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Drawing to many amps

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by Smith2287, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. Smith2287

    Smith2287 Member
    Messages: 67

    Hi guys,

    Im new here but just wanted to see you you guys can help solve my problem. I have a 06 ram 2500 with the 5.7 in it. For the past 2 seasons whenever I plow it dims all my interior lights and sets the check engine light off. So I upgraded the battery to the biggest i could fit and still no go. I been to dodge, and various alternator shops and they all are telling me I have the biggest one in there already. They tell me it has to be a problem with a ground somewhere but I have been over everything.

    Has anyone else had this type of problem, my only solution was to run a second battery but space is very limited.

    Thanks,
    -Corey
     
  2. Spitz

    Spitz Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    If your running a lot of functions on the plow continuously then yea, you'll have problems with one battery.. The alternator simply cant make up the difference in what the plow functions take from the battery.. My fathers dodge 1500 does the same thing if your in tight spots constantly moving the plow, at times i need to just stop and let the truck idle for a few minutes.
     
  3. brad96z28

    brad96z28 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,526

    What is amp output of the alternator u have now? I doubt u have the biggest! U may have biggest factory alt.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  4. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    they maybe right about the ground. But if you went to these shops why didnt they fix it? few things you can do. If they are all pointing at the plow. Bring it to a plow shop. have the plow place give you a recomendation. Buy a yellow top battery instead of 2. As for space for a 2nd battery. I am sure you have at 6 feet behind the drivers seat. there are kits that allow you to mount batteries in the bed. Or just fabricate one. But I would start at a plow shop. And a yellow top is always good. I plan on putting some in this winter.
     
  5. Smith2287

    Smith2287 Member
    Messages: 67

    Thanks guys for all the answers, I really appreciate it. As to bringing it to a plow shop I already have. The owner of the western dealer in NJ is a really close friend and looked over the whole plow and told me it is something with the truck as the plow is 100% correct. Currently my friend at napa sold me an emergency battery that he sells to towns to power all the lights on ambulances and other rescue equipment. He told me this is the best battery he has and should do the trick. I am going to play with all the grounds and battery cables this weekend and see if it does the trick.
     
  6. brad96z28

    brad96z28 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,526

    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  7. Smith2287

    Smith2287 Member
    Messages: 67

    Im sorry I should have said I have the biggest factory alt that comes with the dodge snow plow prep package from the factory. The guy at the shop told me there are a lot of bigger ones but the problem is most require major fab work to fit it since it is real tight under the hood.
     
  8. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    If you hemi only has 136 amp. thats your issue. Plowing usually requires Defroster to be on. Wipers and ofcourse the radio. Hemis ignitions take up alot of juice to run. That with ligfts on and maybe a strobe. your 136 will never work properly. Get that alternator above for $300 and you should be ok then, This is one of the main reasons i bought a diesel.
     
  9. Smith2287

    Smith2287 Member
    Messages: 67

    My other truck is a 06 cummins and it is a bear with no problems. My next truck is most definitely a diesel. I am most likely going to hang on to this one for one of my guys to drive next season. Currently I have 28 commercial accounts and next year is looking like another 10-20 more so I want to make sure this truck lasts.

    Thanks again,
    -Corey
     
  10. murphyslaw

    murphyslaw Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    I run a custom built 250amp alternator. with 2 group 31 batteries. and after a long night I will still have to turn off the headlights to keep the plow running at speed, and I now have an LED light bars so there was more power savings and all led clearance lights. and I plow in low to keep the tranny happy and the motor at higher rpms to spin the alternator.
     
  11. DAFFMOBILEWASH

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,598

    It is once again the story of supply and demand. Adding the second battery will help wonders. Also measure the area of the battery tray. Can you stuff a top post battery from a big rig in there?? Put one in both of the older w series trucks and the output is amazing. When you raise the plow the voltage guage still hovers around the 10 volt mark.

    Also try to change the speed the alt will spin at idle. This can be achived by putting on a smaller pully.
     
  12. Spitz

    Spitz Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    A second battery will work best rather than a mondo alternator. Talk to guys that install this major stereo systems in their car, most run a lot of capacitors to handle the power output to their 500lb speakers.. The second battery is just like adding a capacitor.. The alternators are not designed to run 100% duty cycle to keep up with your plows, you're really straining an alternator and WILL shorten its life expectancy. You need a second battery.
     
