and here's a closeup of the big 80 stamped on it... (air filter's in the way and I dont feel like tearing apart my engine compartment right now)
Yes, cap as in capacitor. Get a used one on ebay for like 50-100$... Don’t worry about name brands, a capacitor is a capacitor as long as it's electrolyte (EG: a modern one) and dosn't look damaged.
Edit: A farad is a unit of measurement to measure the amount of electrons a device can store. A car battery can hold hundreds of thousands of farads (I think maybe a few million but I don’t remember exactly. It’s a lot compared to a capacitor), but it's ability to release the energy quickly is very poor, so you need a capacitor that can hold a farad or two, which can release all of it's energy almost instantaneously, to help out with the electrical demand while the battery catches up in releasing it's own energy to re-charge the capacitor for the next sudden burst of energy demand. (wow what a run-on sentence)
Edit2: El Presidente, it wont ELIMINATE the strain on the alternator, it still has to produce the same amount of energy, it just wont have as hard of a time doing so because the energy demand will be more constant than without a capacitor. It's still easier on your car's electrical system none the less. BTW, Do you think my original alternator failed and was replaced with a smaller one because it was cheaper for the previous female owner? This hacks me off.
Edit3: Damn I shoulda just pointed to this thread...