voltage light=time to re-wire [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum

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AaronGTR
04-11-2009, 09:33 PM
Guess it's finally time for me to start having electrical problems. :rolleyes: Twice in the last month my low voltage indicator has come on (little battery on the gauge cluster). I'm hoping it's not the alternator going. It really doesn't have many miles on it, but then again it is in a pretty high stress high heat area in my engine bay and I'm running a lot of extra accessories on it. Five extra gauges, wideband controller, ZZP ICCU, stereo equipment, and a gaggle of neon lights. Both times it came on I was driving at night and had been on the road a while with the headlights on, stereo cranked, and A/C running. After the last time the light came on, when I went to start the car up a couple days later the battery wasn't dead but didn't have enough juice to crank the engine. Thinking maybe the alt couldn't keep up with demand and it was slowly draining the battery?

I took the car out today with my multi-tester hooked to the lighter socket as a make shift voltage gauge. :D Driving around normal at 1500rpm and up it had over 14 volts. Sitting at idle without the stereo etc on was about 13.6 volts. After turning on the stereo and HVAC fans it dropped to 13.6-13.8 while driving and low 13's at idle. Turning the A/C on seemed to put more drag on the engine at idle and dropped voltage even further. Then I tried turning on the headlights too, and voltage at idle drop to around 11.8 volts. :( Pretty crappy.

I guess the first thing I'm going to try is upgrading the wiring. Did a little searching and from what I can find it seems that changing the wire from the alt to the fuse box is a PITA. Supposedly I can just run a wire straight from the alt to the positive battery terminal? My battery's in the trunk, but I have a 1ga wire run from the battery to the stock power wires under the hood so that should be sufficient. I'm thinking of just getting some 4ga wire and running it to that connection point. I'm also thinking of replacing the wire going to the positive terminal on the fuse box and maybe going to the starter motor too... any thoughts on that? I've noticed my engine seems to take longer to start sometimes now... but it seems to crank over plenty fast and it started doing it after swapping injectors so I don't know if that's really related to the electrical problem.

I plan on unwrapping some of the wire harness on top of the engine by the alternator anyway and re-routing some of it anyway to clean up the appearance, so I'll post some pics of everything when it's done and let you guys know how it turns out. Just in case the wiring upgrade isn't enough though, does anyone know where to get a higher output alt? Like 120 amp or 160 amp?

cardude007617
04-11-2009, 10:02 PM
wow aaron asking a question lol...

zzp makes an alt---> fuse wire. all it is is just a ring terminal on one end and the alternator output on the other. makes life real easy as it is cut to length perfectly. i personally have this hooked up to my battery post directly than a 4 guage runs to my fuse box.

motor city reman makes HO alts, at least its what i have in mine and im pretty happy. Its a HO so output wont be outstanding at idle, but it provides enough at idle to run the system "a little" and have the normal stuff on and still have 13.5+ V.

RPO3
04-12-2009, 09:58 AM
wow aaron asking a question lol...


x2 lmao

AaronGTR
04-12-2009, 11:05 AM
lol hey, I never said I know everything. I'll take a look at that stuff on zzp's site, thanks.

PhantomLover007
04-12-2009, 08:37 PM
Damn Aaron. G/L w/ changing out the wiring..

cardude007617
04-13-2009, 12:17 AM
Damn Aaron. G/L w/ changing out the wiring..

its actually a fairly simple job, it really doesn't take long, especially with the right stuff.

that zzp alt--fuse box (or postive battery terminal in my case) makes the most important part very simple to do and is not a very overpriced piece...

all that really has to be done is the alt---> pos battery, negative battery---> chassis for a better ground, and a short run to the fuse box bolt to beef up that wiring. i suppose this will be a bit more complicated in aaron's situation with having the battery in the trunk instead of up front like us non-boosted guys but will definetly yield a noticeable difference, hopefully.

AaronGTR
04-13-2009, 05:07 PM
Yeah, I've got 1ga wire running up front from the battery that came with my relocation kit, and I've got a hyperground kit from sun auto for rear mounted battery also. It's got a long ground cable to run from the engine bay back to the battery negative, then I've also got one from the battery negative to the chassis in the trunk, then all the other ones in the engine bay. Should be plenty good on the grounds. I'll just have to beef up those power wires then check it with my voltage meter again and see how it works.

BOOTMASTER
04-13-2009, 08:17 PM
sounds like your on the right path

rocketfast123
04-13-2009, 08:52 PM
Have you even went to advance or autozone to get your Alt and battery tested?

AleroME
04-14-2009, 12:51 AM
your alty can still be bad. You can have voltage and no amps. I had autozone test my alty before and read 0 amps at 2000 rpm but still at 13.6volts.

cardude007617
04-14-2009, 12:52 AM
how old is your battery and alternator?

