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Discussion Starter #1
Son put 1700 (watts or amps?) pioneer mono amp in his trunk. A shop (auto addictions- been around at least over 5-6 years) wired it, but didn't do something right and friend's dad had to fix it. The ground was blown in the amp or something. Possibly bought that way as he bought it off a "friend". He was also annoyed they didn't put in some switch to turn it off, so when the radio is off, but car running there is a low buzz or something. If volume on really low it doesn't buzz. Don't know what that problem is or if it's fixed. At least it does turn off when car is off...

He has 2001 SEL w/ EATC and mach audio. He got this amp and also,I think, 2 12" subs in a box. He is putting in new door speakers, not fancy, Pioneer about 230W.

His car has the 130 amp alternator. Is it going to be OK? What are the chances he is going to kill it? He doesn't have much money left to do more system work, and would probably have to pay somebody to do the work in addition to the cost of the parts.

Just wanted opinions on what to watch for and worry. He got a new battery in the spring (though just a walmart one). Does that help? If there are any easy and cheap steps he should take, I'd like to know.

Thanks!
 

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If you're going to put an audio system in your car its best not to skimp on a cheap walmart battery. As far as the alternator goes well thats totally up to you. Ya it will help but do you wanna spend the money.
 

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The big three upgrade wouldn't be a bad idea either. :)
 

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For a massive audio system, some ppl recommend Optima batteries. You can get a higher amp alternator rebuilt or check out DB Electrical on EBay (100 positive feedback [25000+]).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
problem with changing the alternator is is he has the 24v DOHC engine and it's not a do it yourself job because of where it is located. Shops wanted over $400 just to replace it with standard when I thought it was a problem.

Got the battery back when he got the car. I didn't even know these huge systems existed, let alone that he'd get one. Just wanted something to make the car go at that point.

I was wondering if there are any EASY things he could do, or have done inexpensively. He is a kid, and he wont shell out a lot of money if he isn't seeing some return for it. Not saying he's right....but kids don't look ahead...if he got more sound or something he'd pay. Does anybody know what I'm saying?
Thanks.
 

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The big 3 is easy
[/b]
And definatly worth it. You just need some 4 gauge wire, and some lugs for the ends.

Not sure if it'd make a difference, but with that kind of draw in the trunk, I'd maybe go for 2 gauge. Then again, I don't see the alternator being able to produce more than 150A anyways, which won't top the 4 gauge out.

Run the wire from the alternator's output post to the post on the fuse box on the mega fuse. Run another strech from the other side of the fuse to the battery. Run a strech from the alternator mounting bracket to the frame. Run the last strech from the battery negative to the frame.

I used 2 gauge from the alt to fuse and fuse to batt, 0 gauge from the alt bracket to the frame, and 00 gauge from the battery to the frame. And just because I had some 4 gauge laying around, I ran another run from the engine block to the frame on the driver side.

Helps a lot with dimming headlights at idle.

Another thing that might be worth it would be a capacitor (waiting to get flamed now). Although its more or less a bandaid, if its installed extremely close to the amp it will help with surges. In my opinion makes the bass respond a bit faster and crisper. Don't go insane on one, a 20 farad one in that case will preform much worse than a 1 or 2 farad one will. The bigger ones don't charge/discharge as fast, which somewhat defeats the purpose.

Also, like mentioned already, don't use a cheap Walmart battery. I cooked one of those in a matter of weeks. Sure, warranty replaced it, but its annoying going through batterys every few weeks. Spend the money on an Optima Yellow Top, they are definatly worth it. I love my group 34, it's been kicking ass for over 2 years now, with at least 200 full discharge/recharge cycles :)
 

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Son put 1700 (watts or amps?) pioneer mono amp in his trunk. A shop (auto addictions- been around at least over 5-6 years) wired it, but didn't do something right and friend's dad had to fix it. The ground was blown in the amp or something. Possibly bought that way as he bought it off a "friend". He was also annoyed they didn't put in some switch to turn it off, so when the radio is off, but car running there is a low buzz or something. If volume on really low it doesn't buzz. Don't know what that problem is or if it's fixed. At least it does turn off when car is off...

He has 2001 SEL w/ EATC and mach audio. He got this amp and also,I think, 2 12" subs in a box. He is putting in new door speakers, not fancy, Pioneer about 230W.

