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Electrical issues with Chevy

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by wfd44, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. wfd44

    wfd44 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 369

    My 1996 Chevy K-1500 is experiencing low voltage when running the plow and mini bar. The mechanic at the dealer suggested adding a second battery. Has anybody experienced a similar problem and if so how did you cure it? 1 big mongo 900 cca battery or duals?
    :confused:
     
  2. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,840

    big mongo? how about a optima deep cycle thats the yellow top thats what im running no problem here
     
  3. SnowLane

    SnowLane Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    Be sure to plow in low range and the charging problem will go away.
     
  4. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,840

    thats a good one
     
  5. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    get a higher amp alternator
     
  6. wfd44

    wfd44 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 369

    The truck already has the hd 100 amp alternator on it. The pickup where I work is a 2002 2500HD with the plow prep package and it came with a 130 amp. So, I don't think I can go much bigger with a factory type alternator.

    The local battery shop highly recommends the yellow top Optima for both capacity and recovery time. Upon further in depth analysis the undersize (550cca) 3yr old Interstate currently in my truck is probably most of my problem.

    Anybody else using the Optima yellow top? If so how do you like it? I don't mind spending $160.00 if it is worth it.
     
  7. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,840

    i paid 180 from summit and its strong i have three years of really tough use with a 100 amp alternator
     
  8. karl klein

    karl klein Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    i put a 145amp in my 97 suburban and a optima. and my new 04 i just got has the plow prep with a 145 amp alternater and i got the dual 800cca batterys
     
  9. lawnmedic

    lawnmedic Senior Member
    Messages: 703

    Is your mini bar strobe or rotating. Rotating lights use approx. 10 amps per bulb. If it has 2 bulbs in it you are adding 20 amps to your load. We use high power single strobe lights that are rated at 0.6 amps.

    Also have you had you alternator checked? I have seen many that don't reach they're rated output until 2000 rpm. A good alternator should reach full power before 800 rpm....Chuck
     
  10. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    First have your plow motor checked to make sure it is not drawing more then it should. also check the light bar, Then check all your connections for good electrical contact, next change that old battery (3 years on a plow battery is enough, you might get more but 2:am in the morning is not the time to find out your battery is dead.) The Optima is a real good battery so are the ones from your CAT dealer. also check the alt. for proper output then you might consider a smaller pulley on it to bust the output at low rpm. Like others suggested plow in low range. pick up your blade after you start in reverse or before you stop pushing while the rpm is still up enough as the alt. is supplying the juice instead of the battery. any and all of these things will help.


    Dwan
     
  11. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I would bet 3/4's of the problem is the 3 year old battery. Being a plow truck your living on borrowed time with it. Low power is a common problem addressed here many times. I plow with just the parking lights on in lighted parking lots. I run a big single flash strobe. Rotator (bulb) lights pull a lot of amps.A 55 watt bulb is close to 5 amps X 2 bulbs + motor draw your close to 12 amps drawing all the time.(amps X volts = watts)
    Automotive electrical shops can rebuild your alternator to a higher output. Around here for about a dollar an amp. Duel batteries will help with an isolator setup installed. I run the biggest battery I can fit on the tray. One truck I even installed a rubber housing "tractor light" for a single headlight while plowing. I ran angle iron between the plow lights and mounted it between them. The truck had a 60 amp alternator and a single battery, never had a problem after that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2004
  12. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    I got 8 years out of a red top optima w/plowing. They are great batteries.
     
  13. BSP TRUCK01

    BSP TRUCK01 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I have a 1991 Chevy K-1500 and before I added my mini bar and
    Boss plow I replaced my battery and alternator. I have got a 855 cca battery and a 90 or 100 amp alternator. The lowest amount of volts that I get is about 14 volts and that is when I am pulling my plow up. So try a 90 or 100 amp alternator and your 900 cca battery you were going to buy. I don't see the need for duals, unless it is in your trucks wiring harness some where.
     
  14. BSP TRUCK01

    BSP TRUCK01 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I have a 1991 Chevy K-1500 and before I added my mini bar and
    Boss plow I replaced my battery and alternator. I have got a 855 cca battery and a 90 or 100 amp alternator. The lowest amount of volts that I get is about 14 volts and that is when I am pulling my plow up. So try a 90 or 100 amp alternator and your 900 cca battery you were going to buy. I don't see the need for duals, unless it is in your trucks wiring harness some where.
     
  15. karl klein

    karl klein Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    i have a red topped optima in my 76 sandering truck and i burn it up every year. good thing for the warranty. but that is why i also put the yellow top in my 97 suburban and it works great. i am not saying that a red top won't work a lot of it is probably my old truck with all the gadgets and a REALLY HEAVY boss blade.
     
  16. 66Construction

    66Construction Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    I have a few chey trucks 88-99. The stock alternator and stock battery arent enough to run an electric plow, light bar, radio, heater etc. When the operator isnt familiar with the situation they can run the battery so low when you raise the plow it'll kill the truck. Not using the heat and opening the window to keep from foging up the window works but not all my employees are that smart.

    I have one truck with the red optima battery in it, and it works ok, with the usual driver he's fine but when I get an idioit in the truck with everything going even that battery will die under heavy load.

    I have an 88, 96 and 02 all with dual batteries and it's the only way to go. You can do what ever you want, get 3 light bars you wont drain them, just make sure you have a decent alternator. All you need for dual batteries is a good main battery with dual posts and an auxiliary battery (top post is easier for the aux) go to parts america and tell them you want a battery tray they're cheap, and get the necessary cables and ends to connect the batteries. Hook the truck up like you normaly would to the side terminals on the main battery and hook up the aux via the top posts and instant no more problem for 100$.
    Casey