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  #1  
Old 06-01-2001, 02:38 AM
rainmaker's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Asia
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I was wondering if anyone had to upgrade their alternators to high output ones on their W124.

I'm putting in a fairly hefty system which may require gobs of power and was worried that the alternator might not be up to snuff, especially with Xenon lamps competing with the system at night for juice.

The system consists of the following:

Head Unit: Nakamichi CD700
Front Speakers: Dynaudio System 340
Rear Speakers: Dynaudio System 220 Mk II
Subwoofer: a/d/s/ rs10.2
Front Amplifiers: 2 Genesis Monoblocks ( http://www.genesis-ice.com ), one for each channel. This amp is conservatively rated at 250w at 4 ohms mono but typically puts out 400w. Maximum current draw per amp is 170 amperes, but that's at 1 ohm.
Rear Amplifier: Genesis Stereo 100. Rated at 50 wpc, typically delivers 95wpc. Max current draw is 37 amperes.
Sub Amplifier: Genesis Monoblock (same as above)

Given the current draw of the audio system, which, in and by itself is more than the output of the alternator, I will most likely need a higher output alternator, plus maybe an extra optima yellow top to boot.

Are there high output alternators that would fit in the hood of the 500E?

Has anyone here done something similar? Any input is greatly appreciated.

Diagram of my old system here: http://www.itsaboutthemusicstupid.com/wsnbb1b.html

Many thanks...


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93 500E, 43k mi, Pics of upgrade parts
Evo II Wheels on Dunlop FM901 235/45x17s
94 Facelift
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2001, 10:09 PM
Michael's Avatar
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I run a fair amount of power (750 W nominal thru PPI amps) and have no prob. Might add a Cap at some point, but haven't found the need. Get a big battery, though, and run BIG wire!
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  #3  
Old 06-02-2001, 03:30 PM
dug
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Actually i thought that xenons were more efficient than regular halogens and had less current draw, but i could be wrong....anyway, nice system your equipment is of the same caliber as your 500e...
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  #4  
Old 06-02-2001, 06:04 PM
rainmaker's Avatar
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Hmmm, I never thought of that...

Dug,

Thanks for the compliments...

I'm not aware if the xenons draw less power. They were there when I purchased the vehicle. I do notice though that the xenons take a while (several seconds) to reach operating temperature/brightness. I was afraid that if regular halogens would dim with the bass as it does in my existing system (which has the same amplification), then this cannot be too good for the xenons as it would cause them to cycle unnecesarily. I reckon the bulbs as well as the ballasts would be quite expensive to replace.

At the end of the day, the amps would theoretically draw a maximum of around 550 amperes to produce a maximum of approximately 1400 watts...this would have to be supplied by an alternator producing a measly 155 amperes, i think. Although I estimate that the system wouldn't be asked to produce more than, say, 200 on average, and potentially 500 watts on transients, I still suspect that the charging system may not be up to the task...and something would definitely have to give.

At any rate, it has been suggested to me to try installing stiffening capacitors first. This apparently would help the system especially on transients. If that still doesn't do it (but in all likelihood it should suffice) then I would have to think about a higher output alternator and a second battery for the system.

I shall be exploring the stiffening capacitor route first as (1) it makes the most sense (2) less expensive than an alternator and (3) is the easiest to install.

I'll report my findings after the installation and testing.

Thanks everyone!
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93 500E, 43k mi, Pics of upgrade parts
Evo II Wheels on Dunlop FM901 235/45x17s
94 Facelift
RennTech CF Airbox
RennTech ASR Defeat
RennTech Chip
1st Gear Start
97 Range Rover 4.6 HSE Vitesse, Yellow, "Tonka" (sold)
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  #5  
Old 06-05-2001, 07:37 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: the Netherlands
Posts: 1,417
I changed my stock 65W alternator in my C250D for a 90W alternator out of an E300D after I had some light flashing problems when I got stuck in traffic and was listening to some (too loud) music...
I have 3 amplifiers in my car and always drive with my lights on. When I get stuck in a traffic jam, it takes some time before my lights start to flash on the rhythm of the music...

greetingz,
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  #6  
Old 06-05-2001, 08:24 PM
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'94 S500: only 793 sold!
 
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Location: San Diego, CA
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Same engines . . .

The C140 (S500) series has a 140 amp alternator. So the engine's are the same, so it should fit, maybe???
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  #7  
Old 06-06-2001, 02:03 AM
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Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
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Any competent Alternator shop can rebuild your current alternator to a higher amperage one.

