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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
There is only so much your electrical system can do - and it is based on your alternator's ability to recharge your battery and maintain drains on it while the engine is running, and also on the relative size and capacity of your battery as well.

From what I just saw online, there are Suzuki alternators that go as high as 130 Amperes. Whether they fit in your ride or not is a good question - I was looking specifically at '08 and '09 Swift Sports.

For earlier Swifts and Metro's I dunno how well these items would mount, but as far as the output you can't just add on stuff without thinking about the ability of the alternator to restore that energy, or your battery to hold it.

AN AMPERE is a rating of current flow. It is kind of similar to gallons or liters per minute in a water system, with a set pressure.

In electrical terms - your car has a twelve volt system. It means that it has twelve volts of electrical "PRESSURE" behind it.

The flow rate is the amperage.

POWER in any electrical device or system is rated in terms of WATTS.
Power is additive:
20 WATTS, plus 30 WATTS, equals 50 WATTS.

But power in watts is based on AMPERES times VOLTAGE.

If you have a 100 amp alternator, and a twelve volt system, the power available is 12 times 100, or 1200 watts.

I know a lot of people out there want to have the most MEGATUNES system that they can get, but if your available power can't handle it you are going to find yourself and your girlfriend or buddies on the side of the road somewhere all wondering what happened - and you don't want that... :rolleyes:

So you have to figure what the cars electrical system can handle without running the battery into the trash.

NOTE: Though it may be possible to "STACK" some extra batteries, I don't recommend it. It would be easy to forget and wind up screwed... It also would overwork the rating of the alternator. They need to cool off between running times - this is called "DUTY CYCLE" the time between running and cooling back down given as a percentage. A 20% duty cycle means an alternator can "LIVE" if it is run twenty percent of the time. Just about ANY alternator run constantly will fry

A stereo or subwoofer, or whatever is going to have a rated drain. I saw where the sport series of swift can have as much as a 130 amp alternator (at 12V) but that may not be what came from the factory.

Earlier versions of the Swift may have a much lesser alternator 'Package' and it needs looking at before going overboard in this direction. Be very sure of what you have!

The bottom line here is that you can get away with a lot of high powered sound, but you need to take a close look at what you have to power it, and what you might do to increase the available rating of your engine electrical system.

An earlier swift might be upgraded to a later model (like the Sport) alternator - but will it fit?

You may have to even manufacture your own alternator brackets in order for the parts to line up right.
You will no doubt be looking at non-stock belt sizes also.

What happens when your available horspower is subjected to the extra drain of a bigger or better alternator?

POWER is never free, it comes at some cost. The price of a bigger alternator may be the same as an air conditioner - when it cuts in you may very well notice a difference.

These are some of the basics you need to keep in mind when considering major modifications. You cannot exceed what is already in place unless there is enough extra capacity to take up the load.

Similarly - if you add a higher rated component to an already challenged system you may notice some driving performance degradation. Some amount of available resources are always used to generate any kind of power or energy.

It's a trade off - and you had better have a good idea ahead of time exactly what it is that is the most important to you. :cool:


~Wolfie

* I was an Electronics Instructor for five of the twenty years that I was an Electronics Tech.
If that means anything to anybody...
 
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