Hi, first post here. Got myself another cavalier after my 1999 one became too rusted out. (going to junkyard soon)
I registered here after finding this Post about a AD244 Alternator Swap:
As its a bit old I didn't want to necro it and i have a few questions about those that have done the swap.
1: What pulley/belt did you end up using? If you can, please include part numbers or links
2: What exact donor vehicle did you use? I keep running into photos of alternators that have the plug harness in different locations and the terminal in different locations also. I understand an original Delco AD244 was the go-to one and i'm looking under the vehicles listed, but most of the ones i'm finding are the 105amp units. Also, did the bolts/nuts listed work out and did you have to drill out anything?
3: How did the swap work out in the long run? Did you have power loss at idle? Did using an overdrive Pulley shorten the life of the unit due to excessive RPM's? Did removing the rear bracket cause vibration issues or potential mis-alignment?
I'm looking to upgrade my alternator to something in the 120-200a range (preferably at idle) as I will be installing a rather large inverter and additional accessories. I'm open to other suggestions but I'd really like to keep this upgrade under $200 or so.
Thank you very much for your time.
I don't remember the brand, but I ordered a rebuilt alt. that would output 160 max and like 110 at idle. It was ~180$, the next cheapest option was online, like a 200/120 with a different pulley size for like 300$. So my suggestion is to go to your local autoparts store and see if they can order a rebuilt and upgraded one, then you won't need to change pulleys/belt. I believe the upgrade is a better diode pack.
Most gm alternators are a 4 wire setup. the 4th, brown(I think) is a sense wire. Basically it runs from the battery to the alternator control circuit and when the voltage goes down from current draw the stator field is intensified bringing the voltage back up. Because of this you could add in a resistor to lower the sense wire voltage causing the circuitry to charge the stator field more. This is theory but should work, be careful however, start with a very low impedance, around a half ohm or so resistor, and measure the current draw of the sense wire to make sure you get resistors that can handle the current, I don't think it would be more than 350ma or so but it wouldn't hurt to get 5w resistors because the next step down is usually 1w which would be cutting it close. These small wires must corrode on their own raising impedance, ask a mechanic if he has ever found a bad one and what happened. I'm sure the circuit would limit the max voltage so the fail condition is not a super high voltage frying things.
Obviously this doesn't directly raise the current so much as total wattage which for your inverter should be fine, it should be able to handle at least 18 volts. I know that audio competition guys run higher voltage batteries, up to 18v but at that level you need to put voltage regulators in front of the cars computer circuits or have a separate electrical circuit just for audio. Nominal is around 14.5 volts, I would think 16v would be a safe max. Try it on a junker first.
My sig- "Doing what needs to be done, although satisfactory, is a far cry from what can be done."