Headlighs dim with sub hit - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 01-10-2012
myersth's Avatar
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Headlighs dim with sub hit

I have a one 1 10in kicker sub with a 100watt sony xplode amp. every time my subs hits from medium to loud the head lights dim and my battery gague will drop. i have a 98 ranger with the 3.0 v6. how do i get this to stop so there aint as much strain on my electral system. i hurd about the big 3 upgrade, but when i looked under my hood all the wires are in this cover(idk what it there called. usualy black with a slit in the to put the wires in) idk what i need to take off and put on. it almost looks like **** was rewired cause everthing is blacked taped and split 3 ways. idk if that factory or what. but if some one could help me out that be great.
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Old 01-10-2012
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Put a load capacitor in.
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  #3  
Old 01-10-2012
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^^ what he said it stores engery so your system is not drawing directly on the alternator. also check your grounds/ your alternator might be getting weak
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Old 01-10-2012
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X2 on getting your alternator checked, 100 watts should not not be enough to make your lights dim, I was running around 400 watts with no dimming, but I just did the big 3, because I had to replace my positive battery cable anyway.
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Old 01-10-2012
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I would have both the battery and alternator checked.

Either way I would do the big 3
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Old 01-10-2012
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You've got some pretty bad wiring/gounds/connections and or alternator. this would not be uncommon for a ranger of this age.

100w or did you mean 1000w?. a 1000w amp would be more common and would make this not as much of a concern as a 100w amp doing this.

Regardless,I would check all grounds and alternator connections for corroded wires and connections and replace them. chances are they are hard, crunchy and corroded like iv'e seen in my past rangers. I would bet money on your starter wires being shot.

A capacitor will only cover up a bigger problem and can actually cause more. A capacitor will only add additional load because it needs to charge itself after its been depleted which happens in milliseconds in a low current/voltage situation. amps have enough capacitance for their needs, unless your not supplying them with enough current.
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Old 01-11-2012
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did i put 100? i ment 1000 sorry guys. i no my pos on the battery creates alot of acide. what puzzles me is i had the older model of this amp it was a 1000w to and it didnt cause this then i got this new one and its like energy monster andd they both were set the same. so basily i should do a big 3. i no everything looks so confusing under there. all the wires are hiddin runing under things and all groouped together. is they anything i need to be worried about? can i just locate the pos from the alt unhook and pull it out no problems? and my amp ground is pretty crappy i was told. its on the bolts that hold platic on the back wall
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Old 01-11-2012
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ok im gonna go ahead and do the big 3. so all i need some 0 ga wire 2 battery post terminals that will fit 0 ga. like 4 connectors. to make sure i understand this. take off the pos and neg to the battery. take off the pos on the alt. put 0 ga on the alt to battery. is a fuse requried if so where can i get one, what size, and how much? next put ground wire together hook up to battery. hook up to where the engine ground is already? and try to find a direct chassiy ground since factory isnt the best place. should i ground my amp better? its hooked up to a bolt that holds the plasic piece to to back window. whats the chance this is not gonna solve my problem? what should my next steps be if it doesnt solve the problem. will there at least be a noticale differance. my wire kit for amp is 8ga

