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post #1 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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d89's Big Rig Alternator Install

By popular demand, this is the story of how d89 put a big boy alternator on his 12v Cummins:


Not really. But that is pretty daggum sweet.

After an electric fan swap, the stock 130-amp Denso unit was quick to show it's limitations. Both fans on high speed (roughly a 60 amp draw) was enough to discharge the batteries at idle. The Leece-Neville 110-555 JHO I selected to replace it uses the J180 Long Hinge mounting configuration. This is one of several alternator mounting standards in the heavy equipment industry, and as such is very common. Most J180L alternators can be attached to the Dodge 6BT using the bracket and spacer dimensions in this writeup, however, some minor installation details will likely vary if you use another J180L alternator.

I chose the Leece unit (brochure, tech specs) because it was featured in a writeup that I followed for installing a Leece-Neville on a 6BT in a 1st Gen. This is a good writeup, but the pulley size information is useless for us with 2nd Gen trucks, due to outdated part numbers and a different crank pulley size. While I assumed most J180 alternators would fit, I wasn't interested at the time in taking a chance with something that I hadn't seen work. Remanufactured units can be bought online for $100 all day long. Any alternator shop worth their salt will have shelves full parts to rebuild one, and any truck shop with a parts department will have complete units in stock. The Leece is a good choice, but if I were to do this swap again, I would choose the Delco 28si (brochure). They are a newer and better design, are available with a 200-amp peak output, dual internal fans, a stronger low-rpm output curve, and remote battery voltage sensing. Reman units are available online for $150 and all the same stuff holds true about parts availability.

There are two ways to install the alternator. Each has benefits and drawbacks. The first "stock replacement method" adapts the alternator to the stock mounting location and orientation. The other "JoeDirtPNW method" installs the alternator upside down. I will cover both methods as I've ran both.


Stock Replacement Method

Pros:
  • Minimal fabrication. Most of the sleeves and spacers can be bought at a hardware store.
  • No permanent modification. It allows for a stock alternator to be reinstalled if necessary.

Cons:
  • Requires a light clearance grind to the belt tensioner.
  • The nut on the back of the lower mount is difficult to access.
  • Heater outlet tube must be repositioned, resulting in very little clearance to oil filter mount.


JoeDirtPNW Method

Pros:
  • Cleaner looking install.
  • Leaves more room on top of the alternator for *ahem* other stuff.
  • All mounting bolts/nuts are in plain sight and easy to access.
  • No clearance grinding required on belt tensioner.

Cons:
  • Requires more fabrication that the Stock Replacement Method.
  • Requires permanent modification to the thermostat housing.
  • Little clearance between the positive output stud and the oil filter. Use extreme caution when changing the filter.
  • Little clearance between negative output stud and turbo air inlet tube.


Stock Replacement Method Installation

I initially mounted it with the Stock Replacement Method as I was following the aforementioned writeup for installing a Leece-Neville on a 1st-gen truck. I have some reservations about the hardware that was chosen in that install. The SAE hardware (3/8" instead of M10, etc) hardware that was used left the alternator very sloppy on the bottom mount. Don't get me wrong. It tightened up fine and I ran it like that for probably 15k without any problems. But, the .030" diameter difference between the M10 clearance hole on the mount and the 3/8" bolt, and the .015" diameter difference between the existing mount holes on the alternator and the 1/2" OD of the store-bought bushings add up. A guy would be better off using the metric hardware I have outlined below. This better hardware does not match what I have in my pictures, but the "what" and "where" is all the same.

