TOP 5 HIGH OUTPUT ALTERNATOR ATTRIBUTES PITCHED
#5 - (Poor Alternator Amperage to Belt Size Ratios) - If you have a V-Belt car, 230 amps is really as high as you should go, No V-Belt car has a spring-loaded tensioner, so as soon as the belt stretches, now its loose. It also doesn't have enough surface area to turn much more amperage than that on a good day.
If you have a 3 or 4 groove Serpentine belt, the same amperage applies. It’s just too small to turn much more. Its better because it has a spring-loaded tensioner but to ensure ZERO belt problems, try and stick to 230 or less. I have a lot of customers with 320's on 4 groove belts, and they work, but it’s definitely taxing on the belt
#4 - ("4 Billion-amp alternators") What I mean by this is being pitched the largest possible alternator available on the planet. It’s like going to the car dealer and getting pitched the 1500 horse power muscle car for your daily driver. Sure, it’s bad as hell, but it has its drawbacks too, ... just like alts that are too big, they have their own set of drawbacks
The Main problem is output at idle. Not everyone will have problems, but the majority do. Unless you idle high and have a good size crank pulley, these units have low output at idle.. if ANY output at idle
There is a "Perfect Alternator Amperage" for just about every car regardless of the system you're running. There's not much of a gray area. 95% of the time I recommend the same exact alt for the same car no matter how much power you are running
They're also not as durable when problems DO arise. NO alternator is bullet proof and no matter what company you go with, assuming they build a decent quality product, will burn up under the same circumstances
When a company says their 370 does 220 at idle, they are giving you best case scenario and odds are, it’s not even CLOSE on YOUR car.
#3 - In my opinion, ... are Non-Direct bolt on alts. Alts that may need modifications to fit. In my almost 20 years of building high output alternators I find its usually a 95% chance the customer will have a large amount of difficulty installing an alt that doesn't mount exactly the same as the stock one, if they even can mount it at all. I stopped selling non-direct bolt on about 10 years ago because it just ends up being a pain in the ass all the way around. Companies today do this 99% of the time because they don't want to lose a sale and con you into their "Frankenstein" alternator because they don't have anything in the factory housing that bolts up like it’s supposed to
#2 - The "Self-Exciting" regulator. I've never liked them and have never recommended them. They tend to turn on and off finicky, sometimes don't turn off at all when you shut the car down leaving you with a dead battery in the morning..., spike in voltage, and are usually too high of a voltage set-point in the applications they are recommended for
Companies recommend them in vehicles like Dodge Chrysler or Jeep where they are Externally Regulated and the voltage set-point is a little lower than people like to see, which really isn't a problem at all, but people have a voltage fetish and think if they have higher voltage they have more power, which it usually doesn't work out that way
This type is not to be confused with PCM Controlled because they're not "PCM Controlled". The regulator just happens to be inside the computer. They function exactly like an internal regulator and I have yet to see one fail, ever. They also are recommended by other companies in multiple alt setups, which ironically happens to be the worst one to use them in because the primary alt is either externally regulated or a totally different voltage regulator, which causes its own set of problems. It's MUCH better to have all the same EXACT regulator when running alts in parallel with each other. If you have them separated like one running the car and one running the music, then it’s okay, .... but I always recommend all alts in parallel so the help each other
#1 - The #1 worst recommended attribute are External Regulators. The Blue 911-02R is junk, pain in the ass to wire and a really shitty design from the early 1900's. I ALWAYS recommend an internal regulator and XS Power VCM if you feel the need to play with your voltage
So, ask yourself if you really want to deal with any of that when purchasing a high output alternator.... and as always... I’m MORE than happy to answer ANY question you may have about your high output alt purchase