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McFly2003
11-22-2011, 05:42 AM
hello all. So my alternator has been on the fritz for some time now. Nothing catastrophic, but having a very hard time maintaing a charge. I am going TDY in February for 5-6 months and want to knock out a bunch of preventative maintenance before I go, alt included. My question is this: does anyone here have any experience with these Mean Green products? They have one heck of a price tag but if the can back up their claims, it should be worth it. Of course I probably dont NEED something like this just yet, but I have always approached my vehicles with a "rather have to much than to little" philosophy.
Anyone?

mep1811
11-22-2011, 05:47 AM
I have had a Mean Green on my 1985 FJ60. It had problems but they had decent cust service. At the end I had a local shop rebuild it and have not had a problem since. keep in mind I first bought it over 10 years ago

RMP&O
11-22-2011, 06:11 AM
I have had a Mean Green on my 1985 FJ60. It had problems but they had decent cust service. At the end I had a local shop rebuild it and have not had a problem since. keep in mind I first bought it over 10 years ago

Have you had a chance to subject it to water, silt and mud? Most alts hate that stuff and I am just curious if the Mean Green is the same.

And are you saying it was a factory defect? What kind of problems?

TangoBlue
11-22-2011, 06:13 AM
"...having a very hard time maintaing a charge." And going TAD...

Need more information before recommending replacement of the alternator as PM.

I have an 01 also and my alternator is fine. If your truck is sitting for long periods between VA and CO visits, your battery will likely loose power just sitting. Have you considered using a battery maintainer while it's sitting?

If that's the case... need more info.

1911
11-22-2011, 12:41 PM
I've had a Mean Green in my FJ40 for more than a year and I'm very happy with it. No more dim lights at idle; it puts out enough current and steady voltage to run all my ham and cb radios, gps, upgraded lights, ipod amplifier, fridge, phone charger, etc. all at one time with no worries and always keeps the battery topped-off. Well worth the money to me for a bolt-in solution.

As far as water, silt and mud - I've had my 40 on one week-long off-road trip and a couple of smaller trips since installing it, and had no problems whatsoever, but it is mounted high on my engine so it would never be submerged unless the water was as deep as the hood. The Mean Green is just a built-up, re-wound GM alternator as far as I can tell, and hence is not sealed or otherwise more waterproof than any conventional alternator. Here are some photos of mine installed if that helps any:

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h218/FJ80/New%20Mexico%204WD/FJ40/IMG_0748.jpg

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h218/FJ80/New%20Mexico%204WD/FJ40/IMG_0746.jpg

zidaro
11-22-2011, 01:12 PM
Id also look at your battery condition before spending money on an alt., oem batteries can have issues and not keep up with all those lights you have, oem alt. should. If it is sitting long periods it needs to be on a trickle or any battery will lose its charge.
Now if the issue is very dim lights when idling, there ya go- a high output alt. will help.

McFly2003
11-22-2011, 02:34 PM
"...having a very hard time maintaing a charge." And going TAD...

Need more information before recommending replacement of the alternator as PM.

I have an 01 also and my alternator is fine. If your truck is sitting for long periods between VA and CO visits, your battery will likely loose power just sitting. Have you considered using a battery maintainer while it's sitting?

If that's the case... need more info.

I wish I could get more into detail. Electrical systems are my weakest area of expertise. I had been having issues with my alternator maintaining the proper charge (approx 14 volts from my understanding?). it was constantly bouncing from 10 to 12 and was never constant. Finally, last Thanksgiving, my factory battery crapped out on me. I replaced with an optima red top and left the old alternator in there. Since then, I have only had to jump my truck once and it was my own fault.

I live in Fairfax full time right now and only get to CO for occasional visits a couple times a year so my truck never sits for more than a week or so. However, coming up in February, I will be leaving for 5-6 months. While I am gone, I will have my wife take Bruce (my truck :sombrero:) to work once a week to keep in running and the fluids flowing. Before I go, I am just trying to get everything that needs to be baselined or taken care of, out of the way (the alt being one of those things). My Red Top should still be good to go.
The reason I am looking into a more powerful alt is that I am planning on running dual bats here in the very near future. Also, a winch and more lights. While most lights will be LED, its always better safe than sorry.

