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F.A.Q.'S

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Do you match price?

Do you take credit cards?

Can I pay with pay pal?

What is the return policy?

How long will it take for delivery?

ALTERNATORS

How do I know if I need a hi-amp alternator?

Why is a external regulator or rectifier a better choice?

How many batteries do I need?

what is a isolator/solenoid and do I need one?

Will a high amp alternator damage my ECU?

Do I need a capacitor?

How do I test my alternator?

Is a 3 wire better than a 1 wire?

Why don't you sell chrome in high amp units?

Do I need to change my wiring with a high amp alternator?

GEAR REDUCTION AND HIGH TORQUE STARTERS

Is it true that you can't install a gear reduction starter on a older Ford?

Why should I use a gear reduction starter?

ELECTRIC RADIATOR FANS

What is the difference between an S-blade and straight blade?

Why don't you offer a 16" 6-volt fan?

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

 

Do you match price?

Yes, we will match any advertised price, just send us a link. Keep this in mind we offer free shipping so be sure to add in shipping cost on the other site.

 

Do you take credit cards?

    Yes, we take all major credit cards.

Can I pay with Pay Pal?

Some customers have told us that they do not want to use Pay Pal, we have two ways to handle this. You can order via our toll free order line. We take many calls each day so this line can become quite busy, if you leave a call back number we will call you as soon as possible. You may also send us an e-mail, in it include you item numbers, year, make, model, engine size, and your e-mail address. We will then send you a non-Pay Pal electronic invoice.

What is the return policy?

    All items found to be defective from something other than shipping damage may be returned for repair. All items may be returned for store credit during the first 90 days after shipping . All return items must have a pre-authorized RGA number.  For further info click on the warranty tab.

How long will it take for delivery?

    Shipping times will depend on the items, shipping times average 14 days. All items are custom built, that is we do not stock complete units, because of this some orders delivery time may run longer. Most companies will stock a few dozen or so units, we have the ability to build hundreds of combinations, this ensures that you will receive a better fit and performance. All units are tested in a real world simulator, they are then disassembled and inspected. Any abnormalities are replaced with new parts and re tested. This process can take up to 7 days. This is why we have such a low fail rate of less than .005%

 

ALTERNATORS

 

    How do I know if I need a hi-amp alternator?

First lets look at the auto electrical world, the following is average power used in a modern auto electrical system: 

Computer 20 amps, ignition system / fuel injection 15 amps, lighting 10 amps, heating and air condition 30 amps, accessories 20 amps. 

THAT'S 90 TO 100 AMPS

The average alternator in today's auto is 100 to 130 amps. and as a rule of thumb you need 50 % more power than you are using. THAT'S 200 AMPS.  Why does the factory use 100 to 130 amp alternator? They meet the 50 % rule because they  know that  you will not have all components on at the same time. They save money, weight, and power and you pay for it in the end. 

So we have this borderline system and you are adding off road lights, audio, video, navigation. Here's a good rule of thumb: for every 100 watts add 10 amps to your system. So a 1000 watt stereo is an additional 100 amps! 

Here is a test; you will need a digital volt ohm meter. Set the meter to volts and with the engine and key off test the voltage at the battery. Now test the voltage at the alternator positive and the alternator case. They should be the same. Now as you are testing the battery  voltage have a friend start the engine wait 30 seconds and record your voltage, this is your base line voltage. Now have your friend slowly turn on accessories, first lights, then heater / ac, then stereo and other accessories. Each time something is turned on wait 30 seconds and record the voltage. All readings should be the same as your base line voltage. Next have your friend hold the throttle at approximately 1500 RPM, after 30 seconds this should be higher than your base line. 

If your results are different you may need an hi-amp alternator.

    Why is a external regulator or rectifier a better choice?

HEAT! its that simple, alternators produce heat when the operate. Add this to the heat of the engine and it can become a problem. The cooler the electronics the better it will work. So when we move the regulator and/or rectifier to the fender or firewall, they and the alternator run cooler. This makes more power and makes the system last longer.

    How many batteries do I need?

This is something that many people are misinformed about. Adding batteries will not help your lack of alternator power, in fact it will make it worse.

Here is why, an alternator is "looking" for stability. You have an electrical  load, the alternator   increases its switching thus increasing the amps output and lowering the voltage. When you are at lower voltage you are at higher amp output. As the system stabilizes the voltage and amps even out, this is your base voltage.

 Now if you add another battery (without an isolator), the alternator will "see" them as one. So in some cases the alternator  will think the system is more stable than it is and will produce less amps. Most often what we see is a second battery that never really discharges or gets charges, its just along for the ride and will fail early.  So you end up wasting time, space, and weight.

