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Hey what's up. Working on a SPL build for my 09 Chevy Tahoe and could use your guy's opinion and recommendations on the items for the build will appreciate it much!! I have 

Possible Ipad install (soundman) with Sony XAV-9500 es

2 DC Audio Lvl 6 18's

Either DC Audio 10k or a Psi 10k ?

370 Mechman alt -dual possibly*?

1/0 ga D4S and SHCA ofc*

SMD 4 and 8 ANL fuse holder's 

Big 3 or 4 ?*

Lithium/battery delete ah/brands*?

 

Starting from scratch so let's get it ! Lol

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Before you buy your alternators, listen up on your truck. I have an '11 Silverado and this has somewhat been a torn in my side until I found a work around. My apologies if you're already aware of this, but I figured I'd say something and not need to rather than not say anything and could have saved you some headache. 

GM cars, light duty trucks, and SUV's 2006 and up have a voltage regulator controller. It's the little ring that goes around the stock grounding cable from the battery negative to the engine block. 

This regulator tells your alternator when to work, and how hard to work. From a cold start, and sometimes during charging, you're VRC is telling the alternator to charge around 15.3v. Other times, when the RVC doesn't think it's needed, it can dip all the way down into the low 13v range. 

It'll also work to keep your batteries around 80% charged, which is actually a good thing when it comes to longevity. 

My problem was I went out and bought a $1000 LifePo4 lithium battery, not knowing enough about the charging system. Those LifePo4 cells don't like anything above 14.8v. 

The thing about GM is, they haven't changed their alternator mounting since something like 1986. So any alternator will fit. They just changed the plug from a 4 pin plug, to a 2 pin plug that is controlled my the VRC. So I bought a Mechman alternator for an '05 with the 4 pin plug. Mechman also sells av4 pin plug with an exciter wire that you just connect that to a 12v switched source. Mechman altetnators are internally related as a backup, so I'll get a steady, non fluctuating 14.7v. 

On top of that, they sell a bypass for the 2 on plug, that you just plug into the stock plug, and it makes the ECU think the VRC is doing its job, so no battery light. 

Now, if you decide to go with an LTO lithium chemistry, they like higher charging voltage. So when your VRC tells your alternator to dip into the 13's, well, that's not optimum either. In that case, I would consider going externally regulated alternator(s).

 

2011 Chevy Silverado under construction

My build log here. Check it out! 

 

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I noticed the VRC around the ground cable when I started to mess around with the engine bay. I haven't fully understood how it actually works/ reads and is the external regulator going to be the best option to control the vehicles voltage or what can one do to get what you want from your vehicles voltage?  Should a battery delete be necessary for under the hood ? Or can i just run Lithium banks with runs running to the back from the  alternator ? I have 370 mechman alt but not a external regulator . Do I need to contact mechman about this?

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35 minutes ago, Cruz18s420 said:

I noticed the VRC around the ground cable when I started to mess around with the engine bay. I haven't fully understood how it actually works/ reads and is the external regulator going to be the best option to control the vehicles voltage or what can one do to get what you want from your vehicles voltage?  Should a battery delete be necessary for under the hood ? Or can i just run Lithium banks with runs running to the back from the  alternator ? I have 370 mechman alt but not a external regulator . Do I need to contact mechman about this?

Mechman knows what's up when it comes to this thing. That's where I got a good 80%of my information. All the other info came from youtube videos and articles explaining the voltage controller from GM and other automotive sources. 

Honestly, it all depends on what battery chemistry you decide to use and what your using your system for. 

2 370's and maybe 4-5 high ah AGM batteries should push 10k watts in competition, or just 1 370 in a daily driver, mostly listening to the system while driving. Then you could just use the VRC like normal, and it wouldn't damage anything. But you end up with the reality of having fluctuating voltages. 

A LifePo4 lithium battery, such as most Limitless batteries, the JY 40 battery, and some others, you can run 10k off the single 370 and 40+ ah (don't quote me on the ah so much on the lithium batteries. I'm still learning about that. But I'm pretty sure 40 should get you there, but maybe barely). The draw back is that 1- you can't put them under the hood because it gets too hot, so a battery delete would be necessary. 2- they don't like high voltage charging, so you would have to get another alternator for an earlier model GM, with the 4 pin plug assembly, and the 2 pin plug bypass module. More crap to buy when you have a perfectly good 370.

