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upgrading older chevy charging systems???

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by GSS LLC, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. GSS LLC

    GSS LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    i have a few old chevys i plow with. 2 big batteries, the higher amp alternator. all new. and after a few hours they still start to get dim headlights and other low voltage issues.

    anything besides the big batteries and high amp alternator a guy can do besides getting a custom aftermarket alternator? (i want to stick with an off the shelf unit for availability)
  2. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,739

    Define big batts, and what's the high amp alt?
  3. crazyboy

    crazyboy Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 296

    Have you done the Big 3 upgrade?
  4. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    Smaller pulley on the alternator. check you amp output at idle. you may need to go to a BIG aftermarket alternator to get high amps at low rpms. I use aftermarket alternators that are sold for "kids" to run there ear drum rupturing radios. It is sold as a 200 amp puts out 210 ish. But will do 186 at idle. I could just put the stock back on in a pinch.
  5. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Measure voltages at different locations: Should be the same measuring positive to negative on both batteries, positive to engine ground, and alternator output to engine ground. Run a decent electrical load, and make sure that the voltages remain consistent under load as well.

    I think you may find that the wire between the batteries, or the wire between alternator and batteries is too small, allowing for voltage drop and insufficient power under load.
  6. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Sounds like you play with the plow to much.Don't raise the plow until you start to back up.
  7. GSS LLC

    GSS LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    sounds like i need seasonals in southern florida. solve all my problems. ill have to tear into this over the weekend. thanks for the different opinions on directions to go. nice to have peoples opinions, sometimes you get something you would have forgotten to look at.

    any more ideas?
  8. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Score yourself a Volt battery,that should work!
  9. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,106

    My 07 duramax came with a plow prep with dual alternators and batteries. I run v blade,electric salter, back blade, and extra caution and beacon lights. Radio, charger for the cell without ever having a dim light. I bought new batteries last summer for the first time. 300,000km , haven't touched either alternator.
  10. WILLD420

    WILLD420 Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    Run a battery cable sized cable from the alternator to the battery. Make sure your main cables and wiring are as big as you can afford to put on there. You don't want to lose amps to heat, when you are running out of juice.

    Can you rig up a fast idle switch so you can idle up when you are sitting? When I am assessing a spot to see how I can plow it, I idle up to around 1800 rpm to pump some juice into the batteries.
  11. mpriester

    mpriester Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    heavier cables and possibly dual batteries
  12. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,739

    He said he's running dual batteries already
  13. mpriester

    mpriester Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    yes he did. my mistake. is the alternator big enough to maintain both batteries while running the system?