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Old 12-27-2012, 09:50 PM   #1
kaydennicholson
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Question Electrical system upgrades for sound system???

Okay guys so im new to the chevy world as i just purchased a 2010 malibu LT 4 cylinder ecotech. I have been experiencing bad dimming and even noticed power steering warnings and even cruise control gets kicked off when the subs hit when they're turned up. I dont know what I should do to get the electrical system where it needs to be. Here's What I have so far:
2 12" RE audio SE-X drives and an Alpine PDX 1000 amp with a 2 farad cap (dont believe in caps but got it cheap) and thats it right now.
HOWEVER im already noticing very different results as far as lack of power compared to when i had them installed in my previous car. I know im not getting a 1000 watts out of that amp from this car.
I intend on adding a 7in touch screen to the dash and new speakers all the way around (infiniti references a good choice? and never amped speakers other than subs, do they make much of a difference?). so with that being said, this electrical system is simply not going to work.
What do i do? Havent done the big three upgrade and dont know if an upgraded alternator would provide the results i am looking for so i need help!
And as a heads up I do listen to the music loud at times and I know its not good for you but I'm stubborn and am not here to be told that (hope i dont sound rude). Thanks in advance for the help and the budget isnt exactly too awful tight but cant spend like 2 grand on just electrical upgrades, just all depends on the results i should expect to see.

Last edited by kaydennicholson; 12-27-2012 at 09:52 PM. Reason: for to add the cap
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:03 PM   #2
Dilatory
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Default Re: Electrical system upgrades for sound system???

You need to upgrade your ground wires. I'm assuming you're running a nice thick 4 gauge power cable to your amplifier on a nice big 100amp fuse and you're grounded out to the frame that is returned to the battery via 12-16 gauge wire, not really a fair competition.

Do the big 3 with at least 4 gauge, lose the capacitor, if still having issues upgrade the alt, if still having issues add an audio battery as close to the amplifier as possible.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:20 PM   #3
jspell19
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Default Re: Electrical system upgrades for sound system???

I have an '08 LT and I have the same problem. I have 2 Kenwood subs with 1 1,000watt kenwood amp and another kenwood amp wired to my stock speakers. My headlights dim and my dome lights dim when the bass hits. I haven't experienced the cruise problem though.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:48 PM   #4
itsbmw
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Default Re: Electrical system upgrades for sound system???

Do the big 3 in at least 4 AWG as stated previously.

Also HIDs don't dim under voltage drop, get yourself some HIDs.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:15 AM   #5
RYgoBOOM
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Default Re: Electrical system upgrades for sound system???

I had around 4,000rms and then close to 12,000rms in my 09 malibu and I ran all of that off a stock alternator with no big 3. Adding a batt in the back is the easiest and cost friendly way to fix your issue.

300A alt will be 450 or so

a battery can be had for roughly 60$ refurbed
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2010 Slammed Matte Silver Malibu LT
22"Matte Black Merceli M16s-225-30-22 Lexani Rubber
3 1/2" static+H&R Springs drop
5% Tint all around, Cool White Interior LEDs
2-SKAR ZVX-12s in a 4th order blowthru with plexi
1-SKAR Audio 5k, 3-SKAR Audio 125.4s
12-SKAR Neo Mids, 8 SKAR Neo Tweets
Fully glassed doors, rear panel, and trunk wrapped in Black Ostrich
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:20 AM   #6
itsbmw
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Default Re: Electrical system upgrades for sound system???

Batteries are just band aids though. They hold power, they don't make it. Upgrading your alternator is the way to go. I had a grand prix with stock batt and two yellow tops in the trunk, the dimming still was there because the stock charging system could not pump out that much current. and that was on 2500ish TRUE watts RMS

Malibuon22s.. you can't tell me you were running 12000 TRUE watts rms on stock wiring / alt. What kind of wire were you running to the amps? and how many runs of it. By my calculations, you would need approximately 833 amps at 14.4 volts to actually get 12000 watts.

to pull 833 amps you would need at least 4 runs of GOOD zero gauge rated at 250amps. or 3 runs at 300amps..

So please feel free to enlighten me if I'm wrong, maybe it's just early and I still need my coffee, but something just isn't adding up to me.

Thanks!

EDIT: I don't mean to sound condescending I am just very curious!

Last edited by itsbmw; 01-03-2013 at 06:23 AM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: Electrical system upgrades for sound system???

Quote:
Originally Posted by itsbmw View Post
Batteries are just band aids though. They hold power, they don't make it. Upgrading your alternator is the way to go. I had a grand prix with stock batt and two yellow tops in the trunk, the dimming still was there because the stock charging system could not pump out that much current. and that was on 2500ish TRUE watts RMS

Malibuon22s.. you can't tell me you were running 12000 TRUE watts rms on stock wiring / alt. What kind of wire were you running to the amps? and how many runs of it. By my calculations, you would need approximately 833 amps at 14.4 volts to actually get 12000 watts.

to pull 833 amps you would need at least 4 runs of GOOD zero gauge rated at 250amps. or 3 runs at 300amps..

So please feel free to enlighten me if I'm wrong, maybe it's just early and I still need my coffee, but something just isn't adding up to me.

Thanks!

EDIT: I don't mean to sound condescending I am just very curious!
I guess I will let my video do the talking lol

I didn't include every detail of the build of course I just figured the small stuff would be obvious to most lol.

