Is it ok to run 4 guage wire from Alternator to battery? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old January 5th, 2011, 09:43 PM
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Is it ok to run 4 guage wire from Alternator to battery?

My lights dim when my subs hit hard, so I'm thinking of upgrading the puny brown wire that goes to the main fusebox and running a seperate 4 guage wire that goes all the way to the battery. Or I could just leave the brown wire that usually goes to the alternator to the fuselink and just add another 4 guage wire going straight to the battery. Would this cause any issues to have basically 2 charging wires? One to the fuselink (stock) and then another thick one going to the battery to give my amps juice. Watchoo tink? Any help is appreciated.
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  #2  
Old January 5th, 2011, 10:19 PM
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I will tell you what I usually do. Run a heavier gauge wire up over the drivers side innner fender and tie into the maxifuse junction where a heavy power wire comes from the starter junction and direct from the battery. You can cut a hole in the plastic base of the junction to feed the wire in and make it look factory. Best to run the new wire inside a 1/2" piece of heater hose to keep any chaffing from occuring.

This is also a good time to make a battery cutoff switch feed the maxifuse junction instead of being constant hot if you are looking for another project. I'll run you through that as well.
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  #3  
Old January 5th, 2011, 10:39 PM
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Get a capacitor... Install it as close to the amplifier as possible, and get 1 farad per 1,000 watts RMS of power.
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  #4  
Old January 6th, 2011, 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrc.swb View Post
Get a capacitor... Install it as close to the amplifier as possible, and get 1 farad per 1,000 watts RMS of power.
I concur, the wire will be more efficient overall, but a capacitor will fix the problem
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  #5  
Old January 6th, 2011, 06:47 AM
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Unless he's 100% on what he's doing, I do not recommend the wire. That's why there are plenty of car fires...

You run parallel cables when you have to deal with Voltage drops or need more Amperage.

His problem is very common with aftermarket car audio setups. Changing the wire will not help. The amplifiers will still demand that extra "juice" for a few seconds and the capacitor will correct this.
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  #6  
Old January 6th, 2011, 08:41 AM
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I recomend new wiring for the alternator output because the factory arrangement is constantly damaging alternators.
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  #7  
Old January 6th, 2011, 09:20 AM
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Pendy,

Care to elaborate?

Thanks, Nick
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  #8  
Old January 6th, 2011, 10:38 AM
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The lights are dimming because it is drawing more than the alternator can put out and sucking from the battery, the wiring does not have a whole heck of a lot to do with it. What you need is a big cap like 1 or 2 farad.
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  #9  
Old January 6th, 2011, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
The lights are dimming because it is drawing more than the alternator can put out and sucking from the battery, the wiring does not have a whole heck of a lot to do with it. What you need is a big cap like 1 or 2 farad.
That's what I was trying to say.
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  #10  
Old January 6th, 2011, 12:09 PM
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I'm sure you guys are correct. I do not waste a lot of time with the boom boom boom in a defender. But if somone wants to improve the charging circuit for their alternator I am happy to weigh in. The factory charging circuit is not satifactory in that D90.

So you can all go wire up a stick of dynamite and bass boom all your homies if you like. I'm here for the D's
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  #11  
Old January 6th, 2011, 01:20 PM
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  #12  
Old January 6th, 2011, 01:25 PM
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My D90 does not even have a working stereo at the moment so . . . .
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Old January 6th, 2011, 01:34 PM
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I was thinking of doing an upgrade like this as well, less because of my booming system, but rather just because the stock wiring seems to be a little lacking (and old)...especially since installing the second battery and controller.

I have not looked at the path of the wiring whatsoever but can someone point me to a link (or explain) the routing of the charge wire from the alternator to the battery?
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  #14  
Old January 6th, 2011, 01:58 PM
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I'll show you on the white D90 as it's real easy to see without an engine in the way. It's very simple though.
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  #15  
Old January 6th, 2011, 02:10 PM
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I'll show you on the white D90 as it's real easy to see without an engine in the way.
Always the optimist.
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  #16  
Old January 6th, 2011, 02:12 PM
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OK so I actually run a very big sub set-up in my D90, 2 12in Alpine subs each with their own 600w amp, use 4ga to run from the battery to a 1 farad capacitor (30 amp in-line fuse on positive line) and then 6ga wire from the cap to the amps, the amp wiring is stock and I have no dimming. I deal with large auto audio systems, you only need more than 1 farad caps for truly powerful systems. If you want, send me a pm and Ill send pics of the setup (pretty nice quick removal system)