Stock Replacement Method hardware (non-critical dimensions are in green):

Top Bracket mount:
  • 1/2-13 x 3/4 flange bolt (need 1)
  • 1/2" washer (need 1)

Bottom mount:
  • .400" ID, 1" OD, 2" long spacer (need 1)
  • .400" ID, .516" OD, .560" long bushings, or store-bought 10mm to 13mm bushings 16mm long (need 2)
  • M10x145mm flange bolt (need 1)
  • M10 flange nut (need 1)

No modifications need to be made to the lower mount. All the dimensional changes are dealt with by the bushings and spacers on the bolt. One of the smaller spacers goes inside each of the feet. The front one is slid back so you can see it:







The stock upper mount needs a small tab added to it to accommodate the Leece's larger size. This could be made to bolt on to the stock mount, if a person chose. I decided to leave the existing hole open so that I could reinstall a stock unit if I had to.



On mine, I had to put a washer between the tab and the alternator to preserve the alignment.



Installed:




Lower mount:


Clearance around lower mount nut:


JoeDirtPNW Method Installation

I decided to re-mount my alternator like @JoeDirtPNW did in his build thread. My primary motivation for this was to eliminate the upper bracket used by the Stock Replacement Method to make more room for an engine-driven OBA compressor. Though, I would advocate this method in general because it's much easier to get to all the bolts when you need to take the alternator off, and it doesn't force the water pipe into the oil filter mount.

JoeDirtPNW Method hardware (non-critical dimensions are in green):

Top mount
  • .313" ID, 1" OD, .940" long spacer (need 1)
  • .313" ID, .516" OD, .560" long bushings (need 2)
  • M8x150 flange bolt (need 1)
  • M8 flange locknut (need 1)

Side mount
  • .500" ID, 1" OD, 2" long spacer (need 1)
  • 1/2-13 x 3 flange bolt (need 1)

Bottom mount
  • M10x60 flange bolt (need 1)
  • M10 flange nut (need 1)
  • Custom bracket (print attached)

I removed 1/2" from the front of the top mount.


This is the top mount hardware:


Upper mount:


Here's the lower mount hardware:


Here is the print for the lower mount. There is a higher quality PDF attached to this post.


I decided to weld the M10 flange nut to the bracket. Easier that way.

Side mount:


Lower mount, from rear:


Lower mount, from front:


These show the tight clearance against the positive terminal and the oil filter:





Install complete:






Attached Files
File Type: pdf Lower Bracket.pdf (83.6 KB, 264 views)

'95 2500 ECLB 4x4, 334k and paused due to epic transformation in progress.

Last edited by dauntless89; 06-09-2018 at 04:11 PM.
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post #2 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Pulley Sizing

I found three suitable sizes of pulleys that are readily available for this alternator. 60mm, 70mm, and 76mm. As I mentioned before, the part numbers in the other writeup are no longer good through any of the half-dozen sources I contacted. The supplier that was finally able to help me out was an alternator shop in Spokane, WA called Battery Systems. They appear to be a semi-national chain, with many stores west of the Mississippi. It took several trips down to the local branch, which has a very patient parts guy who was willing to thumb through several books to come up with what I was looking for:



I have ran the 76mm and 70mm pulleys. I have not ran the 60mm and don't plan to. Both pulleys I ran had slightly different modification requirements for them to fit on this alternator.



Both pulleys have a step on the back that needs to be machined off.



If you don't have access to a lathe, a machine shop shouldn't charge but a few dollars for this, as it's an extraordinarily simple operation. In addition to the removal of the step, the total width of the pulley should be taken down to 1.400" to 1.420".



This dimension has a fairly forgiving tolerance, as there is a long belt distance between grooved pulleys on either side of the alternator. This means the belt isn't going to be significantly affected by this amount of misalignment. The water pump pulley is close, but has a smooth back so the belt can track wherever on it. When I initially installed the alternator with the 76mm pulley, I faced it down to a thickness of 1.420". The belt tracked about .100" forward from it's previous wear mark on the water pump pulley. I was somewhat concerned and kept an eye on it for a time, but 12k or 15k later (however many miles it's been), the belt is still in tip-top shape, so I'm not worried about it. When I switched to the 70mm pulley, I cut it down to 1.400" and that, combined with changing the mounting, moved it most of the way back to the stock location.

