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Old 01-11-2017, 12:58 AM   #1
defeo94

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Did my subs strain my car alternator?

I have dual Sundown SA8's powered by a Hifonics Brutus 1316 (I think that's the model) running off 2ohms pushing 900 RMS. 4 gauge fosgate wires a $270 odyssey battery under hood, and stock 85A alternator. Standard basic Pioneer DEH head unit (forget which exact one, but was 100$ new on Amazon, has bluetooth)
Out of nowhere last night driving home in the freezing cold 2am and was 12 degrees, halfway from home, my subs start clipping, then my HU restarts itself, my windshield wipers were moving slow, windows went back up very slowly, lights on dash were dim, etc etc.
Next day, I go to start up my car (2003 Mitsubishi Galant) it doesn't start. The sound of like a dead battery. I get a jump start, and go to Autozone to get battery tested for free and said it was healthy at 12 volts. He said he could not test my alternator because my battery was only at 50%..? Whatever that means...
Tomorrow I'm going to Pepboys to do a full system test for 17 bucks and see what is up. I have a strong feeling it is my alternator (this battery was bought 3 months ago) but my question here is...why did my alternator go bad? Did my subs destroy my alternator? The car has 98k miles and alternator has never been replaced. I had the system for about 11 months, but got the hifonics amp to push the 900 rms about 3 months ago as well as the battery.
Could it just of been the time to finally replace the alt (since usually they gotta be eventually replaced) and my subs lowered the life of the alt even faster...?
And, is it okay if I just get the same stock alternator that is 85 amps for my 900 rms ?? 5% of songs gave me dipping on headlights like flickered when bass hit, but 95% of the time it didn't and they were just flexin extra loud with no problem.
I don't see how I'd need a high output alternator if it's only 900 watts I'm pushing, but you guys are the experts, not me. I don't want to buy the stock alt if it is going to go on me in 6 months. And this is if my alt is even bad (like i said, getting it tested tomorrow, but all my friends say it has to be the alt from what i explained happened to me)
To this second if i go and try and start my car up, won't start.
Thank you,
DeFeo94
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:11 AM   #2
basicxj

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http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...RX1516.1D.html

^^ is that your amplifier?

If so, it can pull up to 140A at full output so an 85A alternator won't cut it, and as you've experienced you'll get voltage drops.

If your alternator is toast, it could have pushed it over the edge- get it tested to be sure. If you have to replace it and plan on continuing to run a power hungry amplifier, an HO alternator would be a good investment for whatever extra it costs to upgrade. Be aware that some HO alternators can actually put out less than the stock one at idle, so checking specs and getting one that doesn't need high RPMs to make sufficient amperage would be a good plan of attack.
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:32 AM   #3
defeo94

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Yes that is the amp that I have. So if I just buy another stock 85A alternator that would be no good? Like the new alt won't last long? I understand what you mean by it can draw 140 and mines only 85, but what if I reduce the bass in the subs? That means less power used, so would that save the alt?
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defeo94 View Post
Yes that is the amp that I have. So if I just buy another stock 85A alternator that would be no good? Like the new alt won't last long? I understand what you mean by it can draw 140 and mines only 85, but what if I reduce the bass in the subs? That means less power used, so would that save the alt?
Maybe, maybe not- it depends on what kind of a deficit you have in current required and how that will tax resources like the alternator and battery over time.

I know what I would do if I were going to keep the car for awhile...I'd spend the money on a stronger alternator so as not to send a new 85A OEM replacement to the grave early by virtue of wanting to play the audio system to its capabilities.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:14 AM   #5
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How do you know that this amp draws 140A?
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defeo94 View Post
How do you know that this amp draws 140A?
I said "up to" 140A.

Hint- what fuse does Hifonics recommend for this amp?
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:14 AM   #7
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Vehicle manufacturers typically include an alternator that provides for the electrical needs of the vehicle and all of its high-draw accessories, plus a small buffer. The 85A alternator in your Mitsubishi was not meant to power an additional high draw accessory over and above things like defrost, HVAC, high beams, power windows etc. so the margin of additional current you have available for amplifiers is small.

Voltage drop large enough to cause dimming of lights is enough to put current hungry amplifiers like your Hifonics into a delicate state where eventually it will trigger the amp's protection mode- Hifonics amps have a track record of going into protection and never coming out even under optimal circumstances within their designed operating parameters, so if yours is constantly being pushed relatively hard without sufficient current available to power it properly, it can sustain damage and will eventually need a costly service not covered under warranty due to damage occurring due to current starvation- this type of failure would be evident when they take it apart and look at the board. Things like your vehicle's ECU don't like voltage drops either- if you have it drop towards 10V, the engine can shut down at an inopportune moment and the ECU can sustain damage also.

