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Go Back   Fun In B.C. > Adventure B.C. > General outdoor Discussion

General outdoor Discussion For any outdoor adventure. Trail talk, camping, skiing, hiking, etc If itís outside and fun talk about it here.

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  #1  
Old 09-30-2008, 01:12 PM
Leithmc Leithmc is offline
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Winch question

I've got my first winch on my vehicle. I'm wondering what's best, Have the vehicle running during a pull and let the alternator take the load or shut the vehicle off and risk draining the battery?
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  #2  
Old 09-30-2008, 02:07 PM
lornix lornix is offline
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That's a good question. I usually have my engine running on longer pulls and even give it a bit of gas when the pulling gets hard and starts to draw down. On a short pull of just a few feet I keep the engine off to prevent the heat and save fuel.

Also, if the engine is running and it gets really nasty you can help the winch a little with your clutch as long as you are not shock-loading the winch.

Not sure if this is correct procedure, just the way I have always done it.
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:16 PM
Leithmc Leithmc is offline
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Thanks, seems to make sense
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:38 PM
Jeep Victim Jeep Victim is offline
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You have been with me using mine.I keep the engine running as there is an amp draw while pulling...and you tend to get REAL stuck when pull time arises!
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:40 PM
Leithmc Leithmc is offline
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!!! One in every crowd eh?
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:18 PM
Rye Guy Rye Guy is offline
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I believe that I read in WARN instructions to have dual batteries and have truck running. But I do idle mine while using the winch. Can't wait to hook up the high idle switch. (maintain 1200 rpm with the flick of a switch)
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  #7  
Old 10-01-2008, 07:50 AM
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The only time you should be running the vehicle to winch is when you have hydraulic or pto winch. When your winching with an electric winch the winch battery should be isolated from the charging system. When you consider the winch will draw in excess of 5oo amps on a hard pull, anything over what can be delivered by the battery, will be seen as a dead short to the alt. and possibly cook your alternator. So if the battery will deliver 250 amps, and the winch is drawing 600 amps, the alt. has a 350 amp short. I have seen lots of people doing this, and lots of people who have new alts. and complaing how shitty the quality is, because the alts keep packing it in. Best is a separate battery for the winch, wired in to the charging system with a circuit breaker.
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:42 AM
Leithmc Leithmc is offline
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Ya Pumkin, The reason I asked the question in the first place is because a buddy of mine smoked a brand new alternator on his first pull with a new winch. His battery was shit before the pull, so I assume that didn't help.
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:10 AM
Jeep Victim Jeep Victim is offline
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Most winches come with how to's.It was recommended to him that he buy a better battery.An Optima seems alot cheaper now doesn't it! Oh and to you sir ,see ya at the gym, Bitch!
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:51 AM
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yes a circut breaker of the output of the alt is a very good idea and the breaker should be close to if not the same as the rated output of the alt.
and your battery should be no less than 600cca's
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:56 AM
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I have a red top and a yellow top isolated from each other with a 45amp alt. (huge Toyota output), I leave my truck running and switch on the deep cycle, it take the draw away from the alt and allows it to charge the red top for the engine... I have been running like this for 3 years and have no problems so far... I run a 10000 t-max.
With both batts running together I have about 1500cca

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Old 10-01-2008, 12:36 PM
lornix lornix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkin View Post
The only time you should be running the vehicle to winch is when you have hydraulic or pto winch. When your winching with an electric winch the winch battery should be isolated from the charging system. When you consider the winch will draw in excess of 5oo amps on a hard pull, anything over what can be delivered by the battery, will be seen as a dead short to the alt. and possibly cook your alternator. So if the battery will deliver 250 amps, and the winch is drawing 600 amps, the alt. has a 350 amp short. I have seen lots of people doing this, and lots of people who have new alts. and complaing how shitty the quality is, because the alts keep packing it in. Best is a separate battery for the winch, wired in to the charging system with a circuit breaker.
Good explanation. That answers a few questions I have pondered about my "shitty charging system".
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Old 10-01-2008, 06:27 PM
85_GMC_4x4 85_GMC_4x4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lornix View Post
Good explanation. That answers a few questions I have pondered about my "shitty charging system".
Too bad he's not correct.

The only way that the alternator would see a "dead short" is if there was an actual short. The winch will pull the battery voltage down to 9Volts on a long hard pull. 9 volts and a dead short are 2 completely different things. The battery and alternator don't "split the current draw" or anything like that. Alternators are rated at 9.6V Meaning if your battery voltage drops to 9.6V your alternator should put out it's rated current. If the winch pulls so much current that your battery voltage drops below 9.6V, your alternator doesn't put out much more current as it's already maxed out.. instead it just puts out that current at a lower voltage.

Batteries don't have a maximum current that they can supply. Instead, when the current get's too high the battery voltage get's lower... with lower voltage you have less ability to deliver that current and the current drops off. When you see a battery with a 500CA (Cranking Amps) rating that means it can deliver 500 amps while maintaining a voltage of 9.6Volts. The battery could deliver 1000amps, but it would do it at something like 4.5volts.

People weld with alternators... THAT's a dead short. Yet the alternators usually last not too bad.

Modern alternators are protected against this kind of thing. While winching is hard work for them, it's no different than charging a very low battery or jump starting a vehicle with a dead battery. If you want to take it easy on the alternator, DON'T rev up the engine... most alternators can't put out their maximum current at idle, so having the engine at idle will produce less power but will be easier on the alt.

If your alternator burns out while winching, it was time for a new one anyway. Personally, I'll always winch with the engine running. It's easier on both the battery and the winch and I limit the risk of a dead battery (especially if I'm not out yet). Dunno bout you guys, but I can replace a lot of alternators for the cost of a winch.

A seperate winch battery is a good idea and definately the prefered solution. But even then, I winch with the engine running.
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Last edited by 85_GMC_4x4 : 10-01-2008 at 07:10 PM.
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  #14  
Old 10-01-2008, 07:48 PM
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I've never killed an alternator winching
I always add a second battery for the winch, used to use aa deep cycle for the winch but last time i just bought a second redtop
winches are extreme power hogs
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  #15  
Old 10-01-2008, 07:59 PM
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Dead short, was just used to make a point. Any time you demand foll power out of the alt, it creates a lot of heat, if you demand full power for an extended period of time you will drastically shorten the life of the alt. When ever you put a new alt in a vehicle,the instructions it comes with say, if the battery is not fully charged, the warranty is void. GM alts are the worst for dying from being overworked. I love watching people winch and rev the engine, with smoke pouring from the alt. And you know for a fact that all electrical things actually work of smoke, and the battery is just a storage unit for said smoke. When all the smoke leeks out a starter, alt, or wiring, that unit ceases to work till you fix, or replace it, and connect it to a good source of smoke. What you have said is correct for the most part in theory, but in practice, theory may leave you with a stuck truck and a dead battery, and once the voltage drops bellow 9 volts most vehicles will stop running.
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