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How-To: Installation of the Big 3 Cruze Kit

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This installation guide applies to both the 1.4L turbo and 1.8L engines available in the Cruze. The 1.4T is covered first, followed by a slight variation that is found with 1.8L installation (thanks to Smurfenstein for the 1.8 info/pictures!)

This simple how-to illustrates how to install XtremeRevolution's Big 3 cable kit. For information on what the Big 3 kit is and where to purchase one, visit this link: http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/36-gen1-audio-electronics/200442-big-3-kits-f-s.html

While this tutorial is designed to be a pictorial how-to, here is a link to a Youtube video that Terry made on how he installed his: How to install your big three kit. - YouTube

TOOLS REQUIRED:
  • 14mm socket with ratchet or wrench of the same size
  • 13mm socket with ratchet or wrench of the same size
  • 10mm socket with ratchet or wrench of the same size
  • Side cutters/scissors
  • Small pair of regular pliers or needle nose pliers

Step 1:

Organize your parts. You should receive from XR:
  • Three (3) cables, of three different lengths.
  • Short bolt
  • Various cable ties

Step 2:

Remove ground cable from the battery using a 10mm socket or wrench. If you are unsure of which one it is, you may not want to attempt this modification.

Step 3:

Locate the three studs (RED arrow points at them below) on the front cross member, just behind the driver's side headlight:

Auto part Vehicle Bumper Engine Tire


Using 13mm socket, remove the nut as shown by the BLUE arrow in the pic below. Leave the existing wire on the stud. Grab the shortest of the three cables from the kit and put one end on the stud. Thread nut back on while making sure it sits flat on the other wire end on that stud:

Auto part Fuel line Vehicle Automotive fuel system Engine


Step 4:

Gently curve that cable up toward the ground post on the front end of the battery. There's plenty of cable, so no need to make it go tight. It looks to make a tighter bend in my pic here than it really does. Remove the 13mm nut from the post as indicated by the RED arrow below and connect the other end of the cable there. I then disconnected the entire cable from the post just let the system reset itself to the new settings, since the computer likes that:

Auto part Bumper Vehicle Automotive exterior Technology


Step 5:

Get the second longest cable (shortest remaining) from your parts and connect one end on the stud indicated by the BLUE arrow below. Again, make sure it doesn't conflict with the other wire on there. The nut is also 13mm:

Auto part Fuel line Engine Vehicle Car


Step 6:

Route the second longest cable toward the front of the engine. See pic below for how I routed it. Terry says you can go in front of the hoses, but I'm not sure, in order to make it bolt on straight. (Please excuse the dirty engine- will clean soon when weather cooperates) I think it's better like this:

Auto part Motor vehicle Tire Engine Vehicle


Step 7:

Connect the last end of the second cable to the threaded hole in the engine with the short 14mm bolt included with Terry's kit:

Auto part Engine
Auto part Engine


Step 8:

This is by far the trickiest yet. Stand on the right side of your car, leaning in over the engine/right fender. You'll see the alternator toward the back side of the serpentine belt trail. Reach around to the back of the alternator (toward left side of the car) and you should feel a stud/nut on the back there, toward the edge. It's also 14mm, but may be 13mm depending on the year of your car. Remove the this nut, while being careful that no wires fall off. I actually found it easier to use a ratchet wrench of the same size here instead of the socket due to reaching over like that and only having one hand down there. Put the end of the remaining (longest) cable on the alternator stud and reinstall the nut. I draped the other end of the cable over the top of the engine for the time being.

Alternator as found, without added cable. You will remove and reinstall the nut circled:

View attachment 259457

Alternator with cable attached, as circled:

View attachment 259458

This picture shows how to route the cable once installed. Note the circled nut in the lower right, view from the other way:

View attachment 259466

View going toward the battery:

View attachment 259473

View attachment 259449

Step 9:

Lift up the terminal bus cover on the positive side of the battery. Remove the 13mm nut as indicated by the BLUE arrow below. Grab the cable from on top of the engine, snake it a decent route to the area, and put it on the stud. Reinstall the 13mm nut.

