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High Output Alternator Recommendations

Dan Whitaker

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Just what it says:)

If anyone has one to add to the list just send me a PM.

Dan
 
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bamaboy1234

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the 2 main companies i see used are Excessive amperage and Iraggi, but there are others i just cant remember the names
 
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BrooklynBay

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I have 2 alternators from http://www.bestamericaind.com/. They went out of business shortly after I bought them. I'm not surprised. They both had defective rotors, brushes, and brush holders. One had a packaging staple right through the regulator! They took my money, then shipped my 2 alternators a month later, made me mail them back the defective regulator with the staple through it (at my own expense), then sent me a replacement regulator another month later. I also had to go to a local rebuilder to purchase 2 rotors, brushes, and brush holders since they wanted me to mail back the alternators at my expense. It wasn't worth it even though they had a warranty. The sales lady tried to talk me into buying a battery from them. She said that if I use a stock battery (or my junk Optima as she said it), it would void my warranty. This business was one of the worst I've come across. They were also very expensive. This place was originally located in Florida.
 
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celly

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Let' open this up again (sorry....LONG!)

Thanks to Dan for unlocking this thread. I've been scouring the site looking for real hands on experience and opinions on high output alternators for a while and this one had potential, but Dan had closed it almost 3 years ago.

Let me preface this by saying that I'm trying to build on what Dan has already created. Please don't post in this thread if you don't have any experience with HO alts, or if you're wondering what they can do for you. Especially don't post about whether a 95 and 130 amp alt is interchangeable or which year had which alt. I view HO alts as anywhere above 130 amps for our applications. It is assumed you know you want a HO alternator, or you already have or had one.

I'm trying to make my own buying decision, and hopefully get real world opinions on any of the alternators already mentioned or the ones I learned about recently or alternator suppliers you know about. Ideally I'd like to find a good Canadian supplier, but they're harder to find than those south of our border. Of course I'm hoping this is a good resource for future as well.

I was using a Mr Alternator 200 amp alt that crapped out a month or so ago. It was the same alt purchased by BBQ Hotdogs that I assume was in his beloved EB before it went "whoops" a while back. He sold it to DirtyDog who sold it to me. It spent a few months in my old Sport and had been in my EB for the last 4 years.

I've been using the stock 130 amp alt ever since and it's been OK, but I did notice some small issues with how my HIDs play with the autolamp feature in my '99 EB. Time to get another HO alt, but which one?

Of the ones mentioned above, Excess Amperage, Powermaster, Mr. Alternator and Iraggi are still kicking around. I've heard mixed reviews about EA, Powermaster seem fine, Mr Alternator was good but I'd like something different and Iraggi. I'll get into Iraggi separately.

Dom Iraggi seems to be a polarizing fixture in his market segment. Some people love him. Some people hate him. Doesn't seem to be a lot of middle ground. He has been around for a long time and he does seem to build some nice units, BUT he does have a history of bad service. He seems better lately, but even then I found recent stories that are scaring me away. That being said, I emailed him on New Years Eve not expecting to hear back and did get two friendly emails from him telling me he could ship next week if I wanted. It was this pic of another Explorer alt he did recently that attracted me (my Mr Alternator was red and I have a lot of red stuff under the hood). This is an Iraggi alternation I'm specifically interested in, as is (photo from another site, taken by Dom), painted, not powdercoated.

IMG_00911.jpg


The thing I am wary about is this guy seems to be getting by on the skin of his teeth. He has no webpage. He does have a url listed on some of his packaging and that url isn't even his (you get one of those "this site for sale" messages). He offers warranties, but can he honor them?

Anyhow, here is his eBay store. His alternators are a bit on the pricey side too, but the people who love Iraggi alternators, really like Iraggi alternators.

DC Power Engineering seems to be a pretty fierce rival of Iraggi as evidenced by some posts I saw on another site. The people who hate Iraggi on that site swear by DC Power it seems. However, the knock on them seems to be poor service and bad communication. I did find posts where people say they have to wait a while to get their order at times. They do list an alt for the 4.0 OHV as "in stock". I have sent them an email on what they can do for the 5.0 and await a reply (it was New Years Day after all when I sent the email so I didn't expect a reply right away).

