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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alternators for E-Series Vans and Cut Aways...


Please tell me about yours. I'm particularly interested in the 7.3L application, especially dual alternator and ambulance alternator experiences, but would be delighted to hear from 6.0L alternators as well. The differences are not that large (but there are differences).


If you have a Mitsubishi 215 amp, post up and talk about it. If you have dual 110 amps, please let me hear from you. Topics like reliability, how often you've had to replace them, whether or not they squeaked, if the bearings ever seized, if they were adequate to charge all the loads, etc.


Issues related to mechanical breakdown or thermal meltdown would especially be interesting. I'm wondering if the alternators in the E Series applications have been more reliable, less reliable, or about the same reliability as those in the corresponding year F-Series.


Thanks!
 

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In my 2001 I have dual alternators... I don't recall anything different or unusual about them except when I had to replace the belt how to get a longer one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your response Rob. I was beginning to think all the van folks use solar panels and don't even have alternators.

Have you ever had to replace an alternator in your 2001? If so, which? (top or bottom or both). If not, how many miles do you have on them thus far?
 

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I'm not the original owner so I don't know if they ever were changed. The van only has 136k on it.
But I do have 200 watts of panels on my roof for my house batteries along with a blueseas ACR.
 

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I ordered our 2000 E-350 with dual alternators.
Have replaced the top alternator twice.
I think the top is used as the primary, the bottom alternator might only used when the top fails.
(Not sure about this, might have read it somewhere)

Replaced the bottom alternator, even though it was working fine, at about 240k miles.

I just happened to have the radiator out, and the belt off to change the water pump and some other things.

I could see that it would be just about impossible to change the bottom alternator with everything else in place, so just did it as PM at that time, because of easy access.

The van has always thrown a P1106 code about the bottom alternator, even though it is working fine.

 

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I ordered our 2000 E-350 with dual alternators. Have replaced the top alternator twice.

Well that maybe blows THAT theory.

Thank you very much tcnofh1, for your report, which couldn't have been more timely, as I was mentally cultivating a theory that the top alternator in the E-Series 7.3L dual alt application had a probability of lasting longer, due to the front bearing being a bit larger (52mm) than the same bearing in the equivalent top alternator for the truck application (47mm).

Of course, I haven't yet asked you HOW your top alternator failed... just electrically, or mechanically? My lower alternator failed mechanically, even while load testing just fine on a state of the art alternator testing machine. Since it squeaked before it failed, I blamed the bearing, and hence considered the E series top alternator for that reason.

But now I'm not so sure. After reading your report of your top alternators failing twice as often as your bottom alternator (or more, since you preemptively replaced your bottom alternator), and, on the heels of having pulled my own 47mm NTN bearing made in Canada... a good quality piece that turns out not to squeak at all on it's own, I'm not so sure that increasing bearing size will increase durability. In fact, larger bearings generally have lower rpm ratings, and in this instance, there is as much as a 5,000 RPM rating difference, depending on bearing brand, seal material, and lubricant.

Anyway, in this hunt for any alternator features that have proven to be more durable than what shipped with the trucks...I'd like to hear more alternator experiences from E series van and cutaway owners.


The van has always thrown a P1106 code about the bottom alternator, even though it is working fine.



How did you determine that the bottom alternator is working fine?
 

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I suspect that heat kills the top alternator, there very little air flow, and the alternator gets really hot there in the van application.
The bottom alternator operates in a much cooler environment.
Both failed with an electrical (no output)
I tested the bottom alternator as per section 414-00 in the shop manual.
Don't know why it throws a code, but after following the testing procedure to assure myself the bottom
alternator is actually OK, I just ignore the code now.
 
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