130A to 215A alternator swap questions - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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Power Strokes 1994-1997 Upgrades and Aftermarket Upgrading or adding OEM or aftermarket equipment to your 1994-1997 Ford F-Series with Power Stroke engine.

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Old 07-31-2007, 02:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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130A to 215A alternator swap questions

I've looked at three threads so far-
http://forums.thedieselstop.com/ubbthrea...=31&fpart=1
http://forums.thedieselstop.com/ubbthrea...;Number=3322813
and this one from yesterday http://forums.thedieselstop.com/ubbthrea...e=0#Post3430988

The factory 130A alternator is dead. This is a '97 E350 diesel van, NOT an ambulance. My local Pep Boys has the 130A alternator with a 1 year warranty for $125. They offer the 215A alternator with a lifetime warranty for $138. Both are remanufactured.

We're going to be outfitting this van for wilderness search and rescue, we'll be adding radios, lighting, and a small inverter. Perhaps a third battery with isolator.

I'm wondering why I don't just go with the 215A alternator for a few bucks more, and it comes with a lifetime warranty.

From what I've read on the above three threads, there's a few items that need to change.
<ul type="square">[*]Longer mounting bolts, metric 10-1.5 x 110mm needed[*]either drill out the ring terminal for the positive cable to the battery, or replace or parallel with a heavier wire[*]potentially needing a longer serpentine belt[/list]
Why do you need a longer belt? Does the alternator use a different diameter pulley, or is the alternator slightly bigger so the pulley center is a bit further from the engine, requiring a longer belt? My engine has what I think is an 8-groove belt, if that makes a difference. I was assuming that the new alternator would not come with a pulley, that I would be putting my current one on the new alt.

I read on yesterdays thread about grinding mounts down and replacing wiring harnesses. Can someone explain why that was required?

Thanks for the help.
John
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 130A to 215A alternator swap questions

This is the one that I use. It is just a rebuilt 130amp unit, but it won't require a different setup. It uses a slightly smaller pulley so that it turns a few more times. It does require a larger charging cable, but the guy threw one in for me. I actually visited his shop, and he seems to know what he is doing.

I think that this option would be the easiest [and maybe cheapest?] way for you to get some more amps out of an alternator. No new belt, either.
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Old 07-31-2007, 03:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 130A to 215A alternator swap questions

Dallas huh? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

I gotta go check him out for sure! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

I had a good alternator guy in Garland, but he has since closed down and retired [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

I will have to go by there for sure!

Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2007, 04:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 130A to 215A alternator swap questions

jwh123,

The 215-amp alternator is not just a little bigger; it is a fair amount bigger. You need a longer belt because the pulley center is out further.

I do not know about grinding mounts down. Mine bolted right up, but the wire connections are entirely different on the 215-amp unit. That is why there is a different wire harness that connects to the alternator.

The positive battery cable harness is replaced with a larger gauge wire harness to take the higher amperage of the 215-amp unit.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 130A to 215A alternator swap questions

[ QUOTE ]

The factory 130A alternator is dead. This is a '97 E350 diesel van, NOT an ambulance. My local Pep Boys has the 130A alternator with a 1 year warranty for $125. They offer the 215A alternator with a lifetime warranty for $138. Both are remanufactured.


[/ QUOTE ]
Good gawd, that is cheap.. for a 215A

[ QUOTE ]

Why do you need a longer belt? Does the alternator use a different diameter pulley, or is the alternator slightly bigger so the pulley center is a bit further from the engine, requiring a longer belt?

[/ QUOTE ]
correct on all accounts. Uses a larger pulley, alternator is much larger and thus further from engine.

[ QUOTE ]

I read on yesterdays thread about grinding mounts down and replacing wiring harnesses. Can someone explain why that was required?

[/ QUOTE ]
same as above. On some mounts, the (much) larger alternator does not fit, and requires grinding down the bracket. I suppose you could get a new bracket for this as well, but I am thinking that is bookoo bucks.

good luck!
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Old 08-01-2007, 01:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 130A to 215A alternator swap questions

I think most of the points have been covered above,

I agree, the price sounds awfully cheap for the 215A unit?

The factory 215A unit is a physically larger unit, size comparison

that's the reason for the longer bolts,
the charge stud is physically larger then the 130A, so using the oe harness, that's why the ring terminal has to be enlarged,
the belt needs to be 1/2" longer for the 215A.

I am not sure on the e-series, but on the f's the early years there was an alt bracket for the 130A and the 215A, the later years all used the 215A bracket. So either alt would fit on the later years.

The alt harness is different in that it has a larger charge wire and fuse holder, it is a mini harness that has the wire connections for the a/c compressor in the same loom, but those wires do not directly connect to the alt harness, the 3 wire plug is the same on either harenss. If you were to split the loom and replace the charge wire with the larger one from the 215A harness it would have the same result.

These are pics from my 215A install


Now, the link in the second post is a completly different situtation. That unit uses the smaller casing with the armature rewound to produce more current. So there would be NO modifications necessary, just swap units.

I have had that done before, (on other vehicles) and have mixed results. The failure rate seems higher in high stress situtations (such as limos) basically you are doubling the output but using the same casing to try and keep it cool. Sometimes though a physically larger unit just won't fit, so it is an easy alternative.
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Old 08-01-2007, 02:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 130A to 215A alternator swap questions

wow, Sturbo90, thanks for the photo showing the size difference. There's not much extra room under my van's hood, but this must fit somehow since it's a factory option. I had a hard enough time squeezing the 130A alternator among the A/C lines.
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Old 08-01-2007, 11:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 130A to 215A alternator swap questions

Tag this thread for future upgrade. Thanks. I am running a large inverter, 2,500 watt to the 215 would be a nice addition.
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Old 08-02-2007, 12:22 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 130A to 215A alternator swap questions

Anybody have a belt size for swapping in the 215 amp alt.
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Old 08-02-2007, 02:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 130A to 215A alternator swap questions

[ QUOTE ]
Anybody have a belt size for swapping in the 215 amp alt.

[/ QUOTE ]

Here is a post from when I did my 215A,

[ QUOTE ]

The stock belt is a 119" "listed" and the ambulance belt is 119.5" listed.

I ordered two Dayco 5081195 which are listed for the ambulance package, at 119.5" and both were too short. When I physically measured them not only were they different lengths, but they were both too short, one measured 118.75 and the other was 119".


I ended up ordereing the factory belt from Ford and they listed the belt as a 120" belt, but when I got it, I measured it for reference, and it was 119.5".

So I can only gather that the tolerances on the belts are not regulated at all, and the belt needs to be a true 119.5" and all belts are about 1/2" short according to their rating, so I assume the Ford belt is listed as a 120" so you get a 119.5" belt.

For reference, I probably could have put the stock belt back on, but the tensioner would a have been maxed out on travel. I marked the tensioner before the install and after with the correct belt and it was the same, so the stock belt would defitnately be too short.

[/ QUOTE ]

reference mark on tensioner

The belt number is JK81202



Here is a photo of the OE harness from a member/mod who bought it.
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Old 08-03-2007, 02:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: 130A to 215A alternator swap questions

Alright, I probably should follow up with this.

Unfortunately, the guy at Pep Boys misread the computer. There never was a 215A alternator available for $138. I should have known better.

At this point, I just replaced my original 130A alternator with the same capacity, this one with lifetime warranty for $138. Remanufactured, from Pep Boys.

John
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