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New system...Finally haha

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Gadget Tech' started by Z-71, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Z-71

    Z-71 Member

    Well that sucks...how can I check this?I have a voltmeter...do I check with the amp running?as of now I have a stock alt but tomorrow my 200 amp alt is going in along with big two...I will do the third wire later.Will any of this help?btw the new alt says ''voltage set point 14.75 volts''.You got my attention please inform

    ---------- Post added at 11:00 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:11 PM ----------

    Nvm I just busted out my voltmeter and tested power at the amp....

    key off - 12.64 volts

    engine running - 14.33 1/2

    engine running system on and at normal listening level (hitting good but not full blast) - 14.20-14.31
  2. zigger215

    zigger215 New Member

    Current is going to be your concern. It sounds like you are going to address that with a new alternator.
  3. Z-71

    Z-71 Member

    Cool,So according to the numbers I posted I should be pulling right around the 1000 watts that the amp is capable of right?
  4. zigger215

    zigger215 New Member

    well, its a little more complicated than that for a few reasons. wattage output or consumption is based off the relationship between resistance, voltage and current (ohms law.) see the thing is, it depends on a huge number of variables, alternator output (ie, your amp doesnt like sharing current, so you need a bigger alternator, which sounds like you are addressing that.) second the size conductor you run to the amp from the battery matters for current delivery and voltage drop. DC has a big issue with voltage drop because the current travels the length of the conductor dropping the entire way. AC alternates which is why you can run smaller conductors on an AC circuit with less voltage drop.

    So in short, you need to run bigger conductor all the way to your amp and since DC is a loop, you need to upgrade your charging system, this is done by changing 3 important conductors under your hood, its also known as doing the "big 3" upgrade. Power conductor from your alternator to your battery needs changed, ground wire from your battery to chasis needs changed and ground wire from the motor needs changed. These need to match the biggest conductor in your system or the upgrade is pointless

    Think of it this way, take a milkshake, the milkshake represents the current, voltage is represented by flavor (what you're trying to accomplish, 14.4vdc) and your conductor is represented by your straw. Now, the thicker the milkshake, the more current right? so you have to increase the size of your straw so that you, the amplifier, doesnt blow a lung trying to suck it up. Now add a kink anywhere in that straw and you lose the point of having a big straw because you are only going to get as much as that kink allows, so your smallest cable in the system is your weakest link. remember this, current in a DC circuit travels from negative to positive, so dont forget about the ground! lol ok now if you werent confused before, you now will be.

    as to your original question, with a bigger alternator, correct wire sizing, and proper tuning, you should get very close to your amps optimum specs.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  5. Z-71

    Z-71 Member

    Okay thanks for the info.So It sounds like I'll be all good after tomorrow with my alt and under hood wire upgrade.I talked to some staff at crutchfield when I was getting ready to get the amp and they said my amp wires were good for that amp for the distance needed and power draw of the amp.Thanks again
  6. zigger215

    zigger215 New Member

    Yep I would say you're on your way to running your system at max efficiency.
  7. Z-71

    Z-71 Member

    Hey Zigger,I asked this in another post but I'm heading out to put the alt in now and need to know this.My instructions that came with my wires for my new alt say to run the ground from the battery to the engine and leave the stock wires in place.My question is can I use a bolt near the alt?On the aluminum bracket maybe?Thanks
  8. zigger215

    zigger215 New Member

    Either place should be the same. The alternator is grounded through its connection to the motor via the brackets, the motor is grounded through the battery, the battery is then tied into the frame (front drivers side frame rail). If it were me I would keep the grounding layout factory (minus upsizing the wire of course). I tried changing the layout on my truck and it acted nine kinds of messed up.

    I read that post. I think Enks suggested keepin with the factory too. It's just a more bullet proof way of upgrading IMO
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  9. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Moderator ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I just upgraded all the wires to 4Ga when I had my other Av. Alt to Box to Batt and Grounds.. I used new Copper 4ga rings and had to make the hole bigger
    on the box to fit the 4ga But other then that no problems...
  10. Z-71

    Z-71 Member

    Ok,I ended up grounding the new wire to the engine and left the factory grounds alone as the instructions suggested...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I have something kind of weird to post though.when I first got done I checked the battery and it was 12.64 volts then I started the engine and checked it again an it was 15.25 or something like tha (didn't wright it down).I took it for a ride and cranked everything up pretty loud to look for dimming...when the bass hits hard at a loud volume level Idling or driving It doesn't dim it flickers real quick almost unnoticeable.now the weird part I noticed my volt gauge on my dash was reading 14 even and it always sits 1 - 2 lines past 14 so I used my voltmeter to be sure and I got 12.56 engine off and 14.37 engine on.So I took it for another ride and left the stereo off...It still reads the same.Why would everything drop like that and not come back up?I also noticed that with my stock alt after driving yesterday it was warm to the touch but this one was hot.I could still touch it but barely.Advice?

    Btw I did clean the aluminum and remove paint from the backside and where the wire touches of the place I mounted the ground
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012

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