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How to Upgrade the Big Three


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aceracer24 
Copper - Posts: 140
Copper spacespace
Joined: May 30, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: June 08, 2006 at 11:55 PM / IP Logged  
Short story, I always knew that upgrading to larger gauge wire for just about anything made an improvement but I just today swapped out my old crappy Alternator wire (about 10 gauge maybe) with some 4 gauge cable I bought from an audio store. My deck shows the volt output and normaly on my but it's around low 12's maybe mid 12 volts. After I started up the car and let it warm up I came back and saw it happily jumping between low 13 and about 13.7. How to Upgrade the Big Three - Page 3 -- posted image. I was extremely shocked. I knew the benefits but didn't really expect to see anything significant. To top it off, that was only one of the 3 things I have done so far. I have yet to replace the grounding under the car with the 2 gauge I bought and i have not run the other power wire to the fuse box yet. All in all I am pretyt happy with the outcome. Just thought I would share :)
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reefguy 
Member - Posts: 36
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Joined: March 03, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: June 12, 2006 at 10:45 AM / IP Logged  
question on the soldering, i use 1/0 crimp terminal, is the wire strip enough to show abit between the crimp and the wire insulation, and solder between that gap and strink tube over it?
aceracer24 
Copper - Posts: 140
Copper spacespace
Joined: May 30, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: June 12, 2006 at 12:06 PM / IP Logged  
I would not recommend doing it that way. You won't get as good of a bond with the solder trying to do it between the small gap not to mention you will most likely melt the insulation/tubing.
1968 VW Beetle
Pioneed DEH-780MP, 2 10' Memphis PR104D, Memphis PR500.1, TXC 6.1, MTX Thunder 8502
jlord16 
Silver - Posts: 322
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Joined: September 08, 2005
Location: Australia
Posted: June 13, 2006 at 1:28 AM / IP Logged  
I have two OEM wires comming from the positive battery terminal, is this unusal?  I know one goes to the alternator but i cant seem to locate where the other ones goes, do some cars have two wires carrying current from the alt or does it go elsewere?
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DYohn 
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Moderator spaceThis member has made a donation to the12volt.com. Click here for more info.spaceThis member has been recognized as an authority in Electrical Theory. Click here for more info.spaceThis member has been recognized as an authority in Mobile Audio and Video. Click here for more info.spacespace
Joined: April 22, 2003
Location: Arizona, United States
Posted: June 13, 2006 at 6:11 PM / IP Logged  

jlord16 wrote:
I have two OEM wires comming from the positive battery terminal, is this unusal?  I know one goes to the alternator but i cant seem to locate where the other ones goes, do some cars have two wires carrying current from the alt or does it go elsewere?

It's not unusual and it could be going any number of places.  The one you should be worried about is the interconnect between the alt and the battery.  Don't disturb the other one(s). 

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killer sonata 
Silver - Posts: 718
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Joined: May 17, 2006
Posted: June 13, 2006 at 7:16 PM / IP Logged  
Mine had 2 wires stock connected to the battery. 1 came from the alt, the other went to the fuse box. a positive battery post can have multiple conenctions depending on what needs to be powered and how the manufacturer wnated those wires run.
"People with mullets live 40% longer"   - Ricky Bobby
arctichighlandr 
Member - Posts: 1
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Joined: July 03, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: July 04, 2006 at 12:55 AM / IP Logged  

The above description for upgrading the big three doesn't seem to fit what I'm seeing in my car.

I have an 06 Subaru Impreza wagon.  It has a couple plus wires and a couple negative wires coming off the battery.  The negative wires look like they are at most 8 gauge (1 direct to adjacent chassis, 1 to transmission(?) housing).  The plus wires are hidden by cable covers but the one that appears to go to the starter seems to be the same gauge.

The wire for the alternator first goes to a fuse box where I believe it feeds an array of items.  A plus wire comes off of the bottom of this fuse box (along with a ground wire) and feeds the alternator via a snap in module with 2 wires that look like they are only about 22 gauge.   I assume the above upgrade technique wouldn't apply to my car?  Is there an alternative that would work?   As far as I have been able to determine there is no alternator upgrade available.

I plan to add a 800w stereo (500w & 300w amp).  Since I can get some flexible 5400+ strand 2/0 wire about the same price as 4 gauge is selling for locally I had planned to overkill the big 3 with this wire as well as run it to the amps.  Now I'm not sure what to do.

mech3 
Copper - Posts: 76
Copper spacespace
Joined: April 27, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: July 11, 2006 at 9:48 PM / IP Logged  

I just did my big three with stinger proffesional series 1/0 gauge wire and now my alt voltage reading i 13.78v when before it was 14.1v. My elevtrical system seems to be running a little weaker hen before as both amps are not as loud as before the upgrade. I verified all grounds and they all have super minimum resistance. I am really confused- I ran the 1/0 gauge as secodary wires to the oem runs. I have tried individually removing the battery and engine upgraded runs and it makes no difference. I have the 1/0 gauge power run ran from the alt to the platinum battery terminal on the top post of my optima, and the factory line still connects to th side post. I have an extra ground on the battey also so i have grounds on both the battery top terminal and side post. I am thinking to remove the 1/0 power run from the alt to test it out to see if there is a voltage difference, as i have not yet tried that. I have taken voltage readings from the terminal on the alt, the battery, and back at my amp, and they all are within .02 volts of eachother. Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks

slipone 
Member - Posts: 46
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Joined: April 20, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: July 13, 2006 at 12:10 PM / IP Logged  

Is it good practice to leave the stock wires connected when and after installing the new wires?

If i am unsure of my current draw, would it be ok if i just installed 1/0 guage wire to be safe?

Proudly stuffing large packages into small boxes since 1983.
tweakerxp 
Member - Posts: 5
Member spacespace
Joined: July 01, 2006
Location: Canada
Posted: July 13, 2006 at 9:55 PM / IP Logged  
slipone wrote:

Is it good practice to leave the stock wires connected when and after installing the new wires?

If i am unsure of my current draw, would it be ok if i just installed 1/0 guage wire to be safe?

Current will always take the path of least resistance, so you're fine leaving the stock wires in there. 1/0 gauge would be ideal.
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