    What is a isolator/solenoids and do I need one?

An isolator will split the power from the alternator and eliminate the problem listed above. However it has one major draw back. It eats power. So if you have 14 volts at the alternator you will have 13 volts at the batteries. This can be a major problem in a stereo system.

Many people will opt for  a solenoid, this is also considered a isolator because it will separate the batteries from the alternator and each other. However its problem is when you switch from one battery to the other, for a second both batteries are joined together. If one battery is fully discharged and the other is charged it can cause an explosion. This is because the power in the fully charged battery will try to "dump" all its power into the discharged battery. Remember power is like water it will take the path of least resistance. So the best answer is dual alternator.

    Will a high amp alternator damage my ECU?

If it is installed correctly no. A high amp alternator is no different than a stock unit in how it works. However it must have a circuit breaker, good grounds, and it must be designed to work with the factory wiring. Many newer cars have direct links from the alternator to the ecu. Chrysler products have the regulator inside the ecu and on some Mazda , Mitsubishi and Honda vehicles the ecu controls the regulator. If you do not use an alternator designed to work with this you will damage the ecu. So common sense and care is all that is needed. 

Do I need a capacitor?

    Yes, but not as much as you may think. Alternators and batteries can't release power faster than 1.5 seconds. It is just not possible. Capacitors do not have many amps however they have the ability to release the power very quickly, depending on the quality this can be milliseconds. All systems will benefit from a capacitor because they also have the ability to remove noise.

Basically the best way to test it is to listen to a song with many bass notes in a row. If the first one sounds crisp and the rest sound spongy you need a capacitor. But very few systems need more than 1frd. I would start with that and see how it sounds on the same song.

How do I test my high amp alternator?

    The only way is on the vehicle. To duplicate the real world use requires expensive test equipment that the average parts store does not have. In fact we have seen high amp alternators damaged due to improper testing.

The following is the on vehicle testing procedure, you will need a volt ohm meter.  With engine off measure battery voltage it should be between 12.3 and 12.6 volts. With engine running measure voltage at the alternator and at the battery, they should be between 13.5 and 16 volts (depending on your design) and  within .2 volts of each other. Now add an electrical load (stereo, lights, heater/ac, and so on). you will notice a drop in voltage that should begun to rise after about 1 minute, now raise the engine rpm to 2000. The voltage should immediately raise. If you have a one wire you will need to raise the engine rpm to 2000 before testing this will energize the alternator.

Is a 3 wire better than a 1 wire?

    It depends on the application, if your alternator is computer controlled and it is damaged or for some reason you need to bypass it you could use a one wire to do so. Also if you have a show car or race car and need less wiring a one wire is a good choice. In our testing we have found the 3 wire to be slightly more accurate. One draw back to the one wire is they must be reenergized, to do so you must rev the engine to 2000 rpm, this will "turn on" the alternator.

Why don't you sell chrome in high amp units?

    Chrome holds in the heat. In an alternator the worst problem is heat. If you can't remove it,  the alternator will not last as long as it should. Now if we are talking about a show car without ac, power windows, or stereo this may not be an issue. Otherwise we suggest polish case, it requires more work to keep it looking good but the alternator will last longer.

Do I need to change my wiring with a high amp alternator?

    Yes, your factory wiring (cable from alternator to starter or battery) is not designed for high power. When you add more amps you will need to add a second cable from the alternator to the battery or starter. We have kits that make this very easy. If you can do an alternator change and install a stereo you can do this. Now this is especially true if you have an older car that has an amp meter. I can't stress this enough. If you have a amp meter in your car do not add a larger alternator without adding larger cables and fuse protection.

STARTERS

 

Is it true that you can't install a gear reduction starter on a older Ford?

    NO! I see this way to often. The problem with Ford is because of the design they have a tendency to run on, that is the starter does not disengage after you release the key.  We include with all Ford starters a special wire kit that includes a diode to solve this problem.

Why should I use a gear reduction starter?

    Gear reductions are smaller, lighter and have more power. A normal starter will crank at 300 to 500 rpm, this is hard on the engine and ignition system. A gear reduction starter will crank at 500 to 700 rpm and require 1/2 as many amps to do so. Simply put there is no reason a performance car or truck should have non gear reduction starter.

   

FANS

What is the difference between an S-blade and straight blade?

    There was a time that s-blades moved more air, not so with the newer 10 blade fans. An s-blade fan will have less noise and they need less power to run. The draw back to the s-blade is it is not reversible as the straight blade is.

Why don't you offer a 16" 6-volt fan?

    A 6-volt system does not have enough power to move the blade it just will not turn fast enough to cool the engine. Even with a high amp 6-volt alternator

 

 


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