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Old 11-12-2003, 11:50 PM   #1
Euphony010
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Default WHere to Connect for Power

Well, I've looked for a higher amp alternator and don't think I'm going to find one, so here is my question.

I have the power cable hooked up to the + battery post. I read somewhere on here that I should connect it somewhere else. WHere is that somewhere else?

Any tips for helping out my alternator?

Thomas
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So Long L Series... Hello Mazda 3.

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Old 11-13-2003, 08:53 AM   #2
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An often suggested location is the main post on the underhood fuse/relay block, with a fuse as close to the connection as possible.

There are a few new, higher amp alternators available on eBay, but I have no idea of their quality.
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Old 11-13-2003, 10:02 AM   #3
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All my power connections are made at the main post on the fuse block. The ones powering amplifiers have inline fuses about 6" down the line from the fuse block.
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Old 11-13-2003, 01:11 PM   #4
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Some like to connect high power amps at the alternator post itself if the alt. has been upgraded. The premise is it's only a 8 or 10 ga wire between the alt and battery, which becomes the weak link. The stock wiring should handle the stock amp output, though. I second a ring terminal at the underhood fusebox.

The best thing you can do for your alternator is keep it cool. Imagine it heating up at idle in traffic, when it can supply the least amperage, and then having to run that electric cooling fan! Insult to injury...

If you can bypass the amp and just use the head unit (maybe run the front speakers off that) during heavy current draw at low RPMs (traffic, rear defroster, a/c) that'll save your alt, but you don't want to hear that.

There's a company that makes supercooled alternators for ambulances, etc., I think they're called "iceberg" or such. Might have better fan fins on them or something...
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Old 11-13-2003, 06:59 PM   #5
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Could someone post a pic of the fusebox terminal?
Thomas
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Old 11-13-2003, 08:26 PM   #6
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Sorry it's so crummy-- it's by flashlight.

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Old 11-14-2003, 08:51 PM   #7
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Way I see it, that wire that connects the battery to the fuse block is 8 guage for a reason. When you add your 8 guage (mine is 8) to that post think about what happens--the factory load is still there (which needs 8 guage)--and the new amp load is there also (which really needs 8 guage. You are now running two 8 guage loads off of that post and there is only one 8 guage supply coming in. Don't know about you guys, but I don't like that--especially because it robs the amp (and the car) of power during peak demand.
Go to the stereo shop or Best Buy or Circuit City or Auto Zone and buy a proper side post battery adapter that will allow you to connect to the battery the right way. See this thread where I posted a picture of the adapter:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...threadid=26354
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Old 11-15-2003, 01:04 AM   #8
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Hey guys,
After checking out for once what you all think to be a beter place to connect, I have decided that it would be stupid to run my stuff from the fuse box.
As tight said, why run a 4ga. wire to a connection that is only making power through an 8ga? Seems really stupid to me.

I'm keeping it on the battery post, with a good terminal connector that I'm buying tomorrow.

Thomas
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So Long L Series... Hello Mazda 3.

I still miss the polymer.
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Old 11-15-2003, 01:20 AM   #9
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I'm surprised no stereo freaks suggested making the connection at the starter. You know, where the main 4 gauge POS wire from the battery and charge wire from the alternator meet? Your amp could steal power from the car's electrical circuit before it ever even got to the battery that way, as well as be under full battery power all the time...maybe even to the point that with the amp up high enough the car wouldn't run at all! (LOL)
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Old 11-15-2003, 01:53 AM   #10
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Well, hopefully I'll have a new 200amp ALternator by late January, with new smaller gauge wiring and everything!

Thomas
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So Long L Series... Hello Mazda 3.

I still miss the polymer.
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Old 11-15-2003, 08:40 AM   #11
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Maybe, until January, you could mount a gasoline powered generator to the roof and use that to supply the amp.
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Old 11-16-2003, 01:55 AM   #12
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LOL! I think you'll be just fine running with a stock alternator and the amp connected to the battery (properly).
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Old 11-16-2003, 02:15 AM   #13
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Went out and bought the correct connector.

Pic to come.

ANd tight, I ave my doubts with the alternator.

Thomas
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So Long L Series... Hello Mazda 3.

I still miss the polymer.
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Old 11-16-2003, 04:54 PM   #14
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what i am doing is replacing all the wiring, from the starter to the battery, alt. to starter to battery, with #2 welding cable. that should take care of any problems of any kind(i hope). also, i had problems with the stock wiring once, with corrision under the red plastic batt. connector. watch out for this area
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Old 11-16-2003, 06:17 PM   #15
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Well, the new connector seems to be a much better connection, and has eliminated my transmission problems.

I'll still go with the Alt. though..

Thomas
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So Long L Series... Hello Mazda 3.

I still miss the polymer.
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Old 11-16-2003, 06:22 PM   #16
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Here's a good link for showing the GM recommended procedures and battery adapters to power aftermarket equipment directly from the battery.

http://service.gm.com/techlineinfo/radio.html

HTH
WOT
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Old 11-16-2003, 09:21 PM   #17
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Well I hear a lot of people talking about watts and listing their equipment off, but it's not how many watts your amp says it pushes that hurts your alternator. The true measure of how much load the battery and alternator are handling is the amperage you are pulling. Look at the fuse ratings on the products--high fuse rating means a high draw from the amp.
I have an Alpine head unit with the v-drive internal amp, and it's fuse is a 25 amp. My MTX 8302 amp has twin 30 amp fuses. So that's a potential 85 extra amps I could be drawing not even counting the neons, headlights, foglights, etc. I'm on my 3rd alternator at 150,000. (first at 60k, second at 121k--weird huh?)
There's no doubt that if I was idling with all this stuff running at full I'd be overloading the alternator--thing is you don't usually have all the stuff in the car on at the same time (at least not for long) and subwoofer amps are only really pulling heavy load when the subs are really jumpin. I think as long as you spend more time driving than idling you'll be ok with a factory alt.

Last edited by tightsaturn96; 11-16-2003 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 11-16-2003, 09:29 PM   #18
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You're right that it's the current draw, not the output that matters for the car's electrical system. But fuses will normally be somewhat to well above the normal current draw of the item they're supplying. And, for an amp, it's a variable draw, unlike, say a set of lights.

Still, I'm a little too old to understand the need to crank out enough decibels to entertain people two blocks away.
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Old 11-16-2003, 09:36 PM   #19
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Atleast my setup is more SQ.. Could be SPL... hahaha

Thomas
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So Long L Series... Hello Mazda 3.

I still miss the polymer.
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Old 11-18-2003, 05:57 PM   #20
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I'll second the battery terminal/ side post adapter. I've run dual 4ga (with the Big 3 upgrade) for 5 years now and haven't had a problem.
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