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Old 07-31-2006, 11:58 PM   #1
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charging system woes

anyone with capacitors(or multiples of them) have any issues with batteries holding charges?

ive been having charging system gremlins ever since they repainted the car and let the battery drain itself. since then I have replaced the following -

Battery after the first paint job because the next morning it wouldnt start, nor would it hold a charge during a over-nighter charging.

alternator after the touch up, because i barely made it home afterwards and everything died in my driveway, further testing revealed crap alt.

battery after another touch up, under warranty still but annoying none the less.

now i just got the car from the shop for the last time(paint job still sucks but i am on my last straw with this piece, cant even mod it cause every month its another 300 for paint and whatever else ****s up), and the car fails to start if i dont drive it for a day, so i guess its time for another battery.

i have checked and rechecked every ground point, every hot wire, i have new battery terminators for ****s and giggles.

everyone around me thinks its the capacitors/amp/sub. i think theyre idiots, as the millions of americans with systems dont have the problems i get. each of the capacitors grounds are perfect(overkill as my audiobahn tech would say, i grind down till i reach bare shiny metal, i use large self tappers, whereas he just finds a chassis bolt and uses that), my power wire from the distrubution block to the caps is 100% intact. there is nothing out of the norm or less than perfect with the system. the Caps LED voltage readouts will sometimes flicker when they sense any change in system voltage(IE you have the car off but open a door and the dome lights go on, it senses it and comes on but flickers off as soon as it realizes everythings fine), someone said this could be the cause, but i highly doubt a 4 digit LED readout(or two) are going to drain even a couple AA batterys within a few days, let alone a car battery.

but to test the idiots theory, the system is disconnected and i will wait till tomorrow to rule that out of the equation(basically to shut em up).


anyone have any ideas? im so very close to selling this thing and getting either a 03/04 Cobra or another DSM(at least when a DSM is broken, its probably owners fault anyway or its down for mods). i just keep seeing this car never being what i want it to be, each time i start paying off the paint job/problem credit card, i keep adding more to it. sucks ive never gone so long without a performance mod.

sorry for the long thread. im a little irritable these days.
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Old 08-01-2006, 12:08 AM   #2
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Re: charging system woes

i never had any problems with my 1 farad rockford cap


but just get the 03 cobra
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Old 08-01-2006, 12:47 AM   #3
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Re: charging system woes

Its because caps are useless.

A battery is like 220,000 caps all in one, why would a a 1 farad cap do anything extra for your audio system when you've got a 220k farad cap already on there? Read this:

FAQ-Why a CAP is useless!!!! - 3.8 Mustang Message Board
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Old 08-01-2006, 01:13 AM   #4
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Re: charging system woes

*Yawn* Caps are useless.
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Old 08-01-2006, 01:37 AM   #5
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Re: charging system woes

stupid.

does your amps have clipping monitors? clipping is when the amp goes under 10v and thus underpowers the amp and can **** it up. all i knew before is that when i turned up the bass on the amp, the red light would go on, and i coudnt run much bass before it got distorted, and thought it was either 1) i suck@ systems, or 2) audiobahn sucks @ systems. then i met this guy who was hugely into audiobahn, and he educated me on terms like "clipping" and "voltage under-run", things not many normal amps have failsafes for, but audiobahn does. the amp is able to drain more power than the charging system can push out, and thusly limits the output to save itself from damage. and according to him, unless i added multiple alts, it wasnt going to help as much as building a dam to stabilize this ebb and flow.

after installing 2 1farad caps in series with the bass at the setting it was at before(low) the red light never came on(blue light when everything is working fine). after turning up the bass knobs on the amp, the light was still blue. after then sending the remote bass knob to full, i finally found the limits of the amp, and turned down the amps bass so i could control the bass with the knob. the amount of bass i can now safely run makes me wonder why i ever doubted them in the first place.

think what you want about caps. they are there to store power when its not getting used, and will give your amp a more stable power supply. you can see them in action as well, as they are in series, so the battery feeds one cap which feeds the second which feeds the amp. the readout at full blast on the one closest to the amp will come down to around 12.3v during bass spikes while the battery side is still at aroudn 12.8-13v. then when bass stops the battery side one peaks back to 13.5 and the amp side then follows a moment later. quite interesting to see it in action.

theoretically that post is correct, and is the post i based my before-cap-experience bias off of(remember, i too was a 3.8 whore). btw using caps for headlight/electrical dim however is a myth, and that has to be fixed by the alt. i however, even at full musical definition, do not see any electrical dimming whatsoever, maybe mustangs have good alts? maybe caps do do something?

dammit fukkers, back to topic.
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Old 08-02-2006, 11:23 AM   #6
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Re: charging system woes

Honestly, if you're going to spend the money on 2 caps... why not just get a second battery?
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Old 08-02-2006, 12:47 PM   #7
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Re: charging system woes

umm, cause i can get 2 caps for 40 bucks. i really dont know where 100$ caps are coming from, i guess nobody remembers Ebay anymore. plus a 5farad audiobahn digital capacitor(looks just like a small amp, not like round caps) is around 100$.

i think im gonna invest in an Optima battery soon.
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Old 08-06-2006, 12:43 AM   #8
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Re: charging system woes

If you have a good battery, you don't need caps.. My system peaks at 8000 watts and I am running a stock alternator without my headlights dimming whatsoever... I have two stinger sp800's mounted underneath my back seat, 8 inches from my amps... Caps are worthless..Period.
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Old 08-07-2006, 05:23 PM   #9
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Re: charging system woes

I had the same problem when I had my 6. My battery wouldn't pass a load test and a slow charge never helped it. I got a new battery and that one died too.

