Leece-Neville Announces New 185 amp Alternator for School Bus Applications

4836LGHOh, how times change. When we first started manufacturing and marketing alternators for school buses here in the US we knew that our 140 amp 2500 series was more than a match for the task. These days, we know that school buses need an alternator capable of a minimum output of 185 amps, and that as soon as you throw on even a single air conditioning unit that even that isn't going to be enough. On top of that, the new EPA diesel engine requirements are driving the under hood temperatures of these buses higher and higher, creating a very difficult environment for the alternator. It's time for a change, so this is what we're doing to meet these challenges.

We've created a new line of 185 amp alternators, which are part of our 4800 series. Please note that as of September 2006 we will no longer provide a 2 year warranty on the 175 amp alternators for school bus applications. Plain and simple, the 4830/4834 175 amp alternators are no longer up to the task. School buses are requiring more and more power, and the 175 amp alternators can not provide all of the power that is needed.

The 185 amp units listed below will carry a 2 year unlimited mileage warranty, but the 175 amp units will only be warranted for 1 year.

Part number Sales number Mounting style Excitation
A0014836LGH 4836LGH J180
A0014939AAH 4939AAH PAD
A0014939PGH 4939PGH PAD
A0014943PGH 4943PGH PAD
A0014977AAH 4977AAH PAD

Unlike the 175 amp 4830/4834 units (which were the same frame style as our 2800 series), these new alternators have all of the heavy duty attributes that you would expect to find in our premium high amperage alternators. Some of the features of the 185 amp alternators are:

  • Approved for high heat installations (110oC/230oF)
  • High temperature grease in bearings, high heat insulation on stator wire
  • Large, external rectifier package with 12 high temperature diodes
  • Enclosed brush / slip ring design
  • Available in both J180 and pad mount configurations

For the most part the new 185 amp units will fit in the same applications as the 175 amp units, but be aware that they are just a little bit longer:

4834 4836 rear dia
4834 4836 side dia

The actual specifications are available by clicking on the part numbers shown at the top of the article, by downloading the brochures listed at the bottom of this article, or by looking here for more information on additional products.

While the new 185 amp alternators are recommended for the base school bus configuration, there are many cases where additional power is required. Here are a few example configurations and the corresponding alternator amperage requirements:

Use a 200 amp alternator for:
  • Any school bus with one A/C unit. Can be with or without a wheelchair lift.
  • Any school bus without A/C but that does have an electromagnetic brake retarder
4740JB, 4742JB, 4860AA, 4860JB, , 4861JB, 4863JB, , 4868JGH, 4884JB, 4940PA, 4948PA, , 4951PGH, 4964PA, , , , , 4974PA,
Use a 270 amp alternator for:
  • Any school bus with two A/C units. Can be with or without a wheelchair lift.
  • Any school bus with one A/C unit and an electromagnetic brake retarder
4867JB, , 4867JGH, 4870AA, 4870JB, , 4870JGH, 4871JB, 4872AA, 4874JB, , 4883JB, 4916PA, 4942PA, 4944PA, 4947PA, , 4947PGH, 4949PA, , 4949PGH, 4957AAH, 4967PGH, 4975PAA, 4981PGH, 4993PA, 4995PA
Use a 320 amp alternator for:
  • Any school bus with two A/C units and either a dash A/C unit or a third A/C unit. Can be with or without a wheelchair lift.
  • Any school bus with two A/C units and an electromagnetic brake retarder
4890AA, 4890JB, , 4912PGH, 4915PA, , 4931PGH, 4962PA, 4962PAH, , 4994PA, 4996PA

These are just approximations, you should contact us if you need any assistance in sizing the correct alternator for you application.

FL1068_NP_185Amp_vs_175Amp.pdf597.54 KB
PP1239_185amp_alternators.pdf237.48 KB
PP1244_School_Bus_Catalog.pdf1.53 MB