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How many guys out there do not run an alternator... And if you don't run one but do run electric over hydraulic steering, electric fuel pump, water pump, fans, MSD, etc; what setup are you running to keep the charge up loading/unloading, driving around the track, pulling, etc? 2 deep cycles? 1/0, 2/0, 4/0 gauge wire? What kind of total amps on your batteries?

 

Thanks, Josh

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  • 3 weeks later...

I read a test they did in circle track magazine with a mini 50 amp alt and no alt and when running the mini alternator it actually made like 5 more hp just because the charging system kept the msd box full power so i guess it would be about like going from a msd back to a hei dist by taking it off. so please take it off :D i need all the help i can get.

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I am hearing alot of mixed reviews on whether an alternator helps or not. I can definately understand that giving the ignition system max voltage, but having just batteries that maintain their max voltage would accomplish the same thing... It may help if I describe the problem I am having. I put hydro steering on last year, same style pump that all the guys in the area are running; haldex with no valving. I am running a 100amp gm 1wire alternator, 4ga wire to battery, 2 batteries wired parallel. Hydro steering pump wired to the pass side batt and everything else driver side... Shouldn't really matter since they are wired parallel, other than the batteries will try to balance each other. With everything on the truck running but the steering the voltage sits at nearly 14V, right when the hydro steering flips on it drops to 10V and stays there, I believe this is because of the large amount of current being drawn. I have contacted Haldex and the pump draws 233amps all the time, which this seems high to me but it is what it is. If those pumps are drawing 233 amps, fuel pump is 14amps, fans are 20 amps tot, water pump is 6amps, MSD says ignition draws 15amps, then figure 5amp for misc gauges that is a total of 288 amps... That seems excessive and like 1 real big alternator or 2 smaller (but bigger than I have now, lol) alternators to keep this thing juiced up.. I already have to charge the batteries after each pull so that isn't a problem to keep doing it without an alternator and using deep cell gel batts... I just want to get the voltage back up to 12V, MSD says their ignitions operate from 9-18volts safely but I would really like to keep it around 12V.

 

I have also been doing some research on alternators and what kind of HP they require to run and ran across a guy who actually uses B&S 5HP motors to run his alternators... Notice I said it plural, lol.. He ran a 100amp off of 1 motor and when the truck was running everything was fine, the batteries stayed charge.. But when he turned his steering on, the 5HP motor stalled and the voltage went way down, theory was that the 5HP motor was fine at normal load <100amp draw but once he kicked the steering on the alternator was running at full capacity, trying for <=100amps... So in our case, this would leave me to believe that it takes more than 5HP to turn a 100amp alternator at full load (not sure on what size pulleys he had on the alt and the engine). To solve it he ended up putting another 5HP engine on the truck and using a 35amp alt on each engine, and used 2 large deep cell batts.... I could go with his setup; but the batts are too large to fit under the hood, I dont want to put 2 alternators on the engine, rules technically :) would allow for lawn mower engines to be mounted on the weight bar but I would prefer to stay away from that, and I would prefer to stay away from mounting batts in the bed (just a personal preference).. I did find some HD marine gel deep cycles that are rated at 1400amp (slow/long discharge before dropping below 10.5V) each and have calculated with 2 of them I could run the truck for 30-40 minutes with everything turned on before the voltage would drop below 10.5V, but kind of skeptical to try it out since I have not heard of anyone going this route with small batts that are the same physical size as stock.

 

Sorry for the long post, just been doing alot of research and any help/insight is welcome!!!

 

Thanks, Mike & Josh

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Oh and I have also been hearing that if not running an alternator, it is best to let the steering/water pump/fans run on one battery, then have the fuel pump/ignition/starting run off of the other battery.

 

I know most of you pro-street boys and some cheater stock boys are running hydro steering... Whats the secret guys? :)

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Guest Leadfoot

I run an alternator and as I take the slack out of the chain, I kill the exciter (switch on the dash), which basically puts the alternator into free spin. After the pull, flip the switch and it's charging again.......

 

Not sure if that's the BEST option, but works for me (and no need to fuss with battery chargers).

 

As silly as it seems, also place a fairly large solar charger (from northern hydraulics AKA northerntool) in the dash when not pulling and hooked to the cigarette lighter for charging when the engine is off to keep the batteries topped off....

 

Just an option.

 

 

Edit: I run two batteries and have a Dakota digital dash. The readout is still above 12 Volts (usually in the 12.3 range) even after unhooking from the sled and the switch still off. I also run electric fans and make sure they are disabled (switch on the dash) until after the pull is done. The only electrical items on are the ignition, dash, and Holley blue pusher pump. I would imagine the fans would draw quite a bit if they kicked on during the pull and alternator was not charging, so beware of that.

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