LOOK HERE IF YOU HAVE VOLTAGE-DROPS----70A -> 130A ALT SWAP FOR '89-'93 3.8s + BIG 3 - Page 3 - TCCoA Forums

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post #61 of 84 (permalink) Old 11-28-2009, 11:10 PM
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The voltage meter and idiot lights still work. I saw the idiot light with a loose wire at the alternator and the voltage meter works the same as before.

Even with the better wiring there still will be quick shifts as the voltage regulator adapts to the new load. I can see very slight changes as high current items power on and off, but never the lovely dimming headlights as I had before. Normally the biggest jump I see is when the windows hit there stops with the Auto down modules.

Also for those swapping out the alternator on the 3.8, you can just get the newer accessory bracket and it will work fine on the older block/heads. It has 1 more bolt that the original bracket did not have at the bottom, but the block on my 92 already had a place drilled and threaded for it. Just had to clean years of crud out to let the bolt threw.
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post #62 of 84 (permalink) Old 11-29-2009, 04:57 PM
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The voltage meter and idiot lights still work. I saw the idiot light with a loose wire at the alternator and the voltage meter works the same as before.

Even with the better wiring there still will be quick shifts as the voltage regulator adapts to the new load. I can see very slight changes as high current items power on and off, but never the lovely dimming headlights as I had before. Normally the biggest jump I see is when the windows hit there stops with the Auto down modules.

Also for those swapping out the alternator on the 3.8, you can just get the newer accessory bracket and it will work fine on the older block/heads. It has 1 more bolt that the original bracket did not have at the bottom, but the block on my 92 already had a place drilled and threaded for it. Just had to clean years of crud out to let the bolt threw.
I wundered about that.That's good info.I also thought there was a rebuild kit that upped the amperage from stock to 100A.That might be the truck rebuild kits.I am so behind the times since I started working with a friend.The old shop I worked for closed.Owner retired.

All stock 1990 Merc Blue Max Cougar 3.8L with Automatic
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post #63 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-19-2010, 12:18 AM
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im in the process of the big 3 with my 2 amps and subs install in my 95 lx
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post #64 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 01:00 AM
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What size cable is reccomended for the "big 3" upgrade?
im going to do this on my 95 with the 4.6 V8
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post #65 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 10:23 AM
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0/1 gauge wire has been used in my experience with the Big 3

~Kyle~

Birdless! Looking for another though! Never should have gotten rid of the 94!
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post #66 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-28-2010, 12:42 AM
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anybody happen to know of the length of each cable to do this upgrade by chance?? i want to buy some online before i get into the project
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post #67 of 84 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 04:06 AM
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Just completed 2 of the big 3 on my 94 4.6, I used 0 gauge. I upped the first of the big 3 to a radiator thread because I made 0 gauge radiator to battery ground and a new batt to chassis ground. 2 days ago I added a 0 gauge to the alt casing to the chassis. I still have enough wire left over to do the power wire to the battery. I need to buy an inline mega fuse first. I'd like to not spend the money at the moment so Ill show what I have so far. Its tough using 0 gauge wire but BUT....it does make a difference.

I run 2 amps and 2 subs. 1 alpine 360w max 4 ch and a kenwood 400w max 2 ch hooked to 2 12" old school comp vr kickers. The 2 ch sub amp has a 1 farad cap btw my first step in trying to make a loud stereo DD friendly. Even with the cap I used to get voltage drops while idling at lights and bumping it loud(for me anyway). The first step adding the ground for the rad and the batt stops the immediate voltage drops at idling. The second step adding a ground from the lower alt casing mounting bolt stopped it from dropping to the draining side of 12 o clock. In fact it helped so much that if the turn signal didn't pose an added drain the volts would never really drop. I mean I tested my car idling at night with the lights on and blasting bass heavy rap and didn't ever feel the need to put in it neutral to get it get the battery to charge. It never got to drain or stay draining.

I feel when I add the posi alt cable to the batt. there will be no drain no matter what the condition of the stereo and engine speed. The brand of 0 gauge wire is audiopipe. I still haven't figured out how to get 0 gauge to stay connected to the posi side on the alt. If anyone has a reducer recommendation that would be great otherwise Ill be staring at this for a while before a plan pops in my head on how Im going to use my monster industrial terminals.

Here is a shot of the first step, will add the second step ground wire when I get a chance to take pictures.



The wire is hard to see and I pulled off some of the heater hose so you know what wire it is being that its bright red jacket makes it easy to see. It goes from the pass side lower alt mounting bolt under the intake tube to the inner shock tower in a factory hole.











I'd like to add that the terminal and wire are no where near touching the belt. I tired to show that. I plan to add one more ground from the driver side lower alt mount bolt to the battery one day just for kicks.

Spinning pies like wheels.

