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Frequently Asked Questions & Troubleshooting Help

Thank you for visiting our Frequently Asked Questions and Troubleshooting section. If you are having problems with a purchased high output alternator please read this entire page before contacting us about a possible problem with your alternator. While we stand behind our products 100% we also want to provide the customer with accurate technical support so they can rule out any possible problems that may be occurring on the vehicle.

Important! Always disconnect your battery when working with your vehicles electrical system.

The alternator I bought from you doesn’t work. 
Our products are built, tested and guaranteed to operate 100% when you receive them. The three most common reasons why an alternator may not appear to work when received is because it is the wrong one for your application, it was damaged in shipping or it was damaged during installation. Before contacting us about an alternator that you may be having problems with, please verify the part number on the box with the part number on your packing slip to ensure you are working with the correct alternator for your vehicle. Also please inspect the shipping container upon receipt of you new alternator. If damage is present please notify us immediately via email. If you are sure you have the correct alternator and it was not damaged in shipping, please see Technical Tip TT-648 regarding proper installation of your new high output alternator. If these installation steps were not followed it's possible the alternator was damaged during installation. Whichever the case please email us and we will take care of the problem immediately.

The alternator I bought from you doesn’t ‘put out’. 
Our products are built, tested and guaranteed to operate 100% when you receive them. There are many factors that can cause any alternator, especially a high output unit to not function properly. Often a customer will send back an alternator because they are under the impression that it is not working properly. We stand behind every unit 100% and sending the unit back to us for a FREE checkout is always an option. Upon receipt of the unit it is professionally tested on our test bench and the unit may pass all tests. The problem the customer is experiencing is usually something other than the alternator itself. Carefully read the possible problems below to save yourself shipping a perfect working alternator back to us for diagnostics.

Important: The only relevant voltage measurements are the ones taken directly from the rear of the alternator with a digital volt meter. Voltage readings from your dash gauge, gauge on an amplifier, scan tool, laptop, battery or a cigarette lighter ‘gauge’ having nothing to do with actual alternator output. If you have measured the actual alternator output at the rear of the alternator with a digital voltage meter and find that it’s lower than expected, here is a list of common problems recorded over the years. 

  • Slipping belt – Our high output alternators are equipped with an overdrive pulley. This pulley is designed to enhance low RPM charging for maximum output. The diameter of the overdrive pulley will be less than your factory pulley meaning sometimes, depending on the vehicle your factory belt may now be too long. You’ll need to purchase the next shorter belt for your application, usually about 1" shorter compared your current belt.  Your local parts store can easily supply you with the belt needed. Other areas of concern are the quality of belt used and the cleanliness of the belt and pulley system. Make sure each pulley on your vehicle is grease or oil free and use a quality belt like an GOODYEAR Gatorback™ Poly-V Serpentine belt or a GOODYEAR V-Belt™, depending on your application.
     

  • Regulator plug not plugged in, not seated properly or pinched wire - If you purchased a direct fit high output alternator from us you’ll need to make sure the small regulator plug on the back of the alternator is properly plugged in for correct alternator functionality. We’ve seen customers forget to plug them in completely, jamb the plugs in backwards, not plug them in all the way or pinch one of the wires during installation causing a short. Make sure the plug on your new alternator matches the one from your old alternator. Most vehicles will require this plug to properly be connected for the alternator to charge at all or at the proper voltage.
    Note: If you’ve order a self-exciting unit from us like the Fitzall 220A+ alternator the regulator plug may not be utilized and the plug on the alternator will be filled with silicone. If your alternator has the plug filled with silicone then the only wire you will connect to the rear of the unit is the battery positive cable.
     

  • Battery warning light bulb in dash missing, blown or bad connection - Some vehicles completely rely on a light bulb in your dash to activate or 'excite' the alternator to charge at all. We’ve seen many cases where the customers’ battery warning light bulb in the dash was blown or missing causing a no charge condition.
     

