Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-24-2013, 11:09 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
Surprise's Avatar
 
1984 31' Airstream310
Surprise , Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 63
Images: 2
Alternator upgrade

I think my alternator is shot and I'm thinking of stepping up to a 100 amp alternator. Just curious if this can create problems, or is even necessary. The 310 motorhome is pretty much completely stock. Any opinions?
__________________

__________________
Surprise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2013, 11:23 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
The original is 65 amps if I recall the 310 I had. There are some small benefits in an upgrade, mainly in a bit more capacity to run everything including the dash air at night when the headlights are on. Mine was a bit marginal then.

You might consider replacing the output (generally red) wire from the alternator to wherever it terminates with one with a bit more capacity. I think the original was only a #10. With a 100 amp alternator, a #8 or #6 might be better.
__________________

__________________
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2013, 02:54 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Keyair's Avatar

 
1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3,937
Images: 1
I thought the standard alternator was 105A..
At least I know that was for the 1986 models, cos its in the specs.
Good advice on the wire specs regardless!
__________________
Keyair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2013, 04:19 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
bkahler's Avatar

 
1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,354
When an alternator fails while on the road typically the person doing the replacement ends buying an off the self alternator of typically 65 to 70 amps. We had a failure in our old Winnebago while on the road and used what we could find at the local auto parts house. We ended up installing an 85 amp alternator and I'm betting the original that we took out had a higher amperage rating. If the alternator is too small it will fail sooner due to the higher work load its placed under.

Anyway, it's not difficult at all to install a CS-144 140 amp alternator. I just finished the process on my Argosy 454 motor. The CS-144 alternator is one of the later alternators used by GM. They are very robust and have a good reputation. There are two (possibly three) things you have to do to fit the alternator in place of the older smaller style.

The top mount has to have a hole enlarged slightly and the tab bent slightly, a v-belt pulley needs to be fitted in place of the typical serpentine belt found on the CS-144 alternators, and you need a slightly longer v-belt. The last thing would be to do as Idroba suggested which is to upgrade the wiring to a larger size.

I can provide a couple of pictures detailing what needs to be done to the mount and also the length of the replacement v-belt.

Brad
__________________
Air forums # 1674
1974 20' Argosy Motor Home
1974 31' Excella trailer (parting out, as of 4/1/2015 I have wheels, brake drums, windows & holding tanks left to sell)
bkahler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2013, 05:09 PM   #5
Wise Elder
 
Jammer's Avatar
 
2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,119
You should also be able to retrofit an AD-244 alternator although you will need an adapter for the control wires. The AD-244 is newer and has somewhat better cooling and, therefore, longer life.
__________________
To learn to see below the surface, you must adjust your altitude
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2013, 05:27 AM   #6
"Alumi-holic"
 
cesalie2's Avatar
 
1982 31' Airstream 310
Memphis , Tennessee
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 406
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
When an alternator fails while on the road typically the person doing the replacement ends buying an off the self alternator of typically 65 to 70 amps. We had a failure in our old Winnebago while on the road and used what we could find at the local auto parts house. We ended up installing an 85 amp alternator and I'm betting the original that we took out had a higher amperage rating. If the alternator is too small it will fail sooner due to the higher work load its placed under.

Anyway, it's not difficult at all to install a CS-144 140 amp alternator. I just finished the process on my Argosy 454 motor. The CS-144 alternator is one of the later alternators used by GM. They are very robust and have a good reputation. There are two (possibly three) things you have to do to fit the alternator in place of the older smaller style.

The top mount has to have a hole enlarged slightly and the tab bent slightly, a v-belt pulley needs to be fitted in place of the typical serpentine belt found on the CS-144 alternators, and you need a slightly longer v-belt. The last thing would be to do as Idroba suggested which is to upgrade the wiring to a larger size.

I can provide a couple of pictures detailing what needs to be done to the mount and also the length of the replacement v-belt.

Brad
Brad,
Please post some pictures and details of what needs to be done to the mount, length of replacement belt, etc...

Thanks,

Daniel
__________________
cesalie2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2013, 08:27 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
bkahler's Avatar

 
1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,354
Daniel,

Hopefully these pictures will show the mods required to install a CS-144 style of alternator on a 454 v-belt style motor. I was a little surprised at how easy it turned out to be. I spent the most time trying to figure out how to bend the tab on the mount and which way to go when enlarging the mounting hole. I ended up over sizing the hole because when I was filing it I got a little confused one time while clamping it in a vise

The first two pictures show the mount as it is bolted to the motor. The only difference between original and after the mod is it sticks up a little higher to provide clearance for the larger diameter alternator.

Click image for larger version

Name:	74-argosy-cs144-top-plate-mounted-2.jpg
Views:	124
Size:	317.9 KB
ID:	184238Click image for larger version

Name:	74-argosy-cs144-top-plate-mounted-1.jpg
Views:	82
Size:	349.8 KB
ID:	184239

The next two pictures show the hole that I enlarged and where I had to bend the tab slightly to allow for more rise in the mount.

Click image for larger version

Name:	74-argosy-cs144-top-plate-hole-mod.jpg
Views:	105
Size:	312.4 KB
ID:	184240Click image for larger version

Name:	74-argosy-cs144-top-plate-angle-1.jpg
Views:	85
Size:	266.5 KB
ID:	184241

The next picture shows the the location of the connector that goes to the battery. I did have to change the "clock" position of the alternator to get the connection stud in the position I wanted it to be in. Not hard to do at all.

