Alright...well I thought it was time someone did it...thats right, the big 3. Commonly talked about by many, known by few (haha that sounds cool) Anyways, the big three is the process of upgrading the (alternator to pos on battery wire), (battery ground wire), and (engine block to frame ground wire), hence the name..."big 3"
The big three can be very versatile...even for a stock truck. It lets you make the most of your electrical system. Becuase we all know that your electrical system is only as good as the wiring it is hooked up by. I ran 2/0 just because i'm nuts and over cautious. You can do it with 4 or 2 gauge and definetly that is all you need. I went from 13.98 volts at idle before (no lights/ac) to 14.21 after. And with the lights on before I was about 13.59 at idle (w/ ac) and after i was 14.16
Pretty nice if you have some offroad headlights or a bangin system.
Even if you just think your electrical is not up to par.
It's worth the hour this will take you...trust me. It's one of the cheapest and easiest ways to upgrade your electrical system.
Here's what I used..and you probably need...
-Bolt cutters (for the thick wire)
-6 wire terminals
-About 10-15ft of whatever gauge wire you decide to use (i reccomend 0 gauge)
-Electrical tape (to seal the wire terminals)
-Needle nose plyers or cutters (wire stripping)
-Box Cutter (for the boot on the alt)
-Various sockets (I used 7/16, 1/2, and 5/8 the most)
-About an hour of time and a little knowledge
WARNING: I AM NOT HELD RESPOSIBILE FOR ANY DAMAGE DONE TO YOUR TRUCK BY ME. DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK. THIS IS JUST A GUIDE...NOT A RULEBOOK. DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK. ELECTRICAL SHOCK MAY OCCUR.
My truck...2002 ford ranger edge 3.0 liter 2wd
Here is a how to for this
I used 2/0 wire bought from welding supply
1. Unbolt the negative terminal on the battery and take it off
2. Unbolt the positive terminal on the battery and take it off
3. Next measure out how long from point to point all your wires need to be. Go about 6" over this measurement.
For reference...here is the battery ground
The alternator bolt
And the engine block-frame wire (it's the silver one...its up by the windsheild wiper almost)
Put all the wire terminals on...make sure they are on tight.
Alright...so now that we have identified we can start taking all the bolts off. Start with the battery ground. Take nut off the stock bolt and put your new wire on it, rescrew the nut on. DO NOT PUT THE CABLE BACK ON THE BATTERY YET. Should look like this
The wire should be dangling (negative that is)
Now go over to the alternator...this gets tricky. Take off (peel away) the rubber boot that is right here...
Now take the bolt off and strip away the boot on it. It almost looks like a spark plug boot. Put the new wire on over the existing terminal. It should be pretty tricky to rescrew the bolt...they don't give a lot of room. I had to trim the peice that rests against the terminal (on the alt). You can put this wire all the way to the battery positive. Don't hook it up just yet, it's a little tricky...i'll explain that later.
Should look like this....
Make sure none of the wires are grounded...i just used a DMM when I was done before i hooked up everything. I'll explain later
Now to the engine block/chassis one....unbolt the bolt up top
The bolt on the bottom should look like this....
DON'T TAKE THE BOTTOM BOLT OFF...it's a PITA
Ground to this bolt...it's by the dipstick.
Just take the nut off the put the new wire over the existing and bolt it up...easy as cake.
Now wire that up and under the P/S and hook it up to the original bolt you have.
You have just completed (if/when you do it) the first phase to the big 3.
Now take a DMM...like this one
And check all your points...they should read 0...i do this just as a precaution...i don't have another truck :)
So then you can start hooking everything back up. For me I have a system so I already have another wire to worry about...but the wire terminals on the 2/0 are about 1/8" thick...pretty thick if you ask me...especially to fit in a battery terminal. I just jammed it in there like so
Next you can finally hook up the ground wire back to the battery...your dome light should come on. If it sparks alot...something is wrong...take it off IMMIDIATELY (sp)
It's a good upgrade...should take about an hour
If you have any questions...hit me on AIM at jrpro130 or firstname.lastname@example.org
or you can even PM me..i'm always around :)
PS: if there are any edits please tell me