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Alternator whine problem

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by beaverseeker, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. Aug 17, 2014 at 2:08 PM
    #1
    beaverseeker

    beaverseeker [OP] Member

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    Safford Arizona
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    Spyder headlamp housings, HID low beams, 20 inch GENSSI led light bar, all interior and exterior lights converted to LED, lighted cup holder, pop and lock tailgate wired to door locks, valentine one radar detector,removed the ugly sun-visor stickers
    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:)


     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
  2. Aug 17, 2014 at 2:23 PM
    #2
    llibrm

    llibrm OH NOOOOOO!

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    you have a bad ground. Where... I'm not sure. But when you find it, you're welcome
     
  3. Aug 17, 2014 at 6:21 PM
    #3
    Aw9d

    Aw9d That one guy

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    This.
     
  4. Aug 17, 2014 at 8:01 PM
    #4
    adrenalnjunky

    adrenalnjunky Well-Known Member

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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.
    [​IMG]

    Run a dedicated ground from the battery to the same point you grounded your amps.
     
  5. Aug 18, 2014 at 9:05 AM
    #5
    Maksimus54

    Maksimus54 Well-Known Member

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    I've been having a similar ground issue, thanks for all the tips!
     
  6. Aug 18, 2014 at 6:06 PM
    #6
    beaverseeker

    beaverseeker [OP] Member

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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?
     
  7. Aug 18, 2014 at 7:35 PM
    #7
    adrenalnjunky

    adrenalnjunky Well-Known Member

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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.....
     
  8. Aug 19, 2014 at 11:54 AM
    #8
    Aw9d

    Aw9d That one guy

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    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.
     
  9. Aug 20, 2014 at 1:57 AM
    #9
    hoenah808

    hoenah808 Well-Known Member

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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
     
  10. Aug 20, 2014 at 11:07 AM
    #10
    Aw9d

    Aw9d That one guy

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    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.
     
  11. Aug 28, 2014 at 6:21 PM
    #11
    beaverseeker

    beaverseeker [OP] Member

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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.
     
  12. Aug 28, 2014 at 6:56 PM
    #12
    adrenalnjunky

    adrenalnjunky Well-Known Member

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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?
     
  13. Aug 29, 2014 at 4:57 PM
    #13
    beaverseeker

    beaverseeker [OP] Member

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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
     
  14. Aug 29, 2014 at 9:03 PM
    #14
    adrenalnjunky

    adrenalnjunky Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  15. Aug 31, 2014 at 11:07 AM
    #15
    Indy

    Indy Master of all I survey.

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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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
  16. Aug 31, 2014 at 3:13 PM
    #16
    BKill

    BKill AKA Threadkiller

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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.
     
  17. Sep 7, 2014 at 7:53 PM
    #17
    beaverseeker

    beaverseeker [OP] Member

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    Update:
    I found the problem, thanks to all of you that pointed me in the right way.
    I was using a 3 foot automotive ground cable from auto zone thinking that would do it.
    After reading all of your suggestions I thought I might try changing the ground cable so I went to our local audio visions and purchased 3 feet of 4 gauge with a crimped on connector and that cured the problem.
    Not sure what the difference between audio grounding cable and a battery cable is but that was the problem.
    Lesson learned, don't screw around when it comes to grounding, make it right.
    Thanks for all of your help.
     
  18. Sep 8, 2014 at 5:44 AM
    #18
    adrenalnjunky

    adrenalnjunky Well-Known Member

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    Glad you figured it out - sometimes it is more of a resistance thing. I'd almost be interested to know the measured difference between the 2 pieces of wire.
     

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