V6 Discussion and questions about the base carbureted or MPFI V6's and the rare SFI Turbo V6.

How to upgrade alternator?

Old 04-15-2017, 03:16 AM
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How to upgrade alternator?

hey everyone. I have the little 97a alternator in my car and it's struggling when revs are low. Light dim etc. Is there a unit I can upgrade to which will fit? Mine isn't the serpentine setup.

Many thanks
Rich
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Old 04-15-2017, 06:54 PM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

probably something wrong with the alternator-earlier GM Delco alternators often develop a bad connection where the stator leads are crimped into the rectifier terminals,resulting in weak low RPM output.This can easily be fixed by cleaning and then soldering the crimp connection.Could have bad diodes or other problem too.For an upgrade,CS 144 can be installed:almost the same design,same size and mounting as the 97A 17Si alternator,but better brusholders and soldered stator leads and an updated regulator.RollsRoyce and Bently have used the 17Si and the CS144 in the past
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:52 PM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

CS 144 is the way to go. Nearly bulletproof.
You might have to slightly modify your brackets though.
Or possibly rotate the housing so the charging lug is in the proper position.
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Old 04-16-2017, 11:23 AM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

Early model CS144 will be direct bolt on as long as the rear half is "clocked"to correct position-later CS144 is a little bulkier and might need some modification to fit.Either one will probably need pulley swapped.The early style cs144 was used ~3/86-1995 and IIRC,108 and 120a versions. later style was used ~1990-2000 and is 140 amps.
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Old 04-16-2017, 06:32 PM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

The later 140 amp version is a beast.
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Old 04-17-2017, 03:48 AM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

Thanks everyone. I'll look into this. How do you change the pulleys on them?
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:53 AM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

you should be able to unbolt the pulleys and just swap them out.
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Old 04-17-2017, 05:07 AM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

Great, I'll take a look!
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:08 PM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

Use an air impact gun. You can just hold the fan directly behind the pulley (use a rag) and the impact is so fast it will spin the nut off before the rest has a chance to move.

When reinstalling, don't have the impact gun set to something like 500 ft/lbs!
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:52 PM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

cs-144 swap was some of the best money I've ever spent.
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:12 AM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

Thanks for all the advice. Goig to try to track down a later cs144 as I'll need quite a bit of power for all the extra garbage on my car!

Last edited by knightinblackar; 07-16-2017 at 04:18 AM.
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:16 AM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

There are some 200A versions listed. Will they fit my application? Also does anyone have any details or links to ones they've actually installed on their cars so I can see how you've altered things?

thanks

what about this? Any good? http://m.ebay.com/itm/87-89-Pontiac-...%257Ciid%253A1

Last edited by knightinblackar; 07-16-2017 at 04:27 AM.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:34 AM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

You don't need a 200A alternator, not many people really do.

The biggest problem with a high output GM based alternator is poor low RPM charging output.

Even most high power stereo cars I've built didn't really need a 200A alternator.

Either go stock CS144, or 120/130A CS130. The CS130 is a small case alterator used on mid '80's to late '90's GM vehicles, and will be plenty. The CS144 has the benefit of a larger stator that makes for good low RPM charging capability and higher RPM charge stability. But the overall size is larger and can cause some fitment issues. My CS144 was a good upgrade on my old Sunbird.

I now use late model Toyota alternators for alternator upgrades, since they have AWESOME idle charge and usually no lower than about 100A rated, which seems to be under-rated.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:50 AM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

Problem I have is that mine is a Knight Rider replica. So it has extra fogs, I've updated all the wiring and headlights, all other lights are LED, however the front scanner is 8x 55w halogen headlight bulbs and there's all the internal electronics to deal with. It's a lot of power to ask from an old 97a alternator that is supposed to handle all the cars existing functions.
What kind of power would you recommend running in the car?
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:16 PM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

Somebody will jump on me as soon as I post this.

"All Mexican alternators are crap!!!"

Yeah. Whatever.

My factory-original Delco-Remy alternator on my 1988 V6 Sport Coupe died a dramatic death.

I bought a (Mexican) factory-new one from Autozone.
Driveability (less electrical system tomfoolery) of the car improved immediately.
So far, the Mexican alternator has been FINE.

Drop-in replacement.
http://www.autozone.com/batteries-st...82554_390890_0

You do not need a re-purposed hight-output alternator, or some custom alternator with enough output to drive two Patriot missile systems to power your V6 third gen Camaro.

Don't overlook the condition of your battery either.
If you have an old battery that was the cheapest battery the PO could find to get the car to run long enough to get rid of it, you might want to do the battery at the same time you do the alternator.


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Old 03-06-2018, 12:25 PM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

I know I'm resurrecting an old thread but what are your thoughts on this? According to summit it will fit my car?

https://www.summitracing.com/int/par...d/submodel/s-e

Last edited by knightinblackar; 03-06-2018 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:35 PM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

Since you resurrected the thread I have to ask - (8) 55W halogen bulbs in the scanner??? WTF?
A single high-brightness LED in each would be enough.
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Old 03-14-2018, 01:04 PM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

Originally Posted by NoEmissions84TA View Post
Since you resurrected the thread I have to ask - (8) 55W halogen bulbs in the scanner??? WTF?
A single high-brightness LED in each would be enough.
i donít like the LED trails. They look crap. Simples! Universal had 55w, so do I!!
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:17 PM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

Originally Posted by knightinblackar View Post


i donít like the LED trails. They look crap. Simples! Universal had 55w, so do I!!
Between the 55 watt scanning lights and all the other lights required for a KITT replica , yea I'll bet you do need an electrical upgrade and anything that can get the amps up while it's idling would be a very good thing indeed
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Old 03-15-2018, 02:00 AM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

Originally Posted by OrangeBird View Post
Between the 55 watt scanning lights and all the other lights required for a KITT replica , yea I'll bet you do need an electrical upgrade and anything that can get the amps up while it's idling would be a very good thing indeed
its the reason I donít often use the scanner. Thereís enough going on with the dash!!
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Old 01-07-2019, 11:02 PM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

Originally Posted by knightinblackar View Post


its the reason I donít often use the scanner. Thereís enough going on with the dash!!

I'm bumping this thread again.
I'm curious what your solution was. I have a knight rider(ish) in that I just have the nose and the scanner bar. My problem is that I have a Taurus fan which pulls 40A and there is a noticeable hit to the car when it turns on. I have read that a 140A or 200A alternator would make a big difference. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-08-2019, 12:05 PM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

I had one of these https://alternatorparts.com/cs144-se...ternators.html

Problem with the CS133 is the small bearings in it, the 144s had bigger/better bearings
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Old 01-08-2019, 12:57 PM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

which one did you get? Are they a direct bolt in? 250A?
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:30 PM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

Call them and talk to someone. I originally was going to get a CS130 from them, but they convinced me not to because of the bearings. I told them what I had and what I wanted and they got me the right front and rear housings with the best clocking.
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:31 PM
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Re: How to upgrade alternator?

Much appreciated Scooter!
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