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Charging system with Western

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by moose, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. moose

    moose Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    1986 Chevy with Western electric hydrolic plow.I have put a heavy duty alternator 1000cca battery and rebuilt pump motor but still after acouple hours plowing drives I need to start shutting off Lights , fan so plow will operate . It is OK if there is travel time between jobs but that is normaly not the case.I have also cleaned all the electrical connections. Would the next step be to add another battery?
  2. porkhead1

    porkhead1 Member
    Messages: 70

    Check to see if your alt. belt is slipping or getting snow on it......
    Have your alt. output checked.....
    What amperage output is your heavy duty alt. supposed to be....?
  3. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Another battery will help it last a bit longer.You can fab a tray for the drivers side easily,or get one from a wrecker.

    The biggest factory alt should be a 78 amp.You will have to go to a larger frame alt to get more reliable output.They only have a single narrow belt,which stretches and slips sometimes.Check it,if it looks glazed,replace it,and check the tension often.

    The charge wiring on that truck is also pretty small.You can add another 8 gauge wire from the alt + to the batt + post to increase the output.

    On older trucks the blower motor,wiper motor and lights\switches can draw a lot as they get older.Check them for excessive draw.

    Plowing style has a lot to do with it as well.Read the thread on dual batteries,it has a lot of good info.

    Dual battery discussion
  4. Mac

    Mac Member
    Messages: 77

    Check the filter on the pump.
    It might be full of crap.
  5. maintenanceman

    maintenanceman Member
    Messages: 32

    I have an 85' gmc with the same problem. However I have discovered that the single belt on the alternator does not provide enough frictional force to keep the alternator spinning under heavy loads. The only solution I have found is to constantly keep tightening the belt and replace them after four or five tightenings. I go through about two or three belts a season. My belts start to squeel and I know it is time to tighten them or replace them. My truck's alternator does this even without the plow attatched, even in the summer time. Hope this helps. P.s. I only run the 78 amp alternator with a 750 cca battery and as long as I keep the belt tight, I have no problems at all.
  6. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    i agree with wyldman.

    make sure the charging system is up to snuff, and put a second battery in the truck.
  7. sonjaab

    sonjaab PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    MOOSE...........Look on the alternator body itself...It
    should have the output #s stamped right on it !
    My 97 had a 100 amp factory alt. Stamped 100 amp.
    on the case ! My 01 has a 130 amp alt.
    Your alt. runs off the single serpentine belt right ?
    Is your plow movement also slow ?
    The guys here are right have it tested for output !
    My old western was killing my battery in my 97 too.
    Put a new motor on it...Same problem.......
    Shop traced it down to the plastic plunger piston (can't
    think of correct name for it) in the case that slides
    back andforth to make fluid go in different directions
    for up, down, Left, right. Plunger was stuck with
    gunk and not moving correctly.........
    Thus plow was sucking ALL the juice from alt. and
    battery. Look on the front and rear of case
    you will see a large 2 inch acorn nut on one side .
    The plunger (piston) is located behind it.
    I am assuming you have a older Western hard mount
    plow right ? Careful not to strip threads on that cheap
    case also...............good luck..................geo

    BTW: Got money falling from the sky ! Gotta go play to
    get pay !
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2003
  8. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Yeah,the single belt does present a constant problem trying to keep it from slipping,and requires frequent replacement.You can run a slightly wider "B" series belt by changing the alt pulley to a wider one.The crank and wp pulleys will still work.Get a "Green stripe" commercial rated belt,and it will last much longer.

    Another solution is to find an 85-87 GM mid or full size car,and some trucks,with a 305 or 350.Most of them had a small serpentine belt to run the alt.Strip all the pulleys and transfer them over to your truck.It will stop the slipping.

    If you need a good replacement alternator for the older chevy trucks,Bosch makes very good rebuilt units with a 5 year warranty,at a very good price.They are still only rated at 78 amps,but they have a very good HD regulator and diode design,so they will last.

    Here is a pic.

  9. sonjaab

    sonjaab PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    CHRIS...Are you sure only 78 amps ? My 97 was a 100 amp.
    A good alternator shop can pump up your existing one to
    whatever output you need. As I have read here from other
    plowheads. But prob. will cost the same as a rebuilt 110-
    130 one from pep boys or so...........
  10. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    78 amps was the max factory size,for the older 86 and down chevy trucks.

    The newer ones are rated much higher,but don't actually put it out (they are overrated),and due to the smaller case they overheat,and cook the regulator and diodes,and the rear bearing.

    Getting one wound bigger just adds more heat and compounds the problem.Bigger windings also tend to make more power at HIGH rpm,not at idle.

    Here is a pic of a newer style,88-94 style chevy alt beside the older one,you can see they got smaller.

  11. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    The newer style CS130 alt on 95 and up models is much better,but still suffers from overheating in some of the higher output models.They did increase the case size some too.

  12. sonjaab

    sonjaab PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    CHRIS....Awesome pics...I understand now....I hear ya about
    those big amp alternators. I had 2 fail on my 94 Yukon and
    97 pickup with plow prep pkg. I know they were 100 amps.
    All suffered bearing failure as you describe. But they died
    all under warranty tho !.......lol................................geo
  13. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    The rear bearing is one of the biggest problems,as the regulator and diodes\heatsink,are mounted directly above it.So when the heatsink is doing it's job,it's putting heat right into that bearing.They also recessed the bearing into the case,so it can't dissapate as much heat.The bearing gets hot,cooks out the grease and comes apart.The problem is only compounded as you add bigger windings,which make more heat.

    I have seen a few with big,beefy external regulators and diodes.It requires a bit more wiring,but eliminates the heat problem with no increase in case size.