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How To Remove & Install Alternator | 79-85 Mustang

Created by Jay Walling
Date Created: 7/21/2022
Last Updated: 8/5/2022

Upgrade your 1979-1985 Foxbody Mustang with more charging power for your accessories with SVE's 130 amp upgrade kit! Follow along with the steps below to show you how to complete this task.

Viewing this install and using the information shared is subject to the terms set forth here - View the LMR Install Instructions Disclaimer.

1979-1985 Mustang stock alternators suffer from small wiring and low output. Add underdrive pulleys and run your accessories such as headlights, A/C, or the heat, and you'll likely see the lights dim and the battery gauge drop. Throw an electric cooling fan into the mix, and the stock alternator simply can't keep up. This kit gives your Fox Body Mustang the extra charging power it needs to keep your electronics running smoothly!

Tools Needed

  • Socket Wrench Set
  • Wire Crimpers
  • Wire Strippers
  • Heat Gun/Heat Source
  • Electrical Tape
  • Cutoff Wheel or Dye Grinder
  • Digital Volt And OhmMeter

Stock Alternator Removal

  1. Remove the battery for optimal workroom
  2. Remove the upper hose from the radiator
  3. Relieve belt tension and then slide the belt off of the alternator pulley (Fig 1.1)
  4. Remove the lower retaining bolt with a five-eighths wrench
  5. Remove the stator wire from the stud on the back of the alternator (Fig 1.2)
  6. Use a flat head to remove the field wire from the stud on the back of the alternator (Fig 1.3)
  7. Loosen and remove the seven-sixteenths retaining nut and then remove the wire

1979 1985 SVE 130 Amp Alternator Installation - 1979 1985 SVE 130 Amp Alternator Installation


Prepair Wiring For 130 Amp Alternator

  1. On the factory harness, cut the WHITE W/BLACK electronic choke wire near the alternator, if equipped. Cut the field wire (This will be tied into the ORANGE w/BLUE field wire on the supplied 3G pigtail). (Fig 2.1)
  2. Now locate the factory regulator at the base of the strut tower
  3. Pull up on the white release tab to disconnect the electrical connection and remove the factory regulator from the car.
  4. Install the voltage regulator electrical connector into the supplied voltage regulator (this is a circuit adapter only).
  5. Position the new external regulator into place, reinstall the factory hardware and fully tighten.
  6. Position the new alternator into place, and place a mark on the bracket where the alternator makes contact. (Fig 2.2)
  7. Cut at the marked area with an appropriate tool such as a grinder or cut-off wheel.(Fig 2.3)

1979 1985 SVE 130 Amp Alternator Installation - 1979 1985 SVE 130 Amp Alternator Installation

  1. Plug in the conversion wire pigtail into the voltage regulator on the alternator. (Fig. 2.4)
  2. Connect the single white w/black stator wire to the alternator (Fig 2.4)
  3. Remove the 10mm retaining nut from the lug, position the yellow wire with the pre-installed ring terminal over the lug, position the ring terminal from the long end of the red power wire over the lug, and tighten the retaining nut. (Fig 2.5)
  4. Install the alternator into the car and slide the lower bolt into place.
  5. Cut the factory black w/orange power wire 1/2 inch from the inline connector (Fig 2.6)
  6. 1979 1985 SVE 130 Amp Alternator Installation - 1979 1985 SVE 130 Amp Alternator Installation

    1. Use a small piece of the provided heat shrink, slide it over the cut power wire, and heat to seal off this circuit. (Fig 2.7)
    2. Position the fuse box, on the red power wire, on the forward-facing side of the passenger side strut tower
    3. Utilize the provided self-tapping screws to secure the fuse box to the strut tower.
    4. Loosen and remove the retaining nut from the battery side lug on the starter solenoid, and remove all of the ring terminals from the lug (Fig 2.8)
    5. Clean all of the connections on the battery side of the solenoid, and reinstall the previously removed ring terminals, followed by the red power wire and positive battery cable (Fig 2.8)
    6. Properly route the factory orange w/blue field wire and then cut the supplied green w/red field wire to the length that you need. Slide a section of heat shrink over one of the wires. Connect the field wires with the butt connector, and then crimp the connector to secure the wire. Seal the connection with the heat shrink. (Fig 2.9)
    7. If your car is equipped with an electronic choke, carefully strip a section of the white w/black stator wire on the new conversion plug. Cut the white w/black electronic choke wire to length and then wrap the choke wire around the the exposed area on the stator wire (solder the connection) and seal the connection with tape.

