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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-27-2014 11:20 AM
D0T-C0M Guys no disrespect to anyone here as I am only trying to help but there is a serious flaw in the OPs setup, if you connect the alternator directly to the battery like the OP posted you are exposing yourself to a serious fire hazard.

The OP has removed the protection to the alternator by connecting it directly to the battery. The stock rating for a TJ battery is 600 cranking amps, so if the alternator shorts your going to have at least 600 amps going to ground and your battery and/or alternator and/or wiring could potentially catch fire. Its even worst if you have a larger battery or dual batteries where the fault current can be as high as 1000-1500 amps. Very bad idea without a fusible link.

The second issue I will bring up from the discussion I've read is everyone seems to think the fusible link protects the PDC and/or battery from the output current of the alternator - IT DOESN'T - The fusible link is there to remove the alternator from the circuit in case its shorts to ground. It has nothing to do with protecting the PDC or melting if the alternator output increases beyond 160a. For that matter its impossible for the alternator to produce more current than its rated max current. The fusible link needs to be properly sized so that it doesn't heat up beyond its rated temperature rise spec during full load current (160a). Running a 10awg fusible link for a 160a alternator will get really warm to the touch after hard winching for a couple minutes. Will it probably work, sure, is it 100% safe no, because running a conductor above its rated allowable temperature rise will cause the insulation to fail over time as it will get brittle and crack.

So for this 160a swap to do it right you need to upgrade the following,

NOTE: all the following wiring must be upgraded, not only the fusible link and alternator wire.

1)Fusible link needs to be increased from 10AWG to 8AWG.
2)All wiring including the alternator wire, wire between the battery positive post and the PDC, AND both negative wires need to be increased from 6AWG to 4AWG.

Starter wire can stay the same as its unaffected.

Just follow the diagram below, the engineers know what they are doing, and you'll be safely protected.

10-09-2013 11:08 PM
OhSixTJ
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeep7081 View Post
I found this on a search and registered. Did you replace the battery wire? Or keep the stock? I am going with a 160amp as well. I have 2 LED bars (500w), and the head lights (75w hid) dim when a/c is on. Thanks
I did the "big 3" upgrade before I replaced the alternator. So I left them on. I used 0/1 gauge wire.
10-09-2013 06:35 PM
Jeep7081
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhSixTJ View Post
Well I was skeptical, but I replaced my stock (remanufactured) 117a alternator with the 160a durango alternator and my voltage drop problem is gone. Before the upgrade I was experiencing some pretty good voltage drop at idle with the ac and all 4 stock lights (stock wattage bulbs with upgraded harnesses) on. I'm talking a drop from 14.4 to 12.5. Lights would dim, dash would dim, blower would slow...

After the install the voltage meter doesn't even twitch with the 4 lights on and the ac blowing. I'll need to wait until dark to see if the lights still dim.

Overall: I'm very happy with this. Advanced has a 15% off coupon code if you buy online and you can pick-up in store that same day, btw.
I found this on a search and registered. Did you replace the battery wire? Or keep the stock? I am going with a 160amp as well. I have 2 LED bars (500w), and the head lights (75w hid) dim when a/c is on.

Thanks
08-11-2013 02:38 PM
OhSixTJ Well I was skeptical, but I replaced my stock (remanufactured) 117a alternator with the 160a durango alternator and my voltage drop problem is gone. Before the upgrade I was experiencing some pretty good voltage drop at idle with the ac and all 4 stock lights (stock wattage bulbs with upgraded harnesses) on. I'm talking a drop from 14.4 to 12.5. Lights would dim, dash would dim, blower would slow...

After the install the voltage meter doesn't even twitch with the 4 lights on and the ac blowing. I'll need to wait until dark to see if the lights still dim.

Overall: I'm very happy with this. Advanced has a 15% off coupon code if you buy online and you can pick-up in store that same day, btw.
07-31-2013 11:10 AM
Greeneggsam Cool! thanks. I know the optimal is 175, get that in there this weekend. thanks.
07-31-2013 11:09 AM
TheTJRod
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greeneggsam View Post
Anyway, wanted to run it with the 200a in there till my 175 arrives, any downside? No winching or load will be applied.
The fuse should be sized to the wire amperage rating and max amperage ratings of both items connected to the wire.

IMO You won't have any problem.
07-31-2013 11:04 AM
Greeneggsam Did this last night, put a digi meter inline of 4ga, but only have 200a fuse that came with it (ordered before I found this post), think I will be ok till I get a 175a fuse? Ordered one just now online, actually a handful.

Trimmed the Durango 160 alternator bracket some, was hitting the rail a little, I run this thing hard so didn't wanna chance some rubbage while krawlin at The Gap over curbs.

