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Old 08-17-2014, 02:08 PM   #1
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Alternator whine problem

I am getting a high pitched alternator sound out of my front speakers at low volume, I cannot for the life of me figure out why.
I took my time installing this, almost 2 months, and did not cut any corners.
This is my set up:
  1. Dynomated the doors, side panels, and behind the seat, all but the roof.
  2. Mounted the AMP on the SUB box behind the rear seat.
  3. Power cable routed from the battery down the driver side to back behind the seat attached to the AMP.
  4. RCA cables & AMP power wire(the small one that goes to the head unit) routed under the center console up to the head unit(did a lot of reading and lot's of people said you COULD run this wire with the RCA's)
  5. Speaker wires routed from the AMP up the passenger side of the truck to behind the head unit tied back into factory harness.
  6. The ground wire is from the AMP grounded to the bolt that holds the bracket that locks the back seat in the upright position. I used a dremel and made sure the paint was all removed and the bolt is very tight. I at first had it grounded to the bracket that bolts the seat to the floor, again removing all paint. I thought it was a bad ground and moved it and no change. I am using a 2 foot regular automotive battery cable for the ground.
  7. I searched on youtube and even tried the little ground wire trick behind the head unit to the RCA output.
  8. Checked the ground cable from the battery to the fender, all is good
  9. Posted on Tacoma World for help

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Old 08-17-2014, 02:23 PM   #2
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you have a bad ground. Where... I'm not sure. But when you find it, you're welcome
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llibrm View Post
you have a bad ground. Where... I'm not sure. But when you find it, you're welcome
This.
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:01 PM   #4
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If you unplug the RCA's at your amp, does it go away?

Big 3.

Ground your RCA's to the chassis of your headunit. Gorund them at the amp the same way.


Run a dedicated ground from the battery to the same point you grounded your amps.
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:05 AM   #5
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I've been having a similar ground issue, thanks for all the tips!
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:06 PM   #6
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Ok, so I kinda figured it was a ground, so I have done the little grounding trick behind the head unit. If I unplug the front RCA cables, yes the whine does go away. I have ran a dedicated ground from the battery to the AMP itself, seems to have fixed nothing. I have not done the grounding trick on the AMP RCA's yet, I will try it.
You mentioned the Big 3 adrenalnjunky do you think that is the problem?
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Old 08-18-2014, 07:35 PM   #7
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Man - sometimes this stuff is hard to track, and can come from a lot of different places.

Big 3 is always a good idea when you're doing extensive aftermarket power for lights, audio, winch, etc - but not guaranteed to fix anything.

Sometimes you just need a voo doo witch doctor. Might be time to try dropping a ground loop isolator on the RCA's.

Another trick to try - get a good 14-18ga wire - 6 ft or so, - screw it to the chassis of your headunit, drop it down the back of your dash and onto the floorboard. Put your dash back together. Try grounding that wire to different spots in the truck see if you can get it to go away. Remember to sand any grounding point down to bare metal, and yadda yadda.....
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaverseeker View Post
Ok, so I kinda figured it was a ground, so I have done the little grounding trick behind the head unit. If I unplug the front RCA cables, yes the whine does go away. I have ran a dedicated ground from the battery to the AMP itself, seems to have fixed nothing. I have not done the grounding trick on the AMP RCA's yet, I will try it.
You mentioned the Big 3 adrenalnjunky do you think that is the problem?
Try grounding your amp to the frame, grind down the metal so its bare, shortest ground possible. JL makes a ground plug that is fantastic.

Make sure power wires are ran separate from any speaker wires or RCA wires.