It usually costs about $500 or so, but if you need it, it can be better than trying to retrofit one from other cars in the hopes it is ok, that could be added cost if you end up having to get that one rebuilt to higher amps.

You should look into it.

My friend just had a higher power alternator put in his Yukon, which is getting a 15" Stroker and two 12" Strokers along with I think 2000 watts just to the subs. Not sure though. He also has a Dual battery system consisting of twin Optima Deep Cycle Blue Top Batteries.

His current setup sounds amazing, but he needs it louder. hehe

Alon
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  #8  
Old 06-06-2001, 02:48 AM
rainmaker's Avatar
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I'll try that...

Thanks Alon! I'll try the alternator rebuild along with the installation of stiffening caps. That ought to do it.
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Rainmaker
93 500E, 43k mi, Pics of upgrade parts
Evo II Wheels on Dunlop FM901 235/45x17s
94 Facelift
RennTech CF Airbox
RennTech ASR Defeat
RennTech Chip
1st Gear Start
97 Range Rover 4.6 HSE Vitesse, Yellow, "Tonka" (sold)
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  #9  
Old 06-06-2001, 03:09 AM
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JCE JCE is offline
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Rainmaker:
Are you running true xenon headlamp assembly (separate transformers, levelers, etc), or are they "xenon/halogen bulbs in the stock light assemblies? If the latter, they could be drawing more than standard wattage halogens. If this is the case, you could cut some of your total system load by using Euro 500E headlights with standard bulbs. Running a relay switched heavy gauge wire circuit for each lamp should also help with the 'pulsing to the music' problems.

You are working with a closed system, and using a larger rated alternator and heavier current draw is going to cost you a few ponies. If you want to keep the HP, I would exhaust the energy conservation routes first, starting with standard wattage bulbs in a premium +30 mode like Michael's car, with Euro lights for a better beam pattern.

BTW, I am contemplating a Nak CD45z or TA25 head unit for my MB. Any insights on the TA25?
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  #10  
Old 06-06-2001, 04:51 AM
rainmaker's Avatar
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To JCE

Yes, I'm running true Xenons. They take a sec or two to fully light up and shine like really bright, concentrated fluorescent lamps. The main lamps are only low beams. I use the driving lamps as high beams.

At the end of the day, I guess I'd be willing to sacrifice a bit of HP to get a true all around car that is still seriously quick and fast. Besides, I could always shutt off the stereo and the airconditioning if I need to get back the few errant HP.

As to your head unit questions, I always found Nak's top of the line offerings to be truly amazing products. I used to use Naks until they started having quality problems. I turned to McIntosh for my car audio requirements. Nak seems to have gotten back on track and was therefore willing to give it a second go. On whether to get the CD45z or the TA25, I guess that would depend on what you are trying to achieve.

The TA25 is a tuner/amplifier only and does not have CD functions. Getting a changer would bring up the price by another $500. The CD45z has a built in single disc player.

I tend to subscribe to the philosophy though that you should by the best you can afford, otherwise, it just costs more in the long run (upgrades, selling used ones at a loss, etc.) In my case, I think the TD1200 is overkill. The CD700 while expensive, would provide excellent sound. It has (one of the) best mobile DACs currently offered which can even perform DAC duty for the music bank changers.

An added bonus: it keeps the stock look as it almost passes for the OEM Becker unit



A *slightly* less expensive alternative is the McIntosh MX403 which has an amazing DAC as well which, like in the CD700, can be used as a DAC for McIntosh's CD changer. It also has that cool classic signature McInosh look to it.



Hope that helps. Feel free to email me if you have any other questions.
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Rainmaker
93 500E, 43k mi, Pics of upgrade parts
Evo II Wheels on Dunlop FM901 235/45x17s
94 Facelift
RennTech CF Airbox
RennTech ASR Defeat
RennTech Chip
1st Gear Start
97 Range Rover 4.6 HSE Vitesse, Yellow, "Tonka" (sold)
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  #11  
Old 11-02-2001, 08:43 PM
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 2,633
I believe Satish installed a 140Amp alternator from either a S500 S600, and it fit perfectly.

Check out his site at:

http://www.mbcoupes.com

The info is in his M119 engine project into a 560SEC body.

:-) neil
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  #12  
Old 05-19-2002, 11:10 PM
ERASE
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selling a high output alternator

Rainmaker I have a high output AN-140 alternator from phoenix gold with less than 100 hours on it. give me a email.

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