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History of the alternator

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The first production vehicle to come equipped with an alternator was the 1960 Plymouth Valiant by Chrysler Corporation. This alternator was rated with a maximum output of 30 amps and was controlled by a mechanical regulator. The alternator had a single terminal “B” circuit field which was internally grounded to the alternator housing. The alternator had six diodes, three negative and three positive. The negative diodes were pressed into the alternator frame. The positive diodes were pressed into a separate frame which had an output battery terminal. The positive frame was insulated with mica from and secured to the alternator frame. Up until 1964 the alternators on Chrysler vehicles were made by a company called Essex. During 1964 Chrysler started producing alternators in 37, 46 and 60 amp models.

The first electronic voltage regulator came into use during 1970. When Chrysler included the electronic voltage regulator as part of the charging system, the alternators were redesigned from a from a single terminal “B” circuit field to a two terminal “A” circuit field.

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