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Thread: 3G Alternator Belt Squeal

  1. #1

    Default 3G Alternator Belt Squeal

    For those that have swapped their 1g or 2g alternator to a 3g did you have any belt squeal issues afterwards? The bearings in the 1g in my Ď85 CV are starting to make noise. I have a good used 3g on the shelf in my garage along with all the necessary trimmings to make it work. I want to put this instead of a reman 1g but donít want to end up with an annoying squeal. I donít really need a 3g since the electrical system is staying stock but would like it due to the increased idle amps. If Iím going to end up with annoying belt chirps/squeals Iíd rather go back to the 1g and deal with it.

    My 3g came off of a mustang and has the smaller 56mm pulley on it. Iíve read that most of the squealing issues happen on v belt setups but the serpentine drive on boxes doesnít exactly provide the best belt wrap around the pulley. I have read of v belt guys using a soft start voltage regulator to eliminate squeal. Anyone ever use that?

    Thanks!


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  2. #2
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Never had any squealing issues with my Town Car. Get it good 'n' tight, that's my advice. My alt has been on my car for over six years now.
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  3. #3
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    I did until use used a crow bar to hold the alternator at the right tension while tightening the bolts. Me's got skinny arms. Not enough HULK to pull it tight.

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  4. #4

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    Good deal. Glad you guys had no major issues. I mocked everything up last night so now Iíll go ahead with the wiring tonight. I went with the 50.5 inch belt. The adjustment on the alternator looks like it will be completely maxed out to get the right tension. I didnít want to grind on the alternator bracket hence the longer belt. Worst case I can grind the bracket a little to get the 50 inch belt on if I need it tighter.


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  5. #5
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    belt doesn't really have good wrap on these, so it has to be tighter than you think it should be in order to not squeal. The stock alternator has the same issue.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
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  6. #6

    Default 3G Alternator Belt Squeal

    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    belt doesn't really have good wrap on these, so it has to be tighter than you think it should be in order to not squeal. The stock alternator has the same issue.
    The wrap is definitely lacking. Wish there was some way to improve it. Got home from work, made some dinner then finally got back out to the garage to finish up. I ended up completely maxing out the belt adjustment to get decent tension. There is about 1/4 inch deflection.

    I nervously started the car and didnít get any squeal! I went for a short drive with a few full throttle pulls and all is well! I wish I had done this swap sooner. Itís weird not having the headlights dim at a stop every time the turn signal flashes.


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    Last edited by matth825; 10-09-2020 at 01:41 AM.

  7. #7
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    I did until use used a crow bar to hold the alternator at the right tension while tightening the bolts. Me's got skinny arms. Not enough HULK to pull it tight.
    Oh yeah, I think this is exactly what I did.

    Quote Originally Posted by matth825 View Post
    ...I wish I had done this swap sooner. Itís weird not having the headlights dim at a stop every time the turn signal flashes...
    Right?? I couldn't get over that for a few months. I'd purposely run everything, the wipers, headlights, defrost, blower ect and was just so tickled that nothing dimmed and the turnsignals flashed faster. Can't believe that right from the factory these things were mediocre.
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  8. #8

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    The tensioning experience was comical. I used a large adjustable on the alternator ear to pull it over. I held that along with a ratchet on the bolt head in my left hand while using a ratcheting box end wrench with my right hand on the nut. Surprised I could do it as I usually canít walk and chew gum!

    I did the same electrical celebration you did. I had the high beams on, rear defrost on, hazards on (no traffic out) and HVAC blower on high for my shakedown run. I purposely drove slow through a neighborhood with lots of stop signs too.

    Stinks our cars got such a weak alternator from the factory but Iím just happy there is an easy upgrade path that doesnít involve a GM alternator. Nothing against GM...just want to keep my Ford all Ford.


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  9. #9
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I changed one with my useful hand in a cast once with basically the same procedure. I had a thumb and a finger that was usable on my right hand, so I had the pry bar hooked in my elbow and the box wrench held with my thumb and finger while I made the bolt tight with my stupid hand.

    That weak alternator was considered the upgrade alternator from what came prior. The 85- cars were 55 amps. More reliable, but the same basic alternator that Ford came out with in the 1960s. They did make that up to 100 amp, and that was your only "big" choice until the 90s. I have two of those 100a units in service. They actually work OK but the idle output isn't amazing. They keep working though, so I keep not screwing with it. They do suck less than the 2g alternator did though.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

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    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  10. #10

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    Itís always fun working on something with half a hand! I had a bad accident about 10 years ago that left my ring and index finger on my right hand minus about a quarter of an inch. My entire hand was wrapped up for about two months while the skin grafting healed. Iím right handed so that made things interesting.

    I wonder if itís possible to find a smaller pulley for the 100 amp 1g to help its idle output. 100 amps seems like plenty if the electrical system is staying otherwise stock. I would have gone with the 95 amp 3g as the case is a little smaller. Problem is itís very hard to find and expensive as it was only used for a few years.

    I ended up using a 6pk1285 belt with a motor craft gp-712 pulley. I highly recommend Bando belts. Despite the cheesy name they are high quality and made in the USA.


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  11. #11
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    The 100 amp is externally regulated and a larger case, so it requires a lot of re-wiring and a different bracket to install one. Going the other way requires at least wire mods, there is a large case 3g but something about the one ear has to be ground thinner to fit. Idle output is still better than the 65, but not as good as the 130. They also don't melt the connector and catch fire, which is always a selling point IMO.