One supplier that really intrigues me is DB Electrical. They're those guys you see on eBay if you're ever looking for alternators. They have superb feedback and I tried long and hard to find horror stories about them and could not. There are a lot of people out there that do like their products, but for whatever reason, the car audio community hasn't really embraced them despite their excellent pricing and broad product offerings.

The only knock on them for me personally is they want to charge $80 to ship to Canada and use UPS to boot. Canadians know why UPS sucks when bringing stuff to Canada from the US. This $80 covers "Worldwide Express" shipping which covers brokerage etc, but still a lot of coin. Iraggi will ship for $35 and use USPS. I also emailed them about powdercoating (powdercoating not listed as an option for the 5.0 but they do suggest you contact them directly for more info). I'm sure I'll hear from them on Monday. Their service and support receives rave reviews from what I can gather which is a plus.

A real favorite in sites on both sides of the border is Ohio Generator. Their site blows. I shot them an email and got an automated reply soon after. I hope to hear back on Monday what they can do.

Other honourable mentions were:

Knukonceptz. These guys have been around a while and I've had experience (good) with them. Their stuff seems reasonably priced. Of course they were referenced above as well but I thought I'd reference their alternator info. They seem to have good pricing.

Tuff Stuff. Summit carries these but won't have stock until the end of January. I found a local source which could get me one for a great price, but I'd have to wait a month as well. I'd also have to kick in 100% of the cash now and then wait for it to be delivered. :(

Mean Green. I've seen bits and pieces on them. I shot them an email too I think.

Rush Power Systems. They seem like an OK outfit as well.

So, I've like to hear what you guys know about these companies. If you know of others, post em up.

Remember, this is a sticky so please don't pollute it with tangents like a certain Seafoam/PCV/5.0 thread seems to get (I don't have a 5.0, but.....).

EDIT 01/02/10 (the list goes on!):

Also found this company called HO. I just emailed them for a quote on a 200 amp version (only one they had listed).

And a Canadian outfit out of Vancouver area called Team Shadow SPL. They seem pretty small, but were recommended by some on a Canadian car audio forum. :ca:

Quality Power

Mechman seems to have a pretty good following on the car audio forums as well.

Alter Start (no explicit listing for the 5.0L, but have one for the 4.0 OHV)

Thanks again Dan for letting me resurrect this thread and thanks in advance to anyone with some good stuff to add. :)
 
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BigBoom

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the only one i can give hands on experience about is ohio gen. when i bought it...i wasnt aware of any other alternator companies. so i called em up, nice people to talk to. did some figuring. even called me back a couple times to check some details. that part was nice. the part that wasnt nice was the 200 amp unit cost $500. not sure of other prices of other units in that range, but i do think that's pretty expensive. it served me well for a while...then eventually kicked the bucket. not lasting more than a couple years i believe. and i hear they charge a lot to repair if you send them back to them. with them not lasting with long intervals between needing repairs.

so would i go with them again? no. the alt could have just been beaten on damn hard during the time i had it, so i'm not saying anything about the quality, but it was just expensive for what i go. plus there's other companies i've been eying that i want to check out. like DC power (their xp units specifically...nice high amperage and can maintain a high idle amperage). i was going to send my alt to mechman to wind up to 250 amps and repair, but now i might be getting a new truck. so no dice on that. (he still has the cheapest XS batteries around :), and good customer service). iraggi still scares me too much to buy from him though i do like seeing his customer service improve.
 
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celly

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the only one i can give hands on experience about is ohio gen. when i bought it...i wasnt aware of any other alternator companies. so i called em up, nice people to talk to. did some figuring. even called me back a couple times to check some details. that part was nice. the part that wasnt nice was the 200 amp unit cost $500. not sure of other prices of other units in that range, but i do think that's pretty expensive. it served me well for a while...then eventually kicked the bucket. not lasting more than a couple years i believe. and i hear they charge a lot to repair if you send them back to them. with them not lasting with long intervals between needing repairs.

so would i go with them again? no. the alt could have just been beaten on damn hard during the time i had it, so i'm not saying anything about the quality, but it was just expensive for what i go. plus there's other companies i've been eying that i want to check out. like DC power (their xp units specifically...nice high amperage and can maintain a high idle amperage). i was going to send my alt to mechman to wind up to 250 amps and repair, but now i might be getting a new truck. so no dice on that. (he still has the cheapest XS batteries around :), and good customer service). iraggi still scares me too much to buy from him though i do like seeing his customer service improve.

