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General Technical & Electrical General technical and electrical discussion for the Ford Ranger that does not fit in any other sub-forum.

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  #1  
Old 10-08-2008
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Overkill

I have a 2002 Ranger with 3.0l engine. It came with A/C, power windows, door locks and side view mirrors. To that I've added fog lights, 4 comp speakers in the doors, 2 10" subs, 2 amps and 2 air compressors for the air ride sys. All this stuff can pull over 150 amps if they are all running at the same time. (Not likely, but anything is possible.) Most of my driving is low speed. (around town, 2000 rpm or less.) Future plans call for an E-fan and another electric motor to operate some kind of a lift/lowering system for the hard tonneau cover. I've been having some problems with the stock battery and alternator set up lately. Especially since installing the motors for the air ride system. Hard starting because of weak battery, warning light sometimes glows at night when the headlights are on, etc. The Alternator was replaced about 30-35,000 miles ago and it's working fine according to my local shop. It just can't keep up with all the demands I've put on it. So I've decided to go with a YELLOW top Optima battery and 200 amp alternator. What do you guys think? Good idea or overkill. Is 1 battery enough, or should I go with 2?
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Old 10-08-2008
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Good idea, with that combo you won't have to worry about it anymore. You could probably just run a red top but the yellow top is just extra safety. You should be fine with 1 yellow top.
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2008
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Not much to offer ya. But are ya still on your road trip???
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Old 10-08-2008
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I know that with a 200 amp alternator you have to upgrade the wiring from the alternator.
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Old 10-08-2008
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My only other suggestion would be an overdrive pulley for the alternator.
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  #6  
Old 10-08-2008
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I wouldn't waste the money on the Optima.

I'd overdrive the alternator in your circumstances. Can't be too hard to find another alt. with a smaller pulley (new belt length, which you'll have to figure out).

Throw a 3G alt from another Ford model, adapt the harness, bigger wires, smaller pulley and call it a day.

Lookee here: http://rjminjectiontech.com/?p=7

http://fordfuelinjection.com/?p=75
http://rjminjectiontech.com/?p=33

The possibilities are endless. And could be way cheaper than including an Optima in that equation. They are an over-rated "band-aid" IMO.
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  #7  
Old 10-08-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerJustin View Post
Not much to offer ya. But are ya still on your road trip???
Hi Justin. Got home last week. Happy to be home. I found out that 5 months in a 35' motor home is a bit more than I can handle.
About 6-7 weeks seems to be my limit. As soon as I finish catching up around here I'll post a few pics of the new house & boat.
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  #8  
Old 10-17-2008
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The day I started this thread, I was driving around at night with the radio, headlights and the A/C all on. Slow speed, around town driving. I could see the idiot light on the dash glowing. It wasn't a bright glow. Just enough for me to see it. During the day it's not noticeable. The next morning the battery was so weak it wouldn't start the engine. I had to get the charger out and run it on a 10 amp charge for about 30 min or so. This has been happening on a regular basis since I installed all the new audio equipment back in Feb. At that point I decided it was time to get the Optma yellow top and the 200 amp alternator. The battery has been for a week. The new alternator arrived today and it will go in tomorrow morning. I'll let you guys know if that cures the problem.
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Old 10-17-2008
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From a tuning perspective I know that the PCM takes into account voltage. I'm not sre what it does.. I would assume it trys to speed up the motor when it thinks it's low.

IMO I'd add a second battery. That is quite the norm for full size trucks that are factory equipped with extras.

Maybe these kinds of questions would be better suited for the heavy audio crowds? I'm sure they deal with this kind of stuff all the time.

Rich
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  #10  
Old 10-18-2008
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Put A Second Batery In It
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  #11  
Old 10-18-2008
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Electronics aren't really my thing. Hence this thread. So I talked with the guy that sells the alternators. Also the tech at Infinity, the outfit that makes my speakers/amps. They both said based on my kind of usage, 1 battery should be OK. I rarely run the radio at more than 6 to 8 on the volume meter. (goes to 40 or so I think. Don't know for sure because I've never been able to take the noise above 18 or so.) So under normal use I'm only pulling about 20-25% of the available power. It's only when I start using the A/C, lights, radio, wipers, air pumps, etc at the same time, that I get into trouble. I probably could have gotten away with just a new battery. The old one was about 3 1/2 - 4 years old. I'll live with the 1 battery for a while and see how it works. If I'm still having problems, I'll ad the second. If I do, I'll post that here.
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  #12  
Old 10-18-2008
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good choice if your still getting the optima, mine hasnt died on me at all since i bought it.
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  #13  
Old 10-18-2008
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ive got a buddy with a lowered ranger and he had problems liek this aswell he set up another smaller battery for his speakers and amps to draw from and had a capacitor so it would only take from that battery and also he added another alternator to his exist stock one and he hasn't had a single problem.
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  #14  
Old 10-18-2008
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As long as your engine is running you dont need a yellow top or a second battery. If you doing a lot of draw with the engine off then the deep cycle or second battery will help.

