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View Full Version : Upgrade to 150A alternator?


tigreguy
02-19-2013, 01:29 PM
I have specific topics of discussion. I own a 2006 Dodge Sprinter and the check engine light came on. I connected a code reader and came up with P2506 ECM / PCM Power Input Signal Range Performance CONFIRMED. Looking further I determined it was the battery so I went to my local Advance Auto and hooked up their battery tester. The battery tested good. Following through with the test it was determined that the voltage regulator gave good readings except for the ripple which was not good. I do not have any options on this vehicle (manual windows and doors). I believe the alt is 90w and if so I would like to upgrade it to 150w because I intend on installing a power inverter probably 2k watt. I am considering also installing a 2nd battery isolator. Does anyone know if this is possible. I did talk to a mechanic who stated that if it fits it will work.

Please Advise
Thank you

Aqua Puttana
02-19-2013, 02:45 PM
The 2001 - 2006 NAFTA Sprinters can use 90 amp - 200 amp alternators inclusive by just bolting the new one in. I replaced my OEM 90 amp with 150 amp because the price difference was minimal. Within reason bigger is better.

Here is my thread about the alternator change.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18432&highlight=alternator


Good luck. vic

P.S. - Ripple from an alternator output (as verified by an oscillosope waveform) more likely is related to one of the main diodes failing than the voltage regulator.

jdcaples
02-19-2013, 02:53 PM
d_bertko did an alternator swap from 90 amp to 150 amp so it's possible.

http://www.sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=197035&postcount=4

http://www.sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=189034&postcount=6

http://www.sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=154485&postcount=21

His comments on isolators

http://www.sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=165280&postcount=3

You can do a search for pertinent info... maybe send d_bertko a private message asking for guidance.

If you're hoping to power a big cutting tool or some other massive electricity consumer, you'll probably want to look into a generator instead of trying to use the vehicle's power system.

I can't tell if you're trying to build a mobile shop, or a mobile apartment (an RV or camper).

Calling out your application might get more responses.

-Jon

d_bertko
02-19-2013, 03:31 PM
I did indeed upgrade my stock 90a alternator to a Bosch 150a alternator. No problems to report after about 7 years of use.

The alternator is the primary charging source for the chassis battery plus a four agm (420ah) house bank. I have been pleasantly surprised that the increased duty cycle to charge my drycamping house bank did not cause any trouble for the Bosch. My use causes some significant draws on the alternator after breaking camp.

My alternator expert told me at the time that some of the Japanese alternators were in his opinion better than the Bosch but who can argue with long-term success.

A mention of a 2000w inverter will elicit the comment from me that a 400+ ah bank is recommended to handle the voltage drop that 100+ amps will induce. Buyer beware.

And my Surepower 1315 bidirectional battery isolator has held up, too. (There was a brief production run of about a year that got recalled after mine was made.)

Dan

Colorado_Al
02-19-2013, 03:37 PM
In any case, here is the best price I can find on the 150 amp alternator:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000BZII30/

Amboman
02-20-2013, 10:19 AM
60's cars had generators with phosphor bronze bushes not bearings rated 30 amps

70's alternators replacing the not so long lasting generators rated 35 amps

80's alternators rated 55 amps

how did they cope? ... easily.

So with that knowledge i am skeptical of the real benefits of upgrading, just for the sake of it.

90 amps standard fitment will do the job, at the end of the day the requirements are provided by the battery the alternator is just replacing its lost or losing charge with a trickle feed.

Aqua Puttana
02-20-2013, 11:36 AM
...
, just for the sake of it.

...
Valve jobs at 50,000 miles weren't unusual back in the good old days either. Times change.

The original poster indicated a planned 2nd battery. He also indicated an inverter.

There are many more power hungry devices in vehicles since the 60's. Modules are generally more suseptible to voltage variations than '70's vehicle electrics.

90 amps is fine for a stock vehicle. If anyone is contemplating additional electrics then a larger alternator should be considered. Electrical equipment is generally longer lived when loaded at lower percentages, especially in high ambient temperatures.

If you are replacing an alternator I still stand by my earlier comment.

...I replaced my OEM 90 amp with 150 amp because the price difference was minimal. Within reason bigger is better.

...

vic

Amboman
02-20-2013, 01:08 PM
Electrical equipment is generally longer lived when loaded at lower percentages,


And batteries are shorter lived the moment they lay eyes upon an inverter...

Like a snake and a mongoose, natural enemies.

d_bertko
02-20-2013, 02:21 PM
Eh, batteries are consumable items like diesel.

The trick is to get close to the theoretical maximum of charge cycle ah's.

Just like lightening the cargo junk load of your Sprinter will help with max mpg.

jmoller99
02-20-2013, 02:38 PM
The clutch on my original 90 amp alternator was jammed up (and not working anymore). I ordered a replacement clutch for around $90. I saw a 150 amp OEM alternator on Amazon for around $170 - I figured having 60 extra amps available couldn't hurt, so I upgraded. (I run inverters to charge my wife's powered wheelchair and mobility scooter - These suck up 700 watts at 120 V to do both at the same time - approx 70 amps at 12 volts).

