Alternator PA Performance? *long* - 460 Ford Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-07-2006, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Alternator PA Performance? *long*

Background: So I fixed the brakes in my Cougar.. Finally. Turns out Performance Friction pads aren't so performance. I went with Brutestop pads in front, and Thermoquiet pads in back on the Explorer disc setup I'm using..

After some brake tests.. I noticed my warning light lit up on the dash.. and the volt gauge was at 10 volts (yes, I kept a warning light with the autometer gauges). The plug on the alternator is broken.. I figure now is the time to upgrade my alt.. As whatever I put here, will also work with the 460.

Problem: Currently the car has a 70 amp alternator. This is for all the power stuff (windows/seats/locks, etc). However, I also added an amp (25 amps). I will be adding my dual electric fans (40 amps?) my DUI ignition (figure 10 amps over a Duraspark), and I've gotten the bug for EFI I think. I saw how cheap the Holley 950 setup is now. (figure 30 amps between the ECU and the fuel pump).

Math says that all that extra stuff adds up to 105. If you figure Ford added a 10% safety to the original setup, that's 63 amps.. 63 + 105 * 110% (safety again) = 168 max.. When I had my 460 in my Elite, I used to run a GM alternator from a mid 80s Camaro.. 95 amps or something. I still could dim the lights with the heat on, lights on high beams, the rear defogger on, and the radio.

I've heard about this PA Performance... (www.pa-performance.com). Ford Muscle did a few articles on them. I don't know if I can justify $280 for an alternator with a kit, even if it is new and lifetime.. but if I priced it out myself, I'd still come up with $240 or so, and that would be a regular 130 amp 3g alternator. People have had some good results with the PAperformance setup on corral.net and on focusfanatics.com .. What about here? Anyone? What are you guys with EFI and other high powered stuff running?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2006, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Well, someone on another forum had the idea of using what is there, once it's together, and putting a clamp on ammeter over the batt cable and see what it pulls with everything on.. I think I'll do that.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2006, 01:51 PM
 
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I would just save and get the 200 amp version. My 130 barely keeps up with lights, fans, and fuel pump. If you don't run electric fans the 130 would suffice.

Gre
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2006, 05:18 PM
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I got the 160A version and it was ok while it lasted but I killed the diodes (and melted a bunch of plastic out of the inside of it) in less than 2 years. They told me an old battery would kill it, and woudl also likely prevent me from cashing in on their lifetime warranty. (so you'd pay to ship, they deny you, you either pay to ship it back, or pay them to fix)
Me? I just got it rebuilt by the guy who does the alternators for the local ambulance service.. I'd consider picking the boneyards for a newer Mustang or Taurus or Mark VIII or the like, there are a few of these that have the 130A alternator, they you could always get the upgrade done later..

Jim

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2006, 07:15 PM
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For a few years I used the alt that came on my 89 5.0l I swapped into my pinto. It sure beat the crappy old 60 amper. They also have an internal regulator, bolt up in the same position as the old style (just had to make a different length spacer). I have electric fan, fuel pump etc and it worked good. I did see a drop in voltage at an idle but I never worried about it. Last year I finally bought a 160 amp from Holcomb Motorsports for about 180 bucks to my door. The first thing I noticed was the pulley was smaller than the current one I was using (part of the motorsport pulley kit). After some calculations my stock 5.0l alternator was just turning to slow at idle. You can also wire the stock alt. up to run as one wire too.

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid-in-sideways, totally worn out, shouting.."holy crap.... what a ride!"
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2006, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Well, for the next week or so, it's a moot point (see my other post :lol: ). Jim, with that kind of warranty, are you saying I should just get a 'regular' 130 amp from Autozone? I enjoy their no questions asked warranty... From what I've seen about the 3g, the pullies all interchange, so I can swap my Cougar pulley onto it.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2006, 07:24 AM
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If you keep a fresh battery in the car and make sure the pulley ratio is correct per PA, I think you'll be ok with their warranty (it's like anything else, burden of proof is on you). BTW, that $180 price from Holcomb sounds good, no? Don't forget the heavy gauge power wire. I used 4ga (just in case)

As far as the Autozone one, I dunno, depends on how you value your time. My car used to eat the NAPA lifetime 60Aor 75A units every 2-3 years..

BTW, about your other project
!!!!!!!
I have to do a heater core sometime, I HOPE it's a little less complicated..

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2006, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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I just don't feel like plunking down $270 for an alternator at PA. :? What is this holcomb you speak of? On a side note... my buddy with that SR20DEt swap was like "that's not bad, a decent stock one for me is $190 + a core".

