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Another off-season upgrade for Christine yesterday. S197's are infamous for alternator failures (yes, Ford knows it but doesn't deal with it) The failures are actually on Ford pickups and Mustangs but more so on 'Stangs due to the abuse they take.

Remember, an alternator isn't designed to charge your battery, but maintain its charge. So, any time your battery is at less than optimum status your alternator is working harder than it should. This would include infrequent use of the car, extreme draw due to additional electronic components (cameras, heavy duty fans and pumps, upgraded stereo gear, alarms, etc).

In my case I use a smaller "race" battery that clearly isn't designed to take the abuse I put it through by frequently discharging it with jumpered fans and pumps at the track. When it dies, I jump it enough to get it going again and let it idle for a while so I don't have a low voltage situation during a race, but this is definitely the bane of batteries and alternators alike.

Even if you don't race, you didn't buy a GT500 to putt around town. Your factory alternator has a designed max rpm of around 16,000. If you don't go beyond the 6250 limiter on 07-12 GT500s you'll peak at around 15,200-15,500 and have a little headroom. ('13 components have been "upgraded" to allow for the 7,000 rpm short bursts). I routinely rev my car to 6600-6700 and it's not only that peak, and the charge/discharge cycles, but it's also how quickly the alternator is being spun to that peak over and over. 10%...15% dampers don't change the math because the alternator/water/steering portion of the damper is the same diameter as stock (somewhere around 6.6").

I used a rpm/pulley calculator to establish the size I wanted on my new alternator. It needs to be in the range to allow for enough rpm to maintain a charge at idle and be within the 17,000 peak when I'm revving the engine to 6,700 rpm. Find the right size for your specific use/abuse.

A 200 amp unit was called for due to my usage. The stocker is rated at 110a.

Now to the fun parts:

1. Unhook your battery. Using a 15mm box end, unload the factory tensioner for that belt and slip it off the power steering idler.
2. Unhook the connectors from the alternator. There are two. One is a clip-type and one is a bolt/nut covered by a rubber boot. You need to access these from the underside. I don't have the stock radiator support nor sway bar in my car and the splash guard wasn't in the way, so it was "fairly" open.
3. Up top, you'll need to remove the cold air assembly to get to the two upper bolts. There is a single bolt up there that needs to be removed. It stabilizes a line. Remove it and gently move the line so you can access the two top mounting bolts. The bolts are LONG and have mongo threads, so you'll be a while. This is not a time to play with a crescent wrench. You also don't have enough room to use even the shallowest of sockets. I didn't have the correct size of ratcheting box so I was using a box/open combo and it took a LONG time. They use a white threadlocker on it which makes doing it with fingertips impossible until you're way out on it. You will not be able to remove the bolts from the alternator but it will be free of the mount. Let them hang.
4. Underneath, you'll remove a small nut that secures the power steering line to a larger mounting bolt for the alternator. Then, grab a sandwhich because you'll be unscrewing for a long time again, but you can at least use a socket on this one. Once you're at the end of the threads, you can support the unit with one hand while completely removing that bolt. You'll need to tilt the unit to get it past a few lines and it will also allow you to fully remove the two upper bolts at this time.
5. PA Performance insists that you use their larger lead when upgrading to a 200a alternator. It's big, and fused, and too damned short at 48". And that's the "long" one! First things first, place the two upper bolts into the mounting holes of the unit because you'll never get them in once it's in place.
6. With the upper bolts loosely in place, maneuver the unit into position and insert the bottom mounting bolt until it's just shy of being fully tightened.
7. You can replace the snap in connector at this time, but don't hook up the new nor the old primary leads just yet.
8. Back up top, you'll completely thread the two upper mounting bolts and replace the extra small bolt that was supporting the line. Do not replace the intake at this time. Wait until you know everything is working.
9. PA Performance wants you to add their new wiring to the original rather than replace it. This means you'll have two eyelets over the mounting bolt on the unit and you'll need to connect it to the main power post at the end of your main fuse box in the engine bay. The challenge is that it also includes a huge inline fuse box and not enough line to mount it anywhere reasonable.
You'll want to thread the new line down from the car's fusebox and follow the factory line to the alternator. I'm literally letting that inline box hang free temporarily but till Velcro it to the back of the PCM soon. Just need to keep it away from the headers. You'll want to lightly bend the eye so you can easily slip it over the threaded post on the alternator, and in addition to the stock one. I split the stock rubber boot to cover both lines as much as possible. You don't need to be too picky about this. There's actually not a lot of fluids (rain or otherwise) that enters that area. Remember, alternators are completely open!
Wire tie the new line to the old one, all the way up to the inline fuse box. Remove the bolt from the powerpoint, add the new line to it and re-tighten. Check your connections, then reconnect your battery. (Just a quick word of "homework"...make sure you're working with a fully charged battery in the first place so you can quickly tell that your new parts are working correctly).
Replace the intake and associated wiring/mounts.
10. Start your car. You're done.

