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  #1  
Old 10-26-2011, 12:53 AM
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Default Dimming headlights with amp

Ok, I know why the lights dim when my amp pushes hard, but it is only a 200w rms amplifier, I am using 4gage power wire. But when the headlights are on, they dim really bad. Is the altenator on the 4th gen really that weak? Had same amp in my 07 chevy and no dimming. Do I need a capacitor to prevent the dimming? I am concerned that over time it will damage the altenator, and who wants to pay for one of those. I am sure the dealer would void the warranty on the altenator with an amp wired to the system.
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2011, 02:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New2Ram View Post
Ok, I know why the lights dim when my amp pushes hard, but it is only a 200w rms amplifier, I am using 4gage power wire. But when the headlights are on, they dim really bad. Is the altenator on the 4th gen really that weak? Had same amp in my 07 chevy and no dimming. Do I need a capacitor to prevent the dimming? I am concerned that over time it will damage the altenator, and who wants to pay for one of those. I am sure the dealer would void the warranty on the altenator with an amp wired to the system.
Holy crap. I'm about to put 2400 watts in. I was kinda counting on the Big 3.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:20 AM
337ram 337ram is offline
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I have a 500 watt rms alpine in my 2009, its the same dimming of the lights, just order a 1400rms amp so the big 3 upgrade is deff a must imo, im ordering a yellow top battery to start with first.............As far as caps go, there was a good write up here someplace about how caps are crap and literally do nothing or something like that
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:13 PM
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Yeah that definatly shoulndt happen! I have 500 rms in my 2001 and it doesnt dim that much! Im moving up to about a 1000rms soon and the big 3.
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:13 PM
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You need to buy a capacitor! Every amp should have a capacitor! 1 Farad will do the trick....And the lack of one will trash the battery faster than the alternator
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:10 PM
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I have 09 and have upgraded cables to battery and alternator and grounds to 0 gauge. I will be installing 2 RF amps next weekend totaling 1100 watts.
I am not installing a CAP, and have not upgraded battery. i will be using 4 gauge cable to power amps.

Will let everyone know what i get then, but would like to hear from other 4th Gens.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:53 PM
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I don't think it's an issue with the alternator or the amp, but if a 200W rms amp is causing lights to dim I'd look at how it's wired up because as most have said, having the higher than average stereos cause this problem.

I hate the ideas of capacitors in most systems as they are generally a quick fix and don't solve the real problem of the battery not passing enough voltage on the deep hits; but in your case this would actually be the most viable solution. I personally would try a different battery first and see if that makes a difference, but adding a cap (I wouldn't go less than 2 farad myself) might be the simple solution for handling the voltage requirements of your amp, and the alternator will easily be able to keep the cap charged if the draw is only 200W rms. If you have a very inefficient amp then it could be causing some troubles as well by maxing the voltage continuously to keep your sub pushing, and that will decrease the life of both the amp and the sub.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:21 PM
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I'm pushing 500watts RMS and have tons of extra lighting and have no dimming whatsoever. I would just upgrade your battery and that should work.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:37 PM
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4th gens have 160 Amp alt, what alt does your 05 SLT have Dillon?
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:49 PM
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Dillon and I are stuck with the stock 130-135amp alternator. But I'm actually in the same boat as him; my system maxes at 2100W and RMS is around 1800W and all I've done is upgrade the battery to a yellow top with the stock alt. I have zero dimming issues when I run my HIDs, grille lights, all my LED lighting, and stereo, even at idle.

I'm not 100%, but I believe the 4th gens have the same amperage regulating system as the LX platform and even if you upgrade the alternator, the system will regulate the amperage unless you obtain an alt from one of the FEW places that have found a way to bypass this system.
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