As said, and know this post has spider webs, but on newer TJ's the belt/pulley is same. Ran the 4ga to the oem fuse box and just cut the green wire/link and terminated it, then put the new 4ga coming from the digital fuse link directly to one of the two post on the top of the oem fuse panel. Had to trim the incoming area of the box just a little to allow the 4ga access to the post and stay off the highline fenders. Very easy!! 20 min tops on all, and that was mounting the new digital fuse link. Like having battery readout, if needed. May need to put a switch, not sure what this lil LED will do to the drain, showing output 24/7. Hmmm.

Anyway, wanted to run it with the 200a in there till my 175 arrives, any downside? No winching or load will be applied.
04-17-2013 10:19 PM
OhSixTJ
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Relays are simple on-off switches that are normally very good at passing all the voltage given them. I doubt the relay (if properly wired) is the cause of the problem.
Ok at idle, warmed up, in park: 14.80-14.95v both at the headlights and battery. I can still blip the throttle and get the lights to brighten.

At idle, warmed up, in gear: 14.01 at both.
04-16-2013 12:35 AM
Jerry Bransford Relays are simple on-off switches that are normally very good at passing all the voltage given them. I doubt the relay (if properly wired) is the cause of the problem.
04-16-2013 12:31 AM
OhSixTJ
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
13.8v is higher than it takes to run headlights at their full rated brightness, I'd be measuring right at the headlight sockets when the headlights are plugged in and powered up to see what voltage the headlights themselves are getting. I know you have an aux power harness for them but...
Is it possible that the relay might be a choke point? I'll check everything tomorrow and let you know what I find. Thanks.
04-16-2013 12:19 AM
Jerry Bransford 13.8v is higher than it takes to run headlights at their full rated brightness, I'd be measuring right at the headlight sockets when the headlights are plugged in and powered up to see what voltage the headlights themselves are getting. I know you have an aux power harness for them but...
04-16-2013 12:15 AM
OhSixTJ
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Ha that reminds me of my old 1966 VW beetle with its 6v electrical system and generator... just not quite enough. Have you measured the voltage at the lights at idle & when the engine is revved enough to brighten them? 13.1 is what a fully charged battery puts out on its own, that can go up to 13.6 to maybe even just over 14v when the alternator is charging.
Yeah, almost makes me want to change the alternator pulley to get it to spin just a hair faster at idle. Seems like that would do the trick but I'm having a hard time finding info on that for a jeep alternator. Last time I measured they were almost the same. At warm idle, the voltage sits around 13.8 if I recall correctly. I don't have my voltmeter handy or I'd go out and check right now. But I'm sure it's the same voltage as the battery.

Oh and at a cold start idle when the RPMs are up around 1000, I get about 14.75-15.10 volts at the battery and lights. They're also at full brightness.
04-16-2013 12:10 AM
Jerry Bransford
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhSixTJ View Post
I still get dimming at idle and they instantly brighten with just the slightest tap on the pedal.
Ha that reminds me of my old 1966 VW beetle with its 6v electrical system and generator... just not quite enough. Have you measured the voltage at the lights at idle & when the engine is revved enough to brighten them? 13.1 is what a fully charged battery puts out on its own, that can go up to 13.6 to maybe even just over 14v when the alternator is charging.
04-15-2013 11:54 PM
OhSixTJ
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Have you tried cleaning the battery connections and reseating (unplugging/reconnecting) both headlight connectors? As well as cleaning/tightening ground connections at the headlights, engine ground, and battery ground?
Connections are clean. Tight too (as far as I can tell). All lights (headlights that are H4s and factory fogs) have wiring upgrades to 12 gauge wires and relays for fogs, lows, and highs. All connections for power and ground go straight to the battery. And I've done the big 3 upgrade with 0/1 gauge wire. I still get dimming at idle and they instantly brighten with just the slightest tap on the pedal.
04-15-2013 11:51 PM
Jerry Bransford Have you tried cleaning the battery connections and reseating (unplugging/reconnecting) both headlight connectors? As well as cleaning/tightening ground connections at the headlights, engine ground, and battery ground?
04-15-2013 11:46 PM
OhSixTJ
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Alternators don't put out any more amperage than is being requested by the PCM via the voltage regulator that is internal to the PCM itself. So if the battery is dead, the PCM will instruct the alternator to kick up the amps until the battery starts getting too warm at which time the alternator's output amperage will be decreased as directed by the PCM. A battery temperature sensor button mounted under the battery tells the PCM the battery's temp.

