: Big 3 and AD244 Alternator Upgrade



FuzzyLogic
04-16-13, 01:44 AM
Just to let you know, I'm in the process of doing a Big 3 upgrade and a new alternator, and figured I'd list a couple of things that I found:

- It's easy to find a remanufactured AD244 on eBay for about $80. Just make sure you get the correct bracket style (http://store.alternatorparts.com/partno211851.aspx). Compared to the stock alternator, which I believe is a 105 amp, CS130 or equivalent, the AD244 rated for 145 amps. While this may not sound like a whole lot of difference, the key is how much power those alternators can deliver at X RPM.

http://i.ebayimg.com/t/CHEVROLET-4-3L-2001-2004-avalanche-5-3l-8-1l-2002-alternator-AD244-145AMPS-/00/s/Mzg1WDQwMA==/$(KGrHqJHJ!4E+OF+Q0tYBQIEbm1geQ~~60_12.JPG

Typically, the CS130 puts out 20 amps at 1000 alternator RPM (crank pulley = 5", alternator pulley = 2" --> 500 engine RPM = 1250 alternator RPM), 60 amps at about 1900 RPM, and doesn't reach its rated 105 amp output until much later--about 5000 RPM.

http://oljeep.com/gw/alt/Alternator_Theory_15a_files/image032.jpg

By contrast, the AD244 is more like the CS144, but even better because it was designed to work with lower-RPM truck motors. Since I couldn't find a OEM AD244 curve, take this CS144 graph and mentally shift it down by 250 alternator RPM:

http://oljeep.com/gw/alt/Alternator_Theory_15a_files/image035.jpg

- For wire, get stranded 1/0 copper welding wire. Skip the audio stuff-it's all cheap and overpriced (http://www.knukonceptz.com/kitreview.cfm). I recommend Royal Excelene 1/0, which you can buy from WireandSupply.com for $2.25 per foot (linkage here (http://www.wireandsupply.com/category_s/57.htm)). This is what I'm using (http://ls1tech.com/forums/stereo-electronics/1344662-big-3-cable-lengths.html) for cable lengths for the moment--to be safe, I purchased 10 feet of red cable and 5 feet of black cable. Probably overkill, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

http://i.ebayimg.com/t/25-EXCELENE-1-0-WELDING-AND-BATTERY-CABLE-BLACK-USA-/00/s/NDgwWDY0MA==/$T2eC16ZHJG!E9nm3q9BQBQNR6gWf0!~~60_3.JPG

- Stainless steel sleeving is optional, but adds mechanical protection and a certain cool factor. This thread (http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/technical-advanced-car-audio-discussion/61252-help-choosing-correct-size-techflex-heatshrink.html) identifies that 1/2" sleeving is appropriate for 1/0 cable. I wound up purchasing Flexo Stainless Steel XC from WireCare.com (http://www.wirecare.com/Braided-Sleeving.asp). Since it also provides good EMI protection, I may eventually use it on my spark plug wires.

http://d2kmxso4hn1htz.cloudfront.net/system/product_media/images/000/001/401/wclarge/SSL1.00SV.jpg

- The last, and hardest part (translation: I'm still trying to figure it out) is finding terminals for the battery and ground connections. I'd love to just throw up some Thomas & Betts silver plated, solid copper cable lug part numbers (MIL-STD stuff), but those are intended to make connections to busbar--not batteries and car bodies. I also need to find brackets. When I know more, I'll try to update this thread.

carlson_mn
04-16-13, 02:07 AM
I thought I read that the stock alternator was 140amp. I will have to look into that some more though...

Edit: What I saw is the unit on rockauto listed as OEM replacement and labeled as 150amp. Who knows for sure though...

Okay... here's from the 04/05 service manual...

http://i378.photobucket.com/albums/oo224/carlsonmn/Cadillac%20CTS-V/alteroutput.png

FuzzyLogic
04-16-13, 03:00 AM
I thought I read that the stock alternator was 140amp. I will have to look into that some more though...

Edit: What I saw is the unit on rockauto listed as OEM replacement and labeled as 150amp. Who knows for sure though...

