Jump to content

Wire Size for 400 amp Alternator Upgrade


Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Time2SHO said:

 

I appreatiate the time your taking to help me out. 

He uses cable for power transfer(Generator to panels that distribute to lights, A/C units, media use, etc), not exactly welding, but at that size I imagine it similar?

 

That is the plan, I'm hoping to just buy once, cry once and be done for the time being. 

 

I don't mind,

Kenwood head unit: DDX9907XR

Front door speakers/tweeters: Focal 165 K2 Elite (Full active I believe is how the speakers and tweeters are set up)

Speaker amp: Clarion XC7 420

Sub amp: JL HD1200/1

Subwoofer: JL 12w7

Amp kit: 1/0 Knokonceptz to a distribution block then powers the two amps. I had a shop do the install for me. 

 

In the future I'd like to run my 

JL HD600/4 for the rear speakers whenever I get speakers for the back. 

And eventually would like to do a second 12w7 at some point as well.

 

No second battery at the moment, I'm wondering if I should hold out and wait till I can get two batteries at the same time, or just one?

I talked with Mechman, and the guy says I should be fine with one battery as I'm not needing a ton of power out of it at my current stage. But then that means I'll need to buy 2 new batteries down the road?

He was also saying I'd be ok with just a single 1/0 gauge cable big three as I'm also not pulling all the amps needed through it. I guess I could always add a second big 3 down the road when I up the power needed?

 

I definitely like to keep the system as clean and neat as possible. 

I never thought to use those flat battery connectors. I'll be looking into those as they look like they might be the easier ones to do?

So yeah, you're not pulling much, but those high end JL amps are hungry. That alternator with even your current battery is more than enough. 

1 big 3 will be plenty right now. Though 2 runs of 1/0 from your alternator positive to your battery won't hurt. I say that just to be a little overkill, so you won't ever exceed the rated amperage of the cable. Mechman rates their alternators at 1800 RPM. So at 1800 RPM, that alternator can put out 400ish amps (I have one as well) and at 800 RPM (about idle) they usually put out around 200ish amps. So that can kind of give you an idea of how much current that alternator will be pushing out the majority of the time while driving. Good 1/0 OFC car audio cable is usually rated around 350 amps. I always tend to try and steer people away from using CCA car audio cable because, basically, it's cheap, and can't handle the amperage OFC can. Welding cable is pure copper, which in my opinion, is just fine to use in daily driver systems, with some asterisks. Car audio cable is oversized, so it can handle more. Welding cable uses the AWG standard. So 1/0 welding cable is usually rated around 300 amps. Also, depending on who you ask, the cable sleeve of welding wire can be less protective than car audio cable (I have never tested this claim). Some say OFC is even more resistant to oxidation than pure copper (I've never tested this myself either).

If you ever get to put in a second HD1200.1, then I would recommend dropping coin on 2 high output AGM batteries. Replacing your current battery and your truck has space and kits to add a second battery under the hood, so finding space shouldn't be an issue. That should keep both fed just fine. 

The reason I like those type battery terminals is, at least for me, it was easier to attach all the ring terminals I needed, and liked a lot cleaner, than stacking everything together on a "pole".

2011 Chevy Silverado under construction

My build log here. Check it out! 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your run is short, alt to battery under hood, a single 1/0 would be more than plenty. 

 

EDIT- and just looked at the gear you mentioned. I doubt you even see 400 amps from the alt, with that demand. Run 1/0 to the batter, then, branch off at the post, and do whatever it is you need. Dont over think it. Its not rocket surgery or brain science. 

 

 

 

and, just 1 run of 1/0...... like that for years. I dont really remember this well, but at some point near the end, i get on it a little)

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, Dafaseles said:

So yeah, you're not pulling much, but those high end JL amps are hungry. That alternator with even your current battery is more than enough. 

1 big 3 will be plenty right now. Though 2 runs of 1/0 from your alternator positive to your battery won't hurt. I say that just to be a little overkill, so you won't ever exceed the rated amperage of the cable. Mechman rates their alternators at 1800 RPM. So at 1800 RPM, that alternator can put out 400ish amps (I have one as well) and at 800 RPM (about idle) they usually put out around 200ish amps. So that can kind of give you an idea of how much current that alternator will be pushing out the majority of the time while driving. Good 1/0 OFC car audio cable is usually rated around 350 amps. I always tend to try and steer people away from using CCA car audio cable because, basically, it's cheap, and can't handle the amperage OFC can. Welding cable is pure copper, which in my opinion, is just fine to use in daily driver systems, with some asterisks. Car audio cable is oversized, so it can handle more. Welding cable uses the AWG standard. So 1/0 welding cable is usually rated around 300 amps. Also, depending on who you ask, the cable sleeve of welding wire can be less protective than car audio cable (I have never tested this claim). Some say OFC is even more resistant to oxidation than pure copper (I've never tested this myself either).

If you ever get to put in a second HD1200.1, then I would recommend dropping coin on 2 high output AGM batteries. Replacing your current battery and your truck has space and kits to add a second battery under the hood, so finding space shouldn't be an issue. That should keep both fed just fine. 

