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The Big 3

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 12:24 pm
by Raz
Disclaimer: These instructions are provided with no guarantee. The author is not responsible for any damage caused by following these instructions. Read & make sure you are 100% clear & understand what you are doing. If you are unsure, don't do it or find someone with experience to do it for you. If you have a vehicle under warraty you can void parts of the warranty by adding/replacing factory parts. USE COMMON SENSE!

Now that we have that out of the way, Very Happy



The Big 3

1) Reduced dimming and smaller voltage drops
2) More stable voltage and better current flow
3) Less strain on your vehicle's charging system

1. Negative battery wire to ground - replace the negative battery terminal and wire with a bigger one and ground it to the factory location
2. Engine block to ground - replace the ground wire from the engine block to the chassis with a bigger wire (4 gauge or bigger)
3. Alternator to battery - add a fused wire from the postive post on you alternator (the one comming from the battery) to the postive terminal on your battery. Don't replace the factory wire, just add a extra one. Fuse it the same size as your factory fuse.

I used 1/0 gauge on first 2 but some may not need that big. Too small of a power wire from battery to amp is the cause of most peoples problems from what I've seen. I always use 1/0 & if that is too big for a paticular amp I reduce it through a dist block at amp. Just make sure to inline fuse. A short in a speaker wire will smell bad & melt some insulation, a short in 1/0 will burn your car to the ground.

Finally, there are several versions & various tips & tricks to this procedure on the web. The basics all stay the same though. You may have a diff chassis ground etc depending on your vehicle. If you are not sure, educate yourself BEFORE you take that first nut off. Hope this helps some of you out!

Think of your vehicle's charging system as two different circuits, one consisting of your amplifier and your battery, and the other consisting of your alternator and your battery. The current in your electrical system flows from your positive battery terminal to your amp, from your amp's ground to the chassis, and then from the chassis back to the negative battery terminal. But how does it get to the positive terminal in the first place? That's where the alternator comes in. Current in the second circuit flows from your alternator's positive post to the battery's positive terminal, then from the battery's negative terminal to the chassis, and from the chassis back to the block, which happens to be the grounding point for your alternator.



Helpful hints:

1) Leave the stock wiring attached after you're done. Don't replace the stock wiring, add onto it. Current will take the path of least resistance anyway, so replacing the stock wire will only make more work for yourself.

2) When fusing your alternator to battery positive wire, fuse it toward the battery end of the wire. The battery will explode if it's overloaded, while the alternator will only burn out its regulator which won't cause much damage except to the alternator itself. Exploding batteries are no fun!

3) When crimping large gauge terminals for 1/0awg and sometimes even 4awg, a vice works well. Crimp one side of the terminal at a time, creating an overlapping edge. Put the boot around this and then wrap it in electrical tape if you want. the most secure connections will occur in this way.



BTW the vise works great. I got a mini vise at a garage sale for $5 & use it for all my 1/0 & 2 ga wire crimping.

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that's my amp ground on the rear bumper to frame bracket on the frame side of bracket. Make sure to use a non coated or non galvanized bolt. looks dirty in pic but that's actually where I sanded down the area with 100 grit to get the paint overspray off.