1 wire alternator wiring/battery questions - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 12, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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1 wire alternator wiring/battery questions

2 questions...

1) Currently I have a 4 awg wire from the positive terminal on my battery to my starter, and then an 8 awg wire running from the starter to my single wire alternator. Is this ok, or should the 8 awg run directly from the battery to the alt?

2) I'm thinking about relocating the battery to the trunk, so I will most likely be running new wires anyways. If I do this, I'll run a 1/0 to the starter, and a 2 awg to the alternator. Is 2 awg overkill for the alternator?


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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 12, 02:00 PM
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Wink Re: 1 wire alternator wiring/battery questions

The minimum wire size I use to Starters is #2.
With a rear mounted Bat. you need to increase to #0~#00 - depending on starter and engine demands.

The min. size from Alt. to standard location Bat. is @#10 but I like to use #8 if possible.
'IF' the Bat. is moved to truck then I run a #4 (min) or #2 from Bat. to a distribution block in engine compartment and wire to it from Alt. with #8.
This set-up will handle almost all electrical demands of a street driven vehicle with modern accessory loads.

And ... I would NEVER use a '1-wire' Alt. in most cases for a street driven vehicle - and specifically NEVER if the Bat. was moved to the truck
Rear mounted Bat. set-up require a "Remote Sense" Alt. wiring installation to maintain system function.
You can read more here - http://www.madelectrical.com/electri...hreewire.shtml

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 12, 02:42 PM
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Re: 1 wire alternator wiring/battery questions

I've used a 1-wire alternator with a trunk mounted battery for 7 years now on my ProStreet '69 (approx. 22,000 miles) and never had a charging issue. Never.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 12, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1 wire alternator wiring/battery questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage 68 View Post
'IF' the Bat. is moved to truck then I run a #4 (min) or #2 from Bat. to a distribution block in engine compartment and wire to it from Alt. with #8.
This set-up will handle almost all electrical demands of a street driven vehicle with modern accessory loads.
Thanks for that link. My brain hurt a little after reading it, but good infor.

I may need to upgrade my alternator for the stereo install anyways, so if I do then the 3 wire is an easy decision.

Would you run the #2 to a distribution block and then #8 to the alternator, and another #8 to the fuse box?


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 12, 09:33 AM
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Thumbs up Re: 1 wire alternator wiring/battery questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by 67Rally View Post
... Would you run the #2 to a distribution block and then #8 to the alternator, and another #8 to the fuse box?
Depending on the size/load of the Fuse Block I will normally run a #12 or #10 max. - as most of the higher amp-draw accessories will have a dedicated feed and fusing independent of the fuse box.
The fuse box is then only supplying power to the original dash stuff and the light switch(es) to power the new relays I've installed up front to directly power the headlamps from the Bat. vs. routing through the switch as original.
Any additional added load to the fuse box is also figured into this system - but stuff like Fuel Pump(s) is also powered via Relay(s) and only drawing a small amount via it's activation/switch system ...

I not only work on automotive/truck stuff with these mods - I commonly use in Marine and Agricultural applications

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 12, 11:52 AM
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Re: 1 wire alternator wiring/battery questions

I agree with John - use a remote sensing setup especially if placing the battery in the trunk. In fact, I would advise against 1-wire setups alltogether. Sure they're easy, and there are lots of folks using them, but the advantages of a remote sensing setup are worth the effort IMHO.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 12, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1 wire alternator wiring/battery questions

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Originally Posted by dnult View Post
I agree with John - use a remote sensing setup especially if placing the battery in the trunk. In fact, I would advise against 1-wire setups alltogether. Sure they're easy, and there are lots of folks using them, but the advantages of a remote sensing setup are worth the effort IMHO.
The one wire came with the car, not my choice.

I'll be running 3 decent amps with the new stereo, so an upgrade is in my future...probably something in the 140-150 amp range. Any brands to stay away from? Or any preferred brands/styles I should look for?


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 12, 02:34 PM
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Re: 1 wire alternator wiring/battery questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blown69RS View Post
I've used a 1-wire alternator with a trunk mounted battery for 7 years now on my ProStreet '69 (approx. 22,000 miles) and never had a charging issue. Never.
The 1 wire isn't necessarily deficient as far as charging goes. It's less efficient that a remote sense wire in that the remote sense wire is generally located at a 'central' point in the elec system that is more or less equidistant from everything else. The 1 wire senses voltage at the back of the alt, and the further away a given accessory is from there the less voltage it will see. At least that's the theory.


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 12, 09:36 PM
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Re: 1 wire alternator wiring/battery questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by BPOS View Post
The 1 wire isn't necessarily deficient as far as charging goes. It's less efficient that a remote sense wire in that the remote sense wire is generally located at a 'central' point in the elec system that is more or less equidistant from everything else. The 1 wire senses voltage at the back of the alt, and the further away a given accessory is from there the less voltage it will see. At least that's the theory.

So basically you're highest draw is probably an electric fan? and is closest to the alternator. Stereo amps are in the trunk and probably draw a decent amount but fuel pump etc shouldn't even make a difference?

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 12, 09:47 PM
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Re: 1 wire alternator wiring/battery questions

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Originally Posted by 1968camaro123 View Post
So basically you're highest draw is probably an electric fan? and is closest to the alternator. Stereo amps are in the trunk and probably draw a decent amount but fuel pump etc shouldn't even make a difference?
Well you're over my head there. I basically consume and then regurgitate. I'll assume that those you listed draw a fair amount of current. A 3 wire alt will sense and supply voltage to wherever you decide - the horn relay bus is where it will do that if you wire things essentially "factory". If you are concerned with voltage drop - use bigger wire. You will never regret using bigger wire, esp at distance from the sense wire.


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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 12, 12:33 PM
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Re: 1 wire alternator wiring/battery questions

What's the amp output of your alternator? If it's 100 amp or less use an 8 gauge from the alt to battery. If its more than 100 amp, you may want to go to 6 gauge.....also depends on the distance (longer the run, thicker the wire needs to be). Might also want to consider a fusable link in the circuit. American autowire has several kits with fusable links built in for high output alts. Also, web sites like Powermaster have charts giving wire size recomendations.
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