In order for the cover to close, the there's no good way for the cable to enter this area. As indicated by the RED arrow below, there was a small plastic tab sticking up there between the two wire ends coming up there. I took a short pair of needle nose pliers and simply snapped this piece off easily, to give the wire space to travel through. Then snap the terminal bus cover back down:

View attachment 259481

Electronics Technology Electrical wiring Electronic component Electronic device


Step 10:

Since this positive cable does touch some very hot hoses, I saw the chance to cable-tie the cable to the wiring harness right there to keep it spaced out from the coolant hoses:

Auto part Engine Vehicle Fuel line Car


View attachment 259489

Step 11:

Reconnect the battery ground cable to the battery.

Step 12:

Record your mileage and other critical stats to enter on your service/modification log:

Electronics Technology Gadget Electronic device Audio equipment


Step 13:

Start it up to make sure everything works and reset your clock. I'm seeing about 14.4-14.5 volts at idle now.


FOR THE 1.8L NA ENGINE IN THE CRUZE LS:

Step 6 in the 1.4T procedure is slightly different. The bolt that goes into the front of the engine (holding the bracket in this case) requires a e12 6-point socket to remove and install the cable with. See pictures below:

Auto part Vehicle Bumper Engine Tire

Attachments

41 - 57 of 57 Posts

· Registered
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160 Posts
HOW TO: Installation of the Collins Cables Big 3 Cruze Kit

Hey guys. Just wanted to throw my two sense in on this upgrade. So I did the big 3 with 4g kNU that was soldered and heat shrunk. Jacked up the car and got under it to do the alternator. So much easier, but still a touch challenging. Zip tied the new wire along the casing for the current stock wire, and ran it to the battery. Then did the grounds, those are super simple. Everything we smooth, all the connections are great, and I was happy with the install. But I still get quite a bit of headlight and taillight dim.
Here's what I have for amps/power for my audio system
Infinity kappa 4 - 100w RMS x 4 channels
Pioneer monoblock - 800w RMS @ 1 ohm
I have a Rockford fosgate 2 farad capacitor for the monoblock
I have an interstate megatron II battery (6 months old)
I am running 1/0 KNU from battery to distributor, then go to 4g KNU into the amps.

When pushing my system at 75%, there is noticeable headlight and taillight dim. No lights on the inside dim though. My only two remaining options to solve this are go with an even bigger battery, or redo the big 3 with 1/0 wire. What do you guys think?

Wanted to add in a pic of the alternator that I got from under my car. 1.4L non-turbo. Don't mind my buddies face in the corner haha...
Auto part Suspension Suspension part Engine Coil spring


Thanks,
Ben
 

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Livingfortheice, Im assuming since this post is pretty old ( 2015 ), that you have solved your diming issue, but for those who may be showing up late to the party, your issue isnt your wiring or battery, its your alternator. It was simply never designed or expected to handle simultaneous loads of that magnitude. I had a Camaro with 3 amps, 14 speakers and 2 Optima 800Us so I know what Im talking about. Upgrade to a 200+ amp alternator and Im betting it'll be fine.
 

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Is there any way we could get a reupload of the pictures? Great write up, just need some visuals.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

· Administrator
2014 LT program car, Pull Me Over Red, 1.4T Auto
Joined
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14,013 Posts
This installation guide applies to both the 1.4L turbo and 1.8L engines available in the Cruze. The 1.4T is covered first, followed by a slight variation that is found with 1.8L installation (thanks to Smurfenstein for the 1.8 info/pictures!)
I already have my kit installed, I'll take some pictures for SF to add.