Unless the battery is severely discharged, the alternator will never put out even close its maximum amperage rating. In my 17 years of wheeling my TJs & doing regular winching, I never noticed my single battery & OE 117 amp alternator not being up to the task. Which includes having used the winch to drag my TJ off the trail so others could pass me several times on battery power alone when the engine couldn't be started. Even then it started after fixing the engine issues without needing a jump start.
Ok. I'm just looking for a fix to my lights being dimmer at idle vs when I even lightly tap the gas. I'm trying not to let it bother me, but I can't help it haha so I'm looking for a fix.
04-15-2013 11:42 PM
Jerry Bransford Alternators don't put out any more amperage than is being requested by the PCM via the voltage regulator that is internal to the PCM itself. So if the battery is dead, the PCM will instruct the alternator to kick up the amps until the battery starts getting too warm at which time the alternator's output amperage will be decreased as directed by the PCM. A battery temperature sensor button mounted under the battery tells the PCM the battery's temp.

Unless the battery is severely discharged, the alternator will never put out even close its maximum amperage rating. In my 17 years of wheeling my TJs & doing regular winching, I never noticed my single battery & OE 117 amp alternator not being up to the task. Which includes having used the winch to drag my TJ off the trail so others could pass me several times on battery power alone when the engine couldn't be started. Even then it started after fixing the engine issues without needing a jump start.
04-15-2013 10:56 PM
OhSixTJ Also, is it worth the upgrade to go from 117a to 160a?
04-14-2013 11:22 PM
OhSixTJ So regardless, whether you have a 117a or 160a, at idle you'll only get what the computer wants? Or do you get more at idle with this upgrade? Everyone says its a good upgrade but no one posts idle voltage/amps (like do extra lights stay bright at idle now or do they still dim) with the bigger alternators.
03-25-2013 11:45 AM
matt1513 What year Durango alternator works with a 97 Wrangler?
02-20-2013 03:20 AM
KaiserJeep The smaller green wire IS the fusible link safety device. You should see a green wire one size smaller than the red wire it is crimped to. Automotive manufacturers use that style because two crimp connections are cheaper than a fuse and fuseholder. But you must match the size of the fusible link to the maximum capacity of the alternator, if you used the 8-guage fusible link provided for your stock 117A alternator on the 160A alternator, it would blow the first time you exceeded 117A output.

You can use either a 175A fuse or a 175A circuit breaker to replace the fusible link, but the fuse is much cheaper.

Fusible links will never blow unless a short developes or there is a flaw in voltage regulation. Even then they will blow slowly after several minutes - they are only intended to keep the alternator (a relatively expensive part) from smoking due to a shorted battery cell.
02-19-2013 10:06 PM
02ws666
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiserJeep View Post
Sorry I missed seeing this thread until now, but I have some inputs for you guys from an Electrical Engineering perspective.

1) The TJs ('97-'06) use 117A alternators that are externally regulated by the ECM (engine computer behind and above the stock battery). Fortunately, you selected a Durango alternator that is also regulated that way, and even has a matching plug.

===> Note that Dodge also makes internally regulated alternators (no plug) and externally regulated alternators with old-style analog voltage regulators. These alternator types do not interchange with each other - use the same style alternator in the same or larger output rating in all cases. (Of course the case and pulleys need to be a mechanical match, or you will need to fabricate new mounting brackets.)

2) The voltage regulator in the ECM should hold the output to 13.5-14.9 volts on a charged battery. When charging heavily into a partially discharged battery, the voltage will be lower, down to as low as 10.5 volts - when the alternator is at full capacity. Charging at such a rate heats up the battery quickly.

3) On the stock TJ there is a temperature sensor pressed against the bottom of the battery. As the battery approaches the boiling point of battery acid (around 320 degrees) the ECM reduces the charge rate by reducing the voltage, to avoid having the battery boil over or vent acid.

===> The temperature sensor is calibrated for a factory flooded cell battery of 550cca. It should be used for any flooded cell battery. With an AGM battery (Odyssey, Optima, or Sears) disconnect the sensor and tuck it into the wiring harness away from the battery, as the AGM batteries have a very different thermal curve than do flooded cell batteries.

3) Remember that Green wire in the stock alternator output wire? That was a safety device known as a "fusible link". Basicly an overcurrent protection that burns up when the alternator exceeds it's output rating. The rule for fusible links is use one that is two wire guage sizes smaller than the wire it protects. Thus the stock 6-guage red alternator wire is protected by an 8-guage fusible link. Since you upgraded to a 4-guage wire, you should protect it with 6" length of 6-guage fusible link wire. (The stuff is a Bismuth alloy with a lower melting point than Copper.)