  13. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    ummm kinda right and kinda wrong here

    from an engineering stand point.... first a capacitor is not anywere the same as a second battery. A capacitor is designed to dump volatge very quickly , and assit in the draw, but it also has to recharge. If you looked at it on a meter... no capacitor , if you raised the plow , it would read 185 amps, for 2 seconds.... with a capacitor , it migh tread 100 amps , for 6 seconds.... it still straighns the alt set up. the reason they are used in car steros, is becasue of the rapid change in voltage draw... due to the music. your also not suppost to constently run a capacitor down 100% , steros bearly run them 25% down


    the 2nd battery is a good fix, however, you might as well take the time you can plow now , and double it. if you can plow 20 mins now, then 2 batteries might give you 40 mins..... depending on your route... alot of guys can plow a lot in 20 mins then be back on the road... this gives the battery time to charge up... however , if your plowing for hours on end... with no recharge time.... then the second battery alone is a bandaid fix

    the bigger alt is a better choice, it helps keep the voltage high to begin with . I would highly recommend the smaller pully , helps alot, i personally have a good ALT shop , i can tell them the voltage i need, and that it needs to be that voltage at a low RPM and they will build what i want

    run it in 4 low, if needed to keep the power level up. I would check exactly how the alt is grounded to the truck , and the battery ... you might find a difference if you run yoru own wire dirrectly to the battery
     
  14. wildbl1500

    wildbl1500 Senior Member
    Messages: 111

    I have the same issue with my Ram. When the wipers, lights, and mini lightbar are all on I have to give it a minute to charge up when doing intricate driveways.

    I saw a write up somewhere for the last generation of Rams (94-00?) about adding a battery tray from a diesel Ram on the passenger's side. I'm not sure if on the current generation of Rams if the gas and diesel versions have batteries on different sides...

    JMO: I'd be looking at a new yellow top or adding a second battery- $399 is a lot of $$$.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2008
  15. Spitz

    Spitz Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    So the battery is acting "like" a capacitor as its helping with the draw, same difference to me, and was the general point, nothing more, not literal.. Anyway, the batteries themselves regernate themselves to a point as well. Having an alternator put max output 100% of the time for 5 hrs is a lot worse than adding one battery, keeping the voltage up longer and maybe only having the alt work at 50% for more time than it is at 100%.. I guess for cost efficiency a battery may be a bandaid but if it can hold enough power than that extra 100$ for it rather than 2, 3, hundred or more, it may be worth it.. I guess from what i've seen if you're pulling down two batteries to the point your having issues, either you have way too much **** on your truck or you're plowing and elfs parking lot.
     
  16. hikeradk

    hikeradk Senior Member
    Messages: 109

    Draw issues

    I have the problem to with my 04 Ram. I know it is from the V plow functions and notice it when I am using the plow functions more. Right now it is tolerable and I have thought over all the options and space limitations with the second battery being the best option in my opinion as the travel time allows it to recoup and the two batteries is long enough for stacking snow in a parking lot. I saw a nice two battery set up on here I am thinking of trying.
     
  17. murphyslaw

    murphyslaw Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    My problem is my lots are big but the way they are layed out its not just a matter of a few pushes. there is lots of plow pump running going on dodging around islands, light pulls, and other crap in the lots. plowing in low helped allot by being able to keep the rpms up, also helped my tranny last longer. since starting to plow in low I have had the same tranny for 4seasons, when before I was getting a season out of a tranny.


    Adding a battery will help, but with out a better alt. its not a solution. think of it as a water tank. if you have a 500g tank and it empty's to fast with a 10gpm pump then adding another 500g tank is going to let it run longer but it still aint going to keep it full.
     
  18. hikeradk

    hikeradk Senior Member
    Messages: 109

    Yeah the H/O Alt. and battery seem to be the best of both worlds although $$$, but considering replacing a factory alt. and a battery in a shorter period of time from the work it really is not that bad. Transmissions is a whole new issue. Although I am glad they improved from the older tranny's that had lots of issues.
     
  19. DAFFMOBILEWASH

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,598

    Watch out on the older W series trucks. I was told by my alt guy not to exceed the amperage of the factory alt. If you boost the amps too high the alts tend to melt the brain box. I have been running the factory stuff with the super heavy duty batteries and absolutely no troubles. Although I have the altinators rebuilt ever season. Best $65.00 investment a plow operator can make.
     
  20. Smith2287

    Smith2287 Member
    Messages: 67

    Thanks again for all the great ideas discussed in this thread. I plow mostly larger lots where it does not have time to recoup because it is constant pushing. I am going to outfit a second battery and see if this helps my problem. Man I wish I would have gotten the diesel from the start.