2014 MY15 Alternator

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Rodnic
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2014 MY15 Alternator

Unread post by Rodnic » October 8th, 2014, 1:48 pm

G'day All. My MY15 SX Space Cab arrives in country next week. I want to instal an aux battery and also charge my van battery using a Ctek 250s on each. (I already have the gear from my current vehicle). My dealer advises me that the MY15 has a 'smart' alternator system, which can cause charging problems with the 250s. There is a work around but for planning purposes I would like to know sooner rather than later. Other topics indicate that the Dmax does not have a 'smart' alternator. Can anyone confirm whether or not the MY15 has a 'smart' alternator or not??

mydmax
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Re: 2014 MY15 Alternator

Unread post by mydmax » October 8th, 2014, 4:49 pm

IF you have a Dumb alternator then you are the first we know of.
Many dealers have said to their customers the Dmax of various years has a Dumb ALT.
It is absolute rubbish and displays the depth of knowledge some dealers know about what they are selling.
That does not mean the latest doesn't have such an alternator though.

Fit a $25 Jaycar digital voltmeter on a plug and have it in one of the Ciggy points in the dash. While driving if the voltage stays around 14.2 or 3 or 4 then it does not have that type of alt at all and means the dealer is telling you porkies either out of sheer ignorance or he wants the job and money to fit something you don't need.

BEWARE, do your checking as suggested, so you definitely know and aren't subsequently ripped off by the sharks in the industry.

Cheers
mydmax

Dmaxqld
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Re: 2014 MY15 Alternator

Unread post by Dmaxqld » October 8th, 2014, 5:41 pm

Not in the 2014 model. Do what mydmax recommends above to confirm. If it doesn't have an ECU controlled variable voltage alternator, it will constantly output 14.2 plus volts at all times.

If it does have a "smart" alternator, then a DC-DC charger, like your Ctek 250, will resolve your charging issues. Either way, you have all bases covered.

Rodnic
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Re: 2014 MY15 Alternator

Unread post by Rodnic » October 8th, 2014, 6:35 pm

Thanks for the replies so far. The problem with 'smart' alternators is once the start battery is fully charged the alternator then backs off the voltage down as low as 12.2v. The problem is dc chargers generally needed 12.7v to turn the charger on. So once the start battery was fully charged the dc charger would then turn off. This is similar to a VSR to prevent the start battery being discharged when the engine is not running.
The work around is to instal a relay to switch between the alternator and solar panel input to the 'solar' terminal. See http://www.ctekbatterychargers.com.au/c ... pAodTl4AUg

Dmaxqld
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Re: 2014 MY15 Alternator

Unread post by Dmaxqld » October 8th, 2014, 6:53 pm

A VSR will only isolate the cranking battery from the aux battery when the cranking battery drops below the pre-set voltage cut off, normally 12.7 as you state. If the cranking battery is fully charged the VSR will be closed and both batteries will be connected. Nothing to do with the alternator.

Rodnic
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Re: 2014 MY15 Alternator

Unread post by Rodnic » October 8th, 2014, 8:27 pm

Dmaxqld wrote:A VSR will only isolate the cranking battery from the aux battery when the cranking battery drops below the pre-set voltage cut off, normally 12.7 as you state. If the cranking battery is fully charged the VSR will be closed and both batteries will be connected. Nothing to do with the alternator.
If a 'smart' alternator drops to 12.2 volts won't the VSR drop out and cease charging the aux battery?

Dmaxqld
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Re: 2014 MY15 Alternator

Unread post by Dmaxqld » October 8th, 2014, 9:00 pm

No because the VSR is monitoring the cranking battery voltage. Nothing to do with what the alternator is outputing. If the cranking battery voltage remains above the pre-set cut off, the VSR will remain closed and your cranking battery and aux battery will remain linked. And a VSR doesn't charge anything. It is just a smart relay. On and off, nothing more.

You are confusing two seperate issues. How a VSR works and the output voltage of a smart alternator are seperate issues. Now if the output of a smart alternator drops to 12.2 because the ECU has sensed no load, then that will effect the charge going to your aux battery. You either need a DC-DC charger to boost that voltage or a workaround to trick the alternator into thinking there is a still a load and therefore keep outputting 14 plus volts. I know the Rangers can be reprogrammed. Have also read that connecting any aux negatives to the chassis earth, and not direct to the cranking battery, is a possible workaround.
Last edited by Dmaxqld on October 9th, 2014, 6:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

mydmax
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Re: 2014 MY15 Alternator

Unread post by mydmax » October 8th, 2014, 9:14 pm

If a VSR disconnects at below 12.5V for example then the alt running at 12.2v as mentioned above WILL allow the battery to drop to 12.2v because it and the alt are connected by a charge cable and the VSR WILL definitely drop off the connection to auxiliary batteries. That is why it is called a VSR.

Dmaxqld
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Re: 2014 MY15 Alternator

Unread post by Dmaxqld » October 9th, 2014, 6:34 am

Not disagreeing mydmax but that is not my point. My point was, for the majority of the time, the voltage of the alternator has nothing to do with the operaton of the VSR.

The normal circuit is alternator to cranking battery to VSR (or DC-DC charger) to aux battery.

If the voltage of the cranking battery is above the cut out voltage of the VSR, the VSR will remain closed and complete the circuit to the aux battery. Nothing to do with the voltage of the alternator. The alternator can drop to whatever low voltage it is programmed to do to save the 0.0000001 L/100km, but as long as the cranking battery is above the cut out voltage, the VSR remains closed. Depending on load, the voltage of the cranking battery could remain above the VSR's cut out voltage for a long time even though the alternator is idled right back to only 12.2 as suggested above.

Even though the alternator may be programmed to drop to 12.2 volts when no load is detected (to save fuel) that does not necessarily mean that the ECU is programmed to let the cranking battery drop to this low of a voltage before increasing the output of the alternator to charge it back up. I would think 12.2 is too low and would effect the longevity of the battery. Would be good to know what this programmed voltage is.

mydmax
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Re: 2014 MY15 Alternator

Unread post by mydmax » October 9th, 2014, 7:07 am

You can't have the alt at 12.2v and the main linked to a VSR and AUx battery at 12.7v for example.
The voltage seen at the terminal of the alternator is what is also seen at the main battery terminal.
The ECU doesn't turn the voltage down, it stops alt output, ie, no output happening, to save all that fuel you mentioned and returns to charge when the ECU says so.
So the alt cannot be at 12.2v and the rest of the system be above it. Same as the two batteries connected by a VSR are essentially at the same terminal voltage, although SOC may be different.

Rodnic
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Re: 2014 MY15 Alternator

Unread post by Rodnic » October 9th, 2014, 7:17 am

I see your point Dmaxqld. The start battery would have to be boosted back to the fully charged point after dropping to whatever the setting is. If the VSR has a cut out of 12.7V it would drop out until the start battery is again above 13.2V, or whatever, so it could continue to cycle while the engine is running.
Any way this is getting off the topic question and is a moot point if the Dmax in fact does not have a 'smart' alternator.
Thanks for the inputs.

Rodnic
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Re: 2014 MY15 Alternator

Unread post by Rodnic » October 9th, 2014, 11:42 am

It is all sorted. As stated the 2014 Dmax does NOT have a smart alternator. I visited my local TJM this morning and they advised that they normally only fit a VSR and showed me their paperwork listing various vehicles and the type of alternator they are fitted with.
I'm happy, subject closed.

kruzaman
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Re: 2014 MY15 Alternator

Unread post by kruzaman » November 29th, 2017, 7:18 am

Just for future reference the new DMax has a smart alternator I have a 2017 model

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