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Just finished mounting my battery to the rear of my el camino, and have noticed at night, with every thing on that the volt guage is showing only 11 1/2 volts. I have a 100 amp single wire voltage altenator, and its always showed 12 volts or more on the guage. I ran the single wire off the altenator, back to the battery with a 10 guage wire, to the + post, am i running to heavy a wire or is it something else. I've cut out my night driving for fear the battery will go dead! Any ideas?
 

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Where is the voltmeter reading the voltage?
No you can't run too heavy a wire but you can run to small. The heavier the wire the more current it can handle without excessive voltage drop(or burning up).

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Steve Strasemeier (70SS 396, Fathom Blue/White Stripes)
 

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Rich;

Where is the power being pulled for the car?? I mean the power lead that goes to the firewall and powers everthing in the car. If you have a 10 guage wire going to the battery directly from the alternator and then take the car power from the heavy starting wire coming back up to the solenoid, you will be adding a lot of unneccessary resistance to the circuit. This is due to the long conductor path.

Remove the 10 guage wire that is running back to the battery and shorten it so it connects to the end of the heavy starting wire going to the solenoid. The starting wire can handle 200A with minimal voltage drop, so it will make a better conductor to get to the back of the car. If this is an older car with the power junction at the horn relay (I think about 69 or 70 and older), then you should run the alternator wire to the relay. There would have been a wire from the relay to battery. Re-route this to the solenoid.

You are better with the alternator having a short path to power the car and the longer path to the battery. Most of the current from the alternator is going to power the car, not charge the battery. The only time this isn't true is right after starting or right after idling. When idling with a lot of accessories on, the battery has to supply the power until the RPM's come back up and the alternator tops the battery back up.

Peter
 
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