The book says this is a 1.5-1.7 hour job. It took me two because I didn't have the ratcheting box end and because I couldn't believe the new power lead was this friggin' short so I kept trying it different ways.

You just saved yourself about $300.00 in labor and shop materials. It can certainly be done with jacks and stands. I was fortunate enough to have a lift (Thanks Steve Koller SRK1959!!) and that made it easier.

Oh....and replace the belt. Makes zero sense to do this and put an old belt back on it. I used a factory length belt and even though the pulley was larger, the tensioner still had a little play in it.

I now feel completely confident that I have enough oomph to deal with fans, pumps and my "on all the time" pump boosters. The last thing I want is any sort of low voltage situation.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/f9284gpzq5vkx8h/20121222_153942.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/lpwipdyfq24l6el/20121222_153954.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/mxwga3pmot3xjnp/20121222_153959.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8iwngtlc6uurk7d/20121222_154006.jpg


bj
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So how did you get around the too short leads?
I let the inline fuse box just lie loose beside the car's main fuse box and behind the PCM. I'll Velcro it to the side of the factory box.

You have to thread it perfectly to make it fit. They could easily add another 4-6 inches. If they did you could route it on the outward side of the factory box and glue or Velcro it there and run the line beneath the factory box. Would make for a much cleaner and easier install. My guess is that they were just being cheap.

bj
 

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I now feel completely confident that I have enough oomph to deal with fans, pumps and my "on all the time" pump boosters. The last thing I want is any sort of low voltage situation.
I’m not posting this to make trouble, just relay information.

That “upgraded” alternator is still a 6G design (same as stock). And the 6G’s in any amp rating is still a very, very entry level alternator. The 200A unit you just put in there is not going to handle the extra RPM’s any better than the stock one did. It’s inability to deal with high RPM’s has nothing to do with who assembled it, how many amps it is rated at, etc. It’s inability to stand up to high RPM use is because of its basic design.

To quote a friend of mine who is one of the largest alternator manufacturers in the US:

“If a 6G is spinning at all it is spinning too fast”.

Of course he was being sarcastic and exaggerating the situation, but it does show what he thinks of the basic design. And yes, they build/re-build a lot of 6G alternators because in some applications there is not an alternative.

The 6G design is also known for not making its rated amperage when heat soaked. That can not be tested by the local auto parts store.

Ford knows it is an issue that is why in 2010 all the GT’s were switched from 6G’s to Denzo alternators. I think the GT500’s were switched to Denzo’s in 2010 too, 2013 for sure. The problem is that it is not as easy as just buying the newer year alternator. They are not plug and play.

My circle of “Mustang friends” has had a lot of trouble with the 6G alternators. Even the high amp aftermarket options. Because of this we got some custom 4G and Denzo alternators made (depending on amps needed and application) for most of our cars. We have had zero failures since and they always make the rated amperage. It has been a tremendous help to the cars that are running multiple pumps and fans.
 

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Another off-season upgrade for Christine yesterday. S197's are infamous for alternator failures (yes, Ford knows it but doesn't deal with it) The failures are actually on Ford pickups and Mustangs but more so on 'Stangs due to the abuse they take.