The 200 amp maybe needed if your currently having voltage problems. If you dont see a lot of high rpms, overdrive your alternator. This will help at low rpm's.
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  #15  
Old 10-18-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blhde View Post
As long as your engine is running you dont need a yellow top or a second battery. If you doing a lot of draw with the engine off then the deep cycle or second battery will help.

The 200 amp maybe needed if your currently having voltage problems. If you dont see a lot of high rpms, overdrive your alternator. This will help at low rpm's.
The Yellow top is already in. The new alternator went in this morning. Guy that sold it to me said I should be OK. So I'll live with it as is for a few months. If I continue to have problems, he too suggested I overdrive it a bit. If I need to I'll probably get a new pulley from these guys.


http://www.alternatorparts.com/pulley_size.htm
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  #16  
Old 10-18-2008
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good luck
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  #17  
Old 11-04-2008
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Well it's been a little over 2 weeks since I installed the new alternator and Optima Yellow top battery. A few days ago I decided to test the system. I drove around town at low speeds (1800-2000 RPM) for about 45 min. to an hour. During that time I had the A/C going full tilt, the headlights & fog lights on, the radio going as loud as I could stand it, and ran the air compressors almost continuously. I'm happy to report there was no problem with the headlights dimming that night and no starting problems the next morning. Looks like the problem has been solved.
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  #18  
Old 11-05-2008
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Very nice Nick! So what else do you have coming up for the truck???
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  #19  
Old 11-06-2008
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Originally Posted by RangerJustin View Post
Very nice Nick! So what else do you have coming up for the truck???

Just Installed blue tooth and I-pod adaptors. Now I just have to figure out how to get the phone to "talk" to the radio. The I-pod is on it's way. Should be here next week sometime.

After that some paint. Still trying to learn how to use "photoshop" so I can try out different ideas. That might have to wait though. The Tenn. house needs furniture and I plan to put a deck on the front. So I can sit on my deck and watch the boats on the lake at night while I sip mint juleps. All southern gentlemen drink mint juleps, don't they?
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  #20  
Old 11-06-2008
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look into doing the BIG 3 http://www.caraudio.com/forum/showthread.php?t=152355
and look into getting a kinetik battery or 2.http://www.kinetikaudio.com/powercells.asp
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  #21  
Old 11-06-2008
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What is a mint julep???

Does the truck stay in Cali while you are in Tenn?
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  #22  
Old 11-06-2008
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I have a buddy with 3 l7 12s and 2 1900 watt jbl amps in a single cab s10 with a cut through and he still has factory alternator and a cheap wal mart battery. He does have a thing called a batt cap. Its basically a cap. on steriods. His was right at $450 and he got it at a local audio store that deals with nothing but comp. systems. If i can find a link to one i will post it. His as never died and no head light flash or anything. Im not sure it would work on the air compressors or not but it would help the audio out.
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  #23  
Old 11-06-2008
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Originally Posted by RangerJustin View Post
What is a mint julep???

Does the truck stay in Cali while you are in Tenn?
Boy I have to teach you kids EVERYTHING.

Mint Julep #1

Ingredients:
4 fresh Mint sprigs
2 1/2 oz Bourbon
1 tsp Powdered sugar
2 tsp Water

Mixing instructions:
Muddle mint leaves, powdered sugar, and water in a collins glass.
Fill glass with shaved or crushed ice and add bourbon.
Top with more ice and garnish with a mint sprig. Serve with a straw.

Mint Julep #2

Ingredients:
6 fresh Mint sprigs
1 tsp superfine Sugar
crushed Ice
3 oz Bourbon

Mixing instructions:
Lightly muddle 4 of the mint sprigs with the sugar and a few drops of water in the bottom of the glass.
Almost fill the glass with crushed ice. Add the bourbon and some short straws. Garnish with the remaining 2 mint sprigs.



Mint Julep #3

Ingredients:
8 medium-size Mint leaves
1.5 tblsp Sugar syrup
1.5 oz Bourbon
1/4 tsp Angostura bitters

Mixing instructions:
In electric blender, blend on high for a few seconds, until leaves are reduced.
Strain into silver tumbler packed with shaved ice,
add more Bourbon to saturate the ice, garnish with a sprig of mint.


The truck usually stayed in Calif when we leave for the summer.
My room mate would tow his Honda behind the motor-home.
Which is set up for towing. My truck is not.
However next year we will need something to haul things from Low's & Home Depot for the house.
Lumber, gardening equipment, etc. So I'm planing to drive it to Tenn.
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  #24  
Old 11-07-2008
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Bourbon...woah a little strong for me still. Of course I haven't tried it in over 4 years. Maybe I'll give it another go!
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  #25  
Old 11-07-2008
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Just remember, MODERATION is the key.
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