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Dual Battery or just a New Battery

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by MajorDave, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. MajorDave

    MajorDave Senior Member
    Messages: 943

    Need some thoughts here, boys…..

    ok - so money IS an issue at this time of the year!

    -96 Ram 1500 still going strong and in Great Shape.
    -Boss Straight Blade for last 3 years
    -Running it with no problems - seems slower this year and battery is now 3 years old.

    Option 1 -- Been thinking of installing dual battery system. Will need new passenger side battery tray & tie down, all cables, fuses, relay (voltage sensitive relay, battery isolator - not even sure which one I should get. Blue Sea Systems makes a nice one, but only 120 amps - thought I needed at least a 150 amp - anyone know anything here?)…anyways…I also need 2 new batteries! There are kits available on eBay, but total with new batteries can be about $800-1000!

    Option 2 - - Since it has been working for last 3 years with current system, should I just upgrade battery to Optima Deep Cell Yellow Top (or something similar in quality) and go from there? The battery now is just an ole normal one…a new deep cell will have to be an improvement.

  2. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,165

    May be money better spent upgrading charging system.
  3. MajorDave

    MajorDave Senior Member
    Messages: 943

    I think I am leaning that way as it has been working….see if any other suggestions…
  4. rjigto4oje

    rjigto4oje PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,258

    I've got the same truck get a battery tray for a diesel get some 0 gauge cable and 1 battery optima put the new battery as main old 1 on pass side since only 3 years old 30 extra amp alt probably wont do much and should not cost u 800 to a thousand its something u can do yourself
  5. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,165

    May still need a new battery if you feel yours is shot but upgrading charging system will take some of the strain of the new battery. Bigger alternator and and larger lead from alternator to battery can make a significant difference.
  6. MajorDave

    MajorDave Senior Member
    Messages: 943

    Not much electrical exp in my time…as I research -- Do I have it correct that thicker/better cable equals a LOWER number? What size alt should I got to?

    Any idea what size stock alternator this has?…I see 120's for sale, but I thought I would need something bigger.
  7. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,339

    3yrs no problem, when was the plow system last drained? and filled with fresh fluid...napa has a 1000 amp battery for diesel apps. 84 month warranty, just don't tell them it's commercial use...did you add something to the truck this year that would have a power draw
  8. MajorDave

    MajorDave Senior Member
    Messages: 943

    Plow good to go - I did all the PM (Prev Maint) few months ago…no did not add anything…checked again - battery over 4 yr old. Its just suspect in my mind now. Gonna replace it for sure. Will look up the napa btry...
  9. rjigto4oje

    rjigto4oje PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,258

    Use 0 gauge the lower the number the thivker it id you are correct
  10. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,339

    Part Number: BAT 8478

    Product Line: NAPA Batteries


    Battery BCI # : BCI #78

    Battery Cold Cranking Amps @ 0 Degrees F : 850

    Battery Cranking Amps @ 32 Degrees F : 1,020

    Battery Posts Type : Side Post

    Battery Reserve Capacity (Minutes) : 115

    Battery Voltage : 12 Volt

    Height : 7 1/4"

    Length : 10 3/4"

    Wet or Dry : Wet

    Width : 6 7/8"

    Battery Weight : 41 lbs
  11. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,743

    If your going to go with the dual batt set up, imo you don't need the relay, fuse, and isolator.
    For now I'd just go with alt and batt. Upgrade your wiring and be done. Alt I'd try the biggest you can afford. Try dcpower, and there's a few others online that I can't think of right now. But they make h o. Alts
  12. MajorDave

    MajorDave Senior Member
    Messages: 943

    If I am going with duals, I also researched that I need the Voltage Relay unit (about $100) and fuses - not sure how much…can't just toss em in a wire them together or you risk losing both.
  13. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,535

    You will do yourself a world of good installing a separate ground wire to the casing on your alternator to the engine block , to the body, to the ground wire of the battery.


    I ran a ground from my alternator casing to the engine block, forwarded that to the frame, forwarded to the body, then to the negative terminal of the battery. This ensures that when the stock grounds fail (as in my year truck, they're known for doing), nothing will happen as I've doubled the grounding pathway throughout the truck, body and frame.
  14. MajorDave

    MajorDave Senior Member
    Messages: 943

    Didn't see this when I just replied, but my research is cautioning against it…again - I have not done it personally, so this is not my personal experience talking…

    Ya - think I am gonna start there.

    Still having trouble finding what Alt I have in there and what I can go to…looking into that today. Thanks
  15. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    Absolutely, upgrade the alternator lead before thinking of changing the alternator or adding extra batteries, getting everything the existing charging system is capable off will make a HUGE difference. Increasing the charge wire on my 05 Ram (with snowplow prep) from the 10 gage :eek: to 4 gage more than doubled the output of the stock alternator.
  16. MajorDave

    MajorDave Senior Member
    Messages: 943

    …big 3, alt and battery….
  17. mmaddox

    mmaddox Member
    Messages: 57

    Load test the current battery. Make sure the batteries, cables, and alternator are big enough and in good shape. IMO, dual batteries are a must, cold weather. extra load of lights/heater fan/pump, and long hours of low engine speeds.
  18. vinnys

    vinnys Senior Member
    Messages: 112

    I run dual batteries with the set up out of a diesel. Find the wires and tray from a Dodge diesel. Get two new batteries of the same brand, date and power. Hookem up and go!! I bought the isolater kit with the relays and guages, but did not use it.