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I have a good question for everyone. I have a 2001 Focus and have a Rockford Fosgate 800 watt mono amp and everytime the music hits real hard it makes the odometer light dim and the headlights dim just a little. My question to everyone is if I were install a cap would that solve the problem or would i have to install a cap and a new battery also. I dont have any idea on what to do because i want the problem fixed but i dont want to have to spend a boat load of money doing it and if i wait a lot longer im afraid that my alternator is going to burn up. So if anyone has any feedback at all it would be greatly appreciated.
 

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In one of my previous systems (posted on my cardomain page), I had a 97 ranger x cab with 3 12" JL W6's and a PPI amp powering them. The amp was only feeding about 600w to the subs and my dash lights AND headlights would all but go out at night when the bass would hit. I installed a Stinger 1 farad cap with voltmeter and it helped the problem a LITTLE but didnt do much. It really seemed more like a novelty item for looks and also so you could see the voltage drop to like 11 right in front of you! LOL!
 

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yea i think a OPT battery an cap would fix it or help it out A LOT
 

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Simple. Battery isolater and second gel or dry cell battery.this is the cheapest way. Or do it right the first time. Buy a high current altenater. Stock alts are ment to power the car it self and nothing more. your amp has caps in it to store power and smooth dc current.Forget the caps they are eye candy.
 

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adding a second battery won't help, your alt will still have to charge that battery, it will actualy put more strain on your alt, a second battery will only help if you want to sit and listen to music for a while without the car on. just upgrade the wiring by adding on 4 gauge and then see if you still have any problems, it's very likely that you won't.

- Scott
 

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Maybe I should of noted in bold letters BATTERY ISOLATER and another battery.
with a battery isolater there is no strain on the alt. or like I said previusly a HIGH
CURRENT ALT to do it the right way......
 

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an isolator isolates the battery from drawing power form the other battery, if you were sitting with your system on and car off an isolator would allow the battery to run until it's completely dead and you'll still be able to start the car with the other battery (assuming it's not drained from lights or some other type of power source). you'll still have the strain of charging two battery's on the alt. it's possible that it would solve your problems but rewinding your alt would be cheaper and mnore effective if upgrading the wires dind't work. but before this gets any farther into debate, wait until the wire is upgraded and see if there is still a problem.

- Scott
 

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This is the most complex answers i have ever seen. You dont need a new battery or two or three or new wires jsut a cap

http://search.ebay.com/ws/search/SaleSearch?from=R8&ht=1&satitle=car+capacitor&sokeywordredirect=1&sosortproperty=1&sacategory=3270&catref=C1

they are cheap, and it will fix your problems, hell of a lot cheaper then anythgin else. (If you are lookign for cheap and quick)
otherwise get a RedTopBatt if your current battery is old. But it dont look like your a hard core audio enthusist so i say 40$ for a 1F from ebay will do you nicely.
 

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spudgunman said:
This is the most complex answers i have ever seen. You dont need a new battery or two or three or new wires jsut a cap

http://search.ebay.com/ws/search/SaleSearch?from=R8&ht=1&satitle=car+capacitor&sokeywordredirect=1&sosortproperty=1&sacategory=3270&catref=C1

they are cheap, and it will fix your problems, hell of a lot cheaper then anythgin else. (If you are lookign for cheap and quick)
otherwise get a RedTopBatt if your current battery is old. But it dont look like your a hard core audio enthusist so i say 40$ for a 1F from ebay will do you nicely.
one word, no, sorry, it's highly unlikley that a 1 farad cap will solve your problems. a 1 farad cap will be completely drained in less than 1/15 of a second, especialy some cheap $40 one. just upgrade the wiring and we can go from there.

- Scott
 

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just do what sa_pyro_ne said, start with upgrading your power and ground wire. hopefully you are running at least 4 gauge good luck
 

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A slight dimming of headlights by a sudden demand for high current is just, NORMAL.
The the electric cooling fans switching on will dim your lights momentarily also. SO WHAT!

If the lights are dimming with the present wiring, installing heavier wires with less resistance will not help the situation but, in theory, make it worse! If you make it easier for current to flow to your amp, less flows to the rest of the car.
I'm not saying that thick power cables aren't a good idea, it is just not going to help here.
Wiring should always be a heavy enough gauge that it can handle MORE current than will be flowing through it. The car's battery is the main source of RESERVE current. This is why we wire the audio system directly to it, NOT to the alternator.
A battery and alternator with higher amp ratings may help a bit but not completely. You will sometimes get a slight dimming no matter what.

Capacitors are drained very quickly so prolonged demands for high current will render them useless. They will actually steal power from the rest of the system while they are charging back up!

Just some facts and opinions I felt compelled to add.
 

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sa_pyro_ne said:
one word, no, sorry, it's highly unlikley that a 1 farad cap will solve your problems. a 1 farad cap will be completely drained in less than 1/15 of a second, especialy some cheap $40 one. just upgrade the wiring and we can go from there.

- Scott
man that's a one sided answer seems that since you know all about electricity your answer is the only way. i stick with my answer that in THIS situation with this stereo THIS mono amp problem and THIS least cost solution that it will solve the problem of a headlight dim.
 

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Well, I would listen to Scott to start with upgrading the wiring. In my opinion a 1 farad quality cap would be the next step as it helps with short bursts of bass. The upgraded wiring should fix your problem as 800 Watts is not much, but if needed add a cap as well.

As for getting a $40 1 farad cap from e-bay, I would stay away from it and get a quality cap instead.
 

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upgraded the alt to positive wire, neg to chassis and engine block to chassis wires will decrease resitance which will allow the whole charging system to work more effficently and have less "sag" in voltage. it doesn't just provide your amp(s) with a more steady voltage but everything else on the charging system. and anyway, the proble might not be that it's drawing too much power, you may have bad contacts, maybe it's a rusted ground or something, this will most likely solve any of those problems.

capacitor stuff (there's a million of these threads:

http://www.realcaraudio.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=9898

http://www.realcaraudio.com/forums/archive/topic/9898.html

- Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank everyone for their input. I think that a lot of my problem is the wiring I was looking at it today and I think its 8 guage and mind you when i put it in originally that i was only running like a 200w rms sub so it wasnt pulling much juice anyway. So i think im going to upgrade my wiring first it sounds like a good start and its relatively cheap just buy the wiring kit from street wires for like 80 bucks and put it in. But after that what kind of cap would everyone use?
 
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