    1979 1985 SVE 130 Amp Alternator Installation - 1979 1985 SVE 130 Amp Alternator Installation


    Install SVE 130 Amp Alternator

    1. Remove the lower bolt from the alternator and roll it forward; take this time to neatly wrap all of the wires with quality electrical tape (Fig 3.1)
    2. If the upper part of the bracket makes contact with the alternator housing, carefully file or grind down the underside of the upper bolt hole.
    3. Once you achieve proper clearance, align the upper bolt holes and then position the provided bolt into place.
    4. Thread on the nut and then fully tighten (Fig 3.2)
    5. Now, you can fully tighten the lower bolt (Fig 3.3)
    6. Reinstall the battery. Reconnect the positive and negative cables.
    7. Rotate the tensioner and then reposition the belt.
    8. Reinstall the upper radiator hose and re-tighten the clamp.
    9. 1979 1985 SVE 130 Amp Alternator Installation - 1979 1985 SVE 130 Amp Alternator Installation


      Test The SVE 130 Amp Alternator

      1. Once everything was reassembled, we fired up the car and checked for proper voltage (Fig 4.1)
      2. This was done with a volt meter while the a/c was running and the headlights on bright.
      3. The alternator was able to hold a very good 14.5 volts at idle (Fig 4.2)
      4. That now completes a successful 3G alternator upgrade

      1979 1985 SVE 130 Amp Alternator Installation - 1979 1985 SVE 130 Amp Alternator Installation


      CONCLUSION

      We hope that this article has helped you better understand how to properly install your SVE 130 Amp Alternator upgrade for all 1979-1985 Mustangs. Always remember that if you do not feel comfortable with any kind of detailed installation of this nature, you can rely on a local shop or professional help to assist you with these installations. Also, make sure you check out the installation video at the top of the article for more detailed info! For the latest tech info like this one, keep it here with the real Mustang enthusiasts at Late Model Restoration



About the Video

1979-1985 Mustang SVE 1G to 3G Alternator Upgrade - Install & Review

Check out our YouTube channel for even more tech tips, installation videos, how-tos, and more. The best place to go for anything Mustang related!

Published on 2018-07-06
SVE 130 Amp Alternator 1G to 3G Upgrade Kit.
This SVE 130 amp alternator upgrade kit gives your 1979-1985 Foxbody Mustang more charging power for your accessories! 1979-1985 Mustang stock alternators suffer from small wiring and low output, and the power wire plug is prone to melt and even cause an underhood fire. Add underdrive pulleys and running your accessories such as headlights, A/C or the heat and you'll likely see the lights dim and the battery gauge drop. Throw an electric cooling fan into the mix and the stock alternator simply can't keep up. This kit gives your Fox Body Mustang the extra charging power it needs to keep your electronics running smoothly!

More Output Power.
Our 130amp SVE alternator is 100% brand new, no core charge, and carries a lifetime warranty. This alternator is from the internally regulated 3G series, includes the correct pulley (installed), and produces 75-100 amps at idle when used with the stock crank pulley and the installed alternator pulley. The idle output of the SVE alternator meets or exceeds the peak output of the stock alternator! The SVE alternator is rated at 130 amps continuous output, but is capable of producing 160+ amps at peak. A dyno sheet, specific to every alternator, is included with every alternator to verify these stats.

1G to 3G Upgrade Kit.
This kit is made specifically for the installation of a Ford 3G alternator on any vehicle where the stock alternator was EXTERNALLY regulated. We incorporate a new replacement external regulator box to capture the proper circuit and retain the stock wiring harness along with our own 3-wire (3G Series) regulator plug. This kit allows the customer to retain the OEM warning lights and shunt type ammeter.

