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Unread 05-27-2013, 10:19 AM   #1
97ZJ-Ryan95
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Upgrade alternator or just need correct wiring

I picked up 4 130watt pro comp 8" lights yesterday and am planning on picking up 2 fogs like plus an airplane landing light. (Don't know wattage on the other fogs not plane light currently) my question is should I upgrade to a stronger/bigger alternator to handle the load(dad said he thought it'd be a bit much on the stock one) or will everything work great with just the proper wiring all around.

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Unread 05-27-2013, 11:06 AM   #2
Indy
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Cant really answer that without knowing wattages. What you have listed so far wont bother a stock alt. you have about 38a additional draw with the 4 lights on.

Stock alt should be in the 90-120a range.

Fogs are often 55w.

Landing light has a good chance of either being 1. Too much or 2. Pointless.
If its really expensive ot might be a 600w 28v, if it was cheap its probably a 100w 13v. 100w is 100w.

The most ive run At one time was 8 110w lights on my dodge dakota, a decade ago when i was young and dumb. It made trails at night nice, never had a hiccup with the stock parts.
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Unread 05-27-2013, 11:13 AM   #3
97ZJ-Ryan95
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Okay thanks, how many more total watts would be acceptable before it started to big the stock alternator? Or does that also depend on the amount of current each light take?
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Unread 05-27-2013, 11:19 AM   #4
Indy
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Although watching the trees burst into flame as i drove by was entertaining.
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Unread 05-27-2013, 11:24 AM   #5
Indy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97ZJ-Ryan95 View Post
Okay thanks, how many more total watts would be acceptable before it started to big the stock alternator? Or does that also depend on the amount of current each light take?

It depends on draw. Your ride takes x amps just to run. As long as the amp draw is less the, the alts output (at speed youre driving) youre on the + side and the amp will keep up and the battery will see a charge. If it exceeds it the amp cant keep up and there will be a draw on the battery until it dies and so does your ride.

If everything added up puts you over the top, just dont run everything at once. Many high output alts put out more but only at high rpms, they can actually put out fewer amps at trail speed than stock. So an upgrade can kill your battery faster than stock.

You want to figure out your draw and your output at the speeds you plan on driving with full draw.
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Unread 05-27-2013, 11:27 AM   #6
Indy
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If you want a TON of light without taxing your charging system, look into LED. By the time you have enough LEDs to be over the top the folks on the space station will probably be asking you to shut down so they can get some sleep.
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Unread 05-27-2013, 11:54 AM   #7
97ZJ-Ryan95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indy
If you want a TON of light without taxing your charging system, look into LED. By the time you have enough LEDs to be over the top the folks on the space station will probably be asking you to shut down so they can get some sleep.
Haha great answer thanks man, i didn't see your second post at first. But I'll get a check on the 2 other lights and see if I even get the fogs, I feel like the landing ones would be pointless though
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Unread 05-28-2013, 07:43 AM   #8
FastHotRod
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Four 130 watt lights: 4 * 130 = 520 watts.

Watts = Volts * Amps

520 = 13.5 * Amps
520 = 12.6 * Amps

Amps = 38.5 ~ 41.6 Amps

This is a simple approximation... but it's true in principal. As others have said, you'll want to consider what the requirements of the total vehicle are first... that way, you know that you'll be okay while on the trail.

Remember that the alternator output is normally rated at the 'typical' driving level, not at idle. At lower RPM's, the alternator isn't putting out as much power as it would at a higher RPM. (It has to do with the way that an alternator makes power via an AC sine wave and rectifier bridge.) Just something to keep in mind if you're sitting on the trail for an extended period of time.

As others have said, LED's are low power devices, but they can be a bit expensive for the quality units. Granted, upgrading to a high output alternator isn't cheap either... so you'll want to plan your upgrades accordingly. Another way to get a lot more light is to go with HID vs. Halogen. A typical 35 watt HID will dump a lot more light than a 35 watt halogen will.

Hope this helps.
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Unread 05-31-2013, 02:30 PM   #9
97ZJ-Ryan95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FastHotRod
Four 130 watt lights: 4 * 130 = 520 watts.

Watts = Volts * Amps

520 = 13.5 * Amps
520 = 12.6 * Amps

Amps = 38.5 ~ 41.6 Amps

This is a simple approximation... but it's true in principal. As others have said, you'll want to consider what the requirements of the total vehicle are first... that way, you know that you'll be okay while on the trail.

Remember that the alternator output is normally rated at the 'typical' driving level, not at idle. At lower RPM's, the alternator isn't putting out as much power as it would at a higher RPM. (It has to do with the way that an alternator makes power via an AC sine wave and rectifier bridge.) Just something to keep in mind if you're sitting on the trail for an extended period of time.

As others have said, LED's are low power devices, but they can be a bit expensive for the quality units. Granted, upgrading to a high output alternator isn't cheap either... so you'll want to plan your upgrades accordingly. Another way to get a lot more light is to go with HID vs. Halogen. A typical 35 watt HID will dump a lot more light than a 35 watt halogen will.

Hope this helps.
Ah okay, thanks that was really helpful. Do you know the general output at idle?
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Unread 06-01-2013, 08:33 AM   #10
Indy
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I think stock maxes around 90a, guess 50-60amps at idle, 14ish volts.
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