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Old 07-20-2020, 12:11 PM   #1
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Has anyone fit a Leece Neville 230 amp alternator into an E350 van?

I want to upgrade my alternator and have had several conversations with the helpful folks at FICM Repair. I initially focused on the DC Power 180 amp unit but I am worried that the high (14.8) volt voltage regulator setting will shorten the life of my batteries.

FICM Repair suggested the 230 Amp Leece Neville but mentioned that it is larger than the stock unit. I am concerned that it may not fit into the space in my 2006 E350 6.0l van. Also I am not interested in potentially rerouting the CAC line.

Does anyone have experience with either the Leece Neville or with battery charging issues with the DC Power unit?
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Old 07-20-2020, 12:49 PM   #2
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Funny timing on this......I talked to Ed at FICM, and ordered the Leece Neville 230A unit youíre looking at for my 7.3
I havenít installed it yet for several reasons, one being that my current wire harness to the alternator includes what I think is an exciter jump wire or a voltage regulator and the new unit doesnít include a input spot for that wire plug. So after a few phone calls about the missing input, they assured me that it would work, but I discovered that if I unplug that exciter wire, my battery light goes on, which is what I was afraid of something like that happening. So, Ed is getting back to me on finding another high amp alternator that includes a spot for the secondary wire.
Hope that makes sense, and you may want to look at your current alternator harness to see if thereís a secondary wire apart from the main plug.
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Old 07-20-2020, 03:15 PM   #3
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I want to upgrade my alternator and have had several conversations with the helpful folks at FICM Repair. I initially focused on the DC Power 180 amp unit but I am worried that the high (14.8) volt voltage regulator setting will shorten the life of my batteries.

FICM Repair suggested the 230 Amp Leece Neville but mentioned that it is larger than the stock unit. I am concerned that it may not fit into the space in my 2006 E350 6.0l van. Also I am not interested in potentially rerouting the CAC line.

Does anyone have experience with either the Leece Neville or with battery charging issues with the DC Power unit?

I have the DC Power XP 250A alternator in my 2005 6.0. https://www.dcpowerinc.com/collectio...rstroke-diesel
No issues with fit but I did upgrade the wiring. It's also a long run from the alternator to the starting batteries on the rail so presumably there is some voltage drop.

Overall voltage is a max of 14.1 to 14.3 (at the Scanguage I have plugged into the ODBI port). The power leads were also upgraded from the alternator to the battery and not the starter with 1 gauge cable. The unexpected bonus here is that it allows the alternator to begin charging the batteries immediately upon startup rather than having to wait for the glow plugs to turn off before charging is allowed as with the stock set up.
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Old 07-21-2020, 07:25 AM   #4
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Funny timing on this......I talked to Ed at FICM, and ordered the Leece Neville 230A..... but I discovered that if I unplug that exciter wire, my battery light goes on,
I may be completely wrong here but could the exciter wire you mention simply the Ford E-Series connection for the instrument cluster battery warning light?

Perhaps obviously I'm not familiar with Leec-Neville alternators.
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Old 07-21-2020, 10:13 AM   #5
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I may be completely wrong here but could the exciter wire you mention simply the Ford E-Series connection for the instrument cluster battery warning light?

Perhaps obviously I'm not familiar with Leec-Neville alternators.
Now that you mention it I had an issue with that wire on my DC Power alternator. This is the wire for the regulator power for the stock alternator, correct? The same wire is used for voltage sensing in the DC Power alternator but it was creating issues with a proper voltage feedback and I had to modify the wiring harness.

According to DCPower, the issue with the voltage is that some of the ford alternators slowly kill this wire that reports back to the alternator about the voltage it's putting out. Lots of current through a small wire for a long period of time = heat. Excessive heat = damaged wire = added resistance. As that wire gets more and more resistant to voltage and then the alternator thinks that it's not putting out enough voltage so it compensates for the bad wire.

Not sure if this applies to the Lees-Neville unit but it might.


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Old 07-21-2020, 01:15 PM   #6
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Thanks JoeH, REF and JWA for your information. My stock Motorcraft alternator has one oval connector with 2 contacts plus the output stud so I don't think that I need to worry about the extra wire unless the new alternator requires it.

My main concerns are fit of the alternator and the high output voltage, 14.8V, of the DC Power alternators. JoeH has a good point that there will be some voltage drop between the alternator and the battery. It looks like the 6.0 draws between 30 and 60 amps when running so the voltage at the battery with a 1/0 cable will still be at least 14.5V (60A) after the batteries are charged. Lifeline recommends 14.3V for bulk charging at 77 degrees.

This project started with my removing the alternator so I could install a MaxAir valve in the heater hose to improve the A/C. Since the alternator was out I thought I would upgrade. How hard could it be? I am probably over thinking this but I want to get the benefit of other peoples' experience before jumping in.
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Old 07-22-2020, 10:57 AM   #7
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I may be completely wrong here but could the exciter wire you mention simply the Ford E-Series connection for the instrument cluster battery warning light?
I agree, but with the stock alternator, as you say, it excites the field in addition to completing the warning light circuit. With an alternator that doesn't require that circuit, (one that's internally regulated) it looks like the only down side to disconnecting it would be the lack of a warning if the alternator quit, and the always on light (unless you removed the bulb or fuse)
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:21 AM   #8
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I'm not much of an electrical guy but it might be worth noting that on the older vans the alternator is not PCM controlled like the F-Series. Not sure if this changed for 08+ vans when Ford made a lot of changes but that might affect internal versus external regulated alternator setups and wiring.
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:59 AM   #9
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Have you just tried contacting DC Power and see if they con modify the output to a lower voltage?
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Old 07-22-2020, 10:20 PM   #10
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Has anyone fit a Leece Neville 230 amp alternator into an E350 van?

Thatís the other piece to this as Ed informed me that the Leece Neville 230A alternator, unlike other units, is regulated at 12.2V (I think) which is what AGM batteries like yo see. I also got FICMís upgraded 1/0 cable kit which I also havenít installed yet. Hoping to swap for another unit that has the appropriate inputs and voltage output.
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