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1996 Dodge Alternator or Battery problem?

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by plowmaster07, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. plowmaster07

    plowmaster07 Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    Hey guys,
    So I've run into a problem and I figured I'd start here looking for opinions. My truck is a 1996 Dodge ram 2500 with the E47 Meyer's pump on it. The red top Optima battery in it is 6 years old and it's the original alternator. After cycling the plow several times up and down, the cycles get very slow towards the top of the piston stroke with the engine at idle. However, when the engine is around 1,800 rpm, I can cycle the plow up and down with out seeing a large drop in performance. Is it my alternator not putting out the voltage required, or is it the battery starting to go. I had the alternator checked at Autozone and their machine said that it was running between 45 and 65 amps after the truck was started and no big electrical draws. Thoughts? Opinions? Is there a more in depth test that I can have a shop do?

    The alternator is still switching between high and low charge as well.

    Thanks a bunch!
    Aaron
     
  2. Dodge Plow Pwr

    Dodge Plow Pwr Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    I have the same truck, same problem. Spun the alt and it is right on and the charging system is right on. So i thought, bigger alt. Well the computer controls the output of the alt not a voltage regulato in the alt on this truck. So I just bought everything for the 96 diesel truck to add a second battery. I hopefully will have that finished this week.
    75amp, 90 amp or 120 amp altenators are what came with this year truck. Mine has the 75 amp in it and cannot keep up while using the plow even while the RPM's are up.:confused:
     
  3. plowmaster07

    plowmaster07 Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    What brand plow do you have? How old is the battery? I just put a new Optima Yellow top battery in my Dodge this morning, seems to be okay. Although I'll have to finish the pump flush before I confirm that it was the problem. I'd get the battery tested down at Autozone or at a shop that specializes in alternator repair (United Auto Electric is the shop around here).
     
  4. Dodge Plow Pwr

    Dodge Plow Pwr Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    I have a new battery from Auto zone with the free 3 year replacement program. The diesel battery for the truck is what I put in both sides.
    I have a 1998 Western Unimount 8-1/2' stright blade plow.
     
  5. DAFFMOBILEWASH

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,596

    You need more Amps and allways run a second battery !!! This will create a larger reserve for the plow to draw from. The plow will function faster and light will not dim as much. Keep in mind while plowing the heater is normally on full blast, headlights roof light ect. These all create more draw on the battery.

    Keep the alt the same or add a smaller pully. Add a second battery and you will be amazed!!
     
  6. woodchuck2

    woodchuck2 Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    Like the other said, run two batteries if possible. Chances are you existing battery is on its way out too. If you go with two batteries be sure they are the same in CCA's.
     
  7. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    When you can change the alt to the 120 as well- diesel trucks came with 120's- no problems with dual batts and the 120 on mine. My replacement alt was a refurb, the testing sticker that came with it showed it output 136 amps.
    I do have the voltage drop on a movement intensive lot but it comes back pretty quick.
    I also went for bigger batteries- remember for plowing it's not CCA that's important, especially when you run double batteries- anything over 750CCA is fine, you want run capacity which they call reserve. That's how long the battery can supply current. More reserve means more plates and longer power output which will help greatly with high drain issues like plows. Optimas, as good as they are for the uniqueness they have, are terrible in that respect. About to replace my Interstate MTP27 (group 27) with the now recommended MTP65 over 120 min reserve.
     
  8. R.J.S. SNOWPLOW

    R.J.S. SNOWPLOW Senior Member
    Messages: 892

    i had the same problems i went to napa got an 120amp alt. and got two big batteries installed if i play with my plow to much then i do a circle around to charge her up