PRI Road Tour Hits Powermaster Performance

PRI Road Tour Hits Powermaster Performance


Chicago may have been dubbed the “City of Big Shoulders” by Carl Sandburg, but auto enthusiasts have labeled West Chicago the “City of Big Performance.” This moniker is related to the Powermaster Performance factory that supports the charging and starting needs of the automotive world.

The PRI Road Tour traveled through the City of West Chicago to visit Powermaster Performance. Company President John Babcock pulled back the curtains and hosted the visitors on a junket through the shop.

Powermaster Performance President John Babcock.

Known primarily for their top-shelf alternators and starters, Powermaster Performance has been engineering products to meet the demands of hot rodders and racers for decades. They support almost every domestic engine from the automakers but meet the unique needs of racers and street rodders as well.

The heart of any alternator is the rotor. Powermaster takes great care in how its rotors are manufactured.


According to the Powermaster team, the heart of the alternator is the rotor. What makes Powermaster’s alternators stand apart is the internals are all built in house. The rotor’s plastic bobbin is wound with pure copper wire right under their roof. This process allows the team to layer-wind the wire to achieve the highest possible amperage output for performance applications.

Field windings are made from pure copper wire.

With quality-control a priority, the rotor manufacturing line is automated to provide consistent assembly. Each rotor is precision machine cut to ensure the proper air gap for each alternator. This requirement helps the alternator reach the highest output possible at idle – Powermaster’s trademark and tradition. The team proudly documents the output on a “Proof of Performance” tag on every alternator. The rotors are dual-plane balanced for smooth performance and long life. Likewise, alternator pulleys are manufactured in house to exacting specifications.

Tested for output.


The starter’s field coils are wound with pure copper wire with welded armatures for energy efficiency and maximum cranking horsepower. Powermaster’s theory is fairly simple: Starter motors that work better and run cooler will last longer.

Powermaster Performance uses high-quality steel through extrusion presses to manufacture starter motor frames. According to company policy, a great steel and consistent dimensions make great starters.

High-quality steel entering an extrusion press.

Not every application is the same, so Powermaster Performance machines starter blocks for every application type. These blocks are produced in vertical and horizontal machining centers on the factory floor.

Every starter goes through a load test procedure to ensure it meets Powermaster standards. An individual dyno sheet is included with the unit that validates these results.

Much like the starter motors, every individual alternator is dyno tested as well. A “Proof of Performance” tag is affixed to each alt, showing the enthusiast exactly what they are buying.

To see the many product lines that Powermaster Performance offers, visit them online at

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