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 The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade

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2toneRivi
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PostSubject: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:23 pm

ok i had a question.... when u change the big 3 ground cables to thicker cables

1. Battery + to alternator
2. battery ground to chassis
3. Chassis to engine.
do u still keep the oem cables.. just add the new cable or do u throw away the oem and keep the new one???
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:34 pm

You replace the old (throw them away) with the new ones. The idea is the new ones are bigger gauge and will flow more amps. But I'm not a fan of the "Big 3" mod. Not enough results to convince me it's worth doing. I can give you than a few reasons I think it's a waste of time (and money).

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Mr.Riviera
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:59 pm

agree we have pretty good electical systems on our cars, and i dont think you will see a difference with that "mod".

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97 park ave
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PostSubject: "big 3" question   Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:27 pm

hey everyone i tried posting this on regalgs.org but got no answer, hopefully someone here can help me:

i decided to do the big 3 before the snow hits but dont really understand what exactly to do, especially because i own a park avenue. im assuming it is called the big 3 because there are 3 wires that are replaced with 0g wire but when i look under my hood i see a few more than 3 wires involved with the battery/alternator/fuse panel/ and grounding. i will try to the best of my abilities to explain.

there is one wire coming from the alternator to the fuse panel
there is one wire coming from the fuse panel to battery +
there is one wire coming from battery - to ground on the passenger side fender behind the battery

(the following wires seemed to be a bit bigger than the last 3 that were named)
there is one wire coming from battery + to the starter
and one more wire coming from battery - to an unknown location (im guessing a ground on the engine/chassis) but i havent crawled under there yet.

so does the big 3 include only the first 3 wires i named, or all 5?
if its only the first 3, would it be a good idea to replace all 5 anyway because they are crimped together before they get to the battery/fuse panel?

also when i went to the parts store tonight they had no 0g wire, but 4g still looked pretty big. is everyone using 0g or 4g for the big 3 upgrade?

thanks for any help in advance i tried searching for this before posting.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:12 am

oh god.. Your not from Cottage Grove are you?
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T Riley
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:14 am

And to answer your question.. As far as i know.. The big 3 doesn't apply to Riv's or Park avenues.. I did the voltage booster thing though.. The write up can be found at the top of the page.. click write ups.. than its somewhere in there
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:18 am

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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:29 am

I did run a larger positive cable from my alternator to the positive post under the hood, but that has like a 2-0 cable running back to the battery, which is under the back seat in the Riv. I'm not sure where the battery is on the PA. I have been considering running a larger negative cable directly from the alternator/engine back to the battery's main ground point.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:54 am

deekster_caddy wrote:
I did run a larger positive cable from my alternator to the positive post under the hood, but that has like a 2-0 cable running back to the battery, which is under the back seat in the Riv. I'm not sure where the battery is on the PA. I have been considering running a larger negative cable directly from the alternator/engine back to the battery's main ground point.

battery is in the engine bay behind the passenger headlight. the first 3 wires i named in my first post seem to be 8-10g wire (alternator to acc., acc to battery positive, and battery negative to passenger fender right by the battery)
the 2 wires coming from the battery (battery positive to starter, battery negative to engine ground) already seemed to be at least 4g wire.

pretty much what im asking is for the big 3 do you use 4g or 0g? and while im at it wouldnt it be a good idea to replace all 5 if it isnt too much of a price difference?
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:15 am

How big of a system are you planning to run?
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:26 am

deekster_caddy wrote:
How big of a system are you planning to run?
already have a system, 2 12" rockford punch p2's/ 2 rockford punch p300-1 amps/1 farad cap.
my DIC voltage is normally around 13.4 but occasionally drops to 12.x
the voltage gauge on my cap reads 12.x constantly until the deep bass hits and then it will drop to like 11.6

i really want to replace the 3 puny wires (alt to acc/ acc to +/ - to fender) but they are spliced before the battery terminal connector with the 4g wire already coming from the starter and engine ground. it seems like a cheaper route than replacing my amp wires. i would do this along with the voltage booster mod that 98riviera98 posted as its not too spendy. obvioulsy if this doesnt fix it my only option is to run larger amp wire (already have the rockford kit not sure if its 4 or 6g) but before getting too crazy i would like to take care of the simple things. it cant hurt, right?
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:46 am

Tyler,
Is your 97 PA supercharged?
Can you adapt the 140 amp CS144 alternator to your car. If so, that will help with your add ons.
As far as the big 3 upgrade, I don't think you need to be concerned about the diameter of your existing Battery, Alternator and Starter wires.
But you could increase the diameter of your accessory wires that you were asking about.
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97 park ave
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:13 am

