So I am working on doing a complete stereo overhaul this summer which will result in me running 3 amplifiers for the system. 2 of these amps are class AB while the third is a class D. These will put a strain on the factory system, so to begin the project I started with the Big 3 upgrade. If you're not familiar with this check this out
. I've chosen to add on to the existing wiring leaving it all in place.
I've detailed the process as best as I could while trying to get this done, so please ask questions and I will try to answer and if I can get more images (with ease) that help out I will. I assume you are also familiar with the process for attaching terminals to the wiring and figuring how much wire you will need. I used 0 gauge I had laying around from other builds/tear downs you can use 2,4,8,2/0 whatever you have. Make sure to properly protect the wire from heat as well.
Also, this is a general guide follow these steps at your own risk. I am not a professional mechanic and provide this information as reference material.
10mm Flex Ratcheting Wrench
(get this or there no point in attempting this)
10" Socket Extension
Channel locks or other good set of pliers
1. Using the 10mm socket or wrench disconnect the negative battery cable followed by the positive.
2. Using the 10mm socket and extension remove the clamp holding the batter in place
3. Remove the battery from the vehicle
4. Remove the engine cover
5. Remove the factory air box and piping. If you have a Volant intake like I do then remove the intake as it makes getting to the alternator much easier
6. Starting with the easiest one first use a 10mm to remove the negative battery lead from the body. Attach your 0 gauge to this location and replace the 10mm bolt.
7. Using 1/2 remove the nut from the top of the battery terminal. This can be difficult so you may want to use the channel locks to hold the terminal while loosening the nut.
8. Connect the end of the 0 gauge and replace the nut. Again use the channel locks or pliers to hold the terminal while you tighten the nut.
9. Now go the alternator (was hidden by the air box) and remove the only nut on the back side using the 1/2 socket
10. Attach your new run of 0 gauge. Reattach the original wire and nut.
11. Run your new 0 gauge along the same path as the factory wire (over the top of the throttle body and down to the battery
12. Within 18 of the positive terminal locate a space to put a fuse. I opted to use a 200 amp circuit breaker attached to the front of the battery tray.
13. Just like the negative terminal loosen the top nut and attach your 0 gauge.
Wow that was easy and pretty straight forward, right? Now for the real fun of this project. To upgrade the chassis (aka engine ground) you must first locate them...on the back of the engine. There are 2 of these points on the back of the 5.7 along the firewall.
14. Let's start with the easy on, the driver's side. You can follow the large wire (blue arrow) down. This is attached to a plastic support. Using the 10mm flex ratchet remove the nut. BE CAREFUL NOT TO DROP THE NUT! I used a magnet on a pole to catch it once it was close to the end of the bolt.
15. Gently pull the plastic wire support off the nut and attach your new 0 gauge. Be careful not to knock the factory ground strap off or lose it back there.
16. Reattach the 10mm nut
17. Route your 0 gauge to the other side of the engine following the other factory wires along the top of the firewall.
WARNING! Get your patience out this is the toughest part
18. Locate the ground strap coming from the firewall and follow it back to the engine block and locate the 10mm nut. (Sorry don't have a pic from before I ran my wires.
19. Using the flex ratchet again...somehow.....figure out how to get the ratcheting end on and remove the nut. Again be careful not to drop it.
20. Attach the 0 gauge you fed earlier on the nut, being careful not to knock the factory wires off.
21. Now attach your 0 gauge that will run to the firewall. Do not attach this to the firewall yet as it will be in the way when you try to reattach the nut.
22. Spend hours fighting with the 10mm nut and get it put back on. You will need to figure out what works best for you. I used hot glue to help keep the nut in the ratcheting end of the wrench and reached one hand over the top while the other from the side. Again figure out what works for you this is a royal pain to do.
23. Once the 10mm is back on the engine remove the nut from the firewall using 10mm and attach your 0 gauge and the factory back to this point.
Congrats! It's done and now you can put the air intake back on, engine cover and reattach the battery. Fire the engine up and check for any codes/warnings (should always do this after working on you car).
Questions let me know and I will try to answer to the best of my knowledge.