DD driving my 20 year old project

Now with new ball joints...again

Last edited by Splattered; 04-26-2011 at 05:39 PM.
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post #68 of 84 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 12:01 AM
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Next step in the upgrade Id like to hear some feedback on it as no one else showed me how to improve the stock charging system. This is the only way I could envision improving the stock system with some real thick wire thats going to give you all the room for improvement possible.

I want to say I hated the idea of using anything that will come apart and since I dont have the tools to make OEM quality terminals I went with all screw down stuff.



One thing Id like to note is I gave the terminals for this alt to batt cable is a good dipping in polyurethane and kept the contact point taped up. That way you wont have any accidents. Not to mention I wrapped it in heater hose at the end so its not being cooked the fuse holder isn't rated at high temp so its the best way I considered to keep it from taking heat damage.









The red plastic protector was chopped down a bit to get the terminal on, believe it or not I went through a lot of trouble with that part of project and in the end all you need to do is cut down that red protector some and cut out the old rubber for the stock wire shield, add you're own thin heat shrink tube and electrical tape. Yeah its a tight fit even making the oem wire terminal thinner, but it holds.

I made sure my terminals were well covered before I called it a day. I used heater hose, the biggest size Orielys has on a spool.

I will add one more wire from the alt casing lower mount bolt to the battery negative. This is the most strait forward and longest stretch of wire to be added thus its last.

If I had to add up all the wire I bought and give a total of the wire needed to do a complete "big 3" 4.6 style. If its done in 0 gauge Id say including the wire I plan to add but isn't shown, you need a total of 7-8 feet in my case with my car. My rad cable is in a non stock location and likely took more than stock.

Spinning pies like wheels.

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Now with new ball joints...again
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post #69 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 10:15 AM
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Ok Tim, you ready to do this on my car? If you still need some 0 gauge I'm sure I'll have plenty left over.

My stereo amps put a massive draw on the battery, I have the dancing volt meter and at low rpm's the headlights dim so I'm hoping this will solve most of the problem. I need to go through the rest of the stereo wiring though and see what other improvements can be done.

-Kelly
===================================
Fuelly
94 LX 3.8L NA : Daily Driver. 270k on chassis, 10k on motor.
90 35th Anniversary SC : Stored for the Winter.
Needs Harmonic Balancer, complete suspension overhaul.
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post #70 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 06:35 AM
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Ok Tim, you ready to do this on my car? If you still need some 0 gauge I'm sure I'll have plenty left over.

My stereo amps put a massive draw on the battery, I have the dancing volt meter and at low rpm's the headlights dim so I'm hoping this will solve most of the problem. I need to go through the rest of the stereo wiring though and see what other improvements can be done.
Damn I wish I had know a while ago before I bought more. I well it was only 11 bucks, but anyway damn LOL. Yeah I can do that for you, its fun little project. I am going to get a longer bolt for my neg post and do the last grounding cable very soon. I will post pics of the completed project soon afterward. Maybe repost it in the pics section to show that there is a way to get it done will minimal to no fabricating of parts.

Spinning pies like wheels.

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Now with new ball joints...again
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post #71 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 06:49 AM
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I'm sure we'll have to hit up Autozone for longer bolts and I may need a different neg terminal. I should have plenty of connectors in case some of the longer bolts we cant get right off like in the alt bracket and case

-Kelly
===================================
Fuelly
94 LX 3.8L NA : Daily Driver. 270k on chassis, 10k on motor.
90 35th Anniversary SC : Stored for the Winter.
Needs Harmonic Balancer, complete suspension overhaul.
WTB: 90 SC BHJ harmonic balancer
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post #72 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 10:04 PM
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Ok final part of the upgrade is done I wrapped it in heater hose like the rest but didn't take a pic of it. I found a longer bolt in my box of bolts it worked perfectly. Its tight fit in there I had to bend the copper terminal to get a better angle on the wire.







Each wire made a better difference while idling and blasting the stereo. To say its if its worth it only depends on how loud you like music.

PS I used my multimeter to measure 14.67-14.69v depending on where I touch the probes. The battery shorty after start up measured 14.7v but settled back to 14.67v after a minute or 2. Anyway happy bumping your system.

Spinning pies like wheels.

DD driving my 20 year old project

Now with new ball joints...again

Last edited by Splattered; 06-07-2011 at 03:01 AM.
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post #73 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 11:15 AM
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Big 3+1

Splattered did my big 3 including a ground from the block to the chassis and from the battery ground to the radiator. There were so many connectors we had to use the - side post. Tim did an excellent job routing all the wiring, it's not easy working with 0 gauge and a bad cut is costly. Having the 3.8L gave him plenty of room to work in there and we tried to route the wiring so it didn't look like a mess.

It made a huge difference but I still need to do some more work on it. I'm pulling max 950 watts of amps and it's too much for one battery. Even with this done I cranked on some heavy bass and it still dims the headlights and the volt meter dives at idle when it's really loud. Were going to go through the amp wiring and see if there are any improvements that can be made there. Over all, definitely worth it. I usually burn out a Optima Yellow Top in 3 years and hopefully this will help with that.