  • Customer changed alternator pulley - Our high output alternators are equipped with an overdrive pulley. This pulley is designed to enhance low RPM charging for maximum output. We’ve seen come customers change this overdrive pulley out with a larger diameter pulley that they may have already had. When alternator pulley diameter is increased, charge output is decreased.
     

  • Vehicle crankshaft pulley diameter too small - The automotive marketing machine is busy advertising products for your vehicle you simply do not need. One of them is the underdrive crank shaft pulley. The crank shaft pulley, is the drive pulley located at the bottom of your engine which drives your accessories like A/C, power steering and alternator etc. The underdrive pulley being a smaller diameter is designed to slow your driven accessories down in efforts to ‘create’ engine horsepower. Here is an article on that subject. When crankshaft pulley diameter is decreased, alternator output is severely decreased. The OEM standard size of the crank shaft pulley is 6” in diameter so measure to make sure your pulley is at least this size for proper alternator output.
     

  • Main vehicle charge wire too small or not upgraded - Almost all OEM wiring is going to be insufficient to properly handle the addition of a heavily loaded high output alternator. As an example your Chevy Malibu may have been equipped from the factory with a 105A alternator. The main charge wire in the vehicle was also designed to transport about 105A from your alternator to your fuse box, main relays and ultimately your automotive battery. Our high output alternator will likely work and operate fine without upgrading any wiring, but when amperage demands increase because of an audio system or other high amp accessory; the factory wire that was designed to carry 105A is no longer going to cut it. We sell an upgraded wire kit specifically to address the insufficient OEM wire size. This is highly recommended and is the first thing you should do if you suspect your high output alternator is not functioning properly or appears to have low output.  
     

  • Too many grounds, insufficient grounds, or just bad wiring - While we are not going to be able to diagnose your vehicles custom wiring via email or telephone, this is an easy area to severely cripple your high output alternator. We’ve seen numerous vehicles that look like they came straight from Dr. Frankenstein’s lab of electrical wiring. Insufficient wire size, bad connections, wrong terminals, cold solder joints, no grounds, too many grounds are just a few of the problems that could cause your high output alternator to not function correctly. Take your vehicle to a reputable shop (probably not the one that wired your vehicle up in the first place) and have them start from scratch. Wiring issues can be very difficult to isolate often because they happen sporadically like when it’s hot or after your vehicle has been running for a substantial amount of time.  
     

  • Bad, old, weak, damaged or cheap battery - We are not in the market to sell batteries. With that said, we’ve had horrible luck with the popular gel cell batteries like the yellow, red and blue ones. Unless you need to mount a battery on its side or need to take advantage of the vibration resistance (do you have an off road Baja truck?) that the gel cells offer, a regular wet battery works the best. The only thing to look for is sufficient cold cranking amps, the higher the more powerful the battery. 
     

  • Alternator possibly damaged during installation - Newer high quality high output alternators can be more sensitive to electrical spikes compared to older or OEM alternators. This is because the newer high output alternators include more computer chip circuitry inside of them compared to their analog predecessors. While the newer circuitry enables superior performance to the older models, this can make the high output alternator more sensitive to incorrect installation procedures. Please see Technical Tip TT-648 regarding proper alternator installation steps performed in the proper order. If this procedure for removing and replacing your alternator is not followed the ASVR (All Silicon Voltage Regulator) regulator can be damaged resulting in a no charge or partial charge condition. Also the old school test procedure of disconnecting the battery while the vehicle is running to test alternator output  will surely damage the regulator. 

The alternator I bought from you doesn’t fit. 
We sell two types of high output alternators. Direct fit units and our exclusive universal alternator called the Fitzall 220A+. If you’ve ordered a high output alternator from us OTHER than the Fitzall 220A+ the unit would be considered a direct fit meaning no changes needed (besides a possible belt change, see above). If you ordered the Fitzall 220A+ alternator it was because a direct fit unit is not available for your application and you’ll need to make the necessary hardware to physically mount the Fitzall 220A+ alternator exactly where you wish. Here are some examples of the Fitzall 220A+ installed on customer vehicles.  

