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MAB3L, the most reasonable truck on the road!


superj

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Nice. I have the electrical kit on my toolbox but still need to get a fan. I geuss i will look for a 2.3 ranger in the junkyard now
 


bhgl

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Nice. I have the electrical kit on my toolbox but still need to get a fan. I geuss i will look for a 2.3 ranger in the junkyard now
If you can, I'd recommend salvaging the connectors so that your shroud isn't hardwired in like mine
 

sgtsandman

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I've heard there is a noticeable difference between having a clutch fan and an e-fan. It will be interesting what you find over the longer term.
 

bhgl

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So, we did a quick highway drive today, lower speeds than usual, it was a clear dry day. 11-16 Celsius, around 261 KMs of mostly highway driving, with I'd say 40-50 KMs of that being urban driving, and at least 5 minutes of idling at a bridge.

Two things were new for this drive, first the e-fan, and second we did this journey with Overdrive turned off. We had quite a bit of traffic and struggled to get into our ideal rpm range on occasion (2750-3250), averaging just 90 kph over the whole drive.

We achieved a better than usual 10.52L/100KM or 22.36 MpG, considering we had not the most efficient circumstances this is a marked improvement considering we had less time at speed and more idling/urban driving.

Observations:
-With the e-fan, response and power has improved by a noticeable degree
-Hanging out in 4th gear at speeds from 80-120 Kph didn't absolutely murder fuel economy, as it would on most any other car.
-By turning off O/D, we had fewer gear changes, and stayed in the power band losing less speed on hills, and having more immediate passing power which was great!

-We have an issue either with the battery, or the alternator. The battery came with the truck, and was discharged a couple times by myself, and before it sold needed a jump to get started. The battery gauge dips when idling, regardless of whether the fan is on or not, and I noticed my stereo distorting which typically happens when my battery runs low/out. This may be affecting our fuel economy as the alternator is having to work extra hard since the battery is just begging for voltage.
 

bhgl

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I've heard there is a noticeable difference between having a clutch fan and an e-fan. It will be interesting what you find over the longer term.
I definitely noticed a power boost, it's hard to tell how much of an improvement I got given that I also did the drive with O/D turned off, but over the course of the next while we should get a more clear picture of the advantages from it.
 

bhgl

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Well shit folks.

Should say at the top, I've got to check for parasitic draw, I have messed around with the electronics quite a bit in all reality. Stereo installation, upgraded coils, pulling from relays for the e-fan, power door locks, but it looks like our alternator is on the way out or is just not capable of keeping up with the draw, That alongside a pretty beat up battery means we've got a race against time until we can't reliably start the truck.

The truck's been starting and driving reliably for the last few months, short of me leaving lights or the stereo running while I mess around with things. I just charged the battery at 30 Amps for about 2.5 hours, got a bit of a low boil, and was able to bring the resting charge back up to 12.6.

At idle, with every single system on, stereo at max, interior light, dash lights at maximum, Max AC, headlights, and radio max volume, and the E-Fan set to run constantly, the alternator is just not able to provide a charge to the battery, which in a weakened state is struggling to keep up with output. Either the alternator is on the way out, and not providing enough charge, or 95 Amps is not enough in the first place. Since it's been cool and I mostly drive during the day this has been fine, but as the summer comes on and big plans are ahead I need to be able to rely on the vehicle. If I take a drive during a really hot night and Back in Black comes on the stereo I'm TOAST.

Short of there being a catastrophic power draw somewhere, which seems unlikely since the truck's voltage doesn't seem to drop when sitting and starts every time so a new, or upgraded alternator is necessary. Even with an upgraded alternator, we'll need a new battery no matter what, that's just a matter of time, but I could probably still get some decent use out of the standard lead acid Duracell unit that's in the car, especially if I do charge it from time to time.

So let me hear about the options, currently the truck is equipped with what may actually be an OEM Motorcraft 95 Amp alternator.

Here's what I've been considering:

Alternator:
My first instinct is to purchase this BBB Remanufactured unit from Rock Auto, it's basically the best deal I can find on a new 130 amp alternator. It's 100 bucks, add 50 for shipping, taxes, and duties, and it's still the cheapest at 153. There's options for 115 Amp units, but with future additions to the truck it'll be important to have some breathing room.

I could also pull an alternator form the nearest junkyard would be 80-90 dollars, it's pretty easy to identify the 115-130 amp units from their design and size, but I'll be honest I've never had any luck with used alternators, still just by going to look I could maybe find an upgraded unit, or at least one of the 130-135 amp units for a bit less money.

The evil little monkey in my brain says to buy this 320 AMP Mechman alternator that someone is selling used in an Ontario group, they want 700$ for it though, and its overkill, AND it'll probably increase drag on the motor impacting fuel economy, but frankly if I do end up successfully adding an electric AC compressor, and electric power steering, among other goodies it might actually come in handy. I could maybe talk the guy down to 600$ CAD, still a big ask.
1714616160746.png


Battery:

Option 1, I could maybe get away by attempting to recondition this one, I've never really done it before, but who knows maybe I can get some more life out of it yet. Still, I would like to have the assurance of more capacity and overall battery health.

Option 2, buy whatever cheap new battery is around. This is gonna cost 175$ on the light end, up to 250-300 on the heavy. When it comes to lead acid, I've rarely if ever noticed a difference between manufacturers. That being said, getting a solid deep cycle/AGM unit with a higher capacity could be a good idea.