Fitment specific to the 76mm pulley:

This pulley has a deep counterbore (.395") where the nut sits when tightened. The alternator shaft is 7/8" where the pulley sits, but the nut thread diameter is smaller.



The counterbore prevented the nut from securing the pulley against the step in the shaft below the fan. To get around this, I made a washer. The dimensions are .895" ID x 1.646" OD with a thickness of .150".



This pulley has the correct keyway for the key that came with the alternator shaft.

Fitment specific to the 70mm pulley:

This pulley's counterbore was shallower (.319"), so the washer I made for the other one wasn't required:



Other than that, the 70mm pulley doesn't have a keyway. There are two options. Have a machine shop broach a .150" keyway in it, or remove the key from the alternator shaft. I chose to remove the key when I installed it because the nut, properly torqued, will hold the pulley in place just fine.

Electrical

Wiring is simple for this particular unit as it has a self-exciting voltage regulator. Just hook up the battery connections. I had cables made from 2 gauge welding cable with crimped and heat-shrunk ends sized for the terminals. They are 30" long, but could easily be 6" shorter. I deleted the factory alternator wiring. This caused the CEL to illuminate, which I chose to deal with by removing the bulb, as the CEL is pretty much useless on a 12v anyway.

Belt Sizing

Unfortunately, I can't simply give you the proper belt size at this time. The reason for this is that I have deleted my fan pulley as part of my e-fan conversion. It should only be a couple inches longer than stock, but there are enough variables that it should be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Here is how to determine proper belt length:

  1. With the belt completely off the engine, stick a socket wrench in the tensioner and pull it back until the pulley is where it normally sits with a belt on it. Move the handle of the wrench so that it rests against the frame rail, and let the tensioner spring holds it against the frame.
  2. Run a tape measure around all the pulleys in the same routing the belt follows. Have the end of the tape somewhere you can easily see it. I found it easiest to have it on the bottom of the crank pulley. Pull the tape tight and record the measurement. You will probably need to round up or down. Either way is fine, the tensioner's range of motion actually gives you quite a bit of wiggle room.
  3. Go down to your favorite parts house and tell them you need an 8-groove serpentine belt in whatever length you came up with.
  4. Put the belt on the engine to confirm the length is correct.
  5. PM d89 so he can edit that length into this post. Also be sure to tell him whether or not you have A/C, what alternator, what install method, and what pulley diameter you used. His hope is to create a chart that can account for all the variables so people can just know what they need ahead of time.
  6. Enjoy your awesome new alternator.

'95 2500 ECLB 4x4, 334k and paused due to epic transformation in progress.

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post #3 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 01:46 AM
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Great writeup, as always!

I believe this should make its way into the Tech Articles...

'97 2500 QCLB 4x4 - 4.10s, 180 Pump - 4ks & .025s - B&B @18, G56 - SB DD, 5x.016s - 155, 362SX-E (62/68/.7) - 52 PSI, Fass 125 w/ Sump, Studded, 5" TBE, Thuren 2" Coils, DOR Arms w/ Shackle Flip & Track Bar, Synergy Steering, Bilstein 5100s, Frame Off Restoration, Quad Cab Swap

'95 3500 C&C Flatbed - 4.10s, 215 Pump, NV4500, HX35, Studded, 4" TBE, Leveled - Bilstein 5100s, 285/75/17s - 2" Spacer
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post #4 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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The problem with the tech articles is nobody looks in there...

'95 2500 ECLB 4x4, 334k and paused due to epic transformation in progress.
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post #5 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 09:37 PM
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Problem with these mods is clearance under the hood. I removed my very reliable belt driven plow pump for clearance issues while working on my truck.

I wonder what it would take to run dual smaller alternators instead.