While both wire and a cap would be best, the cap compensates for the short term heavy draw of amps, it pulls at a constant low rate so actually put very little stress on the system.
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  #17  
Old January 6th, 2011, 02:41 PM
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How much help would a second battery be compared to a "cap" I would rather spend money on a couple Odessey batteries then a farad "cap" The batteries may have more useful purpose for a winch instead of a "wench" magnet with the boom boom boom.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Defender90_218 View Post
OK so I actually run a very big sub set-up in my D90, 2 12in Alpine subs each with their own 600w amp, use 4ga to run from the battery to a 1 farad capacitor (30 amp in-line fuse on positive line) and then 6ga wire from the cap to the amps, the amp wiring is stock and I have no dimming. I deal with large auto audio systems, you only need more than 1 farad caps for truly powerful systems. If you want, send me a pm and Ill send pics of the setup (pretty nice quick removal system)

While both wire and a cap would be best, the cap compensates for the short term heavy draw of amps, it pulls at a constant low rate so actually put very little stress on the system.
------ Follow up post added January 6th, 2011 01:48 PM ------

The stock wire comes off the alternator and curves under the passenger exhaust manifold in your truck. Goes to the starter junction. It is a rather poor piece of wire and is always full of corrosion and overly brittle when I cut them open.

In the end the charge output wire of the alternator only needs to go to the battery itself. The less junctions and connections, the less resistance in the circuit. The better quality wire the less resistance in the circuit. 10 gauge or thicker with crimped on ends can work well. When installed correctly. I have more opinions on the matter after troubleshooting wiring issues on these vehicles for many years.

Yo

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefhuf View Post
I was thinking of doing an upgrade like this as well, less because of my booming system, but rather just because the stock wiring seems to be a little lacking (and old)...especially since installing the second battery and controller.

I have not looked at the path of the wiring whatsoever but can someone point me to a link (or explain) the routing of the charge wire from the alternator to the battery?
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  #18  
Old January 6th, 2011, 03:20 PM
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Quote:

The stock wire comes off the alternator and curves under the passenger exhaust manifold in your truck. Goes to the starter junction. It is a rather poor piece of wire and is always full of corrosion and overly brittle when I cut them open.

In the end the charge output wire of the alternator only needs to go to the battery itself. The less junctions and connections, the less resistance in the circuit. The better quality wire the less resistance in the circuit. 10 gauge or thicker with crimped on ends can work well. When installed correctly. I have more opinions on the matter after troubleshooting wiring issues on these vehicles for many years.
So New run from the alt output to the battery and bypass the starter junction all together?

I am assuming then you would need a run from the bat back to the starter junction?
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  #19  
Old January 6th, 2011, 04:02 PM
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The problem is, I do have a 10 farad capacitor from this brand called Planet audio, it was 65 bucks in down town LA. And it sitll dims, either the cap is really cheap and crappy or I need to upgrade the charging/ground cables. I'm running a new alternator and a year old Optima Blue Top. Someone told me that the blue tops have less cranking amps than the yellow top, i think thats bullshit, I looked at the labels and I distinctly remember reading the blue top has more cranking amps than the yellow top. Anyway I think I'm gonna try another cap as well as upgrade the alternator charging wire and grounds as well as the engine/tranny grounds. What do you guys think? When I turn up the stereo my idle starts getting erratic, I'm sure its fucking with the ignition system. Skerry.
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  #20  
Old January 6th, 2011, 04:14 PM
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If I think of it I will make a couple diagrams here for you.

Maybe a second battery and the wiring upgrades Neil? Before another "cap"


Quote:
Originally Posted by 97-D90-736 View Post
[/QUOTE]

The stock wire comes off the alternator and curves under the passenger exhaust manifold in your truck. Goes to the starter junction. It is a rather poor piece of wire and is always full of corrosion and overly brittle when I cut them open.

In the end the charge output wire of the alternator only needs to go to the battery itself. The less junctions and connections, the less resistance in the circuit. The better quality wire the less resistance in the circuit. 10 gauge or thicker with crimped on ends can work well. When installed correctly. I have more opinions on the matter after troubleshooting wiring issues on these vehicles for many years.
So New run from the alt output to the battery and bypass the starter junction all together?

I am assuming then you would need a run from the bat back to the starter junction?[/QUOTE]
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