Q. How do you identify your GM Internally Regulated Alternator?
Delco Remy (System Integrated) SI alternators were used on GM vehicles between 1969-1988. They were primarily used on vehicles between 1975-1985. Two of the most commonly used models were the 10SI and 12SI alternators.
A. Two key identification points of the SI alternator are the external fan with V-belt pulley and the two charge indicator light terminals (male blades) that appear on the backside of the alternator.
Q. What is a fusible link?
A. A fusible link is similar to a fuse; it is a type of circuit protector. It is a length of wire, typically 6 inches long, and usually two gauge sizes smaller than the wire it is protecting. If excessive current runs through the circuit, the wire overheats and melts, breaking the circuit. When a circuit has been broken, no electricity can flow. The fusible link has a softer nonflammable insulation that bubbles to indicate when it has blown.
Q. What are the common types of automotive wire?
A. There are two main categories of automotive wire: PVC and cross-linked. The biggest difference between the two categories is temperature range.
The three main types of PVC automotive wire are: GPT—used for general circuit wiring and rated to 80 degrees C; TWP—lead-free, thin-wall automotive wire rated to 105 degrees C; HDT—heavy-wall automotive wiring rated to 80 degrees C.
Cross-linked insulation is created by extruding polyethylene through a tube, under heat and pressure, in order to “cross-link” or change the molecules of the insulation to another state. Cross-linked automotive wire can withstand much higher temperatures than PVC automotive wire.
The three most common types of cross-linked automotive wire are: GXL—(used by American Autowire) it has thin-wall insulation and works with most standard automotive connectors, rated to 125 degrees C; SXL—standard wall, rated to 125 degrees C; TXL—extra-thin wall, best for applications that require minimal size and weight, rated to 125 degrees C.
2. This Painless Performance 12-circuit kit can be used in just about any vehicle where basic wring is needed. This kit includes GM (column-mounted) ignition switch connectors and a GM (column-mounted) turn signal switch connector pre-terminated and ready to install. Also included are pre-wire plugs for headlights and the dimmer switch.
3. A wise addition to any truck is this full vehicle grounding kit from American Autowire. Bad grounds are often a source of electrical problems.
4. American Autowire’s complete wiring kit for ’60-66 Chevy pickups will accommodate GM SI, CS, or any one-wire alternator, stock or aftermarket instruments, heat and A/C, and stock or late-model steering columns.
5. Any truck with basic electrical needs is a candidate for the American Autowire Highway 15 wiring harness. It has everything needed, including a headlight and dimmer switches.
6. For custom installations with a variety of electrical accessories, the Highway 22 wiring kit from American Autowire is a modular system that provides 22 power circuits through 15 fuses and one circuit breaker.
7. This Micro Fuse Harness from Painless offers an alternative to mounting the fuse block under the dash. The Micro Fuse block is 3x3½x2 inches yet holds 12 fuses and two relays. The fuse block is covered to keep it free from dirt and contaminants.
8. There are all sorts of cool electrical devices available, such as this low-voltage module from American Autowire. It can be used to trigger a warning light when the battery drops below 11 volts.
9. Painless offers the Fan-Thom II electric fan control. It comes with a threaded thermostat that screws into the engine block or intake. It provides constant voltage, protects the fan from voltage and amperage spikes, and prevents it from back feeding voltage through the vehicle’s wire harness.
10. When installing a high-output alternator, the charging circuit must be able to handle the increased amperage. American Autowire offers high-amp alternator connection kit for that purpose.
11. Powermaster offers a variety of alternators, some are available to look like vintage generators. This is their new Smooth Look 12SI alternator—its available with 100- or 140-amp output.
12. To protect and clean up any harness installation Painless offers this braided wire wrap. The laterally split design closes around wire bundle without the need for additional taping or zip ties.
13. To make installations easier American Autowire offers several tools; this double crimp tool will secure double F-type terminals with 10- to 18-gauge wire.
14. Also available is this crimper for 14- to 20-gauge wire. With both tools all the common connectors are covered.
15. To protect wires that pass through holes, Painless can provide an assortment of rubber grommets.
16. Optima 12-volt batteries come in RedTop (starting), YellowTop (deep cycle), and BlueTop (Marine). Starting batteries are also available in 6-volt.