It’s been discussed and searched for many times. Congratulations, you’ve come to the right place. All your answers on it get answered now. If you still have a question after the tutorial, please feel to ask it! Someone will jump in to help out.
We’ll start out by explaining exactly why you’re doing this upgrade. As you should know, the bigger the power wire in your sound, video or lighting system, the better it will perform and you should experience less dimming and/or voltage drops. The Big 3 is..
1) Alternator Positive to Battery Positive (optional fuse)
2) Battery Negative to Chassis
3) Chassis to Engine Block
Replacing/adding larger wire to these three critical spots can reduce or rid your electrical system of dimming and voltage drops. Overall, giving your charging system a larger surface area to travel over, will stabilize power and relieve strain on the alternator and battery.
If you have little cash to spend on a High Output (HO) alternator at the moment.. and the thought of even buying a new/better battery is daunting to you, this is a cheap and quick solution for your voltage issues.
Each wire serves its own special purpose, so you need to upgrade/replace all three for maximum potential of this mod. The Alternator Positive to Battery Positive wire is pretty small on a stock electrical system, so quite obviously upgrading that particular wire will increase power flow from the alternator to the battery. In DC power systems, power flows negative to positive. So upgrading the main grounds is just as important as the main power wire is. And lastly, since the alternator is grounded to the engine block, you need a way to transfer that energy back into the system.
Items You Need
You’ll need a varying assortment of tools and supplies to successfully complete this job. Depending on how large your engine compartment is you’ll need between 5-10ft of wire. I recommend you use the absolute largest you can afford. 1/0awg is a very popular choice for completing this upgrade, although others have been known to use 4awg. Remember that anything over stock is still better, but while you’re under there... you might as well go big[gest].
You’ll also need several crimps sized for whatever wire you use. A normal amount would be 6. If you upgrade your stock battery terminal to something with set screws, you’ll need one less crimp.
To get the crimps on the wire you can use several different methods. I prefer to use either a giant crimping tool
or a table vice
Either one will work fine, and there are various other methods available as well. As long as the connection is secure and not moving about. Don’t fret it. Also make sure that the whole thing is taped or covered with a rubber sleeve.
To cut large wire, most wire cutters should be up to the task. If you don’t have a set, you can use a common hacksaw, a set of tin snips or a set of bolt cutters
Again, however you cut it… just make sure that the wire has a clean edge.
If you decide to fuse the Alternator Positive to Battery Positive wire, you’ll need a fuse and fuse holder. Try to fuse for the maximum amperage of your wire.
Lastly, you’ll need an adjustable wrench, a good socket set or a few open-end wrenches to loosen any bolts or nuts that come your way.
(continued in next post)