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Mean Green Alt v. Dual Batteries

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Curran, Jun 19, 2003.

  1. Curran

    Curran SILVER Star

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    I was planning on installing a Dual Bat system in my truck for the sole purpose of feeding my Warn 12K. But then, a friendly neighborhood off road guide asked me "Why don't you just install a Mean Green alternator instead? Less weight; saves space under the hood and no added electrical concerns."
    I just wanted to bounce the idea off you folks as I am clueless as usual.
    Thanks.
     
  2. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    I don't know about Mean Green specifically but, when you have two batteries and one of them takes a dump you still have one battery. When you have one alternator and IT takes a dump you have how may left?  :dunno:

    Oh, I have one stock battery and one stock alternator. ::)
    So, I'm hosed either way. :ugh:
     
  3. Photoman

    Photoman SILVER Star

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    I have both dual batteries and a Mean Green alternator and starter. If I remember correctly a winch can pull 400 to 500 amps. The Mean Green alternator supposedly puts out 200 amps. For short pulls you may get away with your stock battery and alternator. For long pulls and continous use a second battery is the only way to go. Along the same lines, the second battery for winch use should probably be a deep cycle or a start/deep cycle battery. Pulling so many amps from a start battery is not the best thing. That being said, I have cooked two deep cycle batteries. One Optima yellow top and one marine. This is just my opinion and I could be all wet be it seems any deep cycle battery I have tried would never charge to the max voltage of my start battery. Also, in my experience I was always taught to charge a battery the way it was discharged i.e. if it was drained slow then charge it back slow. So, when I run all my electrical crap off the deep cycle and pull it down slow; then hit it with 200 amps from the alternator it fries it. The marine battery actually bulged, the optima would no longer take a charge (2 months old). When I put my buggy back on the road the next time I am going to try two of these batteries. They are start/deep cycle batteries and will be matched. http://www.odysseyfactory.com/
    Bill
     
  4. yomama

    yomama

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    Curran,

    Even though I have only needed my winch a few times (glad I did have it) Warn 9000, the first few times I did not have any upgrades to help it, standard alternator and battery, after winching for about 10 seconds with the vehicle running it caused my alt light to come on. So I would pause, pull, pause etc. This worried me as well. I too have since gone to both Mean Green for starter and alternator and added a second battery. I haven't had to use it since, but the way I have it setup now, I can winch from the main battery or both batteries and with the Mean Green alt, I can't imagine having anymore concerns. Having dual batteries is the ONLY way to go, adding the Mean Green alt will give you additional peace of mind.
    The starter I swapped out for a Mean Green because after adding the turbo it created allot of heat under the hood and three times after driving (twice at the gas station) when I would get back in to start it I would get nothing.....Just dash lights, no starter, no clicks, nothing. Opening the hood for 10-15 minutes she would cool off enough and start back up. Having an awesome looking Cruiser I couldn't stand the thought of sitting there with my hood open cooling down. After putting in the Mean Green this has not happened since.

    Yomama
     
  5. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Curran,
    Yomama also has the Hellroaring isolator. From my limited research it seems like that is a very good piece of equipment to have with the dual battery system.

    (Yomama, can you post some pics of the installation?)
    -B-
     
  6. Photoman

    Photoman SILVER Star

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    If going with an isolator the mount location is important as most of them are air cooled and they do get hot. When I tried one I mounted it on the outside of the aux. battery case where it would benefit from the engine fan. Still didn't work as it cooked on the road and the alt light came on. Went with a solenoid system and the first one quit after a short time. Finally found one that lasted now for a couple of years - NAPA ST552. It is a continuous duty solenoid for golf carts. Also Wrangler NW makes one that is supposed to be good. http://www.wranglernw.com/commerce/ItemDetail.asp?ItemNo=29-983
    Bill
     
  7. landandsea

    landandsea

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    The rule of thumb for charging a deep cycle battery is to not charge at an amperage exceeding 40% of the battery's amp-hour rating. In other words, a battery rated at 200 amp-hours should not get more than 80 amps input when charging. Batteries can't accept unlimited amounts of current without overheating and/or heating up.

    The best, most rugged marine batteries are made by 2 companies - Rolls and Surrette. I've used and terribly abused both. I'm not sure if either make the size that would fit under the hood, but I'll check into it

    Cheers,
    Ed
     
  8. BMT

    BMT

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    I will go along with Photoman. The continuous duty soleniod seems to work better than the isolators. Not only that but you can get "bleed back" through the isolators. &nbsp:Does anyone know the amperage of the stock alternator?
     
  9. Photoman

    Photoman SILVER Star

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    BMT,
    On a 97 it's 80 amp.
    Bill
     
  10. Junk

    Junk

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    Trust me on this - DO NOT GO WITH MEAN GREEN. Stick with the stock alt - get a new one if need be, but do not go green. Those guys are total losers if you ever need help. We had tech support from Surepower (the best damn isolator company btw) on the phone on a conf call with Mean Green and the MG guys would either refuse or do not know much about their product AT ALL.

