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

Dual Batteries in lieu of HO Alternator?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by rednekk frank, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. rednekk frank

    rednekk frank Member
    Messages: 36

    Ok, it's become painfully apparent that my plow truck's electrical system is not up to the task - plow moves slow, lights dim, engine falters, etc. Now, I'm adding a spreader which I'm sure won't help matters any.

    Problem is, I cannot find a high output alternator for the truck ('84 Ranger V6) - nothing over 65 amp (stock is 61 amp). Will installing a second battery help at all, or will charging a 2nd battery be even more strain on an already overtaxed alternator? Note that this truck is used for my personal driveway only (.7 mile), and generally never runs for more than 30 minutes at a time.

  2. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,220

    I would suggest going to an auto electronics store and having them "build" you a high output alternator. It will still fit the stock location. If this is not possible then try reving the motor 1000-1500 rpms while turning/lifting blade. This will put max out from alternator.
  3. Puddlejumper

    Puddlejumper Member
    Messages: 74

    Add a second battery. Batteries are storge devices. As your plow (and soon your spreader) are utilized they are placing a short demand for more power. Dual batteries will handle this allowing the alternator (61 Amp should be ample) to replenish the batteries. You will get many different opinions on this but think about it from an automotive manufacturers view. They only started increasing the size of the alternators as vehicles started increasing their continious demands (ie more computers, more solenoids, more complex fuel injection etc.) But when you look at a heavy momentary demand system they still use dual batteries.
  4. Pirsch

    Pirsch Senior Member
    Messages: 596

    I agree with you on this... He can also possibly add an add'l alternator and battery to run all his accessories. The V-6 Rangers have some good room to play and put things in.
  5. rednekk frank

    rednekk frank Member
    Messages: 36

    Thank you for the input thus far.

    I think that since I have all the materials needed to add a battery just sitting in the garage, I'll give that a try first, and move out from there. I have no illusions about having this truck for very long - I got it for free so I'll run it until it pukes, sell it for scrap (hopefully, there will be a market for scrap by then), and then find another free/cheap 4x4 to put the plow on.

    One of these days, I'll have to take a couple of pics to post in the "Trucks with Character" thread. She's a real cream-puff :D.
  6. Kuzanut

    Kuzanut Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    I'm just throwing this one out there. Would installing a 1 Farad Capacitor normally used on car audio systems help with this momentary demand with out have to find a place to mount the second battery and wire it up? The reason i bring this up is that the capacitors are designed to give off high amounts of energy for short amounts of time.. What do you guys think?
  7. secret_weapon

    secret_weapon Senior Member
    Messages: 437

  8. rednekk frank

    rednekk frank Member
    Messages: 36

    I checked them out before I posted here. Nothing for my application. I ordered a spreader motor from them, and I gotta say I'm less than thrilled with their shipping speed.
  9. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    I have the same setup just with a 220 amp alternator....really awesome company to deal with! I found that my stock 105amp alt. couldn't keep up charging both of my batteries during a long plow event! So i upgraded to the setup in my sig! Again, i would highly recommend db electrical!

    edit...just read the post from you above mine but i'm going to leave it just as a report about db electrical...that's weird about the shipping, because i called them and two days later i had my custom alternator w/ a hat and sticker from them =]
  10. secret_weapon

    secret_weapon Senior Member
    Messages: 437

    Sorry to here about the shipping. I didn't have any problems, got mine in 2 days also.

    Definitely do duel batteries, at the very least you'll be getting more capacity to run your plow longer. Then just for good measure, hook up battery charger when your done to bring them back up to 100%. Like you said, you don't use the plow much (30 min.) so just duel battery should be fine.
  11. Crash935

    Crash935 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    The alternator is the key. You can add 100 batteries but if you cant keep them charged they arent doing any good. A plow motor draws approx 175 amps so you need a alt to either keep up with the plow or get ahead of it.
  12. ProSeasons

    ProSeasons Senior Member
    Messages: 624

    FINALLY someone said it! Thank you, Crash935!!!

    A 61 amp alt is ample? For what? Add a second battery to that tiny little alternator and it will just suck TWICE as bad.

    I went with the biggest, most muscular alternator I could find. All service vehicles start with the alternator.

    This one, 250 amps electrical happiness.:D :http://www.alternatorparts.com/21-22si_dual_rect.htm

    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,362

    Ok I was reading the posts going what?? but crash said it. The batteries are storage devices once they are depleted your twice as bad off with 2 batteries if your alternator is too small
  14. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    I have a Boss plow I put my amp meter on it and it draws 306 amps so your 60 amp alternator is going to have to charge 7 times (add in some loss) as long as the plow pump runs. then ad in heater blower motor 20 amps headlights 15 amps wipers 8 amps radio 3 amps... 2 batteries will only take twice as long to run down but rundown they will.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009
  15. T-Trim

    T-Trim Senior Member
    from NE OH
    Messages: 207

    306 amps is a sure sign of problems. Is that all at once???? As soon as the button is touched?
  16. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    No that is not spike current but constant draw and thats about right (I hope). Why do you think they have such heavy wires going to the plow motor?
  17. twinman326

    twinman326 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,683

    If you decide to purchase a alt from DB elect, you will have to use a fuse block. They recommend it. This is what it look like http://www.db-starter-alternator.com/Wiring/

    When I brought my alt from there I also had to purchase the fuse block as well.
  18. Puddlejumper

    Puddlejumper Member
    Messages: 74

    So what are you using to read that amperage draw?
  19. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    X3 on this...my 105amp stocker alternator was having issues keeping up with my twin batteries after awhile during a storm! I couldn't even imagine a 60 something alternator hooked to two batteries!!!
  20. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    :cool:tymusic:jester:Keep it simple just add another battery. Youve got company over and they like beer , with the single fridge ya cant keep up with the demand ,now you got 2 fridges, buy the time you are getting low on booze the party is over (YOU SAID 30 minutes right).These guys want you to be hiring taxis to keep stocking up your alcohol costing you extra money that aint necessary!!!!!!!!!!!