Dont wanna burn up my car

Electrical & Ignition

  1. saylor

    saylor Senior Member

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    if you dont fuse it both sides and it shorts out from either side you are gonna start welding shit together. shortly after that somethings gonna catch fire.
     
  2. Rosco

    Rosco Active Member

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    You are right.
    I intend to figure it out.
    I'm looking at a reman. 45 amp unit now. Like I said I'd prefer a new unit but 60 is the only thing avail...
    If i were to go the 60 route my thoughts are to re-wire the charging circuit (properly) with bigger gauge wire that could handle the 60 amp alternator but leave the ammeter in the circuit. New soldered connectors, heat shrink tap, continuous wire where possible (firewall) and fusible links where needed. I'll do the research. The ammeter will be the only stock item left in the circuit when I'm done (if this is possible).
    Feedback on this arrangement would be greatly appreciated. My intuition says it will work and if I get the system working properly shouldn't have the alternator running at full capacity anyhow. I think the lights draw maybe 12 amps, heater blower maybe same.
     
  3. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    Again, it really doesn't matter how much current your alternator is capable of putting out. It's all about the draw.

    Think about this... and this is really simplified. You have a light bulb in the dash of your car. It takes a couple amps to run the light. Understand so far? The wire going to the light bulb is sized for the light bulb draw... a couple of amps. Stay with me... Now look at the cables coming from the battery to the starter. The starter draws a lot of amperage. So... big wire. The battery is capable of providing that current needed, but that little light bulb doesn't need that much current. So it doesn't need a big wire. Understand?

    What you have is an issue with your charging system not working correctly...

    You are "upsizing" the alternator.

    Are you adding any more to the system? A big amplifier or extra headlights for example? I'll bet the answer is no.

    So... Your current draw is not going to change. Your alternator isn't going to "push" more current through the wires as the car runs. All things being good, there's no change except the alternator is capable of providing more current.

    It's kind of like saying that you don't need to put a bigger wire on your clock radio because they put a new zillion kilowatt power generation station in next door.

    Now, a good argument can be made for a higher amperage alternator charging a discharged battery faster because of its increased output. That I would agree with and again, doing the "bypass" is a good idea.

    Listen... Put in the new alternator. Clean up the contacts and go drive the car. You want the ammeter, so that's it.

    Running new wire is going to be a royal PITA and it's really not going to help as you are still dealing with plug in connections and they are your weak links.
     
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  4. 3175375

    3175375 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Before defining the requirements or size of ANYTHING, you need to define the electrical loads that you are adding and perform an electrical load analysis (list them all) and then the wire sizes, circuit protection values and alternator can be specified.
    Anything less is asking for trouble - maybe not in day to day use, but when something goes wrong.

    This isn’t hard, it just takes some diligence and attention to detail.

    I know that you are excited to add some ‘bling’ to your car, but scabbing it in is setting your car up for a possible serious problem.

    I am not telling you this to squish your dreams, but to ensure that they are realized for a long time.
     
  5. Rosco

    Rosco Active Member

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    Appreciate the feedback.
    UPDATE:
    60 amp alternator ordered.
    I'll go through the charging system and report back what I find! I'll be the keep-the-ammeter guinea pig!!
    Again, the only reason for the "bling" is 1) it's a NEW part (not a reman.) and 2) I'm told by the manufacturer that it provides 50% charge at idle which is what I need.
    Embrace your ammeter!! I'm going to make hats and t-shirts. And hopefully live to spend all the money:)
     
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  6. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    One of the things we can do to help is to reduce the draw through the system.

    As you've probably figured out by know (look at @3175375 's cartoon), everything runs through the dash, connections and ammeter. The light bulb on the end of the circuit is drawing current through the circuit.

    If we reduced the amount of current draw, there would be less current draw through the dash connections and ammeter. Let's say we take that light bulb out. Now there is less current draw.