Last edited by myersth; 01-11-2012 at 02:57 AM.
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Old 01-11-2012
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Go on YouTube and look up the big 3 upgrade, that's what I did, just watching people do it makes it alot easier, I found out that I was way over thinking things when I looked under the hood and saw the wiring, which sounds like what you are doing too. They even have videos from company's like Kicker doing these videos.
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Old 01-11-2012
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Put an explorer alternator on there. I have the same exact truck but with a rockford 12 (2 ohm) and an alpine 500 watt mono amp. It dimmed my lights till I put the explorer alternator on
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Old 01-11-2012
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there is really no need for 0 gauge. such short runs will only require 8 awg. You will not gain any power, only restore what was already there. The factory wiring was designed to feed all of the power from the alternator. Think of the big 3 as more of a shortcut to removing and replacing the old wires. It is far to overrated on the internet audio forums.
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  #12  
Old 01-11-2012
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What they said ^^^ x2 I waited till my alternator completly died and almost lest me stranded on the highway. But after installing a new 95 amp atl there is nothing that can dimm my lights that I have even with everything on. If you plan on running alot more accesories that creat draw I would opt for a 135 amp and call it a day either way get a solid ground it will take some strain off ur amp aswell
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Old 01-11-2012
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what is the stock alt ampage? how much is a high out put. not looking for the top of the line nor do i want junk. i dont think imma add anything else once i get this electical system working properly i think my sound system will be done till i get a new vehical
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Old 01-11-2012
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The 4.0 Auto Expo's have a 120 amp alt
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Old 01-11-2012
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Before you do a bigger alternator(more money), get a new/bigger battery and do the "Big 3". I can bet your dimming issues will go away. And I can also bet that Sony amp isn't actually putting out 1,000w.
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Old 01-11-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01RangerEdge View Post
I would have both the battery and alternator checked.

Either way I would do the big 3
X 1,000

It's not a big deal, but it makes a big difference. A capacitor only helps with big transients, but doesn't address the problem, which is insufficient current.
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  #17  
Old 01-12-2012
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im sure its not ether its 1000 peak. idk how to figure the RMS for it
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  #18  
Old 01-12-2012
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my battery is from 07. idk how long they last. what am i looking at for a better batter cost and where to buy. im sure walmart doesnt have them what bout advance or napa? and i hear the big 3 its self may help and may not help. what is the prediction. it wont help much just give me more current but ill have to upgrade battery to.
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  #19  
Old 01-12-2012
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If you are re-doing grounds... Run new ones from the battery to the frame, frame to engine and one to the alt, engine or frame to the body. Also battery to starter mounting bolt.
Might not hurt to run a ground directly to the amp.
Good grds = bare metal and anti-corrosion grease and lock washers to keep them tight.
Wiring doesn't need to be just BIG to work but it must be based on the highest amperage draw and as I do one size bigger.

May be overkill but will help overall system 100%.
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Old 01-12-2012
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here's some pics of my big 3. I used 1/0 (0) gauge, no harm in going too big (8 sounds a little small to me)

https://www.ranger-forums.com/snapshots-69/not-small-3-a-116807/
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  #21  
Old 01-12-2012
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Batteries usually will go for 5 years or more unless they have been abused. the battery is not what supplies the current while the truck is running. so replacing it with a larger one would not fix it..

Your amp is probably drawing somewhere around 400-500w depending on its ohm load. if your wired to a low ohm and putting a good amount of bass boost to it you could be drawing a bit more. i use the term drawing because that's what the amp is pulling not what it is actually feeding to the speaker. class a/b amps are pretty inefficient at about 50-60% a good class d may be 80% efficient if your lucky

Not really anyway to be sure about the actual cause but I suspect your probably pulling just a bit too much from the alternator and your wiring isn't what it use to be.

This is the way I figure it. your alternator puts out 95amps at about 13.8 give or take 95 x 13.8 about 1300w your truck uses about 40 to 60% of that so say 650w or 50%. A1000w peak amp that could be drawing quite a bit on a good bass hit your right at the verge of having just enough power. So the likely remedy is a larger alternator, and with that larger alternator the wires should be slightly larger to be safe.

you could possibly get away with buying a class d amp at the same wattage.. or rewiring the sub to a higher ohm with very little loss in output. backing off the bass boost or stop bumping the music so loud at night when the headlights are on and drawing those precious extra watts..
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Old 01-12-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelDirigible View Post
here's some pics of my big 3. I used 1/0 (0) gauge, no harm in going too big (8 sounds a little small to me)

https://www.ranger-forums.com/showthread.php?t=116807
Nice setup. a lot of work to get there.
i noticed in one of the hookups, there is red and blk together, what’s up with that ?



How does someone decide what connectors to use ?

