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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-09-2003 11:32 AM
whiteboyslo looks like RPIJG was pretty much right on the rating. according to my work's website (, it looks like the alternator is 110 amps for the zetec, and 105 for the SPI. vanace, you assumption as to how the charging system works is more accurate. everything pulls off the alternator, then goes to battery as backup. provided you have a good battery that's fully charged, it's not really the high loads that kill an alternator as much as the surges, and that's where a cap helps out. caps only discharge as fast as they charge if you ground them.


PS- on a total side note, never disconnect your battery to see if your alternator is OK. it worked on older cars, sure, but it really can screw with the electronics in newer ones.
11-09-2003 12:24 AM
vanace It just frustrates me that anytime someone says "my lights dim" that someone else says, you need to buy a hopped up alternator, when that just simply isn't the case

Your a little off here. My lights dim slightly, all stock, as it came from Ford, when I put the heated seats on. think of amps as capacity. Sure, you might have a battery with 550 cold cranking amps, but a 35 amp alternator will allow the lights to dim before a 35 amp alternator. I do beleive The circuts are made so the power draw when running go to the alternator first, and if over burdend, to the battery. So the stock alternator could be over burdend and draw on the battey to keep it going.
11-08-2003 10:53 PM
sa_pyro_ne I found this out from another post, not a clear answer but it could be right. Tehres a quote and a link to the thread.


"I believe the alternator is rated at about 105 amps I believe, it may be more, but that's pretty close. Apparently, I'm not making a clear enough point, a more powerful alternator is only going to charge the battery quicker, it won't stop your system from putting excessive load on the battery. Since the battery is charged by the alternator. Caps, aren't that problematic, the charge just as quickly as the discharge when in the system. That's the nature of it. Most common circuits only require small capacitors to handle power fluctuations. Your computer for example probably has less than a full farad through all the picofarad capacitors inside it. It just frustrates me that anytime someone says "my lights dim" that someone else says, you need to buy a hopped up alternator, when that just simply isn't the case. Most of the people in here aren't running enough power to ever utilize the alternators extra capacity. Yeah if you are running, 4-6 subs and over 2500+ Watts then I can see the need, but I've seen much more than what I have run on much less without caps. I have no dimming problem with a 650W RMS amp, and I have NO DIMMING, none, with the ac on screech, the lights on, 4 ways flashing, rear defroster and all interior lights. It doesn't get much more extreme than that, and I have NO DIMMING. I have the STOCK battery, I have the STOCK alternator. I am running 4 gauge power wire, with a clean 4 gauge ground. Even with the stereo up to 25 on the stock head unit, and a bass disc in the deck, I get NO DIMMING, ( I do get a headache though ) I have no cap. Unless you are gonna start some serious power consumption with your system, then you shouldn't have to upgrade your ALTERNATOR of all things, the battery maybe, or add a cap, an alternator won't change the dimming, your battery will still run down just as it did with the old one, the only difference will be how long it takes for it to charge up again."

It's 1/2 of the way down on the second page on my computer.

- Scott
11-08-2003 07:25 PM
whiteboyslo aw, crap, i forgot to look. ummm....

11-08-2003 06:06 PM
2003zx3 nobody knows the amperage of the 2003 zx3?
11-06-2003 10:47 PM
sa_pyro_ne alright, thanks alot for both of your help.

- Scott
11-06-2003 10:20 PM
Laidman oh, my bad
11-06-2003 10:15 PM
whiteboyslo well, yes, but that's not necessarily whathe was looking for. amperage rating is usually what's the main concern.

i can find it out tomorrow when i go to work. i'll let you know tomorrow night

11-06-2003 10:11 PM
Laidman 14.7 volts
11-06-2003 09:45 PM
sa_pyro_ne oh, and it's a zetec by the way
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