Altenator up grade options


Peoples champ runner up
May 29, 2001
I need help with my electrical system. I think I need to up grade my charging system. What options are available for hipo altenators? Iam trying to run 3 rockford amps, 1000w mono block, 800w 4 channel, and a 400w 4 channel. I believe the inline fuses for the amps are 100, 60, and 50 amps respectively. So that adds up to 210 amps. I realize that this set up wont be drawing 210 amps but I guess that this could help in determining what altenators will work good for me.

Thanks: Jason
p.s: this set up is for a TTA
There are many manufactor that makes high-output alternators. You are adding the total MAX current draw. You probally wont get up there if you do you'll blow the fuses. Stinger and other make a 190amp alternator that would be good with a good gel battery.
I had my factory 120 amp bumped to a 160 amp which is more than enough to feed my front and rear batteries in my GN. I had it done at a reputable alt. shop for $140.00.

When you are running that much power, you should run an extra battery just for the audio equipment because with that much power you need capacity to keep the amplifiers fed.
My 180 dropped right in from Wrangler. It has a outboard regulator for tweaking the perfect voltage out of it.

Rewinding a alternator is not always good, by increasing the winding with out increasing the case size you are not providing it with ample cooling and they can burn out if driven hard.

You should also upgrade all your factory power wires to 4 awg or 1/0 for better current flow. Make sure you do all your grounds and starter wire also. It is amazing how much of a difference it can make. If you have done any performance mods make sure you have a bullet proof grounding system. I see to many customers with their hotrods have crappy wiring, changing it has made a difference in every one of their cars.
Also keep in mind that as you raise max current output you loose low rpm output. Simple physics. A high output alternator has fewer windings than a regular alternator. A tech at a local Delco elctronics shop near me explained it to me. Your best bet if you want a high output alternator which still retains decent low rpm output is an aftermarket product WITH an external regulator. Large case if possible. I bought a small case Lestek (Rockford corp) 180 high output amp and it was a nightmare. At idle with the car in gear the voltmeter would dip into the low 11's. Basically the alternator was not doing anything at idle. Many a phone call with Lestek and I finally got disgusted and put the factory one back on. The tech at Lestek said the low rpm drop is normal. Reinforcing what the Delco tech said.

I have over 1000 watts of real old skool HiFonics amps and still have the factory alternator on the TTA. Over 100,000 miles (minus the few months with the POS Lestek alt) and it still works fine. My personal opinion - unless you are competing and want brownie points for a nice shinny alternator or are pushing some serious wattage - leave the factrory alt. What is most important is to make the best of what you have. Meaning be sure your power cable AND ground are 100% mint. Even with my system cranked I have almost no voltage drop.

GNandTTA, what you said makes sense. I was looking into an Alternator Up-grade for my 83 Regal which has a 87 Chevy Caprice 305 and stock alternator. when the system was in my old Caprice there wasn't hardly a voltage drop, but now in the Regal everything dims, although my amp is now bridged running differnt subs. I think a good 1 farad cap should solve the problem. It's weird because I've been in cars that have a stock electrical system and everything is fine, no voltage drop. But there was also a friend of mine that spent $$$ for a HO alternator and Cap and still had problems. Cars are picky...
The 1 farad cap will not help - I tried it. The Lestek tech gave me an adjustable regulator to try. In order to maintain roughly 12 volts at idle I would get 15+ volts at over 1000 rpm's - not good.

However Wrangler products are about as good as it gets. They had one alternator with dual outputs that put out 300 amps. I remember there was another place called Mr Alternator. They made some good products as well. Don't know if they are still in business.

If you can squeeze a large case alternator you won't get as much of a voltage drop because of the larger wire used in the windings. Just be sure to get an external regulator.
what would be required for the external reg? Just mount it on a fender well? Or does it mount externally to the alt itself? I am in the market for a bigger alt. That Kicker amp is a freakin inefficient current hog!
it just mounts on the fender, no big deal.

Look at my website with my Regal to see my Alternator install.

It is a Wrangler 180 Amp Large case dual output Alternator
Mcss, either an alternator will have an internal regulator or external. The 2 types cannot be interchanged. The factory GN alt is internal. But when you start dealing with higher current there are advantages to having an external regulator. It frees up more space inside the alternator for larger bearings/bushings and brushes. Plus the regulator is not exposed to the extreme heat inside of the alt which should yeild better performance.

Xtant, that is an excellent alternator. Where are you putting the 2nd battery?
WRANGLER all the way...I built alot of high power systems and this is the ONLY alternator that lived.

This is the way it went
Power of system = 11,000 watts
amptech- died 2 weeks
street wires - died 15 minutes!
stinger - died 2 weeks
lestek - died 24 hours
local beef up job - died 2 days
WRANGLER - still going

At full volume the wrangler alt never went under 14 volts...the rest would dip immediately.

with the correct alt, no additional batteries, caps or boosters are needed. Just GOOD wiring.
ok, so which one do you think would be best? I only am using 2 amps (120 max current). As of now, sitting in traffic and playing a song with a good amt of bass it will drop the voltage. When I speed up it will increase. BUT, I am also not pushing it because I know my alt isn't up to the job.

I would prefer to not have anything external, but if thats my only good option I will go that way.
I'd really suggest callin' Wrangler....nice people to deal with. They'll point you in the right directions and will make sure you'll get the one to physically and electrically fit your needs. Amperage wise I'd go for at lease 150 amp....never hae to much.
Originally posted by mcss383
ok, so which one do you think would be best? I only am using 2 amps (120 max current). As of now, sitting in traffic and playing a song with a good amt of bass it will drop the voltage. When I speed up it will increase. BUT, I am also not pushing it because I know my alt isn't up to the job.

I would prefer to not have anything external, but if thats my only good option I will go that way.

Walk me thru your electrical is your car wired ? Where is your electrical system grounded ? What gauge cables are you using ? What kind of Battery do you have ?

As far as Wrangler goes, ask for Stan, he is awesome !! He is a very smart guy.
Ok, the battery is a 800 or 1000cca one, don't remember. I may be getting a new one. This one has been nearly drained on many occasions. Its a dual post battery. Original cables going to alt bracket for ground and to starter (with plans of upgrading them to 2ga also).

I have 2ga power going through framerail and to the trunk. It hits a dist block and splits to 2 6ga welding cable going to the amps. For ground I have another 2ga ground from the batt directly to the frame. I also have both amps connected to another dist block w/6ga also and then the block grounds directly to the frame.

Thats pretty much it.