Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
85 messages Options
12345
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

Gary Lewis
Administrator
In the past we've touted DB Electrical as a good place from which to get alternators.  In fact, there's a link on the 3G Upgrade page to their website.  But I'm rethinking suggesting that people buy from DB as I'm really disappointed in recent communications I've had with them.

I've mentioned in Big Blue's Transformation thread that I've been in contact with DB Electrical regarding the output of their alternators.  I've been talking both on the phone as well as via email with a customer service representative there, and basically DB is claiming it doesn't have the data that shows how much current each alternator puts out at a given RPM.

I'm blown away that they are saying that.  On the one hand, if that is true then what kind of a company builds alternators but doesn't test them????  On the other hand, if they do have the info then why would they lie and say they don't?  I'm sure they have it as I've included at the bottom of this post the documentation that Jim got with the alternator that he bought from them.

What I'm trying to find out is how much current their various alternators for a 1994-99 3.0L Taurus/Sable put out since that alternator is what fits our trucks with a 460.  DB sell four alternators for that application (110A @ $104; 160A @ $235; 200A @ $259; 220A @ $302), and I just want to compare their output curves to see if it is worth it to spend the extra bucks for a high-output unit.  Maybe they just put out more at the top of the curve and yet put out the same at idle?  If so, why would I spend three times as much and get the same results?

This seems to me to be a very reasonable request when thinking of dropping over $300, but to be told they don't have the info questions the credibility of the company.  But to make sure I'm not misrepresenting them here's the response I got back after sending them the chart shown below:

"Unfortunately, we do not have the flow charts available for each alternator, but we do believe that our alternators are well equipped to perform at a high quality of standard and are made to last. We hope you’ll give our alternators and a try and that you’ll agree with us."

Am I being unreasonable?  Do I need to pull the link to their website in the 3G section?  I don't want to be recommending dodgy vendors and I know that John/Machspeed had problems with his unit, as he stated this here: "Scott, I'd skip on the DB alternator. Mine did not last long at all before it went south. Shortly after I ordered mine off Amazon, I came across several reviews stating that a once good product had gone south. I think Jim may have gotten his when things were good.  I replaced that DB alternator with an AutoZone unit with a lifetime warranty on it."

Thoughts, please?

Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

Machspeed
Administrator
Gary, it may be that the person you spoke to is just lazy and doesn't care. That, of course, does not speak well for the company, or any company for that matter.

As you noted, I had trouble with my DB alternator. I bought it through Amazon cheaply and rather than go through the hassle of sending it back and possibly getting another bad one, I just went to AZ and got one with a life time guarantee. Adding to that, was the fact that after my alternator went south, I went web surfing and found a ton of complaints on DB Electrical. Several people noted, as you said above, that it was once a good company that went bad. I don't know, all I know is that I wasn't going to risk another failure.

Honestly, I think you should do like I did, pay the bucks, and get one with a guarantee from a major distributor like AZ. If you break down on the road, you can source one relatively quick without hassle.

Don't know that I'd say much more on the subject matter and I'd probably pull the recommendation.  



John

"Blackie" - 1986 F150 4x4 - Mildly warmed over 351W HO - Original owner
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Thanks for the input, John.

But I'm not sure it was the young lady I was talking with that was the issue.  I think it was the technicians she was talking to who didn't want to be bothered.  But in either event it doesn't speak well for the company.

As for getting one with a guarantee, like from AZ, I'm not sure they carry the high amperage units.  But if I change it'll be for one of those - assuming they kick out more current at idle than the one I have.  And that's where this whole exercise started.
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

85lebaront2
Administrator
Unfortunately the one on Darth is NLA as RJM is no longer in business. In all the time I have had it, the only 2 issues were belt slip on initial start and having to replace a regulator due to the brushes wearing out.

I have no idea if these are any good, I just googled a high output alternator for a 1994 Taurus 3.8L:
https://www.powerbastards.com/proddetail.asp?prod=7777-220


Bill AKA "LOBO" Profile

"Getting old is inevitable, growing up is optional" Darth Vader 1986 F350 460 converted to MAF/SEFI, E4OD 12X3 1/2 rear brakes, traction loc 3:55 gear, 160 amp 3G alternator Wife's 2011 Flex Limited Daily Driver 2009 Flex Limited with factory tow package Project car 1986 Chrysler LeBaron convertible 2.2L Turbo II, modified A413

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Bill - That might be a great find, thanks!  But I say "might be" as I thought it was the 3.0L engine that had the right alternator for us.  No?

