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  #1  
Old November 18th, 2011, 07:48
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jeepkid03 jeepkid03 is offline
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V8 ZJ/Durango 5.9L alternator upgrade

I've read several threads on alternator upgrades but was somewhat confused with what I found.

Upgrades over my stock 2000 Cherokee 117 amp alternator:
-1996-1998 Grand Cherokee ZJ V8 136 amp alternator
-2001-2003 Dodge Durango/Ram 5.9L 160 amp alternator

Apparently, these two alternators will work in my 2000 Cherokee with a little bracket grinding. The info seemed to be conflicting about which connectors matched up on the alternators of different years/models.

Also, I know my 2000 Cherokee is externally regulated by the PCM. I've read a few threads (some from other forums) that suggest wiring upgrades are mandatory and that you can't "plug and play" the more powerful alternator without frying something. Is this true? My only upgrades right now are gold plated terminals and an optima yellow top.

Any advice would be helpful, I run a lot of lights and power accessories so its time for a bigger alt.
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  #2  
Old November 18th, 2011, 08:48
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Re: V8 ZJ/Durango 5.9L alternator upgrade

As best as I can tell, all of the Chrysler products that use the Denso alternator changed to the new plug style in 1999.
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  #3  
Old November 18th, 2011, 09:04
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Re: V8 ZJ/Durango 5.9L alternator upgrade

I had problems w my 160amp 'rango alt plugging up (wires) because I'm an idiot and didn't confirm I was shipped the correct part..

when I got the correct part it plugged right in.. Mine is a 2001

also when I did mine it was a one piece bracket I ground it to fit the alt then bolted it onto the block and ground the little bit that stuck out past the clearanced part of the bracket..

maybe a year later my belt was slipping and I overtightened the tensioner and the bracket holding the alt. Broke in half! (or maybe a bolt worked loose and the belt yanked the bracket and it broke)

anyway when I got the new bracket from the j.y. There was another (steel not aluminum like the bracket) bracket that braces the front of the alt bracket that mine never had.. (maybe someone didn't put it back on after an alt replace)

that bracket also needed to be trimmed a bit .. If you don't have that bracket on yours I'd get one it makes it way sturdier and having your alt fall out on the highway is no fun
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Old November 18th, 2011, 09:12
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Re: V8 ZJ/Durango 5.9L alternator upgrade

I also did wiring mains to 2ga. And headlight loom upgrade w e-code h4 housings at the same time and am very very happy with it.

there's a member here 5-90 that sells wiring upgrade kits I believe.. And is very knowledgable in this area
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  #5  
Old November 18th, 2011, 10:03
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Re: V8 ZJ/Durango 5.9L alternator upgrade

Okay thanks for the advice! My alt has been making some funny noises and I just wanted to know if for now I could swap in the 136 or 160 amp without any wiring issues. I plan on upgrading the wiring down the road (I've already done the H4 harness and love it), but for right now I'm just going to swap the alt.

I'm assuming that the 4.7L Grands and Durangos have different alternators that won't work in the XJ?

Also, any differences in the pulley? I've read a few threads about people changing the pulley but from all the ones I have seen they look identical.
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  #6  
Old November 18th, 2011, 10:12
xj^REMY xj^REMY is offline
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Re: V8 ZJ/Durango 5.9L alternator upgrade

91-98 will will have...


my alternator came from a later (newer) model dodge truck/van & had an integrated plug style... i brought it to an alternator shop & he swapped out the plug style to stud style (u'd need the reverse)...


all that is, is the field terminals with a diode wired into to prevent electrical interference... knowledged alt shop should be able to figure it out

DEFINITELY CONTACT 5-90... look him up, he'll have his site linked in his sig...



not a real good size comparison pic, but thats the 1 gauge set... complete mains kit, with fuse holder & fuses (includes 1 spare fuse, JIC)...



real nice quality cables... high strand count (better conductive & easier to handle/install/bend), oil/chemical resistant color coded insulation, heat shrunk & crimped HD copper terminals, fit to length, & adapting washer for converting from channeled/walled plastic insulator on alternator stud connection
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  #7  
Old November 19th, 2011, 09:46
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OverlandZJ OverlandZJ is offline
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Re: V8 ZJ/Durango 5.9L alternator upgrade

Remy... thanks for that pic of the plug swap.

