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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Alternator and battery

so i think the alternator is finally taking a dump on me... for my 98 f150 v6

have a few questions for yall

1) how hard is it to install a new alternator? keep in mind i know nothing about cars... if it is complicated, any recomendations on who to take it to/who can do it (cheap )

2) what alternator do you recommend using? i currently have a JL 500/1 and pretty much pushing it at about 85% half the time. i have noticed some slight distortion whenever i push the amp a little, but when i check the voltage it isnt near the peak... i assume this is from lack of power...

3) i currently have a older and really cheap battery from auto zone... would it be necessary/beneficial for me to upgrade batteries? i know most people get Optima batteries but they are really expensive. are they worth it? is there a better bang for the buck battery? do i even need a new one??

thanks a bunch in advance for the help guys

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 05:32 PM
yes, jluv
 
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An alternator is simple to install, especially on a Ford. Just take the old one out and put the new one in its place.

I am still going strong (knock on wood) with a crazy giant system on the stock alternator. I get anywhere from 14.7 - 13.6 volts, depending on what all is on. I have an Optima Red Top. Great battery and worth the money.

A badass alternator is going to cost you a shit ton. And with just one 500/1, you shouldn't need it. By the way, that amp should push out the same amount of power regardless of the voltage it's getting, as long as it's at least 11 volts.

When you say you're pushing it at about 85% most of the time, do you mean your head unit volume or your amp gain? I can't imagine your gain needing to be that high at all.

If it were me, and I knew my alternator is bad, I would just replace it with a remanufactured unit, upgrade the battery, and do the "big 3" upgrade under the hood.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jluv
An alternator is simple to install, especially on a Ford. Just take the old one out and put the new one in its place.

I am still going strong (knock on wood) with a crazy giant system on the stock alternator. I get anywhere from 14.7 - 13.6 volts, depending on what all is on. I have an Optima Red Top. Great battery and worth the money.
well something is wrong somewhere... my car has alot of trouble even starting and my lights dim a pretty noticable amount. and also the distortion thing...

as far as throwing the same spec alternator back in, what would prevent the new one from shittin out? dont alternators go bad from being over worked? i just dont want to half ass it and have to replace it again in a few years. but at the same time i dont want to spend money on something i dont need.

so it looks like im goin with the red top as far as the battery goes. any sugestions for place to buy? i know costco carries them now and they are great on warranties so unless i find a better deal i will most likely buy it from them

Quote:
Originally Posted by jluv
When you say you're pushing it at about 85% most of the time, do you mean your head unit volume or your amp gain? I can't imagine your gain needing to be that high at all.
not 85% gain.. hell no im not an idiot lol.

i set the gain using a multimeter and i mostly play at about 29 on my HU when i tuned the amp gain at about 35

Quote:
Originally Posted by jluv
If it were me, and I knew my alternator is bad, I would just replace it with a remanufactured unit, upgrade the battery, and do the "big 3" upgrade under the hood.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedleSharp
well something is wrong somewhere... my car has alot of trouble even starting and my lights dim a pretty noticable amount. and also the distortion thing...

as far as throwing the same spec alternator back in, what would prevent the new one from shittin out? dont alternators go bad from being over worked? i just dont want to half ass it and have to replace it again in a few years. but at the same time i dont want to spend money on something i dont need.
Your alternator shouldn't be overworked with one 500/1.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedleSharp
so it looks like im goin with the red top as far as the battery goes. any sugestions for place to buy? i know costco carries them now and they are great on warranties so unless i find a better deal i will most likely buy it from them
Check around. I buy all my stuff from EW (Eric) at Autosound in Bedford. His price should be as good as any.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedleSharp
not 85% gain.. hell no im not an idiot lol.

i set the gain using a multimeter and i mostly play at about 29 on my HU when i tuned the amp gain at about 35


http://www.caraudio.com/forum/showthread.php?t=152355
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jluv
Your alternator shouldn't be overworked with one 500/1.