Anyway, while this thread is about my discussions with DB I did follow up with Power Bastards by sending this email since they didn't answer the phone:

I have an '85 F250 w/a 460 that I've converted to EEC-V EFI and a poly-groove belt system.  And on my forum we've found that a 3G from a 1994 - 1999 Taurus w/a 3.0L V6 has the right clocking and ear/ear distance to fit right in.  I'm running a stock 3G on the truck and it keeps the 1150 CCA starting battery and the 850 CCA aux battery charged - normally.

However, I also have a 12,000 lb winch and a 3KW inverter that powers a 1.5 HP 110 VAC onboard air system.  When one of those is running the battery voltage comes down into the 11's.  So I'm considering upgrading my alternator, and one of the members on my forum mentioned your alternators in this post, although he mentioned your 777-220 and I'm not sure that is the one that fits.  So I'm following up to see if you have a chart showing the output of your alternator as I'm checking the output of the one I have and would like to compare.  (I can do the math on the pulley ratios, which appear to be 6 1/2 & 2 1/2", to get to alternator RPM.)

Last, why are your alternators the "most reliable, highest output alternators on the planet"?

Thanks,
Gary

Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
Gary, the 3.0 alternator fits your polygroove 460 brackets.
It won't fit any of our 1980-1987 trucks except the Windsors with top mount alternators.
As I've said many times before, if you want a 130A 3G on a V-belt truck you want the 8.25" C-C mount found on the 3.8 V-6,
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with a Holley 80508 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Thanks for the clarification, again, Jim. For some reason I can't seem to remember that. So perhaps I need to record it for my, if not posterity's, sake.

Looking at our page on 3G conversions (Documentation/Electrical/3G Conversions) we don't really say what fits what. So let me try this on you:

7": This smaller ear/ear spacing fits the Windsors with top-mount alternators and the trucks that have been converted to serpentine/polygroove belts.

8 1/4": The larger spacing fits the other Bullnose trucks, although the thickness of the ear will probably cause the arm to have to be straightened slightly.

If this is correct then I need to redo the 3G page(s) to incorporate this info.
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
This post was updated on .
We need to clarify that there are two body sizes (135mm-4 hole 95A and 148mm-2hole 130A output)
AND
Two C-C mounting distances. (7" spread and 8 1/4")

If you look at the alternator Bill linked it is the small body (4-hole, 135mm diameter case) which would have been the 95A model.
The 148mm 2-hole style obviously has a larger area diode board, and I suspect is better able to shed heat from the rectifier diodes.

Everything you *else said above is correct.  
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with a Holley 80508 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Thanks.  But do both body sizes have both mounting distances?  Not sure it matters but I'm just curious.  And it might help me think through how to explain all of this.

Looking at the 3G page I see that a lot of cleanup and clarification is needed.  So this won't be an easy thing to do.  But, our 3G page is one of the highest-rated pages on the internet for the 3G conversion, and it is one of our most-visited pages.  So it deserves to be done well.
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
Yes, the 95A and 130A are both available in both mounting distances.

The best I can say it is that if you have V-belts you want the 8.25" mount, because if you have the 3.5" radius of the 7" mount the alternator becomes 'trapped' and can't really swing to adjust.
I'm pretty sure the 300 I-6 takes the 8.25" mount no matter what belt style. (Needs confirmation!)
Otherwise polygroove trucks take the 7" mount.

One thing I should point out... the smaller body (95A) 3G alternator does not require the Windsor cast bracket to be cut in order to fit.  (so Bill's 220A link would be ideal for EFI Windsors)
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with a Holley 80508 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

kramttocs
Administrator
Why not go with a Powermaster?!

I have the small mount on my 460 and like Jim mentioned - had to grind a bit off the L&L bracket to allow it to have full range. It was really only needed to allow the belt to be installed easier since once pulled tight, nothing was in contact even without the grinding done.
Scott
'Camano' 1986 F250 Supercab XLT Lariat 460/C6
'Chanute' 1980 F350 C&C 400/NP 435 - Gin Pole

But there ain't nothin' wrong with the radio
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Ok guys, I think I have enough info to edit the page.  But it is such a dog's breakfast that I don't know where to start.  

As for Powermaster, I don't even like to admit I have one of their starters on Big Blue.  But at least with a starter you can install a no-name replacement from the parts store with no re-wiring.  Try that with their alternator.  
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
In reply to this post by kramttocs
Scott, as you know I have the L&L bracket too.
But if you have the stock (smog pump) bracket the only way to make it work is to use the 8.25"" mount.

