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CS-144 Alternator Upgrade

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By: HellKnightHicks

Thanks to: Chevy97

Jan. 23, 2013

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So let's face it, the stock alternator in our trucks isn't very tough. I've replaced a couple of them, until I got tired of it and started swapping my trucks over to the CS-144 alternators. There are many variants of the CS-144 alternator even going as high as 350 amps with dual bridge rectifiers.

The stock CS-130D alternator puts out 105 amps and sucks its air from the front of the alternator.
The CS-144 as widely available as a stock alternator, plus it puts out 140 amps and has better idle output and cooling. It draws its air from the back.

What will you need:

CS-144 Alternator

-You can ask the parts store for a 1997~ suburban alternator. Or look at the alternatives that are listed in the ones that come up on your truck/SUV...

A wiring pigtail or adapter.

AC Delco PT2297
Painless Wiring 30707 Alternator Pigtail
I've sure there are many others but there are a couple to get your search started. I've ordered the plugs off of eBay before.

You can also buy direct plug adapters

Longer Fan belt
-Dayco PK2460-5060968 - Fits stock applications without under drive pulleys

If people have other belt numbers or the exact length post up.

3/8 Drive ratchet
10mm 13mm 15mm 17mm Sockets
pry bar or crow bar

Dielectric Grease

When making your adapter or switching to the CS-144 plug the L wire is what's important.

This is the receptacle on the CS-130D alternators.

Here's the plug

This is the receptacle on the CS-144 alternators.

Here's the plug

Alright, well let's get to it.

First things first, make sure you take your negative battery terminal off before doing any electrical work. It's not worth taking a chance of frying something or shorting out.

Be very careful while working in this area. The heater hose going to the cab from the factory is very brittle and if you look at it wrong it may break and it's a pain to get the threads out of the intake. The one in the photo here has already been replaced once.

First we're going to take the fan belt off using the 3/8 ratchet to slack the tensioner.

Then remove the bolts in the front of the alternator. I usually use a crow bar to pry the alternators out of there. They can be very tight. Make sure to remove the bolt from the back of the alternator if you have a bracket on the back.

Once you get it lose, take the alternator power cable off and disconnect the plug.

You'll notice the black bracket in this photo. Some truck have it and some don't but to change to a CS-144 you'll have to remove that bracket as it does not match up with the CS-144 bolt holes. If you have the bracket you'll have to remove the Alternator mount. If you do not have the bracket you can skip the next couple steps.

Take the idler and tentioner pulleys off.

Remove the bolt connecting the heater hose.

Now take the nut and 2 bolts off that hold the bracket and pull it out.

Remove the bracket attached to the back.

Put your bracket and pulleys back on.

Install your adapter or change the plug coming from the harness with the new one attaching it to the L wire (see above)

Here's the Adapter plug

If your installing a new plug you're going to want to remove the wires that you don't need.
First pull the white clip out from the side.

Strip, solder and shrink wrap.

Make sure to put your white locking strip back in place
Put some dielectric grease on the connector before you plug it in. Just a little down where the pins are.
Then I use a little RTV to seal the holes where the wires came out of.

At this point your going to need to bend the heater hose slightly to get it out of the way for the larger alternator.

Or you can make an apparatus something like what Chevy97 Did for his setup

Or you can do what I did to my blue truck.

Or you can remove that aluminum hose all together and run a new hose to a coupler.

Before you sit the alternator in place you should tape the brads back or press them back with some channel locks so that it will be easier to install the alternator.

Attach all of your wiring before installing the CS-144 I've found this to be the easiest way to get them back into place. Some people have reported having to bend the A/C tube slightly to get the larger alternator to fit. I have not experienced this.

Now fire that puppy up and go check your gauges.

Now you have a really nice and easy to find alternator that is more reliable and has higher output than what your truck came with from the factory.