AaronGTR
04-14-2009, 07:55 AM
Battery is only like 1yr old. Practically new red top optima, so I know it's good. The alternator has less than 60k miles on it and I've never had problems with it before, so no I've never had it tested. It's not hard to remove though so maybe I'll take it in to get tested, thanks for the tip.



edit: it's pouring rain here so I got the day off work. Took the alt off and took it to advance auto parts to get tested. Checks out ok, so it's gotta be the wiring. So now I'm just waiting for that to get here. Ordered some 4ag red battery wire from McMaster-Carr. They have it for $2.53 a foot, and I got the ring terminals and some heat shrink tubing too. That place is awesome, they have everything! :D

cardude007617
04-14-2009, 10:09 AM
lol iv never heard of that place, if they have a website ill have to check it out.

you sure your current grounds and hook ups are clean? its funny you should all of a sudden have problems when you never have before and both your battery and alternator are ok

gaowners32
04-14-2009, 10:45 AM
lol iv never heard of that place, if they have a website ill have to check it out.

you sure your current grounds and hook ups are clean? its funny you should all of a sudden have problems when you never have before and both your battery and alternator are ok


http://www.mcmaster.com/#

AaronGTR
04-14-2009, 06:12 PM
Yeah, all ground contacts are clean. They aren't that old and the car hasn't seen snow in like 5 years. ;)

But yeah, that's the website^. Can take some time to find things on there sometimes, but just because they have sooo much stuff. That's were I got the liquid urethane casting compound for my trans mounts, the sheet aluminum I used for re-enforcing my hood and bumpers and for making my diffuser, and all kinds of other things.

RPO3
04-14-2009, 06:18 PM
Yeah, all ground contacts are clean. They aren't that old and the car hasn't seen snow in like 5 years. ;)

I hate you...

AaronGTR
04-26-2009, 12:28 PM
Ok, so latest in the saga. I added a 4 awg wire from the alternator to the rest of my power wires. I still need to run a bigger one to the fuse box, but it should be fine for now.

I've still had the random battery light come on though. I took the car down friday night for setup for the HIN show in St. Pete and the light came on a few times. Saturday morning I started the car tor reposition it, and it started just fine. Car was off the rest of the day and I didn't run anything while the car was off. Just the interior lights coming on and off a few time when I opened the doors. No big deal, that should be normal.

Went to start the car when the show was over and my battery was dead!:mad::confused: Had to get a jump start from someone and it ran kinda crappy for a while after that. Had trouble keeping a steady idle. After driving part way home and stopping for gas, the engine started up again no problem. Drove the rest of the way home and I figured the battery should be charged up again right? Took it out this morning and took it to advance auto to be tested. They said it tests just fine but the charge is low. wtf?

They said the alternator tested fine too, but if it was fine wouldn't it be recharging the battery? Even after adding the bigger power cable, my voltage still drops when turning on accessories. Just not as bad as before. I'm kinda thinking that the voltage regulator is supposed to keep the voltage the same and just increase or decrease the amps based on the power demand. Does that sound right? So I really think the alt is going, and thinking about just replacing that and seeing what it does. I'm getting really tired of these BS electrical problems.

AaronGTR
04-26-2009, 09:07 PM
So, I'm also wondering how good my positive hook up is to the battery. I'm using one of these gold plated gismos with two wire holes in it so that I can split power off to my amp. It won't corrode and it should have good conductivity since it's gold. Only thing is it holds the wire in with an allen screw instead of being soldered or crimped like a regular battery cable. It seems to be in there tight, but maybe it's not a good enough connection? I dunno, I can't think of any other possibilities. If it was the connection, again the thing that would be strange about it is I've been using this for a couple years now with no problem.

http://inlinethumb26.webshots.com/44761/2493717970052938416S600x600Q85.jpg (http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2493717970052938416qHaGAS)

PhantomLover007
04-26-2009, 09:12 PM
That has to be one of the nicest battery hook ups I've ever seen so far Aaron.

aiixon
04-26-2009, 09:34 PM
Ya, where do you have your battery at?

PhantomLover007
04-26-2009, 09:47 PM
He has it in the trunk

cardude007617
04-26-2009, 10:27 PM
heh i have that same pos battery terminal in my own car and havent had any problems.

http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk216/cardude007617/random/enginebay.jpg

is that a relay of some sorts on top? maybe that could be hindering the flow of electricity if its not a big enough one.

rocketfast123
04-26-2009, 10:56 PM
You know a bad alt can kill your battery. Try disconnecting the Alt for the night.

AaronGTR
04-27-2009, 06:51 PM
heh i have that same pos battery terminal in my own car and havent had any problems.

http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk216/cardude007617/random/enginebay.jpg

is that a relay of some sorts on top? maybe that could be hindering the flow of electricity if its not a big enough one.


Ok, well I guess I won't worry about the + hookup for now then and concentrate on the alt and wiring.

The thing on top is a Moroso battery cut off switch. It goes through the battery box and has a switch on the outside. It's just there so I can cut off power faster when I'm working on the car without having to take the cables off. It's pretty heavy duty. :) Only disconnects the ground.

