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Old 11-06-2006, 07:39 AM   #1
 
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Default DIY High Output Alternator Upgrade

Hey everyone, my new alternator from Alterstart just arrived last night!
Click the image to open in full size.
Thank you UPS man! :_bow:

^Behold! This is a 160Amp high output alternator (& 4 gauge wire harness) that will be replacing the wimpy 70Amp factory in my 01' Civic LX coupe. I am very satisfied with the install; lights stopped dimming and stereo system has had a significant difference!

Enough with the boring stuff - now to the procedures that everyone's been waiting for:

Materials:
Socket wrench set
ratchet set (very handy in tight spaces)
electrical tape
wire ties
new alternator (of course)
heavy gauge wire (very important! DO NOT use the factory wire as it is not able to withstand the increase of amperage)

Step 1
Remove negative terminal cable from battery (blue)
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 2
Locate power steering pump
Red: loosen the upper mounting bolt (pictured) & lower mounting bolt (not picture - located near power steering pulley).
Blue: Once the two mounting bolts are loose, turn the adjustment nut counter-clockwise to loosen up the power steering belt. Take off belt once it is loosen to the point where it can be taken off without excessive force.
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 3
After taking off belt, completely remove upper and lower mounting bolts. Put power steering unit aside (do not remove any hose). Oven mitten was used to protect paint.
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 4
Now that the power steering unit is out of the way, the alternator should be a breeze to get out. I learned later that it was not and had to take out bumper and driver's side headlight in order to get it out.
Edit: Just remove the two upper and lower powersteering brackets (little piece of metal with 10mm bolt), power steering reservoir bracket (12mm bolt) and the alternator should slide out freely w/o removing headlight and bumper.
Red: Loosen alternator upper mounting bolt (pictured)
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 5
slightly loosen up driver's front side wheel lugs, jack up front driver's side and place on a jack stand

Step 6
Take off lug nuts and wheel.
Red: See that splash shield? Remove the red plastic tapping screws and pull it out of the way
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Step 7
Red: Power steering belt that was taken off of power steering pump earlier
blue: Next on your hit list. This is the alternator & AC belt
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 8
Blue: loosen lower alternator mounting bolt
Red: look at this screw - it is the belt adjusting screw (picture from another angle in next step)
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 9
Red: This is the belt adjusting bolt in step 8. Turn this bad boy counter-clockwise until the belt begins to loosen and can be removed.
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 10
Red: This is the positive output cable that will be upgraded with a 4 gauge harness. Remove it with a 10mm socket.
Blue: This is the electric plug, just simply squeeze the release button and pull it out.
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 11
You can now remove the upper and lower mounting bolts of the alternator.
Pictured below is when I had a problem trying to get it out and it eventually led me to take off bumper and driver's headlight. Installation of new alternator was very easy with the headlight out because it created a lot of space to take the alternator out through the headlight frame.
Click the image to open in full size.

LAUGH AT THE 70AMP POS OEM ALTERNATOR
Click the image to open in full size.

COMPARE THE TWO ALTERNATORS
Do they look of the same size? Does it look like the new alternator will fit fine? Notice the new high output alternator (RIGHT SIDE) has a smaller pulley. It's supposed to increase the amount of revolutions.
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 12
Blue: cut off the rubber insultating boot from the OEM output cable to reuse on the new 4 gauge wire. Be sure to wrap LOTS of electric tape around any conducting area of the OEM wire and place it aside. OEM wire will be zipped tied to something later. You can remove the OEM output wire if you want, but I prefer to leave it because I'm lazy and I can put back the OEM alternator to use as a spare in the event (God forbids) the high output alternator fails.
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 13
Install rubber boot on new 4 gauge wire
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 14
Now installation is the opposite of removal - be sure to install the alternator and power steering belts on tightly (give .25 in of belt deflection). I placed another handy oven mitten :lol: in the headlight frame to protect the AC lines.
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 15
Blue: New 4 gauge wire
Red: old OEM wire - zip tip this to the 4 gauge wire or any non-moving surface in case you need it later.
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 16
The next pictures just shows how I routed the 4 gauge wire. There is no right or wrong way to route this wire, just as long as it ends up at the positive battery terminal and doesn't obstruct any moving object in the engine bay. Again, use the zip ties!
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Step 17
You are now practically done. Connect the negative cable to your battery, put your wheels back on and you are ready to rock and roll!

