Important: Read if Running No Alternator - Fuelly Forums

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Old 10-13-2008, 03:15 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Important: Read if Running No Alternator

rgathright suggested I put this in a thread for the rest of you.

I recently installed an alternator cut-off switch in my 1987 Civic. With alternator off it misfired a lot even with a 60,000volt coil.

Some setups expect that ~14volts coming from the alternator.

rgathright, setup a power supply in his Jeep so that it was always getting 14.1Volts. I messaged him, and he's come up with an even better idea. Two options actually.

You can run a 16Volt racing battery. Pretty simple install and everything. However, this prevents a charging problem as your 14volt alternator wouldn't charge the battery properly. There is possibly a solution.

It will boost your alternator from 14Volts to 16Volts so you can charge your racing battery. It will also boost your 12Volt battery to 16Volts, from what I understand on the page.

rgathright has emailed the distributor of them to confirm that it will work for the application.

Originally Posted by rgathright
FIRST, make this a thread, people in the forums could use this information!

Second, they have onboard DC-DC converters in race cars that do this for you. I used them during my circle tracking racing days to recharge cars in the pits. I emailed the distributor at the website link below and hope to have an answer for you soon.

Hope this all works, several car owners out there will enjoy reading your discussion on the conversion!

1987 Honda Civic 1500

1992 Chevrolet Lumina Euro
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:57 PM   #2
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I wouldn't recommend this on a fuel injected vehicles - lots of circuit boards and sensors are voltage sensitive.

Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well armed sheep contesting that decision.

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Old 10-14-2008, 02:48 AM   #3
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If you plan on constantly draining the batteries, expect a very short battery lift unless you are using deep cycle batteries.

I changed out some batteries on a truck this weekend that were 2 years old. The guy had tons of accessories (lightbars etc.), and toasted then quickly.

Stepping up DC voltage is pretty inefficient but as long as you have sufficient current available it should be okay.

-Bob C.
Think you are saving gas? Prove it by starting a Gas Log, then conduct a proper experiment.
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:36 AM   #4
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Good points. You should discuss this in the forums and highlight all the possible problems before you decide to invest your hard earned dollars, JohnNeiferd.

I installed LED taillights on my Jeep TJ and reduced the drain on my battery considerably. You could try doing this on your own vehicle now since it will be a change that can be used at any time. The company has prompt service and they have tons of parts guides on their website to help you pick the right bulb. Finally, you can replace almost any filament bulb in your vehicle now. The only ones that are not offered are the headlights.

Here is the email conversation I had with Dud Lee at about the 16Volt converter:
I am writing an article on upgrading a Honda car to a 16V battery so that you can drive without the alternator on and still provide the volts to make the Honda ignition operate properly.

Can you please tell me if this part would work?

Reuben Gathright
Member: Rgathright on the forums of
On Mon, Oct 13, 2008 at 11:59 AM, <> wrote:

1) For racing it would - till you ran out of reserve capacity (voltage from the battery)
2) We have alternators for 16V batteries, and conversions for most applications,
because if you are in a street application you'll need an alternator
3) Also, alternator eliminates need for a 16 volt charger.

Call me - we'd love to visit with you.

(some clients claim the increased spark and voltage increases hp and mpg.....)

TheV Performance Electrical Products
208 North C Street
PO Box 158
Edgar NE 68935-0158
4024085873 Phone
4024082888 Fax
Yeah, I agree with you on all points but the person who asked me is driving their Honda with the alternator disconnected via a switch. When he runs low on battery power, he flips the switch which activates the field coil in the alternator and he starts charging. Normally, the guy just charges at home.

I would really like him to use this part so that he does not have to buy the alternator (install) and save a little money in the process.

Thanks for your help!
Reuben Gathright
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show details 3:42 PM (15 hours ago) Reply

Yes, that will work,
- so he understands that the hp lost with low voltage is far greater than the HP an alternator requires?

He has a 16 volt battery? Then we'd recommend the 16v update for HIS regulator, and
would increase alternator output AND save $$'s, AND increase the life of the battery, AND increase HP and consistency.....
Good voltage = consistent performance.

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Old 10-16-2008, 10:13 AM   #5
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Decreased performance? Actually, I've noticed much better acceleration when the alternator is off. The problem is that it seems to misfire at higher RPMs, 2400 and up. And I'm around 90% highway miles so thats the most important to me. I think if I can get the ignition to run on 16Volts it should run even better than when it had the 14Volt running it.

As for deep cycle, I would like one eventually so I could leave the alternator off longer. I was looking at the Sears DieHard Marine Deep Cycle 29HM that has a 200minute reserve. Two of these things in the vehicle and I'd could leave it running on the battery for around 6.5 hours, even longer if I switch to LED lights.
1987 Honda Civic 1500

1992 Chevrolet Lumina Euro
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Old 10-16-2008, 12:21 PM   #6
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Great experiment- I'll have to do the same thing to my civic one of these days.

Another idea would be an HF transmission. You'd be doing 75+ mph in 5th gear before you exceeded 2400 rpms and got that misfire.

From your gas log it looks like your improvements are making a difference.
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:40 PM   #7
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i did some brief experiments with my alt before my car died, again. with a switch tied into the field wire a voltmeter and running stock everything i did see some gains but also some negatives. i could only run for a max of about 15 -20 minutes at highway speeds with the alt bypassed. once the volt dropped below 12.0 the car became unstable. misfires and the such. i would have no acc. running either. i would think in the city with braking and everything i wouldnt be able to go more than 10min at best. the car was peppier and seemed to get better mpg before the timing belt let go(nothing to do with the experimints). i didnt get a chance to refuel but judging from my distance traveled and estimated fuel left i looked to be heading for a record breaking run. the routein i finally settled into was to have a charged booster pack in case of no start, start the car with the alt on, do my normal trip to work which is 50 miles on the button, at around 30 miles in i would switch off the alt and basically coast in. i would reactivate the alt at the next startup and do the same thing for the ride home. worked good and never needed the pack. i was driving around shutting the alt on and off but started getting worried about the shock to the alt that way. i didnt care about blowing it up, i just didnt have a spare yet. night time driving was starting to creep in which pretty much makes this experimint null and void. if i was able to keep driving in daylight my next step would have been a small solar charger for when im at work to really push the no alt time and maybe wire the alt switch to the brake lights so it reactivates when im trying to slow down. i think its a very doable and worth while trick but you gotta be careful.

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