1970 C10: Alternating Direction
While there hasn’t been an update on our project C10 lately, I can assure you a lot has been done. We’ve been feverishly working to get the panels straight, gaps consistent and surfaces flat (I’ve got a lengthy post about this later). All of this, to me, is like watching paint dry. It’s tedious, time consuming, boring to watch and for the most part write about; but the results will be well worth it in the finished product. With that said, I decided to take a break from what has become the norm in our shop and spend time sorting out little things like the alternator. When I’d bought the truck, the previous owner had installed some funky serpentine belt system without an idler pulley, which worked and looked just about as good as it sounds. To top it off he’d used small block pulleys and spaced them away from the balancer and water pump with washers so that they would line up with the alternator and power steering pump. Needless to say, I’m getting away from that setup and bought a set of factory big block pulleys that use V-belts. Since the alternator that was on the truck used a serpentine belt (which I later realized I could have just swapped the pulley), I opted to rebuild an alternator with a V-belt pulley. Me and my dad literally have milk crates filled with old alternators and starters that may or may not be any good, so I pulled the alternator above since it was marked 80 amp. All of the alternators we have are questionable, so I pulled it apart to test the components and media blast/paint the case. As it turns out, the diode was bad so I went down the local jobber and picked up this rebuild kit:
Rebuilding alternators seems like a lost art. In a world where everything is replaceable and everyone wants instant gratification, nobody ever takes the time to do this themselves. A rebuilt alternator at the local parts store runs around $50 for even the lower amp units. This rebuild kit was around $20 and uses all American made components. All in the entire process took around an hour, which included me powdercoating the pulley and fan. Totally worth it, in my opinion, I’ll let the results speak for themselves. Oh, and if you’re observant you might be thinking “that case is different than the one he started with.” Well, you’d be correct! After assembling the alternator for the first time tonight, I knocked it off of my workbench and it broke the back half of the case (those sand cast aluminum cases are brittle!). I went back through our pile of cores and found an alternator that had a broken ear on the front half of the case and robbed the back. Back in business. Speaking of that, it’s time for me to get back to the body work.