Option 3, I do what the evil little monkey says and I spend 640$ CAD one of these: https://dakotalithium.com/product/dakota-lithium-12v-60ah-dual-purpose-car-starter-deep-cycle-lifepo4-battery-1000cca/
1714616682791.png

These are slick units, and 641$ Canadian for one is a good deal. Still, it's a 600$ car battery. However, it would shed 20lbs off the truck which is always a plus, have ultra consistent power, 1000 CCA, and basically triple usable power compared to a normal lead acid unit thanks to a better depth of discharge, and a 60AH Capacity. They also say they last up to 11 years. This is one of those "End Game" parts for the build that I would like to buy no matter what, but it'll be underutilized right now. Still, I'm genuinely considering it.

Other considerations:
I want to convert all of the trucks lighting to LED to save energy overall, even though it'll be a negligible win. That means the dash lights, headlights, brake lights, and maybe even the glove box light. In this specific situation, it would actually be enough to offset how weak the alternator is, but only for a time.

At minimum I'm spending 250-400$ CAD, not including the proper battery charger I just bought. At the maximum, I'm spending 1241$ to pick up some pretty heavy duty parts to slap on a truck that originally cost me 2600$.

Let me know what you think folks, I'm probably just going to go with the reasonable options simply due to cost but that Dakota lithium unit is a genuine possible buy.
 
Last edited:

superj

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ranger edge
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183 ci of tire shredding power
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2WD
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none
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235s
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drives a stick shift ranger
i would go with the larger alternator, the 115 or 130 amp one.

and you can still rebuild that one you have. keep it as an emergency back up unit.

if you are bored, you can find some junkyard alternators that you just change a diode inside and you have an onboard welder. you could fix stuff that breaks on the side of the road with that.
 

bhgl

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i would go with the larger alternator, the 115 or 130 amp one.

and you can still rebuild that one you have. keep it as an emergency back up unit.

if you are bored, you can find some junkyard alternators that you just change a diode inside and you have an onboard welder. you could fix stuff that breaks on the side of the road with that.
I've never tried to rebuild an alternator before, would probably be a good thing to know how to do honestly.

I had heard about folks doing that trick in the way back but never considered doing it. I wonder if I change a diode inside that 320 Amp unit I'd have a plasma cutter lol
 

bhgl

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Well shit boys, doing my research we found that the Dakota Lithium may not be able to survive an upgraded alternator.

From the Dakota Lith. website:
"CHARGE VIA ALTERNATOR
Drop in replacement for lead acid and AGM starter batteries for vehicles. NOTE: THE DL+ 60Ah IS LIMITED TO AN ALTERNATOR CHARGING PROFILE OF 80 AMPS OR LESS."

There's also the matter of the batteries performance under -20F, in the depths of the winter months I'd either have to build a capacitor unit to start the truck. Or simply just switch to standard lead acid unit for the winter.
 

sgtsandman

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Well shit boys, doing my research we found that the Dakota Lithium may not be able to survive an upgraded alternator.

From the Dakota Lith. website:
"CHARGE VIA ALTERNATOR
Drop in replacement for lead acid and AGM starter batteries for vehicles. NOTE: THE DL+ 60Ah IS LIMITED TO AN ALTERNATOR CHARGING PROFILE OF 80 AMPS OR LESS."

There's also the matter of the batteries performance under -20F, in the depths of the winter months I'd either have to build a capacitor unit to start the truck. Or simply just switch to standard lead acid unit for the winter.
I was about to caution you on that. Lithium batteries require a compatible charger and unless they have a built in heater, don't like the cold all that much.

Even with a house battery, an AGM or deep cycle might be a better choice because of the cold. Lithium is lighter, supplies power better, lasts longer, and usually can be discharged lower, usually but like anything else, has their down sides you have to consider.
 

Blmpkn

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I wouldn't run a lithium battery in a cold climate.

I work in constriction, and our drill batteries flat out won't charge if it's much below 40°f. Our truck idles alllllll winter long to charge batteries in the cab off of an inverter.
 

bhgl

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I knew the Lithium batteries were gonna struggle in the cold to charge, I think the main thing making me decide against it is the fact that it can only take 20 amps of charging regardless of temperature.

I had the idea of basically having a summer and winter battery, but given the expense it's just not feasible to be honest.
 

bhgl

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Howdy folks! Here's some general updates.

Fuel Economy:

We did another quick 300 or so KM trip recently, I was in a rush so I didn't remember to write down the stats.

This trip was done with O/D off for the most part, and then turned back on for higher speed sections.

Despite keeping the truck between 3000-3500 RPMs, we achieved a pretty dismal 10.8L/100KM.

Since we're really just guessing at efficient speeds here, it's time to invest in a means of tracking our fuel economy live. Vacuum gauge would be useful, but pretty labor intensive, and I really don't want to start fucking with Vacuum lines. So it looks like we'll be going with a Scangauge II.

New parts:

The 135 Amp Alternator, and new battery is here. Got a pretty smoking deal on the battery thanks to a local Ranger friend, as well as a set of Bilsteins for the front!

We've got a new belt-tensioner and belt ready to be installed! Hopefully this can clean up the squeakiness we've been dealing with on occasion.

We've also got new pads, rotors, and bearings ready to go in, hopefully generating less friction and better efficiency, as well as better breaking.

Other stuff:
With plans for a nice big road trip at the end of August, it's time to start looking into the long distance items like converting the bed to a sleeping space, spare tire carriers, and general storage/organization items.
 

superj

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My credo
drives a stick shift ranger
did my son get back with you for that scangauge? he is in the army and he got order to go to cali today until friday. than he flies back for 6 days and has to drive to cali again for 30 days so i hope he shipped that out to you already.
 

bhgl

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did my son get back with you for that scangauge? he is in the army and he got order to go to cali today until friday. than he flies back for 6 days and has to drive to cali again for 30 days so i hope he shipped that out to you already.
Unfortunately I didn't receive anything, but that's okay I found one available at a good price and it is on order.

Thanks for asking him, you can let him know not to worry about it.
 

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