Thanks for motivating me to find the exact part number. Our cars came with the AD230--105 amp unit.

http://image.made-in-china.com/2f0j00KYEaTtQnmgWZ/Delco-AD230-Alternator.jpg

Seen pictured here:

http://www.autojournalist.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/x06pt_8c040l.jpg

http://alternatorparts.com/ad230-ad244-series-high-output-alternators.html

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Word to the wise: be leery of ucpautoproducts on eBay. They sold me a AD244 that was missing the rear bearing, and then when I complained, they sent me another AD244 that someone had apparently attempted to spray-paint. In both cases, I had to send them back.

I may need to amend this post to say something like, "just buy an new, upgraded 200 amp AD244 for $140."

sssnake
04-16-13, 11:18 AM
Fuzzy,

1/0 is probably overkill for the charge wire. 4 gauge is what I typically run. However, our charge wires are waaaay longer than most as they run around the backside of the block to get to the battery. Don't forget there is a 200 amp fusable link in the charge wire as well (probably because of the long run near the exhaust). If you are upgrading the alt for your stereo I would go a different route (and I have done alt upgrades a lot). our batteries are a POS. Way too small for larger aftermarket stereos/amps. The best mod for the electrical system is a battery relocate and size upgrade. I will likely go this route after the blower build is complete (which should be soon). Also, use of efficient amp topologies (class D, G, or H) is highly recommended as this will reduce weight and electrical requirements.

BTW - the reason a battery upgrade is better than an alt upgrade is the alt can't keep up with transient power demands as well as a battery with low ESR. The alt only needs to be able to keep the battery charged. Once you get a bigger battery in place then I would consider a bigger alt.

Another note: Wal-Mart now sells Kinetik batteries so the price has fallen substantially. They have to be ordered typically but they are or at least we're good batteries.

sssnake
04-16-13, 11:24 AM
I forgot to mention that you make excellent points on the current vs rpm. I'll be looking to install one of those alts after the battery relocate.

rjoffe
04-16-13, 11:31 AM
Fuzzy,

The ends you want are from QuickCable. If you have a batteries-plus near you they may carry the ends, and also have a proper crimper to use. Bring your cables, buy the ends and they usually let you crimp them for free. If that falls through, but the proper ends online, try to find a forklift maintenance shop that handles electric forklifts, they may be able to help you out with a crimper loan.

Ron

Andringa
04-16-13, 05:36 PM
Fuzzy,

I believe this guy figured it out, I think they sell them at Home Depot :)

106832

FuzzyLogic
04-16-13, 05:51 PM
Fuzzy,

The ends you want are from QuickCable. If you have a batteries-plus near you they may carry the ends, and also have a proper crimper to use. Bring your cables, buy the ends and they usually let you crimp them for free. If that falls through, but the proper ends online, try to find a forklift maintenance shop that handles electric forklifts, they may be able to help you out with a crimper loan.

Ron

Rjoffe, QuickCable was an excellent suggestion. Thank you!

AAIIIC
04-17-13, 10:23 AM
Silly me didn't even look into all this when my alternator died last fall. My brief research found that the V's alternator part number was different than the other LS motors. I brought my dead alternator to a local repair shop that's been around for decades and the guy called me back and said he couldn't even get parts for it. I assumed that there was something structurally different with the alternator that made it V-specific, so I didn't look into it any further. I ended up just buying a new one from Luke - ah well. Next time I'll know better.

Scott2012
04-20-13, 12:07 PM
I think my next step will be an alternator. I did the big 3 upgrade. I added 2 gauge wire in addition to stock. Rerouted the alt charging wire forward, added two solid grounds engine to frame under car and added batt to stock ground.
Recently I decided to pull the spare tire and add a dry cell battery to the spare tire well. Used a 200amp circuit breaker, 200amp relay and 0 gauge wire front to back.
I'm really happy how it all turned out. So, after reading this post, I think next step will be the alt upgrade.
Great info!
Here are some pics from my project:
106952
106953

AAIIIC
04-21-13, 10:59 AM
Silly me figured the big 3 were heads, cam, intake. So what are the big 3?