http://www.caraudio.com/forum/showthread.php?t=152355
Great site... great information

gonna do the big 3 on wed

prob going to go buy a red top on thursday or maybe wed if all goes well with the big 3

gonna try and avoid the alternator if possible... lol

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 06:29 AM
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Needlesharp, just get you a good ol plain cheap battery, and order you a kinetek cap killer (600 series)...for your amp. Its a really tiny battery, and will do wonders for your reserve power for the amp. If you want to run by the shop, i can show you what one looks like. You can find online pretty good price.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 09:15 PM
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I was going to say a farad capacitor would probably solve the distortion thing right? I know when I worked at Circuit City there were guys running some huge amps on all stock stuff but they had a farad cap on each of the amps and didn't have any issues... need to be a decent one and not a no name brand. Monster makes some good ones I think.

Let me know if you need help with installing the alternator.... buy a new drive belt when you get the alternator so you won't have to worry about that breaking for a long time. That is probably the stock alternator and it lasted 120k miles or whatever... even if you throw another stocker on there and overwork it you might only get what? 60k?
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dman
Needlesharp, just get you a good ol plain cheap battery, and order you a kinetek cap killer (600 series)...for your amp. Its a really tiny battery, and will do wonders for your reserve power for the amp. If you want to run by the shop, i can show you what one looks like. You can find online pretty good price.

A really good 1 farad cap will run you $100-$135, Or you can run a kinetik power cell battery. A hc600 has more reserve power than 100 1 farad caps. We use them for alot of our upper end installs, and always for our competition vehicles. A HC600 you can get for around $200... A way way better investment. I run one in my truck. Its not too much bigger than a residential alarm battery.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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so where to go to get the alternator? stock rebuild (would a rebuilt alt be okay for my app?) or something slightly better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dman
A really good 1 farad cap will run you $100-$135, Or you can run a kinetik power cell battery. A hc600 has more reserve power than 100 1 farad caps. We use them for alot of our upper end installs, and always for our competition vehicles. A HC600 you can get for around $200... A way way better investment. I run one in my truck. Its not too much bigger than a residential alarm battery.
lol, my system is very far from high end. i was going to try and stay away from a second battery if at all possible. its just more wirring, more space to take up that i dont have, goda throw an isolator on and more money overall probobly. if i had plans of doing some crazy system in my truck then i would def consider a secondary power source, just dont think its the best for my application... then again if you can persuade me that its better, you def know alot more about this crap than me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TorchRedStang
I was going to say a farad capacitor would probably solve the distortion thing right? I know when I worked at Circuit City there were guys running some huge amps on all stock stuff but they had a farad cap on each of the amps and didn't have any issues... need to be a decent one and not a no name brand. Monster makes some good ones I think.

Let me know if you need help with installing the alternator.... buy a new drive belt when you get the alternator so you won't have to worry about that breaking for a long time. That is probably the stock alternator and it lasted 120k miles or whatever... even if you throw another stocker on there and overwork it you might only get what? 60k?
i have seen caps do great things to car audio and i have seen them be little novelty led lights that serve no purpose... for $150 i would honestly rather throw a red top in since it would improve the overall performance of the whole electrical system and not just the car audio for the same price.

$200 for a new monster cap

i have no clue wth im doing with cars at all... i helped my friend install his disk brakes in his lexus, and still pray for him before i go to sleep to this day... i ran sea foam through my master cylinder and nearly shit my pants but all the belts n shit... duno wtf im doing... i think im going to go ahead and do the "Big 3" upgrade here soon when i get some time off. while im under there i'll take a look at the alternator and see if thats something i could tackle in a few hours w.o blowing up my car. that would be cool if you could help me, just as long as you dont call the cops on me again or anything

