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Old 01-25-2010, 09:48 AM   #1
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winch drains battery charging.....

Used my winch for the first time the other night. When winching my battery charge guage will drop from 14v to 9v and below. Even if i cable in for 5 seconds let it rest 2 second winch 5 seconds etc. my voltage still dropps to 9v area. is this normal.

I expect even with an optima battery etc. my voltage guage will still drop like this...

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Old 01-25-2010, 09:54 AM   #2
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Yep, your winch draws more power than your alternator can put out, especially at idle.

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Old 01-25-2010, 09:59 AM   #3
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is this normal? Its an oem alternator, how do i resolve this? im sure not everyone who buys a winch replaces their alternator too.
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Old 01-25-2010, 10:26 AM   #4
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Theres 2 ways to fix it.

1. Buy a High output alternator

2. Set up a dual battery system, either 2 batterys in sync, or one for aux accessories and one for starting the engine and basic systems

I know people sell setups for both and I know its also possible to take apart the oem alternator and put high powered magnets in it to increase its output (thats a bit tricky though)
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:08 AM   #5
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This is much about nothing. You don't need to run a heavy-duty alternator nor do you need dual batteries because you have and use an electric winch. The OE alternator is fine and so is a single battery. VERY few winch owning offroaders that use their winches have either of those. I'm still running a single battery and my OE alternator is still doing a great job for me with over 182,000 miles and lots of winching under its belt. You can even winch for several minutes, should you ever need to, without the engine running if for some reason the engine can't be started. I've had to do that twice when I couldn't start my engine and it still had more than enough power left to start my engine once I fixed the problems.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:47 AM   #6
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The charge may drop, but the Battery has decent reserve, and you wouldn't have to worry about it not starting after winching...

as long as you have a 1/2 decent battery Jerry is 100% right....

Yes winches pull a lot of power, but as long as you aren't winching for an hour or 5, and you have a decent battery you will be fine.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:52 AM   #7
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Yup its normal, just make sure that you dont drain your battery. Or atleast have a friend nearby with Jumper cables.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:10 PM   #8
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Awsome, good to know i dont have to shell out any more $ for the winch setup. It worked great for me, other than staring at my Voltage gauge watching it suffer. I was in a sand pit winching my way up a steep snow covered ravine one i barley make it up in the summer time with dry conditions I was worried my jeep's batt would drain down and i would be stuck there tied to the winch. If i was able to get free from the cable it would have been a heck of a time bump starting the jeep down a steep ass ravine in reverse

I'll just continue to winch 4 or 5 ft. at a time with 5 seconds or so of rest in between, just to make sure
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:12 PM   #9
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FYI - my radio cuts out when i am winching as well

but i bet thats normal too.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:24 PM   #10
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just keep the engine running and youll be fine for some continuous time.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:27 PM   #11
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Great, Thanks
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:54 PM   #12
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Keep in mind that if you ever completely drain the battery so it is completely dead, you can't push-start or bump-start a Jeep. If the battery is not completely dead, just not quite strong enough to start the Jeep, it's possible you can bump or push start it. It's just when the battery is toast/dead/flat-dead, the engine can't be push or bump started.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:53 PM   #13
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Just curious: I've seen a high idle switch for police vehicles to run their lights/radios etc. for extended periods of time. Would setting up a high idle be a reasonable idea for winching?
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCDavis View Post
Just curious: I've seen a high idle switch for police vehicles to run their lights/radios etc. for extended periods of time. Would setting up a high idle be a reasonable idea for winching?
Yes, locking the rpms up higher helps in those situations. All you need is a hand throttle like Rubicon Express sells, or make one by buying the parts from a bike shop. There's a little tightener on the side so you can set it to any rpm you want and then twist it tight so it holds those rpms. I installed one into my TJ and it's nice to have for that reason plus using it as a hand throttle for more precise throttle control on rough bumpy trails.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
Yes, locking the rpms up higher helps in those situations. All you need is a hand throttle like Rubicon Express sells, or make one by buying the parts from a bike shop. There's a little tightener on the side so you can set it to any rpm you want and then twist it tight so it holds those rpms. I installed one into my TJ and it's nice to have for that reason plus using it as a hand throttle for more precise throttle control on rough bumpy trails.
Nice! didn't think of that!
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:39 AM   #16
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MCDavis thanks for bringing up the point of higher rpm's. The alternator puts out the most current at about 1300 rpm, so when winching try keeping the rpm's around there and see if some of your voltage drop is minimized.

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