AaronGTR
05-01-2009, 06:54 AM
Problem solved. Apparently the voltage regulator on the old alt was going bad. Not increasing the power output enough to keep up when more demand was placed on it. I put in a new alt and voltage was immediately 14.6v, which I never even saw over 13 with the old one. Used to drop from 13 to 12's as soon as I turned on the A/C. Now it only drops from 14.6 to 14.5. Turned on stereo, headlights, etc and it was still at 14.2.

I went ahead and changed the positive hook up on the battery too. The gold thing I was using didn't have a big enough hole for the 2awg wire I was using with my rear mounted battery kit, so some of the wires weren't pushed in. I just wasn't happy with it. Changed it to a marine style post clamp with a bolt that sticks up that I can attach multiple wires too. Now all I have left to do is finish upgrading the wires to the starter and fuse box, but I think I should be good now. :)

cardude007617
05-02-2009, 02:18 AM
just wondering.... why upgrade the starter wires...?

AaronGTR
05-02-2009, 07:49 AM
Mainly because I have the wire and I'm thinking using a little bigger/higher quality wire that has less resistance will either provide a bit more juice to the starter or use a little less power from the battery to start the car. I've been having to crank the engine over a little longer than normal to get it to start, ever since I changed the injectors. Not sure why, but I want to make sure the starter is running optimally.

rocketfast123
05-02-2009, 03:40 PM
just wondering.... why upgrade the starter wires...?

And it has to come from the back to the front.

I put in a new alt and voltage was immediately 14.6v, which I never even saw over 13 with the old one.

good i was wondering why it was not at 14+.

AaronGTR
05-02-2009, 04:58 PM
Wiring is all done. Everything's working great. Got the pulley changed on the alt too. Took my aluminum one off the old alt and put it on the new one. The stock pulley weighs 202.8 grams. The aluminum one weighs 98 grams, big difference. Not really sure how much power that would add, maybe 1/4hp lol, but hey I'll take as much as I can get.

PhantomLover007
09-18-2012, 08:29 PM
Bringing back an oldie Aaron. How hard is it to change to a top post battery. You know how bad the clearance is between the supercharger and the side posts are.... lol lol

Biggest worry would be the clearance between the hood and the posts/terminals I'm guessing

stewartfn18
09-18-2012, 08:38 PM
Bringing back an oldie Aaron. How hard is it to change to a top post battery. You know how bad the clearance is between the supercharger and the side posts are.... lol lol

Biggest worry would be the clearance between the hood and the posts/terminals I'm guessing

i ran an optima red top in my ga with no problems with hood clearance

young gun
09-18-2012, 10:39 PM
wow aaron asking a question lol...



I lol'd at that too

PhantomLover007
09-19-2012, 06:04 AM
i ran an optima red top in my ga with no problems with hood clearance


Ahh cool. Thanks David. How hard was the rewiring?

stewartfn18
09-19-2012, 02:20 PM
Ahh cool. Thanks David. How hard was the rewiring?

no rewire reqiured?? the red top has top and side posts. i only used the top positive for my power wire for my amp

2000 GT Coupe
09-19-2012, 07:39 PM
PL rewiring should not be difficult 2 ways i can see
Just cut the ends off and buy those Walmart ends or
By the wire with the end solder on already

PhantomLover007
09-19-2012, 07:56 PM
I was trying to get away from the side posts David. It's shocking how close they are from the supercharger... lol lol

Gene. I had seen those in Wal-Mart and wondered if I could use them.

stewartfn18
09-20-2012, 08:34 PM
battery relocation?

PhantomLover007
09-21-2012, 03:54 AM
Naw. Just wanna keep it where it's at.

Hertyvansyi
09-21-2012, 07:28 AM
Well its great guys just because of you people's discussion I too get my problem solved.
But one thing I would like to know, when we should replace the radiator or it is necessary to cover the radiator in winter to prevent from leak???

PhantomLover007
09-21-2012, 06:47 PM
Well its great guys just because of you people's discussion I too get my problem solved.
But one thing I would like to know, when we should replace the radiator or it is necessary to cover the radiator in winter to prevent from leak???

http://cdn1.hark.com/images/000/002/937/2937/original.jpg



:spam:

unchained_01
09-21-2012, 07:27 PM
Its ok Matt everyone gets trolled once in a while LOL

2000 GT Coupe
09-24-2012, 12:03 PM
Matt, these may be better for the top post conversion, this first pic those are not at walmart but they are very good connections, and the post terminal is from walmart.
http://localserver.no-ip.biz/Public/Top%20post%20modified%20%281%29.JPG
Those can be gotten
http://www.knukonceptz.com/productDetail.cfm?prodID=SSRT4

and this can be had from walmart though to be honest I dont care for it as much,
http://localserver.no-ip.biz/Public/Top%20post%20modified%20%282%29.JPG

let me add these pics are not from the grand am, they are the svx which is top post already, I just rewired with 4 gauge for all the wiring.

PhantomLover007
09-24-2012, 06:06 PM
Sweet. Thanks Gene

2000 GT Coupe
09-24-2012, 06:43 PM
No problem, hopefully that will help you.