Rickw wrote:
Tyler,
Is your 97 PA supercharged?
Can you adapt the 140 amp CS144 alternator to your car. If so, that will help with your add ons.
As far as the big 3 upgrade, I don't think you need to be concerned about the diameter of your existing Battery, Alternator and Starter wires.
But you could increase the diameter of your accessory wires that you were asking about before I cluster fucked the topic by talking about deeksters alternator rebuild and capacitor / noise issue.
it is not supercharged
i have no idea what alternator i can ad all i know is i have the cs130d
i am not concerned with the battery or starter wire, the starter wire and battery to engine ground seem to already be 4AWG
my alternator to fuse panel wire looks to be about 8AWG, along with the fuse panel to battery positive (+), and from battery negative (-) to the passenger fender ground
all of this was said in my OP until i was told NOT to do the big 3 even though my battery is in the front like a regal and i seem to have 3 8AWG wires that to me seem to be the cause of my voltage drops
i also want to do the voltage boost mod with the 1 amp diode BEFORE an alternator because i really dont want to pay for a new alternator if it is not needed im not the kind of guy to shotgun parts at a car (unless they are cheap)
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:49 am

i would agree, increase the #8 awg wires to at least #4 awg. That's a big choking point from your Alt to the fuse panel and then on to the Batt and grounds.
It will definitely make a big difference to go from #8 to #4 awg. I don't know why they would even make it that way.
On your car it is much easier to upgrade with the Battery in the engine compartment.
The reason I asked if it a SC is because, I think a cs144 mod is a relatively easy mod on a non-SC. But you would have to do a little more investigating on that.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:52 am

i thought that might be the cause, i saw 11 volts tonight at a stoplight tonight its time for bigger wires and the voltage booster mod hopefully tomorrow
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:56 am

Let us know how it works after your done.
Good Luck.
Also, i'm interested in adding the resistor, let me know what you buy and how it works out.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:59 am

ill post pics along with results when it happens, is it ok to re-use the cable terminals? or will i need new ones?
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:23 am

97 park ave wrote:
ill post pics along with results when it happens, is it ok to re-use the cable terminals? or will i need new ones?
Do you mean the battery cable ends?
I would replace with new if they are cheap enough.
The terminal ends that attach to your Alt and fuse panel will all have to be new because they are crimped and you'll have to crimp the new ones also.
I bought a tool at my local welding supply store that is made to crimp battery cable size wires #0 down to #6 IIRC for about 12.00. You put the terminal end and cable in it and whack it with a hammer on the ground or a solid bench and it makes perfect crimps for big diameter cables. It's made for welding cable or battery cables. I think the local auto parts store had one also, but they wanted more money for it.
Before the price of copper went through the roof i bought 25 foot roll of #4 welding cable so i could make new cables for my bike and car. haven't got around to doing the car yet.
Plan on using it for my Amps too.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:48 am

Re: the voltage drop at idle, all of these I know of should really have had an overdrive pulley from the factory, considering the amount of high amperage electronics on board.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:14 pm

So yesterday I replaced the alternator cable with a 49" 4gauge battery cable yesterday. I completely replaced the cable from the alternator to the underhood positive post. From there to the battery is a 2-0 or some size-large cable. Also, I added a 4 gauge battery cable (40") from one of the alternator mounting bolts to the starter's negative battery cable connection point up front, attached to the body right next to the underhood fuse box. I figure, if it's enough to start the car, it has to be enough for full alternator amperage.

Still my voltage drops to 12.7 at idle with the lights, heat and rear defrost on. Revving the engine to 1800 RPM brings me up to 13.9.

My next move is the voltage booster diode.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:04 pm

...when did you last service/replace the alternator? I forget.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:44 pm

albertj wrote:
...when did you last service/replace the alternator? I forget.

Albertj

I rebuilt it this summer with new brushes, heavy duty bridge rectifier, etc. I may have to give it a proper load test at this point.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:18 pm

Derek,
I just found out my Carbon Pile Load Tester needs a new Carbon Pile Stack at a cost over $250.00.
So, it won't be replaced soon enough for your needs I'm afraid. Would like to help but other than a Battery load tester, which won't help for what you need, that's all I have at the moment. Maybe next month I'll get the carbon pile i need. IDK for sure. Always seems other things pop up and consume expendable money.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Big 3" Wire/Cable Upgrade   Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:14 pm

does anyone have pics of their big 3 upgrade completed in their riv? i was always thinking about this since the battery is under the back seat
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PostSubject: Big three?   Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:26 pm

Is it possible to use too big of wire when upgrading big three? Should i use 1/0 gauge? Can you use too big of wire for amplifier?
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