Mean Green Starter & Alternator - Overpower Your 4X4Posted in How To on October 30, 2006
In this age of multiple electrical accessories, even 4x4s are beginning to feel the power drain. In addition to its regular charging duties, the stock alternator is taxed with CD and DVD players, satellite radio systems, multiple light systems, and also heavy-duty electric winches that can use every last bit of charge created. Starters are also overworked by multiple starts as you cruise about town and also during unending revolutions as you struggle to refire the engine with a hot starter at an awkward angle while on the trail. For these reasons the stock starting and charging systems in many vehicles leave much room for improvement. For the latest installment of our Project Scout II buildup, we decided to explore what improvements can be made through the installation of Mean Green's high-torque starter and high-output alternator.
The Mean Green IH Scout starter weighs just 12 pounds and is 33-percent smaller than the factory unit. Since the stock starter is much heavier and larger, the Mean Green unit is an excellent candidate for vehicles running headers. An internal solenoid that isn't prone to overheating like stock IH V-8 starters is utilized, and instead of a typical cast-aluminum nosepiece construction, the Mean Green nosepiece is made from solid aircraft aluminum. The indexable nose provides straight-line engagement, which is more reliable than offset or indirect starter drive-gear engagement. The starter also features 4.4:1 ultra-low gear reduction for powerful starts and is cycled-tested for 35,000 starts. This is three times the torque provided by the 1:1 stock reduction. Another notable feature is the starter's use of bearings instead of bushings, which provides extended operation that's backed by an unconditional two-year warranty.
Complementing the Mean Green starter and creating a much more powerful charging system than stock, the Mean Green high-output alternator offers more than twice the output of stock units. The alternator is precision-balanced and features a tool-steel rotor shaft that's supported at both ends by heavy-duty double-sealed bearings. The heavy-duty solid copper windings are also sealed with high-temperature insulation to provide excellent heat resistance. Internal and external fans help further maintain an optimum operating temperature. The 200-amp alternator offers a smaller, faster-turning pulley that aids low-rpm charging (rated at 100 amps at idle), meaning that the charging system won't falter during difficult, power-draining winching maneuvers. A 300,000-mile life expectancy for its alternators is assured by the company, and both the Mean Green alternator and the starter can be installed in the stock locations using stock hardware.