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    Will a High Output Alternator Fry my car's Electrical System?

    Mods, could we sticky this?


    If properly used, no.

    I've heard many people (including some mechanics) run off at the mouth about how getting a HO alternator will fry all the wires and destroy your car's electrical system and blow every bulb in your car...

    Nothing could be further from the case.

    If the proper alternator is selected, installed and operating properly, it will charge up to about 16.0v at the absolute most when cold. Typically after warm up, it will charge everything at 14.4v. On REALLY hot days, it may drop its voltage to 13.8v.

    Nothing in your car will be stressed. It is the nature of a generator (alternator) to only supply enough current as is needed, so usually it's just trickle charging the batteries and up keeping the car's electronics.... This is the case for a stock honda 40amp alt or a 350ampre big case custom alternator.

    Part of a PROPER install is ensuring the alternator has a sufficient size wire to the battery. If you have more than 150amp alt, I would highly suggest using nothing smaller than 1/0ga to connect the battery and alt.

    If you were to use, say, 8ga as a charging wire to the battery when using a 350amp alt, and you suddenly need that 350amps the alt can kick out, you WILL fry that single 8ga wire....

    Most alternators come with an internal voltage regulator that keeps the alternator's charging voltage from 13.8-15.5v at all times. Others have external units that allow you to change the voltage the alt charges to.

    Voltage is a different beast than current.

    Too much current over a small wire will overheat it VERY rapidly and possibly induce failure. However it is VERY difficult to overload a wire with voltage. I'd place a good bet that most of you underhood wires can conduct 500+ volts without much trouble. (Your sparkplug wires carry 10,000volts if I remember correctly, but very LITTLE current...)

    The electronics in your car, on the other hand, are sensitive to both current AND voltage. Spikes above 18vdc could very well destroy your car's ECU, bulbs, etc. Current is not an issue as the electronics will only see as much current as they need.


    Now to the FOLKLORE/Wive's tales....

    I would venture that in the past people saw Racing Alternators and tried to use them in their own cars. Racing units produce a LOT more voltage than normal. (Typically they use 16v.) So most of those alts will charge at 18-21volts DC and that high of a voltage WILL incinerate most of your car's electronics. I believe this is were that folklore began, and is why I said you must select the proper unit for your car.

    I've heard the analogies too....

    "A HOalt is like a firehose where as your stock alt is a sink facuet. If your faucet had the pressure of a fire hose it would punch a hole in your sink."

    Another falsehood, first off the pressure in a firehose and your sink are equal or very close - there is a reason you use schedule 40 PVC or better in your house. The difference is the VOLUME of water being propelled.

    Secondarily an alt will only produce enough current as is needed. And if it does go to full power, that current will ONLY go to the electronics that are demanding that much current. So you anticipate where this current is going to go, and beef up those wires. (Big 3 wires, and power wires for your amps.)



    This is why a HOalt is COMPLETELY safe for your vehicle.

    And I HIGHLY recommend, and use, www.hoalternators.com



    1 volt = [1(kg)(meter^2)] / [(second^3)(ampere)]

    1 watt = 1 joule / second
    1 watt = (1 Newton)(meter) / second
    1 watt = [1 kg/(second^2)] (meter) / second

    simplifying we find:

    1 watt = [1(kg)(meter)] / (second ^3)


    therefore:

    P = (I)(V)

    1 watt = (1 volt)(1ampere)
    1 watt = ( [1(kg)(meter^2)] / [(second^3)(ampere)] )(1 ampere)
    1 watt = [1(kg)(meter^2)] / (second^3)


    And that is WHY Power is in the SI units of Watts. enjoy!




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    Re: Will a High Output Alternator Fry my car's Electrical System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bumpin' Yota

    "A HOalt is like a firehose where as your stock alt is a sink facuet. If your faucet had the pressure of a fire hose it would punch a hole in your sink."

    Another falsehood, first off the pressure in a firehose and your sink are equal or very close - there is a reason you use schedule 40 PVC or better in your house. The difference is the VOLUME of water being propelled.
    Not true.

    ...............




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    Re: Will a High Output Alternator Fry my car's Electrical System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bumpin' Yota
    "A HOalt is like a firehose where as your stock alt is a sink facuet. If your faucet had the pressure of a fire hose it would punch a hole in your sink."

    Another falsehood, first off the pressure in a firehose and your sink are equal or very close - there is a reason you use schedule 40 PVC or better in your house. The difference is the VOLUME of water being propelled.
    isnt this a similar idea to more port area is better because of less velocity? sorry, if i make it worse...




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    Re: Will a High Output Alternator Fry my car's Electrical System?

    Quote Originally Posted by tRiGgEr
    Not true.

    ...............
    Both are supplied by the same water mains, so they start out with the same pressure.

    However this is NOT the point. The analogy was FLAWED to begin with...
    Last edited by Bumpin' Yota; 07-16-2004 at 05:55 PM.



    1 volt = [1(kg)(meter^2)] / [(second^3)(ampere)]

    1 watt = 1 joule / second
    1 watt = (1 Newton)(meter) / second
    1 watt = [1 kg/(second^2)] (meter) / second

    simplifying we find:

    1 watt = [1(kg)(meter)] / (second ^3)


    therefore:

    P = (I)(V)

    1 watt = (1 volt)(1ampere)
    1 watt = ( [1(kg)(meter^2)] / [(second^3)(ampere)] )(1 ampere)
    1 watt = [1(kg)(meter^2)] / (second^3)


    And that is WHY Power is in the SI units of Watts. enjoy!

