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CS-130 alternator upgrade

4323 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  JIMK
Recently I through out the old ext. reg'd 65 amp alternator that came in this '70 El Cam. I read about the CS130 here in the Tech Archives and so I purchased a unit from a web dealer known as; National Quik-Start. They have redesigned the rear housing of the std, GM design to incorporate a quadrant of cooling vanes to dissipate heat so that the ambient engine heat won't shorten the alternators life. It sounded good to me, so I inquired there with a guy by the name of Randy to find out about the mounting compatiabilty of the CS130. After a few emails he indicated that the alternator would mount with no prob's; he was right about the pivot boss and the tension boss and I knew from the tech archive the third mount to the back of the housing (the anti twist mount is what I call it)would have to be altered. I asked him about this and he assured me he could rotate the housing so that my ex. spacer would mount to the anti-twist mount. Wrong.
I had to go to an alternator shop and find an old bracket that was correct for spacer length, then cut,grind and drill a hole to mount the anti-twist bolt thru to the predrilled hole in the housing. Minor pain in the ass, but what they hell, I was looking at a 105 amp v. 65, so it seemed worth it.
2 months later on a hot weekend in San Diego I see my H20 temp go to 205 after some city stop n go and brief shut down and restart,then the re-circulating cools it back down to 180.
Later that night driving home I notice the electrical sys seemed weak and slow; 2 days later my batt. is dead.
My guess is that by rotating the housing to accomodate the third mount bolt, it puts the regulator side closer yet to the head and headers, combined with the heat of the day and fired the regulator to an open circuit.
Result: as long as the batt. is connected, the system being drained by the open circuit.
Sound possible?
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Yes, John and Wanarace, you're both right.
It is under warranty and I did rotate the rear housing to mount.
I know about the SI's; didn't know about the 120 amp.

Here's the newest kink:

Last night I removed the old unit and replaced with a PePBoys equivalent (Lifetime Warranty for $115 v. only 1 year on NQS unit). Works just as fine as the NQS did originally, though I'll have to clock this one as well since the Positive terminal stud ends up within a 1/4" on my valve cover and the anti-twist bolt hole doesn't line up.

A closer look at NQS unit didn't display any noticeable signs of overheating or exposure to too much heat, but looking into the vents at rear, when spinning freehand it's obvious the internal fan is slightly skewed (about 1/8") to the rotational shaft.
The 'clocking' was done by the builder to accomodate my request; well, if you think about, you can clock it wrong 50% of the time. Either left 120 deg or rt. He clocked wrong, so I had an alternator shop clock it correct for the mount. This correct clock postion puts the rectangular socket about two inches from head/header. If it shorted due to heat melting plastic, it may have inside, opposite the socket?

I'm going to have the same shop test and open/inspect for damage; I like the design of the unit with the extra cooling fins on rear of housing, but if it's just a gimmick and the product is 'schlocked' together with fans out of true, etc. then I do want my money back.

The point of all my emails was to ensure that the unit would mount compatibly to my 350 and it does, but if it took a re-clocking to a position that makes it more vulnerable to heat (maybe)...what's the point?
What if I make a run out to the desert in July?
As a side, NQS markets the new rear housing design and some 'up-grades' to what they call 'the iceberg' in the Summit catalogue.
If this doesn't play out to my liking, I'll post some warnings about dealing with NQS here and at Summit.
I might eventually go with the SI 120 amp, but again, I read in Tech Archives of one account from an alternator rebuilder who reports that the SI's have a tendency to overheat and die. That's why I went CS130.

What's really a pain in the ass about all this is going to PepBoys or AutoZone and watching them grapple with not being able to find the part by my vehicle year/model; I tell them up front they can't reference it that way. So we start guessing at somwhere between 88 and 92 and shoot for V8s and big frame vehicles. You'd think sometimes that GM only produced about 50 or 60 350's based on what they stock or how they catalogue inventory.
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