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Upgrading an Alternator

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Capt Fred, Feb 10, 2020.

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  1. Capt Fred

    Capt Fred Senior Member

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    Hi, has anybody upgraded their V-belt driven Delco Remy 10s1 alternator to a Delco CS144. Looks like there is enough room and I sure could use the higher current output of the 144. I'm considering this on a 6-71 485 TIB. The wiring I can figure out just want to make sure it would fit? Bonus, anybody got a source for an alternator fan that is made for the opposite rotation? I see the straight bladed fans on ebay but looking for one with curved blades to improve cooling efficiency? Thanks
  2. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Couple of thoughts;
    Do you have a need for the extra current. Is there an amp meter installed and always showing high charge current?
    Do you have a second V belt notch, usually anything near and over 90Amps will require a double V belt or fat serpentine belt.
    Nothing is for free, it takes HP to turn a loaded 140Amp charger.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  3. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  4. Capt Fred

    Capt Fred Senior Member

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    Mine are TIBs and v-belt driven,. I only have one v-belt groove on the front crank pulley. Yes when running all the house items off the inverter I'm pulling about 70 amps on each alternator. My 10si were upgraded to 100 amp and I burned one out and also running at low speed having difficult maintaining voltage. The CS144 is cheap and readily available, do you know of a better choice?
  5. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Next on my list is the 31SI. You may just need a belt adjustment arm extension.
    I really do believe your going to start spinning or tossing the single V belt though.
    Are you running your A C equipment or water heater needing 140A to your inverter?
    Must be low or dead (or bad) inverter batteries. Most inverters charge current can be reduced.
  6. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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  7. Capt Fred

    Capt Fred Senior Member

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    The 31 SI is a beast, bigger in all dimensions. I like the 12SI option, more amp and improved in many areas and basically the same size. Will go in this direction. Thanks for your expertise. Also thanks for the link on the 10 groove pulley. I know that I'm marginal for one v-belt but don't think I have enough room in front of the engine to replace the crank pulley, will check.
  8. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    the 12SIs came in different amp ratings, probably about 3 beers on line to confirm the correct part number.
    It may take some work. Not many of the part counter kids may have a clue, your looking for a real fat 1/2" PTO belt. Not a fractional HP belt.
    You will know it when you see it. Like a belt under your riding lawn mower.

    Also, look back there next to your raw water pump. Do you have a blank gear cover plate? This is where a direct drive alternator really comes thru. Do you have an old school DD guy with used parts?
  9. Capt Fred

    Capt Fred Senior Member

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    Good info on the 1/2 fat PTO belt. Yes, both of the gear cover plates are blank. Are you thinking of changing over to a gear driven alternator? I probably can find an old DD guy with used part?
  10. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Both gear covers blank? What drives your raw water pump?
  11. wdrzal

    wdrzal Senior Member

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    I would stay with V belts and find a double V pully. Reason; you could keep existing alternators as a spare/emergency part in case one of the new one fails.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
  12. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    I'd like to talk more about this high amp draw. Assuming a 12Vdc system; 1680 Watts.
    Is this continuous or when the fridge/ice-maker cycles?
  13. Capt Fred

    Capt Fred Senior Member

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    Well my memory not so good, just for info one gear cover blank and one driving the water pump. But I have two v-belt grooves on the crank pulley so the double belt solution wins.
  14. Capt Fred

    Capt Fred Senior Member

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    The 1680 watts is peak, when they all cycle on. Typically when I go on 5 day fishing trip, when I shut down for the night, I run some bridge electronics, two bait pump and the frig, cutting off the freezer and ice maker. Upon crank up in the morning the engines pickup the total load, freezer, ice maker and charging, so for a lengthy period of time the load is 1680 watts. The generator does pickup the load during breakfast but I turn it off at first opportunity.
  15. wdrzal

    wdrzal Senior Member

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    Keep in mind when you buy double , triple or quadruple V belts , they come in "matched sets" you don't just buy 2 with the same part number.
  16. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Now your cooking. Still find some better belts, but now, you don't have to run with guitar string tight belts. A little (little) slop and they will last forever.
  17. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    It's getting harder and harder to find those match sets any more. I have not found a set package in many years.
    A Gate rep told me one day that the new mfg processes ensured all belts are the same.

    Well Flunk on that.

    I have purchased the same belt approx a short year apart (gen-set spares mgt) Both un-used, same temperature and near 1/4" different in length. Double Flunk.

    I have 3 alternators on two engines. All use the same belt on double pulleys. I ordered 8 belts and a better bottle of rum and crawled into my ER.
    Just over half of the rum was utilized before I matched the belts for each alternator and ended up with a real close matched spare set.
    4 years later, all belts have the same deflect and perfect (matching) wear patterns.
    It may take the (equivalent) rest of that rum convincing myself to replace those belts this spring.

    When you pick the new belts up, check all the required belts the store has for you, on their belt measuring tool. You may be visiting a few NAPA stores before you make it back home with perfect sets.

    Keep us up.

    What else can we spend your money on?
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Given what you said, why on earth do you refuse to run the generator longer than breakfast? You're burning the fuel either way, engines burning more to drive the alternators etc. and creating a ton of heat in the batteries, shortening their life. The most logical solution would be to run the generator during the day with AC loads coming off of it, not running the battery bank down so low, and the charger or inverter powered by the generator charging the DC bank during the day at a lesser rate as not to overheat the batteries AND you don't need to buy larger alternators...….a generator burning 1/2 a gallon per hour is a heck of a lot cheaper than new larger alternators and the labor to install them. Then run off of the inverter at night.
  19. Capt Fred

    Capt Fred Senior Member

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    CR: Not sure I follow: On most inverters-chargers, current can be reduced, lowering the alternator load.
    This could help your current draw off the alternators and reduce battery heat. Maybe help your batteries last longer. I can reduce the inverter charge current, but cannot adjust the inverter current draw when inverting. I do not know how to adjust alternator output current unless I install an external regulator such as a Balmer.

    CJ: You make perfect logic, It is just my hang up to shut down the genny. However I still want to be able to charge and maintain house load with Alternators so I'm not so dependent on the genny.
  20. Lepke

    Lepke Member

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    I run CS-144s on my Detroits and one generator. I use 2 B belts because I couldn't find the serpentine pulleys needed. The alternators do put out 140 amps stock. And I have one I converted to 48 volts for the inverter bank. I use CS-144s because they were easy to find and dirt cheap when I switched over.