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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used my winch and realized how badly it taxed my battery. How do you fix this? Bigger/better battery? Bigger better alternator?

I realize now that military vehicles run on a 24V system. Is that the same as dual batteries in a Jeep? Or is a dual battery a different system?

Alot of electrical components say wire it directly to the battery for best results. Like winches, cb radios, etc. But you can't hook everything to such a small terminal on the battery. How do you get around that?
 

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Batteries are mainly for starting your engine and running accessories when the jeep is off. Your alternator powers everything (up to the maximum output it can) while your engine is on. Any excess demand while the engine is on is provided by the battery. So if your engine is running and you are draining your battery an upgraded alternator would help prevent this. I put a Durango (I think) alternator on my tj and I love it. It's jumped my duramax on the first try and I've never noticed any battery drain even when winching. It's a direct bolt on too.

With this being said an upgraded battery would also help by providing steady amps and a deeper well so to speak to pull from

Dual batteries are usually a 24 volt system on jeeps. These are usually a pain in the :censored: to install as all your accessories (including things like windshield wipers) need to be able to handle 24 volts


I use military style battery terminals to wire all my stuff. They provide more room for extra stuff. There are also some aftermarket batteries that come with extra terminal plugs

Hope that helps
 

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Dual batteries are "usually" a 24 volt system
If hooked up in "series" yes, but if hooked up in a parallel configuration it would still give you 12 volts but with more amps.
 

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You don't need dual batteries, waste of money, time, and space. And no, the folks that do run dual batteries in a Jeep are not 24v systems they are wired in parallel maintaining a 12v system.

An alternator alone in no way is responsible for for the ability of jumping off another vehicle. I have used a vehicle equipped with a 65A alternator and a 880CCA battery to jump start a big rig that has 4-12v/1200CCA batteries. Have also used a vehicle equipped with a 160A alternator with a 880CCA battery to jump start another small vehicle and it was a few minutes wait to get enough voltage/amps in the dead battery to be able to start the vehicle. It all depends on what condition the dead battery is in.

You can do military style batt terminals or you can do a junction block with one positive and one negative connection at the battery. I prefer the junction block for all the accessorizes, a cleaner setup without all that wiring spaghetti at the battery. The winch needs to be connected directly to the battery

A good single 800+ cold cranking amp battery with a 100+ amp alternator is all that's needed to power a winch. The alternator does not power the winch there's no way it could.
 

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I used my winch and realized how badly it taxed my battery. How do you fix this? Bigger/better battery? yes
Bigger better alternator?yes

I realize now that military vehicles run on a 24V system.
Is that the same as dual batteries in a Jeep? no
Or is a dual battery a different system?yes. it's 2 separate sources, one for heavy loads, one for the vehicle (starter, lights, ect). you'll need something between them to isolate them and to direct the charge from the alternator to the one that needs it. Painless has a solid state one that is easy to put in. also alternator needs enough a$$ to handle them. I like my mean green 200A.

Alot of electrical components say wire it directly to the battery for best results. Like winches, cb radios, etc. But you can't hook everything to such a small terminal on the battery. How do you get around that?look for a "power distribution" block
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What is a power distribution box? And can it be used in conjunction with a dual battery set up?

If you do use a dual battery set up, do you need a regular battery and a deep cycle? Or both deep cycle?
 

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Don't need dual batteries and you will need a gel type or AGM batteries if you were to do it. Usually one stands up and one lies on it's side because there's no good place to mount two batteries standing up in the engine bay of a TJ.

Both batteries need to be of the same type, size, specs and working condition. If they are not you're asking for trouble. Some have used an isolator in a dual battery setup but it's not needed. Unless you plan on running the stereo or lights for extended periods without the engine running to draw down the batteries. Then yes, I would suggest an isolator, normal use, winching, no need for an isolator or two batteries for that matter.

Yes, what Gat is calling a "power distribution block" (junction block) can be used with as many batteries as you like.