Power Wire Kit.
This is a complete kit to upgrade the main power feed wire from the alternator to the vehicle on most Fords. Basically, the OEM wire from the alternator to the vehicle was not designed to carry the added load of higher amp alternators. Using this large (#4 Gauge) wire kit will add the safe carrying capacity needed for lengths up to 10 feet. It also includes noise suppression.

Installation Notes:
- The output will decrease when used with underdrive pulleys by up to 30%.
- Being slightly larger then most other Ford units, minor bracket clearance/modification will be necessary.

Silver Finish Item # SVE-17046K4
Black Finish Item # SVE-17046K4-B
Transcript
What’s up everybody? Landan here with LMR.com! In this video I’ll be taking a look at SVE’s 130 Amp alternator upgrade kit for the 1979 to 1985 Mustangs as well as showing you how to install one of these kits into your car.

When it comes to upgrading Fox Body Mustangs, the charging system is typically a good topic for discussion.

From the factory, the Fox Mustang had a very anemic charging system and it did a decent job at keeping up with the simple demands from a factory car.

However, performance enthusiasts pushed the limits of the factory charging system by adding electric fans, electric water pumps, high-output ignition systems, high-volume electric fuel pumps, and even high-output stereo systems which would put a serious beating on the factory alternator.

The go-to solution is a 130 amp, 3rd generation-based alternator along with the needed add-ons to handle the new power output.

This is SVE’s 130 amp, 3G alternator upgrade for the 1979 to 1985 Fox Body Mustangs.

The kit includes a 130 amp alternator, external regulator, power wire, 3G plug with pigtail, and an assortment of smaller components so that you can properly install this kit.

The alternator itself is also currently available in a standard-issue cast aluminum finish and a black finish.

Today, we’ll be installing this kit into our 1983 GT.

Now a little disclosure for this car is that you’ll probably see somethings that are a little out of place.

I mean, after all, this is a Fox Body, and most of the cars that come through our shop are definitely some sort of project.

One last thing before we begin, you will need an appropriate grinding tool or cut-off wheel to properly modify the bracket to clear the new alternator.

To begin, pop the hood and remove the battery for optimal work room.

This car ended up having a side post battery which is wrong for this year model.

Loosen the hose clamp on the upper radiator hose.

Slide the clamp back and then remove the upper hose from the radiator.

Have a few rags ready just in case any coolant runs out.

Position the upper hose out of your way.

With the battery removed from the car, use a pry bar or something similar on the tensioner to relieve belt tension and then slide the belt off of the alternator pulley.

Loosen and remove the lower retaining bolt with a five-eighths wrench.

Loosen and remove the upper retaining bolt with a nine-sixteenths wrench.

Bring the alternator forward.

Remove the stator wire from the stud on the back of the alternator.

Loosen and remove the five-sixteenths nut securing the hold down bracket.

Position this out of your way.

Use a flat head to remove the field wire from the stud on the back of the alternator.

Roll back the protective boot on the battery wire exposing the retaining nut.

Loosen and remove the seven-sixteenths retaining nut and then remove the wire.

The alternator is now free to come out.

At this point you can remove the air cleaner assembly from the car.

This may differ throughout the 1979 to 1985 era.

Be sure and remove all attaching hardware, connected components and vacuum lines.

On the factory harness, cut the electronic choke wire if equipped.

Go ahead and cut the field wire as well.

Now locate the factory regulator at the inner fender.

Loosen and remove the two three-eighths bolts.

Bring the regulator forward.

Pull up on the white release tab to disconnect the electrical connection.

Remove the factory regulator from the car.

Clean or replace the voltage regulator connector.

Clean the inner fender where the voltage regulator mounts.

Install the voltage regulator electrical connector into the new voltage regulator.

You may have to carefully lift up on the tab on the regulator to fully engage the connector.

Position the new external regulator into place.

Reinstall the factory hardware and fully tighten.

At this time, you can position the new alternator into place.

Slide the lower bolt into place and rotate the alternator towards the upper bolt hole.

