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Charging Systems And Protection - Back ...
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Charging Systems And Protection - Back To The Basics, Part II
Charging Systems ANd Protection
October 15, 2010
Moving to the outside of the alternator housing, there is a fan that is used to cool the alternator during normal operation. When the vehicle is turned on the fan is on, and the faster the motor spins the faster the fan goes. Alternators can reach extremely high temperatures when not used properly.
Moving to the outside of the alternator housing, there is a fan that is used to cool the a
The alternator is beltdriven via a belt that is connected to the crankshaft pulley. Most of the early alternators were V-belt driven and require a tight belt that put a strain on the outer alternator bearing. The V-belt setup also needed a periodic tightening to make sure the belt was not slipping. Have you ever heard a car start and a nasty screeching noise come from the engine bay? Well, that noise was likely to be a loose V-belt on the power steering pump. That could also happen to the alternator with no screeching noise and the only way you would know is if you checked the belt tension.
The alternator is beltdriven via a belt that is connected to the crankshaft pulley. Most o
A better setup is a serpentine belt, because the increased surface area slipping is a lot less common plus the tension is also greatly reduced. Some serpentine belt systems have an automatic tensioner that requires no adjustment, and the less time underhood the more time you can drive. If you want a period-correct truck a V-belt still works great.
A better setup is a serpentine belt, because the increased surface area slipping is a lot
A loose belt will charge normally at idle but once at idle the belt will most likely slip. Here is a neat tool to help diagnose a loose belt. It's called a photo tachometer and Carrel says he hooks it to a voltmeter, and it can read rpm on the front alternator pulley. It is necessary to put a mark on the front of the pulley. Measure the rpm at idle and then turn on the blower motor and high beams and raise the engine rpm. The meter reading should increase with the engine rpm and if not the belt is slipping. To fix this problem you could try to tighten the belt and check the belt for cracks. Also check the pulley for wear.
A loose belt will charge normally at idle but once at idle the belt will most likely slip.
This is where I go over a few things again. Check, check, and check your battery voltage again. If your battery is below the 11V level then the alternator will be charging harder than it needs to be and will possibly fry. Always charge your alternator on a fully charged battery.
This is where I go over a few things again. Check, check, and check your battery voltage a
The first step when checking for alternator output is to check it with a voltmeter. Place the positive lead on the alternator's positive terminal, then ground the meter lead to the battery ground, and let the engine idle. The voltmeter should read 13.5-14.8 when at idle and increase when rpm goes higher.
The first step when checking for alternator output is to check it with a voltmeter. Place
The alternator was only charging at 30 amps when the engine was revving. It was taken apart and the stator was shorted inside; notice the black wires and the melted insulator. Carrel said the customer was using the stock 100-amp alternator, and he had an aftermarket stereo system, airbags, electric fans, and a power inverter pulling 150 amps at idle. Carrel convinced the customer to use two alternators to reduce the risk of burning out.
The alternator was only charging at 30 amps when the engine was revving. It was taken apar
In order to test the alternator output it is necessary to use an amp meter. There are several different types for every budget. Before using the amp meter figure out what the max rating amperage on your alternator is; sometimes the rating is on the back. Let's say the alternator we are testing is rated at 100 amps max. Connect the amp meter around the positive side of the battery cable and let the engine idle with blower on high and the high beams on. The meter should read about 40-50 depending on how much current you're using. Now raise the idle and recheck, the amperage reading should have increased to about 70-80 amps. Again depending on how much amperage your vehicle wants it will vary between one vehicle to the next. Plus you need to take into consideration how many amps your alternator is. Carrel notes that he tries to set all charging systems to run at no more than 80 percent at the vehicle's greatest demand. Meaning if an alternator is capable of a 100 amps Carrel makes sure the truck only demands no
In order to test the alternator output it is necessary to use an amp meter. There are seve
Cheap connectors and sub par wire should not be used in the electrical system. Check out the good job on this one wire alternator. The owner used a gold connector, 8-gauge wire, and heat-shrink tube to make a solid and low-resistance connection.
Cheap connectors and sub par wire should not be used in the electrical system. Check out t
Speaking of connections here is an option for the battery terminals. Remember the starter, charging system, ignition, fuel pump, cooling fans, and stereo system all run off the battery, and it's a good practice to have great connections at the battery. I also like matching the ground side with the same size wire as the positive side cable. Just remember the easier the electricity flows the less stress on the starter and alternator.
Speaking of connections here is an option for the battery terminals. Remember the starter,
Starters can be subjected to tons of heat, especially when aftermarket headers are being used. Most headers run really close to the starter and after a long drive the starter can easily be overheated to the point it will not work. In this photo we used Heatsheild Products starter wrap, PN 500025, with double insulation. This can help in reducing starter failure by deflecting the headers heat.
Starters can be subjected to tons of heat, especially when aftermarket headers are being u
If you don't like to wrap your starter there is another option. I ordered Heatshield Products exhaust blanket (PN 175115). The blanket can be cut to fit and bent around the curves of the exhaust. In this case I cut a 3x16-inch strip and used metal wire ties to wrap around the closest tube near the starter. Notice I didn't wrap the blanket around the tube because I was simply trying to deflect the heat from the starter.
If you don't like to wrap your starter there is another option. I ordered Heatshield Produ
17500 E. 22nd Ave.
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