Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
February 1, 2001
Photos By: Chuck James

Step By Step

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The PA-Performance 95-amp 3G alternator comes complete, including the pulley (fans are internal to this model), the mounting hardware, and the detailed instruction sheet. We recommend the 3G stator plug kit to simplify installation.
Begin by disconnecting the negative battery terminal to prevent sparks when modifying the alternator wiring plug. Using a pry bar, a large screwdriver, a tire iron, or an 18mm socket, release the tensioner and slip the belt off the alternator pulley.
Remove the top 9/16-inch bolt from the alternator. This bolt will not be reused, since the 3G alternator uses metric threads at this location.
Using a 5/8-inch socket or box-end wrench, loosen and remove the pivot bolt found beneath the alternator. This bolt is quite long, because it completely passes through the bracket.
Using an open-end or adjustable wrench, grab the top mounting ear of the alternator and wiggle the alternator back and forth to loosen the lower mounting bushing. This will help remove the old alternator.
With the alternator now loose, you can easily position it for access to the wiring plugs. The stock voltage regulator plug will be retained, so carefully remove the plug from the alternator.
The power outlet plug is the one plug that will be modified, albeit simply. Cut the three wires from this plug approximately 1/2 to 1 inch from the plug. This plug can be discarded or reinstalled into the old alternator (for storage).
The two eyelets included with the kit are used to allow the original 10-gauge power wires to attach to the stud on the back of the new 3G alternator. We decided to crimp ours first, then layer a small amount of solder into the crimp to seal it. Don’t forget to install your shrink-wrap tubing before crimping on the connector. The small single-wire stator plug is also installed at this time by crimping and soldering to the factory white 14-gauge wire.
Our modified wiring is now ready to allow us to accept the modern 3G alternator. If you ever wanted to return the car to stock, soldering the stock plug back on and covering it with the correct tape is all you would have to do.
It will make for an easier installation if you gently tap the mounting bushing outward a bit. This will allow the new alternator to slip into place more easily, instead of having to wrestle it into place.
The three simple connections that you will have to make are shown here. The original voltage regulator plug is simply inserted into the new regulator on the back of the 3G alternator. The stator plug is connected to the single stator output terminal, and the main power output wires (with their new ring terminals) are connected—using a 10mm wrench—to the stud found on the back of the alternator. Make sure your wiring is free of any obstructions. Our stock harness had been pinched under the air filter box and was about to short out. Inspect it now before a future problem sidelines you.
With the wiring complete, the alternator can be lowered into the original stock bracket. Install the original lower pivot bolt and tighten just enough to keep the alternator from rocking fore and aft. Line up the upper mounting hole with the bracket, insert the supplied metric bolt, then tighten the bolt. Once this bolt has been tightened, go back and tighten the lower pivot bolt as well.
The stock belt can easily be reused with the PA-Performance 3G 95-amp alternator if you are using stock pulleys. If you have underdrive pulleys, a slightly shorter belt may be needed.
While this would normally be the extent of our installation, we felt it would be wise to upgrade our Mustang’s main power feed wire at the same time as well—using PA-Performance’s 3G Power Wire upgrade kit. This kit is strictly optional on the 95-amp alternator we just installed, but PA-Performance considers it mandatory for its 130-amp version (or anyone else’s for that matter). The kit comes preterminated with high-quality wire, a 200-amp fuse, and gold terminals.
With our negative battery terminal still disconnected, we attached the “short lead” end of the power wire upgrade to the “hot” or battery side of the starter solenoid.
The 200-amp fuse box is rather bulky but can be mounted next to or under the battery tray. Small tie-wraps are included to secure it, or it can be mounted with two screws through the base of the fuse holder.
Route the rest of the cable in front of the radiator, being careful not to nick or snag the wiring on anything sharp while routing it.
Carefully route the new power cable along the framerail (under the stock filter box will work well), then connect the gold terminal to the back of the alternator. Do not disconnect the original wiring. This power cable upgrade is meant to supplement the factory wiring, in essence, taking some of the load off of it.
Before reinstalling our negative cable, we opted to thoroughly clean the battery case and terminals to promote better voltage transfer. A low-cost terminal cleaner can quickly cut through corrosion and makes the lead clamps and battery terminals look new again.
Reinstall the terminal clamps and properly tighten them. Never hammer or pry on the terminals. Instead, use the correct battery pliers to remove and install the terminals. Ensure that the top of the battery is clean of all acids, because high acid concentrations can cause battery drain across the top of the battery between the two terminals.
Now it’s time for a little before-and-after observation. 12.52 volts, was our stock charging system at idle with the original alternator installed.
This reading, at a healthy 14.07 volts at idle, is our Mustang with the new PA-Performance 3G alternator upgrade installed. Need we say more?
For those of you who are show fanatics and must have everything polished, plated, or other-wise, PA-Performance can help you out when you decide to upgrade to a 3G alternator. For an extra charge, PA-Performance will have your 3G case professionally powdercoated (available in lots of great colors) before assembly, thus protecting your warranty. What better way to get custom colors for your show-quality engine compartment and upgrade your charging system at the same time? Though shown here as a customer request, PA-Performance does not usually coat the pulley itself.

When it comes time for your 5.0 Mustang’s alternator to buy the farm, you don’t have to settle for the corner store rebuild. Buying a rebuilt alternator from a chain store is often hit and miss, sometimes requiring several trips before you finally luck out and get a functional alternator (tip: have the new one tested before leaving the store). Let’s face it, your Mustang should have a more powerful alternator anyway to handle that high-output stereo, ignition, fuel pump, or other electrical device mounted in your ride. So what’s the alternative?

We’ve looked into high-output alternators in the past, ranging from police DSO units to SN-95–style alternators. Some required a completely new harness or custom wiring, while others required modified brackets. But none of this is required with the new 3G alternators from PA-Performance. Actually, we kind of stumbled upon PA-Performance. A friend of ours bought an alternator from PA’s Web site and was so impressed, we had to check it out. Sure enough, Performance has a great product backed by great service.

The PA-Performance alternator is a 100 percent new 3G Ford-spec alternator, rated at 95 amps (stock 5.0 2G is 65 or 75 amps, depending upon year and application). And no used or rebuilt parts are used in any way. Physically, the 95-amp alternator is a direct replacement (though minor wiring changes are needed) for the 5.0 Mustang, as well as other Ford applications. Each application has the alternator housing “clocked” correctly, meaning there is no need to stretch or lengthen wires. The top mounting ear is also threaded (mounting bolt supplied) for easy installation.