Are some better than others, is there a Top of the Line Connector for this purpose ?

myersth,
I am no audiophile and know little to squat about these things but the electrical system is another thing.
As RangerOH stated the alternator keeps things going, when the draw is more than the output of the alternator then the battery has to let go of some of its reserves and that can only last so long before the lights dim and worse yet the engine/computer system can’t operate the way it should and the computer goes in to a safe mode. Components will start to heat up and fail before long.
So as stated, if you want to really correct this problem you need to look at the total picture.
If the OEM alternator is not providing you enough current then you need to upgrade the alternator but think larger than OEM unless there is a150 or 160 amp OEM Ford alt out there.
Get at least the 160 amp model, get a deep cycle battery, (me I like the Optima's) and get the HD supply and ground wiring, then if things aren’t working still (which is unlikely) think about a cap.

Also, the grounding system, I run all of my grounds back to the engine bay and to one point then to the battery. Sometime you can get feed back through a ground loop but most of the time it works better and all components have good grounds.

Heavier gauge wiring - too big, yes there is no suck thing except what size wire you want to work with vs what is needed. Look at what is recommended by the manufacturer and go up a size or two if you want.
Attached Thumbnails
Headlighs dim with sub hit-dsc_0084.jpg  

Last edited by Scrambler82; 01-12-2012 at 09:01 AM.
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  #23  
Old 01-12-2012
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Quote:
here's some pics of my big 3. I used 1/0 (0) gauge, no harm in going too big (8 sounds a little small to me)
well considering 8 is whats already there, and it was sized to have a safe overhead adding another 8g would be more then enough.

no there are no special connectors were talking a few millivolts of a gain here which translates into a few extra watts, which translates into Zero audible gain in output. even if you were to gain a few extra volts you would still have Zero audible gain. the big three is for people with corroded wire problems or an upgraded alternator. the less connections the better.

Last edited by RangOH; 01-12-2012 at 09:13 AM.
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  #24  
Old 01-12-2012
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Wirelessly posted

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrambler82
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelDirigible View Post
here's some pics of my big 3. I used 1/0 (0) gauge, no harm in going too big (8 sounds a little small to me)

https://www.ranger-forums.com/showthread.php?t=116807
Nice setup. a lot of work to get there.
i noticed in one of the hookups, there is red and blk together, what’s up with that ?



How does someone decide what connectors to use ?

Are some better than others, is there a Top of the Line Connector for this purpose ?

myersth,
I am no audiophile and know little to squat about these things but the electrical system is another thing.
As RangerOH stated the alternator keeps things going, when the draw is more than the output of the alternator then the battery has to let go of some of its reserves and that can only last so long before the lights dim and worse yet the engine/computer system can’t operate the way it should and the computer goes in to a safe mode. Components will start to heat up and fail before long.
So as stated, if you want to really correct this problem you need to look at the total picture.
If the OEM alternator is not providing you enough current then you need to upgrade the alternator but think larger than OEM unless there is a150 or 160 amp OEM Ford alt out there.
Get at least the 160 amp model, get a deep cycle battery, (me I like the Optima's) and get the HD supply and ground wiring, then if things aren’t working still (which is unlikely) think about a cap.

Also, the grounding system, I run all of my grounds back to the engine bay and to one point then to the battery. Sometime you can get feed back through a ground loop but most of the time it works better and all components have good grounds.

Heavier gauge wiring - too big, yes there is no suck thing except what size wire you want to work with vs what is needed. Look at what is recommended by the manufacturer and go up a size or two if you want.
You're talking about on my distribution blOck there right? That's a clear wire with a black shielding on it. It's the power to my amp
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Old 01-12-2012
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Wirelessly posted

Also the main thing I used to decide on the bat terminals was the available connections for various gauges of wiring that I wanted to connect. Solid gold would be about the best technically, but obviously it isn't worth it.

Last edited by SteelDirigible; 01-12-2012 at 09:29 AM.
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