My Ninja's got a new 45-amp alternator...seeking advice - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 12 Old Feb 11th, 2006, 2:10 pm Thread Starter
 
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Exclamation My Ninja's got a new 45-amp alternator...seeking advice

I've removed the 28-amp alternator from my Ninja, then installed a 45-amp alternator. A simple bolt-on mod, as the new alternator came from a Kawasaki ZZR1200, which is basically the updated version of my '98 ZX-11 (aka the ZZR1100 in Europe). FWIW, many Concours owners perform this same mod.

A few facts...
  • All of my non-OEM accessories (heated gear, aux lighting, com gear, etc.) add up to just under 20 amps if I was to run ALL of them simultaneously.
  • The battery has 200 CCA
  • I have also replaced the wiring harness that goes from the new alternator to the the existing main fuse/starter relay connector.
  • I plan on bumping up the main fuse from a 30-amp to a 40-amp fuse. I would go with a 45-amp fuse, but haven't found one locally in a ATC/ATO type.
Now, the questions...
  • Some are of the opinion that you should install a 50-amp relay betwixt the alternator and starter relay...which then goes to the battery. Is this necessary? There was no 30-amp relay there originally, so I figured just beefing up that fuse would do the trick.
  • I assume I still want to make my positive and negative lead connections straight off the battery for my Aux Fuse Block. It is a relay-controlled 30-amp block. This is already in place from last year. I'm just wondering if this is the best way to have this wired. I have read of some coming staright from the alternator's output. Personally, I don't see what difference this makes. But others have argued with my statements and reasoning on other forums....the nerve! Comments?
I'm open to all comments and suggestions, as I really want to do this the RIGHT way, the FIRST time. I don't want to get 300 miles from home and smell that dreadful hot electric smell that we're all too familiar with. OK...maybe I'm the only one who has smelled it before.
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post #2 of 12 Old Feb 11th, 2006, 2:30 pm
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I do not understand the 50 amp relay between alternator and starter. If there was no relay there before, what purpose would it serve? I would not want anything between the alternator and battery in any case, just something to fail and cause you to lose charging. Why would a relay be desired there anyway? What would energize it in order for your alternator to work? I have never heard of a relay other than the normal starter relay being used between alternator or battery and the starter.

I would basically just insure that the wiring between the alternator and battery was sized to handle the full capacity of the alternator. As I can determine from your descriptions there should be no reason to change anything else, as everything is already sized for the loads attached.

You are correct, there are no fuses above 40 amp available in the ATO style. You have to get a different case style of fuse for larger amperage.

Do you really need anything larger though? Normally there is no fuse between alternator and battery, and that is the only line which will ever see the full load the alternator is capable of, unless some device shorts or a wire is accidently grounded, but then that line's fuse would be the protection device.

The key to fusing is to insure that ANY and EVERY wire after the fuse up to the device being powered is capable of handling the full load of the fuse rating. NEVER put ANY wire smaller than capable of handling the full current of it's protection device, other wise that wire becomes a HEATING element if it's load increases greatly for any reason.

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post #3 of 12 Old Feb 11th, 2006, 2:42 pm Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the quick response. You have reassured my thoughts. I don't know why I'm being so anxious about this mod. Perhaps "cautious" is a better word.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dshealey
I would not want anything between the alternator and battery in any case, just something to fail and cause you to lose charging.
Just as a notable point . . . the main fuse resides between the original alternator and the battery. I assume that this is a safety precaution in case of a major short, or if some yo-yo doesn't fuse something or wire something correctly. This would keep the alternator from burning up, correct?
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post #4 of 12 Old Feb 11th, 2006, 3:07 pm
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Joe, I think like David that you're overanalyzing your situation. Just be sure the main lead from the alternator to the battery is big enough to handle the full current... The battery is the main "capacitor" of the system and the alternator just charges the battery...Bump up the fuse to the next size and you should be good to go.. All your accessory leads from the battery to the accessories should be properly fused already..

The only reason for the bigger alternator is to keep from draining the battery in high load situations..

On a more important note::: Is the new alternator CHROMED !!!!!!

John

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post #5 of 12 Old Feb 11th, 2006, 4:31 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpspen
On a more important note::: Is the new alternator CHROMED !!!!!!

John
I hope not. Chrome 40 amp fuses are even harder to come by!

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
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post #6 of 12 Old Feb 11th, 2006, 6:01 pm Thread Starter
 
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C'mon Guys!!! CHROME DON'T GET YA HOME!!!
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post #7 of 12 Old Feb 12th, 2006, 2:15 am
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post #8 of 12 Old Feb 12th, 2006, 4:57 pm
 
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Joe you might think about getting a Painless wiring kit.. Makes adding acces. very easy and leaves your current systyem alone
http://www.painlesswiring.com/webcat...t-raceharn.htm ...Regards Pete
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post #9 of 12 Old Feb 12th, 2006, 9:35 pm
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Hey Joe,

Sorry so late getting onto this - seems you've received some good info!

Only bit I'd add is make sure you upgrade more than just the fuse. Fuses are matched to wires. Upgrade one, you should upgrade the other. Upgrade the fuse, you *must* upgrade the wire.

As far as a relay - I'm with the rest of these guys. Why?

Tate

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post #10 of 12 Old Feb 13th, 2006, 5:05 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpspen

On a more important note::: Is the new alternator CHROMED !!!!!!

Chromed schomed

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post #11 of 12 Old Feb 14th, 2006, 5:06 pm
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You asked me to comment on this, and I will oblige, but let me say this first. I discovered Monday I have and abscessed tooth which caused my severe swelling, including one eye to swell nearly shut. On top of that, I went today to get a root canal and they wont touch me until the swelling is gone. But, I am on some wicked drugs :-).

Anyway, I agree with everyone else, I wouldn't not put a relay in series with the alternator.

As far as fusing it goes, here is what I would do. On cars, the alternator output is generally not fused, they use a fusible link, which is basically just a fuse inside of a wire. I don't know where to get them, especially since automotive alternators usually start at 85A. However, don't be concerned about hitting that 45A number. The fuse protects the wire. I would probably look for an 55A fusible link, that way if you alternator ever goes wide open it doesn't accidentally blow the link. A 55A link will have adequately size wire to not cause a problem. So, how would you blow that fuse, well there are two ways. Let's say the voltage regulator developed a short to ground (shorted diode), then then the battery would start sourcing current into the regulator and would blow the link. The other possibility is that the link itself rubs against the frame and wears through the insulation. Again, the battery will try to source current to ground. Remember, the battery is the biggest voltage source. If the link were to short to ground on the alternator side, the voltage regulator * SHOULD * limit the current to 45A, so even if the fuse doesn't blow, the wiring should handle it and you will notice something else soon enough (like a dead battery).

I think wiring the accessory block straight to the battery is a good idea, but remember, you also need a fuse between the battery and the block. Again, I would put a 40A fusible link, with the link as close to the battery as possible.

I wouldn't tap into the line between the alternator and the battery. The reason is that you have a high current source at each end of the wire, so which end of the wire would you protect? If you now add in a third tap, it only gets more confusing.

Regards,
Larry

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post #12 of 12 Old Feb 14th, 2006, 6:18 pm Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Larry. I hope you feel better real soon.

Napa Auto Parts carries fusable links...I'll check tomorrow to see if they carry a 55Amp and a 40Amp.
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