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Anyone upgrade their alternator?

Unread postby KB2CRK on Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:12 pm

I am starting to research an alternator upgrade. Nessie has gone through another one and I am tired of pulling it off and getting another warranty unit. Now unlike most Travcos I have gone to electric fans due to a bad water pump causing the clutch to damage the radiator right after we picked her 4 years ago. The electrics keep her cool with the repaired radiator.
I will share info as I figure it out. Here is when I envy those with a small block as a 120 amp denso of a 90 B series van is a bolt on. The same alternators charging stud does not quite clear the block on the 440 with the factory brackets. I know this as after a pulley swap I put a 96 dodge caravan alternator on my 90 B series and I have a 2000 Caravan Alternator (same as the 96) That I tried to mock up on Nessie after one of the other alternator failures. Time to research.
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Re: Anyone upgrade their alternator?

Unread postby KB2CRK on Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:26 pm

Alright, Since I received no replies I assume this has not been tried yet. Allpar had an option of an Alternator that is supposed to fit where the original did. It is a 3 year only Chrysler alternator used from 87 to 89. It was used on many of their vehicles and supposedly fits where the old round and square back alternators did. They are rated for 90 or 120 amps.
I just ordered one from Amazon to see how it fits (Amazon has easy returns and it was cheaper than Napa without a core)
If it fits and it should a little upgrade to the harness and I should not have the issue of the 78 amp oreilly special failing once a year. I need the extra power due to the electric fans I run and the fuel injection that is going to be put on finally. 120 amp was under 130 bucks total. Rebuilts cane be had from Napa for 75 here but a 60 dollar core boosted that. I will update after I get it in and running.
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Re: Anyone upgrade their alternator?

Unread postby KB2CRK on Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:05 am

Well it is not in yet. More reading on the alternator while waiting for it. It is specifically rated for 50 amps at idle and 120 amps max. It is supposed to be the same size as the original Squareback 60 amp or in my case 78 amp alternator. The old style alternators were good for 35 to 40 amps at idle unless set up for higher amps like mine which actually lowers the idle output to around 30 amps. Two electric fans drawing 12 amps each pretty much eat that up. These alternators were used from 87 to 89 on many of there vehicles in either a 40/90 map or the 50/120 amp version I have ordered. There are companies that make very high output alternators for our application but the 150 amp unit from them was over $300 but a 325 amp unit could be had for around $500. The only reason I see to go that route would be if one was running the roof AC off of an inverter while going down the road. The Mopar 50/120 has the identical output ratings as the Denso that replaced it but as many big block owners have discovered the 50/120 Denso 120HS will just barely fit after modifications and the output stud after being shortened sits so close to the block that is is concerning. For a small block the Denso unit would be a bolt on. Again there will be another update and picture if it all works out.
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Re: Anyone upgrade their alternator?

Unread postby 77Travco on Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:14 am

That's alot of juice! I wonder if a single v-belt might have issues slipping on the alternator pulley when it's putting out that much current?
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Re: Anyone upgrade their alternator?

Unread postby KB2CRK on Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:07 am

The 120 amp Mopar should be no issue with a single belt. My old Dodge B250 had the Denso 50/120 with a single belt from the factory. Those high amp units are shown single or double grove but on the Travco a single is pretty much the only option unless someone went lloking for specific pulley sets
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Re: Anyone upgrade their alternator?

Unread postby KB2CRK on Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:10 pm

New alternator arrived and it looks like it will fit. Need to get the proper spacers to get everything lined up properly and give it a shot. At 50 amps out at idle should be a decent improvement over the rebuilt unit from Oreilleys
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Re: Anyone upgrade their alternator?

Unread postby KB2CRK on Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:18 am

Pulled the old alternator yesterday and discovered one of the mounting brackets was bent. Started pulling the radiator to get better access but it definitely looks good so . Had to go do some this else but ran out of daylight prior to getting back to it
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