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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-29-2002, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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dual battery/alternator

I'm looking to add dual batteries to my 83 CJ7 and figured that I would have to upgrade the alternator. My alternator is stock and probably came with the Jeep. Anyway, how many amps does my alternator need to handle a dual battery setup? I won't be running a winch (yet), Right now I basically just want a bomb-proof battery system for the winter and for emergencies. I think I can get a 100 amp alternator from NAPA. Do you think this should be enough?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-29-2002, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: dual battery/alternator

Just checked the Napa site and it looks like they have up to an 85 amp alternator. BTW, I have the 258 with power steering .
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-29-2002, 10:34 PM
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Re: dual battery/alternator

On my 83 I had two 1050 CCA batteries.. and have since replaced them with smaller, 850 CCA batteries. I'm using the stock alternator and it works just fine.

You want to upgrade all your grounds, batteries (Gel cell or Spiral Wrap Fiberglass 6 packs) and use good cables. I'm using mechanical isolation, but will be chaning to solid state isolation. The choice is yours. Many people don't trust what they can't see, and when it comes to electronices the mechanical isolator is something they can handle, see and understand.

When you're talking about winter emergencies... of what type? Winching, self jumping, etc?

As with any sytem you can go simple, or complex, inexpensive or the sky's the limit. It all depends on your needs and who's selling you the stuff.

Before you commit to a system sit down and figure out what your requirements are, which circuits will be on the auxilary battery, and or if you'll leave the starting battery on a circuit by itself, the type of isolation, the charging circut and switching circuits for self-jumpering.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-30-2002, 06:04 AM
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Re: dual battery/alternator

I went to this guy. Pretty good and a one year warranty.
<a target="_blank" href=http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&amp;item=1853719985>http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&amp;item=1853719985</a>

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-30-2002, 06:56 AM
 
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Re: dual battery/alternator

Batteries vs. Alternator is an issue of reserve size vs. supply strength. You can think of them much like a water system... your Jeep will place certain demands on the system... standard (stock) loads would need an old fashioned squirt-gun size stream to supply them. Even if your alternator shut off, it would take a little while to drain your reserve tank (battery). Example: leaving your lights on [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]. Off road lights or other medium sized accessories might increase that demand to maybe a garden hose sized stream. If you are running them all and your alternator can't keep up you will eventually kill your battery or batteries, no matter how many you have.

With a winch and/or other heavy duty electrical accessories, you should start thinking in terms of a fire-hose sized stream. You need both a decent alternator to keep up with the demand in the first place and a decent battery setup to be able to handle the "surges".

Going with two batteries and a stock alternator will simply increase your reserve capacity, which may be exactly what you want/need right now. For continued heavy loads, you will eventually need a better alternator.

I simply offer this as a different way to look at things in case it makes things easier to understand. LEVE is the man when it comes to electrical stuff, so I would pay close attention to his advice.

And above all else, GOOD GROUNDS cannot be stated enough times.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-30-2002, 09:38 AM
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Re: dual battery/alternator

i don't have dual batteries, but i upgraded to a 120 amp alt out of an '85 vette. $110 at the local auto parts store. it is the larger size but it took only minor modifications to make it fit. i would do it again.

shawn
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-30-2002, 12:03 PM
 
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Re: dual battery/alternator

I went with a 180AMP powder coated alternator (I would say that rating is a little overblown, but it has served me well) from EBay for like $120 delivered.

As for other dual-battery goodies and write-ups to further support what LEVE mentioned check here:

http://www.atlanta-off-road.org/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&amp;s=995606763&amp;f=122608034&amp;m= 8006094701

<a target="_blank" href=http://www.4wdriver.com/reviews/BIC-75300.html>http://www.4wdriver.com/reviews/BIC-75300.html</a>


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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-30-2002, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: dual battery/alternator

Thanks for all the info. I guess right now I really just want self jumping capabilities, as well as have enough juice to jump someone else if they need it. I can probably wait on the souped up alternator until I start adding lights and things... Any suggestions on a reasonably priced system? I don't really want to rig something homemade for the electrical system, but I'd like to keep it affordable...

Thanks!
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-30-2002, 10:17 PM
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Re: dual battery/alternator

1. If you don't do it yourself it's going to cost a lot of money.
2. The battery tray alone will be &gt;$80.
3. If I had to pay for a system Hellroaring makes about best kit out there... but you'll pay for it.
4. The Kits are "nice" but they also often have more than's needed for a system to operate with a minimum of points of failure. The more the kit contains, the more you're going to pay, initially and in the longer run.. during the product life.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-30-2002, 10:34 PM
 
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Re: dual battery/alternator

I am very satisfied with my Powermaster 140 amp alternator and dual Optima yellow tops. I wired the batteries in paralell and can run my winch, lights and accessories for a very long time.
If you do the dual batt setup, you will be pleased with the results. Just make sure you get a good strong alternator.
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