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Dual Battery Set up

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by Wrecker, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. Wrecker

    Wrecker Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    I have an 89 K2500 Scottsdale (8600 GVW) with a 350 engine, Turbo 400 tranny, and a Western Plow. It was built as a plow truck from GM. I would like to put in a dual Battery set up. Does anyone know where I can get the info on how to do this? I would also appreciate any other tips on what I should do to my truck to improve it's reliability other than the usual routine maint. I do have a heated shop, lots of tools and love working on my Chevy.....:)

    Thanks
    Paul
     
  2. tessdad

    tessdad Member
    from S.E. MA
    Messages: 71

    Use the search feature, there is a day or two's worth of reading on the subject out there! A REAL lot of Chevy info.
     
  3. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Check the wreckers or the dealership for an auxillery tray--they are available (optional) on better-equipped trucks. The simplest is to just run battery cable from pos to pos, just like a booster cable. Negative cables to the engine block.

    There is a more complex way using a solenoid so one battery is always full for cranking, but not really necessary if you just want more capacity for plowing.

    Do a search, they'll go a lot more in depth.
     
  4. maintenanceman

    maintenanceman Member
    Messages: 32

    I've previously talked about using a dual alternator and dual battery setup where the plow is isolated from the vehicle system completely. This has completely eliminated all the problems that others have complained about(ie. dimming lights,etc) I have finally got a picture of my setup.

    IMG_0015.JPG
     
  5. Wrecker

    Wrecker Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    Thanks Great Pic!

    Thanks so much.... Thats what I want to do to my truck.. Can I get any info on how you wired it? My Email is pmagrud1@rochester.rr.com.........
    Thanks again :waving:
    Paul
     
  6. maintenanceman

    maintenanceman Member
    Messages: 32

    I'll send you a detailed email on ly install as well as a symplified wiring diagram. If others are interested i can post it as well
     
  7. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    I've been trying to figure out how to run a second alternator as well. Please either PM or post the details.
     
  8. maintenanceman

    maintenanceman Member
    Messages: 32

    Here's how to install a second alternator.
    Parts needed

    1 old style gm alternator (internally regulated alternator)

    1 heavy duty selonoid

    1 ground cable

    1 positive cable

    1)I mounted the new alternator in place of the airconditioning pump, this did require modifying a alternator bracket.
    2)The battery tray was from an old gmc that was on drivers side.
    3)Leave the vehicle electrical completely alone, everything is added on the plow side only.

    Second battery

    1)Install a ground wire from the 2nd battery directly to the engine block.
    2)Install the positive to the second alternator and to the plow solenoid.
    3)The alternator may need to have the sensing wire hooked up to the positive of the second battery, I did this by connecting the sensing wire from the back of the alternator to the screw post on the alternator. You can simplify this by using a single connect alternator.
    4)The cross selonoid I show in the picture is never activated, I use it when I have an alternator go down or battery goes dead. This allows me to cross connect the batteries with a flip of a switch. I have accidentally left this switch on without damage to either alternator however I don’t think you should allow two alternators together as this will cause them to act funny.

    There you go, two completely isolated batterys. Now all you do is transfer all the plow components over to this battery by running a supply wire from the positive on the second battery to all the switches and controls that you want on a separate battery.

    Extra notes
    1)I added a second voltmeter to this battery to keep tabs on it but it does require a relay so that it turns off when the ignition is off. I ran the switch on the relay to an ignition source and the load side to the voltmeter.

    2)I ran the switch on the cross solenoid to the second battery, this was because I left my lights on once and the main battery went dead and you need the power to activate the solenoid which is only available from the second battery.

    3)On my setup, only my plow pump runs off the second battery, all the selonoids and switches and lights are still wired to the main battery. This allowed all the amps from second alternator to be used for the plow motor. Note that those single pulley alternators only go up to 78 amps so you are limited there. However, that alternator is sufficient to supply power for the pump but does struggle when lights are hooked up to the second battery as well.

    4) I have run this setup for 3 years now and works extremely well. Plus I don't have to match up batteries like you do with a parrallel system. My plow battery is a deep cycle and the vehicle battery is a normal vehicle battery.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. tccortes1

    tccortes1 Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    Dual battery installation

    Here is the most effective, And least expensive way to put dual batteries, Go to any well known auto parts store, and buy a universal isolator, From 40 amps, up to 150 amps, it depends on your application. And also, get the
    installation kit, that way you don't have to guess what kind of wires, or how thick are you gon'na need?. It also has surge protection so you wo'nt fry your
    alternator, or battery. In the back of the cover, it has a full detailed instruction. I don't think you will get confused with the instruction. i did that
    to my '87 Chevy for 4 yrs now, And i was suprised, I think it extends the life
    of the alternator, and the batteries. I do snow plowing and salt spreading with my chevy during snow season, Haul my 25 footer boat during the summer, And my trailer looks like a christmas tree. But i never have a charging problem. Pricewise, probably around $250 or less.
     
  10. tccortes1

    tccortes1 Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    Dual battery installation

    Here is the most effective, And least expensive way to put dual batteries, Go to any well known auto parts store, and buy a universal isolator, From 40 amps, up to 150 amps, it depends on your application. And also, get the
    installation kit, that way you don't have to guess what kind of wires, or how thick are you gon'na need?. It also has surge protection so you wo'nt fry your
    alternator, or battery. In the back of the cover, it has a full detailed instruction. I don't think you will get confused with the instruction. i did that
    to my '87 Chevy for 4 yrs now, And i was suprised, I think it extends the life
    of the alternator, and the batteries. I do snow plowing and salt spreading with my chevy during snow season, Haul my 25 footer boat during the summer, And my trailer looks like a christmas tree at night with the a/c on. But i never have a charging problem. You don't have to modify anything except for an extra battery tray. Pricewise, probably around $250 or less.
     
  11. tccortes1

    tccortes1 Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    Dual battery installation

    Here is the most effective, And least expensive way to put dual batteries, Go to any well known auto parts store, and buy a universal isolator, From 40 amps, up to 150 amps, it depends on your application. And also, get the
    installation kit, that way you don't have to guess what kind of wires, or how thick are you gon'na need?. It also has surge protection so you wo'nt fry your
    alternator, or battery. In the back of the cover, it has a full detailed instruction. I don't think you will get confused with the instruction. i did that
    to my '87 Chevy for 4 yrs now, And i was suprised, I think it extends the life
    of the alternator, and the batteries. I do snow plowing and salt spreading with my chevy during snow season, Haul my 25 footer boat during the summer, And my trailer looks like a christmas tree. But i never have a charging problem. Pricewise, probably around $250 or less.