CS130 Alternator issues and Windstar fans. - Chevelle Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems.

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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 15, 4:38 PM Thread Starter
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CS130 Alternator issues and Windstar fans.

I recently switched to a serpentine drive setup on my SBC. It's a factory set-up off an early 90's truck. I'm using a CS130 alternator. According to my math, I'm over speeding the alternator at WOT, 6500 crankshaft RPM = 24,500 RPM. Apparently these alternators like 18,000 RPM max from what the internet tells me. It seems to charge fine at idle, but at high RPM it seems to cut out. Idiot light on the dash comes on and the voltage drops. The fix for this is a smaller crank pulley, but will this drop alternator RPM at idle too much? Right now it's about 3000 RPM at idle, should drop about 800 RPM with the smaller crank pulley. Will a CS130 put out decent voltage at 2200 RPM alternator speed?
I have the Windstar electric fans that draw have a pretty good amp draw, enough to almost stall the engine when the fan kicks on and drop engine idle by 100 RPM when the fan is running. Is there any kind of "soft start" controller for the fan. I know it's a variable speed fan, but the way I have it wired it comes on full RPM as soon as the relay turns on. If there was a way to reduce the inrush current when the fan starts, it should cure my RPM drop. It's an old school carbureted set-up so it's not like a EFI engine with an IAC that adjusts for varying loads at idle. Any ideas here?

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 15, 9:54 PM
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Re: CS130 Alternator issues and Windstar fans.

I strongly suggest you find a larger alternator pulley, and leave the crank pulley alone. A smaller crank pulley will also slow the water and power steering pumps down as well, something you more than likely do not want to do.

I am no fan of either CS alternators, nor electric fans, for me, they just never work well.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 15, 11:07 PM
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Re: CS130 Alternator issues and Windstar fans.

What Dave said!!

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 15, 1:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: CS130 Alternator issues and Windstar fans.

I did some more measuring and calculating pulley ratios. With a smaller crank pulley and the higher idle speed compared to what the accessory drive was designed for, the alternator will be spinning the same speed as a stock TBI engine at idle. The car doesn't run hot and really only needs one of the fans to keep cool. If the water pump slows down a bit and I have to run both fans, I'm ok with that.

What's the concern with the CS alternator, seems light years ahead of the SI it replaced.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 15, 12:24 PM
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Re: CS130 Alternator issues and Windstar fans.

Higher idle doesn't help anything, why do it, no clear reason.

CS series has massive problems not resolved as of yet. ALL the vehicles I have that ran CS alts have been changed over to 12SI, no more alternator problems/failures, NO further charging issues, very stable electrical systems now.

Before, CS alt failures ran about two per vehicle they were on, per year, way too many for me.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 15, 1:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: CS130 Alternator issues and Windstar fans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Ray View Post
Higher idle doesn't help anything, why do it, no clear reason.

CS series has massive problems not resolved as of yet. ALL the vehicles I have that ran CS alts have been changed over to 12SI, no more alternator problems/failures, NO further charging issues, very stable electrical systems now.

Before, CS alt failures ran about two per vehicle they were on, per year, way too many for me.
My engine has a large roller cam and idles faster because of this, about 900 RPM compared to a stock TBI 350 that idles at 600 RPM. With this increase in idle speed compared to a stock engine that the serpentine drive was designed for, using a smaller crank pulley brings the accessory drive RPM back to what a stock engine would see.

Interesting about the CS alternator issues, I haven't heard of issues with these. All I know is with the CS130, I still have 14.5V at idle with all the electrical components on. With my 12SI, it would be around 10.5V at idle. Can you be more specific on what the concerns are with the CS?

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 15, 1:49 PM
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Re: CS130 Alternator issues and Windstar fans.

I've run a 12SI in both my cars for years now with trunk mounted battery, electric fuel pump, and fans. No issues at all.......love the set up. I rarely need the fans in my Chevelle.
Oh, and I am using fans from an 98-02 LS1 Camaro with aluminum rad and pump.


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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 15, 2:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: CS130 Alternator issues and Windstar fans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHELKAMINO View Post
I've run a 12SI in both my cars for years now with trunk mounted battery, electric fuel pump, and fans. No issues at all.......love the set up. I rarely need the fans in my Chevelle.
Oh, and I am using fans from an 98-02 LS1 Camaro with aluminum rad and pump.
What amp rating is your alternator? I found with my 12SI, it did not charge enough at idle and was fine at cruise RPM. According to info I found on the Delco-Remy website, a 12SI only puts out 23 Amps at 1600 RPM. I couldn't find anywhere what the amp rating was at around 3400 RPM, that's what the alternator speed would be at idle with my pulley ratios. All I know is it didn't work on my car. Wasn't a new alternator so it might have been a bit weak.

