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Cunninglinguist
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok, if youve kept up on the LSD intake thread you'd know that i have been having an electrical problem. Here goes
k its been getting worse, i would shut the car off and EVERYTHING would go dead...for a while at least. I was usually able to start it back up after a few minutes but finally about a week ago it shitted out for good.

so...my first thought was a bad ground. the negative battery terminal was ass, so i replaced the battery ground with a 2 gauge and a new terminal. Still didnt work. so what now? all the grounds? thats my next idea.

well so just to make sure that it wasnt the battery, i swapped batteries with my white prelude. The optima red top that i put into the white car pretty much ended up doing the same thing that it did on the blue car. it started up just fine, then i shut it off and everything goes dead. strange huh? maybe its a bad battery. crappy....

then i put the excide battery into the blue car (the one im havin probs with), it starts up just fine, but just as its starting i see fucking SPARKS shooting up from the alternator/cruise control area. WTF?!

thing is..I have a 94 accord 90 amp alternator....upgraded. my thought now is that it could be the alternator ground. I couldnt get it to do it more than once....but if thats what it is...then it wouldnt surprise me that it ruined the battery.

has anyone had this problem?> I know butter most likely upgraded his alt ground before upgrading his alternator. anyone know electrical systems well enough to say 'yeah that's entirely possible' at least?

i hope i didnt ruin the battery, fucker was expensive
 

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yeah, deffinitely test the charging system. for voltage and load. bring the car to advance auto parts or auto zone, they do free charging system testing and battery testing and starting system testing, with everything in the car, and they can tell you whats goin on. just bring the car to one of the above, and walk in and tell them you want them to test the charging system and battery and starting system. they bring out their handy little machine, test the battery, then test the starting system, then test the charging system. then once all 3 are done, you'll know exactly where the problem lies.

oh, and you dont need an upgraded ground for an alternator, they ground through the block. as long as the block is grounded well, you dont have to worry about any form of alternator ground. in fact, a ground wire connected directly to the alternator sometimes isnt the greatest idea, which is why they dont wire them like that. in a matter of words, the reason they ground it directly to the block and run the block's MAIN ground wire a decent distance away from the alt is cuz the block acts like a cushion aka damper for the alt. if you were to wire a ground wire directly to the alternator, it would create millions of minute voltage and current spikes.

strange to explain, and i know some people may try to contest this, but it is true.
 

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if you saw sparks then its time to replace that alternator because i would assume you already know sparks are bad. Iv seen alternators come in the shop that have caught fire and fire is definitly not a good idea to have under the hood specially if you dont have an extinguisher. Why did you upgrade your alternator to the 90 amp accord alt? are you running an insane system? there really is no reason you have to do this and it is obviously going to cause problems down the road for you. my best suggestion would be ditch the accord alternator and run the one the prelude came with.
 

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Cunninglinguist
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i upgraded to the 90 amp alt because the stock 65 amp alt kept dying. i got tired of having my lights dim like crazy whenever the bass hit, i got tired of my battery dying if i didnt shut the stereo off and let it charge before parking...the stock alt is crap if you have a decent stereo. its not insane, but its decent.

yeah i meant upgrading the ground to the block. no idea why it woudl spark like that tho :( im gona see if i can stop by a stereo shop and pick up enough 4 or 8 gauge wire to redo the whole car. hopefully theyll give it to me cheap

after i do that...ill take it to auto zone. i took apart the steering column on top of everything else i did...so its gona suck. mayeb ill just stick the steering wheel on and drive it in pieces to auto zone. bleh.
 

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ok. after reading the posts since my last post here, i have a suggestion. from someone who has tons of experience with stereos;

ditch the accord alt, get a new stock alt, and get a friggin 1/2 or 1 farad capacitor for the amp. the whole purpose of a capacitor is to eliminate the dimming effect when the bass hits, and keeps your battery charged much much more then if you dont have one.

i recommend a rockford fosgate capacitor, preferably the 1 farad. you probably only need a 1/2 farad one, but theres no such thing as using too big of a capacitor for the amp. you can get RF 1 farad capacitors at best buy, or any other stereo shop that carries RF. they'll probably be cheapest at best buy though.
 

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Devin...have you done all the wires i did in my car? You saw under my hood. You do ALL the grounds and the charging cable that goes from the alternator to the fuse box/battery and you will be golden...

If you wanna go a step further just do all the positive cables as well.
 

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see thats what i mean. you cant even be running a "decent" (as you say) system if you dont even have a capacitor. i am running a 1/2 farad Cap and i dont have any problems at all. you just gotta spend money instead of trying to cut corners. )not saying that you have cause i dont know but it seems like your definition of a decent sterio is entirly different then mine)

do what motoxxxman and i have said. go back to stock and get a Cap in there. you shouldnt have ne problems. Unless your running SPL Compition level shit you dont need a 90 amp alternator.
 

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Cunninglinguist
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
omg did i ever say i dont have a cap?