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    Re: Will a High Output Alternator Fry my car's Electrical System?

    i think i get what he is saying. the water is running at the same pressure through a fire hose as your kitchen fawcet. it's just that a fire hose has more water not pressure therfore a bigger hose is needed. am i close?




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    Re: Will a High Output Alternator Fry my car's Electrical System?

    Stuck ... in the electrical section. Can't have more than two threads stuck per forum, and General is already taken ... so we'll shove 'er here.

    Add more ... always enjoy reading up on this stuff. I need a new alt, too

    - Steve
    Last edited by ss3079; 07-16-2004 at 06:55 PM.



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    Re: Will a High Output Alternator Fry my car's Electrical System?

    Quote Originally Posted by ss3079
    Stuck ... in the electrical section. Can't have more than two threads stuck per forum, and General is already taken ... so we'll shove 'er here.

    - Steve
    Quote Originally Posted by tRiGgEr
    Not true.

    ...............
    Check the box forum.



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    but settle for less, blinded by their quest for purpose."
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    Re: Will a High Output Alternator Fry my car's Electrical System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gauntlet
    Check the box forum.
    Unstick your fiberglass tutorial and link it in under the fiberglass links

    - Steve



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    Re: Will a High Output Alternator Fry my car's Electrical System?

    You sticked it first, you do it.



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    Re: Will a High Output Alternator Fry my car's Electrical System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bumpin' Yota
    Another falsehood
    Thanks for this, it twas some nice reading. and to quote SNL

    "Thats an untruthatude your honor."




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    Re: Will a High Output Alternator Fry my car's Electrical System?

    good stuff Yota, good for the noobs



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    Re: Will a High Output Alternator Fry my car's Electrical System?

    Quote Originally Posted by supa_c
    nice.
    plus all house water has a regulator. but mine doesnt for1 hose in my yard.
    ive broken 2 hoses with 250psi and a little noosle.
    need to upgrade to better hose.

    ROFLMAO!! Pressure washer?!? Who needs a pressure washer??



    1 volt = [1(kg)(meter^2)] / [(second^3)(ampere)]

    1 watt = 1 joule / second
    1 watt = (1 Newton)(meter) / second
    1 watt = [1 kg/(second^2)] (meter) / second

    simplifying we find:

    1 watt = [1(kg)(meter)] / (second ^3)


    therefore:

    P = (I)(V)

    1 watt = (1 volt)(1ampere)
    1 watt = ( [1(kg)(meter^2)] / [(second^3)(ampere)] )(1 ampere)
    1 watt = [1(kg)(meter^2)] / (second^3)


    And that is WHY Power is in the SI units of Watts. enjoy!

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    Re: Will a High Output Alternator Fry my car's Electrical System?

    If a HO alt. frys electricle systems, consider mine fried....NOT, thats a bunch of **** cuz mine cam with the HO alt, stock and it hasnt fried my ekectrile system



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    Re: Will a High Output Alternator Fry my car's Electrical System?

    What would be a good alternator for a 03 Cavalier?

    My System:
    HU: Alpine CDA-9827
    Front: Kicker 5 1/2 Components
    Rear: Kicker 3-Way 6x9's
    4 Channel Amp: Sony 360 watt rms

    Subs: 2 Kicker L7 Ten Inche 600 watt
    Sub Amp: MA Audio HK-1997 1200 watt rms




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    Re: Will a High Output Alternator Fry my car's Electrical System?

    Bernoulli's Principle
    This is an important principle involving the movement of a fluid through a pressure difference. Suppose a fluid is moving in a horizontal direction and encounters a pressure difference. This pressure difference will result in a net force, which by Newton's 2nd law will cause an acceleration of the fluid. The fundamental relation,
    Work done = change in kinetic energy

    in this situation can be written as

    (change in pressure) x area x distance = change in kinetic energy, which furthermore can be expressed as
    Change in pressure + change in (kinetic energy / volume) = 0.

    In other words, Pressure + (kinetic energy /volume) = constant
    which is known as Bernoulli's principle. This is very similar to the statement we encountered before for a freely falling object, where the gravitational potential energy plus the kinetic energy was constant (i. e., was conserved).
    Bernoulli's principle thus says that a rise (fall) in pressure in a flowing fluid must always be accompanied by a decrease (increase) in the speed, and conversely, if an increase (decrease) in , the speed of the fluid results in a decrease (increase) in the pressure. This is at the heart of a number of everyday phenomena. As a very trivial example, Bernouilli's principle is responsible for the fact that a shower curtain gets ``****** inwards'' when the water is first turned on. What happens is that the increased water/air velocity inside the curtain (relative to the still air on the other side) causes a pressure drop. The pressure difference between the outside and inside causes a net force on the shower curtain which ***** it inward. A more useful example is provided by the functioning of a perfume bottle: squeezing the bulb over the fluid creates a low pressure area due to the higher speed of the air, which subsequently draws the fluid up.

    Bernouilli's principle also tells us why windows tend to explode, rather than implode in hurricanes: the very high speed of the air just outside the window causes the pressure just outside to be much less than the pressure inside, where the air is still. The difference in force pushes the windows outward, and hence explode. If you know that a hurricane is coming it is therefore better to open as many windows as possible, to equalize the pressure inside and out.
    Another example of Bernoulli's principle at work is in the lift of aircraft wings and the motion of ``curve balls'' in baseball. In both cases the design is such as to create a speed differential of the flowing air past the object on the top and the bottom - for aircraft wings this comes from the movement of the flaps, and for the baseball it is the presence of ridges. Such a speed differential leads to a pressure difference between the top and bottom of the object, resulting in a net force being exerted, either upwards or downwards. This is illustrated in the following figure.




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