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Battery Isolators

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by 78W200, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. 78W200

    78W200 Member
    Messages: 62

    I was just wondering how many of you guys run a battery isolator with a dual battery setup on your plow trucks?
     
  2. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,512

    Nope, I only use an isolator for the camper.
    For plowing you want lots of CCA's-- lost of available power.

    Run them together...
     
  3. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    What he said! Run them in parralell for more current capacity (cca) and runtime
     
  4. 78W200

    78W200 Member
    Messages: 62

    Well this is on a 78 dodge that has about a 70amp alt. on it, will that alt be enough to keep up with the two batteries in parallel?
     
  5. RHarrah

    RHarrah Member
    Messages: 40

    I ran my with a solenoid that activated the circuit to the second battery when the truck was running but isolated the second battery from the main battery when using power with the truck not running. I also use theat second battery for other none plowing use and did not want to drain both batteries and not be able to start the truck afterwards.
     
  6. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    The alt is going to put the power into both batteries the same either way- the isolater doesn't break the charge end, it keeps the second battery from being drained by a load on the first one- as RHarrah describes.

    If you wire it that way you'll never have the truck un startable from plowing, but you are still only running the plow on one battery- a 70 is kinda weak IMHO for any plow truck- I'd get a 120 or so.
     
  7. cincy snowdog

    cincy snowdog Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    run both together and when comes time change both at same time a bad battery will kill a good one replace both at the same time an isolator is another piece you dont have time to fix at four in morning leave it off
     
  8. cincy snowdog

    cincy snowdog Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    you want all the juice you can ex international dump has big v8diesel has four batteries from factory
     
  9. GetMore

    GetMore Senior Member
    Messages: 179

    Just a little info here: You can use an isolator from Hellroaring that will allow you to connect both batteries on demand as well as separate the two batteries to keep them from "fighting". Their isolators look to be very good, but they are expensive. I will probably look into getting one for my truck when I get the second battery installed.
     
  10. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,512

    fighting???
    Just get two new batteries of the same kind, size, cold cranking amps and hook the + to + and - to - and you will be all set for plowing.
    Forget about the isolator. If your truck is draining the batt when it's off you have a draw or short some where you need to fix.
    If you go this way (no isolator) your plow will have a hard time draining your system.
     
  11. 78W200

    78W200 Member
    Messages: 62

    This is definitely a topic that everyone has an opinion on and not two seem to be the same. All I am looking to do is be able to plow for 16 hours and not have a dead truck because the battery went dead on me 8 hours earlier. It sounds like I may be better to get two batteries in parallel and upgrade my alt to at least 100 amps. Thanks for all your guys input.
     
  12. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,512

    I think if you do this you will find it is easer for the alt to Keep the batteries charged as they will not be drained down while plowing. you will notice the lights will not dim as much when you plow and as for starting on those cold mornings the extra CCA's come in handy. You will not get that with any isolator.

    This set up is in all of my plow trucks and I'm sure a lot of people have the same set up.
     
  13. cincy snowdog

    cincy snowdog Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    yeh thats the trick one truck we have gives us some trouble in winter when the heater is somehow mysteriously not plugged in .So to help out and also in case of other problems we used quick connects on the front of the trucks for jumpers,well we have some spare batteries if needed we use them to help out the other batteries just sit it in front of the truck for few mins and your up and running .we have four truck batteries on a kids wagon tied together with a quick connect ready to go it has some serious cranking amps sitting there.as far as two batteries everyone plowing should have two with no isolators.a must when its snowing and the wipers are on the heats cranking and that plows up and down your using some juice so back it up.i would rather replace batteries than alternators.just watch your wipers they slow you better sit for sec. let it charge.once that truck is running no time to shut it off til the work is done.dont let it shut itself off.
     
  14. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Well, really the issue is many people don't understand what an isolater really is/does or don't explain what they actually mean when talking about one.

    An isolater breaks the circuit from current drain between the two, three, or four batteries (depending on the isolater). All batteries are charged equally based on their needs, but not discharged equally.

