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Old 03-07-2014, 05:46 PM   #1
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winch install help

I was hoping to gather some information from you guys. I'm planning a winch/ bumper/ fog light install and I was curious about the power situation. Can the stock alternator handle the demand from a winch and 6 additional lights? If not is the best decision to upgrade the alternator or go with a second battery? Any info helps. Or a point in the right direction to a thread that will give me the info that I need. Thanks.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:54 PM   #2

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just don't run the extra lights when you are using your winch.

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Old 03-07-2014, 06:17 PM   #3
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What if I want to have that ability? What do you suggest then?
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:30 PM   #4
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I believe (don't quite me) you can upgrade to a Durango alt. as it puts out more power than our stock tj does..

That should handle everything..

2014 JK Sport
3.6 - 6 speed
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:34 PM   #5
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This is a little bit of an opinion/ preference thing........I have a "power box" that makes it very easy to install the wiring. With new leads, and the box and new battery terminal ends, I was still out the door under $20 I got this from a Semi truck parts on to your ACTUAL question.....the ideal situation would be a dual battery with, a High amp comes the opinion part. Dual battery MAY allow you to run both/ all your lights and winch while the jeep is unable to be running (like if part of it was submerged and it was better to do a straight pull until safe to start.) But obviously if you NEED to run dual battery set up, will factory alternator keep up with it and the radio and lights and etc maybe upgrade the alternator and hope that you never get in a position where you have to "dead pull" and the "heavy duty" alternator SHOULD be able to keep long as the Jeep is running.

But the honest truth is for MOST of us leave your Jeep running try and have someone else's lights to help you, or a GOOD flashlight...and go far it has always been "enough" for me.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:16 PM   #6

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Purchase LED lights. Very low amperage draw.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:00 PM   #7
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What is the rule of thumb for amp draw when it comes to 55 watt lights and an 8 lbs winch?
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:18 PM   #8
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First, no alternator can keep up with a fully loaded winch which can draw over 400 amps. That said, it is rare for a winch to be maxed out (fully loaded), most winch pulls are for substantially less than their rating and usually for short periods of time. I do quite a bit of winching & most winch pulls are on-off-on for 30 seconds or so. Rare is the long fully loaded pull.

That said, I wouldn't hesitate using the winch at night with driving lights on with my single Diehard Platinum battery with the factory 117 amp alternator for a typical pull. And proper battery management says if you're doing a long pull, break it into a few shorter pulls and give it a rest so the winch can cool off and the alternator can catch up with the battery's charge.

In 16 years of winching with two Warns on two different TJs, some of which were some pretty tough pulls, I've never drained my single battery. In fact, I've had to winch my TJ off the trail twice on pure battery power alone when I couldn't start the engine. Both times I was able to start the engine after fixing the problem and never needed a jump start.

If I had ever been given actual reason to install dual batteries, I'd have done so many years ago. I know that none of the even harder-core wheeling buddies I enjoy wheeling with ever bothered with dual batteries.

Dual batteries are usually a solution in search of a problem that is usually installed by those who have more $$$ than actual trail experience.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:35 PM   #9
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So there is really no reason for an upgraded alternator then? I thought for sure that I would need one adding that amount of lights with the winch.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:54 AM   #10
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Like it's been said above- look at LED for your winch work lights. Mine draw about 14 watts or some ridiculous low number like that. And I've never had an issue with a low battery with night time winching.

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