    Go with a deep cycle #2 batt, high crank #1, a surepower iso, stock alt and spend good money and get good wire - the best wire you can afford. I prefer to not use the switch for the winch to know which batt to draw from - my switch dictates which batt or both sends juice to the starter.
     
  11. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Junk,
    Can you give us some specifics on the Surepower isolator? &nbsp:Did you do a comparison to the Hellroaring or others?

    Physical size, ability to dump heat, amp capacity, cost, etc. would help. They didn't have much on their web site or I couldn't find the technical details.

    -B-
     
  12. Junk

    Junk

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    Yo B, you're not expecting me to remember that stuff a year + after install are ya? :ugh: I'll find the papers around here somewhere and get back to ya. A good friend of mine who passed away last year had the hellroaring and loved it. Just not my cuppo dc though. Will tell ya that Mean Green tech support knows nothing about their products.
     
  13. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Yo Junk,

    After all your ranting about how superior Swampers are (and we know better,) you don't expect us to buy your Surepower endorsement without some empirical evidence. :G

    Give us something to go on or shut the F up.

    Oh, yeah. Welcome Back.
    :wave:

    -B-
    (I can't believe I typed that.)
     
  14. Junk

    Junk

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    ... well I just quoted it so even if you modify your post I still have it. :flipoff2:

    :D dang - you're on to me. I can see it now. Will dig out the papers and post the info. Just had a new 450lb compressor and heated parts washer show up today though, so I'm a tad preoccupied :flipoff2:
     
  15. Photoman

    Photoman SILVER Star

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    I picked up the Mean Green alt. and starter directly from the company as they are about 50 or 60 miles from me. Talked to the man and he seemed like he knew what he was talking about. I am just guessing but from the size of the building I think they get the stuff from somewhere else. I put the starter on and did not notice any difference from my stock starter which was working fine. I posted a question on SOR about how do you test the output in amps of an alternator on the cruiser and no one could answer. The Mean Green is physically the same size as stock so I was a little dubious that it put out 200 amps as claimed. Just wanted to see if I got what I paid for. Now my buggy is apart and not running so I can't test it now anyway but the question still stands.
    -B- :beer: :wave: :beer:
    Bill
     
  16. Junk

    Junk

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    Photo - not sure how it works, but I picked up a freebie accessory for my fluke 88 that's supposed to be able to tell ya. I can send everything off to you if you want to try it out. I haven't read the instructions, but supposedly you can. ???
     
  17. Photoman

    Photoman SILVER Star

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    Thanks Mike,
    Since I won't be running for a while it won't do me any good. I'll just have to get off my lazy butt and drive over to the automotive electric company that I used for years and ask them. I know if I took them the alt. they could check it for me. It would not be too hard to get off as I have some of the front off anyway. I may do it out of curiousity. Thanks again!
    Bill
     
  18. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    Bill:

    I'm no expert (ie you could die trying this :eek:), but can't you just take a multimeter, set to amps (AC I think as alternators generate AC and are then converted to DC IIRC), select the correct range (ie something that will cover 200 amps) and then use both pickups on the same line (positive) which may require that you pierce the insulation with the points on the pick-up.

    Fire your baby up, run to some reasonable rpm and see what you get (or plot for a range of rpm)

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  19. Photoman

    Photoman SILVER Star

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    Hugh,
    This is from Bill's wife. The funeral is tomorrow. Please do not attend. Just kidding, thanks.
    Ed,
    Great idea! Just need to find an amp gauge that reads that high and get the cruiser running. I had heard before that these small case high outputs were not reliable. I carry my stock alt. which was fine as a backup just in case. One of the main reasons I needed the high output alt. was I was running two electric racing fans for cooling the rad. They drew around 25 amps constantly so that didn't leave much left for my other junk. I am now switching back to he stock SC fan and have had a new shroud made. Thanks again!
    Bill
     
  20. landandsea

    landandsea

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    Bill, if you are interested in an ammeter installation to read the Mean Green output....on boats with high output alternators, I've used ammeters that use a shunt. Instead of running heavy cable to the ammeter to have it wired in series, the heavy cable only goes to mthe shunt which is mounted near the alt. and #18 wire then goes from the shunt to the meter. The shunt causes a voltage drop measured in micro volts based on the amount of current passing through it. The meter is actually a microvolt meter with an ammeter face. Works great on high output alternators.

    In my experience, small frame/high output alts don't last long. They can't dissipate the heat they produce. Large frame/high output alts are the way to go. Doubt there would be room for a large frame alt on the 80, but if it could be fitted, that would be the best way to go.

    If the Nean Green has an internal solid state regulator, carry many extra solid state replacements. The heat fries those first.

    Ed