Alternator question - 460 Ford Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Alternator question

Hi 'yall,

long time no post - which means that the '460 is performing very well. See
The one thing I am struggling with is that the battery seems to be discharged faster than than the alternator can recharge it. The heavy consumers are three fans on the main and secondary radiator, one fan each on the engine oil and transmission fluid cooler plus a line spooling device helping to level out the tow-line as it is being wound up. Not all the fans are on all the time - they turn on/off at 210/195.
I am using the stock alternator which came with the engine out of a '78 Country Squire and I don't know what these were rated at. I already installed a smaller pulley to overdrive it a bit. The alternator shop checked the charging circuit and claims it is working ok.
Questions: anyone having a recommendation for a higher output alternator?
Can I install a second alternator since I have an empty pulley on the crank pulley?

Thanks,
Winchengineer
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 02:21 PM
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W E, First off overdriving an alternator won't make it put out any more than it's max rated output. An alternator is "all in" at about 2,000 RPM or so. Most stock production alternators are only rated at around 60 or 70 amperes or so. Total up all you're electrical needs at max work load and add about 15% and then pick an alternator with at least that rated output. A single alternator should fill the bill just fine without having to go through the hassle with mounts and extra wiring. Be sure to use the correct gage wiring for the charge side for the rated amperes. Hope that helps.
Rob

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
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W E, First off overdriving an alternator won't make it put out any more than it's max rated output. An alternator is "all in" at about 2,000 RPM or so. Most stock production alternators are only rated at around 60 or 70 amperes or so. Total up all you're electrical needs at max work load and add about 15% and then pick an alternator with at least that rated output. A single alternator should fill the bill just fine without having to go through the hassle with mounts and extra wiring. Be sure to use the correct gage wiring for the charge side for the rated amperes. Hope that helps.
Rob
Your right, but it will increase is output at idle and lower the max output RPM. Still it might be like pissing on a forest fire if your using too much vs. what your alternator will keep up with.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 04:18 PM
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Correct. I posted this before I watched the video (nice vid BTW) and realized that the engine isn't being spun all that fast. So, in this application, it's right (IMHO) to up the alternator RPM to it's useful RPM range.
Rob

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 04:46 PM
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That's probably a 70 Amp unit, a 110 would help immensely

If you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much space!
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks WhiteLightning and AirFord! I think you hit the problem spot-on. The biggest consumer is the spooling device, which can draw up to 20A under full load, which is only for a short time during the 35-40 second long launch. The engine radiator fans cycle on and off automatically as needed but since the engine run time from firing it up to shut down is ony about two minutes, there doesn't seem to be enough time to replenish what's being taken out. So I guess my best option is to look for a higher output alternator.
P.S.: glad you liked the video. Definitely not you standard '460 application! ;-)
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 05:32 PM
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Just an FYI......an automotive electrical system is designed to be run having the alternator provide all the needed voltage and amperage that it will need to operate. The battery is in the equation to provide a source for starting the engine and for being a temporary cushion for temporary voltage and amperage spikes when electrical components turn on and off. The vehicle actually runs on the alternator. If the battery is put into play to make up for deficiencies in the charging system it soon will be under charged, and for anything except for a deep cycle battery, that soon means an untimely death. As an aside, deep cycle batteries don't last very long if they are used in place of an automotive style battery and AREN'T drawn down quite a ways and then fully recharged. Hope this helps.
Rob

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 05:38 PM
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That's probably a 70 Amp unit, a 110 would help immensely
Yup, as long as it's output is greater than the system can use at any one time. Like I said, add up all the amperages and leave a cushion so the alternator isn't being fully taxed all the time if all the components should come into play all at the same time. Cooling and intended use of an alternator is a factor also....
Rob

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tip - got a source or brand name for a 110A unit?
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 06:22 PM
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This is the link to the 170 amp unit I have on my drag car http://broncograveyard.com/bronco/i-...mp-1-wire.html
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 06:24 PM
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I would recommend a mid 90's 3G alternator from a V6 Taurus. 130 amp internal regulated, simple wiring, able to use factory 460 alt. bracket. I used one on my '79 Ranchero w/ 460, here's a few pics. The only mods I had to do was enlarge the upper mounting through bolt hole slightly to accept the SAE size bolt, change the pulley from serpentine to "V" pulley, they interchange from a 1G (externally regulated)to the 3G(internally regulated). The brackets I used were originally for a 70-100amp large case alternator. The 3G holds 14.5 volts at idle with all acc. on including A/C. I can buy these from a U-Pull-it yard for $15-20. I hope this helps in any way, Todd
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 3G-ALT_wiring.jpg (18.0 KB, 44 views)
File Type: jpg 3Galternator01.jpg (73.2 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg ranchero brake & engine 027.jpg (97.2 KB, 39 views)
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 06:37 PM
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I would recommend a mid 90's 3G alternator from a V6 Taurus. 130 amp internal regulated, simple wiring, able to use factory 460 alt. bracket. I used one on my '79 Ranchero w/ 460, here's a few pics. The only mods I had to do was enlarge the upper mounting through bolt hole slightly to accept the SAE size bolt, change the pulley from serpentine to "V" pulley, they interchange from a 1G (externally regulated)to the 3G(internally regulated). The brackets I used were originally for a 70-100amp large case alternator. The 3G holds 14.5 volts at idle with all acc. on including A/C. I can buy these from a U-Pull-it yard for $15-20. I hope this helps in any way, Todd
Todd....YOU DA MAN! lol Thanks.
Rob

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 06:57 PM
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This is the link to the 170 amp unit I have on my drag car http://broncograveyard.com/bronco/i-...mp-1-wire.html
Thank you airford. That's a VERY nice piece. I used to use the Delco Remy/GM style large diameter 110A alternators for up grading some of my modified off road engines, I think I just found an even better alternative!
Rob

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 07:29 PM
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Todd....YOU DA MAN! lol Thanks.
Rob
I'm always glad to help when I can. I have received great advice and knowledge from this forum, it's just the right thing to do to reciprocate whatever I can to help other members when possible. Todd
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Todd - Wow - that should do the trick. I checked and AdvanceAuto has them locally. Changing the pulley should not be an issue.
Thanks for the tip!
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