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I'm killing alternators here!!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by akayii, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. akayii

    akayii Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    I have a 1998 Chevy Z71 ext. cab with a 5.7 Vortec. Just bought a new 71/2 Curtis SNO-PRO 3000 plow. After 1 storm my charging system crapped out. (volt meter was showing 9 volts). Took it to mechanic who said it was alternator. Replaced alternator and after third use...same thing happened. Mechanic thought it may be defective new alternator. Replaced that and I'm worried that it may be that I need to beef up my alternator or add second battery. (truck has tray for second battery). I know that when I lift or angle the plow it draws alot.....drops the voltmeter way down. Plow was professionally installed and wiring and truck are meticulous. Battery is only 1 year old and tests fine. Thanks for any help!!!!!!
  2. repo_man62

    repo_man62 Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    I have a '97 & had to put a 160 amp on. Too much draw on the stock 105 alt running beacon,scanner,c.b., cell,plow lights, stereo, and 8' western!
  3. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    You have clogged arteries...

    Killing your electrical heart huh? First, Check your wires. They are your car's arteries. You need to go to heavier wiring from your alternator to your positive side battery. YOu need to add additional grounding wires from your alternator case to the negative side of the battery. Add heavier wiring to the pump motor, and a #2 size ground wire from the pump motor frame to your car's engine block. Scrape off the paint where you attach these wires so you have good solid contact.

    Then, the next time one fails, buy new new new GM. Stay away from aftermarket rebuilt junk, especially at the highway type stores. Their re-built ones may be "rebuilt" by the rebuilder only fixing the original problem when that unit failed, such as a bad bearing, changing only one diode and not all, not re-winding the stator,not replacing trhe regulator or leaving out some other key component of a quality re-build.

    After all this, run the pump as you normally would. Then go out and shut down the motor and start feeling all your wires in this loop. The ones that are hot to touch are either too small to carry the load or you have a bad connection point.

    Alternator and regulator electrical problems are a real annoyance and happen at the worse times. That is why I run only belt driven Monarch hydraulic pumps on my plows. They NEVER let me down. And all my jeeps were converted to Chrysler two pulley, separate regulator charging systems, and those I got from junkyards for $25.00 each set up.
  4. Playboy

    Playboy Senior Member
    Messages: 335

    My first suggestion would also be to check the wiring. Wiring can be the bottleneck and cheapest way to start trouble shooting. How many miles ya got on her? Have your starter checked. It can crap out and still work, but cause havoc on your alternator...
  5. akayii

    akayii Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    I've got 90k miles on the truck and have had it since new. I'm very anal when it comes to my truck. Never seen 3k miles without oil change etc.. I've troubleshot everything with no luck. I'm going to add second battery and HO alternator. It should do the trick.(fingers X) Thanks for everyone's help!!!
  6. massbowtie

    massbowtie Member
    Messages: 97

    get the 2nd battery and wire it to the original.get the same battery as you have now.use #2 gauge cables connect pos to pos. and neg. to neg. you`ll be set.when you pick the blade up the volt gauge wont drop nor will all your elec.accessories draw down as bad.i did and its much better plowing with all the lights on and what not.i have a stock 140 amp alternator and it charges the 2 batteries fine,although mine is a little differently wired than yours will be you will get good results.
  7. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    With truck running and not using plow you should see about 14 plus volts on your meter. If you don't Alt. is bad. When you run plow it is normal for your meter to drop down to 12 -11 volts to return to 14 plus when you stop plow function. If it drops to nine volts then I would say your battery is bad. Doesn't mean a thing that it is only a year old. If it was discharged hard just once it could be fried. Dead cell.
    hope this helps. :rolleyes:
  8. akayii

    akayii Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    Thanks everyone. I'm getting second battery installed and HO alternator on Tuesday. I'll let you know how I make out.Thanks!!
  9. akayii

    akayii Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    Two Batts and HO alternator did the trick!

    Well I just had two new Interstate megatron batteries installed and a 155 amp HO alternator. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! I can't thank everyone enough for their suggestions and help. What a great site.
    Goooooooooooo Pats!!

    pick up.jpg

    FIREMAN Q Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    should i replace my alt.

    I have the same problem with my Dodge 1500. I am getting a drop to about 11.5 volts when I lift the plow but it then returns to normal. I added the second battery today and I did notice a little difference but still notice that it drops. A previous message said that it is normal. So my question is should I bother increasing my alternator size if the volts are returning back to the 14 volts. I'm mostly worried about frying the computers and what not
  11. akayii

    akayii Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    That little of a drop is normal. I think I had a couple of things going on with my problem. One was even though my first battery was a year old it probably had a bad cell. Therefore the Alt was working Ot to keep it charged. Even with the two batteries now and the HO alt. I still get a drop but not down to 10 or less like before. Everyone told me the big difference would be the second battery, but because I fried the other alt. I just went ahead with a HO this time for about $50 more. You should be fine.
  12. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    Akayii, I had similar problems when I set up my Dodge. The HO alternator was the biggest part of the solution. You may want to make sure your charge wire to the battery is not getting hot due to the increased amperage. They can get hot enough to melt plastic on any terminals in line and then it will corrodeor seep into the connection and reduce the ability to charge. My solution was to add a second wire of a larger size between alt and battery.