J W
04-21-13, 11:25 AM
A way to deliver more efficient power to upgraded stereo systems so as to not cause a huge drain on the electrical system and having the dimming lights effect. Something like that.
http://www.the12volt.com/installbay/forum_posts.asp~TID~73496~PN~1

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I would reather have a bolted connection in this situation as oppose to a plug in connection. Reason being is that a plug in connection is a snug fit but not a secue fit.
Fuzzy,

I believe this guy figured it out, I think they sell them at Home Depot :)

106832

ctsv247
01-06-14, 07:22 AM
This seems like a very worthwhile upgrade. Just wanted to check in and see how this has been working for you.

Thanks

ctsv247
01-09-14, 12:24 AM
Info over at ls1tech is hinting that the ad244 won't work on an ls6 car. Anyone able to verify or deny this?

Thanks!

ctsv247
01-12-14, 09:59 AM
Latest update...

I emailed fuzzy about this and he confirmed what I should have already seen in this post. He's still working his way through a lengthy project and hasn't gotten around to making the alternator swap. In other words, it was never stated that this will definitely work on the V1 but as this alternator has been used on other LS series engines, he is hopeful that it should be any easy install.

Thanks for the info fuzzy!

heavymetals
01-12-14, 01:03 PM
I got my alternator from MECHMAN.

http://fastlanepartssupply.com/shop/04-05/04-05-06-07-cadillac-cts-cts-v-240-amp-alternator/

They rebuild the unit as the housing is unique to the CTS-V.

ctsv247
01-12-14, 01:11 PM
I got my alternator from MECHMAN.

http://fastlanepartssupply.com/shop/04-05/04-05-06-07-cadillac-cts-cts-v-240-amp-alternator/

They rebuild the unit as the housing is unique to the CTS-V.

I see you're driving an ls6 car so this pretty much answers my question. No plug and play with the ad244 on the ls6 but just so everyone else knows, do the ls6 and ls2 alternators share the same housings?

Holy Crap...$429 for an alternator? I have a local auto electrics guy...i'll go see him regarding an upgrade.

Thanks for posting!

heavymetals
01-12-14, 01:32 PM
You wanna play, you gotta pay.

MECHMAN makes a kick ass alternator for the Vette also.

FuzzyLogic
01-12-14, 01:55 PM
The alternator housing being "custom built for the CTS-V" doesn't mean a damn thing in terms of fitment. As long as the alternator's two through-holes align with the bracket, you're good. Worst case, you may have to buy a belt that's one inch shorter or longer if the diameter of the new alternator creates a slight offset.

http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb94/jmichaelbaskin/DSC_0609-2.jpg
Note: LS3 crate engine showing rear mount on the alternator (wasted material, IMO)

http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb94/jmichaelbaskin/DSC_0608-2.jpg

The alternator mounting bracket for the LS6 and LS2 CTS-V1s are identical. The AD244 does not have that rear mount, but it's not required. Bolt torque on the bracket is sufficient to prevent the alternator from rocking back. Justification: there are hundreds of thousands of GM vehicles without that mount, and they work just fine.

http://www.nookandtranny.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/dsc04103.jpg

http://www.caddyinfo.com/05%205.7L%20V8%20LS6%20CTSV-LF%20LoR.jpg
LS6 CTS-V engine

http://www.cadillacfaq.com/faq/answers/img/2006v/06-ls2.jpg
LS2 CTS-V engine

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-wLZV5eeV5jc/UYVzm5RUsnI/AAAAAAAAAEk/3O3ulsGRVC0/s1024/DSC_7205.jpg
LSA CTS-V2 alternator (150 amp, 25925447) on the left, and the identical LS6/LS2 CTS-V1 alternator (105 amp, 25766345) on the right

Note that the LSA CTS-V alternator is not compatible with the V1, because it requires a different, PWM signal harness connection.

