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#1054719 - 12/07/17 02:34 PM Upgrading CS 144 Alternator  
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SSLance Offline
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SSLance  Offline
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Peoria, AZ
So back when I installed my electric fans 6 years ago or so I also upgraded to a CS144 style alternator. Can't remember where I purchased it from but it came with the adapter plug so I could wire my choke wire up to "excite" the new alternator. It has performed flawlessly even with everything I put the car thru but apparently gave up the ghost couple of days ago.

I am looking into putting a new voltage regulator and Rectifyer in the old alternator as the rest of it is still in good shape. Has anyone here ever done this and if so, did you also upgrade it to make more amp output at the same time? Some upgrades have these alternators putting out over 200 amps...


Lance
1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car
#1054758 - 12/11/17 09:13 AM Re: Upgrading CS 144 Alternator [Re: SSLance]  
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FinallySS Offline
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I'm not sure if this will help, but I did a rebuilt on original-type alternator (was is called SI? Can't remember..............) with higher output kit, but that kit was, lack of a better word, conversion type rebuilt kit with one-wire setup. I believe it made higher output as I did not have any way to test it, but it did work fine and kept up with all the electrical demand that car had ( it was on my Gutless and I did convert that car to electric fan. Also had two 100w, one 250w amp), but during idle stop such as stoplight, you can actually see the headlight dims as when green light and time for you to go, it does brighten up.

So if you gonna choose to rebuilt it, make sure it's not the one-wire setup as I see lots of this type of rebuilt kit. I'm not sure this can be done (one-wire setup) on CS-type alternator, but just wanted to share my experience. Aside from that, I think heat build-up was the another issue with high-output alternator, but the knowledge I have is little bit more than a few years back.


1986 Silver MCSS - Poly bushing and Hotchkis spring w/Bilstein, Posi w/3.73, MSD 6-AL, E-Brock 600cfm, Aluminum 2-row radiator.
1986 Black MCSS - R.I.P............Finally.
#1054759 - 12/11/17 10:06 AM Re: Upgrading CS 144 Alternator [Re: SSLance]  
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#1054761 - 12/11/17 03:08 PM Re: Upgrading CS 144 Alternator [Re: SSLance]  
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gmachinz Offline
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Wow Lance...them Delco CS144 alternators are super stout...yours is only 6 years old and its toast? Yikers.


gbodyparts1234@yahoo.com

HARNESSWORX
#1054764 - 12/11/17 07:53 PM Re: Upgrading CS 144 Alternator [Re: SSLance]  
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thepezking639 Offline
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Just Do an LS swap, HD OEM alternators are 250a lmao


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#1054772 - 12/12/17 12:16 AM Re: Upgrading CS 144 Alternator [Re: gmachinz]  
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SSLance Offline
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SSLance  Offline
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Originally Posted by gmachinz
Wow Lance...them Delco CS144 alternators are super stout...yours is only 6 years old and its toast? Yikers.


I'm pretty sure is was operator error that did it in. I arced the fuel line from the battery wire post to the alt case a month or so ago, enough to leave an arc Mark on the case. Pretty sure that did the voltage regulator in. Rebuild parts from alternatorparts.com are here...will update tomorrow how it turns out.


Lance
1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car
#1054796 - 12/13/17 01:49 PM Re: Upgrading CS 144 Alternator [Re: SSLance]  
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SSLance Offline
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So, I took a bunch of pictures of the internal guts of the CS 144 while I had it apart to show those that had never seen the inside of an alternator before (Like me)...but after replacing the voltage regulator and bridge rectifier and cobbling up an exciter wire...the old CS 144 still would not charge.
Remember, I'm currently working out of a storage unit I can barely walk around in with Barney on a trailer inside and I can't find or access a bunch of my shop tools. I think I did everything right, who knows why it won't charge.

Anyway, after spending almost $100 in repair parts and several hours of wasted time, I called a friend here that has an attic full of old GM parts in a panic last night and asked if he had any old alternators laying around that he knew were good. I wanted to try to figure out if my "exciter" wire wasn't operating or if it was something else causing the alternator to not charge before plunking any more extra cash down to fix this.

