Powering Ahead: C. E. Niehoff Phases Out C803D and Paves the Way for the Heavy-Duty C850 Alternator

C. E. Niehoff (CEN), a top manufacturer of electrical components for transit buses and heavy-duty vehicles, is discontinuing the C803D alternator later this year. Transit authorities understand the alternator’s important role in the power management system and have looked to the C803D alternator as a staple for many years. This transition from the C803D to the C850 will require additional information for technical crews and fleet managers.

Niehoff recognizes the need for a seamless transition as they phase out the C803D. They plan to offer technical and training support for installing the C850 replacement in the coming months. As your partner for parts, KIRKS is committed to staying on top of this development and providing the information you need to make the change successfully.

What is Different Between the C803D and the Replacement C850?

The first things you notice when swapping out the C803D for the C850 are these improvements:

  • Less Weight: the C850 is 20 pounds lighter. 
  • Greater Power: an additional 25 amps of output provided.
  • Smaller Size: Length is nearly 3 ½ inches shorter, and height is 0.7” less.
  • Cooling Power: The dual fan design is ductless, eliminating the need for separate air ducting.
  • Quieter Operation: Lower level of acoustic noise produced.

Our customers continually seek alternators to satisfy the increasing power demands of buses, coaches, and other heavy-duty applications. The additional power provided by the C850 ensures reliable starting power and service to additional electrical components.

Niehoff’s C850 from an Aerial View

Features of the CEN C850 Alternator

This alternator provides features that bring a surprising number of benefits to heavy-duty vehicle operation: 

  • High Output: Produces 350 Amps at engine idle and 550A at peak.
  • Improved Cooling: Dual fan design improves airflow through the unit.
  • Leak-Free Design: No oil circulation system, eliminating oil contamination and leaks.
  • Durability: Unique brushless construction increases durability, extends service life, and reduces electromagnetic interference (EMI).
  • Overvoltage Protection: Overvoltage cut-out circuit (OVCO) prevents sustained overvoltage conditions.
  • Long-Life Bearings: Heavy-duty bearings submerged in high-temperature grease provide an extended lifespan through reduced operating temperatures. 
  • High Efficiency: Lower internal temperature due to high efficiency means longer life and more power available for additional electrical component operation.

Note that you must pair your CEN alternator only with a CEN regulator to ensure compatibility of electrical components. Both components work seamlessly together to reliably provide the precise amperage required. 

Which Brands and Models of Alternators Will the C850 Replace?  

Designed and manufactured in the U.S.A., Niehoff’s C850 alternator is compatible with all industry hybrid drive and E-FAN systems. It also replaces the Delco Remy 50DN alternator and the EMP Power 450 and 535.

Is a Secondary Air Ducting System Needed any Longer?

With the addition of the second fan, the C850 no longer requires an air ducting system. This ductless design streamlines installation and reduces system complexity.

Transit authorities opting to install a ducting system to supplement the airflow must purchase a kit separately. 

Perfect Fit, Perfect Performance: How Installation Techniques Are Changing 

Installation methods for the C850 vary depending on the heavy-duty vehicle or bus type. Variations in mounting points or bracketry require specific instructions for optimal alternator performance. 

Niehoff will provide helpful resources and support materials later this year, including installation guides, technical specifications, and an instructional training video. Specific replacement manuals will also be available from KIRKS to make accessing the information you need quick and easy.

KIRKS is Your Partner for Transit and Heavy-Duty Replacement Parts

KIRKS offers a complete line of Niehoff alternators for peak engine performance in heavy-duty vehicles.

Our team can provide expert guidance on selecting appropriate new or Approved Equal Replacement Parts to ensure a seamless switch. Contact a KIRKS product specialist here, email us directly at sales@kirks.com, or call (313) 933-7030.