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dual alternator, dual battery, anyone done this?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by jrs 94, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. jrs 94

    jrs 94 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Truck is a 2002 Tahoe with a snodogg MD75. Currently I am wired up with the factory alternator and single battery. Things are working fine but I am considering adding a second battery and also adding a second alternator to make a totally separate electrical system for the plow. With this setup the truck is totally unaffected by the plow, and obviously the plow electrical is stand alone. Has anyone done this? any reason not too?
    The last truck was the typical 2 batteries in parallel, this dual alternator / dual battery option just looks good to me.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,700

    It's working fine. Leave it alone. I always try to live by the KISS method.

  3. Sprag-O

    Sprag-O Senior Member
    Messages: 220

    We ran multiple batts and alt on our car audio rigs...

    GM 1-wire alternator. No reason not to run the entire vehicle off it, more of a pain isolating things.
  4. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,392

    There's a thread in the dodge section. Guy did it
  5. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    Its really not necessary... I have been plowing my bone stock 03 Tahoe for 3 seasons now and haven't experianced any charging system problems. Its fully loaded except sun roof and 3rd row. I have no problems running the heaters and heated seats radio/cd ect...ect...ect... The key is keeping the RPM's up while plowing (a lower gear). I try to pay attention and make my blade movements while under throttle, but don't always catch myself doing that.
    All I have noticed is that when I lift my blade, my voltage gauge drops just below the half point, then recovers within seconds...
    Don't do it. Its a waste of money.
  6. jrs 94

    jrs 94 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    found it, thanks.
  7. chevyzrule810

    chevyzrule810 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,288

    I have a stock 2006 Chevy 2500HD with a single battery fisher minute mount 2 and a whelen 6 head strobe system I run when I plow.I've never had a problem.If i were to do anything I would install a second battery.
  8. chevyzrule810

    chevyzrule810 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,288

    To answer your question unless your truck is losing so much power the truck almost shuts off when you operate the plow I would leave it alone.Do a second battery before a second alternator.
  9. chevyzrule810

    chevyzrule810 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,288

    There is a sticky at the top of the forum that tells you how to install a second battery
  10. snowymassbowtie

    snowymassbowtie Member
    Messages: 78

    unnecessary !
  11. boss75

    boss75 Senior Member
    from MI
    Messages: 192

    Had an 04 and a 13. Both ran fine with stock equipment, (plow package). leave it alone as long as it runs fine, save your money.
  12. fastjohnny

    fastjohnny Senior Member
    Messages: 654

    I'm running dual alts in my 99suburban with a 6.5. It had an anemic stock alternator, had provision for a second alternator, so that's what I did. Overkill, but works great.
  13. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,797

    Concept... great, but I think the process of completing will not be worth it... unless you really need a project.

    You would be better off going with more batteries that more alternators. You have to think of your charging system like a water tower. The bigger water tower that you have, no matter how small the pump is that is filling the water tower, if you have a big enough tank to supply the demand, the pump does not matter.
  14. loyjms

    loyjms Member
    Messages: 37

    A second battery is worth more then adding a second alternator. Just good to have a little extra power stored up to run the plow, especially if your running extra lights.
  15. IHI

    IHI Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 245

    Honestly excuse my ignorance since I have no idea on the new/er GM trucks and their alternators, I just used aftermarket alt. on my race car, so don't know if the chevy trucks have a dedicated wire running to the battery for charging purposes...if so/if there's a way to upgrade the charge wire to a larger wire/smaller guage # it'd be a cheaper and easier upgrade before going a dual battery setup.

    The typical 10ga charge wires of ole are just large enough to provide a charge, I seen a 3V increase on my battery throwing out my factory 10ga and wiring in a true 4ga wire. Went from everything running (everything electric like newer trucks) 12.8-13.3V to 14.8-15.2 with only a charge wire upgrade, lights went from typical dim/just lit up to bright for the very first time. Then at the race track instead of having to use a battery charger between rounds to keep things topped off, the charger grew dust bunnies from never being used again simply because I gave the alternator a larger "pipe" through which to flow it's output.....as mentioned with the example above of comparing batteries to water towers, so the more capacity the more reserve from which to draw, now try to fill those water towers with a 1/2" line vs a 2" line...which is going to fill faster?

    Quick, cheap and works wonders..I'd go that route first before the expense of adding a second battery and especially a second alternator LOL. There are plenty of people upgrading factory alternators with components to raise output/amps, used to just upgrade factory alt. to 200amp units when I was big into stereo stuff...but again, you still need a large charge wire to take full advantage of it all.
  16. Nasty-Z

    Nasty-Z Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    FWIW ,

    It has been done on many Chevys and works rather well , This is the engine pic for my '93 K3500 , but I also run the same setup on most of my trucks and many of my plowing customers.


    Picture is on a BBC but a SBC would be the same concept , as long as you can find a place to mount the Alternator the wiring is the easy part .

    This is the absolute best way to go if you are serious about add on accessories , especially on the newer rigs that have the low voltage shutdown. Start adding plow , spreader , strobes , stereo , etc.... , It adds up fast.


  17. chuckraduenz

    chuckraduenz Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    I added a second battery on a 2013 chevy 2500. the battery I added is a optima battery. I however CANT get my self to cut the OEM gm battery lug off and add a different battery end to work on another optima battery. been like this for 2yrs now. haven't had an issue. I added a second battery as I do short driveways and lifing it many times drains the battery and dims the lights. I also have LED headlights so if the voltage drops to low it will turn the headlights off. but that only happens ever so often. tho this winter we only got 13 total inches of snow. so haven't had no problems this yr....
  18. fastjohnny

    fastjohnny Senior Member
    Messages: 654

    Get the optima yellow top with top and side posts, no cutting needed.
  19. WSBart

    WSBart Inactive
    Messages: 19

    Alternatively, you could run dual batteries and a larger alternator. XSPower batteries seem to be the best along with a larger alternator from Powermaster or even better DC power. This would cure any voltage drops you may incur, which is hard on electronics.

    Id lean towards do it as opposed to not.