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Alternator upgrade

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by MarkEagleUSA, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. MarkEagleUSA

    MarkEagleUSA Senior Member
    Messages: 335

    I'm thinking about upgrading to a 200 or 250 amp alternator. I've read the dual battery thread and searched here and at a few other forums. What I can't find is any definitive advice on where to find the alternator or what brand/mfg to buy. Also, I've read about needing connector upgrades but again can't find anything definitive.

    Can anyone provide useful information and/or links to what is required?
  2. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    Search the thread a little deeper. This has been discussed many times on the site. Here is one that took me 10 seconds to find. type alternator in the serach filed and look for the thread bigger alternator
  3. Jon Geer

    Jon Geer Member
    Messages: 834

    Get this alternator from NAPA. Very nice performer.

    Part: BSH AL8706HO
  4. pooleo8

    pooleo8 Senior Member
    Messages: 271

    You got any local alternator shops? We have one here. They charge $60 to install a 200amp stator in your factory alt. Might be a good cheap option..?
  5. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Just as important as upgrading the alternator is upgrading the wiring. Search for big three
  6. MarkEagleUSA

    MarkEagleUSA Senior Member
    Messages: 335

    I saw that when I searched but since it's about Ford's it didn't help me any in terms of actual alternators.

    Wow, that's pricey compared to other's I've seen.

    Except everything seems to indicate that high output in a small case is asking for trouble due to excessive heat, etc.

    Saw the "Big 3" info long ago. I haven't gotten around to it yet but might try to get it done this weekend if I can find all the parts locally.

    What I'm really looking for is information regarding the actual alternator I should be looking for. I see they come in different cases and I haven't got a clue what will be a direct bolt-in versus one that needs special/different brackets, wiring, etc. According to my RPO's I have the standard 100 amp alternator which I believe is a "small case" unit.
  7. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    I would agree you want a case that matches the output.
    Alternator is very important when your out plowing for many hours don't go the cheap route.
  8. hosenfeffer

    hosenfeffer Senior Member
    from nh
    Messages: 127

    Went with the bosch 200 amp from my local napa guy. Direct fit Did have a bearing whine in 6 months but with 1 year warranty replaced no charge. sorry do not have part # on hand
  9. purpleranger519

    purpleranger519 Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 536

  10. cjwoz

    cjwoz Senior Member
    from CHICAGO
    Messages: 134

    I got a 2003 2500hd with a diesel and I put a 200 amp in it and I never changed any of the wiring. It was one of the best moves for the truck that I ever did.
  11. DB Alternators

    I bought my HO alternator at DB after many recommendations from members of this forum. Contrary to what some will tell you, it makes no sense to change the alternator without changing the alternator output wire. The 10-12 gauge factory wire will limit the output when it is most needed. I purchased a 4 gauge battery cable at NAPA of the proper length. It works great and was well worth the $$$. No more dimming lights.

  12. captadamnj

    captadamnj Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    I installed the Pro series model found here -

    Wanted the workhorse but they were out of stock at the time and made me a deal on the Pro so I said why not.

    Upgraded the wire to 4 guage with an inline fuse. Had to grind down the mounts just a bit to make a nice fit. I could have pounded it in I'm sure, but wanted easy in / out in case of emergency replacement.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  13. crete5245

    crete5245 Member
    Messages: 61

    I agree with the guys on here, upgrade your wiring. I have a 4 gage from the alt to the battery. I do not agree to go to a alt that puts out 200+ amps, generates to much heat. I would go with the daul battery set up. Like some have posted look up that upgrade, I personally have dual batteries, with 2 ot wire running from each of the batteries and down to the starter, have 1 ot wire running to the solnoid and to the pump. Only running a 85 amp alt. Wiring makes all the difference in the world.I do put my truck on a trickle charger between use and make sure that the batteries are fully charged before a storm. It is just my plow truck I do not drive the truck everyday so it has a chance to get charged.
  14. captadamnj

    captadamnj Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    More important than the high output current for an alternator is the output at idle or slightly above, because that is where we need the current. I did not buy the H.O. alternator for the top of its charging curve, but rather for its low RPM output.
  15. BlizzardBeater

    BlizzardBeater Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 420

    Thats the key right there, high output at low rpm's. Dont be concerned with total ouput or high output alternators. A 250 amp unit is now good to you if it's only pushing 30 amps at idle. An extreme case I know but it helps to illustrate the problem. If you're going to spend the money on a upgraded alternator, find a duty built unit that can provide you with a output curve chart. Dont even bother wasting your time with an alternator if your wiring is factory. I promise you that the factory wiring cant even efficiently handle the output of the factory alternator.
  16. purpleranger519

    purpleranger519 Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 536

    Totally agree with the last 2 posts. Its all about the low RPM output.
  17. pfbrussels

    pfbrussels Junior Member
    Messages: 2

  18. larboc

    larboc Member
    Messages: 98

    Have you actually looked at the output curves? Traditionally a higher max output alternator will give up low RPM amps. Maybe that has changed?
  19. MarkEagleUSA

    MarkEagleUSA Senior Member
    Messages: 335

    Time to take action. As I was plowing this weekend my voltmeter would drop to 9-10 volts everytime I operated the plow and would take several seconds at increased RPM's to recover. I'm pretty certain the original alternator is still in the truck and at 160,000 miles might be getting tired. For the record the battery checks out OK, I'm running fresh fluid in the pump and did the "big-3" upgrade in the fall. The only thing I haven't checked is the current draw of the pump motor (no ammeter available), but even without the plow, just using headlights, wipers and heater seems to pull the voltage down at idle.

    My truck has RPO code K60 - GENERATOR,100 AMP and I'm looking at this 250-amp unit from DB Electrical. They list it as an AD-244 and I've been told mine is an AD-230.

    As pictured, it looks like the one I currently have (same style case) but I think it's physically a little larger. What I would like to know is if this alternator will drop right in without any modification (brackets, etc)?
  20. purpleranger519

    purpleranger519 Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 536

    If its a 96-2000 CK Chevy it should.