McFly2003
11-22-2011, 02:38 PM
I've had a Mean Green in my FJ40 for more than a year and I'm very happy with it. No more dim lights at idle; it puts out enough current and steady voltage to run all my ham and cb radios, gps, upgraded lights, ipod amplifier, fridge, phone charger, etc. all at one time with no worries and always keeps the battery topped-off. Well worth the money to me for a bolt-in solution.

As far as water, silt and mud - I've had my 40 on one week-long off-road trip and a couple of smaller trips since installing it, and had no problems whatsoever, but it is mounted high on my engine so it would never be submerged unless the water was as deep as the hood. The Mean Green is just a built-up, re-wound GM alternator as far as I can tell, and hence is not sealed or otherwise more waterproof than any conventional alternator. Here are some photos of mine installed if that helps any:
]

This is another concern of mine. I dont do water crossings often, but when I do, I want to know that my engine components are safe. Just this last september, we had a lot of flooding and just to get home, I had to drive through 2.5-3' of water. While my engine was fine, my started had a mean hickup for a couple of weeks after. I never thought about that also affecting my alt. I would love a more powerful alt that is also rugged enough for what ever I may need to throw at it. (mind you, I do not do any extreme offroading, just moderate trails and LOTS of exploring :ylsmoke:

McFly2003
11-22-2011, 02:39 PM
Id also look at your battery condition before spending money on an alt., oem batteries can have issues and not keep up with all those lights you have, oem alt. should. If it is sitting long periods it needs to be on a trickle or any battery will lose its charge.
Now if the issue is very dim lights when idling, there ya go- a high output alt. will help.

This has been an issue since I bought my truck back in Jan '09. every light in the truck dims if I even touch a window switch or mess with my HVAC fan settings

EXP-T100
11-22-2011, 04:26 PM
Have you thought about putting in a Tundra or sequoia 130amp alt in? You can find them cheap used, i paid $60 for one with 60k on it and put it in my t100 it rocks.

FLYFISHEXPERT
11-22-2011, 04:46 PM
What about a 150amp alternator from a Cadillac?


First off the alternator I used is for allot of GM vehicles but the one I found first in the computer is for a 1995 Cadillac Fleetwood. Its a 140-150 amp alternator and you can get them rebuilt for $130 or new for $160 from Oreilly or Autozone.

There are only three things to adapt or modify to install one.

1.Belt - the stock belt is a bit too long, get one that is 1-2" shorter
2.Spacing - the upper bracket is a half inch shorter so you need a couple of washers.
3.The Plug - the plug is a different style from the stock Denso plug.

On the plug you have two choices you can cut off the stock plug and put on GM style or you can strip the wires back some and piggy back the GM plug so you can swap the old Denso back as a spare.

Link to thread on YotaTech.com: Alternator (http://www.yotatech.com/f2/cs-144-alternator-install-209649/)

McFly2003
11-22-2011, 04:46 PM
Had not thought of that, no. Again, I only have very limited, basic knowledge in the area. Are the 1uz alts a direct fit?

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RMP&O
11-22-2011, 05:01 PM
Thanks for the good info on this alt....I have been considering it for a long time.

McFly: be warned, a red top that gets low, ie below 12.8v will soon be dead. I have 4 red tops on the shop floor that are all dead due to getting de-charged. Red tops once flat can not be charged, I have even tried the parallel charging method with no luck. If they are under warranty you can get a new one. Unfortunately for me all 4 of mine we anywhere from a month to a year past warranty.

TangoBlue
11-22-2011, 05:09 PM
I wish I could get more into detail. Electrical systems are my weakest area of expertise. I had been having issues with my alternator maintaining the proper charge (approx 14 volts from my understanding?). it was constantly bouncing from 10 to 12 and was never constant. Finally, last Thanksgiving, my factory battery crapped out on me. I replaced with an optima red top and left the old alternator in there. Since then, I have only had to jump my truck once and it was my own fault.

I live in Fairfax full time right now and only get to CO for occasional visits a couple times a year so my truck never sits for more than a week or so. However, coming up in February, I will be leaving for 5-6 months. While I am gone, I will have my wife take Bruce (my truck :sombrero:) to work once a week to keep in running and the fluids flowing. Before I go, I am just trying to get everything that needs to be baselined or taken care of, out of the way (the alt being one of those things). My Red Top should still be good to go.
The reason I am looking into a more powerful alt is that I am planning on running dual bats here in the very near future. Also, a winch and more lights. While most lights will be LED, its always better safe than sorry.