His car has the 130 amp alternator. Is it going to be OK? What are the chances he is going to kill it? He doesn't have much money left to do more system work, and would probably have to pay somebody to do the work in addition to the cost of the parts.

Just wanted opinions on what to watch for and worry. He got a new battery in the spring (though just a walmart one). Does that help? If there are any easy and cheap steps he should take, I'd like to know.

Thanks!
[/b]

Sounds like the amp is wired to a 12V constant instead of a 12V switched source. The amp should be wired to recognize when the radio is turned on or off. You can tap the power antenna lead in the trunk to switch the amp on and off. The amp will have a "turn on" lead. Also, the ground wire may be too long, causing the buzz. It should be no longer than 18".

Alternator should be fine. One of the first modifications I made to my car when I bought it in '00 was a loud stereo. 120k miles and still on the original alternator. Improve the "big 3"... that will help. Your battery should be fine too. Improve these wires: battery(+) to alternator, battery(-) to engine block, battery(-) to body. Make sure the battery terminals are clean and free of corrosion.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
<div class='quotemain'>
The big 3 is easy
[/b]
And definatly worth it. You just need some 4 gauge wire, and some lugs for the ends.

Not sure if it'd make a difference, but with that kind of draw in the trunk, I'd maybe go for 2 gauge. Then again, I don't see the alternator being able to produce more than 150A anyways, which won't top the 4 gauge out.

Run the wire from the alternator's output post to the post on the fuse box on the mega fuse. Run another strech from the other side of the fuse to the battery. Run a strech from the alternator mounting bracket to the frame. Run the last strech from the battery negative to the frame.

I used 2 gauge from the alt to fuse and fuse to batt, 0 gauge from the alt bracket to the frame, and 00 gauge from the battery to the frame. And just because I had some 4 gauge laying around, I ran another run from the engine block to the frame on the driver side.

Helps a lot with dimming headlights at idle.

Another thing that might be worth it would be a capacitor (waiting to get flamed now). Although its more or less a bandaid, if its installed extremely close to the amp it will help with surges. In my opinion makes the bass respond a bit faster and crisper. Don't go insane on one, a 20 farad one in that case will preform much worse than a 1 or 2 farad one will. The bigger ones don't charge/discharge as fast, which somewhat defeats the purpose.

Also, like mentioned already, don't use a cheap Walmart battery. I cooked one of those in a matter of weeks. Sure, warranty replaced it, but its annoying going through batterys every few weeks. Spend the money on an Optima Yellow Top, they are definatly worth it. I love my group 34, it's been kicking ass for over 2 years now, with at least 200 full discharge/recharge cycles :)
[/b][/quote]


Sounds do-able by his friend's dad (and my son). What does this extra wire help accomplish? Is this the big 3, or just part of it? Thanks for explaining! Also, at this point I'll see how the walmart battery works. No point in dumping it while it's still good. He has AAA!!!

Sounds like the amp is wired to a 12V constant instead of a 12V switched source. The amp should be wired to recognize when the radio is turned on or off. You can tap the power antenna lead in the trunk to switch the amp on and off. The amp will have a "turn on" lead. Also, the ground wire may be too long, causing the buzz. It should be no longer than 18".

Alternator should be fine. One of the first modifications I made to my car when I bought it in '00 was a loud stereo. 120k miles and still on the original alternator. Improve the "big 3"... that will help. Your battery should be fine too. Improve these wires: battery(+) to alternator, battery(-) to engine block, battery(-) to body. Make sure the battery terminals are clean and free of corrosion.
[/b]

You are saying it is possibly wired to the wrong 12V source causing the buzz and that switching it will help. Switching it to the wire that powers the antenna and it will go on and off with the antenna, correct?. I am really thinking though, that he doesn't have a power antenna, or maybe it died in the up position. I 'll have to show him this and ask him. Thanks
 

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Sounds do-able by his friend's dad (and my son). What does this extra wire help accomplish? Is this the big 3, or just part of it? Thanks for explaining! Also, at this point I'll see how the walmart battery works. No point in dumping it while it's still good. He has AAA!!!
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That setup there is the big three I described. Tehnically its 4 pieces of wire, but its only 3 "parts" of the charging system.

The extra wire allows more current to flow though, and also allows it to flow through easier.


