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Stereo Capacitor For Starting Dim?

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Stereo Capacitor For Starting Dim?

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Old 10-23-2011, 09:21 PM
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Lightbulb Stereo Capacitor For Starting Dim?

When I start my old truck like most, ALL the lighting dims while cranking over. Obviously due to the high demand for cranking amps, so I was thinking instead of putting a capacitor on the power line for my audio amplifier why not get an over-sized capacitor and install it between the battery and my main battery terminals? That way the entire vehicles wiring is covered, I already have an "Extreme" battery I forget what brand.

Also I like to listen to music without the engine running outdoors; I use my truck as a giant stereo. So my battery is being drained and recharged which is probably killing it... I'm thinking a deep cycle battery might be a good idea BUT do they provide the cranking amps needed? I don't want the capacitor idea to make up for the loss of cranking amps and not solve the dim phenomenon.

Thoughts?
 
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:04 AM
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No capacitors.

1) Upgrade the "big 3": engine to chassis ground, battery negative to chassis ground, battery positive to fuse block. Use 2awg wire if you want to be sure.

2) Use a better battery. Interstate batteries are all I use. Optima batteries are excellent too (made by Interstate BTW).

3) Make sure the ground wire on your amp(s) is short and large enough.

4) Make sure your amp is quality. Quality amps have large caps already in them for sudden current draws.

5) Upgrade your alternator if the previous 4 are not enough.

6) Switch to more efficient subs.

Also, lights dimming when starting is perfectly normal.
 
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:18 AM
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1) The stock leads?

2) I already have a new Interstate "Extreme" battery.

3 & 4) I have no aftermarket audio amplifiers in my truck.

5) Alternator test reads good, it charges at a good rate.

6) No subs; aftermarket CD player with 4 aftermarket speakers being powered off the deck (all temporary)

I understand that but I figured there was a way around it (improve stock design) on a side note I realized since this post that a capacitor only has an Xmillisecond release time that will not be even close to long enough for starting. Someone also told me starting it with the headlights on is bad for your ignition system anyway.
 
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by pinkfloydeffect View Post
1) The stock leads?

Yes. Replace the stock leads with larger high quality braded cable. If you have no amps, then 4awg is fine. And also, to make a correction, I mis-stated one of the big 3 leads. It's not the battery positive to fuse lead you replace, it's the Alternator positive lead. Sorry for the wrong advice above.

3 & 4) I have no aftermarket audio amplifiers in my truck.

Then #1 should take care of the dimming issue.

on a side note I realized since this post that a capacitor only has an Xmillisecond release time that will not be even close to long enough for starting.

Exactly. Huge Capacitors are not a good idea for stereos either. But the marketing is good so people buy them anyway.
Answers above.
 
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by audiomechanic View Post
Answers above.
Thank you, well eventually I will have some quite large amplifiers in my truck so if I replace leads now it will be also good prep for the future to go as far as 0awg. Before I go all out on the stereo I planned on getting some sort of high output alternator first anyway.
 
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by pinkfloydeffect View Post
Thank you, well eventually I will have some quite large amplifiers in my truck so if I replace leads now it will be also good prep for the future to go as far as 0awg. Before I go all out on the stereo I planned on getting some sort of high output alternator first anyway.
Good plan. The stock leads for the "big 3" are only installed by the manufacturer to handle stock currents, and many times, those leads are small enough to JUST BARELY handle even stock loads (cost cutting). Upgrading those will give you the largest benefit of anything you do. Think about it: what good is having a huge power and ground wire for your amps, but a tiny engine ground (the alternator housing is the negative of the electircal system while the engine is running)? Bottle neck much? Same with the bat-neg to chassis when the engine is not running. And if you're drawing all that power off the battery, but the alternator positive lead is tiny, the alternator won't keep up with charging the battery.

I bet if you upgrade those 3 cables, you'll notice other thngs like your starter will spin faster, power windows will move quicker, engine will seem stronger, etc.
 

Last edited by audiomechanic; 10-29-2011 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by audiomechanic View Post
Good plan. The stock leads for the "big 3" are only installed by the manufacturer to handle stock currents, and many times, those leads are small enough to JUST BARELY handle even stock loads (cost cutting). Upgrading those will give you the largest benefit of anything you do. Think about it: what good is having a huge power and ground wire for your amps, but a tiny engine ground (the alternator housing is the negative of the electircal system while the engine is running)? Bottle neck much? Same with the bat-neg to chassis when the engine is not running. And if you're drawing all that power off the battery, but the alternator positive lead is tiny, the alternator won't keep up with charging the battery.

I bet if you upgrade those 3 cables, you'll notice other thngs like your starter will spin faster, power windows will move quicker, engine will seem stronger, etc.
I am SO going to do this what do you think I should do about the ground, put a 0awg patch cable between the alternator and... body/frame rails?

I think generally in electronics the negative or ground takes a smaller load, example: a device drawing 100w PROBABLY draws something like 65-70w off the positive and 30-35w off the negative, correct me if I am wrong. You could look at it in wattage, a percentage, or a ratio but 50-50 I do not think applies here?
 

Last edited by pinkfloydeffect; 10-29-2011 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by pinkfloydeffect View Post
I am SO going to do this what do you think I should do about the ground, put a 0awg patch cable between the alternator and... body/frame rails?
Alternator ground is not necessary since the grounding pount of the alternator is its housing and that housing is directly bolted to the engine block. Solid connection there. Same reason starters don't have ground or negative cables. They ground through the housing, through the bolts to the engine.

Just replace your engine ground with a beefier cable. If the engine ground is in a bad place stock (I.e. Valve cover or something) you can relocate that to a more solid bolt on the engine block.

You can beef up the frame/body ground if you like, but it's generally not necessary.

Also, be sure your grounding points are solid, clean the connecting location well with a wire brush and use dielectric grease to improve connectivity and decrease chances for rust.
 

Last edited by audiomechanic; 10-29-2011 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 10-29-2011, 02:06 PM
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Sounds good, the only reason I say body is because there are rubber blocks that separate the body from the frame.
 
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Old 10-29-2011, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by pinkfloydeffect View Post
Sounds good, the only reason I say body is because there are rubber blocks that separate the body from the frame.
This is true, but there's not much current if any at all that flows through the frame. Things are almost always grounded to the body. There will be a small stock ground strap that connects the frame and body together and that is likely fine.
 

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