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Battery Drain

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by john_alaska, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. john_alaska

    john_alaska Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Western Pro. Over the years plow usage has been draining the battery while in use. I just added a new 130AMP alterator and HD battery and plow usage will quickly drain down the battery.. Is making the assumption that replacing the motor should fix the issue??? Thanks
     
  2. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,997

    Well....are you running the tk a lot while plowing?
     
  3. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 621

    Replacing the motor?

    What motor?
     
  4. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,997

    I think he's talking about the plow motor
     
  5. john_alaska

    john_alaska Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Ya, the electric motor on the plow, it is a cable activated motor to run the hydraulic pump. When the motor is activated, the charging gauge needle on the dash drops all the way down and after a while of plow use the battery will be drained... I am not sure if the problem is the motor, pump, or wires ??? any ideas... It is an older style plow, if it is the motor, i think I can replace it cheaper than having it rebuilt.. any ideas on what the problem could be other than the motor??
     
  6. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,997

    It shouldn't be draining that bad. When's the last time the plow motor has been replaced? How about the pump? Have you put a meter on it and watched the volts? Do a volt drop test? How's the electrical connections? The batt cable's to and from the plow? Again how long are you running the truck while plowing?
     
  7. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    With engine idling:

    check voltage at the battery with all accessories including lights on at once.

    then check voltage of the alternator to the ground (negative) terminal on the battery

    then check voltage of the alternator to the case of the alternator

    Post back and we'll go from there.

    Oh, and if jasonv posts, ignore him. I think we are past his misinformed advice, but just in case.
     
  8. john_alaska

    john_alaska Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    The battery is new HD, and alternator is new HD 130 AMP.. voltage at battery while runing is 13+ volts
     
  9. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,997

    Needs tobe 14.+
     
  10. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    no difference in any of the voltages that I said to check?

    Are you checking using the voltmeter on the truck, or an external one? The voltmeter on the truck will not be accurate enough.
     
  11. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    I suspect it might be at the alternator, but not at the battery. OP needs to check all three measurements and post back 3 voltages, including the first decimal point.

    I.E. 13.5 alternator positive post to battery ground, etc
     
  12. john_alaska

    john_alaska Junior Member
    Messages: 22


    Ok, let me be honest, I do not have a clue what to do. I have a volt-amp meter. Can you detail me in on how to perform all the tests, which terminals to check, etc...... be much appreciated
     
  13. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    It would be best to have a digital voltmeter, though analog would work as well. Set the meter to measure volts DC.

    Step 1. Measure voltage with the engine off/key off at the battery (positive terminal to negative terminal. Record the voltage.

    Step 2. Measure the same voltage at the battery with engine idling, and every switch you can find turned on (except plow motor and other very large loads). Record the voltage.

    Complete steps 3 and 4 with the same switches turned on.

    Step 3. Measure the voltage from the stud on the back of the alternator to the negative terminal on the battery. Record the voltage.

    Step 4. Measure the voltage from the stud on the back of the alternator to the alternator case (you might need to clean a spot on the case with a wire brush to get good contact). Record the voltage. This last number should be the same or higher than any previous measurements. If not, ensure you got good connections to the meter the first time.

    Post back these 4 measurements and we will go from there. What kind of resolution can you get on your meter? Will you be able to tell the difference between 13.0 and 13.2 volts?
     
  14. racer47

    racer47 Senior Member
    Messages: 330

    :mechanic: check cable its might be shorting out on truck frame.how old are cables. ya no i think one is ground and 1 is hot for control to activate pump cant remember which cable is hot go to western site and it will tell ya.good luck
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  15. john_alaska

    john_alaska Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Thanks for the info, I will do the tests tonight and get back to you. Yes, I have a accurate digital meter, thanks again...


     
  16. john_alaska

    john_alaska Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    STEP 1: 12.82 Volts
    STEP 2: 14.39 Volts
    STEP 3: 14.37 Volts
    STEP 4: 14.44 Volts
     
  17. john_alaska

    john_alaska Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    STEP 1: 12.82 Volts
    STEP 2: 14.39 Volts
    STEP 3: 14.37 Volts
    STEP 4: 14.44 Volts

    ........ok??
     
  18. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    What would also be useful is a amp reading of the plow pump running. I would say your first idea is most likely correct but a amp reading would tell you this. Also check the amp output of the Alt. Just because it said 130 does not mean it will. I use 200 amp Alt. that are made for high output car radios. They will put out 186 amps at idle speed.
     
  19. john_alaska

    john_alaska Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Ok, the voltage was a challenge, but I figured it out. I'll have to do some research on testing amperage, and where and how to connect the meter, after I find out what kind of meter I need. I do not think the meter I have is heavy enough for automotive amperage.

    I'll get to it this weekend. Thanks for the input....
     
  20. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I kind of miss him, but excellent point:laughing: