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Thread: Alternator vs Battery

  1. #1
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    Alternator vs Battery

    Which is more important for supplying constant voltage and amperage when the car is running, the battery or the alternator? My voltage drops too low when my system is cranking and it leads from muddy bass to the sub amp going into thermal protect.

    I am deciding between upgrading my stock alternator to 200 amps and a second battery and/or batcap 400 which can charge and discharge like a cap. Any thoughts or advice? I have been talking to a lot of people and get all mixed responses that each swears by.

    Right now I have a stock 04 honda accord alternator, optima redtop battery, and 0 gauge wire running to a distribution block with 2 four gauges going out to a 1500w sub amp and 400w 4-channel. The sub amp pulls up to 110 amps at peak and the 4-channel about 10 amps. They get really hot!

    Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
    FLAC evandude's Avatar
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    if your voltage is getting too low with the engine running, your alternator would be the likely suspect. if it's only an issue during cranking, then the battery would probably be the suspect.

    During cranking, (especially at the very start) the alternator isn't doing anything, so the load is all on the battery until the engine starts up.
    But don't take it from me! here's a quote from a real, live newbie:
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  3. #3
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    It happens when cranking while driving, although the only time I can read the voltage is when the car is stopped since the distribution block is in the trunk.

    I'm thinking a second alternator with a second battery purely for the audio system, but not sure if that much effort/cost is needed. Again, looking for as many different opinions as possible.

  4. #4
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    It sounds like you would probably benefit most from a ho-alt.

  5. #5
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    Huh, "cranking while driving". And " add second alternator and battery)

    First is obvious, how are you cranking while drving.

    Second, you can't have 2 alternators at the same time, but you can have 2 batteries at once.

    Again, if it happens only at crank, you need a new battery, preferably with higher capacity, ckeck out the optima red top batteries.

    If it happens during driving, or both, then your alternator is bad or going bad. A bad alternator can kill your battery as well. I would replace both the battery and alternator. I would consider a better alternator and battery, but it may not need to be better to work in you current setup.

    Michael
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  6. #6
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    You CAN have multiple alternators at the same time.

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    Show me!!!

    How do you drive 2 alternators off a single engine. While it might be technically possible, with some significant fabbing, there is no way it is easier or cheaper then a high output alternator, especially in the OPs situation.

    Michael
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  8. #8
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    I count 12.. http://www.teamgates.org/bronco_2004.html

    You might consider upgrading the red-top to a yellow top depending on what one you have and what will fit in the location you have it... or just add the yellow top to the mix, put an isolator on it so it will stay charged, but it will use the red top for the cars regular stuff, and the yellow top for the system.

    With your engine not running, how long can you play your system at a relatively loud (not all the way up.. but like 2/3) volume before you cant start the car?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiredwrx View Post
    Huh, "cranking while driving". And " add second alternator and battery)

    First is obvious, how are you cranking while drving.
    I thought the same thing at first but I think he means cranking up his subs...

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate Snootch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiredwrx View Post
    Show me!!!

    How do you drive 2 alternators off a single engine. While it might be technically possible, with some significant fabbing, there is no way it is easier or cheaper then a high output alternator, especially in the OPs situation.

    Michael
    How's this?:



    or this?:



    To the original poster: Get a H.O. alternator. Your stock alternator is puny compared to the demands your placing on it. A second battery will only allow you to listen to the system longer with the engine off, and will add a bigger load on your alternator; making your problem worse.
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