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Charging System?

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by gusdust, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. gusdust

    gusdust Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    00 F250 SD Diesel no aftermarket guages. When plowing mostly at night, lights on, front and rear plow, whelen when necessary, dash idiot light comes on now and then indicating battery/ elec. problem. Factory guage doesn't move. Had alternator ( not sure of amps) and both batteries checked. ( bout 2 yrs. old) All OK. What to check next? It seems to be random. I can drive from one lot to another 15-20 min. and it lights up right away when plowing, or plow for 15 min. before coming on. Length of time it's on varies. In other words, doesn't seem to matter how hard charging system is working.
     
  2. t4dodge

    t4dodge Member
    Messages: 86

    Just started having this occur today on my 2001 F350... I assume my Alt is original, and it's been seeing alot of abuse this winter with the new Minute Mount 2 installed (1st for truck)... Seeing that it's 10 years old with 152k on the ticker it might be safer to replace/rebuild before I find myself stuck in someone's driveway or worse on the road towing my trailer to a gig...
     
  3. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    Might try cleaning all your connections. Pull all the ground wires off and clean them and protect them with dielectric grease. Engine to body and black lines bolted to the engine or body under the hood. Look at all your battery cable ends. If you have green powder coming out of the cable end. The wire inside could be turning into crud. The belt and or the tensioner may be getting weak. Use the search function on the gray line above. Search: charging, low power, bigger alternator, duel batteries. There will be DAYS of reading there. It's been beat to death every year.
     
  4. gusdust

    gusdust Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    I had forgotten about my old post. 2 yrs. ago. Turned out to be the alternator after all. It checked fine, but one day soon after I posted this it died.
     
  5. FisherVMan

    FisherVMan Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    An interesting note on this is I was in to my local Fisher dealers the other day and he was working on a pump and I asked him some stuff about current draw ??? He told me that when you first hit the switch to raise our plows that the draw exceeds 300 amps ???? So if there was no battery to act as a ballast of course our 130 amp Alternators would pee their pants right now. He also went on to say that he recomends installing a 250-300 amp alternator if one is sorta "Lighty" and has multipule backup lights; running lights; and strobes; and revolving beacons; etc etc. He told me that say 60% of the alternator is dedicated for the truck itself; and that he often sees alternators rated and stamped as being a 130 amps; that actually are only putting out 90-110 amps when they are a few years old . So I guess if you said a 100 amp avg? And say 60% is dedicated to the truck; there is only 40 amps available to handle the pump, and all the lights, we all have strapped onto our trucks. And hence why most of us see the lights dimming right down; when we raise the plows .................... it is WAY to much for the system ??
    Another thing he brought to light was most people are of the belief that the guage we are looking at in the dash; is providing us with a referance to how the system is charging ??? It is NOT; it is only showing you the voltage in the battery. So instead of us having a amp gauge we really just have a volt meter ???? If you think about it; the systems are so overtaxed it is a wonder that they work as well as they do ??? Thank god for big ballast like a 1000 CA batterys!

    PS I am just getting ready to install my new 240 amp alt today! These get installed with a Fused #4 wire directly to your battery so you can get the whole banana !!
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  6. t4dodge

    t4dodge Member
    Messages: 86

    Which is exactly what happened to me last Thursday... LOL...
     
  7. pconley

    pconley Junior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 7

    My question is where do you get these bigger alternator's? All my parts stores around here only list a 110 amp.
     
  8. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    A good volt gage gives you an idea of how bad off your system is. If your running 13.5 volts or better your good. When it drops to 12.6 and under and stays there your loosing ground. An amp gage really gives you no idea where the power is going or status of the batteries. When you pull 300 amps to run the pump, the battery or batteries and the alternator supply amps. After the big hit how quick the system recovers is the question. If all the parts are A- OK you don't have a problem. But a weak battery or 2 can cause all kinds of problems. Alternators only put out 1/3 of their rating at idle. A place most plow trucks work at. At over 2,000 RPM they put out the rating.
     
  9. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

  10. FisherVMan

    FisherVMan Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    The one I bought is rated at 240 at idle ???? They change the size of the pulley so it spins 1200 when the engine is turning 800rpm. The tension wheel still takes up enough of the slack so it all works fine.
    I got mine from California Alternator and Starter Co. they are in Harbor City Ca
    The shiped it and it arrived here 5 days later . They are a handmade alternator that they use the very best quality components to make them . These guys have the best prices out there! Contact no is 310-530-6410 and ask for Robert tell him what you need it for and he will fix you up pronto! You will also need to get yourself some #4 gauge stranded wire and install an inline 250AMP fuseholder and have two ring terminals that fit your battery and alternator post. The existing wires go onto the alternator BUT you must also add this heavy wire directly to your battery as the factory system will NOT be able to handle this much current!
    Good Luck .