    So... one of the largest current draws through the system is the headlights. The power goes through the various plugs into the dash, through the ammeter some more plugs, through the switch and back through some more plugs and the dimmer and out the dash.

    What we can do is install a relay system where only the small amount of current needed to switch the relays runs through the dash etc. and the main power to the lights goes directly to the lights. It's like magic... You basically cut the current through the dash circuit (much like the Nacho bypass only different, kinda) and you have the bonus of not getting the voltage drop to the headlights, resulting in brighter headlights!

    I'd say this would also eliminate the need to upgrade any wiring to the dash.

    It's been suggested here in this thread, but the current reducing aspect wasn't really discussed. I was holding back until you had a plan.

    This is how I did it. You can ignore adding the third relay for the headlight doors though. Headlight Relays with Hidden Headlights
     
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  7. 3175375

    3175375 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    ^^^ Do this - while this mitigates the existing loads, the things that you plan on adding needs to be addressed similarly or you’ll still be guessing at what your loads are through the ammeter.

    My position of looking at any changes still stands - look at the total electrical system including any changes before doing anything.
     
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  8. ALRUI

    ALRUI Member

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    Here's a thought, how bout some LED headlights that look like originals (there may already be such a thing) certainly would draw less current and provide better light! My son put some on his older Jeep Cherokee and they work great though they look goofy.
     
  9. Rosco

    Rosco Active Member

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    I am not thinking about adding accessories accept an electrical water temp gauge. Otherwise totally stock. I was told the headlights would draw maybe 12 amps, tail/brake lights maybe the same. Blower motor, no idea but I think I'll be well under max potential output on my new 60 amp alternator. Too, I'm considering increasing wire size for the ammeter circuit. What are your thoughts with this arrangement? Too, just curious, is your name/number here birthday and year of mopar?
     
  10. Rosco

    Rosco Active Member

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    Don't the led bulbs still look like a florescent laboratory? I thought about adding halogen bulbs for better light but haven't taken the time to see what the halogen bulb wattage is vs. stock. My concern isn't so much dim lights but battery drain which I think I will have mitigated with this new 60 amp alternator that puts out decent charge at low rpm.
    Although brighter lights is not a bad thing.
     
  11. Rosco

    Rosco Active Member

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    Looks like the halogen bulbs are 35 watts. The standard sealed bulbs list as 50/35 low/hi.
    Might be a good option for better light but won't help lower total draw.
    Don't know about the led light quality...
     
  12. 3175375

    3175375 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    My call sign is my name upside down.
    I think it’s a good idea to do what you suggest. However, I would recommend to put the headlights on relays to minimize the current draw through the ammeter, as others have suggested.
     
  13. Rosco

    Rosco Active Member

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    S Leslie? You don't need to divulge.
    I'll have my work cut out for me this season working on the Fury. I think my realistic goal is get her running and see how it operates with the new components. Then consider doing the relay headlight upgrade.
    Don't know if you noticed my other post about the battery getting hooked up with backwards polarity? Might be a blood bath in there, but who knows. I will report.
     
  14. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    You gotta figure in all the bulbs. IIRC, most of the halogen high beams are 60 watts and the low/highs are 35/55 (?) watts. so figuring at 12 volts on high beam, you'd have a little over 19 amp draw. Somebody else can double check the math because that does sound high. Tail lights are only about 8 watts each, so 4 tail lights are under 3 amps at 12 volts. BTW, tail lights are on a separate circuit and are fused.
     
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  15. Rosco

    Rosco Active Member

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    Just lost my post..
    I was saying that I spoke to a guy at an electrical repair shop who thought maybe 12 for the headlights and around the same for the heater blower. Not sure about tail/brake lights, let's say 3 amps per above. But then I've got dash lights and the new electric water temp meter w/ light.
    At 38 amps stock it seems like that was just barely enough to handle everything. I mean if you had your radio on on a cold and rainy night in stop and go traffic- not a lot of wiggle room.
    Feeling good about the new 60.