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Discussion Starter #1
I am wondering if I need to upgrade my alternator and or battery on my truck.

Currently, I run:

-Federal Signal Highlighter minilightbar w/ 2 55W halogen bulbs (8.6 amp draw)

-2 Aux backup lamps 55W each

-Western plow pump

-Of course headlights, heater, and radio.

-Possibly a 90W 4 head hideaway system (undecided)

The truck has the stock alternator (code K60, I think 100 amp)and single battery.

I havn't ran the plow with the new lightbar and backup lamps yet. Should I upgrade to a larger alternator? A second battery?

If I need a larger alternator, how large? Where can I buy it?

Any info would be appreciated.


Thanks
 

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There has been some discussion about this before and there seems to be about an equal amount of opinion recommending each of your two options: A. Larger Alternator and B. Second Battery

I personally like the larger alternator. (I need to get one too.) I would rather be able to MAKE the power when needed vs. draw the power from a battery or batteries that has to be charged as it is being drawn down. If you do a lot of commercial plowing where the plow is in use constantly you could concievably reach a point where your batteries can't keep up and your stock alternator will overheat and then..... lights out.

By having an alternator capable of putting out all the needed amperage without having to rely on the batteries for back-up you significantly reduce this chance. More power is better if you ask me.

Now, that being said you may have to do a little figuring as to pulley size, to ensure the alternator is producing sufficient power at lower rpm speeds. I would look for a reputable auto electric shop for this advice. A shop who deals with police/emergency vehicles will be able to answer thiese questions too.

There are several places that can supply you with a larger output alternator. You may have to go to a larger frame size and do some pulley swapping. Although more expensive I think this is a better course.

Hope this helps!

Pete :usa

Ok guys....who's next with their thoughts? :beatsme
 

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If you are on ebay at all, do a search (by seller) for "alterstart". They are rebuilder out of Texas and have quite a line of hopped up alternators. I've got one of their 200 amp units on my 91 S-10. They claim this one will put out 100 amps at idle and I believe them. They use a bigger case than the stock unit and it doesn''t seem to run all that hot.

This is the only one I've got, so it's not a big data base to judge from, but it won't be the last. After making a long push with the downpressure on and then lifting the plow there is always a drop in the voltmeter reading. With this one it is back to showing 14 volts before you're even clear of the pile.

I think their email is [email protected].
 

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I'd add a second battery first.The extra battery adds more reserve capacity.It gives the alternator more time to catch up.The added reserve capacity keeps voltage up,and electric components will last longer.As voltage drops,amperage or current flow goes up.It's the current that creates the extra heat,and damages components.The plow motor is one example.

Like Alan said,you need a bigger frame alternator.It will deal with the added heat from the higher output.It also means better low speed output and higher continuos output when hot.

You should be able to use all factory parts for the second battery setup,so you don't have to modify anything.A wrecked diesel truck should have everything you need.

DO NOT mess with pulley sizes.Most alternators are driven at about a 3:1 ratio,so at 1000 engine RPM,the alternator is turning 3000.At 4000 RPM it's turning 12000.If you reduce the pulley size (to spin it faster) it will most likely overspeed the alternator.

The smaller alternator pulley will also slip when under heavy load,as you have less surface area for the belt to grab.
 

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Thanks for the link Chris.

I understand what you are saying about pulley sizes. The school of thinking from which I was taught recommended a slightly smaller pulley. I'm not suggesting a drastic reduction. If you reduce the circumference slightly you will get a higher rpm without overspeed and with negligable surface area loss so slippage also shouldn't be an issue unless you are really stressing it out. . No?

I just like thinking of it in water/hydraulic terms. I'd rather have a larger pump (alt) then a larger accumulator (bat). I can see the demand getting too far ahead for the pump to keep up in high utilization cases.

Hope this helps him out. I know it helps me!

Thanks,

Pete :usa
 

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Pete - if you were running the engine at a constant speed,or within a tight RPM range,then you can play with pulley sizes to "gear" the alternator to the correct speed.

A factory alternator is already geared pretty well,and an increase in speed will not help output enough without overspeeding the alternator.