Google is your friend junction block - Bing images
 

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distribution block has 1 big connection for large cable, and multiple connections for smaller cables. mine has 1 #1/0 in and 6 #6 out. look on audio sites to find adapters to go from #6 size connection to #4 cable. they are well made (not cheesy).
the isolator will "sense" which battery need a charge and direct it there. read the painless isolator directions. they don't have to be the same. I'm using optima yellow top, and optima red top, mostly because they're agm and not wet. no need to create more mess should I ever decide to play turtle again.
I made the tray from 1" angle iron, and 2" flat stock from the hardware store. it mimics the stock one, but holds both batteries side by side in stock location. I did have to move the factory fuse/distribution block over a little.
which ever way you decide to go, check it out before you get started. if you don't understand how it works, take the time to learn it.
at a minimum, get a battery with a deeper discharge and an alternator that will recharge it.
 

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I'm using optima yellow top, and optima red top, mostly because they're agm and not wet. .
Optima batteries have been considered less than OK for a few years now. Most definitely not the best choice in any situation.

Most of us that are in the know and depend on a Quality battery will not choose Optima.
 
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Optima batteries have been considered less than OK for a few years now. Most definitely not the best choice in any situation.

Most of us that are in the know and depend on a Quality battery will not choose Optima.
Soooooo.....what battery DO you recommend?
 

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wow, lots of odd info in this thread.

simply stated, the battery supplies power to your vehicle, the alternator charges your battery. you would triple the max output of the alternator anytime you use your winch with a load on it.

since the diehard platinum is no longer, the go to battery is an odyssey AGM.

far too many issues with a dual battery setup in a 12v system, modifying your entire jeep to run on 24v would really complicate things.

if you want a stronger alt, you can get one made for a late 90's durango. its 160a and is a bolt in part. you should swap out your alt cable if doing this upgrade, and that includes the proper sized fusible link. 4awg cable requires an 8 awg fusible link, 0 awg cable requires a 4 awg fusible link. a breaker or fuse is not a fusible link
 

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Optima batteries have been considered less than OK for a few years now. Most definitely not the best choice in any situation.

Most of us that are in the know and depend on a Quality battery will not choose Optima.
What AGM-type battery brand then? You left out that critical piece of info. :)
 

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since the diehard platinum is no longer, the go to battery is an odyssey AGM.
Ironhead Jed gave you the battery info which seems to reach consensus across the forum.

Once upon a time, the Sears Diehard Platinum seemed to be the battery of choice. Sears no longer carries this battery.

It is documented that the Sears battery was made by Odyssey. The Odyssey AGM battery is still available to purchase from multiple sources.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok. I believe I understand the concept of the power distribution box. What is an optimal place you guys are locating this on a TJ?

However, I don't understand why my winch drains my battery so much. One guy says better battery. Another guy says better alternator. Another guy says "The alternator does not power the winch there's no way it could."

What is the correct answer?
 

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These are specs of a Warn M8 winch with a rating of 435 amps how could a 120 - 200 amp alternator power a winch?
12V DC PERFORMANCE SPECS 0 Lbs 80 amps, 2000Lbs 200 amps, 4000 Lbs 285 amps, 6000Lbs 350 amps, 8000Lbs 435 amps
Above performance specs are based on first layer of drum

The battery supplies power the alternator charges the battery. You don't need a ridiculously large output alternator to run a winch. Most folks have the stock Jeep 117 amp alternator combined with one quality battery. It's a setup that works flawlessly, easiest to maintain, most cost and weight efficient.

Do as you want, if you want dual batteries along with an isolater and a Mean Green Alternator. BY all means go ahead and drop the $800 to do it. If you want a simple system that works, then get the biggest CCA battery that will fit in the TJ battery tray, and a 117 amp alternator.
 

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what battery do you have?
what winch do you have?

what were the circumstances of the pull that taxed your system? was it a long pull through thick mud or up a steep incline? some winches can pull ~500 amps if they are near maximum winching capacity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have an OEM alternator, Smittybilt XRC8, and Duralast Gold battery. On the battery itself it says "cranking amps 1,000" and "cold cranking amps 800". Part number 34-DLG.

I was winching a small suv up a hill. I don't remember the name of the car. But it was about the size of a Jeep liberty (the first one). The hill was about 30 degrees or so. No major obstacles or anything. Just a dirt road hill. I left the other vehicle in neutral and let the winch do the work. I had to use my hand throttle to keep my RPM's up to keep the battery charged.
 
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