Step 18
The haynes manual suggests to put the car in 3000 RPMs (with no load i.e. parking lights, stereo sytem) immediately when the vehicle is started to initialize the PCM (powertrain control module) idle learn procedure. This is mandatory every time the battery is disconnected. Caution: if you are parked in a garage like me, push the car out into the driveway and do this to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. You can bring it back down to normal idle when you hear the radiator fan kicking in or the temperature gauge is at normal operating temperature.
Click the image to open in full size.

Now sit back, have a beer and enjoy the fruits of your labor
Click the image to open in full size.

FULL POWER BABY!!!! No more dimming lights!!!!
Click the image to open in full size.


Overall, this procedure took me 2.5 hours. Class was dismissed early this morning so I went home to work on it right away, then I had go to work @ noon, got back home @ 5:00PM and finished it up. Happy modding :sweet:

I initially posted this at 7thgencivic - http://www.7thgencivic.com/for...83314

The install went well, but I found out a day later that the alternator they sold me was a bad egg. I'm shipping it back to them today to get it exchanged (more info in above link) Enjoy the DIY!


Modified by Honda_Inspired at 10:12 AM 11/7/2006
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:03 AM   #2
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Nice write up mate.
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Old 11-06-2006, 02:43 PM   #3
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Overall that was a fantastic write up, but what's with the White paint and Type-R sticker on the gauges?
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Old 11-06-2006, 03:51 PM   #4
 
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Very nice write up! congratz

toyomatt, I THINK he was just trying to show the 3000 rpm's on the gauges, and the temperature I guess... just a detail
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Old 11-06-2006, 04:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: (Argale)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argale
Very nice write up! congratz

toyomatt, I THINK he was just trying to show the 3000 rpm's on the gauges, and the temperature I guess... just a detail
I'm not pointing out why he posted the picture, I was asking why he painted the housing, and added the Type-R sticker.
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Old 11-06-2006, 04:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: (toyomatt84)

Quote:
Originally Posted by toyomatt84
Overall that was a fantastic write up, but what's with the White paint and Type-R sticker on the gauges?

I think it has something to do with the "Fast and the Furious"

Watch out for my four cylinders of fury... Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 11-06-2006, 06:15 PM   #7
 
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haha that was my crazy ole high school days *shakes head* I have totally dericed my car, just too lazy to take away that cluster and sticker. It brings lots of memories really

2fast2furious screen shot was obviously a joke Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 11-07-2006, 01:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: (Honda_Inspired)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honda_Inspired
haha that was my crazy ole high school days *shakes head* I have totally dericed my car, just too lazy to take away that cluster and sticker. It brings lots of memories really

2fast2furious screen shot was obviously a joke Click the image to open in full size.
Ahh, I understand. It's a great write-up, regardless. Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:02 AM   #9
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great writeup, but i can't imagine how much of a pain that was to install, i've had to do it in my car, and it wasn't fun.

i bet you were mad when you found out the alternator didn't work as well.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:54 AM   #10
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awsome nice DIY..
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Old 11-10-2006, 11:03 AM   #11
 
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Just got an exchange on it and had it installed last night. The only problem I'm experiencing with this new alternator is it would randomly flash the battery warning light and turn off. I called Alterstart and they said the "brushings" just need to "break-in". So far, The battery warning light has only blinked 3 or 4 times during the entire 30 mile trip from home to work. The duration of the "blink" is less than a second. Everything seems to be fine as I have made it to work in one piece and bumping my stereo on loud in the company parking lot. My prognosis - a healthy organ transplant that needs some further evaluation. Will keep ya'll posted.
-Lewis
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Old 11-10-2006, 11:33 AM   #12
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^maybe your belt isn't on tight enough and is slipping, is it tight?
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Old 11-10-2006, 12:13 PM   #13
 
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Actually, it was on a .5" deflection and then I tightened it to .25" deflection. The occurances of the light blinking has decreased, but .25" deflection is the tightest I'm willing to go. Any tighter than that and it can cause a lot of strain to the bearings and belt.
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Old 11-10-2006, 06:45 PM   #14
 
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Hello again guys and dolls! I just got home from work, stopped by wal-mart and got myself this bad boy for $15 bucks:
Click the image to open in full size.

^it's a voltmeter that simply plugs into your cigarette lighter - a great alternative to the 52mm voltmeters in which you have to install into a guage pod.