The water theory is a great way to describe it,but your theory in relation to plowing is backwards.You need a larger reservoir to keep up with the plow and accesories,as even a large alternator (pump) will not provide enough to power everything.Everytime you hit the plow button,the pump (alt) is overwhelmed,and it must draw from the reservoir.Once the resevoir is dry,the truck starts to die every time you hit the button.

Your theory would only work if you had a pump (alt) that would exceed the maximum draw on the entire system almost all the time.
 

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I have a 130 amp alt. in my Jeeps, but I still experience power fade when plowing. Should I opt for a larger alt, or go with two batteries?

Chuck B.:rolleyes:
 

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I'd go with a second battery first.It will help.If it still starts losing power during a long plow event,then you may need to upgrade the alternator to something bigger.
 

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Good thread as I was just working on my truck after having added a vbox sander. I'm currently running dual batteries but find that I can't start the sander most of the time. It seems to draw down the battery very quickly. I presently have an 85 amp alternator. I understand that drawing the power through 15+ feet of cable isn't helping a lot but don't feel like adding a battery at the back for the sander.
 

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While you haven't totally convinced me, I can see the logic of your point and will probably add a second battery after my new larger alternator. The $$$ spent is less than the $$$ lost if things go south!

Thanks for the info Wyldman!! :zoom


Pete
 

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Something that may help even a standard sytem and is required on the huskier alternators is a heavier cable between the alternator and battery. Alterstart recommends a #4 cable between alternator output terminal and the battery positive (+) terminal.

The truck carrying the alterstart unit has such a cable and the other S-10 is about to get one. Right now the output current is going through a #10 wire and a crimp connector on the battery cable, not an ideal passage for high amperage loads.
 

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Windmill - Your salter should not draw your battery down that much,especially with dual batteries.

You have another problem,like maybe a bad ground cable,or even bad batteries.With two batteries that little unit should crank over for an awful long time before it draws the batteries down
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the replies, it helps a lot.

I guess my first step is to find a drivers side battery tray. I went to the salvage yard today and they didn't have one. I'll have to do some more searching. If I get the dual batt setup working, I think I will eventually buy one of those 200a alternators. They seem nice.

I'll let you guys know what happens.

Thanks again
 

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Thanks for the input gentlemen.

I will have to find an aftermarket kit for the second battery. I will also upgrade the alt. wire to a #4!

I run a front plow, a rear plow and rear back up lights, on both jeeps. By the end of an event the alt. takes longer to bring the amps back to 14. In the past, I have been replacing the batteries every two years, due to failure.

Chuck B.
 

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Ryan-

I priced the tray at my dealer, they wanted $96+tax. I had some 1"x1"'3/8" angle iron laying around, so I measured the battery, then measured a few more at Farm&Fleet to get a good average size. I made the tray, made up some bracing off the radiator support and drilled a hole in the 'dimple' on teh fenderwell, then bolted it in. I used a rubber bungee-like cord to hold the batter in the tray. It probably would have looked better to buy the factory tray, but this one works great, is very strong, and only would have cost about $20 for all the materials if you had to buy them. I'll take a picture this afternoon.

I also replaced my alternator this summer (the original one at that). I had a bad diode, causing it to only charge at 2/3 capacity, I just bought the OEM replacement with 105 amps, I got a great price from the parts guy, so I couldn't justify the added expense of the 200amp unit in the aftermarket.

Chris (Wyldman), would one of those leece-neville alternators work on a truck other than a Cummins?
 

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The Leece-Neville alternators are HUGE.IT may work,but don't expect it to be a bolt on.Here is a size comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have another question:)

Should I use the same batteries that are listed for my truck, or can I use any battery I want?

The reason I ask is because the ones that are listed for my truck only have two terminal, and I would like 4. Also, will more CCA hurt anything?

THanks
 

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0ryan0
You don't have to use the same batteries.. Infact i'm sure most swap them out when necessary with higher CCA. and the biggest that will fit in the tray.
Some use deep cycle batteries.
4 terminal batteries are great. Lots of places to hook up stuff. Makes neat and tidy installs.
Swap away.
 
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