Click image for larger version

Name:	74-argosy-cs144-clock-position.jpg
Views:	134
Size:	306.9 KB
ID:	184242

The original alternator had a spacer that bolted to the back of the alternator and is used inconjunction with the long 6" bolt that screws into the front of the block. The spacer would not bolt to the back of the new alternator due to differences in construction but it is the right length so I went ahead and used it as is. My guess is it bolts to the alternator and was delivered that way from the alternator manufacturer to speed production on the assembly line. There is a threaded hole on the back of the new alternator and if I find the time before installing the motor in the chassis I'll modify the spacer so it can bolt to the alternator. Otherwise I'm not going to worry about it.

Click image for larger version

Name:	74-argosy-cs144-lower-spacer.jpg
Views:	91
Size:	299.3 KB
ID:	184244

New alternator bolted in place. The belt I ended up using is a Gates 7470. It puts the alternator in about mid position for adjustment. One thing I should mention. The top adjustment bolt I used for tightening the alternator in the slot was a 3/8-16 bolt. It's a little loose in the threaded hole of the alternator but seems to hold tight. I will also be using a nut on the back side to ensure it stays tight. I'm not sure if the hole on the alternator had been re-threaded from metric to sae but all three of the alternators I pulled had the same situation.

Click image for larger version

Name:	74-argosy-cs144-front-view.jpg
Views:	90
Size:	377.8 KB
ID:	184243

And the pulley diameter that I used is 2-1/2". I think the pulley I used came from an old alternator I had laying around.

Click image for larger version

Name:	74-argosy-cs144-pulley-size.jpg
Views:	131
Size:	247.9 KB
ID:	184245

I bought my alternator used from a "you pull it" salvage yard near Pasadena, CA. I pulled three of them for about $20 each. All of them had serpentine belt pulleys but the original pulley from your alternator should fit just fine. While I was looking at vehicles to pull the alternators from I tried to pick the cleanest looking alternators figuring I had better odds of getting a good one. Turns out that two out of the three that I bought were good. The bad one needs a new regulator. So for $60 I got an alternator to install, a spare and a rebuild-able core. I didn't think that was to bad considering the prices new.

I also feel it was a good idea to go with one of these alternators because they are a newer design and from what I could find while researching them is they seem to be very reliable.

I will also be upgrading the wiring from the alternator to the battery (actually battery isolator) so keep that in mind as well if you do the upgrade.

Hope this helps

Brad
__________________
Air forums # 1674
1974 20' Argosy Motor Home
1974 31' Excella trailer (parting out, as of 4/1/2015 I have wheels, brake drums, windows & holding tanks left to sell)
bkahler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2013, 09:34 AM   #8
Wise Elder
 
Jammer's Avatar
 
2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,119
The placement of the ears varies depending on the vehicle, with newer vehicles with serpentine belts using two ears on the bottom and no top ear. Be sure you get the right one.
__________________
To learn to see below the surface, you must adjust your altitude
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2013, 04:39 PM   #9
2 Rivet Member
 
Surprise's Avatar
 
1984 31' Airstream310
Surprise , Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 63
Images: 2
I ended up buying a 100amp rebuild that was supposed to be the OEM replacemnt. It's a Remy 20136. After taking out the bad alt, I relized it's completely different and the previous owner did some modifying to make it work. It's make is a Lestek, model 9130. Same case as a Delco 10DN. It is an older gm style alternator (63-72), 105amp, with an external regulator. Not sure why they did that? They use different connections, and mount a little different too. I think I'm just going to use the Remy with internal regulator if I can get the mounting to line up, and nothing is missing.
__________________
Surprise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2013, 04:52 PM   #10
2 Rivet Member
 
Surprise's Avatar
 
1984 31' Airstream310
Surprise , Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 63
Images: 2
I'm trying to add pictures from my tablet but not having any luck.
__________________
Surprise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2013, 04:59 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
bkahler's Avatar

 
1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,354
Surprise,

I think you'll find that the Lestek was actually installed by Airstream. It's my understanding the Lestek was an upgrade. The 1986 345 that I dismantled had a Lestek alternator installed with upgraded wiring.

Brad
__________________
Air forums # 1674
1974 20' Argosy Motor Home
1974 31' Excella trailer (parting out, as of 4/1/2015 I have wheels, brake drums, windows & holding tanks left to sell)
bkahler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2013, 05:00 PM   #12
Wise Elder
 
Jammer's Avatar
 
2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,119
You can upgrade to a newer alternator pretty easily. There are some places that sell adapter plugs.
__________________
To learn to see below the surface, you must adjust your altitude
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2013, 05:11 PM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
Surprise's Avatar
 
1984 31' Airstream310
Surprise , Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 63
Images: 2
It may have been original but if you look at the picture, someone tapped into the white connector that will fit into the Remy Alt. And that wire runs into the external regulator, and the power is tapped into the pictured solenoid as well.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20130426_141451.jpg
Views:	57
Size:	218.9 KB
ID:	184275   Click image for larger version

Name:	20130426_141529.jpg
Views:	51
Size:	225.8 KB
ID:	184276  

Click image for larger version

Name:	20130426_141459.jpg
Views:	55
Size:	218.9 KB
ID:	184277   Click image for larger version

Name:	20130426_141551.jpg
Views:	56
Size:	221.2 KB
ID:	184278  

__________________

__________________
Surprise is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.