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 15, 3:44 PM
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Re: CS130 Alternator issues and Windstar fans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris27 View Post
What amp rating is your alternator? I found with my 12SI, it did not charge enough at idle and was fine at cruise RPM. According to info I found on the Delco-Remy website, a 12SI only puts out 23 Amps at 1600 RPM. I couldn't find anywhere what the amp rating was at around 3400 RPM, that's what the alternator speed would be at idle with my pulley ratios. All I know is it didn't work on my car. Wasn't a new alternator so it might have been a bit weak.
Look at Powermaster alternators which have ratings for current output at idle.

Pages 62 to 65 of their current catalog. If you have electric fans (I have them and have put them into a number of cars now; they work great when done correctly but they REQUIRE wiring upgrades). Notice that these alternators have rating of current output at idle.

You can get a 12Si at 70A idle which is what you should have for running electric fans at idle, A/C on, in stop and go traffic. Model 17297.

http://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/store...archTerm=17297

A proper set of fans draw about 50A at full speed. Other things in the car may draw as much as 20A thus 70A at idle is the minimum.

My car is here:


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Last edited by bikeron; Sep 1st, 15 at 4:04 PM.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 15, 3:46 PM
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Re: CS130 Alternator issues and Windstar fans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Ray View Post
Higher idle doesn't help anything, why do it, no clear reason.
Higher idle yields higher current output in alternators. Here is an example:


Notice that a small change RPM at the lowest RPM yields the greatest increase in alternator output.
2200-1800/109-39 = 400 RPM/70 amps or 5.71 rpm/amp!

But notice that from 2200 to 2400 RPM we have:
2400-2200/133-109 = 200 RPM/24 amps = 8.33 RPM/amp. More RPMs needed for the same increase in power at higher speed.

That's why you MIGHT want to do it.

You're better off getting a good alternator.

My car is here:


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Last edited by bikeron; Sep 1st, 15 at 4:02 PM.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 15, 4:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: CS130 Alternator issues and Windstar fans.

It seems no matter what I do, I need to address my pulley ratio's first. All the alternators I've looked at have a max RPM of 18,000.
So my options are:
1. Get a larger alternator pulley.
2. Get a smaller crank pulley.
Option 1 would be preferred since it doesn't affect the speed of the water pump and power steering. Option 2 will happen if I can't find a pulley to do option 1. I will try that first and see if that works. I don't think the alternator is the problem, the problem is I'm spinning it too fast. It's weird this never happened with my old 12SI and V-belt set-up. Maybe the 12SI is not as sensitive to over-speeding.

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 15, 8:26 PM
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Re: CS130 Alternator issues and Windstar fans.

First off, I wouldn't remove the CS alt. In my experience, the early small ones were very problem prone, replaced tons of them. After a few years, they became far more reliable. I am running the larger case CS alt., with Windstar fans on my car for years with no problem. This time of year, it's pretty much my daily driver. I do however have a variable speed PWM soft start controller for the fan, works awesome, never even know when or if the fan is on, only time I even hear it is sometimes when I shut the car off, it runs for a minute or so.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 15, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: CS130 Alternator issues and Windstar fans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 72ragtop View Post
First off, I wouldn't remove the CS alt. In my experience, the early small ones were very problem prone, replaced tons of them. After a few years, they became far more reliable. I am running the larger case CS alt., with Windstar fans on my car for years with no problem. This time of year, it's pretty much my daily driver. I do however have a variable speed PWM soft start controller for the fan, works awesome, never even know when or if the fan is on, only time I even hear it is sometimes when I shut the car off, it runs for a minute or so.
Jim
Do you have a part # for that PWM controller? That sounds like exactly what I'm looking for. I've had a few GM trucks with the CS alternators stock and both went over 250,000 miles with no alternator issues before I sold them. The one in my car is out of a 1991. Are there certain years that are better?

I ordered a smaller crank pulley, should be here next week. According to my math it will slow everything down to the same speed as a stock 91 truck would see a idle and will limit my alternator rpm to below 18,000 at WOT. Hopefully that will solve my problem.

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 15, 12:15 AM
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Re: CS130 Alternator issues and Windstar fans.

I don't believe that 6500 RPM is the problem. If the CS-130 is cutting out it's probably bad.

You can go to the CS-144 which has better power at idle and is more reliable.

There are improved versions of the CS-130 available from Quick Start. http://alternatorparts.com/cs130-alternator.html

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 15, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: CS130 Alternator issues and Windstar fans.

The 6500 rpm is the problem when you multiply that by the pulley ratios. At 6500 engine rpm, the alternator is spinning 24,500 rpm. Way above the max 18,000 that the alternator is designed for. And even if the alternator is bad, it certainly won't hurt to slow it down to where it's supposed to operate. I'll try the pulley first and then get the alternator tested if I'm still having problems.

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