Alternator problems

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Drem
Posts: 85
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:03 am


I've gone through 2 alternators in 11 years. Last month I bought a new 220 Amp alternator from PowerBastards because they had it in stock ready to ship, and I needed my car. (Rated 220A at 1200RPM, 110A at idle). I also put a fresh XS AGM battery in and replaced the "big 3" wires with 1/0 gauge OFC wire.

Using a Fluke current clamp, I determined my amplifiers pull about 65 Amps combined with music played at my usual loud volume. The amplifiers are wired directly to the battery and grounded in the trunk as most people do. I got the same 65A reading at the battery as I did back by the amplifiers on the main 25' power wire. During the day with the car and AC running, I only read 60A of output from the alternator. Gassing it to 1500, 3000, 5000 RPM did nothing.

My guess is the car is pulling the 60A the alternator is providing. The alternator doesn't crank out the juice because the computer or some other regulator is controlling the output and it can't see the stereo draw.

Anyone know how to remedy this? I thought of wiring the 1/0 main power wire to the fuse box, but I don't see a place I can hookup in the fuse box, nor is the fuse box wired for >100A from the battery, though I suppose I could rewire that too if I must.

I was hoping Old Tech might know something.



Last edited by Drem on Mon Aug 15, 2022 5:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
2011 - Sport SLS AWD - Platinum Silver
old tech
Posts: 720
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:51 pm
Location: n/w pennsysvania

Sounds like the regulator is doing its job. It’s supposed to regulate the amperage. it’s just going to be enough to operate components and top off the battery. To properly test the alternator you would need to load test it with vehicle running I’m not really one for aftermarket pieces . It always seem that with at least Toyota and Suzuki that the original parts are on a much higher quality level than the aftermarket offerings. With alternators, the higher you go on amperage the more heat that is generated. This heat is very bad on electrical components making higher output a higher failure rate as well. Also the AMG battery that you’re using is an excellent battery it is generally pretty expensive to boot. When the AMG batteries are used in the high line cars from the factory such as BMW,Mercedes,etc, the battery itself has to be registered into the car’s computer to adjust for different recharging characteristics. I’m not really an expert on this as I said I don’t like getting away from the stock items much I know there’s a difference there somehow. You didn’t really state what you were concerned about on this charging system but I think you are wanting to see amp numbers some what closer to this extremely high output rating. Without a load testing tool , I guess you could leave the headlights on for 10 minutes with engine off . Put your fluke clamp around large alternator wire to battery , start the car with all accessories on and rev a bit and quickly read your meter.


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User avatar
Drem
Posts: 85
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:03 am

You didn’t really state what you were concerned about on this charging system


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With the stereo off, the car idles at a high 13V, and goes up to 14V when I'm driving down the road. Turn the stereo on and it drops to 12.0-12.5v at the battery and my low/mid/high 6-channel amplifier, but sub amplifier dips as low as 10V while idle. Driving improves it by tenths of a volt, very slightly. My bad for not reporting this as this was my original alarm, that I couldn't maintain good voltage with the stereo on. In car audio they always say adding more batteries does nothing but lengthen car-off playtime and those multi farad caps are useless, always get a high output alternator, but that hasn't changed with the expensive high output alternator. And yes the battery was a solid $400 as well. Money isn't the problem, poor electrical is. From my idiot-perspective, it just seems like the car controls the alternator but is not aware of the stereo draw on the battery so the battery gets low and stays there.

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Last edited by Drem on Tue Aug 16, 2022 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
2011 - Sport SLS AWD - Platinum Silver
old tech
Posts: 720
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:51 pm
Location: n/w pennsysvania

I think your alternator is trash. Get an original used one. The best deal out there. Yes you will be heavily taxing it but I have more faith in this lasting than a random aftermarket rebuild. Car-part.com if you cant find one near you, I can send one.
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