominal resistance of 10ohms +/-.

That wire run provides current to the rotating field (rotor) of the alternator and turns it into an electromagnet. It's fed b+ from the ignition switch in some manner, and is "hot" anytime the ignition switch is in the "run" position. We must "excite" or "tickle" the rotor if we want the alternator to make juice! Hold onto that idea, we're gonna come back to it.

However, any ihc-produced rig that originally had an idiot light of some type May not have a resistance wire in that position!...those will use the idiot light circuit to tickle the field, and hopefully the light bulb and it's socket are in serviceable condition. The idiot light bulb "load" provides the tickle signal to the rotor when the key switch is turned "on" and the alternator goes into rotation, depending upon the quality of the internal voltage regulator,these units won't begin to produce juice until they see an engine rpm of at lest 400+rpm, and that depends upon the drive/driven pulley ratio.

Terminal #2...that is simply a plain old copper/stranded wire run that goes directly to the battery positive terminal eventually in an unswitched run, nothing special.

So...in order for the 10si to properly charge a battery, we need three wires, one to excite the rotor (from the battery) and two that go to the same place...the battery positive terminal in order to replenish the electrons that are streaming out when the engine and all the other schnizz is in operation. If all that guapo is nice and clean, then it'll make an appropriate amount of ac sparks (which is then rectified into dc inside the alternator), and sent to the battery in a controlled fashion as commanded by the solid state voltage regulator.

That harness connector (and it's conductors) can be kinda fragile, so replacement pigtails are readily available for repair work.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:14 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Delcotron 10si Alternator Thread

If yore the typical IH tightazz and don't wanna spend a $1.99 for a harness connector pigtail, then just use two female slide terminals and crimp 'em onto the harness conductors.

But make dam shore ya git 'em connected to the correct pinouts!
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: The Delcotron 10si Alternator Thread

One more time for summa you short bus riders/slow learners/fat white boyz and jerry,...here's the butched connector with terminal id along side a replacement pigtail.

These terminal designations never change!!

The white wire coming outta the #1 hole on the pigtail is not a resistive element, it's just copper wire. If you are gonna retain the field tickler wire, ya gotta carefully splice that white pigtail to what is left of the resistance wire in the harness, won't matter one bit that ya loose a few inches of it, that ain't a dealbreaker at all.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Delcotron 10si Alternator Thread

Ok...now that we got all that out of the way...let's see what we gotta do to convert a rig that originally had either a generator or an external regulator alternator over to a 10si.

First off...ya needa 10si that actually works! And it's clocked and pully'd correctly for your install.

Then, if ya had a generator, yore gonna have to snake an alternator mount off somethin' and install it on the motor. That's yore problema, I can't make one appear by majik.

Then ya need a 10si repair pigtail like the one in the pic. If yore gonna continue to be a tightazz, then ya need a couplea female slide terminals.

Ya also need some kind of an aftermarket, low wattage light fixture installed somewhere on the dash where ya can see it. It must be incandescent, no led here or it won't work! This is gonna be our new idiot light.

This has nothing to do with eliminating/bypassing the ammeter as used on some ihc platforms. If you have an ammeter, it will continue to work exactly the same, we're not gonna touch that system at all. We're only adding an idiot light that tickles the rotor when we tell it to. This May be confusing summa you shortbus-types...but were trying to make this whole deal generic and ya gotta realize that IH built alot more vehicles than just the Scout II! Gitcha a dam schematic for your ride and lern it! Then yawl be able to foller along here!

'corse yore gonna need sum wire. Prolly about 5>6ft. Of 8 gauge (6 gauge is even better and more anal), a couplea feet of 12 gauge, and about 6>8 ft. Of 14 gauge. Color don't mean squat, fang shoe tha deal if ya wanna but make dam shore the wire ain'ta bunch of rotten crap stripped outta sum hulk ya found burned on the side of the road. Yore gonna need some hefty termination for the alternator output cable and some butt splices or whatever yore method of joinin' wires is. Be creative, but do it right!