Like I mentioned earlier I have an 01 Tacoma also and am still satisfactorily using the original alternator without issues showing 13.5-14 volts on the Scangauge. I also have a dual battery system (IBS) with a red and yellow Optima battery. However, I don't have the power draining extra's that you have on your truck; we do share the same electrical skills.

Luckily I have some good technical advisers to look at my power management so I don't screw up anything. If possible, you might seek out an opinion from someone you trust skilled in auto electrical systems to give your truck a once over.

Another option besides purchasing new is to use Boyle Future Tech in CA - they re-wind your current alt and send it back - everyone I've heard use them loves the results and quick /service shipping. Google them and read what others have said - includes pics.

Here are some other resources...


http://www.wranglernw.com/

http://www.mralternator.com/alternators/toyota.html

http://www.northwestoffroad.com/

http://www.lcengineering.com/

http://www.mean-green.com/

http://www.mechman.com/home.html

http://www.premierpowerwelder.com/index2.html

http://www.powermastermotorsports.com/

Boyle Future Tech (No website)
12325 Locksley Lane
Auburn, CA. 95602
530-888-6290

McFly2003
11-22-2011, 06:03 PM
Thanks for the good info on this alt....I have been considering it for a long time.

McFly: be warned, a red top that gets low, ie below 12.8v will soon be dead. I have 4 red tops on the shop floor that are all dead due to getting de-charged. Red tops once flat can not be charged, I have even tried the parallel charging method with no luck. If they are under warranty you can get a new one. Unfortunately for me all 4 of mine we anywhere from a month to a year past warranty.

Good to know! Mine is still covered but I'd rather be safe than sorry. I'd better get on this

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McFly2003
11-22-2011, 06:07 PM
Tango, thanks! Its reassuring to know that someone with a rig like yours shares is my lack of knowledge Haha. I saw your rig at IPOR a while back being worked on...had to wipe my chin. Luckily, right now I am not running much on the electrical system, just the basics plus some hid retrofitted ipf's. I wont add anymore to it until I get this sorted out
I see your pretty local, if you et out for any ifs friendly wheeling before mid february, let me know! I have yet to do any good wheeling out here in VA

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Box Rocket
11-23-2011, 02:27 AM
I ran a Optima redtop and a Mean Green alt in my FJ40. I was very happy with the alternator. I frequently ended up as the designated winch vehicle on many trail runs and never had an issue with power, even with just the single battery setup.

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k254/boxrocket/40%20details/IMG_0649.jpg

Pikeman
11-28-2011, 11:23 PM
Thanks for the good info on this alt....I have been considering it for a long time.

McFly: be warned, a red top that gets low, ie below 12.8v will soon be dead. I have 4 red tops on the shop floor that are all dead due to getting de-charged. Red tops once flat can not be charged, I have even tried the parallel charging method with no luck. If they are under warranty you can get a new one. Unfortunately for me all 4 of mine we anywhere from a month to a year past warranty.

I disagree with the statement they cannot be brought back. I had a friend that pulled 4 out of his motorhome because they were dead. They sat for over two years on his concrete floor(another battery killer). I got them and put them on a slow trickle charge for a few days and ran one of them for two more years trouble free and he kept the others and put back in his motorhome. To bring it back it takes a slow charge over a couple day period. Of course those were the older Red Tops before they moved to Mexico.

I have not used the Mean green but I am considering one of those if my alternator is one that cannot be rewound by Boyle. There are two years that used alternators Boyle says cannot be rewound with good results.

Karma
11-28-2011, 11:54 PM
HI All,
In a back country situation, away from most help, It seems to me that an alternator is a very bad place to try to economize. The whole vehicle is dependent upon the alternator and battery. Why would one not want the best?

I have a Mean Green 160 Amp alternator and a Mean Green starter. Been very happy with both. I also have a dual Odyssey battery system to show you that I practice what I preach. The electrical system can't afford to be fragile in any way.

Sparky

adventureduo
11-29-2011, 12:34 AM
I have a Mean Green on order from Sierra Expeditions. We're looking forward to running 6 halogen offroad lights, multiple radios and GPS systems at the same time without worry. I'll keep any eye on this thread and further down the road if/when i have any problems. I don't assume we'll have any though.