Jim... I know on my Elite which is non a/c(which is the heater box I'm putting in my Cougar), you have drop the entire heater box and disassemble it. I had the dash out, so it wasn't bad. I know you don't *have* to remove the entire dash, but it makes it easier.

So it'd be bad if I said the current setup in the Cougar takes 3 screws and 5 minutes to change the heater core? :lol:
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2006, 11:00 AM
 
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Hey bro,

I used a 3g alternator, and that thing kicked out some juice. The thing is, I didn't have power windows or power locks, etc, but it ran a Blaster 2 coil, headlights, 2300 cfm electric fan, electric fuel pump, etc. I did have a smaller pulley on it though, so it may have been overdriven. When you change from a serp pulley to a stock vbelt setup you get an overdriven pulley. You guys rock! Dave.
PS> The only problem I had was trying to keep the belt tight enough. If you don't keep it tight it will munch the belt.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2006, 11:32 AM
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Withe the stock pulley ratio, I ate up belts as soon as they got a little loose, especially with the ele fuel pump, lights, the blower fan, a trans cooler fan, and the 4000+cfm Mark VIII fan running... At idle, with a March setup, I can actually drag the motor down 150 to 200 rpms by turning just the big engine/tranny cooler fans on.. The belts seem to be lasting though. (I want to get a 17 belt to try to use up more of the pulley groove, I'm afraid of wearing out the aluminum alt pulley with the belt slip.)

Jim

P.S. Paul, I hate you and your easy access heater core! I will be cursing you and your innovative ideas as I wrestle with the dash and no doubt leave more blood stains on the car...
:-)

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2006, 01:41 PM
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Alternator

Pull a 130A 3G from a 94/95 Mustang, or buy 160A version from fordfuelinjection.com for $120. More than likely, that's plenty of alternator.

If that's not enough juice, put the 200A rectifier pack in it for $75.
http://fordfuelinjection.com/index.php?p=67

Don't forget, when you're at idle and the alternator is spinning at low speed, it's not putting out 130A. In fact, it's putting out about 40-60 if it's a 3G. The rest of your required current is coming from the battery, which is recharged as soon as you increase rpm a little. If you need a lot of power at idle, put a small pulley on the alternator and/or run a bigger crank pulley. Be careful not to overspin the alternator. There is a maximum rpm for the bearings, depending on what bearings you put in it.

And, lastly, the very worst thing you can do to an alternator is jump start a car with a dead battery then pull off the jumper cables. The poor alternator will be trying to charge the battery at maximum charge current, which is not only bad for the battery...but will likely cook ANY alternator if the battery is that deeply discharged.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2006, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Alternator

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByronRACE
Pull a 130A 3G from a 94/95 Mustang, or buy 160A version from fordfuelinjection.com for $120. More than likely, that's plenty of alternator.

If that's not enough juice, put the 200A rectifier pack in it for $75.
http://fordfuelinjection.com/index.php?p=67

Don't forget, when you're at idle and the alternator is spinning at low speed, it's not putting out 130A. In fact, it's putting out about 40-60 if it's a 3G. The rest of your required current is coming from the battery, which is recharged as soon as you increase rpm a little. If you need a lot of power at idle, put a small pulley on the alternator and/or run a bigger crank pulley. Be careful not to overspin the alternator. There is a maximum rpm for the bearings, depending on what bearings you put in it.

And, lastly, the very worst thing you can do to an alternator is jump start a car with a dead battery then pull off the jumper cables. The poor alternator will be trying to charge the battery at maximum charge current, which is not only bad for the battery...but will likely cook ANY alternator if the battery is that deeply discharged.
I totally forgot about that website. I'm going to source it from there.

Thanks

Now.. on with my a/c removal.. :?
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-10-2006, 05:46 AM
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Mine was a Power Master 140 amp alternator. It just happened to be on sale thats why I got it at Holcomb.

http://store.summitracing.com/partde...5&autoview=sku

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-16-2006, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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So I called PA performance.. Apparently they recommend anything over 100 amps to have either 2 V belts or a serpentine belt.

Is there any crank pulley that has a spot for 2 alt belts AND a power steering belt? looks like I'd have to space out the PS pump so the pulley is farther forward.

Does such a pulley exist, like a crank pulley from an A/C 429/460?
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2006, 05:03 PM
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March sells a 3 groove crank pulley

One for PS and WP and two for alt. You just need to get a two groove alt pulley that will fit as well then spacer the whole mess to line everything up.. Mine no longer slips since I upped the pulley size on the alternator, and I am still a little over the RPM limit of the alternator at 6500 rpm...

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