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Balmar or Mark Grasser..

I get lots of comments on my website, from unhappy e-maax customers, for an article I did on installing a serpentine kit. This is the only article I have where the vendor draws a considerable number of negative comments. I have even considered pulling the article altogether but the serpentine kit is a real great product even if the company makes many unhappy customers.

That said you could go with either a 6-Series or the AT series or a Mark Grasser alt too. The AT series really are "all that" for a small case alt.... I have a number of these out there and they run hard and fast and require less "derating" (belt manager) to stay below 230F than an equally sized 6-Series alt does. These are really an ideal alternator for a 600Ah or larger bank of AGM or LiFePO4..

I do think the AT could be a tad more spendy than necessary for a 420Ah bank of AGM batteries as your time in bulk will be relatively short anyway. Assuming you are charging a healthy bank from 50% to 80% then you are only returning about 126Ah's in bulk. If we assume the AT will easily run at 130-140A hot, which it certainly can, you will be charging for less than 1 hour before you begin voltage limited charging, where current will decline rapidly. If the bank has lost capacity, which it undoubtedly has, or is sulfated, then you are returning even less Ah's in bulk mode and bulk mode will be even shorter..

In the real world the AT's will deliver an easy 100A at a typical Yanmar 4JH / 3JH etc. engine idle.... Balmar's specs are alternator shaft RPM, not engine....

The 6-series (or e-maax's version) will require more "derating" than the AT will so a 160A 6 series or e-maax and an AT are not performing similarly in the "real world".

I run a 160A custom built CS130D frame alt (same as 6-series and same as e-maax) which is about as tweaked and high performance as you can get yet I have it current limited to about 115A. This is the REALISTIC long term output this type of alt can handle.... The AT165 can easily do 130-145A....

My alt is just two years old and getting close to done for. Charging LiFePO4 is far harder than charging AGM's. My next creation is fully custom external rectification which should remove approx 60% of the heat from the alt allowing me to push my 160A alt to closer to 140A continuous...... I may also bump it up to 200A when I do this...:wink

I would urge you to take a look at Mark Grasser DC Solutions alts too. Mark does my custom builds for me....

Mark has longer lead times but each alt is hand built one at a time with incredible attention to detail and superior components to the guys in Canada. Balmar builds a good product but with multiple levels of distribution, yes, they get expensive.
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