Join Date: May 2001
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: How many amps are too many?
Let's clarify here. As far as electrical goes, your Jeep has two "sources". The first is the alternator, which puts out a supply when the engine is running. The second is your battery, which is recharged by the alternator.
The real heart of your question is about electrical economics.
You can actually run higher loads than what your alternator supplies, but the catch is FOR HOW LONG.
For example, say you have a 60Amp alternator, and you want to run a 30 amp air compressor, a 30 amp stereo, and a 30 amp set of lights. That will work, but you will start to eat into your battery's reserve charge, because you are using more electricity than it can replace. This is not bad in and of itself. As long as you reduce the load before you completely tap out the battery.
On average, you're never going to run your compressor, lights, and stereo together for more than 10/15 minutes or so at a crack. As long as you give the alternator sufficient time to recharge the battery before shutting down the engine.
Also a note listed above to clarify:
A volt meter will show you what the charge is currently on your electrical system or if the engine is not running, what the charge is on your battery.
An Anmeter (amp meter) will show you load being placed on the electrical system.
Neither will tell you the whole story, you need to look at the system as a whole, considering time as well, and then you can make some informed decisions.