High Performance Alternators

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Ken Scharabok, Aug 28, 2004.

  1. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    OK, folks, remember I am not mechanically disadvantaged, I am mechanically inept.

    I have a 1990 Dodge D360 flatbed truck. I bought it used with just the cab and chassie and had a flatbed installed with hydraulic arms for moving large round hay bales (Hydra-Bed). The arms are run by a hydraulic pump mounted on the engine. An alternator on the truck lasts about eight months. Even then, an rebuilt or aftermarket one lasts about one day - it has to be an original factory jobbie to work the eight months. Latest mechanic said when the pump it used it draws so much power from the alternator it burns it out a little at a time - sort of like once a week driving your car flat out for an hour.

    Next time the alternator goes out is it possilble to put on a high-performance one which puts out more power (whatever) than what is one there now? Wouldn't the voltage regular keep it within tolerance for the rest of the electrical equipment, yet still allow the extra pull needed by the hydraulic system?

    Kitchen English please.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    The lifting device, if ran by a pump located on the engine (via belts) has no connection to the alternator.

    The lifting device , if ran by electricity supplied by the electrical system, could benifit by adding a secondary battery as near as possible to the use of the power.

    Please clarify if the hydraulic fluid is pressured by its own pump, belt,fitting, hoses, ect; or is it pressured by an electric component which is supplied by the existing battery. There is no connection that could cause the problem as stated unless both the alternator and the hydraulic pump use the same belt, even then they are not cause and effect as described.
     

  3. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Ken,
    I believe what you have is an electrical driven hydraulic pump. This will consist of a small pump driven by a "starter" motor. This is a common type setup used to operate a hydraulic tailgate on a delivery truck. I somewhat disagree with your mechanics explaination of the reason for failure. It is not typical for such a setup to go through alternators at the rate you are experiencing. Additionally, I am of the opinion you have too small of a battery in the vehicle. By too small I am referring to the amperage. The pump does require a lot of power to drive it. The battery should be of sufficient reserve to be able to cycle the hoist without significantly draining the battery and thus the alternator will not sense an equivalent near short condition as it starts to recharge the battery. This surge is IMO what is causing the failure of the alternator/regulator as tremendous heat builds up and that is what is detrimental to the charging system. Do not attempt to buy a replacement battery from any discount store. The labels on these batteries lie. If you can locate a Deka brand supplier get something from him in the the 1000 Plus amps range, he may have to order it as most people will not pay for the value and it is hard for him to justify stocking the bigger batteries. You may have to alter your battery box to accomodate the physical size. These batteries are designed to deliver. An aside, using a high end high amperage battery will give longivity to a starter sytem on a vehicle, particularly diesels. The voltage will remain high and the starter relays will see reduced current and the starter motor will spin rapidly without the heatup associated with voltage drop and current increase that results as the capacity of the battery diminishes. When the unsuspecting public buys cheap batteries they are not getting the value they preceive.
     
  4. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I'll join in too. As others stated the alt. should not be effected by the hydraulic unit. As the others I will ASSume that the hydraulic unit is an electric motor driven pump. This is common and is used on many dump beds. The actual electricity used by the elec. motor is drawn from the battery. The alt refills the battery after it is drawn out. That is in simple terms. If the battery is very small the it will be emptied quickly.
    I would install an aux. battery and a battery isolator. This aux battery would only operate the hyd. motor. Or you could install a bigger high quality battery in your truck which should do the job. Now all of this goes OK as long as ALL connections are clean and have minimal resistance.
    Through the years I have had problems with some reman alts., but generally the higher quality ones last just fine.
     
  5. Unregistere

    Unregistere Guest

    Yup, there are special "extreme duty" (almost deep cycle) batteries and high output alternators designed for large loads (winches, big stereos, hydraulic pumps). If you're operating the hydraulics with the engine off, the entire electrical load is coming from the battery. I had a truck with hydraulic tailgate, and don't remember even using a high-output battery or alternator... but it was a small 800lb lift.

    cheers,
     
  6. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..................Ken , you can purchase a self contained 12vdc hydraulic pump unit from Northern supply . They are low volume units that will supply a small , bidirectional , hydraulic cylinder that is more than capable of lifting a round bale of hay . I see these hydraulic hay spike units mounted on the back of 3/4 and one ton trucks all the time . They...are not ...that expensive. I , would S--t can the one you have and get a new unit that won't keep eating parts of your electricial system . ....fordy... :eek: :)
     
  7. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    If your hydraulic unit is electric, and taking out the alternator, i would opt to replace the hydraulkic unit with a belt driven model, whie not able to run the unit with the motor off, the pumps/units are built to better specs in my estimation than the electric driven ones, and are easier overall on the vehicle using them, exceptions might include if your resivoir is not large enough to cool the fluid while using the unit in a continual manner, lifting a bale of hay would not be using continually..... The unit i refer to is a belt driven with elcetric clutch, easily mounted on the engine.... there are 4 units listed on the following site, including one for serpentine belts, giving more people an option to use the electric clutch for remote hydraulics on newer rigs....

    http://www.surpluscenter.com/sort.a...catname=&byKeyword=yes&search=HYD clutch pump

    http://www.surpluscenter.com is the home page, Ive been getting their catalog for years and have never had a problem odering through them.....

    http://www.northerntool.com has them as well except the serpentine model although i did not compare specs, the units are $100 cheaper at this time.

    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/...06970&PHOTOS=on&productId=468329&categoryId=0

    The battery isolator may help with the addition of an extra battery, but you generally need similar sized large batteries to use efficiently with the 12 volt hydraulic package [yes differnt size and type will work as long as they are 12 volt but it still over works your alternator for the smaller battery]

    My opinion.... remembering that is given freely

    William
     
  8. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Yes, the pump is belt driven with an on/off switch in the cab and the lift up down and in and out knobs. It will not operate with the engine shut off (but will drain the battery if I forget and leave the switch on). If I am going down the road and turn on the unit to adjust the arms, I can feel the truck slow down. Sound like going to a higher-qualify battery may do the job. There is just a co-op battery in it now and it is the one specified for the truck as original equipment usage.

    I know Hydra-Bed revamped their system to have at least the arms work via switches, rather than pull/push knobs.

    There is a hydraulic tank build into the bed behind the cab.
     
  9. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Okay, so what you have is a belt driven hydraulic pump that is controlled with an electric clutch just like an air conditioner compresor. First thing to do is have it wired correctly so it can only be powered when the switch is on or the truck is running. This will stop any chances of draining your battery while parked. If proerly done this should include wiring a relay in so the switch isn't carrying the load. Now the reason the truck slows down when engaging the pump is just the load or strain placed on the engine to turn the hydraulic pump.
    There is absolutely no reason in the world that this type of pump is hurting your alternator. The only electrical draw this pump has is the draw to energize the magnetic clutch assy. Have someone measure the amperage draw of the clutch when it engages. Is there a belt problem? is this pump on a seperate belt or is it on the alt. belt?
     
  10. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ................Ken, Take your positive batt. terminal off the the battery . Take a 12 volt test light and hook in series with the 12 + lead on your battery . If the test light glows you have a constant low amperage draw on the battery from some load. Now , with the test light hooked up , IF..it is glowing start unplugging fuses on your fuse panel. Sooner or later you will isolate the circuit that is harboring the the problem. Also , unplug the regulator as it is a potential problem as well . .....fordy..... :eek: :)
     
  11. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    fordy, you are "the man" . I like the way you think!
     
  12. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    OK, will print this out and take it into the shop which did the work to have them do the testing. I know how to get the hood up and that is about it.

    Ken Scharabok