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Big 3 How To

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:43 am
by SuzukiGhostRider
There has been several requests for this. Mod, please pin this. Thanks. :D

what you need:
-about 10 feet of 4 gauge or larger wire
-cable ends; either crimp or screw set
-rubber cable end covers or your choice of electrical tape
-battery post extensions or other type of mounts
-fuseholder and properly sized fuse (check the list below)
-zip ties

Wire Gauge Recommended Maximum Fuse Size
00 awg-------------------------400 amps
0 awg--------------------------325 amps
1 awg--------------------------250 amps
2 awg--------------------------200 amps
4 awg--------------------------125 amps

you can find everything at www.parts-express.com; i went with about the most expensive route and still only spent about $50.


tools:
-razorblade
-5/16" wrench for stock battery side terminals
-ratchet
-1/2" socket
-15mm socket
-10mm wrench
-sandpaper
-whatever size tool you need for your new battery terminals


what is the big three?
-it's an upgrade from the stock charging system wiring to let current flow faster to charge your battery and meet the demands of other electronics more efficiently. the three wires you're dealing with are: alternator positive to battery positive, chassis ground to battery ground, and chassis ground to alternator negative.

ok, here we go:

start by diconnecting your battery, rememebr, negative comes off first. undo everything since it will all have to be done at some point anyway. if you still have the stock battery terminals on there they are 5/16".

first wire to put in will be the chassis ground to alternator negative. i don't have firewall covers so this spot was rather easy to find, if you have the covers you should still be able to run a wire here. as you can see there is a plastic bracket bolted to the firewall holding on a bundle of wires. take out the 10mm bolt and pull the bracket away. use that sandpaper to get the whole area down to bare metal; this will ensure a very good electrical connection. strip the wire down with the razor blade and either crimp down your terminal or screw it on depending on what you're using. be sure to cover all of the exposed metal on the connection except for the ring part itself with a rubber cover of electrical tape.(this is very important, especially on the positive wires) now bolt everything back down with the new connector against the firewall.



this is the other end of that wire. normally you would bolt this end to the alternator case, but nothing was easily accesable at the time. i decided to bolt it to one of the metal brackets that holds the alternator on the idi cover. the "bracket" is a black metal bar that's connected to the alternator case. take off the 1/2" nut and sand the plack paint off of the bar. install your other cable end and bolt it all back down.



here's a very good overall shot of the wire:



next up is the chassis ground to battery ground. the first end of this is self-explanitory. it's just connected to the battery in some fashion. this picture also shows what a side post extension looks like. mine happens to use 3/4" and 9/16" sizes. don't connect it yet though; i'll let you know when.



the other end of this is kind of hard to get to, but i've managed several times. there is a stud on the transmission (4t60e) that the stock wire is grounded at. if you're at the front of the car looking in the engine bay it's to the left of the battery and down on the transmission; your view will most likely be blocked by a piece of heat shield. the easiest way to find it is to follow the stock ground wire down to the point on the tranny. once you find it it should be a 15mm nut to get off. nothing to sand here, but if it's dirty it would be a good idea to clean the area off. i slid the stock ground wire bracket off and installed the new wire right up against the tranny case and then put the stock wire back on. get that nut back on; you've got one left to do.




this is the alternator positive to battery positive. first you'll have to slide the rubber cover off of the alternator positive wire at the alternator case. remove the 10mm nut holding the wire on. install a cable end and wrap it up extremely well so there isn't any unnecessary exposed metal. slide the stock wire off and put the new one on first. put the stock wire back on and tighten down the nut. VERY IMPORTANT: do NOT let the end of the wire you just installed totch any part of the alternator case!! if the cable end doesn't fit well you may need to use a couple of washers with small inside diameter holes to keep the end from sliding around. tighten down the nut tight and also slide the rubber cover on the stock wire back over the post as much as possible.



next you'll need to install your fuse holder. this should be located as close as possible to the battery. in the picture i show it's the holder on the far right. whatever anyone says, you DO need to fuse this. if something were to happen and the wire come in contact with the frame the fuse will blow instead of killing your battery and or alternator. installation of the fuse holder will vary depending of the style you chose. after the holder is on you can also put the fuse in right now.