Thanks for the feedback on Ohio Gen. I'm still awaiting responses from a lot of the companies (including Ohio Gen) that I shot emails to this weekend. I have heard from Dom numerous times since I first shot him an email on New Years Eve. I heard from Excessive and DB Electrical today on some details as well. I've definitely got my eye on Iraggi's Amputator series (his flagship offering with the best idle output levels and warranty). As much as he has a checkered past, he's been in the game for a long time, and I have found a LOT of good feedback too. He's been superb getting back to me too.

I'll wait to see what pans out tomorrow, but Iraggi looks like a bit of a frontrunner. He offered me sort of a one-off, time sensitive deal that it proving hard to resist when I compare pricing to other companies. Sorry, I can't get into details. I had heard Dom is always willing to negotiate price if you catch him in the right mood. :)

The Mechman offerings look good too and their pricing is excellent vis a vis other similar high-end offerings. However, their shipping methods to Canada are probably going to take them out of the running (FEDEX Ground will probably cost me around $90 when brokerage gets factored in) and FEDEX International Economy is running over $100 (which includes brokerage).

Iraggi will do USPS for around $35 which is fair, IMHO. With the deal above and USPS, I can get an Iraggi for less than a standard DB Electrical offering, all in and shipped. Iraggi will do paint for $19 extra and DB Electrical will powdercoat for $40. My preference is powdercoating. Unfortunately Iraggi doesn't seem to offer it yet.

I'll probably make a final decision tomorrow when/if I hear from a few other outfits.

Thanks again for the feedback.
 
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celly

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I heard from a number of suppliers this morning, local and otherwise. I may give a local builder a call later and see what they can do. I also heard from Ohio Generator and they gave me a pretty generic response to my queries.

One very intriguing offering was from Mechman. They have a bit of a glitch on their site right now and list different HO alternators for the 5.0L V8 and 4.0L V6 SOHC which of course use the same alternators.

Here is what Matthew (one of the owners) had to say about their offering:

"We have a very durable 270 amp unit for your vehicle. It has a great low RPM output curve, over 165 amps at idle, and our custom solid copper rectifier assembly...."

He also warned me about HO alts above this rating (300+ amps):

"Any automotive alternator with that high of a peak output will have zero output at idle, and would burn up in minutes. Be careful, because a lot of supposed high output alternator companies overstate what their alternators produce."

I had read that as well on numerous other sites. Seems like with so many other things in life, you get what you pay for.

Based on all this, I've probably narrowed down my search between Mechman (killer service, nice website, excellent reputation) vs Iraggi (great designs and experience, no website outside of eBay, so:so reputation depending on who you talk to). As it stands now, Iraggi has a deal in front of me that will probably tip the scale in their favour. The Mechman alt is most likely out of my league, but for $399 it's actually a very good buy when you compare what else is out there. Iraggi's price on a similar alternator (260 amp) is the same price. I've seen lower output amps from lesser known companies that cost much more than $400.

One thing to remember is that idle output is a very key stat when comparing high-end alternators. Once I clued into that, I've been much better at comparing apples to apples. :D
 
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BigBoom

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yeah matt is the one i've dealt with from mechman. very nice guy. and unless i have dual alts, i dont think i'd ever run a 300+ amp alt alone just cuz of that...the lack of idle output. unless it somehow could supplement enough for the basics at idle

i'm not sure of all the different feedbacks you've seen from iraggi, but one of the issues i've seen is where his alts didnt put out the power they were rated at. but...that coulda been due to a couple issues, both on user and manufacturer end. it could have downgraded overtime from abuse was one argument, and shipping out the wrong alt from his ebay store was the other. but seeing his installs on another forum seem solid nonetheless. especially his machined alts. hopefully he can help me with dual alts when i get my new truck. he's located in tennessee, so if need be i could take a day or two off and drive down and have him fabricate something possibly. i've heard he's very nice to deal with in person. one case had invited a customer to dinner with the family after doing an install :)
 