    I was actually thinking about ways to improve the belt wrap. It might be possible to add an idler pulley between the alternator and PS pump so the belt wraps further around the alternator, but figuring out where to attach the thing might get interesting. Or maybe the better spot is between the water pump and alternator, but still same issue with figuring out what to attach the idler to that wouldn't have it just hanging way out on a long bolt with a spacer behind it.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  12. #12
    Member of the Orb Alliance packman's Avatar
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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^I ended up grinding the top of the bolt hole on the power steering/alternator bracket to get the large case to fit^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Like everybody said; I had to tighten my 3g far more than I felt comfortable with in order to stop it from squealing. It's just the way it is.....
    Last edited by packman; 10-12-2020 at 10:17 AM.

  13. #13

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    Update: about two weeks after I did the swap I decided to get the white soft start regulator. I started noticing increased drag on the engine as it was coming up to speed after being cranked due to the alternator immediately going full output trying to replenish the battery. After installing it the drag is gone and the engine cranks normally. It also reduces engine idle speed drops when a whole bunch of electrical loads are switched on at one. The idle drop was noticeable for me since my car is CFI and lacks idle speed control.

    I highly recommend anyone doing this swap use the soft start regulator.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by matth825 View Post
    Update: about two weeks after I did the swap I decided to get the white soft start regulator. I started noticing increased drag on the engine as it was coming up to speed after being cranked due to the alternator immediately going full output trying to replenish the battery. After installing it the drag is gone and the engine cranks normally. It also reduces engine idle speed drops when a whole bunch of electrical loads are switched on at one. The idle drop was noticeable for me since my car is CFI and lacks idle speed control.

    I highly recommend anyone doing this swap use the soft start regulator.


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    I'm very much interested in this...I hadn't realized before this thread that there was an intentionally-designed "soft start" regulator for the 3G (or any other alternator really). However, one of the 3Gs I've purchased brand new came with a regulator I wondered if may have been defective because it behaved that way (slow ramp up to full charging voltage).

    A quick Google would suggest that Motorcraft GR-814, cast in white plastic, is the/a soft start one. Can you confirm what brand and part number your regulator is? Seems that maybe Standard VR526 is equivalent but it's unclear to me if it has the soft start feature.

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  15. #15

    Default 3G Alternator Belt Squeal

    GR-814 is the correct regulator. It is white and will have the part number FZ4U-10316-AC on it. It comes stock on alternators for the 93-99 OHV 3.0 Taurus. The standard number you listed is the correct part number but I also couldnít confirm if it had the soft start feature.

    I read it was developed specifically for the Taurus with the 3.0 OHV. Thatís the only vehicle they can be found on.

    The soft start is technically called a ďload response delay.Ē It is 2.5 seconds. It did take a little getting used to after I installed it. The headlights will dim and then slowly ramp back up to full brightness when I kick on the heater fan. Iím ok with that however. I also feel better knowing the belt drive isnít being shock loaded potentially causing a belt squeal.

    I donít think Ford makes them anymore but if you need one let me know. Iíd only ask for it what I paid plus shipping. I pulled a few the last time I was at the junkyard as there were loads of them to be found.


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  16. #16
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    hm, interesting. Never knew this existed either.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  17. #17
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    Funny thing about that is that a 3.0 OHV Taurus is my preferred donor vehicle to pull a 3G from. So I suppose I probably already have a couple of these in rotation. I'll have to check the numbers on them.

    97 T-Bird 3.8 is the most recent donor vehicle I used (actually bought new for that application because of clocking) and it is the one that I suspected came out of the box with a sluggish regulator.

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  18. #18
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    I wonder if a similar regulator was used on large case 3.8 Essex alternators too (aimed towards folks with the 1Gs). I only say that since I installed a 3G (spec'd for a 3.8 Sable) on a late 80s L9000 dump truck due to eliminate a troublesome 1G/external regulator that the owner wanted gone, and it was noted the voltage gauge took a few seconds to start reading a charge (also double checked with a voltmeter). It reliably delays no more than 5 seconds before the gauge changes from battery voltage to around 14.5v.

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  19. #19

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    Where the non 3.0 Taurus alternators you guys used brand new or reman? If reman I wonder if the rebuilder has a pile of regulators they pull from and slap on whatever alternator resulting in them ending up on other alternators. From all the research I did it was only the 3.0 Taurus that used the 2.5 delay alternator.

    I also found out that Ford made a 95 amp version of the 3g. It was used on a small number of vehicles for only a couple of years. It is a smaller case thus allowing for easier retrofit. One of those vehicles is a 1992 E350 van with the 351. I went out to the junk yard today and couldnít believe my eyes when I found that exact van! I also found a fresh reman 130 amp 3g on a 99 mustang 3.8. I snagged both of them. The yard cashier was having an exceptionally good day and gave me 2 for the price of 1!

    The 95 amp version is still available new and reman on rock auto. It may be a good alternative for guys who donít need tons of extra electrical capacity and donít want to mess with different belts/grind on the alternator mounting bracket. Iím going to test it out and see how it fits as well as performs.


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  20. #20
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    Another of those 95 amp vehicles was aero crown vics. The police versions got the 130 amp version. 92 police version has the same connector as the civilian version and is a direct swap and what's in my 93 right now.

    The reason for using the 130A over the 95A is idle current. The 130A is just better. Lights dim less at night when running the AC.

    Short list of models that use the 130A version, but needs to be reclocked
    93-99 Taurus
    95-98 Windstar
    93-2000 Sable

    List of cars that use the correctly clocked version:
    94-2000 Mustang 3.8L
    94-95 Mustang 5.0L
    94-97 Thunderbird/Cougar 5.0L

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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
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