Maybe someone can help with this one. I have a 2003 Mazda Protege5 wagon that I am using a Kicker XS-100 (1216 watts RMS at 1 ohm per Kicker bench test last time I sent it in for cleaning) on a pair of Pioneer SPL2000 subs wired at 1 ohm and a JL Audio 300/2 running at 4 ohm stereo at 150x2 RMS on the front and rear highs. I want to add a high output altenator but according to the dealer/service department that will void the electrical system warranty (although I was told by them I could have as many batteries as I want). The stock altenator is 95 amps so what I did was upgrade the charging wire from the atenator to 4 guage, upgraded the ground from the battery to 0 guage, ran 0 guage power wire to the rear, added a second battery to the rear, both front and rear batteries are Optima reds (according to the dealer the Optima yellow is not a starting battery so using it would also void my electrical warranty), 0 guage ground in the rear and a 150 amp circuit breaker at each battery for protection. Have I done all I can do or is there something I missed? I am out of the show car phase so I dont use it for competition its just my daily driver, although you never really lose the urge to compete again, and I do occasionally demo it to people because believe it or not those Pioneer subs really move some air. I don't have flickering lights or voltage dipping below 12.2 volts at high volume levels but I know I have to be stressing the altenator somehow. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanx, Tom
According to your post, your alternator is not supplying the power your amp needs. Instead it's coming from the batteries. Optima Reds are better than a regular car battery. However, it is not a deepcycle. This means if you ever "demo" your car too long while idling, there is a possibility of draining them below 12v. Once that happens, your battery will be as good as dead. I am sure you know how deepcycle batteries operate so I won't explain. Just for curiosity's sake, measure the voltage while playing the stereo. See if you get 14v or 12.2v. If it's 12v, then you know you've driving the alternator to the max. When does the warranty expire? You might want to get HO alternator very soon. Those guys don't sound very knowledgeable with car audio. Judging by your post, they're being useless di$ks. A deepcycle battery has nothing to do with electrical system blowing up. They should all lose their mechanic license for being useless. Have you seen Orion MBR 75? It is like an isolator but much better. With that, you can use regular car battery for starting and a deepcycle in the rear without cutting into your electrical system. Then you don't have to worry about your starter battery dropping below 12v. If you really wanted to be difficult, you could ask the service department to explain how deepcycle battery will have any impact on the car's electrical system. Also, ask them if they have any idea what "HO" alternator is. In fact I'm not even sure if they know how alternators work in a car. It's not like you're trying to upgrade 12v to 24v in your car. I just can't understand how they can call themselves car "experts".
Hey Isaac, thanks for writing back. I have tested the voltage and at idle with the volume at around 3/4 volume the voltage sits at around 13.3 volts (I listen to soft jazz and country). Only when I play the USACi spl test cd for demo purposes at idle will it go down to 12.2 volts but it pretty much sits there and when I stop playing the cd it goes back up. Unfortunately, my warranty is 5 year and 50,000 mile and right now I'm at 1 1/2 year and 16,000 miles so I have to play by the dealers rules. When I worked at a stereo shop here in Vegas we use to sell the Stinger dual battery isolator but we had problems with them so I'm not a big fan of isolators. FYI, back when I competed USACi outlaw spl I ran 3 opti reds in the rear with 2 Kicker xs-100's on a single JL Audio 13W7 and still off the stock altenator I'll tell you I was stressing driving long distances to shows hoping the altenator doesnt die... Boy those were the days. Tom
There's your answer. The 12.2v means you are getting all of your power from the battery. If the battery ever dips below 12v, then you won't be able to start the car. It'll probably kill the alternator once that happens along with any sensitive electronics in the car. Since you have to go along with those idiots (while under warranty), you will need to turn the volume down and wait for HO alternator.
Yes Isaac, I agree the dealership is a bunch of idiots (darn new car warranty). The good thing is I love my car and I have no plans on getting rid of it so I'll just plan on getting an altenator in the future. Anyway I don't listen to my music loud (picture the look you get when you are shaking the car next to you while you play Eminem or Snoop Dogg, now picture the look you'll get when you shake someones car playing Spyro Gyra or David Sanborn or even Dixie Chicks, although there is a bass line in the song "A Home" by the Dixie Chicks that'll eat any Eminem song alive). Man I'm old, Tom