Upgraded Alternator?

I've got an 06 F250 with a Cummins in it, running the 6.0 alternator.

A lot of additional electrical load. Fuel pump, lights, amps, fans, winch... About to add an air compressor, invertor, and probably another fan for a remote trans cooler...

Any experience with the various companies that make upgraded alternators? Of course all the websites say that they're the best.
 
I know very very little about alternators at this point, but just yesterday I happened to come by this page from Victron that talks about high output alternators. In the same Victron website there is this PDF and Balmar seems to be their trusted brand (by association I would trust it too). If you hadn't considered Balmar maybe it's worth looking into their range in case they have something that suits your application.
 

thebmrust

Active member
I have seen some builds using two alternators one for the vehicle systems and a second for aux/house systems.

Granted, some engine bays don’t have the room for a second, but it’s something to think about.

You could also check with a local alternator shop and have them build you an alternator.
 

javajoe79

Fabricator
I have a presto lite rv alternator on my Cummins. It’s 190 amp I believe and can make most of that at idle. Local alternator shop had it on the shelf. Very common
 
I am also using a DC Power Alt in my XJ. 180A for the electric fans, lights, fridge, 2000W inverter, and winch.

 
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billiebob

Well-known member
Add up the load.... do you NEED more???? Altho a Cummins in a Ford sounds non stock.... electrical load is the same on anything, even a house.
Many of the loads you list are part time, even rarely used. Maybe you need a bigger battery but the factory alternator is likely fine.

Big alternators are needed on ambulances which might run ALL systems together on an accident scene for hours, medical equipment, comms, flashers, scene lighting, AC/HEAT, bit most of us overlanders rarely if ever need it all.

Will you ever be airing up tires and winching while the wife cooks dinner in the microwave and the kids are playing video games?
 
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DirtWhiskey

Western Dirt Rat
I've got an 06 F250 with a Cummins in it, running the 6.0 alternator.

A lot of additional electrical load. Fuel pump, lights, amps, fans, winch... About to add an air compressor, invertor, and probably another fan for a remote trans cooler...

Any experience with the various companies that make upgraded alternators? Of course all the websites say that they're the best.
In the same boat. Going Mechman hairpin Elite series 350amp. Probably won't use more than 210 amps at a time. But. What the hey you only live once. I'll be powering all the stuff you mention and charging a 400ah lithium bank in my camper when camping through a B2B DC-DC converter.. Gonna do the "big four" cable upgrade, don't forget that part. Higher amp demands demand a 2nd look at the factory cables

But, forget the alternator. LET'S SEE SOME PICS OF THAT FUMMINS!!
 

pnichols

Member
Just as an IMHO thought: I would NEVER have dual alternators in an expedition vehicle (or RV) used offroad UNLESS both alternators were installed and inter-connected so as to be operating in parallel with each other while at the same time being isolated from each other such that - both were powering the vehicle's systems in parallel IF both alternators were working, or either one would power the vehicle's systems by itself IF the other alternator should fail.

Backup systems are priceless when traveling/camping way out there on the Far Side of Beyond. ;)
 
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spot

Member
Add up the load.... do you NEED more???? Altho a Cummins in a Ford sounds non stock.... electrical load is the same on anything, even a house.
Many of the loads you list are part time, even rarely used. Maybe you need a bigger battery but the factory alternator is likely fine.

Big alternators are needed on ambulances which might run ALL systems together on an accident scene for hours, medical equipment, comms, flashers, scene lighting, AC/HEAT, bit most of us overlanders rarely if ever need it all.

Will you ever be airing up tires and winching while the wife cooks dinner in the microwave and the kids are playing video games?
I don’t necessarily agree with this. I’m often out late at night in pretty remote locations fishing or some other activity. I use a lot of lights to keep me, my vehicle and passengers safe. One washout or slue that I didn’t see because of poor lighting makes for a bad night. Even with the big alternator and dual batteries voltage will often drop to just below 12 volts with all the lights on while driving slowly.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
I don’t necessarily agree with this.
sounds like this is you.....
Big alternators are needed on ambulances which might run ALL systems together on an accident scene for hours....
Altho with LED lighting I cannot imagine exceeding the factory alternator if you are moving. Maybe drop a gear, run 3500rpm instead of 2500rpm.

And if it is an issue... shut down the systems you don't need.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Just as an IMHO thought: I would NEVER have dual alternators in an expedition vehicle (or RV) used offroad UNLESS both alternators were installed and inter-connected so as to be operating in parallel with each other while at the same time being isolated from each other such that - both were powering the vehicle's systems in parallel IF both alternators were working, or either one would power the vehicle's systems by itself IF the other alternator should fail.

Backup systems are priceless when traveling/camping way out there on the Far Side of Beyond. ;)
I used the opposite philosophy on my last Wrangler. A second alternator fit where the AC compressor was maybe 85 amps?? and powered the Square Drop independent of the main alternator. Mostly because I wanted to avoid the battery isolators and all the rest of the tech issues. Since the 2 alternators were identical they could be traded if the need ever arose.

I hate technology. I'll pick the simplest solution every time. The new TJR is not connected to the trailer. Panels on the trailer roof charge the Square Drop battery which runs the cooler and a few lights. This summer will be the test of that system.

IMG_0907.jpg
 

FordGuy1

Adventurer
sounds like this is you.....
Big alternators are needed on ambulances which might run ALL systems together on an accident scene for hours....
Altho with LED lighting I cannot imagine exceeding the factory alternator if you are moving. Maybe drop a gear, run 3500rpm instead of 2500rpm.

And if it is an issue... shut down the systems you don't need.
The biggest advantage to a good larger alternator is the amperage to can get at idle.
 
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