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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so hopefully im putting this in the correct area... but here it goes, i was asked to do a write up of my alternator powered welder on my jeep.

i apologize ahead of time if its difficult to follow this is my first write up

things you'll need
1. alternator (must be externally regulated, such as the ford alternators.) i used one out of a 1981 cougar with the 5.8l v8. its best if the output of the alternator is 70+ amps mines 110 amps
2. some thick gauge wire (2 or 4) will work
3. some thinner wire. just to excite the alternator (must be detachable, you dont want to leave plugged in while not in use)
4. a way to mount the alternator in your engine bay (home made brackets work)
5. extra pulley (or if you can bolt it on your belt where it fits thats great too)
6. belt (once again not needed if it fits somewhere on your stock belt)
7. a stinger to hold the welding rod (or you could use jumper cables, stinger is best)
8. a way to adjust engine rpms without pedal.

i know it sounds like a lot but really its not as much as it sounds. i dont have pictures of me installing it but i have them of it finished so ill try to walk you through it

this picture shows the mount that holds the alternator on the frame, it was made from metal that i had laying around. i cut 2 right angles out of it, welded them onto the frame 3 inches apart, drilled holes in em and mounted the alternator on top.



since my system is used only when needed i made things easy to disconnect. alternators become more difficult to turn when you draw power from them, and since welding takes quite a bit of power you'll need a way to tighten the belt so the alternator doesnt slip, i used a ratchet strap hooked on to my frame on one side and the other end on a bolt going through the alternator.



you'll have to excuse my wiring (the v8 swap isnt fully completed) but the red wire up on top here goes directly from the battery's positive to the field terminal on the alternator




the red and black wires coming of the alternator will be your direct ground and positive. obviously black is ground and red will go to your stinger.


this is a bad picture but you can see where that red and black wire lead. the front of the grill where i clip my leads onto.


and there you have it. your alternator welder is complete. time to try it out.

the way i have things work is i use a set of jumper cables clipped onto those wires coming off the alternator, then i clip the positive of the jumper cable to my stinger and the negative continues to be the ground.

heres a quick video of it working. please i dont need a lecture on proper welding equipment, i made the video spur of the moment and didnt have my gloves/mask with me. and yes my eyes were closed i just wanted to show that it works.

 

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Good deal
 

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Awesome. Now to fit that on the ZJ....
 

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I like it... something I've wanted to do for a *long* time!

Just in case you'd like to know... big diesel truck alts are the best for this, I mean mack and freightliner, thermo-king refrigerator trucks, etc. Reason being most of them are 24-volt instead of 12 volt. Also, it takes about 120 amps to burn 1/8 inch rod. Regular welding machines (good ones) will keep about 28 volts at whatever amps you put.

Obviously the ford alt worked, and its lo-buck cheap-n-easy mod! I love it!
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Awesome. Now to fit that on the ZJ....
there is a way to do it using the stock alternator. still has to be externally regulated though. but you get a 110v regulator from autozone with a switch and you can switch it from powering your jeep to being a welder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I like it... something I've wanted to do for a *long* time!

Just in case you'd like to know... big diesel truck alts are the best for this, I mean mack and freightliner, thermo-king refrigerator trucks, etc. Reason being most of them are 24-volt instead of 12 volt. Also, it takes about 120 amps to burn 1/8 inch rod. Regular welding machines (good ones) will keep about 28 volts at whatever amps you put.

Obviously the ford alt worked, and its lo-buck cheap-n-easy mod! I love it!
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thanks for the tip, ill look into that once this alternator burns out (made in china) the way i have it mounted i can easily switch whatever i want into it. at idle the alternator is outputting 34 volts though so its doing fairly well, i did a test a few days ago at 5000rpms just to see and it was right around 213 volts. so at about 3000rpms i can actually run grinders and tools like that off of it. as long as the motor has brushes
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That engine sounds sweet.
thanks, its just a flowmaster 44 clamped onto flexible pipe until i get my c6 headers in the mail :2thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I like it... something I've wanted to do for a *long* time!

Just in case you'd like to know... big diesel truck alts are the best for this, I mean mack and freightliner, thermo-king refrigerator trucks, etc. Reason being most of them are 24-volt instead of 12 volt. Also, it takes about 120 amps to burn 1/8 inch rod. Regular welding machines (good ones) will keep about 28 volts at whatever amps you put.

Obviously the ford alt worked, and its lo-buck cheap-n-easy mod! I love it!
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a question though, with a 24 volt alternator would that mean id have to supply the field terminal with 24 volts instead of 12? im planning on running dual batteries so i could figure out a way to give it 24 if i had to, just wondering
 

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a question though, with a 24 volt alternator would that mean id have to supply the field terminal with 24 volts instead of 12? im planning on running dual batteries so i could figure out a way to give it 24 if i had to, just wondering
Nah you could just field it with 12v. In fact it'll prolly last longer that way.
Here's another idea:
http://www.dbelectrical.com/p-3907-...king-batteryless-24-volt-150-amp-amo0045.aspx

Most alts you can rip out the internal reg or just bypass it by snipping a few wires, make it do whatever you want. Kinda like doing a nutter bypass on the alt itself.

