Join Date: May 2011
Location: Visalia California
Hey there mtill, true.. you do not need a 3g, but it is a better unit than a GM type one wire and certainly better than the barely adequate original alternator...
if you ever plan on running any additional electrical items like fans, amps, lights, stereo, a/c.. etc and you don't want your lights to dim at idle, it is recommended that you upgrade to 3G. A simple resistor on the line allows it to 'fire' when key is in start position. This type of application will elminate the original voltage regulator and you can easily utilize the modern benefits of the 3G and it is still Ford.
If you want your original gauges to work, then you can use PA Performance's voltage regulator replacement part which contains the proper resistor inside so it basically plugs and plays with your stock wiring... that is about $29.00 at cj's or direct from PAPerf. the alternator can be had, as stated above, from a pick and pull for less than $40.00.
so for less than it costs to purchase a brand new 3G alternator, you can get what you need and still retain your stock wiring.
You will also need a fatter (4ga) cable with fuse from your 3G alternator to the starter selenoid b/c the newer alt puts out so much more power than the origiinal, it will burn up the original wire to the selenoid.
Additionally, & just for fun, a 1-wire cannot be made into a 3G alternator, but 3G alternators can be made into a one-wire for simple hookup... but you lose your gauge functions