Big 3 grounding helps but I don't think it will fix your issue.
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Old 08-20-2014, 01:57 AM   #9
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the only time ive had this was when I ran the batt power next to the rca cables. in your case it looks to be far away. maybe a quality set of rcas would do the trick? ive had a few instances with my friends vehicles using cheap rcas that come with amp kits cause this problem
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:46 AM   #10
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I've used quite a few of these with good luck on my ham radios and I don't see reason it wouldn't work for you http://www.powerwerx.com/oem-connect...ter-oem-t.html you can probably find something like it at a local Rat Shack. Install it as close to your amp as possible in case your picking up the alternator whine from adjacent wires.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT Madman View Post
I've used quite a few of these with good luck on my ham radios and I don't see reason it wouldn't work for you http://www.powerwerx.com/oem-connect...ter-oem-t.html you can probably find something like it at a local Rat Shack. Install it as close to your amp as possible in case your picking up the alternator whine from adjacent wires.
These are super hit or miss if they work or not. This is just like a pain pill. It masks the problem, but there still is a problem. A proper install shouldn't whine.

Have you tested the alternator to make sure its good as well? My buddy had a bad whine in his 07 Chevy, I did the install so everything was correct and grounded right. Turned out his alternator was going out and that was the cause. New alternator, no more whine.
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Old 08-21-2014, 03:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aw9d View Post
These are super hit or miss if they work or not. This is just like a pain pill. It masks the problem, but there still is a problem. A proper install shouldn't whine.

Have you tested the alternator to make sure its good as well? My buddy had a bad whine in his 07 Chevy, I did the install so everything was correct and grounded right. Turned out his alternator was going out and that was the cause. New alternator, no more whine.
That's just it an alternator makes alternating current (AC) and then it gets converted to DC for use in the vehicle. The main filter is your battery and beyond that it's up to the individual component (CB radio) to do the rest. Now you can go on hunt and peck spending hours for a fix or spend $20 at Rat Shack and put this filter at the radio. You should see the huge ones I've installed in cop cars for big /\/\ radios back in the day.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:21 PM   #13
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I have both my ground, RCA's and speaker wires ran seperate from each other,
I consider these RCA cables a good quality cable, Rockford Fosgate and paid $35 each set.
I did try the grounding to the frame suggestion, and did grind all paint off, no change.
I will try the grounding the stereo to different spots.
Had autozone check alt. Said it is OK
I will keep you all posted.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:56 PM   #14
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Ok- you're running a 5 channel - do you have separate sets of RCA for Front/rear/sub? If so - is the whine only on one set of RCA's - like on the front, but not the rear?

If not - what happens if you set the amp up for independent F/R inputs, and move the RCA's from the Front inputs to the rear inputs?
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Old 08-29-2014, 04:57 PM   #15
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I am running a 5 channel amp, and i have 3 pairs of rockford fosgate RCA cables running from amp to head unit, it does seem that when I unplug the front the whine goes away.
So I ran another cheaper RCA on top of the seats to the amp and still had the whine so this I would think eliminates the rca cables from being bad.
I will keep messing with the grounds, I am sure that is the problem
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:03 PM   #16
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swap the front and rear RCA's - see if the whine moves to the rear speakers, and if the fronts shut up.

Other than that - Try regrounding the amp maybe? Different wire this time - no offense, cause I have the 0 gauge version of that same DB Link wire sitting in my truck, waiting for me to install it. I'm now becoming really hesitant to do so though - just reading way too much bad about CCA wire. The aluminum stranded wire can have higher resistance, and maybe all your amp is looking for is a nicer ground.

These things become really tedious when the first couple of easy checks don't fix it.
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Old 08-31-2014, 11:07 AM   #17
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Simple troubleshooting.

Its not the amp.

You pulled the rca and the whine stops, so its not the amp. If it was the amp, it would whine all the time the amp is on.

Swap the cables f/r, if the whine moves its that cable. $ doesnt mean good cables. I have a box of "good (expensive)" rca's that are in fact junk. If you bought them in ebay, 50% chance you have been scammed and paid 35 for $2 cables.

If the whine stays in the same location, its the head unit.


*edit* if youre using the cables in that instal kit, $10 says thats your problem.
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Old 08-31-2014, 03:13 PM   #18
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Install a ground loop isolator. I think that's what Madman had a link to. I had the whine in my XM radio receiver in 3 different cars. Finally installed it in my last car and took care of the problem.
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