Place a mark on the bracket where the body of the alternator makes contact.

This will indicate where you need to cut in order to achieve proper clearance.

Once the mark is made, remove the lower bolt and alternator.

Place a towel or rag over any sensitive components to keep out any metal shavings.

Cut at the marked area with an appropriate tool such as a grinder or cut off wheel.

Once you make the cut, file down any rough areas on the bracket.

Vacuum up the metal shavings.

Then use compressed air to blow away any residual dust.

Give the area a final wipe down with a rag and quality brake clean.

Place the new alternator, power wire and conversion wire on work bench.

Plug in the conversion wire to the voltage regulator.

Connect the stator wire into the alternator.

Remove the 10mm retaining nut from the lug.

Position the yellow wire with pre-installed ring terminal over the lug.

Position the ring terminal from the power wire over the lug.

This will be the longer wire coming from the pre-installed fuse.

Tighten the retaining nut.

Install the alternator into the car and slide the lower bolt into place.

Cut the factory wire at the connector.

Leave approximately a half-inch of wire coming out of the connector.

Use a small piece of the provided heat shrink and slide it over the wire.

Cut any excess heat shrink and then apply heat to shrink the tubing.

Position the fuse box on the power wire on the forward-facing side of the passenger side strut tower.

Utilize the provided self-tapping screws to secure the fuse box to the strut tower.

We found an open hole that was stamped in the strut tower to retain the fuse boxes upper hole.

This way we didn’t have to put any more holes into the car.

Because of the location, the lower retaining hole on the fuse box is left unused or open.

Loosen and remove the retaining nut from the battery side lug on the starter solenoid.

Remove all of the ring terminals from the lug.

Clean all of the connections on the battery side of the solenoid.

Reinstall the previously removed ring terminals, followed by the power wire and positive battery cable.

Retighten the retaining nut.

Properly route the factory power wire and then cut the field wire to the length that you need.

Splice the end of the field wire.

If you would like, slide a piece of heat shrink over the pre-installed butt connector.

Slide the field wire into the butt connector and then crimp the connector to secure the wire.

Slide the heat shrink into position and then apply heat to shrink the tubing.

If your car is equipped with an electronic choke, carefully splice the stator wire on the new conversion plug.

Cut the electronic choke wire to length and then splice the wire.

Wrap the choke wire around the exposed area on the stator wire.

Solder the connection.

Wrap the soldered area with quality electrical tape.

Remove the lower bolt from the alternator and roll it forward.

Take this time to neatly wrap all of the wires with quality electrical tape.

Reposition the alternator and slide the lower bolt back into place.

Tighten the lower bolt by hand a few turns.

If the upper part of the bracket makes contact with the alternator housing, carefully file or grind down the underside of the upper bolt hole.

Once you achieve proper clearance, align the upper bolt holes and then position the provided bolt into place.

Thread on the nut and then fully tighten.

Now you can fully tighten the lower bolt.

Reinstall the battery.

Reconnect the positive and negative cables.

Rotate the tensioner and then reposition the belt.

Reinstall the upper radiator hose and retighten the clamp.

Remove your rag covering the carburetor.

Reassemble the air cleaner and connect anything that was removed.

Once everything was reassembled, we fired up the car and checked for proper voltage.

This was done with a volt meter while the a/c was running and the headlights on bright.

As you can see, this alternator was able to hold a very good 14.5 volts at idle.

That now completes a successful 3G alternator upgrade.

Wrapping everything up here guys; if you have good mechanical and electrical skills than this install should be pretty straightforward.

Of course for those of you wanting to upgrade to this SVE 130 amp alternator kit, but aren’t quite comfortable with doing the work yourself; reach out to your trustworthy local speed shop and have them install this for you.

Overall, this was a solid upgrade for our 83 GT! While it is still predominately stock, we now have a charging system that can handle future electrical upgrades we do to this car.

To see more how-to and review videos covering industry leading products, be sure and subscribe to our YouTube channel, like this video, and turn on notifications. While you’re at it, checkout our other videos and shop LMR.com for all things 1979 to present Mustang and SVT Lightning!