Do you sell brackets, spacers or hardware to mount the Fitzall on my particular application? 
Unfortunately the magnitude of creating an installation kit for every single year, make, model and engine size ever would make it impossible to offer an installation kit for everyone. Most customers depending on skill level and  tools will be able to complete the installation themselves. If not, take your vehicle and the Fitzall 220A+ to a mechanic that can accomplish your project for you. Places like the dealer, Pep Boys and Midas are examples of where NOT to go. They will simply look at you and say ‘it don’t fit’.  Here are some examples of the Fitzall 220A+ installed on customer vehicles.

I tested my alternator and it only makes 30A.  
First off, we would never knowingly sell a customer an alternator that produces just 30A. If you are using a clip on AMP meter these can be horribly inaccurate based on wire temp, wire gauge and the surrounding electronics. On the other hand, if you are able to accurately measure amperage, 30A could be a perfectly normal reading. As with any alternator, high output or not; the alternator will make the required amount of amperage to maintain a voltage set point via the internal regulator, usually about 14.5V depending on the vehicle. Simply put, if the current total demand of your electrical system is 30A; this is all you will see IF you are able to accurately measure the amperage. Please do not expect to see 220A output at idle with your clip on Harbor Freight amp meter, this is not how any alternator works. If there is any confusion about your alternator output we will be happy to test it and send it back with a proof of output sheet. 

Do I need to upgrade my battery to one of those yellow, red or blue gel cells? I heard the high output alternator will blow up my stock battery. 
No. By design any high output alternator you purchase from us does not have the ability to blow up or fry your battery. A high output alternator by design has upgraded amperage capacity; not increased voltage output that could potentially damage your vehicles electrical system.

My stock alternator pulley has 5 grooves and the alternator I bought came with a 6 groove pulley.
Our 6 groove overdrive pulley is backwards compatible with your 3, 4 and 5 groove serpentine belt.

There is a noise coming from my alternator that sounds like a whine, whistle or squeal.
Our high output alternators are equipped with an overdrive pulley. This pulley is designed to enhance low RPM charging for maximum output. The diameter of the overdrive pulley will be less than your factory pulley meaning sometimes, depending on the vehicle your factory belt may now be too long which could cause a noise. You’ll need to purchase the next shorter belt for your application, usually about 1" shorter compared your current belt if your current belt is too long.  Your local parts store can easily supply you with the belt needed. Other areas of concern are the quality of belt used and the cleanliness of the belt and pulley system. Make sure each pulley on your vehicle is grease or oil free and use a quality belt like an GOODYEAR Gatorback™ Poly-V Serpentine belt or a GOODYEAR V-Belt™, depending on your application.
If the belt is the correct size and of good quality but the noise is persistent, check surrounding accessories like the idler pulley and automatic belt tensioner.

Do your alternators come with a voltage regulator or will I have to buy that as an additional purchase?
All of our alternators are equipped with an internal voltage regulator, no additional purchases are required.

I am installing your Fitzall 220A+ alternator on a custom application; does it matter which direction the alternator spins?
No, the alternator will operate in either clockwise or counter clockwise rotation.

 

Any further questions or technical support needs should be emailed to mike@powerbastards.com. Please include your order number if you're an existing customer.


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1 YEAR NO HASSLE WARRANTY
All merchandise distributed by PowerBastards is subject to a one year no hassle warranty. Should your high output alternator fail within the one year period we will replace or repair it free of charge. No labor or inconvenience may be included in any claims. Other outfits only give their alternators a 30 day 'off road use' warranty only or they might offer a one year warranty but it's full of loop holes that you never figure out until you melt their alternator.

WIDEST SELECTION IN THE INDUSTRY
PowerBastards is changing the industry. We are
stocking more high output alternators and accessories than anyone else. If you can't find something for your particular application please contact us via email or phone, custom jobs are just one of our specialties.

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Special!
FREE OVER-DRIVE Alternator Pulley pre-installed on every high output alternator we sell! $25 Value Completely FREE!


 


 



 
 


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