Going LTO lithium, it'll handle the voltage jolts up past 15v that the VRC sometimes calls for. But you would still have the voltage fluctuations. Also, you would need more ah from LTO, but not as much as an AGM. XS also makes some LEO'S that are under the hood safe. So that's a plus as well. 

@SnowDrifterknows a lot about lithium chemistries. He won't tell you what to buy, because in the end, that's your decision, but he's got a lot of knowledge that can aid you in your decision. Hopefully he pops on and give his $1,000,000 worth of knowledge (way more than 2 cents). Or, just search lithium batteries on this forum, and a plethora of great information will pop up that you'd be able to study up on. 

Being that you're saying this will be an SPL vehicle, I'm assuming you're going to compete with it? Or is it just a daily driver? If it's just a daily driver, bypassing the VRC isn't 100% necessary. Sure, you're voltage will fluctuate, but driving with the RPMs above idle should still keep your batteries fed. Just make sure you get an amplifier that can handle higher voltage. Most quality amplifiers can. 

If you're competing, well then you do not want those fluctuations and you'll be at idle, so the more power the better. 

 

 

Edited by Dafaseles

2011 Chevy Silverado under construction

My build log here. Check it out! 

 

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1 hour ago, Dafaseles said:

Mechman knows what's up when it comes to this thing. That's where I got a good 80%of my information. All the other info came from youtube videos and articles explaining the voltage controller from GM and other automotive sources. 

Honestly, it all depends on what battery chemistry you decide to use and what your using your system for. 

2 370's and maybe 4-5 high ah AGM batteries should push 10k watts in competition, or just 1 370 in a daily driver, mostly listening to the system while driving. Then you could just use the VRC like normal, and it wouldn't damage anything. But you end up with the reality of having fluctuating voltages. 

A LifePo4 lithium battery, such as most Limitless batteries, the JY 40 battery, and some others, you can run 10k off the single 370 and 40+ ah (don't quote me on the ah so much on the lithium batteries. I'm still learning about that. But I'm pretty sure 40 should get you there, but maybe barely). The draw back is that 1- you can't put them under the hood because it gets too hot, so a battery delete would be necessary. 2- they don't like high voltage charging, so you would have to get another alternator for an earlier model GM, with the 4 pin plug assembly, and the 2 pin plug bypass module. More crap to buy when you have a perfectly good 370.

Going LTO lithium, it'll handle the voltage jolts up past 15v that the VRC sometimes calls for. But you would still have the voltage fluctuations. Also, you would need more ah from LTO, but not as much as an AGM. XS also makes some LEO'S that are under the hood safe. So that's a plus as well. 

@SnowDrifterknows a lot about lithium chemistries. He won't tell you what to buy, because in the end, that's your decision, but he's got a lot of knowledge that can aid you in your decision. Hopefully he pops on and give his $1,000,000 worth of knowledge (way more than 2 cents). Or, just search lithium batteries on this forum, and a plethora of great information will pop up that you'd be able to study up on. 

Being that you're saying this will be an SPL vehicle, I'm assuming you're going to compete with it? Or is it just a daily driver? If it's just a daily driver, bypassing the VRC isn't 100% necessary. Sure, you're voltage will fluctuate, but driving with the RPMs above idle should still keep your batteries fed. Just make sure you get an amplifier that can handle higher voltage. Most quality amplifiers can. 

If you're competing, well then you do not want those fluctuations and you'll be at idle, so the more power the better. 

