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Reload Thread: Capacitor and alternator question [zane]

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    b16_na's Avatar
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    Capacitor and alternator question [zane]

    My car is a 1994 Honda Civic w/ b16a.

    I have 2 JL W3'S, powered by a JBL 1000.1, I also have the JL Audio XR525-CS Component System, with a JL Audio 300.4 powering the component system as well as my back speakers.

    I never had power trouble until i installed my AEM Power Pulley kit and Tora Crank Pulley. I installed the Tora Crank Pulley, my system was doing fine. Once I Installed the AEM Powersteering pulley and alternator pulley i noticed my headlights, interior dome light, and H/U dimming/flickering during peak notes of a song. Im assuming because the alternator pulley is lighter and larger in width it is not sending enough amps to my system. (the alternator pulley's purpose is to decrease power usage by having a bigger rotating mass therfore more power on the crankshaft pulley while less amps being put out by the alternator)

    My question is, since i cannot install a new alternator because my AEM pulley is slightly off OEM specs, should i get a capacitor or battery? What is the pros/cons of a battery as well as with the capacitor?

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    jlaine's Avatar
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    Re: Capacitor and alternator question [zane]

    Originally posted by b16_na

    My question is, since i cannot install a new alternator because my AEM pulley is slightly off OEM specs, should i get a capacitor or battery? What is the pros/cons of a battery as well as with the capacitor?
    Have you had your battery tested lately?

    If it is good and healthy, then you are fine with it. Adding a second one or more doesn't assist the situation, it will actually hinder it.

    Adding a capacitor is a rather tricky subject, with two sides to the debate. Some say there is zero purpose and in all actuality causes more harm than good. Others say it is nearly the cure-all for everything except the common cold.

    My stance on capacitors is that it *can* cure moderate light dimming, but will never actually solve your problem, which is the constant supply of 14.4V power. Your alternator is struggling from your current demand, and your reference power is dropping to under 14.4v quickly when your amps hit a musical peak. A capacitor can smooth this dip out, but in all actuality will then require your alternator to quickly charge it again, so the current draw is still there, albeit slightly more spaced out. You still have the issue of inadequate alternator supply- and the capacitor is essentially a bandaid for this problem. While your issue may go away, the demand is still there, and your alternator is still under severe pressure, so eventual failure may be on the horizon.

    Since you have deliberately modified the pulley and reduced the turning ratio, you can look into having a alternator custom modified for your specific need, I know a few companies that do this, but the price gets rather obscene after a certain point.

    If you are going to do EITHER of the two, the capacitor is the more prominent option. Added batteries are only for engine off listening, or for systems where SPL is the domain, and they need to be able to throw multiple figure amps through power wire in a split second for a burp.
    Last edited by jlaine; 04-09-2002 at 11:06 PM.

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