2nd battery vs. H.O. alternator

watatrp

Senior Member
Location
South Bend, IN
I have a 2001 Chevy 1500 Silverado with a Boss plow on it. It does not have the plow prep package on it. Long story on why I didn't buy a 2500 w/ a plow package. Used it to plow last winter and found that the plow pretty much drains the electrical system. I'd like to either put another battery on or install a high output alternator. If given a choice which is the better way to go? Any suggestions on equipment to use? Thanks.:confused:
 

SlimJim Z71

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Cary, IL
I have a 1500 as well, but mine is an extended cab, so I didn't want to add more weight to the front of the truck with another battery. What I ended up doing was getting an Optima (red top) battery, and a Powermaster 200-amp alternator. This set-up has worked really well for me. The alternator puts out a lot of juice, and the battery re-charges very quickly. The other thing I am considering is getting a smaller pully for the alternator so that it puts out a little more at lower RPM's.


Here's the links to their web-sites:

www.powermastermotorsports.com

www.optimabatteries.com

Good luck!

-Tim
 

Alan

PlowSite.com Addict
Dual batteries won't compensate for a small charging source. They will take longer to go down, but also longer to come back to full voltage. The bigger laternator will do more for you, but the down side of that is that they are the smae size package, making more amps and they run hotter as a result. We've got a hotrodded alternator on our 2500 and it makes good power, but it hasn't shown us much in the way of reliability, it has been replaced under warranty in the first year of plowing with it.
 

75

PlowSite.com Addict
Alan's right, if you run dual batteries you pretty much have to go with the bigger alternator to keep up. Plus unless the truck is set up for dual batteries from the factory, it's a fair bit of work to add them later.

As to what will work best for your application, I don't know because my stuff is o-l-d! From the sound of it, Tim's setup has worked well for him so you may wish to consider going that route.

FWIW, I have dual 850 CCA batteries and a 100 amp alternator - the old GM style with the big case. Haven't had any reliability problems with it, the bigger case & internals provide a more effective "heat sink".

Compared to the Powermaster, 100 amps doesn't sound like much but electrical requirements on trucks were a lot lower back in the '70's too!
 

John DiMartino

PlowSite.com Veteran
Location
Walden,NY
I know GM offers a 130 amp unit as an option ,I wonder if you could get your hands on one used.If not,Id go with the powermaster,since a new 130 amp Gm alt will run you 300+ easy.I put dual batterys in my 89,and 91 GMC's.I put a 140 amp alternator fro ma police caprice in the 89,it doesnt seem to recover any quicker than the 91,which only has the 100 amp.The dual batterys really helped with the dimming lights,and sped up the cycling of the plow a lot.
 

LawnSmith

Member
Location
Louisville, KY
just replace your battery now w/ a gel cell or a cheaper 1000+ amp battery. i have an 1100 in my Blazer w/ the "middle" sized alternator. i run a Warn X8000i on the front and have used it many, many times w/out failure of the electrical system. this winch under full load pull 480 amps. i am not sure what a plow puls but if my setup can keep up with hours and hours of winching i think it can handle a plow.
 

Tommy10plows

Senior Member
2nd battery or bigger alternator?

i would do neither. Instead, I would change to a hydraulic belt driven pump assembly to control the plow.
 

75

PlowSite.com Addict
Good idea, but depending on how the truck is optioned out space might be a litttle difficult to find for a belt driven unit.

There just isn't as much room under the modern hoods as there is in my "relic" from the '70's!
 

Alan

PlowSite.com Addict
Re: 2nd battery or bigger alternator?

Originally posted by Tommy10plows
i would do neither. Instead, I would change to a hydraulic belt driven pump assembly to control the plow.

OK, so who makes one? The solution isn't much good if the equipment isn't available.
 

66Construction

Senior Member
Location
Albany NY
You may be able to find a garage which will rebuild your stock alternator to handle the load plowing puts on the charging system. There was a local garage that ran an advertisement last year, it was supposed to be cheaper then buying an aftermarket unit. I didn't have mine done but supposedly it works out good.
Casey
 

SlimJim Z71

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Cary, IL
I had checked into that as well. I think it was somewhere in the vacinity of about $150 or so to increase the output of my stock alternator to about 130 or 150 amps. I chose to go with the Powermaster unit for several reasons. I knew that plows draw a lot of amperage, so I figured I'd be better off with the extra 50 available amps. Second, my stock alternator went out at 49K miles... not very reliable, so I couldn't see sinking even more money into the same brand only to have it break down. Like I said though, expensive as it may be, I'm very happy with the powermaster unit. I believe their new line of alternators has an adjustable voltage regulator, so you can actually set it to 14.5volts or so to keep everything running strong. I'm actually thinking of getting this regulator for my unit. The more power, the better.

-Tim
 

Tommy10plows

Senior Member
Hydraulic pumps for plows

I have used Monarch pumps for years with no problems. I have seen guys who use pumps from Northern Hydraulics. I have seen guys use old automotive power steering pumps, bolt on brackets and all, and run with power steering fluid in their cylinders. I also met a guy once who used a pump and lift cylinders (both of them) from an old chevy convertible top to raise and lower his plow. I wold try Monarch in Michigan first though. Great reliability and nice folks to do business with.

:D
 

plowking35

2000 Club Member
Location
SE CT
Unfortunately the days of the belt drive pump on new trucks seems to be long past. Central hydros is the way to go if you want full hydro control. But they are very $$$
Dino
 

Top Forums

Similar threads

Similar threads

Top