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 11:03 PM
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ok, please understand this!! Ask anyone who knows what they are doing and do it for a LIVING in the industry. A battery is way better and alot more effective as a secondary power source. I dont care what you put up front, its not going to effectively help you at all. Sure a higher amp altenator will help, but does nothing for you if your not going to isolate it and up front (your start battery) and add a secondary source (second battery) to the rear for your sound system. I am not selling you the parts, i am giving you sound proffesional advice. Get a kinetik battery. Its like a cap, only 100 times more powerful, and yet its a BATTERY, so the reserve and quick charge rate is alot better. a 500 watt amp should not be pulling you down. Again this is just advice from someone who has been doing this for about 17 years, and i dont run a harry hines store who will sell you anything to get a dollar. Good luck on which ever way you go.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-01-2007, 12:10 AM
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I have had a JL Audio 500/1 since 97-98 and I have used a 1/2 - 2 farad on it and the 2 farad is by for holding up to the point the amp is not pulling hard. Really can't even tell the amp is pulling at all anymore.

Don made me remove my sig
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-01-2007, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dman
ok, please understand this!! Ask anyone who knows what they are doing and do it for a LIVING in the industry. A battery is way better and alot more effective as a secondary power source. I dont care what you put up front, its not going to effectively help you at all. Sure a higher amp altenator will help, but does nothing for you if your not going to isolate it and up front (your start battery) and add a secondary source (second battery) to the rear for your sound system. I am not selling you the parts, i am giving you sound proffesional advice. Get a kinetik battery. Its like a cap, only 100 times more powerful, and yet its a BATTERY, so the reserve and quick charge rate is alot better. a 500 watt amp should not be pulling you down. Again this is just advice from someone who has been doing this for about 17 years, and i dont run a harry hines store who will sell you anything to get a dollar. Good luck on which ever way you go.
thanks a lot dennis for your honesty man i appreciate it!

here's my stance right now:

-gonna do the big 3 upgrade (about $30 after wires and connectors)
-go up to auto zone to see how fried my alternator is. if its bad, replace it with a stock (i dunno... $120???)
-buy a red top ($150)
puts me @ around $300

if THEN i still have any electrical problems at all or my voltage levels ever drop low, i will come up to see you man and do w.e the hell you say lol. there are some other things i would like to spend money on and i since my alternators goin out anyways i goda replace it... and it sounds like everyone says get an optima so ima try it out

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-01-2007, 09:27 AM
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Alterstart has the best deals on HO alternators, if you decide to go that route. My 235 amp one was around $325 out the door. Like has been said though you really don't need to step that up at this point.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-09-2007, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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new alterator and battery checks out to be fine. very little dimming at full volume and idle engine but without A/C on. with AC on there is lots of dimming again. im gonna upgrade the wires and get back at yall. if no go on that, then to the damn optima i shall go.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-10-2007, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06GTFanatic
I have had a JL Audio 500/1 since 97-98 and I have used a 1/2 - 2 farad on it and the 2 farad is by for holding up to the point the amp is not pulling hard. Really can't even tell the amp is pulling at all anymore.
O'rly?
The earliest paperwork I have on the 500/1 was printed in 99. We were a beta test store for the amps. I will guess that 2000 is the absolute earliest the 500/1 was available and probably not for purchase at that point. The first JL Audio price list that the amps show up on was printed in 12-2000 for the 2001 model year.

Last edited by EW; 11-10-2007 at 08:47 AM.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-10-2007, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EW
O'rly?
The earliest paperwork I have on the 500/1 was printed in 99. We were a beta test store for the amps. I will guess that 2000 is the absolute earliest the 500/1 was available and probably not for purchase at that point. The first JL Audio price list that the amps show up on was printed in 12-2000 for the 2001 model year.

He obviously had the hookup!
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-10-2007, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by EW
O'rly?
The earliest paperwork I have on the 500/1 was printed in 99. We were a beta test store for the amps. I will guess that 2000 is the absolute earliest the 500/1 was available and probably not for purchase at that point. The first JL Audio price list that the amps show up on was printed in 12-2000 for the 2001 model year.
LOL

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