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I Need help, I run two batteries in my truck and.

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by ridgeriders, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. ridgeriders

    ridgeriders Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Hopefully somebody can help me out with this.

    I have searched the net, and there is all kinds of indirect suggestions, but I need to know what Plow folk do to fix this problem.
    I have a 2dr, 4wd, F250 '99 off road package, air bags in front end, Myers Super V2 plow, running with one spot light, two rear back up lights, two forward flood lights, one winch, one yellow light bar. I have a deep cycle Interstate bat for the truck, and in the bed of the truck I have a deep cycle marine Interstate bat that is hooked up to the largest alternator I can put on this truck. It only has or runs the winch when I get stuck, and the remote spot light. The truck bat runs everything else. At one time I had it tied into the front bat under the hood, but I kept having the plow dim down all my lights. With the heater running, the yellow mini bar, and all flood lights on minus the winch and spot, the lights would dim way down every time I activated the plow. So I isolated the winch and spot to run off the back bat only, and hooked it directly to the alternator, now the back bat never gets charged, or if it does it wont keep up with the winch use. And my lights and heater fan still dim way down with activation of the plow.
    My mechanic says we need to move the back bat closer to the engine, but there is no room under there for it.
    What can I do to get more power to still run everything, and keep everything charged by the alternator?
    I know there is a trick, but I just don't know what to do to get and keep more power so my lights are not constantly dimming and loosing power if I get stuck by running the rear winch.
    Please any suggestions would be helpful!
    Thank You
  2. 07PSDCREW

    07PSDCREW Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    Assuming you have a gas truck, try and find a battery tray off a 99 or similar 7.3 and mount your aux battery under the hood. Edit: also you could leave the battery in the back and use a distribution switch off a boat. It will charge both batteries and you can isolate as needed. Just be sure to use suitable gauge wire for the long run.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  3. ridgeriders

    ridgeriders Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Thank You for your reply

    Yes it is a Gas engine. I checked under the hood, I would have room to place another battery under there on the drivers side, except I have a K&N Filter that takes up all that space and I really don't want to get rid of it.

    I have thought about one of those boat Isolators, or switches, but I was told that unless both batteries have the same amount of wire coming off the alternator, that the alternator would charge the closest bat (main under the hood) first and would barely charge the one in the bed. Is this true?

    I know in Ambulances and Fire Trucks they have a big round switch that is marked bat A and bat B or Both, is this the type your talking about?
  4. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    I'd lose the flood lights and the winch but that's just me. Hook everything in series and go. Sounds like there's a whole bunch of wiring in that thing so you probably ought to go over it and make sure everything is connected properly. Also, I run two batteries in my truck and the lights still dim when I use the plow. They draw a lot of power. I don't know that I've ever been in a truck that the lights don't dim when using the plow.
  5. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    The lights are going to dim when you run the plow. I've been in big dumps with 3-4 batteries and they would still dim down. Peteo1 you are running your batteries in parallel, if you ran them in series you would have 24 volts and be causing all kinds of problems.
  6. 07PSDCREW

    07PSDCREW Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    Just something else to add....if your plow lights are what is dimming and driving you nuts... The other alternative is to add HID lights to the plow. Buy a digital ballast setup and you will never see the headlights dim again. I personally put HIDS in my fisher plow and they never dim anymore due to being fed high voltage from a ballast. The plug and play kit fit right inside the housing. Also, you don't need to get the "blue" type.... Just find a set that's 4300k-5000k. Those will be white.
  7. ridgeriders

    ridgeriders Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    07PSDSCREW that is a great idea about the HIDS, could you send me a website for more info on that? I like that idea! Thank You!
  8. ridgeriders

    ridgeriders Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    To reply to peteo1,
    In response, I have gone thru the wires and made sure I am hooked up really well, no shorts or anything, but I really need the floods, I usually start plowing around 3am, and the floods on the headache rack really come in handy to keep from backing into stuff. But keep in mind, I switch off those floods when I don't need them. The spot light I only use when backing around hairy corners that the floods don't illuminate. I am plowing in the Mountains of Northern New Mexico, maybe that is an excuse maybe not. As far as the winch, the only time it is in power is if I am stuck, and that is sometimes in very bad locations, possibly help could be hours away, and at 3 or 4 am its hard to get ahold of people in -40 weather blowing snow, they really don't want to get out of bed...LoL.
    To clark lawn, I do realize that no matter what, even with the extra lights off the head lights still dim when operating the plow, I accept that as a given, but when watching my competitors plowing, their light dim a little, mine almost go off. I think something is wrong. I can shut off the heater, no lights on at all except the headlights, no radio, no power to winch, and when I kick on the plow, my dash and headlights will almost at time blink off, or a very low dim. Something is wrong, and I am just not sure what. I have checked my ground, I believe it is good. Maybe I need to put a larger ga wire on it.
    Today, I went out to start the truck, I usually don't use it much in the summer, but starting it about once a week or two, but today after it hasn't started in two weeks, both bats where completely drained, the plow isn't even hooked up, the winch is disconnected, and they wouldn't even take a charge. Its really strange, last summer I had the same problem, it would be fine for months, then all of a sudden, the bats are both dead! I have looked tirelessly for a draw, but I am unable to find one. My mechanic has had it at his place for up to two weeks, and he couldn't find a draw either. So I took the bats back and they are going to warranty both because they were new, but it is really odd to me that both would go down at the same time, especially when they were new!
  9. 07PSDCREW