(FWIW I used to be a pro welder/fabricator... at work the welder ran off a diesel, the alt on it weighed 700 lbs, 400 amps...) Scroll down for pic on this page...http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=4694
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nah you could just field a 24 v alt with just 12v. In fact it'll prolly last longer that way.
Here's another idea:
http://www.dbelectrical.com/p-3907-...king-batteryless-24-volt-150-amp-amo0045.aspx

Most alts you can rip out the internal reg or just bypass it by snipping a few wires, make it do whatever you want. Kinda like doing a nutter bypass on the alt itself.

(FWIW I used to be a pro welder/fabricator... at work the welder ran off a diesel, the alt on it weighed 700 lbs, 400 amps...)
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that alternator is tempting... i knew about being able to modify other alternators, i just didnt wanna chance screwing one up so i figured the safest route for me was an external regulated one. and that sounds like an epic welder. im fully open to any ideas you or anyone else may have for improvements (just throwing that out there). i may look for a used 24 volt alternator like the one you posted. that would allow me to weld without revving the engine up near as much
 

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that alternator is tempting... i knew about being able to modify other alternators, i just didnt wanna chance screwing one up so i figured the safest route for me was an external regulated one. and that sounds like an epic welder. im fully open to any ideas you or anyone else may have for improvements (just throwing that out there). i may look for a used 24 volt alternator like the one you posted. that would allow me to weld without revving the engine up near as much
If you want to use both pullys on your alt, try finding an older chevy or GMC straight 6 cylinder at a junkyard. From the 1960's or 1970's. Double pulleys were standard on them. You could stack one of them on top of your regular crank pulley. That way you won't have to winch on your alt so hard to keep it from slipping. :thumbsup:

The machine I used at work was just a regular construction site welder, big blue box with a muffler on a trailer.
http://www.google.com/products/cata...a=X&ei=roHpTqi_A4SUgwfD7NHzCA&ved=0CGIQ8wIwAQ

^^^ like that one... gonna have to save up a bit for that tho...
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If you want to use both pullys on your alt, try finding an older chevy or GMC straight 6 cylinder at a junkyard. From the 1960's or 1970's. Double pulleys were standard on them. You could stack one of them on top of your regular crank pulley. That way you won't have to winch on your alt so hard to keep it from slipping. :thumbsup:

The machine I used at work was just a regular construction site welder, big blue box with a muffler on a trailer.
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only problem is the pulleys are different sizes on the alternator, inner one is deeper so id need to have a way to offset the difference in pulley size. the first time i tried it i figured i had enough tension just having it bolted in and it killed the belt in like 5 seconds. i didnt know much about alternators so i didnt think it could be that hard to turn... so very wrong :brickwall
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
i think ill be good with the hobart in the garage for awhile before ill require a $13,000 welder lol. i can imagine it'd be pretty fun using it though
 

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only problem is the pulleys are different sizes on the alternator, inner one is deeper so id need to have a way to offset the difference in pulley size. the first time i tried it i figured i had enough tension just having it bolted in and it killed the belt in like 5 seconds. i didnt know much about alternators so i didnt think it could be that hard to turn... so very wrong :brickwall
:eyebulge: that's weird, never heard of diff size pulleys before... OTOH I think the shaft on car alts is a standard sizes for all of them, if I remember... maybe there's a different one you could swap on?
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
btw did i mention that this mod costs less than 150 bucks if you can get your hands on a used alt, and a cheap stinger. my stinger was free, we have a broken chicago electric welder in my dads garage so i took the stinger from
 

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btw did i mention that this mod costs less than 150 bucks if you can get your hands on a used alt, and a cheap stinger. my stinger was free, we have a broken chicago electric welder in my dads garage so i took the stinger from
That's what I like the most about it. The junkyards around here only want $40 for the alt regardless what kind. Which is cool because that's all my budget is :laugh:

But seriously I wish I had seen somebody do this *years* ago, I coulda been making $$$ on the side that way.
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
:eyebulge: that's weird, never heard of diff size pulleys before... OTOH I think the shaft on car alts is a standard sizes for all of them, if I remember... maybe there's a different one you could swap on?
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me either, maybe another accessory ran off a different belt from the alternator?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That's what I like the most about it. The junkyards around here only want $40 for the alt regardless what kind. Which is cool because that's all my budget is :laugh:

But seriously I wish I had seen somebody do this *years* ago, I coulda been making $$$ on the side that way.
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another question, you being a welder may be able to answer. when welding on the jeep itself, ive read some places that you have to switch the ground and positive to avoid damaging electronics on the jeep? i havent tried yet, dont wanna screw it up till i know what im doing exactly
 

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