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celly

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yeah matt is the one i've dealt with from mechman. very nice guy. and unless i have dual alts, i dont think i'd ever run a 300+ amp alt alone just cuz of that...the lack of idle output. unless it somehow could supplement enough for the basics at idle

i'm not sure of all the different feedbacks you've seen from iraggi, but one of the issues i've seen is where his alts didnt put out the power they were rated at. but...that coulda been due to a couple issues, both on user and manufacturer end. it could have downgraded overtime from abuse was one argument, and shipping out the wrong alt from his ebay store was the other. but seeing his installs on another forum seem solid nonetheless. especially his machined alts. hopefully he can help me with dual alts when i get my new truck. he's located in tennessee, so if need be i could take a day or two off and drive down and have him fabricate something possibly. i've heard he's very nice to deal with in person. one case had invited a customer to dinner with the family after doing an install :)

The concerns you mention above do weigh on my mind. His eBay store is a bit disorganized and I've found typos and errors all over the place. He has two versions (Dominator and Amputator) and I'm worried he'll send out the cheaper of the two if I ask for better one (which has better idle output). I mean, how will I ever know unless I get my hands on the proper equipment to test?

Mechman's do look nice, but as it stands now, they're going to be about $100 more when I factor in shipping.

Decisions, decisions.

Dom does seem like a nice guy, but his inconsistency is a concern. I was researching Mechman's offerings this afternoon and they don't seem to have anywhere near the negative publicity.
 
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BigBoom

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could you buy directly from dom himself? that may be a little more reliable than going through ebay. tho...if you do use ebay/paypal, you'll at least have something to use against him in case you get the wrong product. like filing a claim. unless you paid paypal direct as well.

regardless it's nice to see someone doing research before diving headfirst into a product/company :)
 
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CDW6212R

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Brad, both of mine came from DB, a 170 and a black one for my 347 that should be 170 or 200. They have the best prices, but the first one did go out after about 1.5 years. I have a local alternator shop here that I trust for repairs. They didn't notice anything special about the guts, nor did they check idle power.

I have not tried others, but I would bet that the pulley diameter is critical for any version, high output or stock. Both of these needed the smallest pulley for my SOHC with its underdrive balancer. That means that even the high output alternators need enough idle speed to make their ratings.

I'd buy a DB unit again, but I would like to try one from elsewhere too. Their prices of just over $1 per amp were hard to beat. Let me know how it goes with the others, the idle amperage and pulley size.
 
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celly

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could you buy directly from dom himself? that may be a little more reliable than going through ebay. tho...if you do use ebay/paypal, you'll at least have something to use against him in case you get the wrong product. like filing a claim. unless you paid paypal direct as well.

regardless it's nice to see someone doing research before diving headfirst into a product/company :)

He has an "immediate payment" requirement on his eBay listings. He and I had hammered out a different deal, I wanted painting done (not available on eBay listing) and I used a USPS shipping method/price he didn't list either. Would have been a royal PITA to do it via eBay so I simply asked him to send me a Paypal invoice for the agreed upon total. I also made it very clear in our email exchanges what I'm expecting and he confirmed my expectations in writing. I reiterated those expectations one more time in my "Notes to Seller" field while paying at Paypal.

So, I will soon be the proud owner of a 260 amp Iraggi Amputator HO alt, painted like the pic above in red for my '99 EB, 5.0. :)

One thing I learned about this process is just how many fanboys and haters there are on all sides of the fence. One side loves a certain brand while the others hate it. I didn't find a lot of middle ground in a lot of these discussions. Lots of immaturity shown on both sides of the debates.

At the end of the day, Dom made a lot of effort inform me about his product and did so without slamming anyone else in the process. He did offer one heckuva deal too, so do try your best to negotiate with Dom if you go that route down the road.

He definitely sells outside of eBay, btw. He does big group buys through multiple forums often and he gets paid via Paypal. My transaction with him was no different really. I also don't view this as "going outside of eBay" (as eBay dislikes) as I found out about Dom long before I found out he was an eBay seller. ;)

I'll try and get up some pics and some feedback when I get the alternator. He said it would take a few days to assemble, paint and package but it should be in the mail in a few days. USPS to Canada is so slow these days so I don't expect to see it for a few weeks. That's fine because I have some other supplies headed my way to complete the Big Three anyhow.

