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What if I wanted swap alternators from 136 to 160amp.

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by Tahoe99, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. Tahoe99

    Tahoe99 Member
    from NY
    Messages: 76

    For now this is just a theorethical question: my Megacab (Hemi) came with 136 Amp alt and 750 battery. I'll be doing maybe top 5 driveways (mine and few neighbours, I have my full time job, no time for anything else). If I wanted to swap alternators, can I just install 160 without risk of burning something ? Do they have internal voltage regulator ? What about mounting points ?

    The guy at the counter of AutoZone said they might be computer controlled ???? and the wires behind may have different ga. I am very sceptical about that. And also, it seems that nobody stocks the 160's.

  2. DBL

    DBL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,310

    sometimes they wont fit you just have to try the stock one should be fine but if you need a bigger one it wont hurt it just may not fit you have to check
  3. Dragonscapes

    Dragonscapes Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    I hope I'm not to wrong on this but my understanding is that the alternator puts out more amps as your engine revs up and at low speeds your not going to really see any benefit of it you might squeeze out another 5-7 amps over your regular one but not enough to really notice or make a huge difference. If your concerned about a "larger" one fitting you can just have your stock one rewound to a higher amperage typical prices for this service (at least around here) is about 2/3 the cost of buying a new alt. As far as I know dating back quite a ways alternators have an internal voltage regulator which limits the voltage that they put out (unless the regulator is fried which you would notice pretty quick). Bigger wires never hurt but in most cases aren't needed.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2006
  4. ThisIsMe

    ThisIsMe Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 745

    Time and money might be better spent on a larger or dual batteries? If that did make you happy then the alt?

    Just my thoughts,
  5. brunosplace

    brunosplace Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    Some of the Chrysler Corp. vehicles do have the voltage regulator built into the PCM. Such as the TJ wranglers. As for the wiring, if you upsize the alternator it is a good idea to replace the lead from it to the battery with a larger one or else the existing one could end up acting as a fusible link if you exceeded its ampacity rating possibly causing a fire under the hood.

    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,312

  7. Tahoe99

    Tahoe99 Member
    from NY
    Messages: 76

    OK Cardoctor - we have a deal :)


    May I have a sticker that reads 185 amp ?
  8. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Yeah he said it. Unless you actually NEED the 60 amp alt (which is probabily the same alt with a different sticker- I posted that in another thread how my reman alt was sold as a 120 with no other sizes available but when I saw the reman cert sticker it was tested to over 160.) leave good enough alone. If you need more battery reserve add a second battery.... not that you're going to since you can;t plow a mega-cab anyway.....:D
  9. Tahoe99

    Tahoe99 Member
    from NY
    Messages: 76

    Justme - not that I need your approval, but what's wrong with plowing with Megacab (even 1500). I know Dodge does not even offer the plow prep on them, but it is more heavy duty than the regular 1500, than Rangers I see around, than 1500 trucks with 7.5 plows. Solid axle in the front, there is about 2000 lbs between the emty weight and the max front axle weight rating. Plow weighs about 700, plus lets say 200 for me - there is still room after that. I guess you are concern about the warramty, and I understand that.


    Happy holidays.
  10. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    You also need to factor in some ballast, and realize that hanging the weight off the front of the truck shifts weight that was on the rear toward the front.
  11. Tahoe99

    Tahoe99 Member
    from NY
    Messages: 76

    I have the balast - I am using plastic milk crates filled with cement in the back of the bed.
  12. ProSeasons

    ProSeasons Senior Member
    Messages: 624


    My 300 amp HO alternator was a waste of money, huh?

    Okay, it only puts out around 205 at just above idle.....I can weld with this friggin' thing! I love it!wesport
  13. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    I see you answered the question... Yeah that's pretty much what I meant: Dodge has no plow prep, means they don;t want you plowing with it. If they don;t want you plowing with it, they have a reason- like the front axle is not strong enough to plow in 94-98 Diesel's. Yes, many of us DO plow them, but,,, It may be frame strength in question- that's a loooong truck frame. I question your assumption it's more heavy duty than a regular cab- longer frame means you need thicker steel for the same strength. The mega cab is meant to be a people mover, not a real hauler or worker (reguardless of the marketing) and don;t forget that plowing puts stresses on a truck that no other activity can duplicate.

    Keep in mind, if Dodge does not want it plowed with it's not likely that plow manufacturer's will offer a package for it, or install one that happens to fit.
    Remember too, that any weight added to the truck that is not behind the rear axle adds to the weight on the front axle...they could be considering many variables when not offering a plow option. Is that 2K lbs you mention the difference between the front axle's measured weight when the truck is empty?
  14. Tahoe99

    Tahoe99 Member
    from NY
    Messages: 76

    Hey Justme, I am glad you did not get offended as I thought I sounded little harsh.
    When I weighted the truck empty, it was about 6400 lbs, maybe 3400 up front and 3000 in the rear. The max GVW is 8510. The front axle is rated at 5200 lbs, rear at 6010. So with a light duty snoway 7.5 ft that weighs about 700 lbs and me, I do not think I am exceeding anything, and I am not commercial plower, just my 100 ft driveway and few friends. The frame is 95% identical to 2500 quadcab longbed with Hemi, same with axles. I do not think Dodge would use different frame gage for that truck. I know the dealer would not like it if he knew I have a plow, but I'll deal with it after the winter.

    Happy New Year.