==> If you can't find the right fusible link (I'd try to get the one on the donor vehicle along with the alternator) then use a large fuse like this:


...for a 160A rated alternator, I'd use a 175A fuse, in a fuse holder like this:



...and two heavy duty crimp lugs rated for 160+ amps. I'd put a piece of insulation under the fuse holder, which mounts via that screw hole in the center, to keep those crimp lugs from shorting to the sheet metal.
Wanted to give my feedback on this. I pulled my stock cable apart, and there is no fuse link or anything. The 2 wires just come together. Is that what you meant or did you think there was some sort of fuse device in there?
02-19-2013 02:50 PM
KaiserJeep The 4-cylinder TJs use different alternators than do the 6-cylinder Jeeps, but I don't remember the size on those, sorry.
02-19-2013 02:31 PM
KaiserJeep Sorry I missed seeing this thread until now, but I have some inputs for you guys from an Electrical Engineering perspective.

1) The TJs ('97-'06) use 117A alternators that are externally regulated by the ECM (engine computer behind and above the stock battery). Fortunately, you selected a Durango alternator that is also regulated that way, and even has a matching plug.

===> Note that Dodge also makes internally regulated alternators (no plug) and externally regulated alternators with old-style analog voltage regulators. These alternator types do not interchange with each other - use the same style alternator in the same or larger output rating in all cases. (Of course the case and pulleys need to be a mechanical match, or you will need to fabricate new mounting brackets.)

2) The voltage regulator in the ECM should hold the output to 13.5-14.9 volts on a charged battery. When charging heavily into a partially discharged battery, the voltage will be lower, down to as low as 10.5 volts - when the alternator is at full capacity. Charging at such a rate heats up the battery quickly.

3) On the stock TJ there is a temperature sensor pressed against the bottom of the battery. As the battery approaches the boiling point of battery acid (around 320 degrees) the ECM reduces the charge rate by reducing the voltage, to avoid having the battery boil over or vent acid.

===> The temperature sensor is calibrated for a factory flooded cell battery of 550cca. It should be used for any flooded cell battery. With an AGM battery (Odyssey, Optima, or Sears) disconnect the sensor and tuck it into the wiring harness away from the battery, as the AGM batteries have a very different thermal curve than do flooded cell batteries.

3) Remember that Green wire in the stock alternator output wire? That was a safety device known as a "fusible link". Basicly an overcurrent protection that burns up when the alternator exceeds it's output rating. The rule for fusible links is use one that is two wire guage sizes smaller than the wire it protects. Thus the stock 6-guage red alternator wire is protected by an 8-guage fusible link. Since you upgraded to a 4-guage wire, you should protect it with 6" length of 6-guage fusible link wire. (The stuff is a Bismuth alloy with a lower melting point than Copper.)

==> If you can't find the right fusible link (I'd try to get the one on the donor vehicle along with the alternator) then use a large fuse like this:


...for a 160A rated alternator, I'd use a 175A fuse, in a fuse holder like this:



...and two heavy duty crimp lugs rated for 160+ amps. I'd put a piece of insulation under the fuse holder, which mounts via that screw hole in the center, to keep those crimp lugs from shorting to the sheet metal.
02-19-2013 01:44 PM
Border Dave
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubiconvict05 View Post
Two things:
1) I have an 05 Rubicon, does that come equiped with the heavy duty wrangler alt?

Thank you
It comes with a 117 amp alternator.
02-19-2013 01:33 AM
rubiconvict05 Two things:
1) I have an 05 Rubicon, does that come equiped with the heavy duty wrangler alt?
2) Can someone PM me the info on this taurus Fan Mod?

Thank you
02-19-2013 12:24 AM
02ws666 I created an account on this site solely to say

THANK YOU!!!

I have been debating this mod for a long time, but I had not found an exact answer if the 160amp alternator would fit my 2003. You ask questions on forums and you dont always get the right answer, or you get people who think it will work. I needed proof and this thread gave it to me!

I ordered this from autozone, which is the exact same replacement alternator for a 2004 Durango 4.7 Bolted right in and it was the cheapest I could find new, and the local store had one.

Duralast Import/Alternator (12328) | 2004 Dodge Durango 2WD 8 Cylinders N 4.7L SFI | AutoZone.com


Again, thank you for the write up. I also liked the wiring upgrade information, as I had not found the exact info I needed, and had no idea which wires to upgrade. THANKS!!
06-20-2012 10:21 PM
jeepwayoflife
Quote:
Originally Posted by kewlkarim
other than helping with a winch, what other benefits are there ?
Less stress on your battery and alternator when jump starting someone.
06-20-2012 09:00 PM
kewlkarim other than helping with a winch, what other benefits are there ?
06-20-2012 04:55 PM
Sloan409 I just did this mod with a durango 160 alternator ito my 03 tj and it works great---Couldnt be happier with the performance and savings!$$$$
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