The reason I like those type battery terminals is, at least for me, it was easier to attach all the ring terminals I needed, and liked a lot cleaner, than stacking everything together on a "pole".

 

The JL amps, do they pull more than other amps in the same range? I'm just curious as I've seen many other brands like Skar, DC, American Bass?, etc but I don't know anything about them, as they seem to not be not as advertised as JL or other brands. I just have always gone with brands that the shops in the area seem to sell. 

Sorry for off topic.

 

That's great to see the Mechman makes so many amps at idle, I feel like I may have gone overkill on the alternator size. Ah well. 

I've been getting a weird smell off and on, which I have a feeling it is the battery, so I think Ill be replacing it sooner than later. I should probably look at an AGM this time around? than a lead-acid battery? 

 

I was just afraid of starting a fire under the hood. I feel like I can be over cautious sometimes. When I first looked into the audio cables, I did see the difference in between the CCA and OFC. I would always go after the OFC when doing installs. I couldn't imagine using CCA as why would you waste your money twice. I heard welding cable is hard to work with and not many people I've read recommended it. So I've tried to stay away from it.

 

I appreatiate that, is those lithium batteries worth looking at? I've done a little bit of reading where they aren't very good for under the hood temps nor very good for cold climates? As it can get very cold here, and I maybe going out west soon to work, which will be even colder.  

 

Would you mind looking at this list and seeing if I got everything that I may need? They don't have the alternator distribution block, which I was thinking I would just order to the cottage. I put a fuse holder in the cart, as that is what Mechman recommends. Not sure if its a good one or not. This place seems to have the cheapest prices on Skyhigh in Canada that I've found. 

 

https://shop.singhelectronics.ca/cart.php

 

That makes sense, I've just never seem them used before, so I wasn't sure how they would work for my situation. I imagine I can just use a slightly longer bolt to mount those to my battery?

 

18 hours ago, Kyblack76 said:

If your run is short, alt to battery under hood, a single 1/0 would be more than plenty. 

 

EDIT- and just looked at the gear you mentioned. I doubt you even see 400 amps from the alt, with that demand. Run 1/0 to the batter, then, branch off at the post, and do whatever it is you need. Dont over think it. Its not rocket surgery or brain science. 

 

 

 

and, just 1 run of 1/0...... like that for years. I dont really remember this well, but at some point near the end, i get on it a little)

 

 

 

It's like 2 feet I thinking, probably even less. I tend to over think things, and get too cautious sometimes I think. I also like to try to keep it as clean as possible. 

That video was great, I don't think I'd ever get that loud with just one sub hah. Would be cool to be able to get to that level at some point. 

 

I imagine you have 2 400 amp alternators on that setup?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hard to remember, but i think it was one 320 and one 270. (nothing but singers for me)   The largest alt i ever had was a 350 i think. What I've seen, is people "just buy the biggest",... then, have issues with turn on speeds, zero output at idle due to low rpm's, dead voltage at stop lights, and such. I always preferred a low turn on speed, and more average amperage through out, then a huge zero to 500amps. With the coming of hair pin style alts, that changed things, a bit. But, to each their own. 

 

A 2 foot 1/0 run could probably give and take over a 1000 amps mate. By itself.   ;) 

 

If your have a 30 foot run, then, id look at adding a second. In your case, i wouldn't. One 1/0 run of good quality cable would do you fine. In fact, that would be the definition of overkill. Also, i highly doubt, your gear, will even get your alt, to see full output. Which hey, is good. But, take the money you'd spend on 47-4/0 runs, that will do absolutely nothing for you, and put it into the build else where. Cheers and best of luck mate. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, Kyblack76 said:

Hard to remember, but i think it was one 320 and one 270. (nothing but singers for me)   The largest alt i ever had was a 350 i think. What I've seen, is people "just buy the biggest",... then, have issues with turn on speeds, zero output at idle due to low rpm's, dead voltage at stop lights, and such. I always preferred a low turn on speed, and more average amperage through out, then a huge zero to 500amps. With the coming of hair pin style alts, that changed things, a bit. But, to each their own. 

 

A 2 foot 1/0 run could probably give and take over a 1000 amps mate. By itself.   ;) 

 

If your have a 30 foot run, then, id look at adding a second. In your case, i wouldn't. One 1/0 run of good quality cable would do you fine. In fact, that would be the definition of overkill. Also, i highly doubt, your gear, will even get your alt, to see full output. Which hey, is good. But, take the money you'd spend on 47-4/0 runs, that will do absolutely nothing for you, and put it into the build else where. Cheers and best of luck mate. 

 

I may have jumped in too far without doing much more research. I'm just hoping it'll be enough for when I add two more amps down the road. I'm not too familiar with the different style of alternators available. I thought it was just the factory style ones or some sort of custom unit that'd you call in about? But at that point the install would probably be over my head.

 

But thank you for the advice and help, it is greatly appreatiated. Thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Who's Online   0 Members, 0 Anonymous, 351 Guests (See full list)

    • There are no registered users currently online
×
×
  • Create New...