(refer to the above picture again) the last step is the end of this wire. as you can see i went with a screw set top mount clamp. you can use a side post extension or any other method you want. remember to keep this run of wire as short as possible. install as necessary.

at this time you can connect your new alternator to battery positive wire at the battery end as well as your stock positive wire. you can also put in the fuse in the positive wire if you haven't already done so. last thing is to connect your new ground wire and stock ground wire at your battery. you're done!



these wires are not meant to replace the stock wires, they're to be extra. don't leave your stock positive wire at the alternator disconnected because it supplys power to the starter. leave any stock wiring in it's original position. crimp ends are a real pain; the best way to get them to stay is to hammer them on. make every run of wire is as short as possible.





Big 3 How To

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:44 pm
by Kyle Anderson
Damn... you're good!

I was just clicking **** to copy and paste this over here and I saw you beat me by just a couple minutes.

Thank you once again for moving this one too.

Big 3 How To

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:23 pm
by heavywoody
Something to add before I pin this:

You can solder the ends of the wire into the crimp fittings as well...

When I did my battery relocation, I had a propane torch that I used to melt solder into the fitting. Once that was about half way filled up, I then heated the fitting until the solder was liquidized, and put the end of the wire that had been stripped into the solder. This will secure it physically into the connector of choice.

As a precautionary step, I also dimpled the connector around the wire using a giant punch type thing that was meant for cables that big (4 gauge and bigger).

Big 3 How To

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:22 pm
by Kyle Anderson
I hate crimp terminals... I redid everything using these:



4 gauge screw set terminals. I highly recommend them.

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showdetl ... er=263-625

Big 3 How To

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:53 pm
by SuzukiGhostRider

(Kyle Anderson @ Apr. 11 2008,14:44)
QUOTE
Damn... you're good!

I was just clicking **** to copy and paste this over here and I saw you beat me by just a couple minutes.

Thank you once again for moving this one too.

NP dude! Great write up , thought it was one that def needed to be over here. I'm planning to copy and paste a few others. Just trying to grab the real important ones first. Was gonna do Woody's brake write-up, but it's already here. :p
Thx for pinning this Woody.

Big 3 How To

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:40 pm
by n00b20

(Kyle Anderson @ Apr. 11 2008,19:22)
QUOTE
I hate crimp terminals... I redid everything using these:



4 gauge screw set terminals. I highly recommend them.

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showdetl ... er=263-625

do they have anything like that but for 0 gauge?

Big 3 How To

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:26 pm
by Kyle Anderson
They have a few different ones, but they're more expensive. Here's the page full:

http://www.partsexpress.com/webpage...._ID=737

btw, parts-express is the best place ever... I've ordered a ton of stuff from them without a single problem, and shipping is only two days to get to me.

Big 3 How To

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:25 pm
by heavywoody
Thanks for the link Kyle, the Big 3 is on my list of to-do's, and those look much easier to work with than crimp terminals (especially now since that specialty tool I used is now up in OH with it's owner).

Big 3 How To

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 9:51 pm
by n00b20

(Kyle Anderson @ Apr. 12 2008,16:26)
QUOTE
They have a few different ones, but they're more expensive. Here's the page full:

http://www.partsexpress.com/webpage...._ID=737

btw, parts-express is the best place ever... I've ordered a ton of stuff from them without a single problem, and shipping is only two days to get to me.

thanks for the link, but will there be a problem with having 0 gauge wire on one of these on a 3.1 seeing as the alternator sits closer to the intake manifold.

Big 3 How To

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:16 pm
by Kyle Anderson
You'll be fine as long as the positive isn't touching anything other than the terminal post. This also includes the alternator casing.

I would also insulate it using *good* electrical tape just to be sure it doesn't come loose and come in contact with anything.

Big 3 How To

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:17 pm
by n00b20
thats good to hear  :D

Big 3 How To

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:52 pm
by ItsDave
Just a question, sorry might be a newb question. I have been wanting to do this so glad on the write up. But I don't understand the purpose of the wire that goes  firewall  to alternator bracket, Its connected to the bracket so its not an alternator ground is it?. Other than that, I think its my next project.

Thanks





Big 3 How To

Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:56 pm
by Kyle Anderson
It's to ground the chassis to the engine/tranny. It's provides a larger negative path to the anternator (see explanation below). Another reason being is because the battery is grounded to the tranny, so when used with a larger engine to battery wire it's a larger path from the chassis to the battery.

Also, it is an alternator ground as you put it. Ground for the alternator is the case; there is no ground terminal on the alternator. That's why you need to be especially careful to not have the power wire touch the alternator case when installing the new wire.

Big 3 How To

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:27 pm
by ItsDave
Cool Thanks, This is so my next project once the snow melts.