An HO alternator would allow you to reliably power your amplifier and reduce strain on your vehicle's other components (alternator included).
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:19 AM   #8
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Also, if you are constantly running your battery into a discharge state it can become damaged as well- even a brand new one.

When your lighting dims, your alternator isn't keeping up with current demand, and voltage dips down towards or below the resting voltage of the battery while the engine is running and does not charge properly. Unless you have a battery designed to be discharged (like a deep cycle), you will eventually reduce the battery's ability to maintain a full charge.
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:37 AM   #9
defeo94

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All the high output alternators that I found online say that it requires a custom fit in order to fit into my car. It isn't same fit as the stock. How much roughly would it cost me for a mechanic to custom fit/install an amp like this?
https://www.amazon.com/HIGH-OUTPUT-A.../dp/B00AY2A65S

And, this alt does not specifically say for a "2003" galant. It just says galant 2.4. Would this still be alright for my 03 galant? My engine is a 2.4l 4cyl tho..
I appreciate your help so much.
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:57 AM   #10
basicxj

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Quote:
Originally Posted by defeo94 View Post
All the high output alternators that I found online say that it requires a custom fit in order to fit into my car. It isn't same fit as the stock. How much roughly would it cost me for a mechanic to custom fit/install an amp like this?
https://www.amazon.com/HIGH-OUTPUT-A.../dp/B00AY2A65S

And, this alt does not specifically say for a "2003" galant. It just says galant 2.4. Would this still be alright for my 03 galant? My engine is a 2.4l 4cyl tho..
I appreciate your help so much.
You'd have to check with a mechanic familiar with your vehicle- haven't worked on one personally, so I don't know how involved it will be. Generally, if you get lucky and the plug(s) are correct and the bolt holes are in the right spot, a pulley swap might be all that is required.

That particular alternator doesn't say what RPM it makes its output at, so I can't say whether it would be suitable or not. These companies are known to be reputable, and it may be a good idea to see if they have one specifically made for your vehicle, or a universal one that can be easily adapted to fit:

http://www.mechman.com

http://www.ohiogen.com

https://www.powerbastards.com

http://www.excessiveamperage.com

It might take a phone call to the customer service line for various suppliers to answer some of your fit questions.
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:09 AM   #11
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Another option is to approach a local alternator rebuilder to check into getting your existing alternator rewound and see how many amperes they can get out of it.
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:19 AM   #12
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http://lancasterstarterandalternator.com/highamp.html

^^ an example
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:32 AM   #13
defeo94

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I appreciate your time and help a lot, basicxj.
I feel like purchasing a HO alternator would be a bit of a waste of money to me, and here's why.
I plan on getting a new car in the summer, and selling my 03 galant (subs n amp most likely seperately)
So why blow away an extra 300-500$ in difference from standard HO with cost of custom fitting (and that's if a mechanic will even know how to fit it in my car) when I'm going to sell the car in summer? As long as other engine components or expensive car parts will not go bad if I just replace with same stock alt, i won't be that worried. The new stock alt can't fry on me in just a matter of few month's (doesn't make sense if it will, since I had this system with this alt for a year)
What do you think? Agree with me..?
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defeo94 View Post
I appreciate your time and help a lot, basicxj.
I feel like purchasing a HO alternator would be a bit of a waste of money to me, and here's why.
I plan on getting a new car in the summer, and selling my 03 galant (subs n amp most likely seperately)
So why blow away an extra 300-500$ in difference from standard HO with cost of custom fitting (and that's if a mechanic will even know how to fit it in my car) when I'm going to sell the car in summer? As long as other engine components or expensive car parts will not go bad if I just replace with same stock alt, i won't be that worried. The new stock alt can't fry on me in just a matter of few month's (doesn't make sense if it will, since I had this system with this alt for a year)
What do you think? Agree with me..?
Try that last link and see what they say in terms of cost for rewinding yours for more juice .
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:44 AM   #15
defeo94

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But as I said in the original message, I think my alt is fried. My car does not start. I am getting it checked by a full charging system tomorrow to let me know what it is. If it IS the alt, isn't it not possible to rewind my "dead" alt to more juice..?
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