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Inspired and guided by several great write-ups (primarily this one by pirateblktaco), I went about upgrading my alternator today. Along with the upgrade, I replaced some of the stock wiring with 4 gauge marine grade stuff. Fun fun!

First, I had to get parts. Here's all of the parts I used, including costs:

Cadillac Alternator (P/N 01-0581) - O'Reilly Auto Parts -- $163.00
(2) 140 Amp ANL fuses (P/N ANL140) - Amazon -- $11.32
Toyota to GM Alternator Wiring Adaptor - eBay - $16.95
~6 feet of wire (4ga tinned marine grade) - West Marine -- $9.64
Lugs 4ga, 3/8" hole - West Marine -- $12.02
1/2" Heat shrink - West Marine -- $12.02
(4) 3/8" Washers - The Home Depot -- $2.59
Dielectric Grease - Advance Auto Parts -- $1.52
Small spool of 8ga wire - Advance Auto Parts -- $8.20
Positive Marine Battery Terminal (P/N 6280163) - Advance Auto Parts -- $3.60
Negative Marine Battery Terminal -- $3.60
8ga Ring Terminals - Advance Auto Parts -- $10.93

TOTAL -- $265.39


And then, the install!

Before:


The stock alternator:


Alternator removed. Note that the bottom bracket in the middle of the picture (with the adjustment bolt still attached) had to be lowered an inch or two. Just loosen its attachment bolt, move it as you install the new alternator, then tighten it back up.


Old and new alternators. As most folks note, the new alternator has a smaller mount that will require some washers (spacers).


First, I opted to swap out the battery to frame grounding wire with a beefier 4 gauge wire. I measured the lengths I needed using a seamstress tape, added a couple of inches for slack, and went to West Marine to purchase them. They're expensive, but pretty good quality stuff, and West Marine has the crimping equipment to do it yourself right there in the store (I don't have a crimper, and don't need to buy one).

I removed the old cable's mount bolt on the frame. While it was off, I brillow padded it clean.


Once it's clean, attach the new grounding cable.

Attach the power cable to the alternator before you mount it up (much easier than after it's on). If you're upgrading the wiring as I did, you can use an inline fuse (I used 140A) and circumvent the stock fuse box (i.e. go straight from the alternator to the battery's positive terminal). More on this later…

Now, test-fit the alternator. No need to tighten anything down, just see how it fits. You can see the space that will need some washers.


Also attach the new wiring harness. If you didn't get the pre-made wiring harness with Toyota and GM connecters on it, you can refer to other write-ups on how to splice the GM wiring harness into the Toyota wires. It's easy, but I like the clean work of the adaptor, which also allows me to switch back to a stock alternator lickety-split.


I had to use four washers, but your results may vary. I took someone else's tip and Gorilla Glued them together first, as it makes them a lot easier to manage when trying to get the alternator in place.




Then, I re-attached the drive belt to check final fit for the alternator and wiring. (The supercharger tensioner pulley makes this very simple, and allowed me to use the same drive belt. I have seen that other folks have needed longer belts due to the new alternator's larger pulley.) I placed the in-line fuse holder where I wanted it mounted (below the stock fuse box, zip-tied using two pre-existing holes on the fender). I then marked the power wire where I needed it cut, attached both ends to the fuse holder, and mounted the holder with a zip tie.



Note: I purchased TWO fuses, just in case. And, sure enough, I ended up damaging one fuse when I was trying to install it. As these gigantor ANL fuses are not easy to come by locally, I was glad I had the spare!

Somewhere along the way, I stripped the old electrical tape and wire loom off of the stock wiring, put my new wiring in it, and re-loomed/taped it. I had to rinse off the old loom so that the tape would stick. A bit of a hassle, but I think it makes for a cleaner install.

New battery terminal attachments. I learned the hard way that there is a difference in terminal lug size between the positive and negative. I'll have to go buy a new negative terminal tomorrow.

The bling gold was both a fashion choice and a requirement, as the local parts store didn't have a lot of other options.


Once I had all of the wires in place, I made sure the belt was on properly…


…and tightened down the alternator bolts. (Don't forget the spacer washers!)

Now that I had replaced the alternator power wire with new stuff that was in-line fused and hooked straight into the battery, I had some question as to which connector I was supposed to use to get power back to the stock fuse box. I ended up using the original wire that went from the positive battery terminal to the fuse box, via the small hole on the forward inboard lower edge of the box. (If I find out later that this was wrong, I'll edit this post!)


Re-attach the battery, not forgetting the battery tie-down, and fire her up! If you're like me, you might not get any power at all at first. If you're like me, it's because you circumvented the stock fuse box and didn't think that it might need power somehow. See the previous paragraph. :doh:

Quick check on the volt meter, and it's looking good!


I hope this helps some folks! If there are any questions, post 'em up.

Next upgrade: installing the NOCO GEN1 charger! :D
 

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STITCH - Come and Take it!
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Nice job :D
 
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