Hello Everyone

This site has been a wealth of info and I say thank you

I want to convert my 64 caddy from a generator model to to an alternator. 

Any suggestions on

1- correct alternator,

2- wiring needed

3- brackets needed for the alternator

appreciate your feedback 

Rick McBurney

Views: 230

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Jason or Russ to the front counter please. Customer waiting.

The first year for an alternator was in 1963. The shop manual calls it a generator, but it was the first year for a Cadillac.  So, your 64 does have an alternator.

Unless you do have an alternator, and then I suspect you have an earlier engine installed in your 64.

Didn't really know the difference of an alternator vs a generator so had to look it up. Maybe somebody else needs to be reminded:

Got this from Alternator vs. Generator: What's the Difference?

If you are looking at a generator it would be black and about a foot long ( aprox )
If you are looking at an alternator you are looking at a whitish metal
( aluminum look ) that is about 8 inches wide
The 64 dash indicates it is a generator by the light there that makes it a bit confusing as you still have an alternator under the hood in 64

All General motors cars from 63 foward came with an alternator ( a wonderful upgrade )

If you do have a generator you may have an engine from a 62 or earlier car
A very different 390 engine than the 63 390
That should help you identify what you have easily to determine which direction you want to go regarding your charging system

If you do have a generator going to the alternator is a sound idea to improve the cars reliability
Generators would fail as a rule back in the day every 3-4 years and need to be replaced
The alternators hold up for the very long haul in comparison and gives you a full charge at idle unlike the generator that keeps the battery in a better overall condition
Battery and generator life was very much more --short lived with a generator


Technically an alternator is a generator. It's just different names for basically the same thing. Something that turns rotational energy into electrical energy. Before generators they had magnetos I believe. They all generated power to run a car, as technology improved the design manufacturers wanted to differentiate between them as selling points, hence the name changes. As noted the dash light still said GEN when there was a problem with the charging system on some of the first cars that had an alternator. This is because that is what they actually do, generate power. AC current is much more efficient than DC is this is why it's generated and converted to DC through the diodes of older alternators and through voltage regulators of even older ones.

All this information is subject to change just like my memory!



  • Add Photos
  • View All


Correct rims and drums?

Started by Logan Robb in 1963/64 Cadillac Specific Discussion. Last reply by Tony and Ginny 429 4 hours ago. 5 Replies

As I am collecting items for a brake overhaul, I’ve have come across many posts about the aftermarket drums not being of quality like the originals. I am fairly certain the drums I have are not…Continue

cooling problem solved

Started by greg in 1963/64 Cadillac Specific Discussion. Last reply by Tony and Ginny 429 7 hours ago. 6 Replies

I have a 64 Fleetwood and in the summertime with the a/c cranking when I would be in traffic or going slow it would always run warm....close to the 3/4 mark sometimes.   I replaced the fan clutch…Continue

Powder Coated Rims

Started by Logan Robb in 1963/64 Cadillac Specific Discussion 21 hours ago. 0 Replies

I have a very reputable blasting and powder coating shop near me, come this winter, I am thinking of getting my wheels power coated in preparation for new tires in the spring. Is this a good idea? I…Continue

Dragging to one side

Started by Sammy in 1963/64 Cadillac Specific Discussion. Last reply by Tony and Ginny 429 on Monday. 9 Replies

Hi there, after a lot of work on my brakes - new cylinder, hardware, shoes, hoses, going back to old drums, the car still drags to one side. Does this for years now, but I hoped to get rid of it…Continue

Blog Posts


Posted by ANGELO MARTINEZ on July 23, 2023 at 10:44pm 3 Comments

  Hope someone can help me to find the harmonic balancer bolt for my 1964 Cadilac Deville 429 engine

in advance, thank you for your help.

Clock ‘64 DeVille

Posted by Matt Vander Hooven on July 23, 2023 at 7:36pm 2 Comments

Is there still a member in the Detroit area that refurbishes clocks?

Matt VH

Spark Plug Heat Range

Posted by Patrick Westphal on July 7, 2023 at 10:00am 3 Comments

I found a diagram that illustrates the main factor in determining a spark plug heat range that I was trying to describe to you during the chapter get together.

Here it is:


The main factor is the length of the ceramic insulator from the middle of the spark plug to the tip (where the spark happens)  

The insulator…


Lower Front End Ball Joints

Posted by Logan Robb on May 11, 2023 at 9:04am 7 Comments

Good Morning all! 

I took the 64 into the shop to have some adjustments completed and in the process decided to have the lower ball joints replaced as was recommended the last time I had it in. I ordered the parts and came into the shop. They quoted me nearly $500 to replace those lower ball joints requiring nearly 4hrs of labor. Now this is a reputable shop and they know me by name here and they will continue to get my business. I am just questioning what on earth is…



  • Add Videos
  • View All

© 2023   Created by Jason Edge.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service