I figure that the 150 amp alternator was a good fit for my needs. I still have the spare alternator clutch (I am sure I will eventually need it).

Aqua Puttana
02-20-2013, 04:09 PM
And batteries are shorter lived the moment they lay eyes upon an inverter...

Like a snake and a mongoose, natural enemies.
Thay may be. My comment was included as part of an answer about alternator size. :idunno:

I feel less worried about running my inverter while the engine is running with a 150 amp alternator as opposed to the OEM 90 amp. I rarely use an inverter off my one and only starting battery. The load and losses are just too great.

In fact, now that I think about it, I've avoided plugging in my inefficient 12 VDC Coleman Peltier technology cooler even while running. With my 150 amp alternator I can probably rethink that operating mode. vic

L8RSK8R
02-20-2013, 05:24 PM
I just changed out the OEM 90A alt on my 2006 2500, with a 150A unit. My Sprinter is setup for limousine use with flat screens, DVD/stereo/amplifier, refrigerator, rear ac/heat, 2 inverter, 110V outlets, interior lighting etc.

I know nada about electrical, is it weird that the 90A alt lasted 6 years?

flan8tive
02-21-2013, 12:45 AM
Just changed out to 150A on my T1N. Tight fit, would suggest loosening bottom turbo bracket. Used AP's clear and concise writeup as a guide. Next time I will use sockets on a flex drive to bolt alternator on.

Found the new Bosch 150A on Amazon for about $185.

Aqua Puttana
02-21-2013, 01:29 AM
...
I know nada about electrical, is it weird that the 90A alt lasted 6 years?
No.

...Within reason bigger is better.

...

Ciprian
02-24-2013, 06:10 AM
My van came with a 90 amps alternator and it worked fine for me until the clutch pulley locked up. I would have replaced it with another 90 amps one but I found the 150 amps alternator cheaper than a 90 amps.

chads
04-17-2013, 03:32 PM
Do these cheaper alternators off amazon have the clutch pulley?
Chad

Aqua Puttana
04-17-2013, 03:51 PM
Do these cheaper alternators off amazon have the clutch pulley?
Chad
The 150 amp which I received from Amazon came complete with pulley. It appears to be a real Bosch alternator. It didn't come with new connector nut though.:idunno: No problem in using the nut from the other alternator.

Mine wasn't packaged well for shipping, but survived the delivery. There was one posting here who noted damage. Be certain to inspect for damage at the time of delivery.

vic

chads
04-17-2013, 04:50 PM
From What I have read the way to make them cheaper is to just put a standard pulley on the alternator.
Vic do you happen to know did yours have the clutch pulley?
I don't want to make a mistake buying the wrong one.
My alternator light came on for a bit the other day and I wanted to read up on them if I eventually need one.
The ones from euro parts has it but it's a few more bucks.
Anybody put a regulator/brushes on one recently?
Wondering if it is easy or not worth it.
Sounds like the clutches give out about the same regularity as the alternator, may be best to just get the whole thing.

Any Idea how long they last after a brief alternator light?
Chad

jmoller99
04-17-2013, 05:17 PM
The 150 Amp alternator I bought from Amazon had the proper clutch on it. If its a replacement for a Sprinter, it needs to have the clutch.

bc339
04-17-2013, 06:25 PM
Chad, the regulator pack is replaceable. They are available in the $60.00 range and are amperage specific. Unless you know for sure that's the problem, don't throw a new regulator on it hoping for a fix. If you can take it to a reputable electrical shop - they are getting harder to find - have it tested to determine the problem.
Several years ago, mine failed. I took it to a shop for a bench check -it ended up being one of the field windings was burned out. The battery light would flicker and go out after starting - it did this for about two weeks before failing in the driveway. I was lucky it wasn't on the road.
I replaced it with a new Bosch 150 A with a lifetime warranty.

Bruce

Aqua Puttana
04-17-2013, 08:20 PM
From What I have read the way to make them cheaper is to just put a standard pulley on the alternator.
Vic do you happen to know did yours have the clutch pulley?...
Mine was listed for Sprinter and it definitely has the clutch. The reason I replaced my alternator was because I heard a squeal. For that reason I compared the clutch action from the removed 90 amp to the new 150 amp. They both responded the same. As an aside, my noise traced to a broken exhaust bolt and manifold leak. It wasn't the classic alternator pulley failing "chirp".

Wondering if it is easy or not worth it.
Sounds like the clutches give out about the same regularity as the alternator, may be best to just get the whole thing.
The other possible parts failures made me conclude that it wasn't worth it to just replace a regulator or pulley.

Any Idea how long they last after a brief alternator light?
Chad
How high is up? :idunno: Are you even certain that it is an alternator problem at this point? Cable connections are known to degrade among other things.

vic

chads
04-18-2013, 11:45 AM
I read somewhere that somone paid $700 for the part at a dealership in a pinch and I want to know what I am doing before I get myself in a pinch.
If at all possible I generally like to educate myself before I find myself in a spot.
With the responses here I hope to find out what the problem is before I go buying parts.
I will look under there for the ground wire and see if it's looking bad etc first.
The wire off the alternator is suspect too.
Could be the batttery connections or battery too.
I may not have to get one but want to know where to find one if needed.
Any where else to look that I am missing?