 

 

Yes both spl/daily driver lol I'm looking into other spl builds and daily drivers as well. There is just so much to learn and understand when it comes to power and how you really want it to perform before you end of frying $$$thousands  . I know going Lithium is going to be the best option for how much of a demand it's going to handle when It comes to wattage and long-term usage. So I'm  looking at a battery delete with an 80ah yinlong bank possibly 2 banks of 80ah but I am aiming to keep things minimal for the time being because I'm still new to this and want to learn one thing at a time and understand how my vehicle acts with an HO alt. Lithium banks voltage/charging ,amperage draw, the stability of energy flow through runs of wire because this is one thing I want to know is how do I know if my 1/0 ofc runs are getting maximum flow or should I just upgrade to 2/0 and and call it good because the amount of strands it has. Better grounding points? Have you had trouble with grounding yet? Do certain spots  affect voltage ?  @DafaselesI appreciate the information

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10 hours ago, Cruz18s420 said:

Yes both spl/daily driver lol I'm looking into other spl builds and daily drivers as well. There is just so much to learn and understand when it comes to power and how you really want it to perform before you end of frying $$$thousands  . I know going Lithium is going to be the best option for how much of a demand it's going to handle when It comes to wattage and long-term usage. So I'm  looking at a battery delete with an 80ah yinlong bank possibly 2 banks of 80ah but I am aiming to keep things minimal for the time being because I'm still new to this and want to learn one thing at a time and understand how my vehicle acts with an HO alt. Lithium banks voltage/charging ,amperage draw, the stability of energy flow through runs of wire because this is one thing I want to know is how do I know if my 1/0 ofc runs are getting maximum flow or should I just upgrade to 2/0 and and call it good because the amount of strands it has. Better grounding points? Have you had trouble with grounding yet? Do certain spots  affect voltage ?  @DafaselesI appreciate the information

There's a lot to learn as I found out when I was planning out my system. I'm still learning. 

Ying longs are a good choice. If you look around, you can buy whole kits to help you build your own bank correctly. I know LAF has kits he manufacturers specifically. You just have to buy the cells. 

Your truck will do fine with the HO alternator. When you install it, make sure you follow the directions, you'll be fine. Make sure that your positive connection to the alternator is nice and tight. A loose connection can cause a lot of problems, even the failure of the cable. 

Most quality 1/0 OFC car audio cable is rated around 350 amps. Some more, some less, but on average, 350 amps. I specify car audio cable because many companies oversize their cable. 1/0 welding cable is usually rated at 300 amps. Don't even worry about CCA cable. My advice, don't use it. So with a 370 amp alternator, you'll want 2 runs of 1/0 so you know you'll be getting all your amperage you paid for, and you won't overload the cable. 2/0 car audio cable is usually rated at 400 amps. Mechman rates their alternators at 1800 RPM's. So above that, you'll get more obviously. How much more, I don't know for sure. So keep all of that in mind when selecting cable. 

Grounding is a sort of an issue with the VRC. I've read, if you choose not to bypass it, it doesn't like it when you ground to the frame. But talking to Tony from Mechman, he said it's fine, ground it to the frame. I never got a definite answer to that, because I chose to just bypass it, so I'm just going to do the big 4 upgrade like normal. 

To add to that, you can't have too much electrical support. So the more power, the more grounds, the better. 

As far as good grounding goes, basically it comes down to how easy is it for your spent energy (ground) to get back to the alternator. The frame is the best way, though a lot of guys will also send a run or 2 all the way back up and ground out straight to the alternator as well as the frame. It's just more protection. Pick a nice, thick piece of the frame to ground to. Keep the cable runs as short as possible. Stay away from welds because they can impede that energy from flowing easily. 

If I've missed anything, or you have more questions, don't hesitate to ask! The people in this forum and myself are more than happy to help as much as we can. 

2011 Chevy Silverado under construction

My build log here. Check it out! 

 

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  • 4 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Here's the 140 ah LTO bank , finally got everything up and running not the nicest as far as the setup goes but that is on the list of what to do/accomplish. Still working on the voltage was able to get it up to 15v one night after work . Having it close to full tilt on my way to work then sat around 14.6 but yet the fluctuation happened dropping down around 14v when I was on my way home. So got home turned the truck off turned it back on let idle around 1-2k rpm got it to charge to 15v and the alt read 15.2v but the battery light came on and i assumed the truck was telling the cpu it was to high of voltage so it went down to 14.6. I've read its normal but can I get past this by not using the VRC ring? I have tried with a pwm frequency regulator but I don't think it has much affect on my alt/system any insight?

20220606_134355.jpg

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