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Dual Battery Or Bigger Alternator?

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by LawnProLandscapes, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. LawnProLandscapes

    LawnProLandscapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    ive got a 2000 f-350 v10 and currently only run a dual hallogen rotator and back up lights as accesories while plowing. im about to put a new setup on that has 2 sets of backup lights, front and rear hideaways, whelen mini edge six strobe with take downs and alley ligts and a back up alarm while plowing. im thinking about either adding a second battery, or getting a bigger alternator for my truck. right now im honestly not sure what size alternator it has so ill have to check that out. what do you guys run?
  2. ronnie dobbs

    ronnie dobbs Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    I would get a bigger alternator.
  3. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    I would go with 2 batts ..
  4. LawnProLandscapes

    LawnProLandscapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    yea im leaning to the second battery. if i go that route would it be better to run my accesories off of the second battery (all my lights and backup alarm) and have the other battery just running the truck and plow?

    so to do the second battery set up i would need: what else am i fogettting?
    2nd battery
    battery tray
    battery isolator
    probaly some wires and battery leads.....
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2008
  5. BulldogPS

    BulldogPS Member
    Messages: 35

    Try a pair of optima deep cylce (yellow top). I run a whelen 6 head 90w hideway, 6 pairs of whelen leds, 1 pair of 55w work lamps, hydraulic pump for dump insert and dual electric downeaster tailgate spreader and the volt meter doesn't move, with stock batteries had a huge voltage drop, spreader ran slower. try ebay cheap prices.
  6. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Here a good thread on the subject of batteries and alternators you may find interesting LawnPro.

    Touches on the subject of isolators and power draw as well. well: More info
  7. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,767

    2 batterys is the way to go. Storage is better than supply
  8. LawnProLandscapes

    LawnProLandscapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    thanks for the link :drinkup: there was a ton of good information there and i am NO longer considering the isolator, your facts definately make sense. im going to hook my switch box up and install everything and see how she handles it with the plow on and doing stuff. im probaly just delaying the inevitable but dont want to spend the money if i dont have to. it wont be that hard to change my accesories to the second battery if i do decide to install it..
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2008
  9. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I would think you have 140 amp alternator. Try going to the parts store and have them look it up in the system. It should tell you what was installed in your year truck. Keep in mind an alternator puts out only 1/3 of it's rating at idle. Most people plow at just a little bit off of idle most times. The INTERNET has sites for alternators with much better output. You have to upgrade the wire size to the batteries when you install one. Duel batteries will help, but after a very long night you may still have a low power problem.
    Use the search function on the gray line above to search " Charging, Power etc" it's an issue talked about here many times.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2008
  10. ducatirider944

    ducatirider944 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 469

    Agreed with the you might have a problem on a long night even with two batteries. I would go with a bigger or dual alternators. The problem you are seeing is you don't have enough supply from the alternator you have now, adding a second battery just makes it so you will burn up two batteries instead of one over time. You might be able to get away with just adding a second battery, but it won't cost much more to get a bigger alternator and you know you won't have to re-visit this problem.
  11. DistinctiveDave

    DistinctiveDave Senior Member
    Messages: 284

    I had to put a bigger alt. on my dump truck. It is a diesel with two batteries already. Running a plow, salter after plowing, back up alarm, light bar with 10 strobes and 6 hideaways, then also back up lights it took a toll on the batteries after about 3-4 hours. At that time I had dimming issues and one time the truck even died and needed a jump to restart. There is a alt. rebuilder local to me that built a 240amp alt for the truck and I have had no problems since. I also just picked up a smaller pulley that lets the alt. charge more at idle.
  12. ducatirider944

    ducatirider944 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 469

    Exactly, you have proven me right, the smaller pully on the alternator will help also, unless you spin a lot of RPM's on your engine. If you do you will throw your belt. It is nice to see someone agree with me, since I am GOD and know everything! LOL just kiding the scotch is getting to me and it is late. If you polish off a bottle of scotch in just a couple of nights does that mean your an alcoholic? If your answer is yes please don't reply, I'm happy living in my own little world! LMAO :drinkup:
  13. punjab

    punjab Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    I would get a bigger/second alternator, adding just one more bat will put even more strain on your existing alt. The hardest thing for people to realize/remember bat are mainly there for power when the truck is not running, alt is there to supply power when engine is running.
  14. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,236

    I'd do both, especially if you're going to leave the lights on all the time. :dizzy:

    Especially with Ford's stupid computer screwing up the charging.

    Probably too late, but you really think all those lights are all necessary?
  15. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I had a Bronco II with an 80 amp alternator and a huge battery. This truck was the condo King. The problem was soooo many drives plowed at night wore down the charging. I helped it by putting a piece of angle iron between the head lights and mounted a tractor light in the middle. With just the tractor light on I had more then enough light to plow condo's. Just headlights and markers pull about 14 amps.
  16. PaulSmith

    PaulSmith Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I've been lurking for a while now, wow is their is a lot of good info.
    My opinion is...

    Ditch the isolaters and switches and all that stuff.and wire it up just like the factory does for millions of light duty diesel truck owners with two batterys in paralel. Just go to your local dealer and get the oem parts for your truck and your done.

    I have tried many different setups with my plow trucks and two
    1000cca batteries in parallel and a big alternator is the way to go.
    No switches, no relays, no isolators.

    Changing the batteries out every few years as they tend to get weak from the constant discharge-charge cycls created when plowing.
  17. veggin psd

    veggin psd Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    I agree. BIG alternator and BIG batteries and you are set! Need large batteries for the increased production. By doing both battery and large alternator usually solves the problem.:nod:
  18. DistinctiveDave

    DistinctiveDave Senior Member
    Messages: 284

    The dump truck I put my big alt. on is a diesel so it does have two batteries factory. My diesel pickup only runs a few leds and a salter and salt light and I have not had a problem with discharge on that truck this year. Stock alt. and also dual batteries.
  19. LawnProLandscapes

    LawnProLandscapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    i have a mini edge and hideaways, i really didnt think that was overkill and i have back up lights on the truck?
  20. LawnProLandscapes

    LawnProLandscapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    i think you guys misunderstood, i am seeing now problem at all, the voltmeter drops when you raise the plow and such but goes right back up. im just going to do a second battery for now, my alternator is healthy and has no problem throwing a charge back in.