Daily driver/ workhorse: 1994 2500SLT 4x4 Auto. Hewitt EGT, Boost, Trans gauges, Under hood Mech FP gauge, Trident fuel lines, Tork Tek OFV, Mag-Hytec DD Transmission Pan, Ford manual hub conversion, Diamond eye 4" turbo back, 37337 Upgrade. 260K

98 2500slt 4x4 ECLB moldy G56, south bend clutch 3rd gen trac bar , boxed control arms, billet tappet cover w/ dual breathers trident fuel lines, Tork Tek OFV, 4' stainless side dump with muffler 240k
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post #6 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dauntless89 View Post
The problem with the tech articles is nobody looks in there...
You do have a point...

'97 2500 QCLB 4x4 - 4.10s, 180 Pump - 4ks & .025s - B&B @18, G56 - SB DD, 5x.016s - 155, 362SX-E (62/68/.7) - 52 PSI, Fass 125 w/ Sump, Studded, 5" TBE, Thuren 2" Coils, DOR Arms w/ Shackle Flip & Track Bar, Synergy Steering, Bilstein 5100s, Frame Off Restoration, Quad Cab Swap

'95 3500 C&C Flatbed - 4.10s, 215 Pump, NV4500, HX35, Studded, 4" TBE, Leveled - Bilstein 5100s, 285/75/17s - 2" Spacer
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post #7 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 11:27 AM
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My summer "build" plans continue to grow with each of your writeups. Excellent work.

1994 2wd auto, Transgo and some billet goodies, 4" TB, 94,000 miles. http://http://tinyurl.com/2wd-to-4wd-build
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post #8 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-25-2016, 11:27 PM
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D89
I was just thinking about replacing our batteries, cables and alternator. I feel like you just give me the last push!
Thank for documenting everything so well, a lot of time and effort placed to freely share your knowledge.
Keep up the good work!

1994 2500 Dually conversion, Dana 80 DRW 3:54, 3rd Gen dually wheels, 3rd Gen Towing Mirrors, 50Gallons greasecar kit, Tork OFV040HP, 7x0.09 PDD Injectors, 0.55 Delivery Valves, 4K GSK, AFC Live Stage 2, 4" straight exhaust, 95GPM HD Fass System, AFE CAI FORCE PRO 5R Stage-2, Firestone Rear Airbags, Honrblasters Shockers w/ Home made Onboard system.
Over 1.318 million miles AND always under construction...
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post #9 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-26-2016, 02:05 PM
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Here is a good way to lookup belt part numbers, I found one close to the size I needed and made sure that its a standard size that all auto parts stores carry. If yours is not a common size it might be a good idea to have a extra in you tool box.

http://www.daycoproducts.com/online-...1?part_type=20

SOLD 1997, leveling kit, 5 speed, HE351 with spring gate, 450hp South Bend clutch, BHAF, 4k gsk, no fuel plate stop bolt mod, Hewitt gauges.
2016 2500 Tradesman CCLB Stock
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post #10 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-26-2016, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dauntless89 View Post
Here is the print for the lower mount. There is a higher quality PDF attached to this post.
A side not I dont think that lower mount will work on the larger output alternators, looks like it will tuck the smaller ones on there really tight!

SOLD 1997, leveling kit, 5 speed, HE351 with spring gate, 450hp South Bend clutch, BHAF, 4k gsk, no fuel plate stop bolt mod, Hewitt gauges.
2016 2500 Tradesman CCLB Stock

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post #11 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-28-2016, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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It won't fit on the larger ones like the Lestek like you're running, but it snugs the JHO right up to the belt tensioner. An even shorter bracket could be used on a 28si since they are physically smaller and don't have the giant fan which is more of a fitment problem than the case of the alternator.

'95 2500 ECLB 4x4, 334k and paused due to epic transformation in progress.

Last edited by dauntless89; 03-31-2016 at 11:49 AM.
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post #12 of 137 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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A short demonstration of the alternator running the grid heaters on the post-start cycle:


'95 2500 ECLB 4x4, 334k and paused due to epic transformation in progress.
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