[DMCForum] Re: [DML] Alternator upgrade troubles
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[DMCForum] Re: [DML] Alternator upgrade troubles

Thanks Rob & others for your replies. This issue has been resolved (see below).

1. Why 180 amp? I had two concerns in wanting to upgade. The first was
voltage drop at idle - the stock Motorola left my headlights dim at
idle. The second concern was to provide power for a higher output
stereo install.

I didn't need 180 amps, however, the conversion process was simple and
the alternator was affordable so I went for it. I figured I'd have
plenty of power to spare for any amplifiers I could possibly want -
"Better too much power than not enough" was the idea. Unfortunately, I
was not aware that higher output alternators actually provide LESS
power at idle, a fact which Rob, Toby, & others have since informed me

I was actually able to mitigate this reasonably well - first, I
tightened up my grounds, which bought me some idle power. Second, I
replaced my plain jane lead acid battery with an Optima Red Top based
on advice from the local stereo shop - this was giving me better idle
performance than the Motorola, though not by much and I still dropped
voltage at idle.

2. How did I solve it? I was going to try putting a smaller pulley on
next week to further increase idle voltage but the situation solved
itself when the new alternator burned itself up while I was 2 hours
from home at a PNDC function! So we performed an emergency replacement
with an AC Delco alternator from Schucks via the cross reference list.
The Delco is "only" 110 amp but it's physically much larger and
provides gobs of power at idle. So I'm going to stick with it, and
just fit my new stereo install into it's output.

Thanks everyone for your advice here. I now know a lot more about the
various trade offs in alternator upgrade options.


On 5/20/06, rob@xxxxxxxxxxx <rob@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Ryan,
> It may seem a dumb question but do you really NEED a 180 Amp alternator? In
> general the higher the Amperage output the higher the RPM that is required
> to trigger the regulator into the charge mode. Also the greater the wear and
> tear on your poor alternator belt which DeLorean's are already known to shed
> somewhat often. It probably won't start to charge much before 2000 RPM
> making it impractical for anything but straight highway use. Short of major
> power robbing accessories I personally think an 110A alternator is the best
> optional size for the DeLorean. Why are you stuffing an alternator into your
> car that is so oversized compared to your cars actual requirements? Am I
> missing something or are you having a "mine is bigger than yours" contest
> with someone? :) Just kidding...OK!
> Rob Grady,
> P.J.Grady Inc.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: dmcnews@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:dmcnews@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
> Ryan Wright
> Sent: Wednesday, May 17, 2006 4:10 AM
> To: DMCForum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; dmcnews@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [DML] Alternator upgrade troubles
> Folks,
> I bought & installed a new 4-wire 180amp alternator tonight. It's
> mounted up great and the belt is turning it just fine but I'm getting
> NO power from it! I could really use some advice...
> I had an original motorola alternator. There were only two connections
> to it: The main power feed (8 cables going into 2 ring connectors
> hooked up to the primary "batt" terminal on the alternator) and a
> brown wire that goes hot with the ignition on, which I assume is the
> sense for the regulator.
> There were NO other wires connected to my Motorola. I was instructed
> to hook up a yellow wire for the lamp light to the "L" terminal on the
> new 4-wire plug. I looked all over the place but couldn't find a
> yellow wire, nor any loose wires whatsoever.
> So, I mounted the alternator, connected the main power wires to the
> primary power terminal and connected the red "S" wire on the new
> 4-wire plug to the brown wire. I left the other three wires in the new
> 4-wire plug disconnected.
> I get nothing. Zero voltage output. :(
> Any ideas?? If it's just the lack of connecting the "L" wire, can
> someone tell me where in the world I should start looking for that
> wire? Where does it go or route from? Which wire loom does it come out
> of? As I said I looked all over the place, it's not to be found
> anywhere...
> Thanks for any help,
> -Ryan
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