That's it for tonite, it's time for din-din, we'll finish this up in the mornin'.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:21 AM   #13
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Default Re: The Delcotron 10si Alternator Thread

Boltin' the alternator to the mount is a no-brainer, even jerry can do that unassisted. Don't tighten everything down right now, but ya May have to source a different length drive belt depending upon what pulley setup and what mount ya have. Do eyeball carefully the drive pulley alignment and do whatcha gotta do to make it nice.

Once ya got the mechanical side under control, then ya need to whack out a new harness. The oem "output" or bat wire run is normally a 10 gauge chunk that has been really fried on one or both ends. So if ya got the typical ihc bulkhead connector disease, now is the time to handle that also.

For the new output wire (or a repair segment if you are upgrading an existing wire with the disease), I like to use at least an 8 gauge conductor. What we're doing here is insuring we don't have any voltage drop created by wiring or terminations, the original IH stuff is too small in gauge in nearly all wire runs throughout the vehicle.

It costs only a few cents more per vehicle to wire it in an adequate fashion, but back in the day (and still!) those few cents add up over the entire production run of any vehicle platform so the oem is gonna use the lightest/cheeepest wiring and peripheral apparatus they can get away with. And ihc took that to an extreme on the light line stuff,...the medium/heavy trucks were far superior electrically-speaking!

You will also need an appropriate termination for the 10si output stud, along with a method for permanently attaching. The terminal does not have to be an "insulated" variety, I prefer copper lugs for terminating wire of this gauge.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:30 AM   #14
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Default Re: The Delcotron 10si Alternator Thread

This tool is a texas aggie toenail clipper...some call 'em "lug crimper". It's used in conjunction with the favorite tool of all IH tightazz wannabes...the hammer!

There are a few different ways to make up this harness, it depends upon your particular rig. The pic of the harness in the dawghauler back in the first post shows one way, where the red wire on the repair/replacement pigtail connector ultimately goes to the battery positive terminal along with the "output" wire. That was because at the time I fabbed that entire wiring system, my plan was still evolving. Now when I do these conversions, I do it as described in this post.

If ya happen to have that rubber insulator cap for the output terminal, then go ahead and thread it in place, that adds a nice finishing touch. If ya don't have one...no biggee, it's certainly not necessary. Then ya take the red wire from the replacement pigtail and strip it back and braid the strands of the two conductors together. In this case, I slid a piece of heatshrink over the two wires in order to provide some rudimentary strain relief once the harness is connected and in operation.

Then ya simply insert the braided wire strands in the copper lug placed under the tool anvil and whack on the top of it until the lug is crimped. This tool has a rudimentary gauge included but I really don't pay any attention to that, I've been using this tool for at least 30 years. This tool is rated for crimping lugs/cable up to 3/0 gauge and can be fudged to do 4/0 copper lugs also ( do a "double"/back-to-back crimp on those).
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:53 AM   #15
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Default Re: The Delcotron 10si Alternator Thread

Next up we need to make up the idiot light wire run.

The normal repair pigtail uses a white wire stub for splicing in, and it's either a 16 gauge or 18 gauge conductor. To extend this conductor I normally use a long piece of 14 gauge (overkill remember???).

This gets a simple butt splice (crimped) at the connector end, and an appropriate terminal for your particular idiot light apparatus on the other end. This wire must be long enough to extend to the light mounting position in the cab!

If your rig already has an idiot light (such as the oem Scout 80, then ya can simply locate the wire in the oem harness (remember that oem schematic ya memorized???) that feeds that lamp in the instrument pod cluster and use it! Works just like a stocker! But since I never recommend using anything that is part of the oem Scout 80 electrical system, if you are doing this from scratch, ya need to provide a wire run for that in your replacement harness.

The other terminal gets a wire run that simply goes to a "hot" terminal that is ignition switch-controlled to be hot when the ignition switch is in the "on/run" position.
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