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Powering An Electric Winch?

Discussion in 'Winches' started by Ol Fogie, Oct 24, 2021.

  1. Oct 24, 2021
    Ol Fogie

    Ol Fogie 74 cj5 304, 1943 mb 2020 Sponsor

    Jasper Georgia
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    Just wondering if anyone here runs a dual alternator setup on their jeep with an electric winch. If so how about some details please.
     
  2. Oct 25, 2021
    Sierra Bum

    Sierra Bum Member

    The High Sierra
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    I can kind-of give you input.....I have two alternators on my 68 CJ5. One is a full-time alternator and kicks out 140 amps max. The other is a 110 amp unit that I run as a welder (weldernator). If need be, I can quickly convert the weldernator to run as a one-wire alternator if my full-time unit dies. So the weldernator is also a back-up alternator.

    To respond to your question more pointedly, I do not run two alternators simultaneously to power my jeep. I do however run dual batteries and have an 8000lb warn winch, and for winching duties this is more common. It seems wiring in dual alternators would be tricky. I'd think you'd have to have the same sized units and somehow get them to synchronize efforts. Dual batteries and a single high output alternator is a proven formula.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
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  3. Oct 25, 2021
    boopiejones

    boopiejones I can’t drive 55

    California east bay
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    I agree that dual batteries is the more common approach to running a winch. That said, I only have one battery and have never had any issues. My 2013 JK has performed the most winching duties. It has the stock alternator and a single AGM battery. Unless you’re doing a lot of winching, a single battery and a good alternator is likely fine.
     
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  4. Oct 25, 2021
    Walt Couch

    Walt Couch sidehill Cordele, Ga. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    cordele, Ga.
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    Your talking DC voltage. 2 alternators connected in parallel is no dif than 2 batteries in parallel. There is no phasing involved.
     
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  5. Oct 25, 2021
    RATTYFLATTY

    RATTYFLATTY I think you need a little more throttle

    Central MN
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    I run a single 100 amp 10si on in my 5 to power a 8274 Warn and a single red top Optima. I have never hade an issue yet to where it killed the battery and the Jeep died. I have however stopped my winching project as the winch motor would get quite hot.
     
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  6. Oct 25, 2021
    duffer

    duffer Rodent Power

    Bozeman, MT
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    Yep, I ran a 93 amp 10 SI and a single battery for decades without an issue. If you have a good battery (I have Odyssey's in everything these days), there shouldn't be a problem. I do think there are 200 amp alternators available these days-certainly a better solution than dual units. You could also add Premier Power's welder with its 160 amp version-what is presently in my 3B. That is one handy accessory.
     
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  7. Oct 25, 2021
    jeeper50

    jeeper50 jeeps 'till I die

    Gawja
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    I swapped out my one wire 63 amp and went to a 100 Amp one wire alt when I installed my winch.
     
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  8. Oct 25, 2021
    dnb5853

    dnb5853 Member 2021 Sponsor

    Grand Mesa, CO
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    A Delco 94 amp 12SI (or equivalent) and a good AGM battery is all you need.
    If you have to winch more than 10 minutes, just give your system a break and let your battery charge to keep up with the load demand.
    Proof it works...
     
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  9. Oct 25, 2021
    Ol Fogie

    Ol Fogie 74 cj5 304, 1943 mb 2020 Sponsor

    Jasper Georgia
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    Thanks for everyone's replies. I have used my 8000lb ramsey for many years. My jeep still has the old motorola 35 amp alternator and a factory size battery. I could usually extract my self from most problems without issue. That being said it sounds like a simple upgrade to a higher amp alternator (maybe a 94 amp 12si) and maybe a larger higher amp battery would suffice for my occasional winching episodes.
     
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  10. Oct 28, 2021
    OnlyOneDR

    OnlyOneDR Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    R
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    You will be fine. A DC electric winch under load consumes hundreds of amps and no "normal" alternator will keep up with that rate. The amperages down for many alternators are at some RPM above issue speed anyway so unless you are using a hand throttle or sitting there with your foot in the accelerator you do not get that full output anyway. Having a good battery onboard is key.
     
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  11. Jan 4, 2022
    cj2atruck

    cj2atruck Member

    Spokane, WA
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    Several years ago, I was asked to rescue a jeep that was back in the mountains in deep snow with broken rear spider gears. The concern was that it was blocking the old road on the side of a steep hill, so snowmobile folks would probably have just pushed it over the edge to get past.

    I have a 2014 Rubicon 4 door JK with 35 inch tires and a Warn 12,000 pound Zeon and an Optima AGM battery. After 12 hours and over 120 winch pulls, we got the jeep to pavement where it was able to use the front axle to make it back to his house. Stock charging system, and if I couldn't kill the battery with that many winch pulls, nothing will. I was also surprised the winch didn't complain with that much use, as I had the rescued jeep attached to my Rubicon with a strap and I was winching both rigs up every hill. I was glad I had an extra 120 foot rope, as I tied two loops in the rope at strategic points and was able to get as many as 4 pulls from each anchor point. Of course, this all happened between 6pm and 6am...

    All of my rigs now have Optima yellow top batteries...
     
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  12. Jan 4, 2022
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs.

    Happy Valley, OR
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    I keep seeing people comparing their stock charging systems on their late model vehicles to earlier vehicles. Apples and oranges. Late model vehicles can easily have 130 plus amp charging systems so even comparing to a 100 amp system is not the same. Factor in computer controlled charging systems and things get even more different.
    I agree though that a good high amp alternator and a good battery works well and should be minimum. If you are doing a lot of winching dual batteries is a plus.
    All this is why I’ve run pto winches for most of my Jeep ownership life.