This voltmeter convinced me that there wasn't anything wrong with my alternator. It's just the voltage regulator in my alternator that isn't in sync with my charging system (no big deal - just annoying flick of battery light once in a while). After observing the voltage changes on the voltmeter, I noticed at the point when the battery warning light starts to flicker (for a millisecond), the voltage dropped down to 12.5 volts! This is odd considering the normal voltage is SUPPOSED to be 13.5 when the car's engine is on. But since this is a high output alternator, it rapidly charges the battery full and the voltage regulator kicks in and limits current flowing into the battery so it doesn't overcharge (thus the brief flash of the battery light). So after the voltage regulator kicks in and makes the battery light flash once and turn off, the volts drop down to between 12.5 - 13.0 volts until more load is on demand. Once I turned on my A/C & stereo all the way up, voltage regulator sees this (doesn't flash light this time) and bumps up the voltage from 12.5 volts to a healthy 13.8 volts! Long story short, my efforts in installing a HO alternator wasn't wasted at all :_bow:

Engine on:
Click the image to open in full size.

Engine off:
Click the image to open in full size.

I highly recommend this voltmeter if you actually care about your electrical system - it's a must have! I even sacraficed the plug in which I use to power my radar detector and put this voltmeter in its place.

I'm one happy camper for now :sweet:
Let's see in the longterm how this high output alternator treats me.
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:30 AM   #15
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Thanks for this DIY! Because of this, I didn't have to do any thinking for my self really! lol Only noticed a few differences in mine like the bolt to adjust the tensioner for the alt. had the wing nut type end instead of the bolt head. The top Alt. bolt, I had to take a loose the power steering reservoir bracket because it wouldn't let the bolt come out then the alt just wiggled right out without removing the entire bracket for the P/S pump or headlight.

Thanks, it saved me a lot of time on trying to figure it out for my self! Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2008, 06:03 PM   #16
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Default Re: (Slidin'Sidewayz)

http://i35.photobucket.com/alb...r.jpg

looks like you should replace those front lower control arm bushings. They look like they are torn through already. I replace these daily at a Honda dealership. It's pretty common. Can't tell exactly but it definately looks like they may be torn.
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Old 05-11-2008, 09:16 PM   #17
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Default Re: (Hondacivic90ed)

How much would a shop charge to put a new alternator? Also where can I pick up a better alternator for a reasonable price (online and local)?
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:36 PM   #18
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this is pretty cool.

i do notice light dimming easily when almost all gadgets are on with just an aftermarket head unit that's cd slot. lol.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:17 PM   #19
 
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my lights dim also. along with my A/C blower speed.


nice write up Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:33 AM   #20
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you definately need to fuse that amp output wire. it's supposed to go from the alternator to the fuse box to the battery..thats what the big fuse is for in the fuse box.
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:42 PM   #21
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Default d17 alternator

i am planning on getting a 1200 watt amplifier for my civic. it has the stock alternator and i was just wondering whether that would souvierly strain it.. i have a 600 watt right now, and it works fine.

anyone else here running a 1200+ amp on stock alternator?


Modified by hondalove323 at 6:35 PM 9/9/2008
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:53 PM   #22
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If you're referring to a 1,200 watt audio amplifier, that's way too much draw from a stock alternator.

Take the RMS power from the amp and divide it by 12.6 The result is the amount of amperage you're drawing. Let's say your amp has a 800 watt RMS rating. It's drawing 63.4 amps from a stock 70 amp alternator. That's a recipe for failure.

If you're going to run a 1,200 watt amp, I would suggest getting a 160 amp alternator.
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Old 09-09-2008, 06:10 PM   #23
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hahaha........... yeah dude, i meant 1,200 watt amplifier..
but 1200 watts is definently not the rms, so thats good to know..

i just read the rms rating, its like 2 x 150 at 4 ohm, which is how i will connect them..


Modified by hondalove323 at 8:49 PM 9/9/2008
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Old 09-10-2008, 12:03 AM   #24
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Default Re: DIY High Output Alternator Upgrade (Honda_Inspired)

nice diy. subscribed for future reference
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Old 09-10-2008, 12:07 AM   #25
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Default Re: DIY High Output Alternator Upgrade (jamescardenas07)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamescardenas07
nice diy. subscribed for future reference
It's in the FAQ's, bud. Click the image to open in full size.
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