Remember, an alternator isn't designed to charge your battery, but maintain its charge. So, any time your battery is at less than optimum status your alternator is working harder than it should. This would include infrequent use of the car, extreme draw due to additional electronic components (cameras, heavy duty fans and pumps, upgraded stereo gear, alarms, etc).

In my case I use a smaller "race" battery that clearly isn't designed to take the abuse I put it through by frequently discharging it with jumpered fans and pumps at the track. When it dies, I jump it enough to get it going again and let it idle for a while so I don't have a low voltage situation during a race, but this is definitely the bane of batteries and alternators alike.

Even if you don't race, you didn't buy a GT500 to putt around town. Your factory alternator has a designed max rpm of around 16,000. If you don't go beyond the 6250 limiter on 07-12 GT500s you'll peak at around 15,200-15,500 and have a little headroom. ('13 components have been "upgraded" to allow for the 7,000 rpm short bursts). I routinely rev my car to 6600-6700 and it's not only that peak, and the charge/discharge cycles, but it's also how quickly the alternator is being spun to that peak over and over. 10%...15% dampers don't change the math because the alternator/water/steering portion of the damper is the same diameter as stock (somewhere around 6.6").

I used a rpm/pulley calculator to establish the size I wanted on my new alternator. It needs to be in the range to allow for enough rpm to maintain a charge at idle and be within the 17,000 peak when I'm revving the engine to 6,700 rpm. Find the right size for your specific use/abuse.

A 200 amp unit was called for due to my usage. The stocker is rated at 110a.

Now to the fun parts:

1. Unhook your battery. Using a 15mm box end, unload the factory tensioner for that belt and slip it off the power steering idler.
2. Unhook the connectors from the alternator. There are two. One is a clip-type and one is a bolt/nut covered by a rubber boot. You need to access these from the underside. I don't have the stock radiator support nor sway bar in my car and the splash guard wasn't in the way, so it was "fairly" open.
3. Up top, you'll need to remove the cold air assembly to get to the two upper bolts. There is a single bolt up there that needs to be removed. It stabilizes a line. Remove it and gently move the line so you can access the two top mounting bolts. The bolts are LONG and have mongo threads, so you'll be a while. This is not a time to play with a crescent wrench. You also don't have enough room to use even the shallowest of sockets. I didn't have the correct size of ratcheting box so I was using a box/open combo and it took a LONG time. They use a white threadlocker on it which makes doing it with fingertips impossible until you're way out on it. You will not be able to remove the bolts from the alternator but it will be free of the mount. Let them hang.
4. Underneath, you'll remove a small nut that secures the power steering line to a larger mounting bolt for the alternator. Then, grab a sandwhich because you'll be unscrewing for a long time again, but you can at least use a socket on this one. Once you're at the end of the threads, you can support the unit with one hand while completely removing that bolt. You'll need to tilt the unit to get it past a few lines and it will also allow you to fully remove the two upper bolts at this time.
5. PA Performance insists that you use their larger lead when upgrading to a 200a alternator. It's big, and fused, and too damned short at 48". And that's the "long" one! First things first, place the two upper bolts into the mounting holes of the unit because you'll never get them in once it's in place.
6. With the upper bolts loosely in place, maneuver the unit into position and insert the bottom mounting bolt until it's just shy of being fully tightened.
7. You can replace the snap in connector at this time, but don't hook up the new nor the old primary leads just yet.
8. Back up top, you'll completely thread the two upper mounting bolts and replace the extra small bolt that was supporting the line. Do not replace the intake at this time. Wait until you know everything is working.
9. PA Performance wants you to add their new wiring to the original rather than replace it. This means you'll have two eyelets over the mounting bolt on the unit and you'll need to connect it to the main power post at the end of your main fuse box in the engine bay. The challenge is that it also includes a huge inline fuse box and not enough line to mount it anywhere reasonable.
You'll want to thread the new line down from the car's fusebox and follow the factory line to the alternator. I'm literally letting that inline box hang free temporarily but till Velcro it to the back of the PCM soon. Just need to keep it away from the headers. You'll want to lightly bend the eye so you can easily slip it over the threaded post on the alternator, and in addition to the stock one. I split the stock rubber boot to cover both lines as much as possible. You don't need to be too picky about this. There's actually not a lot of fluids (rain or otherwise) that enters that area. Remember, alternators are completely open!
Wire tie the new line to the old one, all the way up to the inline fuse box. Remove the bolt from the powerpoint, add the new line to it and re-tighten. Check your connections, then reconnect your battery. (Just a quick word of "homework"...make sure you're working with a fully charged battery in the first place so you can quickly tell that your new parts are working correctly).
Replace the intake and associated wiring/mounts.
10. Start your car. You're done.

