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    Icon32 Need suggestions on electrical system fixes and upgrades

    I've got an '86 Honda Civic Hatchback and I'm looking into upgrading the electrical system. I listen to a lot of metal and during sections with fast double bass drum it really takes a toll on my poor little car. I can hear it crying out in pain and I feel bad for putting the thing through that kind of abuse.

    I'm currently running:

    Kenwood deck 50x4 Watts
    2 - 6 1/2" Memphis front door speakers
    2 - 6x9 Memphis rear speakers
    Sony Xplod 1200 watt max 2 channel amp
    2 - Pioneer Premier 1000 watt subwoofers in sealed enclosure
    3 Farad Boss Capacitor

    All speakers are new, the amp and cap are used, and the deck was new when i bought it a year ago. I previously had a 1 farad rockford fosgate cap and an 800 watt kicker amp with some cheap roadmaster subs which worked with no electrical dimming. Since upgrading the subs and amp I figured a 3 farad cap would stop the dimming since the 1 farad was no longer enough, but it doesn't seem to be doing the job. I've researched a little bit about Kinetiks power cells and HO Alternators but am unsure what parts I should buy to beef up the electrical system. I'm going to attempt the big 3 upgrade tomorrow.

    I would like enough power to be able to upgrade the amp and possibly add a second amp for the other speakers, so I would need power upgrades that won't become obsolete for a while. I want to buy online and spend as little as possible but not too cheap that quality is sacrificed. I love the car and would hate to ruin it with crap hardware. I haven't had much luck finding anything for my vehicle so I would appreciate some feedback with compatible models of equipment please!

    Any suggestions?
    Last edited by deepdespair; 02-27-2009 at 10:25 AM. Reason: Minor edit







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    Re: Need suggestions on electrical system fixes and upgrades

    Big 3 and optima yellow top. See where that gets you...

    You might wanna test your alternator, too - especially if it's stock from '86.You're system isn't very demanding at all so I'd imagine you're alt is on it's way out.

    And everyone who reply's in this thread is going to tell you to ditch the cap.

    We're all a bunch of cap nazi's



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    Re: Need suggestions on electrical system fixes and upgrades

    I figured I'd be ditching the cap, which is okay with me. Like I said, I may be planning on upgrading the amp soon, since my subs can handle it. My system isn't too demanding now, but it may require more juice later down the road. With that being said, would the recommendations you've already given be enough to allow for such an upgrade or would there need to be more? Is the Optima Yellow Top going to replace my Battery or be an add-on power cell? Because honestly, I'm completely out of room in the back. It's a hatchback so I gave up extra room by getting the subs and I have no space left for anything else. By swapping out the stock alternator (which I'm sure it is...) would I get a HO one or just a regular OEM alt?




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    Re: Need suggestions on electrical system fixes and upgrades

    Step 1) Ditch the cap
    Step 2) Big 3
    Step 3) HC1400 under the hood
    Step 4) Assess current setup, if needed, proceed to step 5
    Step 5) Upgrade to HO alt, if needed, proceed to step 5
    Step 6) Add another HC1400 to rear

    Honestly, the first 2 steps are crucial. Step 2 is highly recommended. Beyond that, steps 5 and 6 should not be necessary at all. They should only be needed if you upgrade from your current setup.




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    Re: Need suggestions on electrical system fixes and upgrades

    Thanks for your guys' input. I've thought about getting the HC1400, as it is the same sized power cell as my current battery. Hopefully after 1-4 I won't need to upgrade the alt. If I do need to get a second battery for the rear, I'm SOL unless I can fit it behind the subs next to the amp. If the amp is getting the proper power from the electrical system it shouldn't overheat as much as it is now, correct? I don't want to put a battery back there if there is that much heat dissipated from the amp and risk destroying the battery.




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    Re: Need suggestions on electrical system fixes and upgrades

    Quote Originally Posted by loopkiller View Post
    Step 1) Ditch the cap
    Step 2) Big 3
    Step 3) HC1400 under the hood
    Step 4) Assess current setup, if needed, proceed to step 5
    Step 5) Upgrade to HO alt, if needed, proceed to step 5
    Step 6) Add another HC1400 to rear

    Honestly, the first 2 steps are crucial. Step 2 is highly recommended. Beyond that, steps 5 and 6 should not be necessary at all. They should only be needed if you upgrade from your current setup.

    x2 on the steps



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    Re: Need suggestions on electrical system fixes and upgrades

    I have an HC1400 under my hood (Civic too) and am running about 950W RMS. I have no issues. I do have 4 gauge power and grounds ran to the trunk. The trunk grounds **** in my Civic. Think about running both power and ground from the trunk to the front battery. It gave me about a 1 volt boost at full tilt.




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    Re: Need suggestions on electrical system fixes and upgrades

    Thanks for the info... Where can I go locally for 1/0 wire and possibly fuse holders? (Radioshack/Kragen/etc.) I don't believe I've ever seen such large wire sold anywhere. One more thing, I sanded the hell out of the chassis where the right rear seatbelt bolts down and I'm currently using that for the ground for my amp and cap. Think that'll be good enough or should I still run a ground from the batt?




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    Re: Need suggestions on electrical system fixes and upgrades

    i dont think you need many electrical upgrades for that setup...


    if anything the Big 2 (i know its three but imo these are the two most important of them) will help the most.. do battery negative to chassis and alt to battery wires with bigger gauge.. that will prob be enuff.



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    Re: Need suggestions on electrical system fixes and upgrades

    I'd like to do the wire upgrade, but I still don't know where to get the wire. I'd like to buy somewhere locally, because I can't afford to wait for an online order with my system killing my car the way it is. I can't even run it half the normal volume, lol. Where would I be able to find the 1/0 Wire?




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    Re: Need suggestions on electrical system fixes and upgrades

    theres no local car audio shops ? you wont even need 1..... 2 or a couple runs of 4 should be more than enough (or even a few 8).. and may as well keep the stock stuff, more doesnt hurt...

    dont forget the hood wires are much shorter, therefore.. they dont need to be as big.



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    Re: Need suggestions on electrical system fixes and upgrades

    Quote Originally Posted by deepdespair View Post
    Thanks for the info... Where can I go locally for 1/0 wire and possibly fuse holders? (Radioshack/Kragen/etc.) I don't believe I've ever seen such large wire sold anywhere. One more thing, I sanded the hell out of the chassis where the right rear seatbelt bolts down and I'm currently using that for the ground for my amp and cap. Think that'll be good enough or should I still run a ground from the batt?
    http://www.knukonceptz.com/ Good quality and inexpensive online dealer

    Or go to your local audio shop, they should stock everything you need.

    The dedicated ground gave me almost a full volt back at full tilt. To me that would be a very good reason to run it. If you want to run your stuff at higher voltage, which leads to longer product lifespans, then run the dedicated ground.




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    Re: Need suggestions on electrical system fixes and upgrades

    yeah a bad ground.. or any bottle neck in the electrical system can cause issues.. one of my old cars had really small wire groudning the battery, im talking like 16 prolly.. once i replaced that.. all dimming issues went away. and the bass was louder and it held the low notes longer.



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    Re: Need suggestions on electrical system fixes and upgrades

    The only local car audio shop I know of that hasn't gone under gouges the hell out of prices. I can find 2 or 4 gauge wire though... I just wasn't sure that would cut it. Thanks a bunch. Will attempt the big 3 and post my results afterwards.




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    Re: Need suggestions on electrical system fixes and upgrades

    yeah man dont worry about 1, you're not pushing like 4k watts ya know..



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