Thanks for your input. I've also heard that he's great to deal with face to face. Tennessee is a bit too far for me! I think you're on to something by working with him in person. I wish I had someone local like him to deal with. I did find one place local that might have been OK, but I sense they didn't really cater to the audio market which is what I was sort of looking for. I touched base with a high end car audio place in town and they recommended a place that seemed to be a ricer shop to me. The only other place in Canada I contacted didn't reply to me yet.
 
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celly

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Brad, both of mine came from DB, a 170 and a black one for my 347 that should be 170 or 200. They have the best prices, but the first one did go out after about 1.5 years. I have a local alternator shop here that I trust for repairs. They didn't notice anything special about the guts, nor did they check idle power.

I have not tried others, but I would bet that the pulley diameter is critical for any version, high output or stock. Both of these needed the smallest pulley for my SOHC with its underdrive balancer. That means that even the high output alternators need enough idle speed to make their ratings.

I'd buy a DB unit again, but I would like to try one from elsewhere too. Their prices of just over $1 per amp were hard to beat. Let me know how it goes with the others, the idle amperage and pulley size.


Don, what's with all the alternator places in TN anyhow? Obviously DB is there as is Iraggi. I found a few others as well.

I was overall impressed with DB's selection and service. I got prompt and courteous responses to my emails. At the end of the day, they charge a bit too much to ship to Canada which means a 250 amp alternator offered by DB actually cost about the same as a 260 amp alternator I got from Iraggi, and I get painting done by Iraggi for that price. Granted, Dom gave me one hell of a price on his "Amputator" alternator which includes a two year warranty and has much better idle output than DB (which wasn't bad). If price were the only determinant, and I had to pay full pop for Iraggi, I would have gone the DB route most likely.

I was very impressed with Mechman too. They have a great webpage and their ownership has a real passion for what they do. Their oversized designs and other details like 0 gauge connectors and oversized lugs etc (to connect o gauge wiring for Big 3) looked real nice. They really believe in their product too. I really feel that the Mechman 270 amp alt I list above is a sweet alternator. Seems very well made.

Ohio Generator didn't make a big effort to get my business. They gave me some generic options which were far less intriguing than other suppliers and suggested I call them and we could design something that met my needs if required. They didn't even mention pricing with their options.

Excessive Amperage seemed fine, but their base 250 alternator was more expensive than the standard price for the 260 amp alt I got from Iraggi. They only shipped UPS ground which would be deal breaker. I sensed he would have done USPS if I asked. Still, as price was important to me, I didn't really jump at them because they were headed out of my price range.

DC Power Engineering caters to one group that seems to hate both Iraggi and and Mechman and their seems to be a certain "snob appeal" to their alts. I never did get a reply back from them. The knock on them is poor communication and slow shipping, something I wasn't ready to accept. Supposedly their stuff is pretty pricey, but supposed to perform very well. Given that price was an issue with me (and especially since I'm not a high end stereo freak), I wrote them off, but I do think they have a lot to offer.

Never did hear back from a few other places. I sent out so many emails this weekend, I sort of lost track who was who. ;)

Brad
 
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Ol Scratch

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I have the tuff stuff alt from summit, and at idle the lights dim, I've been scared the truck was about to cut out before. Guess I'll try the Iraggi next.
 
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celly

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I heard from the Canadian place (TeamShadowSPL) I contacted and they wanted more for a 200 amp unit that I paid for the 260 amp Iraggi. I didn't much care for this comment:

"I recommend maximum 200A alt for everyday use, it charges better at low rpm (idle), any higher you will have problems!"

While I agree that idle output CAN be better at idle with lower output units, it was the first time I'd heard that you WILL have problems with a higher output unit.
 
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celly

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I have the tuff stuff alt from summit, and at idle the lights dim, I've been scared the truck was about to cut out before. Guess I'll try the Iraggi next.

I could have got the Tuff Stuff 200 amp unit (powdercoated black) for a pretty decent price but really couldn't find a ton of feedback, good or bad on their alternators which is why I ultimately didn't go that route. I also didn't want to shell out the full price now and wait for a month on the special order.

How long have you had your alt? They don't last forever of course. I do estimate the Mr. Alternator I had got 5 years which isn't bad.

Thanks for the feedback.
 
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