I have a 1.2 farad cap. lights still dim. alternator still died.

im gona do what butter did. i just bought a ton of wire, i can steal the ends once theyre all cut....lol
 

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ok a cap is just a band aid for a bad system, lucifer has a cap and a 90 amp, if u have a big amp and a fair batt and a cap, but u have a 60 amp alt and are driving at night with ac, bumping u will drain a batt fast, r cars with light and the ac on draw close to 50amps, so mix in a decent sub and 2 amps and ur in the 70 to 80 amp range, u will kill a batt fast doing this, a cap will only supply enough juice to the amp as long as the batt can feed it, but if ur usimg 60+amps and ur alt only gives 60 u are now useing more than u make and u will soon have softer bass and so forth
 

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an amp cant draw more power then the fuse in the power wire for it. and it never actually reaches that rating unless something is wrong. 90% of the time, amps only draw about 5-10 amps. only time it goes over that is with the surge for each actual "bump" of the system. and that is what the capacitor is for. a battery/alt supplies constant voltage and a moderate draw of current. a cap provides the surges for each bump. batteries are meant to be slow discharge, caps are meant to be fast discharge. thats why you install them. they do nothing between bass hits, they only operate (supply power) when the amp draws more power then the alt/battery supplies, which is exactly what they were made for in the first place.

if you have a 1.2 farad cap, and your lights still dim and it still drains your battery, you either have a 2500+watt total amp power (true watts, not advertised watts), or your amp/cap are wired wrong, or the cap is junk. RF caps ONLY for me (well, sometimes kicker), nothing else even comes close to comparing unless you want to spend upwards of a grand for a decent one by a different company.

when the amp and cap are wired correctly, the bass hits wont even hardly draw from the battery, it'll draw mainly from the cap alone. or several caps if you mount multiples for real high power systems.

this is being said from years of experience installing over 100 2000+ watt systems in vehicles with stock alternators. i've even installed a few 3000+ true watt systems in cars with 40 amp alts and 400 cranking amp batteries, and never had a single problem with battery draw or dimming. the key is to use the proper farad rating cap, and the proper number of them, and wiring them correctly, whether is a single cap or multiple.

too small of a cap or no cap at all wont work. too big of a cap wont affect anything either cuz it wont discharge unless its a high enough draw. for example: a 1/2 farad cap wont do much of anything for a 2000 watt amp, and a 1.5 farad cap, or two 1 farad caps wont do diddly for a 500 watt amp.

a cap only discharges its juice when the draw goes over a certain amount. if the amp never reaches that draw, the cap is pointless, it just feeds off the battery bypassing the cap's operation. if the cap is too small, it will discharge too early and too quickly, and the amp will feed off the alt and battery once the cap is fully discharged.

edit: addition: battery/alt supply the amp for the low draw sound, and recharge the cap between the high draw sounds, while the cap supplies the high draw sounds.

caps are IN NO WAY a bandaid for a bad system. they are a REQUIRMENT and an ASSET to a great system! go back to stereo school tricken, sorry, thats just how it is.
 

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Cunninglinguist
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
not even my argument to make anymore....

good read though definitely. Since i bought the wire, bought the amp, and bought everyhting on that car...im gona reground it. if i hadnt already bought it...id probly not try to fix this. cause for one i probly wouldnt have the problem in the first place.

hell regrounding certainly cant hurt...all it can do is help
 

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it could be but i think the sparks are the bigest you gotta find out whats going on with that. you might have a short to ground or something in the stator of the alternator (not sure if this would actually cause sparks or not) to me, sparks are way more deadly then dimming head lights.

i remember when my battery was dieing, i was sitting in a parking lot and at idle the lights would dim so much. I tapped the pedal and the lights would brighten up. I wasnt playing my sterio so i thought fuck i need an alternator. So i went to work the next day and did an AVR on my car. The alternator past but the battery load test found that the battery was scrap. so sometimes your battery could be the problem with dimming lights.

the battery without the car running should be sitting around 12.6V
 

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Cunninglinguist
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
true. but the spark was coming from the alternator area. the onyl exposed wire that i could htink a spark would shoot that direction is the alternator ground. im definitely upping that to 4 gauge to see what happens

youre right though...i may need a new battery now. i think my battery got ruined by whatever the problem was...cause it shuts down in my white lude too. doesnt spark tho
 

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motoxxxman said:
caps are IN NO WAY a bandaid for a bad system. they are a REQUIRMENT and an ASSET to a great system! go back to stereo school tricken, sorry, thats just how it is.
Caps are a bandaid work around or whatever you want to call it after a certain point. Yes, they work. A bigger alt. is ideal. The thing is your realy not doing anything about the draw on the battery your just creating a storage pool for the amp to draw on. The alt. still has to keep it filled. Its good to have one to prevent a surgeing. Surging isn't good.
 

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im not even gonna bother anymore. people think they know everything cuz they read it somewhere or cuz someone else said it somewhere else.

experience apparently means nothing anymore. i quit
 
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