It happened to be a problem with the GEM. it's a general electric module. Anyways the module was going crazy and leaving the windshield wiper motor on and was drawing just enough power that it was killing my battery every morning and then it was every couple hours. All the fuses were working fine and a scanner didn't pick up any fault codes.

Before giving up I would get the schematics for your car and eliminate the possibility for a bad GEM. When I pulled out the GEM the draw dropped significantly. Mine was located under the driver side and it was the biggest module closer to the steering wheel.
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Old 08-07-2006, 07:24 PM   #10
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Re: charging system woes

Generic Electronic Module
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Old 08-08-2006, 04:41 PM   #11
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Re: charging system woes

my 01 v6 would not crank if I let it sit for more than a day. I replaced the battery and it has worked fine since (well until I sold it). I hope you get all the crap fixed... I warned you about the paint job before hand though
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Old 08-10-2006, 01:14 AM   #12
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Re: charging system woes

^^^Werd.

I only knock on someones work when i KNOW i absolutely could not do it better if i tried my hardest, and trust me, i have seen rattlecanned civics and maaco 200$ jobs come out better. oh well, its a decent paint job unless i tell you where to find the **** ups, or youre not into cars. all the normal people think it looks great, while all the gearheads i know are like "WtF you paid for that?" that shop is going to lose alot of business from gearheads i talk to, everyone in the town knows this car now and will know who NOT to go to for paint after seeing it in person. maybe in a year or two i will break down and strip their **** up and paint it myself. im gonna start practicing on the bumper/Cpillars that nobody seems to want to buy. i might make my own scoops using the actual stock C-pillars and Modifying them, so it flows more like that of a GT500's scoop, not like mine where you can tell theyre two piece bolted together. hell i might even see about making them functional ducting to the rear brakes, would be a fun task with unibody but it would be sweet if i pulled it off.

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Update on charging system

System has been disconnected for about however long ago i made this thread. last weekend car was parked after returning home saturday night and didnt move till monday morning. car turned over but was very weak. being that i have ultimately ruled that out of the equation, i can go ahead and hook the system back up and finally have full audio experience again.

Anyone know the price of the GEM? im gonna go out on a limb and assume its a dealer only item so it cost a sweatshop in china 5$ to make it and fords gonna charge 300$ for it.

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btw the capacitor debate.

i got them due to clipping issues with the amp, not because of headlight/electrical dimming. battery nor system could not feed the amp enough juice to power the sub, so the red light of "undervoltage" comes on, telling you its not recieving enough powah so its not running the sub like it should. a capacitor is like a dam that makes the flow more consistent and stable, red light of clipping is gone and sub is being pushed like it should. you can go ahead and shout numbers and quote this and that, i have seen the effects in person and know the plausability of them. maybe its just audiobahn that has this voltage underrun feature that prohibits the amp from running full bore under certain conditions.

btw for the reference, at full bore, neither the headlights nor any other lights dim, the motor idles at same rpm, and nothing changes. only time i get dimming is when i turn something on(ac, turn signals, headlights, etc).

and just for more reference, the guy i get all my info from, runs a secondary battery in the back of his tahoe, that is then hooked up to a 5farad amp-style digital cap, which connects then to the amp itself. numerous SPL trophies, as well as being under the west coast audiobahn rep for a few years, so he knows his ****. i cant wait till he finally gets motivated and we build his system, (4) Immortal 12" Subs, (4) 1800D amps, (4) 5farad digital caps, (2) secondary batts, all the equalization **** audiobahn sells, all wrapped up in one of my custom fiberglass enclosures fitted to the rear of a 01 tahoe. im totally stoked about getting his stuff going and decimating SPL and bringing more Audiobahn goodness to the table.
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Old 08-10-2006, 03:06 PM   #13
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Re: charging system woes

Gem for my car was around $350. So all I did was unplug the stupid thing over night since I couldn't find one in a JY and nobody parting out their cars at the time knew what the hell it was.
It's not much of a hastle since I didn't want to waste money on something insignificant like that.
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Old 08-10-2006, 11:04 PM   #14
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Re: charging system woes

^^^ so youre saying you can just unplug it and go on with your life?
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:12 PM   #15
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Re: charging system woes

yea until you need your windshield wipers. I forget what else is connected to that module. To me it's not worth $350 or more to get a new one. It's easy to unplug and reconnect. I unplugged it every night and when I knew my car was going to sit for a few hours.

Have you checked yet if it actually was the GEM that was causing the drain?
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Old 08-12-2006, 01:34 AM   #16
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Re: charging system woes

i had no idea of its existence until this thread let alone its whereabouts.

id assume im gonna need a voltmeter and some brainwork?
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