The book says this is a 1.5-1.7 hour job. It took me two because I didn't have the ratcheting box end and because I couldn't believe the new power lead was this friggin' short so I kept trying it different ways.

You just saved yourself about $300.00 in labor and shop materials. It can certainly be done with jacks and stands. I was fortunate enough to have a lift (Thanks Steve Koller SRK1959!!) and that made it easier.

Oh....and replace the belt. Makes zero sense to do this and put an old belt back on it. I used a factory length belt and even though the pulley was larger, the tensioner still had a little play in it.

I now feel completely confident that I have enough oomph to deal with fans, pumps and my "on all the time" pump boosters. The last thing I want is any sort of low voltage situation.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/f9284gpzq5vkx8h/20121222_153942.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/lpwipdyfq24l6el/20121222_153954.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/mxwga3pmot3xjnp/20121222_153959.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8iwngtlc6uurk7d/20121222_154006.jpg


bj

BJ, couple questions on this install

- Im not very mechanically or electric savvy.. I installed the pulley, cai, etc by myself but is this PA 200amp alt swap something I could probably do or should i have a shop do it?

- Is there electrical work that needs to be done, I can't tell from your description? If I get the longer wire, is it just plug and play in terms of wiring or do I need to splice or do something else I have no idea how to do?

- Any way to post those photos again, that would help a ton but they don't seem to be working these days.

Thanks!

-
 

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Thanks for the post and write-up BJ. Will be helpful in the future.

Sqidd - I am also glad you chimed in. I added the 10% over for my replacement OE alternator because I run it hard on the road course and Texas mile. Are you saying there are alternatives to the 6G models (not even sure what that means, frankly) or that they are only one-off custom jobs? Thanks
 

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I have the PA Performance upgraded 200 amp alternator and upgraded lead and have experienced some issues that might suggest Squidd is spot on with his theory. I experienced a blip during a dyno tune and blown fuse at WOT...don't know for sure, just sharing my experience.
 

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I am hoping to get some insight because my curiosity got the better of me and I spent a few minutes on Google. So one article I found says this...

"Is a 6G alternator better than a 3G or 4G alternator?

The 6G alternators have better cooling than the 3G and 4G alternators. The sixth generation (6G) alternators also have more durable bearings too.

In light civilian use, a 3G or 4G alternator will probably do you fine. But, if you have added high draw accessories like a powerful aftermarket stereo system or lots of police radios/lighting equipment, then a 6G alternator would be a better choice for your car. A loaded alternator generates lots of heat, and overheated electrical components will usually have a rather short lifespan. Note the large amount of open airflow cooling space on the front of a 6G alternator compared to the 3G and 4G alternators."


So 6G stands for 6th generation (4G is 4th, etc.). Another poster says that the 3G or 4G alternators are crap.

So, in my case (and most others here I suspect) the issue is heat killing our alternators. I am still confused. When my alternator crapped out last year, I did not have time to order a replacement and had to 'settle' for a Ford OE, though I would have gone with the 200 amp 'upgrade' (?) if I could have.
 

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- Is there electrical work that needs to be done, I can't tell from your description? If I get the longer wire, is it just plug and play in terms of wiring or do I need to splice or do something else I have no idea how to do?