 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with a Holley 80508 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

85lebaront2
Administrator
In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
The Taurus 3.8L not only has the correct mounting but also the proper "clock" to put the positive stud away from the cylinder head front along with having the regulator where you can full field it for testing.
Bill AKA "LOBO" Profile

"Getting old is inevitable, growing up is optional" Darth Vader 1986 F350 460 converted to MAF/SEFI, E4OD 12X3 1/2 rear brakes, traction loc 3:55 gear, 160 amp 3G alternator Wife's 2011 Flex Limited Daily Driver 2009 Flex Limited with factory tow package Project car 1986 Chrysler LeBaron convertible 2.2L Turbo II, modified A413

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

kramttocs
Administrator
In reply to this post by ArdWrknTrk
Good point Jim. Don't want to muddy the water saying the 7" will work without them realizing it requires an aftermarket bracket setup.
Scott
'Camano' 1986 F250 Supercab XLT Lariat 460/C6
'Chanute' 1980 F350 C&C 400/NP 435 - Gin Pole

But there ain't nothin' wrong with the radio
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
In reply to this post by 85lebaront2
Right Bill!

Is there a reason you chose a 135mm "high output" 3G alternator? Or, is that the only one they offer?

I know that DB offers "upgraded" 3G's in all the various flavors.
I haven't checked to see if they are all in stock....
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with a Holley 80508 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

Rusty_S85
In reply to this post by ArdWrknTrk
ArdWrknTrk wrote
We need to clarify that there are two body sizes (135mm-4 hole 95A and 148mm-2hole 130A output)
AND
Two C-C mounting distances. (7" spread and 8 1/4")

If you look at the alternator Bill linked it is the small body (4-hole, 135mm diameter case) which would have been the 95A model.
The 148mm 2-hole style obviously has a larger area diode board, and I suspect is better able to shed heat from the rectifier diodes.

Everything you *else said above is correct.
Ive read the same thing that the smaller 95A output is avaliable in the 7" and 8 1/4" spacing.  How ever in my search all I have ever been able to find for the 95A output was the 7" spacing and never the 8 1/4" spacing.

Its a big reason why I decided to just run the larger 130A version as the 8 1/4" spacing is way easier for me to find.

The confusing aspect for me how ever and I havent measured my specific alternator but a single sheave pulley 1G removed from the 82 F150 302 I pulled out at work for the 5.0 coyote swap years ago has a 7" ear spacing with the OE V belt brackets.

The larger case would shed a lot more heat and help the alternator run cooler as well.
"Old Blue" - '56 Fairlane Town Sedan - 292-4V, Ford-O-Matic transmission, 3.22:1
'63 Belair 2dr sdn - 283-4V, Powerglide transmission, 4.56:1
'78 Cougar XR7 - 351-2V, FMX transmission, 2.75:1 9inch
"Bruno" - '82 F150 Flareside - 302-2V, C6 transmission, 2.75:1 9inch, 31x10.50-15 BFG KO2
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
This post was updated on .
Like I said above, the 135mm diameter body will work with the 7" C-C mount.
The 148mm (130A) body can *maybe* fit, but you don't have any swing for adjustment.

Look at the alternator Bill linked above.
It is a 4 hole (135 mm) alternator with 7" mounting.
(it's also sold as 220A, and costs $300!)

Let me go look at DB
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with a Holley 80508 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

85lebaront2
Administrator
In reply to this post by Rusty_S85
An item to consider on alternator cooling. When I was still working at the Mercedes-Benz dealership, the new 190E 2.3 (the ones that later grew turbos) had a flex duct that ran from the area that would correspond to the cowl vent on our trucks. The alternator wiring ran through this as Mercedes put the battery and fuse box (which doubled as the penetration) there.

As a result the alternator cooling fan was pulling air from the cowl and exhausting it underhood. I am sure this did help those Bosch alternators which were anemic then compared to what we could get.
Bill AKA "LOBO" Profile

"Getting old is inevitable, growing up is optional" Darth Vader 1986 F350 460 converted to MAF/SEFI, E4OD 12X3 1/2 rear brakes, traction loc 3:55 gear, 160 amp 3G alternator Wife's 2011 Flex Limited Daily Driver 2009 Flex Limited with factory tow package Project car 1986 Chrysler LeBaron convertible 2.2L Turbo II, modified A413

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Concerning Conversation With DB Electrical

grumpin
My son’s BMW has a liquid cooled alternator.
Dane
1986 F250HD SC XLT Lariat 4x4 460 C6 Sold
1992 Bronco XLT 4x4 351W E4OD
1998 Suburban LT K2500 454 4L80E
1998 GMC Sierra SLE K1500 350 4L60E
2000 Nissan Xterra XE 4WD 3.3 RE4R01A
Oregon
12345