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Old 04-25-2006, 12:58 AM   #1
Focus Jr. Enthusiast
Join Date: Jun 2005
Fan#: 25026
Location: Virginia
What I Drive: 2000 Silver ZX3 ZETEC

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Dead Alternator, Dead Battery

So I've been having a lot of 'fun' with my electrical system lately.

Car: 2000 ZX3 Zetec completely stock, 82.3K miles.

I recently had a new system professionally installed (by Magnolia HiFi, got tired of blowing equiptment with my crappy jobs). What I am running is two Alpine 12" Type-R's rated at 500W RMS. Powering them is a Rockford T10001bd (read: 1521 "bench tested" Total RMS Watts at 1 Ohm, or rated 1000 RMS at 2 Ohms). They wired up the subs for a 1 Ohm draw, and have 4 gauge wiring running from the battery with a 150 amp fuse. On top of all that is the Kenwood Excelon X889 deck. All the speakers are still stock.

Magnolia warned me that I should seriously consider getting a larger alternator/battery, especially when I plan to put in another amp and front speakers. I noticed that while driving from my house to Seattle one weekend, about an hour into the drive my emergency brake and ABS lights started flashing, my Subwoofers started cutting out at the heavier bass parts, and the sound quality from the deck deteriated greatly. I assumed, that I had been pulling from the battery this whole time, and it had been completely drained, so I turned the system down for the remainder of the trip.

Recently I decided to do the Big Three upgrade as I was gettings some serious headlight dimming. I installed the two ground wires myself, did a good job, but held back on the positive wire for my father the next day. The next morning the car ran fine. I got home and we threw in the power wire and things just started to fall apart. We got it all wired, double/triple checked everything, no problems, by the book. Fired up the car, it started fine, then started blasting the music to see if my headlight dimming had been solved. It had however, when I got excessively loud my subs started cutting out on the bassy parts, which it had never done at a time like then. We figured the battery may for some reason be dead, threw the charger own it, which said it was low, let it charge for about a good half hour or more. When it was fully charged, fired it back up again, and it did the same thing. This time, we noticed that the battery light had come on. Figured it for a bad battery, pulled off the power wire we had installed, while screwing the bolt back onto the terminal, I bridged the positive and negative terminals for a split second, causing a nice little arc that scared the crap out of me. Then we threw the charger on it and ran to the store the next day to grab a new battery one.

Put on the new battery today, it fired right up, so we decided to check and see if it was the alternator, while it had be running for a minute or so, we popped off the negative terminal and the car died instantly. Dead alternator right?

So is it possible that the Big Three killed by battery and alternator? Did I kill the battery/alternator when I bridged it for that split second? Was it just their time, and the excessive music pulled the last straw? Where can I get an alternator that can handle the kind of power I am trying to pull?

I know that was a lot, probably most of it unnessecary, but I figured every detail may help. And thank you very much in advance for helping me at all.

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