Does my '65 ('64) Series 75 have an alternator or generator?  I searched all the forums and I believe my car has an alternator, even though the manual refers to it as a generator and the warning light reads "generator".  Am I correct?  Thanks  Jim

Views: 74

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

It is an alternator. They still referred to it as a generator...even into the late 60's. Cadillacs used the older style generators through the 1962 model year, then switched over to the Alternator in 1963.

I think it stems from the fact that the name "Alternator" was actually a Chrysler trademarked name (1960) for their alternating current generator but the term was used generically by mechanics.  GM officially called them "Delcotron generators".  Obviously, that was kind of a ridiculous name so they referred to them as "generator" in the service manuals as they had done since the advent of the shop manual.

That was so many years ago and so many people just referred to them as "alternator" that it became the common name for the alternating current generator that exists to this day in modern cars. 

Kind of a silly piece of trivia for you at your next cocktail party or car club gathering but it answers the question as to why the shop manual lists it as a generator. 

You have to consider how a name gains acceptance and continues to be used even if it is still not exactly correct. For example I still call that tall building in Chicago the Sear Tower! LOL As far as the generator / alternator, regardless if it is alternating or direct current, that device does generates current and could see the continues use of the term.

It is also interesting to note that actually both Generators and Alternators produced AC current initially then converted to DC current. The methods of conversion are different, however, as seen from this explanation I picked up from Wikipedia:

"Despite their names, both 'DC generators' (or 'dynamos') and 'alternators' initially produce alternating current. In a so-called 'DC generator', this AC current is generated in the rotating armature, and then converted to DC by the commutator and brushes. In an 'alternator', the AC current is generated in the stationary stator, and then is converted to DC by the rectifiers (diodes)."

And we all call it Kleenex regardless of what kind of facial tissue it may be. 

I love the look on the part's guys face at Autozone when I ask for a Delcotron for my '64 Cadillac.  Priceless

I and we kept our food in a Frigidaire, and we used Sheetrock on our walls, ... list probably goes on and on.  Speaking of the Frigidaire (refrigerator), many continued to call it an "ice box" long after the days of actual ice being used to keep it cool!

I remember when the ice man came to put a large block of ice in --our ice box --about
1946 or so ( now thats a blast from the past )

Really enjoyed you genorator alternator History story A lot
Cleared that up for me
Never knew the current changed from ac to dc internally but that explains the term alertnating current --i do see


You are reminding me of the many years ( 63 and before for GM cars ) when all the cars had generators only
They were sure to fail i would say in 2-3 years and have to be replaced with rebuilt units which was the practice then
Usually messing up charging system when it acted up or broke on you to often
Required a lot more maintenance and did a very much poorer job of keeping the battery in good working form
I do think batteries were shorter lived then
The altertnator reduced charging system maintenance and charging system failure big time ( which is always APITA )so very much for the better
The entire charging system gained an advanced sence of long term reliability we did not have before the alternator showed up
How quickly we forget what was required to do in the past as technology marches on




  • Add Photos
  • View All


Current 1963/64 Cadillac Listings on eBay

Started by Jason Edge in For Sale. Last reply by Jason Edge 23 minutes ago. 0 Replies

To see all 1963/64 Cadillacs Listed on eBay in the USA…Continue

Tags: ebay

Caddy Shack parts & services news

Started by Russ Austin in 1963/64 Cadillac Specific Discussion. Last reply by Russ Austin 31 minutes ago. 67 Replies

I will be having shoulder surgery on April 17th, and will be limited to packing up small parts only for a little while.I am going to try and see how it goes with getting my son to help out, but that…Continue

What's it gonna cost me?

Started by Haris dizdarevic in General Discussion. Last reply by Russ Austin 14 hours ago. 4 Replies

What's it going to cost me to buy an original rebuilt carburetor from one of you fine gents! Or possibly one that needs to be rebuilt thanks!!Continue

Blog Posts

HVAC Vacuum Valve Clip-need the one for the Power Control side

Posted by Norman Silverman on September 17, 2018 at 8:15pm 6 Comments



I removed both 7 nipple vacuum valves and called my buddy who owns a machine shop. Tomorrow we'll re-surface the valve faces and then I'll reinstall them. HOWEVER, the one that comes out easily and comes apart with no rivet is on the Power module side. It installs on one side with a small bolt, and on the other it is held on by a clip, WHICH IS MISSING ON MY CAR. I am going to assume it is the same clip that is used on the Control Module side. Anybody got one? Happy…


7 vacuum valve-need a good one or someone to recondition mine

Posted by Norman Silverman on September 15, 2018 at 5:44pm 12 Comments

So, I've put my 7 vacuum valve from the control head side to the test, and it failed. I looked at the instructions for re-conditioning it and unless I am missing something, the instructions are missing something (about how to take off the clip that provides the tension that holds the two pieces together). 

In any case, I can't do this particular repair so I am looking for a new valve (not likely), or a good re-conditioned one, or someone who has done this before and would do mine for…


Mosiac Cadillac emblem Table

Posted by Dana G Cooper on August 30, 2018 at 10:48pm 11 Comments

Wanted to share a picture of a table my wife made for me to display with our 63 Coupe Deville. 

Inside door handle thread size

Posted by Michael Jarnagin on August 23, 2018 at 4:31pm 1 Comment

Anyone know the thread size on the inside door handle bolts mine are missing any info much appreciated 


  • Add Videos
  • View All

© 2018   Created by Jason Edge.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service