Most every Ford Mustang has come with a Mustang alternator. The Mustang alternator converts the mechanical power provided by the engine into electrical power, which runs all of the car’s electrical equipment and charges the battery. The Mustang alternator is driven by the crankshaft, which, through a belt or two, turns the alternator and, through electromagnetism, sends electricity to the battery, which gets charged and powers all the electrical equipment. Depending on how much electrical equipment is in the car, a Mustang alternator can output as little as 60 Amps up to 200 Amps.
Early Mustangs weren’t equipped with alternators and came with a generator, instead. A generator produces direct current (DC), which is only able to travel in one direction, while a Mustang alternator creates alternating current (AC), which periodically reverses directions, hence the name “alternator.” While AC generates higher voltages more efficiently, it does require conversion to DC to work with the battery. After conversion, the power from the Mustang alternator also needs to be controlled so the proper amount of voltage hits the battery to avoid damage to the battery. In earlier Mustangs, a voltage regulator managed that process, though, in later Mustang, this is managed by the car’s computer.
If your Mustang is having electrical problems, the Mustang alternator is potentially the culprit. The most common failure in your Mustang alternator is the needle bearings, which can break down and wear unevenly, eventually failing. This is likely the case if you hear a loud grinding noise coming from your car alternator. Electrical problems, however, might not just be the Mustang alternator. The battery or the belts that drive the Mustang alternator may also be the problem. However, no matter what problem you may have, CJ Pony Parts has all of the Mustang alternator parts, belts, or batteries you need to keep your Mustang on the road!