1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Lighting Questions

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by Zodiac, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. Zodiac

    Zodiac Member
    Messages: 76

    I have to ask this because I see so many posts about lighting...

    How does everyone wire their lighting on their trucks up?

    Just battery, switch, light? Or battery, relay, switch, light?

    I'm curious. My old Chevy has 4 - 55 watt halogen flood lamps on the roof, one Highlighter bar with two 55 watt bulbs, and two 55 watt flood lamps for reverse lights.

    Now, I can have all six flood lamps, the mini light bar, and the truck's normal plow lights on while I am plowing... But when I operate the plow hydraulics, the batteries drop pretty quickly.

    And this year I have that small salter, I originally planned on wiring it in with my reverse floods, but I don't think that'll happen. And I'm sure my electrical troubles will get worse.

    I have one two year old Interstate battery, and one almost a year old Caterpillar battery. Both have 750CCAs, and I'm not sure about the reserve on either one.

    Last year I put in a 105 watt alternator, right in the middle of winter. I did find a bad ground at the frame of the vehicle, which I cleaned up and regrounded, and noticed my battery situation was getting better, but I think it could be even better.

    Last winter I was talking this problem over with my boss, and he suggested I get two new batteries, and rewire everything with relays, and it should be perfect. I'm not so sure rewiring everything would solve it, but I'm pretty sure I'll be replacing the batteries before this winter.

    If we have a resident electrical guy, I wanna hear about what I should try next. Short of LEDs, and a new electrical system altogether, I'm on a budget.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  2. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Replacing the batteries with at least the same age, size and type would go a long way. Running larger gage cables and a larger than stock charge wire from the alt will help too.

    Relays on any halogen exterior light (or other hi power draw accessory) is a smart idea from a safety standpoint... but won't lessen the power draw on the system at all.

    (6) 55 watt flood lights, a mini light, plow lights, heater, and running the plow itself a 105 amp alt is going to be working hard as it's definitely undersized for the application no matter how good or how many batteries your running, the power your requiring is going to pull them down no matter what you do after a period of time.

    If you require that many lights at one time you need to upgrade to at least 140 amp alt. And in some situations that wont be enough.
     
  3. Zodiac

    Zodiac Member
    Messages: 76


    That is what I was thinking myself, I wasn't positive on that though. The store has (if I remember correctly) a 150 amp alt, but it's got a case like a Delco 22SI alternator, and won't be a direct fit, so I'd have to make some brackets for that, and make sure I could get the hood to close.
     
  4. Enzo

    Enzo Senior Member
    Messages: 387

    I am looking at getting an Optima battery, They are kind of expensive but they are the best.
     
  5. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    See about having your alternator rebuilt as a higher output unit. Will save you modifying the truck.
     
  6. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    I'm sure it's meant to say relays last longer and allow you to run smaller wires into the truck. :)
     
  7. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993


    No i meant switches. With the high amp loads being carried by the relays the lower amp requirements will increase the life of the switches, particularly the reverse and headlight( if it's used for the aux lights) switch .
     
  8. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Ok, the TRUCKS FACTORY SWITCHES...not the add on accessory switches. All clear now. :salute:
     
  9. Zodiac

    Zodiac Member
    Messages: 76

    Because of the audio system, I have an Optima yellow top in my Suburban, great battery.

    I've also got a new red top that I'm putting in the truck. I just need money for the second red top.
     
  10. Zodiac

    Zodiac Member
    Messages: 76



    I don't use factory switches for anything. Just the run of the mill illuminated switches from an auto store.
     
  11. Zodiac

    Zodiac Member
    Messages: 76

    Any info on where to look (atleast on the internet) for this?

    I know of a few places that do it for car audio, and I honestly don't want to spend that kind of money on my "beater" truck.

    EDIT: Another question...

    I've been thinking about this for awhile for my Suburban, but it probably makes more sense on the pickup, dual alternators?

    I've got a second 105AMP Delco alternator, brand new, and I'm pretty sure I can build brackets for it.

    Four Iraggi alternators in a Tahoe
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  12. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Not "factory" as in factory add on accessory switches... "factory" as in the stock originally equipped backup light switch that operates the stock back up lights for example.

    As for an alternator try DB Electrical here: Hi amp alts Fair prices, better than most idle output and good quality.
     
  13. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Try the yellow pages in your area. If you where located in the mid Atlantic I'd recommend car truck electric on miller road in Wilmington DE. You could call them ((302) 764-5352)maybe they'd do something though the UPS.