As usual thanks for the wealth of info here I would of been afraid to buy a sprinter if I didn't have this site to work out the glitches.
Chad

surlyoldbill
04-18-2013, 10:47 PM
I bought the 150amp Bosch on Amazon over a year ago. It's the same model number as the OEM I replaced, was less than $200, I didn't have to send back the core, it has the clutch pulley (It wouldn't work without one), and it went on in about a half hour. I recommend this alternator.

gggGary
07-18-2014, 03:04 AM
My 04 alternator just completely died at 130K miles. I had my OBDII reader on a different car for a while, so not sure how long the death dance took. Kinda stupid that the 04 has no low voltage warning... It had a hiccuped a few times last winter, had gone back to working fine, but a guy who borrowed our van got the green weenie. You know who got the come fix your damn old van call. Lucky me I had my previous van battery fully charged in the shed so just swapped them and that got the van 50 miles to home. Local store will have a 90 amp in the morning $185 plus trade in the core, so that's what's going in. It had a 150 in it, PO had big stereo in it, so he may have upgraded the alternator at some point. We don't run much for electric load. Some winter short tripping is probably the worst issue it will face.

I added some pics to an alternator replacement thread here (http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=315725#post315725)

Nomadic81
10-25-2018, 04:10 AM
I want to switch to one of the 150 amp alternators to charge one agm with the possibility of adding another one later. My question is how do you supply the agm with multi stage charging that I've read these batteries need. I just found a multi stage regulator but for boat engines.
http://www.balmar.net/multi-stage-regulators/
Would one of these or is there a better solution?

Nautamaran
10-25-2018, 05:25 AM
Is the AGM being installed as a starting or aux battery?
The stock regulator holds 14.6 volts, which will overcharge an AGM. It is also likely to allow too much current during the bulk stage on a depleted battery, so you are right to look for an upgrade to the regulator.
You may need dual outputs to properly manage both the starter and aux battery banks, especially if they are different types. If you are charging an AGM auxiliary battery and an FLA starting battery, then a Battery-to-battery charger may be more cost effective way to properly charge the aux battery? Something like the CTEK D250S?
https://www.ctek.com/products/on-board/d250s-dual

-dave

jcmadeintheshade@gmail.com
10-25-2018, 05:21 PM
I recently replaced the original Varta starter battery with a Lifeline AGM.

12 years on my 06? Is that really possible?

Anyway, Do I need to upgrade my regulator for the new AGM Starter battery, and if so, with what? You have me concerned. Thanks to all here.

autostaretx
10-25-2018, 08:20 PM
I recently replaced the original Varta starter battery with a Lifeline AGM.

12 years on my 06? Is that really possible?

Yes ... i still rue the day i changed out the Varta (after 7 years).

--dick

Midwestdrifter
10-25-2018, 08:37 PM
Is the AGM being installed as a starting or aux battery?
The stock regulator holds 14.6 volts, which will overcharge an AGM.

-dave

My experience is the opposite, on a cold start in very cold weather you might see as high as 14.8V for a few minutes. As soon as the alt gets warmed up its going to drop to under 14V in most cases. After my diode mod, I tend to see voltages between 14.2-14.6V, but I bumped the voltage up by at least 0.4V from stock.


The reality is that 14.6V for short periods won't hurt any lead acid battery, and may improve its life if its deeply cycled.

Any battery that is deeply cycled needs a higher voltage absorb than the stock alternator will supply if it is deeply cycled. So additional charging in the form of solar, shore power, etc is needed.

Aqua Puttana
10-25-2018, 08:39 PM
Yes ... i still rue the day i changed out the Varta (after 7 years).

--dick
I hear you, but not all make it that long. I changed out the 2006 battery. The voltage was showing a bit below 12.4 volts after sitting a time.

I kept the Varta as a 12 volt source for using in the basement. The damn thing is holding voltage just fine. :rolleyes:

Some of the OEM white cased Varta batteries have been reported to have very long service life. The Varta I pulled out of my 2004 was noticeably heavier than the Interstate battery which replaced it.

My 2006 Freightliner has a white case Varta battery. Some DIY load testing using headlights and my Aux Espar heater show that the battery maintains voltage ok. I keep hoping that maybe the battery is a dealership replacement so newer than 10 years old. I hope for that... but really I know the reality is likely I'm on borrowed time. Having just purchased a battery for my 2004 I'd rather delay another battery purchase until after the Christmas season.

vic

I chickened out and changed it.

Is even a couple extra years out of a battery worth chancing getting stuck because that old battery suddenly goes dead? While we were driving around Death Valley I occasionally found myself ticking off what was good and what could be bad with our then 11 year old 2006. Traveling in desolate areas often takes my mind that direction whether I want it to or not.

:cheers: vic