No. The only electrical work is to attach the existing cable to the alternator along with the longer wire and run it to the positive battery terminal. I had to have a 2nd person help me (my wife) put the belt back on because the new alternator had a slightly larger diameter pulley and I couldn't move the tensioner enough with one hand and put the belt on at the same time.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Got the PA 200am alt and longer wire, slipped right in, everything is working, car fired right up, "check charging system" warning is gone =)

2 questions though...

1) how important is it to torque all the nuts and bolts to their specified rating? and how the HECK did you get a torque wrench onto the 2 top bolts on the alternator???

2) Do you leave the B+ attachment on the alternator exposed or did you cut off the rubber boot from the old one and use that... or something else?

Suggestions are welcome and appreciated
 

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I didn't use a torque wrench, I used a ratchet box wrench and got them as tight as I could. For the boot, I was able to leave it on and cover the connection.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Do these just go out or start to fade? Last alternator I had go out it just went and did not notice it till the lights at night started going dim.
 

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Do these just go out or start to fade? Last alternator I had go out it just went and did not notice it till the lights at night started going dim.
My check charging system warning kept popping up, had issues with batteries dying too... replaced it
 

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Another off-season upgrade for Christine yesterday. S197's are infamous for alternator failures (yes, Ford knows it but doesn't deal with it) The failures are actually on Ford pickups and Mustangs but more so on 'Stangs due to the abuse they take.

Remember, an alternator isn't designed to charge your battery, but maintain its charge. So, any time your battery is at less than optimum status your alternator is working harder than it should. This would include infrequent use of the car, extreme draw due to additional electronic components (cameras, heavy duty fans and pumps, upgraded stereo gear, alarms, etc).

In my case I use a smaller "race" battery that clearly isn't designed to take the abuse I put it through by frequently discharging it with jumpered fans and pumps at the track. When it dies, I jump it enough to get it going again and let it idle for a while so I don't have a low voltage situation during a race, but this is definitely the bane of batteries and alternators alike.

Even if you don't race, you didn't buy a GT500 to putt around town. Your factory alternator has a designed max rpm of around 16,000. If you don't go beyond the 6250 limiter on 07-12 GT500s you'll peak at around 15,200-15,500 and have a little headroom. ('13 components have been "upgraded" to allow for the 7,000 rpm short bursts). I routinely rev my car to 6600-6700 and it's not only that peak, and the charge/discharge cycles, but it's also how quickly the alternator is being spun to that peak over and over. 10%...15% dampers don't change the math because the alternator/water/steering portion of the damper is the same diameter as stock (somewhere around 6.6").

I used a rpm/pulley calculator to establish the size I wanted on my new alternator. It needs to be in the range to allow for enough rpm to maintain a charge at idle and be within the 17,000 peak when I'm revving the engine to 6,700 rpm. Find the right size for your specific use/abuse.

A 200 amp unit was called for due to my usage. The stocker is rated at 110a.

Now to the fun parts:

