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megavolt512

converting Versalift from generator to battery?

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I am buying an older Versalift truck - it's standard edition AT&T from 1990. 27ft. Ford F350 dually.

Anyway, the Versalift was designed to run off a generator, which is on the truck. I'd like to convert this to a battery bank so the generator doesn't have to constantly run.

My plan is to add perhaps 4 deep cycle batteries and some sort of charge controller/isolator so the trucks alternator charges these, (but it doesn't use them for starting). I may have to upgrade the alternator, but that doesn't seem like a big deal.

Anyone done something like this, or have any caveats? I just don't want to worry about keeping a generator running all the time when in use. Also quieter of course.

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Can't you upgrade the alternator. Keep the truck running, and run the hydraulic pump off the truck motor?

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Can't you upgrade the alternator. Keep the truck running, and run the hydraulic pump off the truck motor?

Yes could definitely do that. Was just looking for a way to keep from running the engine all the time when in use. The batteries seem to be a bit more reliable too and you're not waiting for an engine to run out of gas. Batteries run down but you get a a warning as the voltage begins to drop.

The new trucks used by Time Warner here seem to be battery-powered for the lift hydraulics. Nice and quiet!

Edited by megavolt512

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I use to have a utility truck years ago, it had two big tractor batteries next to the generator. Once the batteries got weak I could either start the generator to regenerate the batteries and operate the lift or start the truck and use. But this was a truck from the 80's era, sure do miss that truck.


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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Your truck is 25 years old. Why invest in The big batteries, parts needed, mechanics etc. It will cost you alot more then buying a new generator. Buy a Honda #1000 gas generator, $ 1,000 and an extra gas can. They run for 8 hrs on 1 gal and are so quiet you don't know they are on. Then you could take it with you when need to.

I have one Battery operated Bucket truck. I would not buy it again. It is no comparison to the PTO operated trucks which never fail

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Your truck is 25 years old. Why invest in The big batteries, parts needed, mechanics etc. It will cost you alot more then buying a new generator. Buy a Honda #1000 gas generator, $ 1,000 and an extra gas can. They run for 8 hrs on 1 gal and are so quiet you don't know they are on. Then you could take it with you when need to.

That's actually the other option I was thinking about... right down to that model of generator!

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Yes on the Honda 1000w gen. we use ours all the time you can hardly hear it run.


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Brian Phillips | expresssignandneon@sbcglobal.net | P. 812-882-3278

Express Sign & Neon | 119 S. 15th Street - Vincennes - IN 47591

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And people think we only put stickers on metal ! If was only that easy.

  • Haha 1

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Paul you do other things than that? lol

  • Haha 1

Installation & Maintenance Services

Brian Phillips | expresssignandneon@sbcglobal.net | P. 812-882-3278

Express Sign & Neon | 119 S. 15th Street - Vincennes - IN 47591

express%20neon%20sig.jpg

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I have a 30 ft versalift 1995 era, when my onan generator needed a re-build i couldnt find anybody to do it. the onan ran the hydraulic pump off the engine.

to replace the 5 hp onan was like $4500, so i bought a $3000, 22hp lincoln welder/ generator to replace it.

i took the plastic cover off the end of the crankshaft & there was a 4 bolt pattern on the end of the crank, exposed.

i had a machinist make a plate & a 100% true shaft & that couples w/the hydraulic pump.

the boom runs great at idle, although at high rpm (welding) the boom runs pretty fast.

one thing, the lincoln needs a counterclockwise hydraulic pump to do this. the onan was clockwise

it is very similar to a wilkie setup.

cost me about $750 & brought a lot more to the table.

i have even brought my 250 mig & spoolgun on the road w/me. couldnt do that with the onan thats for sure.

have an onan generator for sale cheap, needs rebuild.

erik @ spectrum signs

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PTO is my choice and our diesel is a lot more expensive than the USA, batteries are for watches and some drills


 

63 foot Elliott v60

50 foot 8 ton crane/auger

Skid steer with forks and dirt bucket


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post-1174-0-75449600-1417043071.jpg

Erik, on closer inspection it looks like I have the same thing. I took the cage off and indeed the Onan generator drives the hydraulic pump. Basically I want to get rid of this Onan pump as it's really old and I want something more dependable. Maybe a small diesel or such that can run the pump or a setup like you did sounds ideal.

I have a 30 ft versalift 1995 era, when my onan generator needed a re-build i couldnt find anybody to do it. the onan ran the hydraulic pump off the engine.

to replace the 5 hp onan was like $4500, so i bought a $3000, 22hp lincoln welder/ generator to replace it.

i took the plastic cover off the end of the crankshaft & there was a 4 bolt pattern on the end of the crank, exposed.

i had a machinist make a plate & a 100% true shaft & that couples w/the hydraulic pump.

the boom runs great at idle, although at high rpm (welding) the boom runs pretty fast.

one thing, the lincoln needs a counterclockwise hydraulic pump to do this. the onan was clockwise

it is very similar to a wilkie setup.

cost me about $750 & brought a lot more to the table.

Edited by megavolt512

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I purchased a Propane Generator from Central Maine Diesel a few years ago.

20 HP Honda engine, Italian generator head.
Paid about $2300 plus shipping via Paradise Freight which was a few hundred.
I see the price is just a bit higher now...

Recently it blew a capacitor. Central Maine sent me 2 for the price of one even though it is out of warranty. $39 total for two.

I looked at generators on island but a similar Honda at Quality electric was close to $6000 and it wasn't even a 13750kw. More like 8 or 9000kw if I remember right.....

They have many generators at great prices but this is the one I settled for.
 
Quiet, no smell, propane lasts forever........

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On 7/23/2018 at 4:53 AM, VancleVector said:

I purchased a Propane Generator from Central Maine Diesel a few years ago.

20 HP Honda engine, Italian generator head.
Paid about $2300 plus shipping via Paradise Freight which was a few hundred.
I see the price is just a bit higher now...

Recently it blew a capacitor. Central Maine sent me 2 for the price of one even though it is out of warranty. $39 total for two.

I looked at generators on island but a similar Honda at Quality electric was close to $6000 and it wasn't even a 13750kw. More like 8 or 9000kw if I remember right.....

They have many generators at great prices but this is the one I settled for.
 
Quiet, no smell, propane lasts forever........

DOES IT RUN THE HYDRAULICS?

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Since I started this thread I thought I'd share my final solution.

 

I finally had it with the Onan generator/hydraulic pwr combo.  I spent more money keeping that Onan running than the whole truck.  I replaced the Onan with a Honda GX160 horizontal shaft engine.  They may hydraulic pump adapters that just bolt on to it.  Problem is, the GX160 likes to run around 3000rpm, the Onan 1800.  Movement was way too fast.  I replaced the pump with one half that flow rate, and it works beautifully.  The GX160 is quiet,  easy to start, easy to maintain.  I can run it for 3 hours and use half a gallon of fuel.  There's even an emergency stop switch on it that is easy to integrate with the Versalift's circuit that goes up to the bucket.

 

Yes, I lost the generator.  But honestly I rarely used it.  Most of my power tools are battery these days.  And I have a separate Honda generator I can use for those rare occasions.

 

I really regret not doing this sooner.  I wasted so much money on that old Onan.  Most of the many repairs cost me as much as the entire Honda engine.

 

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I’m gonna go with the Honda idea but where do I get the one and half pump to slow down flow and how much did it cost 

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