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Discussion Starter #1
I have 2 12" 800 watt max subs powered by a 800 watt amp in my 95 gl. when I get some real deep bass going, like a bass test cd, my headlights flicker like crazy. what can I do to help reduce/eliminate this problem. At first I thought it was my fog lights(100 watt bulbs) btu even with them off the lights still go crazy. Any help is appreciated.
 

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not the alternator going bad, it doesnt have enough power. Get a bigger amp alternator (expensive), or get a power cap(acitor) cheap. That will fix your problem.
 

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I agree with Ash, check the altenator and your battery. I believe this is also the application for a capacitor in the power line to the amp.
 

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I doubt his battery and alternator are to blame. Those bass CDs can push some wicked frequencies that you make a car's electrical system cry for help (in this case, dimming headling, a common cause).

Here are four options:
An upgraded battery - espically if you are running a stock or "Wal-Mart"-type battery. Look along the lines of the Optima Batteries. They're not cheap but they are great batteries. Have a lot of amperage too.

Have your alternator re-wound - This is one thing that a two stereo buddies have told me that I may want to do in the future. Basically an alternator shop will un-wind the wires inside the alternator and either wind them tighter and/or add more wire (Can't remember). Do more research on this before you do it.

Upgrade your alternator - I remember looking in the past at a Mean Green Alternator. Lots of power. Lots of applications. But also about $400.

Get a capacitor - This would probably be your best bet. It pretty much is a mini-battery of sorts. When your car's electrical system is not able to supply the power that the amp requires then the cap will give up some of its power and then recharge. However, this is made for short "bursts" of juice and may or not work if you listen to a lot of bass CDs. It depends on your musical preference.

I'm noticing that you have 2 - 800w 12s and one 800w amp. I wonder if it's possible that you are not sending enough power to your subs. 800w peak on the amp would be in mono. Cut that in half for two subs and you would have 400w max per sub. Cut that in half and you will have about 200RMS. (RMS - is the normal amount of power going to your subs. Don't remember the acronym.) My 6x8s in the car have a max power of 220 peak. Will run this past one of my stereo buddies tomorrow at work.

Derek
 

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I'd say get a deep cycle battery, Optima, Odyssey or the like, and upgrade your "big 3" - power and ground lines connected to alternator and battery. These two things should solve your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks for all the help. ill check into those batteries and the cap. BTW, the subs are getting more than enough power, i have to reajust my mirror all the time. :D
 

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*Hijack* :twisted:

Well i kinda have the same problem. Except mine just started yesterday. The lights dim when any bass hits. Would that mean the alternator just went bad. Before, my lets never dimmed or barely at all, even with the bass cd. But now any bass makes the lights dim. I also obsereved that my car takes another 2nd or two of holding the key before it wants to start. 500watt rms amp to 2 mtx subs if your wondering. Can i just get a 2nd battery and put in the trunk for this and other accesories. I've wanted to for awhile just so i can run all my accesories off the 2nd batter and leave the main one for the car. BTW, ive noticed one of the ground cables (the one to the chassis) had a few broken strans of wire and it looks pretty bad. After looking at all the main cables from the batter to alternator and such, they all look pretty bad. Then i notice my amp wire is a thicker guage than those cables! so is it a good idea to replace this. could possibly doing that also help dimming lights? 6 month old walmart battery. Anyone that remembers my post about walmart battery not being so bad, nevermind it :D ...
 

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That definitely sounds like it's your battery. Since you're having trouble starting it, it sounds like it isn't hold enough cold cranking amps to get the car started really well. I'd take it back to walmart and try to get my money back, then spend it on a good battery, like a Diehard, Optima, Oddyssey, etc.

JR
 

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well its rated for 690 cca. and its been fine up until yesterday. Those bad wires could be the culprit couldnt they. They look pretty beat up and old. I will one day upgrade the batter when i can afford it. We can get some bad winter weather, when it comes around, over night. I dont want the day to come when the last turn of the key is the imfamous numerous click sounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
forgot to ask this before, how do you install a cap. justa basic description as to what wires are connected, etc... thanks again.
 