1. Unhook your battery. Using a 15mm box end, unload the factory tensioner for that belt and slip it off the power steering idler.
2. Unhook the connectors from the alternator. There are two. One is a clip-type and one is a bolt/nut covered by a rubber boot. You need to access these from the underside. I don't have the stock radiator support nor sway bar in my car and the splash guard wasn't in the way, so it was "fairly" open.
3. Up top, you'll need to remove the cold air assembly to get to the two upper bolts. There is a single bolt up there that needs to be removed. It stabilizes a line. Remove it and gently move the line so you can access the two top mounting bolts. The bolts are LONG and have mongo threads, so you'll be a while. This is not a time to play with a crescent wrench. You also don't have enough room to use even the shallowest of sockets. I didn't have the correct size of ratcheting box so I was using a box/open combo and it took a LONG time. They use a white threadlocker on it which makes doing it with fingertips impossible until you're way out on it. You will not be able to remove the bolts from the alternator but it will be free of the mount. Let them hang.
4. Underneath, you'll remove a small nut that secures the power steering line to a larger mounting bolt for the alternator. Then, grab a sandwhich because you'll be unscrewing for a long time again, but you can at least use a socket on this one. Once you're at the end of the threads, you can support the unit with one hand while completely removing that bolt. You'll need to tilt the unit to get it past a few lines and it will also allow you to fully remove the two upper bolts at this time.
5. PA Performance insists that you use their larger lead when upgrading to a 200a alternator. It's big, and fused, and too damned short at 48". And that's the "long" one! First things first, place the two upper bolts into the mounting holes of the unit because you'll never get them in once it's in place.
6. With the upper bolts loosely in place, maneuver the unit into position and insert the bottom mounting bolt until it's just shy of being fully tightened.
7. You can replace the snap in connector at this time, but don't hook up the new nor the old primary leads just yet.
8. Back up top, you'll completely thread the two upper mounting bolts and replace the extra small bolt that was supporting the line. Do not replace the intake at this time. Wait until you know everything is working.
9. PA Performance wants you to add their new wiring to the original rather than replace it. This means you'll have two eyelets over the mounting bolt on the unit and you'll need to connect it to the main power post at the end of your main fuse box in the engine bay. The challenge is that it also includes a huge inline fuse box and not enough line to mount it anywhere reasonable.
You'll want to thread the new line down from the car's fusebox and follow the factory line to the alternator. I'm literally letting that inline box hang free temporarily but till Velcro it to the back of the PCM soon. Just need to keep it away from the headers. You'll want to lightly bend the eye so you can easily slip it over the threaded post on the alternator, and in addition to the stock one. I split the stock rubber boot to cover both lines as much as possible. You don't need to be too picky about this. There's actually not a lot of fluids (rain or otherwise) that enters that area. Remember, alternators are completely open!
Wire tie the new line to the old one, all the way up to the inline fuse box. Remove the bolt from the powerpoint, add the new line to it and re-tighten. Check your connections, then reconnect your battery. (Just a quick word of "homework"...make sure you're working with a fully charged battery in the first place so you can quickly tell that your new parts are working correctly).
Replace the intake and associated wiring/mounts.
10. Start your car. You're done.

The book says this is a 1.5-1.7 hour job. It took me two because I didn't have the ratcheting box end and because I couldn't believe the new power lead was this friggin' short so I kept trying it different ways.

You just saved yourself about $300.00 in labor and shop materials. It can certainly be done with jacks and stands. I was fortunate enough to have a lift (Thanks Steve Koller SRK1959!!) and that made it easier.

Oh....and replace the belt. Makes zero sense to do this and put an old belt back on it. I used a factory length belt and even though the pulley was larger, the tensioner still had a little play in it.

I now feel completely confident that I have enough oomph to deal with fans, pumps and my "on all the time" pump boosters. The last thing I want is any sort of low voltage situation.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/f9284gpzq5vkx8h/20121222_153942.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/lpwipdyfq24l6el/20121222_153954.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/mxwga3pmot3xjnp/20121222_153959.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8iwngtlc6uurk7d/20121222_154006.jpg


bj
Thank you...explains why my Raptor with all the added lights I have had an alternator fail...I need to upgrade like you suggest. Great Post!
 

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Well, it happened. My replacement went out last week and left me stranded - luckily I had a safe place to wait the 2 hrs it took for the tow truck to come get me. This is the second time in the last year (first lasted about 5 years, but the replacement lasted one). So, because I had the OE unit re-manufactured and had it in my garage, I had it installed. But I will NOT have my bad one rebuilt. I will throw it away (or whatever your supposed to do with it) and will order a stand by for the next time it goes out (which I will assume will be next year sometime!). I am just unsure as to which way to go. I am not sure the higher amp unit is any better since I don't think I have too much draw unless my intercooler fan which is always on is a problem. So, the Denzo unit is a better design but not available for my year (08). The Nations unit is quite expensive and Im not sure will last any longer. Not sure what to do for my backup!!
 

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What is the reason these seem to go out? Bad placement and getting too hot or being spun to fast? Not much you can do about placement but do they make a bigger pulley for them?
 

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All I can say is that the larger pulley on mine did not help the longevity!
 
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