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Text and Photography C. Asaravala. Illustrations by Jon Mikelonis.


If there is one component under the hood of a car that is generally ignored, it is the alternator. Let's face it, if you crank the key and the car starts, the charging system is presumed okay. Or is it? Back in the 60's cars had just a handful of circuits; igniton, lighting, radio, etc. Ford equipped these early cars with meager 40-50 amp alternators. Today's vehicles have thousands of circuits. In fact the entire engine control system is based on the precision of electrical components such as solenoids and actuators. The 12 volt systems are taxed to the limit, and the 65-75 amperage factory alternators just barely put out the current necessary to feed all the power hungry electrical components throughout the car. Add in modifications such as an electric fan and fuel-pump, under-drive pulleys, and even high output stereos, and the factory alternator becomes a major under achiever. Electric fuel pump output can suffer, nitrous and fuel solenoids may not open completely or as quickly, and high-output ignitions work at less than optimum levels.

The solution is obvious - upgrade to a higher output alternator. Up until now this meant cobbling together brackets and wiring for a GM or even import high-output alternator. However PA-Performance has made such upgrades a simple procedure by offering 95, 130, and 200 amp. output alternator kits for just about any Ford vehicle you can think of. A stock 2G (second generation) 65 or 75 amp alternator will typically produce 20 amps at idle, and full output is not produced until 4000+ rpms. The third-generation alternators were designed to produce full output at lower rpms. PA Performance tested their 130 amp 3G alternators and measured a whopping 80 amps at idle, and up to 150 amps at only 3000 rpm. This means even a short trip down the track will sufficiently charge the battery.


PA Performance 3G Alternator (130 Amp Internals)
Rated by Ford at 130 amps, the 3G alternator produced greater amperage at all RPM's compared to a stock alternator. PA Performance's 3G alternator has excellent aesthetic appeal, but it's the quality of the 100% new internal components and better than OE tolerances that makes it outperform the remanufactuerd parts store units.

 

(Testing Alternator Output)

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In This Article
We discuss the benefits of upgrading your vehicles charging system with a 3G alternator from PA Performance.

Also See:
Gentleman Start Your Engines: mini-starter from PA Performance.
 
 
 
 

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