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I heard the Big 3 doesn't work...


Old 02-28-2009, 10:50 PM
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I know I'm new but if the (factory)wire is big enought to pass the max current of the alternator then the big 3,the big 12 or even the big 30 will not improve anything but what do I know. As for wire current capabilitys you can google it cause if a hair size wire can pass 30amps all day 8g or 6g what is on most cars will have no problem passing 105 amps( if you alternator is lucky to put out )I have 500 amps worth of alternators and a simple 0g is more then enought to cover that.
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:01 PM
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8 guage wire can carry 200 amps. but it will get hot. Larger guage wiring reduces the resistance in the electrical path and keeps your voltage more stable. When wire size is adequate it won't make much of a difference. but when you want to eek out every last bit of potential energy, bigger is better

Wire Gauge Resistance per foot
4 .000292
6 .000465
8 .000739
10 .00118
12 .00187
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:45 AM
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Imho, I would put a good normal battery at 100$. Then if you happen to see your lights dimming, do the big 3. You already have a 160 Amp alternator and it should suffice. Remember that the alt will not put it’s rated power until you reach high rmp. Rarely in a minivan unless you drive it like an idiot. That's why you need the good battery. That's your reservoir. If you have a good reserve tank, then even if you don’t fill it back one for one, it will still provide the power.

Wire size is not nearly as much a factor as people make it to be. Because you are dealing with sound with a variable power draw, you will pull big time power only a fraction of the time. Even if you are driving your subs full blast at 30 hertz, it will not draw 100% of the rated power. That's the difference between AC and DC. At most, your wires will heat up a little. No big deal.

I am not saying that the big 3 is not a good idea. It is an excellent idea. But in reality, it is a good option versus an absolute requirement.

The other thing above and beyond the wire gauge is the wire insulation. A 4 gauge wire with a good insulation is not equal to another 4 gauge with a bad insulation. You should see what we use on aircrafts. Of course, there is Capton wire that allows 200 amps DC on a 14 gauge, but we usually deal with 4 gauge on 200 amps DC. The wire gauge we use on AC (like sound) is ridiculously small because it’s just not needed. Aircraft AC is running at 400Hz.

Just to give you an idea if you were to compare AC and DC wiring, at 60 hz take your AC voltage (or amp) and multiply by 0.636 and that gives you the equivalent DC. So, 200 Amp AC at 60 hz would equal 125 amp. Now that’s at 60 hz. What would be the sound equivalent, maybe 200hz? What would be the conversation factor? I donno maybe 0.5? I have no idea, but just be informed that the fuse size is the absolute maximum. I doesn't mean you have to adapt the wiring to it.

Bye a decent battery. Don't bother going with a fancy battery. We are not in the states and we have to pay twice as much for the same thing so it rapidly gets too expensive. Plus a battery here has to endure way more than what they have to.

Ah yeah, and don't forget that your batteries’ power will significantly decrease with temperature. At-20, your battery capacity might only be 30-40% of it's max. It'll warm up quick enough once you start driving and using it though. Do bye the biggest battery that will fit the tray. …and lather do the big 3 only if you see your lights dimming. You will see it before you can hear it.
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