Bruce Purkey, president and chief creative engineer at Purkeys Fleet Electric, says the scrap bins and warranty claims departments of this industry are overflowing with perfectly good parts.
"If people just followed troubleshooting charts, used the testers correctly and did a bit of basic electrical detective work, we'd send a lot fewer parts to the scrap pile," he
Cable is often the source of the problem, along with terminal connections - cheap, easy fixes that Purkey
says are often overlooked because they aren't always easy to access.
Maybe not, says Purkey
"If you don't do a load test, you'll never know," he
But before you run out and grab a 435-amp alternator, Purkey
warns that your cables have to be up to the task.
"If the OE wired the system for 130 amps, and you put a 200-amp alternator on there without upgrading the wiring, it's like putting a 4-inch pump on a garden hose," he
"We have 12-volt alternators out there now putting out 455 amps," says Bruce Purkey, president and chief creative engineer at Purkeys Fleet Electric.
"In the early '90s, a typical alternator on a new truck would be 135 amps.
That went to 160 and now several OEs are spec'ing 230-amp output.
The package size is essentially the same, but they are very different inside."
says winding a stator with square wire rather than round has eliminated all the air spaces in the winding, which makes them much more efficient.
"I've seen 230-amp alternators that are not much bigger than your fist," he