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Old 01-13-2012, 07:36 AM   #1
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Battery capacity question

I am using my snow plow and when I raise the blade the radio goes down. It doesn't go off just isn't audible (low voltage I guess). Then when you are going forward it just comes on (it could be 30 seconds or 10 minute later). Every once in a while the check gage light comes on. All the gages are OK. I purchased a hardtop over the summer and had the defroster on also. Voltage reads 14. The battery is dated MARCH 2009 and it is equal to the OEM specifications(Jeep is 05). I had to put a charge into the battery after the JEEP sat for a month without starting. It wasn't dead but barley started. This summer it wouldn't start a couple of times,but I chalked that up to my 4 year old grand nephew who thinks it's his. Left the door open and who knows what else. I have read on this FORUM about the SEARS PLATINUM(gel type). DO YOU ALL THINK THIS WILL SOLVE MY PROBLEM? Last year I had similar situation but the radio from what I remember would come right back on.

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Old 01-13-2012, 07:54 AM   #2
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Another battery could solve the problem.
But I dont think so.

With two optimas my check gauges light sometimes still turns on with heavy load on the winch for a longer time.

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Old 01-13-2012, 07:59 AM   #3
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It might be the alternator as well. you could either need a new one, or a larger one. go with the easiest first, take the battery to an auto parts store and ask them to test it. it could be a bad cell, or it could be fine. next would be to check all the battery connections, and connections between the battery and alternator to see if they are starting to get corroded, and if they are, clean them. Last step would be to take the alternator off and have that tested. if it is fine, then you will probably need a larger one to handle all the extra accesories.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:03 AM   #4
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Maybe a higher rated alternator. Sounds like it's loading down the voltage source. The battery and alternator are sources for the vehicle. If it's loading down that much, you may be damaging the alternator since it's supplying power while running. A battery with higher ratings would help, a beefier alternator is also recommended.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:05 AM   #5
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Maybee a beefer altenater, Deepcycle battery or more that one battery, same setup as a winch maybe?
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:20 AM   #6
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Sears Diehard Platinum + 160 amp Durango alternator will solve the problem.
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:09 AM   #7
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Im not sure that this would solve the problem.

It depends ob how many A you need.

I have a 200A alternator and two YT Optimas. The winch needs +400 A.
Now after 20-30 seconds the check gauges light turns on.
Before with the stock alternator and battery that happened after only 5 seconds.
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:25 AM   #8
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From the sounds of it, the battery in your Jeep now is coming to the end of it's useful life.

I'd have the battery checked (a decent battery shop can do a load test and tell you if it's going bad), and if it is bad then replace with a quality battery.

The stock alternator should be capable of about 140A of charge. It's job is to charge the battery, the battery's job is to supply electricity to the vehicle. Make sure all your connections are clean, and cables/wires are of sufficient size for the amperage requirements. Generally, bigger is better.

Your plow shouldn't draw as much power as a winch, and your current system with a good battery should be more than adequate.
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:46 AM   #9
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At idle, the OE alternator doesn't put out many amps and certainly nowhere its rated 117 amps. What happens when you raise the engine rpms?
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:54 AM   #10
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Any stock alternator including the durango one will not do near full output at idle where you need it. I would call powermaster and see what they can build for you. I had them do a 157A at idle for my truggy and it was only 125 bucks.
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Old 01-13-2012, 05:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
At idle, the OE alternator doesn't put out many amps and certainly nowhere its rated 117 amps. What happens when you raise the engine rpms?
I just tried to lift the plow in neutral at 2000 RPM and it is the same. However this afternoon without the headlights on(parking lights only) the radio only went out maybe 10% of the time then when the headlights were on. Raise or power angle (whenever the hydraulic pump runs)the radio goes out.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:51 PM   #12
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battery condition

I have a 2 yr old Sears Diehard Gold in my Avalanche. I noticed one day it was a little slow turning over but it started. The next morning I had to put the charger on it to start it.

Took it to Sears to check and it was bad. They replaced it free of charge. But it definitely goes to show that they can go bad no matter how old they are.

I have done a fair amount of plowing and winching. It sounds like a typical issue of a weak battery. Your alternator is putting out continuously, just not at max all the time. Over the course of plowing you shouldn't run the battery down unless you are continuously raising and lowering it with very little in between.

If that is the case, then the best solution would probably be a second battery for the plow. Get a Very large marine type battery used for trolling. Connect it in parallel with the vehicle battery via a continuous duty solenoid. Wire the solenoid to be energized when the ignition is on. That way it will charge with the vehicle battery.

That will give you enough battery to last the plowing job and the chance to catch up on the way between jobs.

Depending on the vehicle, you can usually mount a 2nd alternator in place of the A/C compressor. That is what I did on my 94 Wrangler for winching. You can get a special alterntor that will put out high power at low RPM. You can also put on a smaller pulley during plow season but be careful you don't over rev.

Good Luck
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:41 AM   #13
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PROBLEM SOLVED. It was the battery. Finally snowed and plowed for 2 hours with headlights on defrost,radio,and strobe with no problems. Like I stated old battery only 2years 8 months old. I ended up with a COSTCO KIRKLAND #9. 1000 amp 795 CCA 3year replacement $79.95.

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