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You're basically going to connect it in series to the power wire and ground. There will be the main power wire coming from the battery that will connect to the pos on the cap. There will be a ground wire that will ground the cap. There will be a wire that runs from the neg terminal on the cap to the pos terminal on your amp. It's a really easy installation and shouldn't take you more than a half hour, including mounting the sucker. You should be able to get a decent 1 farad cap for about 100 bucks or so...

JR
 

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Discussion Starter #13
thanks all fot the help
 

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Caps are bandaids.....

The problem is the wire between your amp and battery is too small. This is both + and - wires
 

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That's not the case either. Bigger wires between the battery and the amp and between the amp's ground and the chassis will only make things worse. I'll try to explain:

If you upgrade the wiring you'll decrease the resistance of the circuit. That will present more voltage to the amp. Most unregulated amps (most are) will put out more power when supplied with more voltage. Ever seen an amp spec sheet that gives a power rating at 12.5 volts and a power rating at 14.4 volts? Anyway, with the amp putting out more power, it will draw more from the alternator. This is simple ohm's law. V=IR.

A bigger or better battery might help a bit but won't stop the dimming. The dimming is occuring because the voltage provided to the lights is dropping from 14 volts to 12.6 volts or less when the alternator gets maxed out. How much lower than 12.6 volts depends on the battery. A weak battery and/or a strong amp might pull the voltage down to the 11 volt range or worse. You could parallel many big batteries and have the voltage around 12.5 volts when the alt is maxed out. But that won't stop the dimming because the voltage to the lights is dropping from 14 volts to 12.5 or so.

Putting a cap near the amp won't help much either. In most cars there's a lot of wiring between the amp and the headlights. The resistance in the wiring between the two will kill any benifit that a cap could provide when installed in the trunk. Put the cap in parallel with the headlights if you want to use a cap. That would be much more effective.

Anyway, the real pros (the ones not trying to sell you crap) will tell you that to ignore the dimming lights. Turn the bass down or keep some money in the alternator fund. The dimming lights is the cars way of saying your asking too much.
 

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Ive got the same problem- bass= dimming headlights. I also noticed that I've been jump-starting my car a lot more than normal. I listen to the radio when I work on it and such, but I turn the woofer off because it sucks battery life. When the car was new, I could listen to the raido for nearly 3 hours before the car wouldn't start. Now its closer to 10 minutes before the car dies.
 

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You need a new battery. Car start batteries are not meant to run anything for very long without the alternator running.

Unless you car's stereo amp is drawing over 100 Amps input, new and bigger wires will stop the problem.

If your amp is unregulated and wants to draw +100v then get a better one.

A cap won't do anything if it can't be charged.
 

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ok here you have more than a 1000 watt of power being drained from the system

get A CAPACITOR it because the bass demand a lot of poqere fast with a bass kick

so instead of asking for the system to deliver that youre gonna ask the capacitor to do it for them and it will not dim the light i garanty it .

it only because your systme cannot handle the power demand as fast as the amp are asking for it

it like when you press the pedal down there is a delay the same with your sub

but with a capacitor there is no need for that as soon as they demand power the capacitor give it

no more dimiing light

me i have about 800 watt in my car and i dont need it but near 1000 and over yes definitly need one

go ask any sound shop
 

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1000w draw??? Thats over 80 amps @ 12v. Is that what really is happening?

Quoting output specs when talking about input needs is like predicting gas mileage based on the size of the gas tank...... :bs:

Asking a sound shop if you need a cap is like asking a car dealer if you need a car. Of course they will tell you that one is needed. A cap cannot recharge fast enough to be of much good. It will take longer to recharge than charge so once you hit a hard bass note and the cap is discharged you have to wait until the input voltage is constant to recharge. The total storage of a cap is way less that the amperage needed to supply your amp with any extra voltage for more than one good bass whaap.

Compared to a battery that has at least a couple hundred Amp/Hours stored the cap has maybe .1 A/H.

The dimming is because you cannot supply enough voltage to the amp due to restriction of the wire due to diameter and length. # 4 wire is good for a continuous amp load of ~70A to 125A at 25' depending on the insulation properties..
 
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