Heavy Duty Alternators & Starters
Chase: Today's alternators and starters come with some really cool features like OCP, overcrank protection and IMS, integral magnetic switch style starters. Let's go ahead and take a look at those first.
John: Yeah, the integral magnetic switch. Well, it's located right here at the top of the starter, and this is really cool because it really does two things. The first thing it does, it employs these big wire gauges right here. That's going to allow for current flow with less resistance, no voltage drops. Once again, we're getting the full voltage down to it so we can get that pinion engagement. Secondly, it's a low resistance cellinoid. If I have low resistance, I allow the voltage to go through for positive pinion engagement. Now, that's huge. You're trying to crank over one of these big rigs. It's got a lot of compression. I want this pinion to pop out there and gauge that flywheel and I don't want any damage on a starter when I'm invested in something like this and I can actually show it to you in action, but you got to hang onto it because it actually, it actually kicks out there real nice.
Watch the instantaneous, how it pops out there and how fast it pops out there. And really that's due to that IMS. It's popping out there really well and it's getting [crosstalk] positive engagement. Now another one is that OCP, Chase was talking about, over crank protection. It's located right here in the back of the starter. You actually blown one apart for us.
Chase: Yeah, it took this whole starter apart and here it is right here, over crank protection, OCP. It's like a thermal switch. It's going to open and close with heat. So as it gets hot it's gonna open and protect our starters. So if you have any high amp draw like the engine's hard to turnover, a weak battery, bad cables, anything that can cause massive heat, this will open up and protect that starter from damage.
John: Yeah, and it's really cool because it's located right here in the negative brush. So what happened is the current's flow is going through here and it returns to the negative brush. It's encapsulated in steel for good thermal transfer. So what happens, if it's cranking over, some of these big rigs in cold climates, they have to crank them for a while and crank them for a while.
John: You don't want to damage the starter. So this is going to open. Works as a circuit breaker, if you will. The internals are a little bit different, but it's just like a circuit breaker and I can show you how a circuit breaker works right over here on a board. It's pretty cool. So what's happening, any time current flow or current starts to happen really fast, it's going go faster than the circuit can handle. If you have one of these protection devices in there, what's going happen is it's going to open.
This is a bimetallic strip and what a bimetallic strip does, it gets hot with current flow and opens. I can actually show it to you once again. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to short this circuit out. You wouldn't want to do this, but I'm going to go and just take the positive and run them right to the negative. What's that doing is causing the amps to run really fast. Well, if it was cold weather, thick oil, mechanical resistance, electrical resistance, driver error, no matter what it is, if he's cranking and cranking that thing, the amps are going to run. It's going to get hot. Man, that's going to protect it every time.
Chase: Sure will.
John: Just like the circuit breaker will. So if I come over and hit this, that's it, man, that was a welder. Then as soon as it cools down, Bam, comes back on exactly what's going to happen there. It's going to protect that starter.
Chase: Sure going to make these starters last a lot longer.
John: We need to turn our attention to the alternator because it has cool features as well.
All right. We're talking alternators. We have an alternator right here and we actually have a remote sense terminal on this alternator, which is really cool because if you have a remote sense alternator with the terminal in there and the factory didn't come with a remote sense you can now add it, which is great. What is remote sense? Wow. It's pretty cool. It's actually going to sense the voltage that the battery needs so it can go ahead and put out what it needs to. So number one, you're not cooking the battery. Number two, you're not cooking the alternator. Perhaps you're going down the road. There's not many accessories on, I don't need a bunch of voltage coming out of here. This is going to sense it. It's going to save the alternator and the battery.
Chase: Sounds like it. Why don't we go ahead and I'll install when you got some instructions there and you can got me right through it.
John: Yeah, and that's it. We got the instructions right here and that's the key because you want to follow instructions to a tee because you got a couple of terminals on here and we want to get it right, including torque specifications. Let's not forget that. Number one was disconnect the negative battery cable. So if you're working on a semi, make sure, or anything, matter of fact, disconnect that negative battery cable, get it out of the system because this guy is hot with a positive on it, 24/7.
Chase: Sure is.
John: All right. And then what we want to do is we want to remove the nut from the alternator battery terminal and remote sense terminal.
So you want to take both nuts off, which is your terminal.
Chase: That terminal right here, I've already removed the nut and here's our remote sensing wire right here and I remove that nut. We're ready to go.
John: Okay, so you take both those nuts off. The alternator is going to come with them. Make sure you get them off, all right. Place a jumper lead crimps up between the remote sense and battery terminal and tuck the wire in.
Chase: Yeah, that's super important. You want to make sure you turn these in nice. They should they are turned up and you want to slide it right down inside of here. Make sure they're not going to get in contact with anything, get any damage. Here we go.
John: So that's good. So you don't want this wire to chafe. You don't want it up, you don't want it popped up. Just leave it on there. They give you a nice little wire that goes right in here where you don't have any bends or any crimps or any problems where you're not getting anything in the future that's going to be a problem. All right?
Then we're going to go ahead and it says replace the hardware for the remote sense terminal finger tight.
Chase: Okay, we've got a little lock washer here and we've got our, go ahead and get it on finger tight.
John: All right. Once you do that, you're going to go ahead now and remove it from the battery terminal. So you got it in place. It's in place, it's looking good. They want you to remove it and we'll show you why in a minute.
Chase: Here's our bat terminal here. We'll pull this. All right.
John: All right, perfect. And now you can install the vehicle's battery cable.
Remember, you're gonna be working on the car, so you're gonna have a battery cable coming from the positive over to it. You can go ahead and put it on. You're safe. Remember earlier we disconnected the negative battery cable. This is why this cable's hot. So be careful with that one.
All right, once you've got it on there, you want to replace a washer in between that and the sense lead.
Chase: A washer here-
Chase: In between here, our battery wire and our remote sense.
John: Put your sense back on there with that battery so you're making a gate contact.
Chase: No problem.
John: All right. And then you can put the nut on the battery terminal and the key here is to torque it between 15 and 70 inch pounds. So go ahead and put your nut on there and-
Chase: There's a lock washer on there to hold on tight.
John: Now two things here. Number one, torque is key. All right, so I got the torque wrench set up here. I got it set right in the middle to about 25. I'm happy with that. Once you get it snugged up, two things, you want to torque it, number one. Number two, you want to hold these terminals because when you're torquing it, you don't want them to spin and round off or do any damage. It's causing resistance, especially you don't want anything to touch the case.
John: So you want to make sure they're up in the right position and we'll come back. [crosstalk] All right, great. And I'll turn it down and once it starts to get snug, you can feel it tighten it up. Now this is small. It's a small, there it goes. So all there is to it. There's really not much to 15 to 25 or 75 torque. I mean that's inch pounds and not foot pounds. Make sure you use an inch pounds.
Now the last step here is torque the remote stud lug nuts to 15 to 25 so I'll take this, I'll back it down a little bit to about 20 just to be safe. All right, change sockets.
Chase: I'll hold this wire again.
John: If you're holding that wire, once again, we don't want that to touch, we don't want it to short out. So a good visual inspection while you're doing it is definitely in order. Come down here. That's it. Yeah, it doesn't take much.
Chase: Not much.
John: Yup. Now I want to go back. Just make sure they're good and tight. Secure. My lugs aren't broken. They're not wobbling around. I'm not getting any shorts. I'm not getting any problems. And guess what? You've got remote sense.
Chase: Yeah, it's definitely going to save that battery and alternator.
John: It is. Now, if you have a 34, 35 or 36 SI replacement alternator, remote sense is the way to go.