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Big Power Problems

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by Richard123, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. Richard123

    Richard123 Member
    from CT
    Messages: 32

    Ok guys...new truck this year 2004 2500 w/Hemi. Took the boss plow off my Ford (never again)
    And had it mounted professional to my Dodge. Everything seemed fine when I came home and hooked the blade to the new under carriage and gave it a try.
    First plowable snow last night…HERE’S WHAT WENT WRONG.

    Problem number 1.
    Alternator gauge is bottoming out and then the “check gauges” light will come on when it’s all the way down of course. Happens mostly when lifting the plow up.
    Problem 2. Also now the “Air Bag” light keeps coming on.

    Is this all due to power problem???? As for alternator….don’t know, this is what I thought it would be but after reading some of the post,,,I don’t know naymore.
  2. ThisIsMe

    ThisIsMe Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 745

    Sounds about normal for pickup even with snow prep package. I have a 2003 and 2006 Dodge, both do the same thing. Both have the snow-prep and the larger 160amp alternator. Although the Fisher plow does not draw as much power as the Blizzard plow does, so it does not happen on that truck as much.

    You could try checking all the power connections to the plow. Make sure they are correct and making good contact. Make sure the plow is grounded good as well. After that either live with it or upgrade the battery or even dual batteries.

    I personally think that the alternator upgrades are a joke for snow prep package, and will never use the snow prep as a determining factor in purchasing the next new truck. Alternator and skid plate that is included in the package might cost Dodge $5 ?

    I think a standard 136amp alternator, and taking the money saved from the plow-prep package and putting in dual batteries would be a better deal. I am sure Dodge could put dual batteries in for less then $60 at manufacture time.

    Plow package should be :

    Dual batteries.

    Why in the world do you need a skid plate for plowing?

    Point being it might be normal for the truck, unless you can find a bad power connection for the plow.

    PS I know all about the rumor that larger springs come with the plow-prep. Problem is Dodge says it is not true.
  3. Richard123

    Richard123 Member
    from CT
    Messages: 32

    After reading this post any others on the same topic.... there are many people ofering many diffrent solutions.....look at this one, sounds interesting

    Have come up with a very easy to do solution.
    When installing a plow on the new dodges less the diesels you can do the following.

    Power hooked up from batt + to Solenoid
    Solenoid to plow
    Ground hooked up from Batt - to plow.

    The big things are the following:

    Add an additional ground cable #4 GA wire from the batt - to the truck frame rail. Clean the frame rail and use a bolt, lock nut and washers.

    Add an additional jumper cable #4 GA wire from the Batt + to the alternator charging stud.

    you will find that there is a big difference in the positive and negative leads for draw. The ground jumper fixes this.

    The alternator is also working extremely hard to charge the batt with the #8 or #10 wire they use.
    Have had continued success with this setup and it's now a standard when installing a plow on a non Diesel Dodge. For the Diesel's we add the alternator jumper to the far battery and the near battery and verifty the larger ground cable to the frame. IF it is not present we add one
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2007
  4. ThisIsMe

    ThisIsMe Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 745

    Yep. Some of that is pretty much what I was referring to as the power connections being correct. Might be a good starting point to ensure that everything is correct in your setup.
  5. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,920

    A second battery would help.

    Where did you ground the plow?

    Fallow the ground from the alt., Hook up the ground for the plow at the same spot.
    It's a good idea to clean up the connections with some sandpaper.

    Clean the connections at the solenoid and Battery.

    Cheak the conectors on ths cable ends are they crimped on or sodered on.

    Clean and tighten the connections on the plow motor also.
    don't for get to clean the plug too.

    Did you clean the filter and change the fluid this year?

    Sounds like you have things under control as far as wireing goes.
    After reading your post I think the filter is cloged or the brushes are worn.

    Do you know what the amp draw is on the pos lead?

    If your plow/ motor still is drawing a lot of amps it might be time for a new set of brushes.
  6. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,920

    Where does Dodge say it's not true?

    They just do not list it in the options/plow prep.

    Both you and me know that trucks with the plow prep come with heaver springs.

    ( I have two 2500's one with the plow prep and one with out.)

    I agree the plow prep should have two batteries and heaver wiring.
  7. Richard123

    Richard123 Member
    from CT
    Messages: 32

    Did noT clean the filter or change the fluids this year or last year????

  8. ThisIsMe

    ThisIsMe Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 745

    I asked at the Dodge service desk. Also looked at a newer 2500 without the snow prep with my Dodge 2006 snow prepped vehicle. Tags on both springs are the same.

    I am to think that if it were true Dodge would list them on the sticker. If they can take so much time as to list a passenger side assist handle on the sticker I am sure they would list the springs for a snow prep.

    Right or wrong about the springs, plow-prep will not be on the must have for the next new truck (LSD will be). Just so long as it has the correct springs I am all set. That money would be better spent on dual batteries and or better wiring.
  9. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,920

    Well, I don't know what to tell you but the tag on the springs on my 2500 with plow prep
    Is not the same as it is on my 2500 with out plow prep.

    To prove this go out to the lot and look for your self. Compare the spring tags.

    The guy at the service desk will also tell you that the # 46 #47 springs for a 3500 diesel will not fit on your 2500 truck, but they do.

    They also do not mention the heaver springs on the rear Axel ( a second spring pack) for the camper group on the window sticker eather but it is there.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2007
  10. ThisIsMe

    ThisIsMe Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 745

    I did and they were the same. Way too many people confused either way.

    For any new Dodge, I am just going to verify the springs and consider it plow worthy, plow-prep or not, just to be safe.

    I think the 136amp alternator and dual batteries and cables is money better spent on "plow-preping" a vehicle then the 160amp alternator offers. Plus I am pretty sure I can live without the silly skid plate for plowing purposes. :)
  11. ProSeasons

    ProSeasons Senior Member
    Messages: 624

    I agree with these guys. I think it's your battery. (How old is it, used truck right?) Take it out and go buy TWO NEW batteries and do the welding cable tricks. Heck, save your coin and find some cheap jumper cables to hack up.

    That 160 amp alternator is going to be the heart of your system, with all these cool wiring upgrades these guys gave you.:cool:
  12. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,920

    Not confused at all.
    The truck with out plow prep has softer coil springs unless it is a diesel truck then they already have the heaver springs.
    There is a dozen different springs for the Ram line of trucks.
    go take a look at the threads where guys swap out there coil springs
  13. fms

    fms Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 209

  14. fms

    fms Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 209

    How quickly does the check engine light and gage return to normal?
  15. UglyTruck

    UglyTruck Senior Member
    Messages: 210

    I may be way off base here, but is it possible that your serpentine belt is slipping and not spinning the ALT as hard as it should....when my water pump went out it soaked the belt and when the ALT tried to engage it would not spin.....this in turn caused a power drain and the dreaded check guages light.....

    as a side note, if you do change it replace it with a Goodyear Gatorback Belt.....I could not beleive the difference when I changed to one of these...much quieter.....
  16. Jerre Heyer

    Jerre Heyer Senior Member
    Messages: 948

    Another problem now occuring with the dodges is that part of the alternator wiring fails and it drops back to 100 amps on a 160 amp alt. It still works but it fries the system. Have the alt checked even if new at an alt repair shop for out put at full load.