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dodge alternator question

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by peteo1, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,659

    Hello all,

    I am new to this site but I have a number of years of plowing under my belt. Everyone tells me this is the place to go to get info so here goes...

    I have an 04 Dodge Ram 1500 with a 5.7 Hemi and I put a Fisher minute mount 2 7 1/2' blade on it. I believe my stock alternator puts out around 130 amps and its not enough to run the plow. When I try to run it the volt gauge bottoms out. I have asked around here and all the dealers tell me to ask my local fisher dealer but I will not do business with them for many reasons. I was thinking a 160 amp alternator should be enough but when I factor in my plow beacon and the extra backup lights I'm not sure. I could go up to 200 amp but that seems like overkill. What do you guys think?
     
  2. PeterD

    PeterD Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    Trucks with the plow package (at least in 2004) have a 160 amp alternator. Even with that the voltage dips noticeably when raising the plow on my truck. I'm thinking of a second battery which will help greatly (and may be the solution for your setup too...) but I did notice that with the oil change and lubrication of all points, (a Meyer/Diamond) it does work much better, and doesn't draw as much current!

    Realize that the alternator is controlled by the PCM and if you swap in a higher amperage alternator you will have to tell the PCM about the change.
     
  3. Snow Commandor

    Snow Commandor Senior Member
    from 07666
    Messages: 439

    Dual Batteries

    Peter is right. Dual batteries are the way to go. Had them on my old 85 plow truck. Getting ready to install them now on my 99 Dodge. Which brings me to my next question. How many of you have a battery isolator relay in your dual battery set-up. My mechanic is a firm believer in running the batteries together without any relay. For years my old truck was set up that way. I however think it"s better to have one starter battery and one accessory battery with a smart relay directing current from the alternator to what-ever battery is in need. What do you guys think is the better set-up (not counting diesel guys who have 2 starter batteries)?
     
  4. PeterD

    PeterD Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    I've many diesel trucks with dual batteries. All are connected directly in parallel with no problems. The only advantage (IMHO!) to isolators is when you are in an RV and using a battery for lights/power, the isolator will then allow you to keep one battery fully charged to allow starting while discharging the second battery without having to worry about how much charge is left!

    IOW, just parallel them, but keep the batteries reasonably matched (same brand and size, same age) if possible.
     
  5. Snow Commandor

    Snow Commandor Senior Member
    from 07666
    Messages: 439

    All diesel trucks come with dual batteries run parallel cause they need 2 batteries to start. If your truck is gas & only requires one for starting purposes, I believe it"s better to use a battery isolator (in a dual set-up) for the reasons that Peter mentioned above.
     
  6. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,269

    My 04 Ram 2500 did the same thing even with the plow prep package. Those model years are controlled by the computer so going bigger on Amperage really won't make a huge difference. Best bet is to get a bigger battery, and like was mentioned, run a Dual setup.
     
  7. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,659

    Thanks for the info guys. My only problem with the two battery thing is there is nowhere under the hood to put a second battery. My truck didnt come with the plow prep package so there isnt an extra battery tray. I thought about putting another one en the bed but I dont think it would work properly being so far from the alt with voltage drop and all. Maybe you guys know a trick I dont? I'd love to just run two batts but I cant see where to put the second one.
     
  8. PeterD

    PeterD Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    In the bed will work, use 2 AWG copper wire and it will be fine. There may be places under the hood, one member has his mounted on the top of the plow frame (basically behind the bumper), which is convenient to get to the plow's main power solenoid.
     
  9. R.J.S. SNOWPLOW

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

    I have a 95 dodge ram 4x4 1500 5.9 mag. 2 years ago I had a power problem I had charged the alternater upgraded to the 130 amp also ran a second battery I just ran the red cable to the other battery grounded the black cable it's been running very good never a problem
     
  10. Snow Commandor

    Snow Commandor Senior Member
    from 07666
    Messages: 439

    Be creative. Buy an aftermarket universal battery tray and mount it to the passenger side of the engine compartment. Even if you need to relocate something like the washer fluid res. You'll find room under the hood.
     
  11. Snow Commandor

    Snow Commandor Senior Member
    from 07666
    Messages: 439

    Todays trucks are computer controlled, down to the alternator as mentioned above. Therefore it won't do you any good to upgrade the alternator. Do the dual battery sett-up!
     
  12. rammanriley

    rammanriley Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    What about looking under the hood of a diesel? then going to the dealer and ordering a second battery tray from the same year truck as yours just say it has the cummins. Thats personaly what i would do.
     
  13. Snow Commandor

    Snow Commandor Senior Member
    from 07666
    Messages: 439

    The engine compartment will have a different layout in a diesel truck. You would most likely still have to move some things around to make room. I was able to do it relatively easily but my truck is a 99 2500.
     
  14. rammanriley

    rammanriley Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    Your right it looks like the stock air box might get in the way. Nothing a CAI cant fix.
     
  15. DAFFMOBILEWASH

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,596

    Go to the wrecking yard and find another tray from the drivers side. Go home and make the same tray fit on the passenger. You will have to drill some holes on the inner fender but it is simple to do.
     
  16. cj7plowing

    cj7plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    in the 99 and 01s I have a second battery behind the driver seat with welding wire going to the battery under the hood no isolator. you will solve your problem.

    If your plow raising is bottoming out your volt gauge it sounds like you have a bad battery, loose connnection or winding going bad in plow motor. The dual batterys help out when you are doing alot of raising and angling at low speeds and back and forth, where the altenator doesnt have a chance to ramp up and charge single battery.
     
  17. R.J.S. SNOWPLOW

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

    Like I said befor I did both the alternater and the dual battery. No problems at all. On my truck I have the electric vbox, whelen light bar, 4 fog lights, whelen 4 corner strobe plus the plow lights and the plow with all this running not a problem at all
     
  18. cubanb343

    cubanb343 Senior Member
    from ERIE
    Messages: 637

    pete01 welcome to the site. i see you are from erie also. i would definitely recommend a two battery set up. i don't know much about the alternators, but sounds like the extra battery is a must. See how that works out for ya, if we ever get any snow around here!