Power Your Lifestyle

December 30th, 2011

Text and Photos by Jason Mulligan

Electric Upgrades From Kinetik, Powermaster and Painless Performance

Kinetik offers several different models of power cells. To make things easier on the end user the model numbers correspond to the total watts necessary for your vehicle. The watts include your engine and stock accessories as well as all of the aftermarket goodies you install, including a stereo, air compressors and others. A factory setup can use 800-1,200 watts just to run the lights, engine and alternator. And most of the equipment, including battery, alternator and wiring, are set up to handle only that amount and not much more. Start adding accessories and it is easy to see that an upgraded battery is a must. To convert amperage draw to watts, multiply the amps for any accessory by the sitting voltage (12.8v). Amplifiers already state the wattage needed. Once this number is computed, you will be able to select the proper battery for your needs. For custom setups, this is easier because you can select different sizes and quantities depending on your needs. For stock setups, replacing the factory battery and adding another can be done to power accessories.

In our truck, a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Classic, we recently upgraded the stereo with Pioneer gear, including subwoofers and a bevy of component speakers. There are also some other accessories wired up as well. When we’d hit the bass, the dash lights would dim, because there wasn’t enough power available for the demand on the system. A lack of power means low voltage, which means more current; this extra current transfers into heat and can damage electronics and diminishes performance and sound quality. As far as our electrical needs go for our Silverado, everything else is stock, so we opted for a Kinetik HC1800 that will fit in the area vacated by the factory battery. The cell is slightly larger than the old battery, but it fits in perfectly. Kinetik offers several connector options for top and side post setups.

Adding more power will put more strain on the factory electrical system, which isn’t set up for added accessories. To make sure everything runs at maximum performance a high output alternator and upgraded wiring are suggested. To cover this we got a high output alternator from the folks at Powermaster. The company’s 52803 alternator fits the GM location. It puts out a worthy 120 amps at idle, but at driving speeds of 2,000 rpm that output jumps to 200 amps! Of course, all of that extra power traveling from the alternator to the battery will become choked without a larger gauge wiring and fuse setup from Painless Performance. The kit is for high output alternators and includes six-gauge wiring for the power lead, connectors and a 200-amp inline fuse for safety.

The Kinetik power cells are rated at 13 volts at a full cooled charge, this is above the normal 12 volts. It’s very important to charge the power cells on vehicles whether or not it is driven every day. An alternator will only charge the cells while the truck is running and driving. Sulfur is a byproduct of a cell making power due to the chemical reactions inside. The more a cell is discharged and charged (whether via jumper cables, box or alternator) sulfur can build up, limiting the efficiency and life of the cell. To desulfate the cell and maintain a charge, you can use a CTEK charger from Kinetik that regulates voltage rather than amperage so that the battery isn’t ruined by overcharging. With this charger you can quick-charge your battery or maintain a constant voltage over time. Comfort lights from the charger will show a full charge (green), low charge (yellow) or dead cell (red). Comfort indicator panels are available to mount the lights and plug the charger in without having to crawl under your truck or leave your hood open. This ensures that your truck will fire up right away with no issues if it has been sitting, and thanks to the upgrades your tunes will sound better than ever without your having to worry about the strain being put on your electrical system.

Sources

Kinetik

Kinetikpower.com (http://www NULL.kinetikpower NULL.com)

Painless Performance

817.244.6212

Painlessperformance.com (http://www NULL.painlessperformance NULL.com)

Powermaster Performance

630.957.4019

Powermastermotorsports.com (http://www NULL.Powermastermotorsports NULL.com)

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