I ran a DC POWER 320A alternator in my Malibu for 2 months.... it helped me out a VERY small amount. Why might you ask? Because the ECU computer issues with new cars "malibu included" don't allow the Alternator to produce what it's capable of. I could have ran a external regulator to just set it at 15v but then again it would keep the battery idicator/warning light popped 24/7. There's no way around that at all thats worth it IMO

I sold my DC 320A and threw my stock alt back in and my voltage readings were actually more consistent. The stock alt doesn't give the ECU a log jam like the HO alt does.


Back into my car,

I had 1 deka 105AH batt under the hood and 6 Deka 105AH batts in the trunk.

2 pos runs of 1/0 Stinger OFC
2 ground runs of 1/0 Stinger OFC
Also had aluminum bussbars connecting my batts in the back.






I've probably had the most experience in the world regarding what these cars can and can't do when it comes to audio lol.

I basically destroyed mine over the course of time and decided to get a newer one down the road and just do a small 2-15s in the trunk setup now I bought a 00 excursion to put 12-15s into now. Moving onto bigger things lol
__________________
2010 Slammed Matte Silver Malibu LT
22"Matte Black Merceli M16s-225-30-22 Lexani Rubber
3 1/2" static+H&R Springs drop
5% Tint all around, Cool White Interior LEDs
2-SKAR ZVX-12s in a 4th order blowthru with plexi
1-SKAR Audio 5k, 3-SKAR Audio 125.4s
12-SKAR Neo Mids, 8 SKAR Neo Tweets
Fully glassed doors, rear panel, and trunk wrapped in Black Ostrich
Youtube.com/MaliBOOOOM
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:50 AM   #8
itsbmw
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Default Re: Electrical system upgrades for sound system???

AHHHH see why I was confused and doubtful was only because when I read your post it sounded to me like you ran one battery in the back with the one up front, I was like NO WAY IN HELL! That's what I get for assuming. And again I wasn't trying to be condescending or tell you you were wrong, I just knew I was missing some pieces of the puzzle!

But now that I see the actual equipment, it all makes sense to me. I did see your sig with the link to skaraudio, and that's when I knew I had to be missing something haha.

Thanks for posting your build and the videos, very impressive! I got out of the SPL game a few years ago, but I still help other people out with their stuff.


Is the malibu the only car with the ECU issue, I feel like I've heard of this issue on more of these newer cars.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:19 PM   #9
RYgoBOOM
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Default Re: Electrical system upgrades for sound system???

Quote:
Originally Posted by itsbmw View Post
AHHHH see why I was confused and doubtful was only because when I read your post it sounded to me like you ran one battery in the back with the one up front, I was like NO WAY IN HELL! That's what I get for assuming. And again I wasn't trying to be condescending or tell you you were wrong, I just knew I was missing some pieces of the puzzle!

But now that I see the actual equipment, it all makes sense to me. I did see your sig with the link to skaraudio, and that's when I knew I had to be missing something haha.

Thanks for posting your build and the videos, very impressive! I got out of the SPL game a few years ago, but I still help other people out with their stuff.


Is the malibu the only car with the ECU issue, I feel like I've heard of this issue on more of these newer cars.
haha no problem at all bro!

and ya it is most of the newer cars. Not sure on an actual list but the newer they get, the harder it is to upgrade the electrical Not as easy as my 2000 Lifted excursion thats basically plug and play on everything lol
__________________
2010 Slammed Matte Silver Malibu LT
22"Matte Black Merceli M16s-225-30-22 Lexani Rubber
3 1/2" static+H&R Springs drop
5% Tint all around, Cool White Interior LEDs
2-SKAR ZVX-12s in a 4th order blowthru with plexi
1-SKAR Audio 5k, 3-SKAR Audio 125.4s
12-SKAR Neo Mids, 8 SKAR Neo Tweets
Fully glassed doors, rear panel, and trunk wrapped in Black Ostrich
Youtube.com/MaliBOOOOM
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:46 PM   #10
kaydennicholson
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Unhappy Re: Electrical system upgrades for sound system???

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalibuOn22s View Post
I guess I will let my video do the talking lol

I didn't include every detail of the build of course I just figured the small stuff would be obvious to most lol.

I ran a DC POWER 320A alternator in my Malibu for 2 months.... it helped me out a VERY small amount. Why might you ask? Because the ECU computer issues with new cars "malibu included" don't allow the Alternator to produce what it's capable of. I could have ran a external regulator to just set it at 15v but then again it would keep the battery idicator/warning light popped 24/7. There's no way around that at all thats worth it IMO

I sold my DC 320A and threw my stock alt back in and my voltage readings were actually more consistent. The stock alt doesn't give the ECU a log jam like the HO alt does.


Back into my car,

I had 1 deka 105AH batt under the hood and 6 Deka 105AH batts in the trunk.

2 pos runs of 1/0 Stinger OFC
2 ground runs of 1/0 Stinger OFC
Also had aluminum bussbars connecting my batts in the back.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsEGtPt5ZaE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGtHQk92tgI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cA5BFnFdBqg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNUqn0qyh_o


I've probably had the most experience in the world regarding what these cars can and can't do when it comes to audio lol.

I basically destroyed mine over the course of time and decided to get a newer one down the road and just do a small 2-15s in the trunk setup now I bought a 00 excursion to put 12-15s into now. Moving onto bigger things lol
All I can say to this is wow... Lol I went to get my windows tinted today and had them check my battery and alternator to see if they are bad as I get dimming from jus rolling up my windows at night even when everything is turned off. They said the battery might not be putting out the power it should but the alternator is putting out almost 15 volts. Had autozone and oreily test them and they said everything was good. Am going to do the big three upgrade myself here pretty soon and can only hope for good results and I know a second battery in the back should help but if I'm not mistaken it would only put more of a load on the alternator having to charge 2 batts instead of 1?
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