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Old 08-31-2014, 10:22 PM   #1
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Alternator? OR: How I wasted $300

I replaced my starter batteries (tested bad, like the 3rd set that didn't last 2 years) a few months ago and the van has sat since. Went to get it out and the batteries were too low to start, so I put it on a trickle charger for a few hours. That was enough to get up and running, I drove out to Walmart (30min) checked the voltage and shut it down. The voltage was 12.7 and dropped to 12/11.99 after turning it off. Started fine after 20 minutes in the store, but on the way home I noticed my headlights were yellow and dim, even after cleaning them.

Because of the headlights and the ending voltage I watched on the way home and my voltage hovered around 12.6. By the time I got home it had creeped up to 12.9- but it never seemed like on the way out or back that I got that ~13.7v you get when the alternator kicks in, which is usually a few minutes after starting.

This is totally starter side power, the separator is manually disconnected.

So I'm thinking the alternator is toast. Any reason it wouldn't be that? Any easy way to test?
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Old 09-01-2014, 02:43 AM   #2
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Re: Alternator?

Pretty much what mine did when it failed but the voltage was kind of all over the place, just never above 12.8 volts. I just took it to a electrical shop and they diagnosed it bad. I did check the battery connections and the wire at the back of the alternator. Gremlins
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:06 AM   #3
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Re: Alternator?

Typically you want about 14.3 volts at the output terminal--anything in the 12-13 volt range strongly suggests the alternator is possibly failing. Bad connections to the battery can affect test readings which is why I suggest first testing at the actual alternator.

Doubling checking all connections is always a good idea, close attention to ground connections too.

Its another good practice to physically ground the alternator case to the frame etc.
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:59 PM   #4
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Re: Alternator?

OK, so what is the best swap in upgrade to an alternator on a 6.0L?

I'd like a smaller flywheel (aka Badger) and bigger badder amps, now is the time to upgrade, so what is the best bolt in I can move to?
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Old 09-01-2014, 08:17 PM   #5
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Re: Alternator?

What I went with:
http://www.nationsstarteralternator.com ... -s/518.htm

No problems so far
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Old 09-01-2014, 08:53 PM   #6
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Re: Alternator?

Other big names:

DC Power
https://www.dcpowerinc.com/high-output- ... oke+Diesel

Mean Green (though it doesn't specifically mention E-series)
http://shop.mean-green.com/2008-06-FORD ... MG8478.htm


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Old 09-02-2014, 12:02 AM   #7
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Re: Alternator?

I was going to mention those as well, they have both come up in conversation over the years as good high output options for replacements. Another is from bulletproof diesel.....
http://www.bulletproofdiesel.com/Altern ... diesel.htm
I read a thread mentioning that low voltage on 6.0's can lead to issues with the FICM and ultimately may cause issues with failed injectors. Not sure if that's been covered. You should at least have it on one of those trickle battery tenders when it sits for a while.....
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:43 AM   #8
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Re: Alternator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by REF
You should at least have it on one of those trickle battery tenders when it sits for a while.....
I never intended it to sit... I mean I put a plug on the outside of the house for the van and I literally have not had time to plug it in. But I've had battery problems on both ends of the van since forever- I've got switches on everything, been over everything and it still has a drain. I'm just resigned to throwing batteries at it from now on.

Anybody want to have a combination baby-sitting-alternator-swapping party?
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:21 AM   #9
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Re: Alternator?

Yes, I get it. Solar? But then again I recall you saying something about putting a tarp on the van when it's stored for the winter, so that won't help either.....I swapped out the starter batteries on our friends 6.0 SMB with Duracell AGM (rebranded deka) only to have their alternator crap out shortly after in the middle of Utah, mine literally fried right before our trip to AK this summer while Derek (CCV) had it, didn't have time to order one, replaced it with a napa premium (gold?) HD, looking at maybe ordering up one of those other ones mentioned above to have it on hand for next time. Good luck with the swap
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Old 09-02-2014, 04:19 PM   #10
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Re: Alternator?

Just make sure you get the correct case. The first one I tried to install was the wrong size physically and required mods to get it in, so I sent it back. Nations modifies them to take the same gutz as the DC alternator but without the glitter case. It was cheaper and didn't require much modification to install. I had to take a grinder to part of the mount to clear a bolt for a wire bracket. Probably could have removed the wire bracket but it was easier to notch out the alternator case. Anyway, you'll get a more heat resistant alternator that has better charging quality and more amps. One of the best mods I've done.
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