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How to Identify and Select Ford Alternators
Make the most of your Mustang’s charging system by making the right charging system choice
Autolite or Motorcraft?Ford’s Motorcraft name originated in the ’50s; however, it was not very successful. In 1961, Ford acquired the Autolite name, along with its assets, including a spark plug manufacturing facility and a battery factory. Ford very quickly began using Autolite products as original equipment in new vehicles. In the years to follow, Ford would be involved in a lengthy federal anti-trust lawsuit that ended in 1971 when it was forced to sell its Autolite Division to Bendix.
When Ford sold Autolite, it came up with a marketing solution known as Motorcraft. It brought back the old name and managed to make a success of it. This is why the Motorcraft name appeared for the second time beginning in 1972. This is also when the 1G alternator became a square case with the Motorcraft name. The Motorcraft name did wind up on some round-case alternators toward the end of round-case production in 1971-1972.
Motorcraft Alternator Quick Reference1G: 1964-1986
The original Ford alternator rated at 38 to 55 amps. It is externally regulated. It can be upgraded to 65, 95, 130, or 200 amps, though you are better off going to the 3G if you want over 95 amps.
The 2G is the second generation Ford alternator, internally-regulated with multiplex plug in 65- and 75-amp ratings. It can be upgraded to 130 and 200 amps, though not recommended. The down side is the underrated plug and wiring, and corrosions issues that cause high resistance, heat, and fire.
The best bang for the buck there is for classic, Fox, and ’94-’98 Mustangs alike. The 3G is an outstanding alternator for the money and is easy to install in any application. Never use the 2G plug in a 3G swap. It will overheat and catch fire. The 3G is available in 130 and 200 amp ratings.
The 4G is a pancake version that looks like the 3G, which makes it ideal for tight installations. The 4G is available in 150 and 200 amps, and was OE on the ’96-’02 four-valve Modular and Bullitt models.
The 6G arrived on the ’99 Mustang and could also be found on the ’02-’04 four-valve Modular. It was also used on the all-new S197 Mustang for 2005. It is designed primarily for late-model Mustangs. It is available in 130-, 170-. and 200-amp ratings.
Alternator Output RatingsInformation courtesy PA Performance
|Engine RPM||1G 60-AMP||2G 75-AMP||3G 95-AMP||3G 130-AMP||3G 200-AMP|