-Kelly
===================================
Fuelly
94 LX 3.8L NA : Daily Driver. 270k on chassis, 10k on motor.
90 35th Anniversary SC : Stored for the Winter.
Needs Harmonic Balancer, complete suspension overhaul.
WTB: 90 SC BHJ harmonic balancer

Last edited by BlueEyes; 06-15-2011 at 11:27 AM.
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post #74 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 05:53 PM
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I think it look damn good still! Yeah Kelly You have enough scraps to ground both amps and maybe a cap if you get it. I have a foot of scrap 0 gauge too so you can get the job done without buying up more wire. Every part helps. Im sure with a 0 gauge ground for the amps and a big cap grounded with 0 gauge will solve your problem. Im pretty sure you currently have 8 gauge grounds on your amps right now.

Spinning pies like wheels.

DD driving my 20 year old project

Now with new ball joints...again
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post #75 of 84 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 10:34 PM
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So I'm ordering some 1/0 for the big 3 now that I'm actually pushin some power... How many feet do you think I will need?

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post #76 of 84 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 11:01 PM
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6 inches more than you buy, or 7 foot less

Actually, I don't know. Splattered can probably tell you exactly.

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post #77 of 84 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
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Blueeyes, put a smaller pulley on that alt, if its a 130A alt.
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post #78 of 84 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 12:02 AM
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So I'm ordering some 1/0 for the big 3 now that I'm actually pushin some power... How many feet do you think I will need?
maybe 8 feet just depends how you do it. If you are unsure of my guess take a piece of string(or spare run of 0 gauge) and sort of run it like Blueeyes has it and get an estimate.

Spinning pies like wheels.

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Now with new ball joints...again
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post #79 of 84 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 11:43 AM
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On mine we used about 12-13 feet but that was with the extra ground that is about 3 feet and a radiator ground that is about 2 feet. I would say get 10 feet, you can always sell the extra. I was surprised how fast it all went, it takes more than what it looks like.

GM, I think that was a 200 alt but I fried that one, I 'll have to check the new one, I can't remember what it is but the one in there now is a Motorcraft.

A reminder to people doing this; my + wire from the ALT to the battery rubbed out or overheated because I did not have any protective covering on it and it burnt up my VR, mega fuse, and melted my high amp fuse box. Make sure you cover that + wire with something. Splattered uses heater hose split up the side.

-Kelly
===================================
Fuelly
94 LX 3.8L NA : Daily Driver. 270k on chassis, 10k on motor.
90 35th Anniversary SC : Stored for the Winter.
Needs Harmonic Balancer, complete suspension overhaul.
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post #80 of 84 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Oh and I like how people think that the battery is being taxed. Hehe
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post #81 of 84 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 11:27 AM
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oops.....

When you do this make sure you cover up the + wire going from the ALT to the battery. Tim used heater hose he split up the center on his car but I've been looking into getting some high temp flame retardant conduit. I found some made for Marine use here;

http://www.jamestowndistributors.com...id=4347&AMAZON

It's only $27.81 +shipping for 1" diameter conduit which isn't a bad price but you have to buy it in 50 foot rolls so you'll have some left over.

This is what can happen if you don't cover the + wire. You can see down in the lower right corner the pieces of what was left of my mega-fuse. Even though the AN fuse blew, the way it melted current was still going through it. You can see it melted through the high amp fuse box side cover too.

-Kelly
===================================
Fuelly
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90 35th Anniversary SC : Stored for the Winter.
Needs Harmonic Balancer, complete suspension overhaul.
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post #82 of 84 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 03:09 PM
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That what you call a HOT wire.

Yeah I went ultra cheapo with heater hose its a different story with what comes near the hot wire on the 6 and 8s. I guess 0 gauge is too big for the hot wire on a 6 since it like to touch and ground out.

Spinning pies like wheels.

DD driving my 20 year old project

Now with new ball joints...again
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post #83 of 84 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 06:12 PM
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I ordered 10 feet of 0 gauge the other day, I'll do the big 3 here soon. Pics will be in my build.

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post #84 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-09-2015, 01:18 AM
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So, six years ago I did this mod and all I can say is that using whatever gauge I had used (prob 4) had been a total waste of time and money. Either my alt to batt ground was never a good idea for a connection or the thickness of the cable is the reason I still get just as many voltage dips as before I ever did this mod. When I upgrade to 0 gauge here soon I may add an alt to chassis ground because one way or another I must have a grounding issue. I'm also curious about the radiator ground some people have added because there doesn't seem to be any pics of where the ground begins. Sounds like a Big 5 rather than a Big 3 the more I think about it.

I did have an issue a few years back where the charging cable's connector melted right before it reaches the mega fuse. Bad crimp I guess or it just got too hot because I never covered the cable. To get home all I had to do was replace it with a simple stock battery cable and I haven't had an issue like that since.
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