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2nd battery vs. H.O. alternator

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by watatrp, Aug 20, 2001.

  1. watatrp

    watatrp Senior Member
    Messages: 117

    I have a 2001 Chevy 1500 Silverado with a Boss plow on it. It does not have the plow prep package on it. Long story on why I didn't buy a 2500 w/ a plow package. Used it to plow last winter and found that the plow pretty much drains the electrical system. I'd like to either put another battery on or install a high output alternator. If given a choice which is the better way to go? Any suggestions on equipment to use? Thanks.:confused:
     
  2. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    I have a 1500 as well, but mine is an extended cab, so I didn't want to add more weight to the front of the truck with another battery. What I ended up doing was getting an Optima (red top) battery, and a Powermaster 200-amp alternator. This set-up has worked really well for me. The alternator puts out a lot of juice, and the battery re-charges very quickly. The other thing I am considering is getting a smaller pully for the alternator so that it puts out a little more at lower RPM's.


    Here's the links to their web-sites:

    www.powermastermotorsports.com

    www.optimabatteries.com

    Good luck!

    -Tim
     
  3. OBRYANMAINT

    OBRYANMAINT PlowSite.com Veteran
    from ohio
    Messages: 534

    i only put on a powermaster alternator and it does good
     
  4. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    Dual batteries won't compensate for a small charging source. They will take longer to go down, but also longer to come back to full voltage. The bigger laternator will do more for you, but the down side of that is that they are the smae size package, making more amps and they run hotter as a result. We've got a hotrodded alternator on our 2500 and it makes good power, but it hasn't shown us much in the way of reliability, it has been replaced under warranty in the first year of plowing with it.
     
  5. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Alan's right, if you run dual batteries you pretty much have to go with the bigger alternator to keep up. Plus unless the truck is set up for dual batteries from the factory, it's a fair bit of work to add them later.

    As to what will work best for your application, I don't know because my stuff is o-l-d! From the sound of it, Tim's setup has worked well for him so you may wish to consider going that route.

    FWIW, I have dual 850 CCA batteries and a 100 amp alternator - the old GM style with the big case. Haven't had any reliability problems with it, the bigger case & internals provide a more effective "heat sink".

    Compared to the Powermaster, 100 amps doesn't sound like much but electrical requirements on trucks were a lot lower back in the '70's too!
     
  6. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    I know GM offers a 130 amp unit as an option ,I wonder if you could get your hands on one used.If not,Id go with the powermaster,since a new 130 amp Gm alt will run you 300+ easy.I put dual batterys in my 89,and 91 GMC's.I put a 140 amp alternator fro ma police caprice in the 89,it doesnt seem to recover any quicker than the 91,which only has the 100 amp.The dual batterys really helped with the dimming lights,and sped up the cycling of the plow a lot.
     
  7. LawnSmith

    LawnSmith Member
    Messages: 45

    just replace your battery now w/ a gel cell or a cheaper 1000+ amp battery. i have an 1100 in my Blazer w/ the "middle" sized alternator. i run a Warn X8000i on the front and have used it many, many times w/out failure of the electrical system. this winch under full load pull 480 amps. i am not sure what a plow puls but if my setup can keep up with hours and hours of winching i think it can handle a plow.
     
  8. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    The western pull about 180 amps, so my guess is that 200 amps is the max for most plows.
    Dino
     
  9. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    2nd battery or bigger alternator?

    i would do neither. Instead, I would change to a hydraulic belt driven pump assembly to control the plow.
     
  10. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Good idea, but depending on how the truck is optioned out space might be a litttle difficult to find for a belt driven unit.

    There just isn't as much room under the modern hoods as there is in my "relic" from the '70's!
     
  11. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    Re: 2nd battery or bigger alternator?

    OK, so who makes one? The solution isn't much good if the equipment isn't available.
     
  12. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    Alan,

    www.hydraulics.com has them, as well as Northern.
    Would fit on an older K model easily, not so sure there is room on an S-10.

    ~Chuck
     
  13. 66Construction

    66Construction Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    You may be able to find a garage which will rebuild your stock alternator to handle the load plowing puts on the charging system. There was a local garage that ran an advertisement last year, it was supposed to be cheaper then buying an aftermarket unit. I didn't have mine done but supposedly it works out good.
    Casey
     
  14. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    I had checked into that as well. I think it was somewhere in the vacinity of about $150 or so to increase the output of my stock alternator to about 130 or 150 amps. I chose to go with the Powermaster unit for several reasons. I knew that plows draw a lot of amperage, so I figured I'd be better off with the extra 50 available amps. Second, my stock alternator went out at 49K miles... not very reliable, so I couldn't see sinking even more money into the same brand only to have it break down. Like I said though, expensive as it may be, I'm very happy with the powermaster unit. I believe their new line of alternators has an adjustable voltage regulator, so you can actually set it to 14.5volts or so to keep everything running strong. I'm actually thinking of getting this regulator for my unit. The more power, the better.

    -Tim
     
  15. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    For some reason local guys never seem able to rebuild an alternator and have it be reliable. I always get new ones.
    Dino
     
  16. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    Hydraulic pumps for plows

    I have used Monarch pumps for years with no problems. I have seen guys who use pumps from Northern Hydraulics. I have seen guys use old automotive power steering pumps, bolt on brackets and all, and run with power steering fluid in their cylinders. I also met a guy once who used a pump and lift cylinders (both of them) from an old chevy convertible top to raise and lower his plow. I wold try Monarch in Michigan first though. Great reliability and nice folks to do business with.

    :D
     
  17. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Unfortunately the days of the belt drive pump on new trucks seems to be long past. Central hydros is the way to go if you want full hydro control. But they are very $$$
    Dino