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OK, another rant about my '81 302 which nothing fits, hehe!

I stacked hay most of the day and was looking forward to a nice late afternoon/evening shift on the engine. Drove to town and got a few parts, and took some measurements, got beer, and drove back out. I'm not sure about this, but when the mustang is at the plant shop in town, no one see's it. Out at the farm, 10 miles from town, 3 people show up to look at the stang Saturday! :: :: Go figure! One guy drove out from town, he got wind the stang was out there. Another neigbor farmer stopped by...he has a 68 coupe project in his garage...and his brother has one sitting outside with a tree growing into the side of it! Then my wife's farmer uncle stops at the shop, he was hauling straw away. Gave him a couple beers and we all sat around the shop for an hour listening to him complain about farming! :p

So anyways, I had several beers and began working on the engine. By then is was already 7:30PM. I developed a crashing headache for some reason...mustof been the beers and the hot temps. Took a couple migraine pills and they didn't even phase this ever worsening headache.

So I mounted the timing pointer and began to install the alternator with the "old style" mounting brackets. One is the triangle shaped bracket and the other is the support and adjusting "lever". I grabbed the alternater, a generic Ford style 65 amp...fits anything kind. Now...I knew I was going to have to make some modifications and adjustments to make this alt system work out. The original 81 alt brackets were missing as someone removed its alternator...either that or I mis-placed them!

So I enlarged a hole in the triangle bracket and mounted it. I had to use some spacers so everything fit true. No problem. I also needed a 7/16" x 6" bolt to fasten the top side of the alt. Wow...I scrounged around the farm shop and found a brand new bolt!! My lucky day! Things are going smooth...though my headache is getting worse.

Now I ream the mounting hole in the alt housing to accomodate the bigger bolt, go to mount everything [email protected]#$% hits the fan!!! NOTHING FITS!!! First the backside of the alt housing hits on the oil dipstick tube right where the ground bolt is. I cant get the alt over far enough over for the 6" bolt to thread into the head bracket! Plus, the lower support and adjustment lever doesn't even come close to fitting. The angles are all wrong and the slotted end hits the alternator fan. Great! Then I lost the aluminum spacer for the long bolt on top. I remember loading that up in the stuff the other day. Now its gone.

By now I'm really frustrated and at a dead end. Just spent an hour on it and its 9:00PM. Headache is worse. The alternator simply won't fit...period. Now what?!?

To make a short story long...I rotated the rectifier housing 90 degrees to the front housing. That made the critical difference. Then the long bolt would fit. After that, the headache was killing me, so I gave up and went home...to bed. Today, I'll fiddle with the lower adjusting lever. I'll have to heat, then shape the proper curve into the slotted end so it misses the alt fan. There should be some materials to make a spacer also.

I'm a long ways from stuffing this thing into the car...so I'll just plug away.
 

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I've had a similar problem with the alternator fan hitting the lower banana-shaped bracket, or the bolt holding the alt to the bracket. In my case, I was using a PowerMaster alternator, which is really a modified GM product. I resorted to just grinding down the tips of the alternator fan about 1/16th of an inch. ;)

Good luck, I hope you get it figured out.
 

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I'm with you on the lower bracket. One day I discovered that the one on SWMBO's car was cracked. Not real bad but I figured it would get worse one day so I'd replace it. I've torn down at least 6-7 engines and have all sort of these parts. I drug up about 8 of them and NONE MATCHED. Boggled my mind. All I mess with is older 302's and 351W's. All the alternator brackets are VERY similar. Why will none of them work? Welding wouldn't work well, so I took the closest match, flattened it and rebent it in the vice. It worked but I lost some range of adjustment. I never did find a "correct" bracket and eventually converted her car to a serpentine belt and did away with the whole mess.
Yeah, it gave me a headache too.
 

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I run a '68 302 in my '65 convert, so I can'thelp with advice on an '81. However, I wrote to offer headache support; I get migraines as well. When I say that I feel your pain, I really mean it. When they get bad enough, even the meds don't work. I get at least one a week. They're terrible. I get the really bad ones about once a month. Hang in there. Hope you feel better.
 
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