    07PSDCREW Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    How were you looking for a draw? The best way is to disconnect the ground wire....and install a fused multimeter with amp meter capability. Red on the neg terminal and black on the disconnected ground connection. After 20-40 min your draw should be less than .08 amp. Anything higher there's a problem. I trick the dome light by closing the door latches with a screwdriver that way I can go inside the truck to pull fuses to find the draw. A friend of mine kept having a dead battery just out of the blue. Through this method, I was able to determine that his Streamlight flashlight charger had gone bad and was drawing excessive amps.

    On the subject of HIDS, I use an eBay seller by the name of Operatic98 , they know their stuff. And they have good warranty coverage if needed. I've put HIDS in everything I own, all from them since 2004. The same ballasts and bulbs that were in my 2004 F150 are now in my 2007 F350 and are still going strong. I have their direct phone number or you can just a buy a set on eBay.
  10. ridgeriders

    ridgeriders Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    We disconnected the ground wire and used the multimeter, but it didn't show anything up. It is as though it is a draw that comes and goes, so I am thinking its a short somewhere, you just have to wiggle the right wire.?
    Last summer I traced it down to the computer module hooked up to the back of the fuse box, I could hear a slight buzzing for lack of a better word, but when we checked it later, there was nothing! I just don't get it.

    Yea if you have a direct number to Operatic98 that would be great, we will give them a call, and maybe they can walk me and my mechanic thru what would be best for us.
    Thank You so much for your tireless help! I really appreciate it!
  11. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,440

    To the original poster. It does sound like you have a draw somewhere. However, I did put dual batteries in my 02 F250 superduty. I made it look as factory as I could. I used a diesel drivers side tray. I had to move the canister purge under the air filter housing. Cut and rewelded those brackets. I also cut and rewelded the mounts on the battery tray as well cause the air filter housing hit it. I also had to relocate the PS tank, I made a custom bracket for that while using the existing holes in the fender well. You can see the build here and in my signature.

  12. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,391

    First off. What size batts do you have?
    Second what size alt do you have......give numbers don't just say the biggest possible
    Ck all pwr and gnds. Add a gnd to the alt as well.
    When was the last time you had your plow motor cked?
    If your spot or flood lights need to he on...have you thought about LEDs instead of regular lights?
  13. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,391

    Also a thought. What gauge wire are you using for all you charging stuff? And the second batt in the bed?
  14. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    We're both batteries replaced at the same time or do you have 1 good and 1 bad working together and killing both?
  15. ridgeriders

    ridgeriders Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    In response to dieselss,
    Plow Motor is brand new, just purchased this plow this spring.
    I have two interstate bats the pickup bat is a #65 I am not sure but it is the largest that I can put of this kind for cold cranking amps for this truck, and the back is a marine bat same thing the largest Interstate puts out, I don't have them with me to tell you more than that yet.
    I have and am thinking about LED's or something to replace the floods.
    Both Bats are new
    and the gauge of wire is the same as the front that came factory to both bats.
    I do not have an extra grnd to the alternator that may be something we have to do.
    Right now every one has given me some great ideas, so I will get to work and start tracing back wires. I will discuss this more with my mechanic and we may have to re wire everything and start fresh.
    I will keep you informed if we find something!
  16. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,391

    Now....what do you mean your wiring is the same as the factory wiring? There 2 different gauges that factory uses,,maybe more.
    Where is your gnd for the plow going to?
    What gauge wire is the pos to plow solenoid?
    What size (cca) are the batts tho?
  17. 07PSDCREW

    07PSDCREW Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    The 65 you mention is the battery group number (dimensions and terminal orientation). We were looking for the CCA. You should have at least a 750 CCA for heavy duty use. I run two motorcraft 850 CCA batts.
  18. ridgeriders

    ridgeriders Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I'm sorry, the truck isn't here right now, but I will find out. What I meant was I used the same ga of wire that come off the alternator to the bat and same as ground that was already on the truck. But I will try and find out for you tomorrow exactly what ga
    The gnd for the plow goes to the frame of the truck.
    The rest of info I will get to you.
    Thank you for your time and interest. I will get back to you with answers.
  19. ridgeriders

    ridgeriders Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I want to say that those bats are 900? 950? I will find out
  20. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,808

    What size is the wiring going to the battery in the back of your truck? Smaller size wire is fine for the one that's closest to the alternator. Think of it this way. You have a milk shake ( I prefer chocolate but vanilla will work too) you take a small white straw and try to suck the milk shake thru that. No go get a bigger straw and try the same.

    Go try that and get back to me. lol Then I'll tell you what you need to do.