Bottom line: sometime this spring or summer, I may decide to dive into the engine. Or I might wait until I have a LS3/LSX block in my hands to test AD244 fitment. Or I might buy a CTS-V alternator bracket separately and test it that way. If the bracket doesn't fit the AD244, I'll simply buy a different bracket (F-Body, Corvette, or whatever) and adjust serpentine belt length accordingly. It will work--it's just a matter of how much effort you want to put into doing the research.

heavymetals
01-12-14, 02:08 PM
Yeah, that's the ticket, throw anything on there that will fit.

GOOD LUCK.

ctsv247
01-12-14, 02:15 PM
Even though there are applications where large vehicle manufacturers have been required to build one off accessory pieces, you feel the v1 isn't one of them? Just curious as to why GM would spend the money on that bracket or building a one off housing for the V1 if it wasn't necessary? I haven't had one apart so I can't be the judge, just asking the question....

I'm not trying to be critical because I think I speak for so many here that appreciate all your efforts. But, if you DD your V and need an alternator and buy an ad244, this could be a problem if it isn't a plug and play.

Thanks

FuzzyLogic
01-12-14, 02:26 PM
Nothing is plug and play on this car. You have to exercise your practical engineering ability. It's not difficult--but it does require a change in mindset.

The only thing that you can be certain of is that the mounting holes on the CTS-V engine blocks are identical to every other LS6 and LS2 engine out there. Looking the amount of available clearance, I have no idea why GM is using different brackets for different cars. The only possible explanation, in my mind, is that their design departments aren't talking to each other.

ctsv247
01-12-14, 02:34 PM
Nothing is plug and play on this car. You have to exercise your practical engineering ability. It's not difficult--but it does require a change in mindset.

The only thing that you can be certain of is that the mounting holes on the CTS-V engine blocks are identical to every other LS6 and LS2 engine out there. Looking the amount of available clearance, I have no idea why GM is using different brackets for different cars. The only possible explanation, in my mind, is that their design departments aren't talking to each other.

I'll buy that but some people have different levels of engineering abilities...just don't want somebody getting the wrong idea, expecting this to work without any extra effort and then finding out on Sunday night that they won't be driving their car to work on Monday.

Thanks again!

heavymetals
01-12-14, 02:40 PM
Even though there are applications where large vehicle manufacturers have been required to build one off accessory pieces, you feel the v1 isn't one of them? Just curious as to why GM would spend the money on that bracket or building a one off housing for the V1 if it wasn't necessary? I haven't had one apart so I can't be the judge, just asking the question....

I'm not trying to be critical because I think I speak for so many here that appreciate all your efforts. But, if you DD your V and need an alternator and buy an ad244, this could be a problem if it isn't a plug and play.

Thanks

The "windup" torque from the belt will flex the mounting bracket over time and may loosen as without the rear mount the bracket acts like a fulcrum.

That is the reason for the rear mount (a solid non-flexing mount and a good ground connection).

Since ground is through the mounting bolts, one doesn't want an intermittent caused by a loose bracket.

ctsv247
01-12-14, 02:45 PM
So the V1's alternator is positioned on the engine so as to introduce more of the "windup torque" than other LS applications? Therefore we need the extra bracket to stabilize this particular application?

heavymetals
01-12-14, 02:56 PM
So the V1's alternator is positioned on the engine so as to introduce more of the "windup torque" than other LS applications? Therefore we need the extra bracket to stabilize this particular application?

The GM squids obviously found that the alternator needed to be mounted more securely then the other applications.

The C5 Vette has a different mount and location (above the driver side coils).

The guy I spoke to at Fast Lane was real knowledgeable, and he had first hand experience as it was his buddies CTS-V they did the alternator rebuild on.

ctsv247
01-12-14, 05:42 PM
looks like i'll do a build on the one i have and keep the additional bracket just in case . thanks for all the info

ctsv247
03-31-14, 01:25 PM
Fuzzy has left the building. After getting his car back up and going, he said he stuck with the factory alternator as the AD244 would require a new bracket which means, it isn't a bolt on. The way to go is with the built stock V1 alternator with the overdrive pulley.

http://fastlanepartssupply.com/shop/04-05/04-05-06-07-cadillac-cts-cts-v-240-amp-alternator/