GM Engine Alternator Upgrade

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GM Engine Alternator Upgrade

Postby JMEngland88 » Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:46 pm

Hi, so during the recent hurricane I had my alternator died while I was out exploring, so I decided that I would look for some type of cheap upgrade. In browsing around I came across an alternator swap popular in the S10 crowd. Now, I can tell you this swap is pretty straightforward and shouldn't take you long at all. It took me around an hour. I figured I would go ahead and give everyone the lowdown on the swap.

BLUF
The CS130 alternator is overrated at either 85 or 100 amps, the AD244 is underrated at 145. The swap is straightforward and requires no other parts other than a new belt, plug, and longer bolt.

Alternator Comparisons:
So, the Troopers with the GM 2.8l (and I assume the Rodeos with the 3.1) come with the CS130. From what I have read, the CS130s are very overrated and many people have claimed to have tested them at idle and came up with 30 to 40 amps. Now this may or may not be an issue for a stock vehicle, but once you start throwing on extra lights, stereo components, winches, etc. it can quickly become a problem. The AD244 on the other hand comes in a 145 amp version that has supposedly been bench tested and shown to put out over 200 amps. Not sure if these numbers were on completely stock AD244s or ones with modifications, but either way, you're going to get much more power than with the CS130. A big plus is that the AD244 can nearly reach its full potential at a normal idle, whereas the CS130D can't come close. That plays in heavily with those off road mods we talked about earlier.

The Parts...

The Alternator:
Okay, so when it comes to getting you an alternator it shouldn't be too hard. Most GM trucks in the early 2000s came with the AD244s. I was able to snag mine on eBay for just over $30 shipped, so a major steal. The one I bought was pulled off a 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe. You will commonly see junkyards list the alternator as a "KG3". Do remember that the 145 amp was an upgraded version. I believe the lower level was around 130 and still a massive upgrade over our stockers, but I figured it would be worth noting. Here's an example of what you're looking for..

AD244Front.jpg


The Plug:
Okay, so I've read that AD244s off different models came with different plugs. I don't know how true this is, so I'm just going to document my personal experience. My 1991 Troopers alternator had a plug with only one wire coming out of it, and looked like the following.

500539.jpg


The plug port on the AD244 that I received had a plug that looked like this

cs130dplug.jpg


Notice the wire labeled "L". This is the only wire required to be connected for the alternator to operate on our vehicles (at least in my case). If you have multiple wires coming out of your plug then you'll have to figure out which goes where, but if you only have one wire coming out of your factory plug just splice the wire into the donor plug on your junkyard plug (connecting it to the "L" wire). Done and done, wiring complete.

The Belt:
So because the new alternator pulley will sit farther out, you will need a belt that is one inch longer. The belt I used is a Goodyear/Continental 4061005. The correct belt will come up if you search for one to fit a 2003 Lincoln Aviator 4.6L. This is for a Trooper 2.8l with A/C, so without A/C will need a different one. Rodeos may also need a different one.

Installation:
I apologize, but I did not take pictures during the installation, but honestly, I don't think they are necessary. Installation is pretty straight forward. Before we start do let me note that in my case I needed a new bolt for the drivers side of the new alternator. I'll touch on that when we get there. Now on to the installation..

1. Disconnect negative cable from battery
2. Unplug alternator plug and remove positive cable from rear of alternator
3. Using a wrench, apply pressure counterclockwise on the belt tensioner pulley while pulling the belt off of a pulley. The belt tensioner is located near the alternator and looks as follows
gates-belt-tensioner-assembly-38266.jpg

The bolt on the pulley is the one you want to turn counterclockwise. The assembly should rotate, relieving pressure off the belt.
4. Remove both bolts holding in the old alternator and toss
5. Install the new alternator in reverse order. The passenger side bolt should work, but for the drivers side I needed to drill out the hole on the bracket slightly larger and use a long bolt with a nut to hold it on. The CS130 had a threaded hole in this spot whereas the AD244 has an open hole all the way through it. My recommendation is to just take your alternator to a hardware store and find a long bolt and nut that will fit it appropriately.
6. With the alternator bolted back in and positive cable attached, the new longer belt installed, and the new plug wired in and plugged into the port on the back of the alternator, you're good to go.

Test with a multimeter to verify correct voltage, should be 14+. I strongly urge anyone who does this mod to consider upgrading their power cables. Just Google "Big 3 Upgrade" and you'll find what you need. 4 awg wire should be sufficient, but I went ahead and used 2 awg because the price difference was minimal and I needed some 2 awg for an amp install anyway. Just snag you some pure oxygen free copper welding cable off eBay or Amazon, don't bother with the overpriced "car audio" cable or any of the copper clad aluminum stuff.


Here is a belt diagram if anyone needs it.
91stt_7.jpg



Stay safe, tread lightly, and have fun.
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Re: GM Engine Alternator Upgrade

Postby geoffinbc » Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:08 am

Sweet. I'm gonna try this.
1990 Trooper, 3.2L (3.1L .040 over) Pushrod V6, 5 speed manual. 33X10.50X15 BFG M/T KM2's. 3" OME Lift. Cowl Induction Intake. ARB Lockers front and rear. HD Tierods.
Off the road for an overhaul right now.

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Re: GM Engine Alternator Upgrade

Postby paulevans76 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:41 pm

Ditto!
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Rodeo D44 Rear - 5.38's + Detroit
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Re: GM Engine Alternator Upgrade

Postby paulevans76 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:25 pm

Got around to this swap - everything fits, but there's no provision to attach the brace to the back of the alternator. I'd like mine to hold up to thrashing, so I'm going to have to see if there's anything I can do or I'll have to carry around a spare mount.
91 SAS Trooper - Neverending tinkering
Semi-hopped-up 3.4 + MUA5 + 3.07:1 low
Waggy D44 Front - 5.38's + RCV's + OX
Rodeo D44 Rear - 5.38's + Detroit
35" General Grabber X3's on Interco Birddogs
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Re: GM Engine Alternator Upgrade

Postby totten » Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:28 am

Nice write up for members too copy. THANKS
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