Gonna try to swap in a spare WJ 136amp alt i have on shelf to my 98 ZJ today. Looks simple enough, just hope the WJ casing is a match for the ZJ.
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  #8  
Old November 19th, 2011, 10:11
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Re: V8 ZJ/Durango 5.9L alternator upgrade

fwiw the 5.9 zj came with a 150amp alt from the factory!

goodluck finding one tho
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  #9  
Old November 19th, 2011, 11:57
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Re: V8 ZJ/Durango 5.9L alternator upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepkid03 View Post

Also, any differences in the pulley? I've read a few threads about people changing the pulley but from all the ones I have seen they look identical.
if I recall correctly people were swapping pulley's because the pulley is just a little wider for a belt with one more rib in it.. But you can (i did and have had no issues) offset the belt so as not to use that outer rib and it holds just fine

I did consider swapping if the pulley was larger as I believe I read somewhere that the smaller of the pulley's would get more spins at lower rpm .. Makes sense and I even saw a company that sells ones in basically all types in custom smaller sizes..

anyway in the end I left the 'rango one alone so (i can't remember) it's probably the same size or smaller otherwise I wouldve swapped it.
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  #10  
Old November 20th, 2011, 18:33
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Re: V8 ZJ/Durango 5.9L alternator upgrade

Thanks for the info! I'll definitely contact 5-90.

I know upgrading the wiring will help and is a good idea, but I guess my main concern is will I hurt anything by just installing the 136 or 160 amp without touching the wiring and leaving it stock? My jeep currently has the 117 amp alt. I don't want to burn anything up, so if the wiring is absolutely needed I will wait until I have the time.
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1" upcountry, 235/70R16 Cooper AT3, ZJ 5.9 wheels, Dynomax cat-back, Alabama head, 62mm throttle body, CSF 3 row rad, headlight upgrades, overhead console, ZJ seats, etc.
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  #11  
Old November 20th, 2011, 19:51
xj^REMY xj^REMY is offline
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Re: V8 ZJ/Durango 5.9L alternator upgrade

you HAVE to replace the fusible links, should be a light green wire, that connects from the alternator to the PDC... those are rated for the factory 117A... put in a 136A, you'll need 150A fuse (5-90 recommended & approved )... 160A, you maybe use a 200A (110% of 160 = 176A, dont kno if a fuse between 175 & 200 is available)

all the mains really should be upgraded to SAFELY handle the extra current

xj 6 rib pulley is smaller diameter than the V8's 7 rib pulley, but the extra rib is not a huge issue as u could just mesh the belt ribs with the v-notch closest to the alternator...

the thing i still wonder about is if the smaller diameter would give u more amperage at idle, on an XJ... & would it be beneficial or harmful?... i kno it works, been working strong in my rig for over a year

but if u have a high idle switch, or wire one in, could one use the larger pulley & switch on high idle when needed?
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  #12  
Old November 21st, 2011, 04:24
O-Gauge Steamer O-Gauge Steamer is offline
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Re: V8 ZJ/Durango 5.9L alternator upgrade

Using the smaller pulley will help the idle curent delivery. As I see it, we can use all the help we can get. This is on my to-do list once the major items have been cleared. I removed my fusable link when I upgraded the wiring.

Here is what I did with mine.



Just one idea on how to handle the issue. I knew that my goal was to upgrade the Alternator as well as the wiring so I built in an easy way to do it. The problem I have with fusable links is that when they go, you are stranded. Much easier to carry an extra fuse than to carry a link. Currenty have the 100A fuse as the stock 90A alternator is still in place.
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  #13  
Old November 21st, 2011, 21:02
Markos Markos is offline
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Re: V8 ZJ/Durango 5.9L alternator upgrade

I mounted my 175a megafuse the same way.
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  #14  
Old November 21st, 2011, 22:41
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Re: V8 ZJ/Durango 5.9L alternator upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Markos View Post
I mounted my 175a megafuse the same way.
Ditto !

only I cut the cover to go back over that part there on the front of the P.D.C.

not that that really does much for me!
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  #15  
Old November 22nd, 2011, 06:46
O-Gauge Steamer O-Gauge Steamer is offline
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Re: V8 ZJ/Durango 5.9L alternator upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by OutkastBoss View Post
Ditto !

only I cut the cover to go back over that part there on the front of the P.D.C.

not that that really does much for me!
So did I, but for the purpose of showing the fuse, I left it off for the photo. Even a litttle weather protection helps...
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