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Engines & Drivetrain
Avoid the voltage drop
Feb 7, 2006
Naples, FL 34110
Optima Batteries, Inc.
Milwaukee , WI 53209
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Hot electrical systems need more power to charge. We know you'd never skimp to save a buck on your ignition system. So why would you cheat yourself when it comes to your charging system, too?
Powermaster supplies a performance data chart with its alternators to let you know if you've got what it takes to light up the night.
Alternator drive ratio is very important. This shot of a high-rpm circle track-style drive system would not work well on the street.
Today's batteries are stronger than ever, but they still need a recharge.
Note the much larger pulley on the crank that drives the small alternator pulley. This is how it needs to be done. Keep alternators overdriven around 3-times faster than the engine and you'll be in good shape.
If your alternator has a lot of power to charge, don't give it any resistance by installing too small of a charging wire. Run at least an 8 AWG wire from the alternator to the battery. Go bigger, (lower AWG number) like 6- or 4- AWG if your battery is in the trunk.
Want to figure out how many amps you'll need before you buy your alternator? Simply add up the fuse ratings of all you accessories, and that's the number to go by.
Powermaster has developed an adjustable output voltage alternator that anyone can install. Its internal voltage regulator is adjustable from the back of the alternator in a range of a couple of volts.
Here's a shot of co-author Coy Hudnall's SPL (Sound Pressure Level) competition-winning '91 Camaro Z-28 and the twin alternator setup he designed and built in-house. It takes somewhere around 400-plus amps to drive his system. He could weld the Brooklyn Bridge with that thing!
It's those crazy car-stereo competitors that the rest of us can thank for making the aftermarket come up with ultra high output alternators and batteries.
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