You are saying it is possibly wired to the wrong 12V source causing the buzz and that switching it will help. Switching it to the wire that powers the antenna and it will go on and off with the antenna, correct?. I am really thinking though, that he doesn't have a power antenna, or maybe it died in the up position. I 'll have to show him this and ask him. Thanks[/color]
[/b]
The amp needs 3 wires. Constant +12V (fused to the battery, big cable). Ground (big cable attached to the frame). And a remote turn on (small wire) which can be attached to the ACC wire off the ignition switch if he has no power antenna.

The squeeking is probably a bad ground or ground loop. Check the ground connection to the frame, make sure its very clean, tight, and free of paint/dirt/etc.
 

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I'm doing upgrades to my taurus too, dont worry about the alternator unless its high mileage. It should be putting out 100-130Amps which is plenty. I'm putting on search lights and whatnot on my taurus for SAR which i should be certified within the next year or two (lots of training) and I didnt need more than 15-20 Amps total (those lights SUCK power.)

Hope this helps out with your ALT question. :)
 

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Unless your crusing around at 3000+ RPM, don't expect more than like 70-75 amps...
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Running a Larger pulley should help? :dunno:
 

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on off switches are farely easy to make, i would look it up on how to do it the right way but it would be under 20$ to do minus the time it takes to make it fit

on off switches are farely easy to make, i would look it up on how to do it the right way but it would be under 20$ to do minus the time it takes to make it fit
 

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<div class='quotemain'>
Unless your crusing around at 3000+ RPM, don't expect more than like 70-75 amps...
[/b]
Running a Larger pulley should help? :dunno:
[/b][/quote]


Running a larger alt pulley will slow the alt down, which is what you dont want. To speed the alt up, you would need a smaller pulley. A larger crank pulley would speed up the PS pump, water pump, AC compressor as well as the alt, which would be a bad thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm not even sure which alt he has, but for some reason I thought it was the 130. He has the SEL 24V DOHC, so wouldn't that have the bigger alt? I hope so!

Anyhow, Spoke to my friend and told him about the big 3. He agrees that would probably help. He thinks a second battery is the way to go. Where do I get these wires and how much do they cost?

I am leaning toward telling son he needs to do the second batt (he did say the lights do dim). He got this system a few weeks ago, will it be OK to wait another couple weeks? I'm getting worried now. But battery is better than capacitor, yes?

Any tips I need about the battery. I mentioned that I read about the batteries drawing on each other and my friend seemed to know what I meant. (which is good, cause I know nothing).

Unfortunately this guy who will help my son is the type who isn't interested in the internet, and since he already knows everything I have to be very tactful about how I make suggestions. Do you know the type??

Thanks to everybody who responded. By the way, changing alternator pulleys and stuff is so beyond me! Remember too, I have the hard alternator to access. If it was easy to change I wouldn't be so worried about it. That thing is staying where it is until it dies....hopefully never! Also, the cart about amps....doesn't help me. How many amps are needed to run these stinkin subs and 1700W amp?

Thanks again.
 

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A second battery or even a larger one will not help as long as the car is running and the alternator is putting out the amps needed.

If the battery is needed, or rather if it would help it is only because the voltage is dropping below 12.6V in the system. A very large drop from the 14.6 that is suppose to be there when the alternator is putting out what it should.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
A second battery or even a larger one will not help as long as the car is running and the alternator is putting out the amps needed.

If the battery is needed, or rather if it would help it is only because the voltage is dropping below 12.6V in the system. A very large drop from the 14.6 that is suppose to be there when the alternator is putting out what it should.
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So, to review,

1. Many people think capcacitors are junk and not worth the $
2. some people think extra batteries are useful---I haven't read enough on that yet
3. The big three will help with powering things now.--will it extend the alternator life (versus not doing it)?
4. A bigger and better alternator is the only true solution, and that's not going to happen any time soon. (till old one dies)
 

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I've got over 120k miles on the original alternator. My stereo runs 1250W RMS. I have a plain old Pep Boy's Energizer battery that's almost 7 years old. No capacitor, no second battery. I run 4 gauge to the amps and grounds, and improved the Big 3. My lights do not dim when the 2 12" subs are shaking the rear view mirror loose.

So I don't think you need anything more than the Big 3, personally.
 
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