How to Wire a Chevy Alternator

by Kevin Krause

The GM alternator used in all Chevrolet models is easy to install, as it is connected using only a few wires. The alternator converts the engine's mechanical rotations into an electrical current using a pulley-and-belt system. This current is fed to the car's battery, charging it for later use. In newer models, the alternator is internally regulated and can be connected with only one wire linked to the car's battery.

Disconnect the car's battery before beginning any work to avoid the risk of electric shock while wiring your alternator.

Tighten the mounting bracket onto the alternator using bolts. Mount the bracket to the appropriate point on the engine block and secure in place.

Wire the BAT terminal on the alternator directly to the positive terminal of the car's battery. Be sure to use heavy shielded wire rated for use with a 12V DC circuit. For one-wire alternators, this will complete the electrical installation and you can skip to the last Step.

Wire the #1 terminal to a key-switched ignition line. The easiest way to do this is to connect the wire from the alternator to an existing line for a dashboard light. This will also create a circuit that will signal the light on your dashboard to indicate a malfunctioning alternator.

Connect the #2 terminal to the positive terminal on the battery. This terminal can also be jumped directly to the BAT terminal. This line is used to regulate the power generated by the alternator.

Attach the alternator fan belt to the pulleys on the engine and alternator.

Tip

  • check Leaving the #2 terminal disconnected will simplify the wiring of the alternator. When left disconnected, regulation will be left to the alternator's internal regulator.

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About the Author

Hailed as one of his native Baltimore's emerging writers in Urbanite Magazine, for the past five years Kevin Krause has been writing everything from advertising copy to prose and poetry. A recent grad holding a degree in English and creative writing from University of Maryland, Baltimore County, his most recent work can be found in The Urbanite.