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2009 EX-L 2.4L Alternator Capacity for Audio Upgrade

1663 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  ousooner2
Hi all,

First post here, I'm new to aftermarket audio so please be patient with my ignorance. I'm thinking of upgrading my sound system with an Alpine DSP, new speakers, a new sub and amps - possibly a new head unit as well, but I'm on the fence about this one. Point being, I've been reading up on the subject trying to wrap my head around all the electrical and acoustical concepts, but my questions are multiplying. The biggest thing I'm worried about is my alternator. I'd rather not replace it if possible, and no I'm not thinking of adding the burden of a second battery. My question is just how much can system can I build using the factory alternator without sacrificing reliability? My plans aren't geared towards high volume/SPL, just maximum sound quality, so 1000W amps are probably not something I'm looking at (I'm also planning on adding a fair amount of vibration damping and sound insulation, so that should help matters quite a bit).

Here's what I'm thinking so far (ideally):

-A/V head unit by Alpine, Pioneer, Kenwood or JVC. Should support HD Radio, SiriusXM, integration of the center console Aux In, at least one USB port (preferably two, one at 1.0A for phones and the other at 2.1A for tablets), Bluetooth 2.1+EDR or later with HFP hands-free calling and A2DP audio streaming, and be iPhone compatible with support for iPhone navigation, Siri Eyes Free and streaming audio/video. Primarily looking at Pioneer AppRadio 3 and Alpine ICS-X7HD, also Kenwood DNN990HD and JVC KW-AV71BT.

-DSP/EQ with high/low pass filters. Alpine PXA-H800 and Rockford Fosgate 3Sixty.3 are the main contenders.

I'm really not sure about amps, speakers or the subwoofer yet, since it's largely dependent on the charging capacity of my electrical system. I'm hoping to keep as much trunk space free as possible, so I'm thinking I'll just go with one subwoofer using the original mounting location, and keep a 6-speaker setup. Of course this all assumes that I'm keeping the rest of the car's features, such as powering both 12V outlets, and even adding a backup camera and/or parking sensors, fog lights and ambient lighting.

Thanks for any input you can give!
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I dont know exactly I have 1400 watts and when bass drop very hard is when I have some dimming likghts, but for moderate/high volume everything is okay. If power still a concern go for a 5 channel class D amp, I think it is the more efficient way to go.
Your amps are going to be a contender as far as if you are going to need an alternator upgrade. You will need to complete the big 3 wiring upgrade regardless. (Upgrade Alternator positive wire to battery, add additional ground from battery to tranny, etc…) The factory alternator is about 124-ish amps and just with the stock options of the car and driving activities, which uses about 80 or so amps. You’ll need to figure out your max draw of your sound system. My nominal sound system draw is about 110-115 amps for my sound system so I had no choice but to upgrade the alternator. I’ve aimed for a SQL build. Remember, no capacitors! They really don’t work.
Good luck!
You'll be okay
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