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Old 07-20-2015, 08:35 PM   #1
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Alternator E350 PSD recommendations

Do repairs come in three's?

On my way to the mechanic I noticed the battery voltage was all over the place. I recently had a complete rebuild and decided to do the brake mods mentioned here in recent months. The voltage would read from 14.0 to 12.8 to 14.0. Found my young of three years 270A alternator was bad. It was built by a local company.

1. This company had a good track record on the truck forums: https://www.dcpowerinc.com/fit/Ford~E-3 ... spx-i.html

What would you recommend, rebuild the current one with the local company not under warranty or replace with this or another product?

Yes this one is expensive ($750) but is what I paid for the failed 270A alternator currently in possession. For additional $50 you can powder coat at Red, Blue, etc.

2. Any advantages of running two alternators vs one in our application? I opted for the 270A because it would charge the batteries faster and keep them healthier.

Any other thoughts to consider? Batteries tested good.

All thoughts appreciated.
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:54 PM   #2
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Re: Alternator E350 PSD recommendations

FWIW, I recently installed a 185A DC Power alternator in my 7.3 Excursion. Less than a month old, so not much time for a review just yet.

Didn't find DC Power to be all that helpful on the phone in locating the alt I needed, but I found a place in Nevada that had it, and shipped it out the same day. Turns out that FICM Repair had it cheaper but they weren't showing it on their website. Would have preferred to give them my business as they are a sponsor over at FTE, not to mention it would have been cheaper, but possibly slower arriving by a day.


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Old 07-20-2015, 09:03 PM   #3
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Re: Alternator E350 PSD recommendations

I've considered some of the uprated alternators, but of course when you need to replace it, and the van is sitting on the side of the road or at your mechanics, the lead time on some of those was not possible. I ended up with the Napa premium or gold or HD, whatever they call it, 200 amp version for my 7.3, it's been fine, and didn't cost nearly $750. Have you contacted the co you got yours from? Are they willing to rebuild it or give you a new one, warranty? dual alternator set up, certainly doable on our rigs, not sure it's necessary though.
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Old 07-20-2015, 09:21 PM   #4
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Re: Alternator E350 PSD recommendations

Excellent! Thank you for the lead.

I was thinking two alternators since if one goes defective then the other will get you home.
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Old 07-20-2015, 09:24 PM   #5
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Re: Alternator E350 PSD recommendations

I have the DCpower 250A XP. https://www.dcpowerinc.com/dc-power-vs-competition
I bought it directly from DCpower but I'd go through FICMrepair if I had to do it again. They have better CS and in fact Ed called me yesterday on a Sunday on an un-related issue.

But I wouldn't bother with anodizing it. You can barely see it. It's the same as buying the Bulletproof diesel water pump. It's a work of art but buried and unseen.
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Old 07-20-2015, 10:18 PM   #6
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Re: Alternator E350 PSD recommendations

I will call FICM tomorrow. Anyone here know if this 6.0 PSD alternator will fit in the Econoline space:

http://www.ficmrepair.com/index.cfm/pag ... /prd21.htm
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Old 07-20-2015, 11:57 PM   #7
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Re: Alternator E350 PSD recommendations

Wow I know you felt like you got burned but if the regulators out why not just have it rebuilt? I lost mine due to other issues and plan to send it back for repair. At least I'll have a backup.
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:38 PM   #8
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Re: Alternator E350 PSD recommendations

I wanted to thank everyone here. Ed at FICM repair was exceedingly knowledgeable and took the time to provide his insight, so much so I had to cut the conversation short due to my personal work schedule.

http://www.nationsstarteralternator.com ... asp?ID=251

Because of reasons stated in this link, I chose the 370 Amp XP. The XP has advantages:

"The XP in the middle is a 6 phase hairpin stator. This alternator features square wire and produces over 200% less noise than the SPX alternator due to the stator design. This alternator is the most efficient alternator on the market due to the hairpin design which allows for less mechanical energy to turn versus a conventional non-hairpin stator. Due to it being a hairpin stator it loses up to 15% less of its peak performance when it's introduced into extreme heat." Non-hairpin stator lose 30%.

In addition the XP allows a voltage regulator (in this case limiting to 14.2V) which is more ideal for gel type batteries I have powering the diesel motor. Higher voltages stress this type of battery design.

6 phase hairpin has much less ripple current - high pitched engine noise sometimes heard in your stereo system.

Ed at FICM mentioned that a higher Amperage alternator will produce less heat because the amps produced are based on demand (uncertain how this occurs). The demand as percentage strain on the alternator is much less. He believes the 370A will last longer because it can handle the demand. In other words, issues arise with the amperage rating do not meet demand.

Excellent referral! I recommend them as a vendor.
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Old 07-21-2015, 02:51 PM   #9
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Re: Alternator E350 PSD recommendations

wow, you must have quite a few electrical accessories. On-board welder perhaps?

I went with the XP based on similar reasoning. The rectifier is laser welded, a hairpin design stator and better technology and heat dissipation. Looks like Nations explains the differences but more here (hit the Read More Button): https://www.dcpowerinc.com/high-output- ... ators.html

In my case, I was after 140amps at idle. Partly for charging the house battery when parked for long periods as I don't have solar panels. With the large accessory load as well the additional load of a 12V Danhard Starcool unit going 24/7 there's not many amps left over for on the road charging. My batteries didn't seem all that hot when getting into camp. It's a lot to ask of the stock 110A alternator on a diesel; although if the van was originally sourced through SMB they ordered them from Ford with a heavy duty 130A unit as part of the tow package.
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Old 07-21-2015, 03:57 PM   #10
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Re: Alternator E350 PSD recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketcham
On my way to the mechanic I noticed the battery voltage was all over the place. I recently had a complete rebuild and decided to do the brake mods mentioned here in recent months. The voltage would read from 14.0 to 12.8 to 14.0. Found my young of three years 270A alternator was bad. It was built by a local company.

Any other thoughts to consider? Batteries tested good.
Ketcham, these comments give me pause so I'll add what I know about the OEM alternator setup. Other's can chime in if I'm off base. The OEM alternator has been known to slowly kill a crucial wire that reports back to the alternator about the voltage it's putting out. What happens is that wire gets more and more resistant to voltage (Lots of current through a small wire for a long period of time = heat. Excessive heat = damaged wire = added resistance) and then the alternator thinks that it's not putting out enough voltage so it compensates for the bad wire.

To make a long story short, upon installation of the DCpower alternator I was getting similar issues (ie., battery voltage was all over the place). Because of the damaged wire, it created issues with a proper voltage feedback on the DCpower. You indicate that your batteries are good which made me think of this. The solution was to modify the wire on the harness where it plugs into the factory plug which took care of the bias voltage.

The unexpected bonus with the alternator upgrade and "Big Three" 1/0 wiring 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. Some folks have to change out their starting batteries once/year which no doubt is in part to the PSD drawing the batteries down to 10V on startup.
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