    Isolaters are designed to keep the vehicle's starting battery seperate from the accessories- like a Motor home or RV situation. They keep the Fridge and microwave from killing the starting battery when you are parked camping.

    The only way an isolater is useful in a plow truck is for the plow lights and plow itself to be run off the second isolated battery and not the starting battery. This will keep the truck headlights bright, and make sure the vehicle will start no matter what. The problem is the plow and plow liights are still only running on 1 battery- the isolated battery. They will Still kill that battery fairly quickly so you get no run time advantage.

    If you want a longer battery runtime you need multiple IDENTICAL batteries wired in parallel (+ to + and - to -) which increases the reserve time available.

    An alternater needs to be large enough to replace the power to the battery quickly, so a larger alt is a mandatory upgrade, the larger reserve capacity of multiple parallel batteries helps cover the power draw.

    Remember also that a bad battery will not only kill the other good battery when wired without an isolater it will also kill your alternater with OR without an isolater.


    Now, with the above facts in mind (search the web- they're out there) the only useful was to have an isolater in a plow truck is to have the starting battery isolated from a bank of 2 parallel high reserve batteries which support the plow and plow lights so the plow has large enough batteries to run usefully but the starting battery is isolated. Remember too CCA is NOT runtime or reserve- reserve is Amp Hours (Ah)
     
  15. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,512

    What he said: ^:rolleyes: ^

    Justme is right on the money....:waving:
     
  16. cincy snowdog

    cincy snowdog Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    Hey Just Me I Agree With You But I Have Tried Two Different Isolators And I Have Nt Had Any Luck With Them .they Didnt Seem To Be Up To The Continous Power Drawn On And Off And Would Just Shut Off . As Far As The Battery Deal Never Have Had A Problem With Dual Batteries After The Truck Is Running,the Trucks We Buy Already Have The Highest Alt. Usually .if You Buy A Half Ton Truck Sure You Get Small Alt.if You Buy Bigger You Normally Get A Bigger Alt. Too.we Have A Few Big Trucks And They From The Factory Have Two Or More Batteries With No Isolators. They Arenot Needed Just Another Thing To Corrode Or Break Or Whatever Can Happen.
     
  17. GetMore

    GetMore Senior Member
    Messages: 179

    The Hellroaring isolator allows you to connect the two batteries together so you have both batteries in parallel for starting and plowing.
    It will also keep the two separate when the engine is off so the batteries do not have to be equal rating/date.
    It also allows you to have a battery in reserve, in case you leave the lights on or something.
     
  18. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    I like the idea of that upgrade helroaring offers on their isolator. I have used a Napa isolator along with high amp alternator, and heavier gauge feed wires to the batteries, and have never had any problems. Therefore I have to disagree with justme on his comment about isolators. Maybe we are talking about different types though. I, as well as other plowing friends, have used Napa ones sucessfully. They are in a blue anodized aluminum enclosure. The Helroaring one may be the ticket for a diesel for starting.
     
  19. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    For what you spend for the isolator you could buy 2 brand new batteries!

    Streetsurfin' a diesel has parallel batteries from the factory- if an isolator was a good solution for that GM, DC, and Ford would all have them stock on their diesel trucks.

    Isolators are used to seperate the starting battery from another battery circuit. go to Hellroaring's website and read their applications- there is no mention of diesels or plowing.
    http://www.hellroaring.com/why.php
    http://www.hellroaring.com/battery1.php
     
  20. 440trk

    440trk Senior Member
    Messages: 112

    78W200,

    check out this site for the proper wiring upgrade for your truck, BEFORE you install a 100+ ampre battery.

    www.madelectrical.com

    They give you great instructions on how to upgrade these older Dodge trucks, and bypass the factory Amp guage (one of the weak links).

    I'm soon to be installing a older style (read BIG bulky sucker) Mopar 100 amp alt. on my 77 W150. I have double checked the Factory wiring diagrams, with what Madelectrical had posted to do....and they're right on the money. :)

    Don't just bolt a 100 amp (or more) alt. to one of these old PowerWagons that ran the old 60-78 amp units. Update the wiring first. It's pretty easy, and shouldn't take but an hour or so to do.