    Having said that, I’m slowly converting to electric for the convenience since I’m not heavy into the vehicle rescue scene any more. I have a Warn Powerplant for the CJ-6 and an M8000 or a Warn VR 10,000 for the CJ-5. Haven’t decided which yet. The VR is currently on a cradle for my trailer but is a bit heavy for that.
    I will be going with a Premier Power welder system so the alternator will be high output and dual Odyssey’s like Duffer.
     
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  13. Jan 4, 2022
    cj2atruck

    cj2atruck Member

    Spokane, WA
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    I also have my 47 with just an Optima yellow top, and use the winch to drag trees off my property off the hills to get them where I can use the backhoe to hold them at waist height while I cut them into rounds (at 62 with an artificial him and two artificial knees, I'm no longer interested in kneeling on the ground to cut trees). I use the 47 to drag trees since that winch has a steel cable instead of a rope, as I don't want to damage my winch rope dealing with on trees.

    I've never had a dual battery setup on any of my CJs over the last 40 years, and all of them have had plenty of winch usage. The only real modifications I have had on all my CJs is a hand throttle for rock crawling, which allows me to increase the rpms while winching.

    IMHO, if someone runs the battery dead while winching with the jeep running, the battery was likely in need of replacement long before the winching.
     
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  14. Jan 4, 2022
    oldtime

    oldtime oldtime

    St. Charles,...
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    If you make a living with your winch then go PTO.

    For electric winches I prefer the largest possible single battery to fit on the tray.
    I prefer the group 31 then 27 then group 24 in that order.
    You can stuff a group 31 onto a flat fender tray but group 27 fits better and it is much easier to find quality made group 27’s.
    As for battery selection, I think the Northstar AGM’s may have the best recharging cycles.
    If you fully drain them often then the deep cycle marine batteries are a huge plus.

    As for charging, the Standard F-134 35 amp generator works fine with a factory manual throttle control.
    No it will never keep up with continuous demands of a winch. But the winch is just as likely to overheat anyway by the time you drain a big battery.
    Relatively slow charge rates are best to maintain battery integrity.
    Now if you run an alternator I think the old 10si is still hard to beat.
    From the factory it was only designed to put out 63 amps max.
    The 12si had better cooling so the amp rating was increased to something like 94 amps.
    But like I say…. continuous fast charging is hard on most car batteries.
    So if you keep draining batteries just get a PTO.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2022
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  15. Jan 5, 2022
    PeteL

    PeteL If it wasn't for physics, and law enforcement... 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
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    No one here seems to be discussing that new replacement alternators can't even charge a dead battery. They come with a warning. Pathetic.

    My YJ alternator burned out, just that way, when I left my lights on and then tried to drive home after a bump-start.
     
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  16. Jan 5, 2022
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs.

    Happy Valley, OR
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    Something else to think of is a 35 amp alternator running at close to full capacity is more likely to wear or burn out much faster than a 90 amp alternator running at the same output as the 35 alternator since it is operating at a fraction of it’s capacity.
    Here is a scenario I’ve run into countless times. Raining, dark, cold. Need to use the winch. Need to run the headlights which means marker and tail lamps. Need to run the heater/defroster. Need to run the windshield wipers. Which system is going to more able to keep up with the task at hand?
     
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  17. Jan 5, 2022
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs.

    Happy Valley, OR
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    Any alternator unless can self energize needs some voltage to start the charging process. If the battery is flat the vehicle can’t start charging. You don’t say how your YJ is equipped. There many differences depending on the systems your vehicle has. The newer computer controlled vehicles are very sensitive to charging conditions. If the computer controls the charging system it just compounds the issues.

    I’ve always felt charging and starting systems should be standalone and NOT computer controlled. But there you have it.
     
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  18. Jan 5, 2022
    PeteL

    PeteL If it wasn't for physics, and law enforcement... 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
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    Stock configuration four cylinder, 1988.

    The point is simply that newer alternators so lightly constructed, and are reduced to such a bare minimum, they can't even withstand charging a dead battery. Which is cuckoo in my book. I can't imagine one powering a winch.
     
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  19. Jan 5, 2022
    Ol Fogie

    Ol Fogie 74 cj5 304, 1943 mb 2020 Sponsor

    Jasper Georgia
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    This is my thinking too. One time on a solo hunting trip I needed to winch under the worst weather conditions. Bad storm moved in earlier than expected. Alone, very cold, snow, at night, limited over night gear and supplies on board. Faced with a long distance pull, turning back was not an option. It was a 4-5 hour episode. Pulled jeep a total of about 40-50 yards. Had to saw trees/brush out of the way, so much time was spent at idle with just lights/heater on while clearing road. Then winch a while. Needed to stop and let the little 35 amp motorola catch up several times. By the time I got to the top of the mountain I was very low on fuel, had already began on my 5 gallon can reserve. I was sure getting worried, what if the little alternator fails. I learned then and there that I needed to upgrade to a better charging system and also add a spare alternator to my emergency supplies. I also learned to carry two flashlights with plenty of extra batteries for them. I usually did not hunt or back country travel alone but this was a drawn hunt and my buddy suddenly had to withdraw with sick family.
    Ah but that was adventurous times. Considered the trip a success.
     
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  20. Jan 6, 2022
    oldtime

    oldtime oldtime

    St. Charles,...
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    Good lil story.
    When the going gets tough you need a way foreword.

    No matter what specific batteries, power cables, winch and alternator you use I think overall the single biggest issue is dependability of the units.

    With that in mind research various batteries for deep cycling specifications. Use fine stranded welding cable for connections. A winch with a reputation.
    And research alternator feedback for something that’s time proven as being dependable.
     
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