Is there any way we could get a reupload of the pictures? Great write up, just need some visuals.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
You are better off replying with a quote or PMing directly. If you don't, they might never see your question. In the meantime
"here is a link to a Youtube video that Terry made on how he installed his: How to install your big three kit. - YouTube"
 

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· Registered
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You are better of repling with a quote or PMing directly. If you don't, they might never see your question. In the meantime
"here is a link to a Youtube video that Terry made on how he installed his: How to install your big three kit. - YouTube"
Get the Chrome browser and install this extension.
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/photobucket-hotlink-fix/kegnjbncdcliihbemealioapbifiaedg

Images showed up for me after install.
Thanks! Works great

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

· Epic Beard Man
Joined
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5,351 Posts
Discussion Starter · #48 ·
I went ahead and updated the pictures as attachments here. I don't have the last image for the 1.8 since it isn't mine and I can't access it.
 
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· Epic Beard Man
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5,351 Posts
Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Special shoutout to @Blasirl for the added pictures now found in the tutorial! If anyone else has any pictures or details to add as you do the job, feel free to let me know.

Thanks!
 

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I just recently did a big 3 on my 2012 Cruze with 0/1 wire and my voltage is up between 14.5 and 15 volts and after 10 to 20 minutes
I get a battery saving alarm I was wondering if anyone else had this problem and what the fix was
 

· Administrator
2014 LT program car, Pull Me Over Red, 1.4T Auto
Joined
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14,013 Posts
The purpose of the big three is to improve the ground connections between the neg battery terminal and the engine block and the chassis. The third leg is to improve the connection between the starter and the positive terminal.

While typing that, I was thinking, did you route the ground through the hall effect ring?

I circled what I am referring too in one of Sunline Fan's original photo's. In that photo he did not run it through the ring for some reason. It needs to be there so the car knows how much of the current is being returned to the battery. It may be that the car thinks there is a problem. As my old electronics professor used to say, "The goesinta's do not equal the goesouta's".
 

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2nd 2012 1.8l mt 147000km
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289558


Getting this thing situated, dual 12's with an alpine mrv500m tested at 530w rms. Looking at doing 4awg all round. Some how forgot about the engine block ground strap so that'll be another trip to the store.
 

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This installation guide applies to both the 1.4L turbo and 1.8L engines available in the Cruze. The 1.4T is covered first, followed by a slight variation that is found with 1.8L installation (thanks to Smurfenstein for the 1.8 info/pictures!)

This simple how-to illustrates how to install XtremeRevolution's Big 3 cable kit. For information on what the Big 3 kit is and where to purchase one, visit this link: http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/36-gen1-audio-electronics/200442-big-3-kits-f-s.html

While this tutorial is designed to be a pictorial how-to, here is a link to a Youtube video that Terry made on how he installed his: How to install your big three kit. - YouTube

TOOLS REQUIRED:
  • 14mm socket with ratchet or wrench of the same size
  • 13mm socket with ratchet or wrench of the same size
  • 10mm socket with ratchet or wrench of the same size
  • Side cutters/scissors
  • Small pair of regular pliers or needle nose pliers

Step 1:

Organize your parts. You should receive from XR:
  • Three (3) cables, of three different lengths.
  • Short bolt
  • Various cable ties

Step 2:

Remove ground cable from the battery using a 10mm socket or wrench. If you are unsure of which one it is, you may not want to attempt this modification.

Step 3:

Locate the three studs (RED arrow points at them below) on the front cross member, just behind the driver's side headlight:

View attachment 247610

Using 13mm socket, remove the nut as shown by the BLUE arrow in the pic below. Leave the existing wire on the stud. Grab the shortest of the three cables from the kit and put one end on the stud. Thread nut back on while making sure it sits flat on the other wire end on that stud:

View attachment 247618

Step 4:

Gently curve that cable up toward the ground post on the front end of the battery. There's plenty of cable, so no need to make it go tight. It looks to make a tighter bend in my pic here than it really does. Remove the 13mm nut from the post as indicated by the RED arrow below and connect the other end of the cable there. I then disconnected the entire cable from the post just let the system reset itself to the new settings, since the computer likes that:

View attachment 247626

Step 5:

Get the second longest cable (shortest remaining) from your parts and connect one end on the stud indicated by the BLUE arrow below. Again, make sure it doesn't conflict with the other wire on there. The nut is also 13mm:

View attachment 247634

Step 6:

Route the second longest cable toward the front of the engine. See pic below for how I routed it. Terry says you can go in front of the hoses, but I'm not sure, in order to make it bolt on straight. (Please excuse the dirty engine- will clean soon when weather cooperates) I think it's better like this:

View attachment 247642

Step 7:

Connect the last end of the second cable to the threaded hole in the engine with the short 14mm bolt included with Terry's kit:

View attachment 247650

Step 8:

This is by far the trickiest yet. Stand on the right side of your car, leaning in over the engine/right fender. You'll see the alternator toward the back side of the serpentine belt trail. Reach around to the back of the alternator (toward left side of the car) and you should feel a stud/nut on the back there, toward the edge. It's also 14mm, but may be 13mm depending on the year of your car. Remove the this nut, while being careful that no wires fall off. I actually found it easier to use a ratchet wrench of the same size here instead of the socket due to reaching over like that and only having one hand down there. Put the end of the remaining (longest) cable on the alternator stud and reinstall the nut. I draped the other end of the cable over the top of the engine for the time being.

Alternator as found, without added cable. You will remove and reinstall the nut circled:

View attachment 259457

Alternator with cable attached, as circled:

View attachment 259458

This picture shows how to route the cable once installed. Note the circled nut in the lower right, view from the other way:

View attachment 259466

View going toward the battery:

View attachment 259473

View attachment 259449

Step 9:

Lift up the terminal bus cover on the positive side of the battery. Remove the 13mm nut as indicated by the BLUE arrow below. Grab the cable from on top of the engine, snake it a decent route to the area, and put it on the stud. Reinstall the 13mm nut.

In order for the cover to close, the there's no good way for the cable to enter this area. As indicated by the RED arrow below, there was a small plastic tab sticking up there between the two wire ends coming up there. I took a short pair of needle nose pliers and simply snapped this piece off easily, to give the wire space to travel through. Then snap the terminal bus cover back down:

View attachment 259481

View attachment 247666

Step 10:

Since this positive cable does touch some very hot hoses, I saw the chance to cable-tie the cable to the wiring harness right there to keep it spaced out from the coolant hoses:

View attachment 247674

View attachment 259489

Step 11:

Reconnect the battery ground cable to the battery.

Step 12:

Record your mileage and other critical stats to enter on your service/modification log:

View attachment 247682

Step 13:

Start it up to make sure everything works and reset your clock. I'm seeing about 14.4-14.5 volts at idle now.


FOR THE 1.8L NA ENGINE IN THE CRUZE LS:

Step 6 in the 1.4T procedure is slightly different. The bolt that goes into the front of the engine (holding the bracket in this case) requires a e12 6-point socket to remove and install the cable with. See pictures below:

View attachment 247610
I installed the big3 on my cruze, come to find out the alternator is controlled by the computer. Didnt you have thus issue? Are using an external control or regulator so you arent running on 12v?
 

· Administrator
2014 LT program car, Pull Me Over Red, 1.4T Auto
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14,013 Posts
I installed the big3 on my cruze, come to find out the alternator is controlled by the computer. Didnt you have thus issue? Are using an external control or regulator so you arent running on 12v?
What issue are you referring to?

FYI: The OP has not been online here since 2018.
 

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12 Posts
What issue are you referring to?

FYI: The OP has not been online here since 2018.
Well car amplifiers are more efficient at 14v than 12. The Cruze computer regulates the alternator voltage, even turning it off at times. I want a continual 14.8v so i am looking into a controller that allows me to set the voltage I was the alternator to run on.
 

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2014 LT program car, Pull Me Over Red, 1.4T Auto
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