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The Big Three Upgrade:

-how to increase your electrical efficiency

The Big Three Upgrade:

Postby Agent Fawk [OP] » Dec 01 2010, 6:07am

The "Big Three" upgrade means improving the current capacity of three cables: 1) alternator positive to battery positive, 2) battery negative to chassis, and 3) engine ground to chassis

Has anyone actually performed this upgrade? I have been reading up on this and would appreciate any thoughts or experience on the subject.

-Thanks
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Re: The Big Three Upgrade:

Postby koolz71 » Dec 01 2010, 5:49pm

Never really thought about doing all this..is there certain things we should do?
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Re: The Big Three Upgrade:

Postby jepics » Dec 01 2010, 7:48pm

This is basically a change people make when running an audio system over 500 watts, and have cables that are 8 or 10 gauge.

It is also for those upgrading their alternator to a higher output - the cables are matched to the output. Say you have a 70 amp alternator and you are going to be adding a lot of heavy-usage electrical equipment, so you are upgrading to a 140 amp alternator. Better be thinking about upgrading cables too. It's all about balance.

Otherwise it is not worth the time, effort and expense.
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Re: The Big Three Upgrade:

Postby 99chevyz71 » Dec 01 2010, 8:06pm

so if my alternator(105 amp) has been replaced with the snow plow package one (140 amp) should i upgrade wiring??
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Re: The Big Three Upgrade:

Postby jepics » Dec 01 2010, 9:13pm

Check the gauge of your ground strap wire and positive cables - if they are 8 or 10 gauge, it would probably pay to go with something heavier, like a 0/1 or even a 4 gauge.
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Re: The Big Three Upgrade:

Postby 99chevyz71 » Dec 01 2010, 10:43pm

ill have to look at it when i get a chance its stock wiring so ill guess its small
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Re: The Big Three Upgrade:

Postby Agent Fawk [OP] » Dec 04 2010, 4:17am

So, I finished the big three upgrade today. Most directions involve using the fatest wire possible. Personally, I used the 4 gauge, which made made it very easy. I immediately noticed a difference in the brightness of all my dash lights, stereo lights, and headlights. Also, my stereo speakers are a lot louder and hit harder. Overall, I am very pleased with the result. Total cost of supplies is around $20. All you need is about 4 feet of 4 gauge wire or fatter, some heavy duty wire rings to attach wires, and a battery adapter bolt. Total time was about 15 minutes. I recommend this for anyone, even with all stock electronics. Cheap fast way to have brighter lights and a louder stereo.
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Re: The Big Three Upgrade:

Postby 99chevyz71 » Dec 04 2010, 5:46am

can you take some pic.s of the finished project?
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Re: The Big Three Upgrade:

Postby aksierra11 » Dec 04 2010, 6:40am

Hmm when I venture down the road of putting a system in the new truck I will have to look into this. Seems like a simple enough upgrade.
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Re: The Big Three Upgrade:

Postby Agent Fawk [OP] » Dec 04 2010, 10:08pm

Here it is on a 2004 5.3 Z71 4x4 Sierra. It is hard to believe this simple upgrade can be so evident. I can only imagine the difference if even fatter wires are used with some of the trucks you guys have with the off-road lights. I hope this helps. Good luck!
Attachments
DSCN0015_001.JPG
1) Positive from alternator. There is a little red battery power splitter in mine(not sure if it is on all models).
DSCN0018_003.JPG
2) From the negative...
DSCN0017_002.JPG
..to the chassis
DSCN0019_004.JPG
3) I did not change this wire. As you can see, it is already pretty fat. This runs from that same red battery power splitter. Then the same 4 gauge wire goes from that red box to the block somewhere(I didn't look because it is already fat enough).
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