I pull the car over to my friend's and he produces a CS144 that he pulled out of a ex-cop\taxi Caprice that he parted out in 1999 and has had on the shelf ever since. It even had a 5 rib pulley on it instead of a V-Groove... Woot!! We put it on and right away it started charging. We then decided to pull my nice billet pulley and fan cover off the defective unit and put it on the cruddy old derelict unit and call it good.

I have a race this Sunday...my first event in Arizona... And now I have an alternator that charges once again. I still don't know what happened to my other one, at this point I don't care. And next time, I'll just run down to O'Reillys plunk down the$125 for a replacement for a 1990 Caprice Cop Car alternator and call it good. #Lessonlearned


Lance
1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car
#1054849 - 12/16/17 03:39 AM Re: Upgrading CS 144 Alternator [Re: SSLance]  
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Buick Runner Offline
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The CS144s are a bit more complex and are "smart" alternators. For example, if they sense the battery is badly discharged, they will stop charging to prevent overloading themselves as most alternators are not designed to recharge super low batteries.

Ideally you should match the alternator output to meet your car's load demands. Higher amp alternators require more HP to spin, similar to high flow water and oil pumps. Even if you are drawing the same power out of an alternator, high amp ones usually use either smaller pulleys or larger stators which require more power.


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Never argue with an idiot.
They will just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
#1054851 - 12/16/17 05:58 AM Re: Upgrading CS 144 Alternator [Re: SSLance]  
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gmachinz Offline
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I'd gladly take a negligible hp loss in exchange for optimum voltage performance. Lance, how was the condition of your battery? Have you upgraded the factory underhood wiring harness to take full advantage of that CS144 alt? The sub-standard remote voltage design in the stock wire routing is less than ideal-perhaps that contributed over time to the previous alternator failing...?


gbodyparts1234@yahoo.com

HARNESSWORX
#1054853 - 12/16/17 02:06 PM Re: Upgrading CS 144 Alternator [Re: gmachinz]  
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SSLance Offline
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SSLance  Offline
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Peoria, AZ
Originally Posted by Buick Runner
The CS144s are a bit more complex and are "smart" alternators. For example, if they sense the battery is badly discharged, they will stop charging to prevent overloading themselves as most alternators are not designed to recharge super low batteries.

Ideally you should match the alternator output to meet your car's load demands. Higher amp alternators require more HP to spin, similar to high flow water and oil pumps. Even if you are drawing the same power out of an alternator, high amp ones usually use either smaller pulleys or larger stators which require more power.


I run a red top Optima that is about 6 years old. The battery is awesome, it was powering the car all the way down to 10.9 volts and even started the car several times after that all with no power from the Alternator. I had charged the battery back up with my big charger and still had nothing from the alternator. I have a March pulley setup with smaller crank pulley and larger Alt, PS and Water pump pulleys which I believe masks the extra draw of the larger Alt. Either way with the power I'm making, this is not an issue, I'd rather have the extra charging power.


Originally Posted by gmachinz
I'd gladly take a negligible hp loss in exchange for optimum voltage performance. Lance, how was the condition of your battery? Have you upgraded the factory underhood wiring harness to take full advantage of that CS144 alt? The sub-standard remote voltage design in the stock wire routing is less than ideal-perhaps that contributed over time to the previous alternator failing...?


I have a wire direct from the battery post on the alternator to the positive post on the battery, the same size as what runs battery to the starter. I'm sure that is not an issue. Not sure what you are referring to the sub-standard remote voltage design?

I am still a bit confused about the difference in a "self exciting" voltage regulator in a CS 144 and a "non-self exciting". I'm pretty certain that the jumper connection between the stator\rectifier post and the voltage regulator on the old Alternator would make it "self exciting" even though I ran the plug-in to adapt my hot wire to excite it. I ordered a "self exciting" VR to replace it with and it did not have the jumper connection attached. Alternatorparts.com told me to make a jumper with a wire, but he himself said in most cases it isn't needed, the CS144 feels itself making power and gets happy all on it's own. I wonder if me plugging the old (exciting) adapter into the VR had something to do with why the rebuilt CS144 wouldn't charge?

I also noticed this, the past few times I've driven the car...it has seemed down on power on hard pulls, almost like it was missing or down a cylinder. On the initial test drive after replacing the alternator...it now pulls STRONG once again. I believe the Alt has been down on power (or not making power at all) for a while and the battery has been running everything. Apparently the MSD works much better with 14.4 volts than it does with 12.7.


Lance
1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car

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