Alternator replacement question

Discussion in 'Discussion Forum' started by Anthony, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. Anthony

    Anthony New Member

    Thunder Bay
    Can I put a 81 x1/9 alternator for air condition cars in non-air-conditioned car? I'm trying to put a higher amp alternator in my 1981 non air conditioned x1/9.
  2. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Sin City
    Yes and No. It can be done but they have completely different mounting configurations. It would require a whole bunch of changes; including the water pump and housing, pulleys, brackets, belts, etc, and it is a difficult design to change/adjust the belt. Plus the required water pump is actually smaller than the non-AC one (go figure, reduced cooling for the version that needs more). Not worth it. You should be able to find higher output alts with the non-AC mount. Or if you are willing to make changes to the mount, an easier one is to convert to the GM style alt (see posts on this if interested). Yet another option might be to locate a real alternator/starter rebuilding service near you. They have become quite rare anymore, but they will be able to rebuild it with a higher output.
    Anthony likes this.
  3. Anthony

    Anthony New Member

    Thunder Bay
    Thank you.
  4. Rod Midkiff

    Rod Midkiff True Classic

    Eugene, OR
    I have done the GM swap. not that bad with a welder to make the top bracket. and some people made the top bracket without a welder. Lower break just needs cut.
  5. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    The GM alternator alteration has been very popular as a replacement, the unit can be found most anywhere and once the changes have been made to the mount a replacement is easily installed. The one thing that I see needed on these alterations is a way to supply cool air to the back of the alternator as they pull the cooling air into the back of the alternator which on an X is close to the exhaust manifold.

    It is so popular that it has a place in our Best of Xweb Wiki:
    There are multiple links to other GM alternator installs on the wiki, well worth reading them

    The suggested unit would have the following specs

    GM 10SI "78 Camaro w/350 motor" alternator”
    • UPC: 769754200035
    • Amperage (A): 63 Amp
    • Clock Position: 3:00
    • New Or Remanufactured: Remanufactured
    • Pulley Included: Yes
    • Pulley Type: V-Belt
    • Voltage (V): 12 Volt
    • Voltage Regulator Type: Internal Regulator

    Some pics of one members altered parts:

    Jeff VanDyke’s install which ended up well after a few adjustments

    There was a recent thread by a Canadian member who used a Nissan Frontier alternator which required very little changes to the car.

    Bernice (Rapunzel) installed a Denso alternator from a Toyota, unfortunately the pics are no longer there but it is a great alternative:
    Dr.Jeff likes this.
  6. AKimball92

    AKimball92 True Classic

    With the minimal alterations needed for the Frontier alternator, that looks to be a very good possibility. Do any other vehicles use this alternator? Other than weight and size, is too many amps a bad thing? This is a 70 amp model and I've read people wanting 63 Amps.

    For all the X1/9 engine configurations out there, are the alternators all in the same location, belt alignment, or mounting set ups? I know the belt configs changed but you can find a V-belt for almost any length out there.
    Dr.Jeff likes this.
  7. Fiataccompli

    Fiataccompli Chris Granju

    Knoxville, TN
    wait, the alternator themselves are different between the AC & non-AC cars? I've been blessed since the '81 X I owned nearly 20 years ago with only having non-AC, but I suppose I never knew this.
  8. rx1900

    rx1900 1981 X1/9

    Yes, the alternators are different between the A/C and non A/C X1/9s in '81. The mounts are different. Although I recall someone here saying that with some mods the A/C alternator can be persuaded to fit on a non A/C car. I recall....the non A/C alternator is 65 amps, and the A/C one is 70 amps. Really not enough difference to bother....

    Anthony: can I ask why you feel the need for a higher output alternator ? Really, your stock 65amp unit should be way more than you are ever likely to need. Unless you are planning to run a whole bunch of powerful rally lights or a really powerful stereo. Barring that, I cant see you using even half the amps of the stock alternator......
  9. raillard

    raillard True Classic

    The outer structure of the non-A/C and A/C alternators are different. Different mounting "horns" for example, but the innards can be the same. I once moved the fresh/healthy innards of a NOS Bosch A/C alternator, including the fresh bearings, into the housing of my previous Bosch non-A/C alternator. Worked great, but it didn't cure the loud squealing noise that I was trying to remedy, as describe in another thread.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  10. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Sin City
    Thanks Andrew for reminding us of the Nissan option, I'd forgotten about it.
    Not sure if making alterations to do any custom installation is possible in this case. But there are options.
    By the way, as far as I know all years had different alts between AC and non AC (at least for the 1500).
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018

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