View Full Version : Mini alternator questions

04-02-2006, 10:36 PM
I'm looking to buy a smaller alternator for my 78 Trans Am street/strip car. What amp alternator would everyone recommend for a car running the following:

HEI ignition
Multiple spark discharge box
Dual electric fans
Electric fuel pump
Power windows (aftermarket style with modern mini motors)
Stock electical system

I'm looking to buy the smallest/lightest alternator with enough amps to run the above items. I'm looking at the Powermaster CS130, but am open to anything that will accept the stock 3-wire system (don't want to convert to 1 wire). Any suggestions?

04-02-2006, 11:05 PM
An ND alternator from an early-90's Toyota. They're good for 70 amps, have a good bearing design, have 3-wire hookup, and they're small. You'll just have to either cut your connector off and splice in the pigtail from the donor car, or make a go-between harness if you don't want to cut your original harness. You'll also have to find a suitable aftermarket pulley as the stocker is a serpentine type.

The trouble with the CS130 is poor bearing design and it's difficult to rebuild. You have to unsolder the main windings from the diodes to disassemble the thing.

Skip Fix
04-03-2006, 01:58 PM
Did you convert an existing power windows car or was it a manual crank? Would love to "supercharge" my 78s factory windows. There are newer cars with just as big and heavy windows that go up and down faster. kind of liek the power locks wimpy after 25 years.

04-03-2006, 05:37 PM
The car originally came with power windows, but the regulators started wearing out the rollers. No one makes reproduction power window regulators for the 2nd gen F-body. I installed a set of Electric Life window regulators. They are much, much lighter than the originals (won't wear out the door hinge pins as fast), and use the same style "pancake" motors the new cars use. Other than having to install an aftermarket harness, the whole thing was purely bolt-in. The original regulator motors used the body as a ground, but the new ones are reverse polarity, requiring the use of a different switch (identical to the orginal but made of plastic) and harness.

04-03-2006, 08:30 PM
I'm in the same boat with needing a higher amp alt, and have shuffled around trying to find something that works. I've been using CS130s for about 10 months on a daily driver, and I've replaced it 2 times. The bearings went out once, and then the regulator another time. The one I sent back to PowerMaster for the regulator had bearing noises from the minute I took it out of the box, or that's what I think the sound is! I've had the best luck with a beefed up 12Si, lasted about 4 years, and think it put out 100 amps. Anyway, if someone knows a good source for a high amp alt, I'd like to hear about it..

04-03-2006, 08:47 PM
Has anyone had any luck with the Powermaster CS130D alternator with the dual internal cooling fans (not sure if the bearings are better)? I really like the style and size of the small Nippondenso alternators, but it looks like the mounts will not work with the Pontiac brackets. Has anyone had any luck retro-fitting the Nippondenso alternator to a Pontiac engine?

04-03-2006, 09:30 PM
I found this alternator on Summit Racing's website. It's a Nippondenso style alternator made by Accel. It looks like the bolt locations are correct and provides 80 amps. Has anyone tried this style of alternator on their Pontiac engine?

04-04-2006, 07:08 AM
It looks beefy, but no, haven't tried that style yet. The pulley alignment might have to be played with, just by looking at it. And, wonder if they make a 100 amp model? EFi, stereo equip, power options, pumps, headlights, etc, all make for a much larger requirement, and I know I'm not the only one out there with that kind of requirement...

How does that work again? You want to run at less then 80% or so of the rated capacity of the alt output? I added it up, and under full load (which I probably would rarely see) I have a 73 amp requirement. So that means what, I need a 100 amper, right?

04-04-2006, 07:10 AM
Hey TransAm525- You have a camel interior? Any spare front kick panels? (non-A/C)

04-04-2006, 09:10 AM
I too will need something around 100 amps. I calculated the 80 amp alternator would work, but would be pushing its limits with everything on. I'm also considering the Powermaster CD130D pictured below. I'm not crazy about the chrome finish, but it's the only finish the alternator is available in. Another consideration is the East Coast Auto Electric "Super Mini" CS130 120 amp alternator.

For the kick panels, I do have a spare panel, but it's for an A/C car.