Dual Batteries....need some input please

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by cjtatar, Jan 2, 2001.

  1. cjtatar

    cjtatar Member
    Messages: 32

    I have a 94 Chevy Z71 w/350V8 and 5 spd. I also run a 7.5 ft Meyer's with E47 Pump. This truck has a single battery and 105Amp alternator. I plow my 200+ft driveway only, I do not plow any other place.

    Unfortunately, when I'm operating my plow, my battery guage is pegged to the left (9vdc), the battery light in the dash panel flashes and a couple of times my truck has nearly died! Since I cannot afford a new 200Amp alternator, I want to add dual batteries to assist with this huge power draw. I've either read or been told that a 90's Chevy with a 6.2L diesel or a 454 came from the factory with dual batteries and that (if I can find one) I can remove the extra battery tray and cables from a junked vehicle and install them in mine.

    Can anyone confirm this?

  2. capital

    capital Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    extra battery

    I don't think you need an extra battery. Check all your cables/ie for tightness and wear and tear, your plow should not be causing that much of a draw. Could also be your selinoid (sp) is going bad. This will cause the battery to drain down then perk back up.
  3. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,424

    Load test your battery. Test the alternator. Clean all battery cables (even if they arent dirty) also clean all plow connections...Pump to solenoid, solenoid to battery, and lastly check you grounds. There is something wrong here, I plow all night with lights, beacon, V-plow, spreader, back-up lights all on and only see 13.0V (with digital lighter socket gauge) It will tweak your guage when raising and angling, however, thats what a battery is for...reserve. Dont buy cheap batteries.
  4. OP

    cjtatar Member
    Messages: 32

    This plow is a new install on this vehicle. All cables are brand new (solenoid is old) but I will double check the battery connections at both ends.

    BTW, I called my local chevy dealer and they say there is a second battery tray available for my truck (on the drivers side) for about $50.00. There are cables available too but the guy wasn't sure where they connect...

  5. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,424

    All non diesel dual battery setups from the factory have a isolation solenoid. This allows you to totally drain the regular battery (lights on) and you can jumpstart yourself from your aux. battery. If I were you I'd just buy the tray and a few lengths of heavy cable, crimp on ends and hook them up like a diesel (direct) this will alow for more of a reserve. The wiring on mine (gas) is complicated and I still don't know what triggers the isolation solenoid.

    Good luck.
  6. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    I bet you have ice in your pump or the wrong fluid.Your electric motor might be drawing to much amperage too.I know my Fisher was drawing like crazy last night when i first start using it,it was -2 out,as soon as I use it for 10 minutes the fluid warms up a enough,and the plow starts to work much faster and draw less juice.Maybe with your driveway it never gets the chance to warm up.If your Battery is bad,it will almost kill the truck when you raise or angle,K-mart here has an AC Delco battery for the GM trucks that has 850 CCA and a big reserve,its 89.95 but has a 3 yr replacement warranty and 7 yr pro-rate.If that thing wont help,something is very wrong.I have already put the extra tray in both my GM trucks and dual batteries,but i do commercial plwoing for 10-30 hrs at a time.You do not need dual batteries to plow your driveway,unless they are something you have to have for the heck of it.plan on 200 for duals if you go that way.you'll need 2 new batteries,one tray,and hold down.Misc bolts and fender clips,both terminals,and the toughest part is relocating the charcoal canister so the tray will fit,this requires some slight fabrication to the bracket.Good luck
  7. Psyclopse

    Psyclopse Member
    Messages: 94

    Yes diesels have two batteries from the factory. It is a simple hookup- just a parallel system- positive to positive, both negatives to ground on the engine. If you want to do it this way, I'd recommend getting the cables yourself and installing the ends after you cut the cables to length. Buying them stock from the dealer is a bit more expensive.

    Another option is to use an isolator like mentioned before. You can get them at most parts stores. An advantage to this is the second battery can be a deep cycle if you want- these batteries are designed to drain down alot before being recharged.

    Just make sure you don't hook up in series- which would be a 24 volt setup. Your truck's electronics won't like that much. I agree that something else is wrong though. You need to find out what's up before you go adding more batteries to the mix.
  8. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    You don't want an "isolator" in the sense of one of the camper type ones. VERY few will handle the current output of most of the alternators today. What you need is, as was stated earlier, an isolation solenoid, which is NOT a camper isolator. An isolation solenoid is rated continuous duty and is opejn when the key is off, a trigger lead from the hot side of the ignition closes the contacts in the solenoid, allowing current flow. Additionaly, there is a diode that HAS to be in there to dump the current generated when the solenoid coil is de-energized. I'm not sure how to explain it, but when the magnetic field in the solenoid collapses ti generates a current spike that is polarized in reverse of the truck system. You'll hear a loud pop when this happens if you have the radio on. This spike is not good and can cause damage to onboard electronics. An electronics bug buddy set my isolator solenoid up with the diode after I told him about the popping in the radio. Unless you're prone to leaving your lights on I'd just hook dual batteries up in parallel and let it go at that.

    Don't eliminate the possibility of internal problems with your pump motor either. We had one loosen up the bolts that hold the end caps and the current draw went astronomical.

    [Edited by Alan on 01-02-2001 at 06:45 PM]
  9. NEAL

    NEAL Member
    Messages: 98

    I had trouble last year similar to yours. I was worried about my alternator on my 1987 k-5 blazer. Before the season I had it looked at and tested the guy said it was good. During one of the last plows of the year my truck wanted to die when I raised the plow. I noticed the guage dropping a lot! I just made my last pass and the truck died. I replaced the alternator but still had the guage drop more than normal when raising the plow. I bet John is right about your fluid or ice in the system or maybe a worn out motor ? I dont know I sold my truck before I found the problem. Now I am curios. How do you tell when yuor pump motor is worn out (Western)? I plowed for 5 years before this problem happened to me.

  10. OP

    cjtatar Member
    Messages: 32

    Found the problem...

    Thanks for everyones suggestions. I think I've found the problem. All battery connections were good, but I was way low on fluid. I followed the procedure and topped off the system with new Meyer's fluid and low and behold...it works perfect. The gauge drops but only to 11V range, not 9 and below like before. Idling, my guage reads 14v so I think this is very good news. I must have a leak somewheres so every couple weeks I'll have to check my fluid levels.

    Thanks gang!!!

    OBRYANMAINT PlowSite.com Veteran
    from ohio
    Messages: 534

    meyer pump fluid levels ---good to check them after each extended use most plows will use up a bit when plowing normally