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light dimming on a diesel

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by stroker79, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. stroker79

    stroker79 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,802

    I have a 2003 with the 7.3 and have 2 brand new batts and dual alts from the factory. Noticed best during night time when i raise or angle my boss 8'2" V plow (2006 model year) my lights dim about 30% dimmer than normal. When plowing i normally have my lights on, radio on with an amp (always low volume no there is very little current draw), dual 55 watt aux backup lights, computer (about 5 amp draw with a 10 amp max draw), cell charger and a few other small cig lighter accessories. I also have my strobes on but they are all LED so there is very little current draw there also. I would think that with 2 new batts and 2 factory alts that i would not have a power problem. One of the alts was replaced under warranty before i owned the truck so one is original and one is about 2 years old. I am using the the original solenoid that has been in service for about 4.5 years. I have a spare thats brand new just in case it goes bad. The power and ground are hooked up the the passenger side battery directly (dealer installed). volts are normally around 13.9 - 14.3 and when I hit the rasise button for example, it will drop to about 12.5 volts. What do you think my problem could be? a bad solenoid? maybe the original alt going bad? I have no issues starting in 0 degree weather with the truck not plugged in. Any thoughts?

  2. snowman2025

    snowman2025 Senior Member
    Messages: 152

    the snow plow puts a HEAVY draw on any electrical system. Because it comes straight off the battery it is taking the juice straight from there and then your alternators are gonna kick up to get the batts recharged.
  3. bam

    bam Senior Member
    from .
    Messages: 201

    your pulling too many amps. headlamps, radio and amp, computer and then operating the plow. your draw is way too much.

    try running the park lights, disconnecting the amp?, and only running the computer when you need to charge the battery. start with that and see if it makes a difference. (Unload some of your accessories).

    I used to run a highlighter 2 halogen rotator on a 96 superduty and killed the truck running that, the plow and wiper blades. at the time the meyer e60 sucked 200+amps while running the motor to angle, raise or lower. Not sure what the boss does, but I'm sure its up there. Those bosses are extremely quick.
  4. stroker79

    stroker79 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,802

    should the ground be connected to the chassis instead of the battery directly?

    Oh i know im pulling a decent amount of power but I figured that since i practically have a powerplant attached to my engine that i shouldnt need to worry about how many things im running unless i have alot more things going than I do creating a more obvious issue.

    Ill try on the next storm running with my radio/amp/computer off and see if that makes a difference. There isnt much else i can run without during the night. I plow big parking lots and they shut off the parking lot lights past midnight so ill need to keep the headlights running and the rear aux lights lit (dont want to back into those light poles!).

    Thanks for the replys but i would like more opinions also. Thanks!

    KATTRANSPORT Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    I had the same problem with my 03. I had the big stereo the computer etc etc etc and it did the same thing. Plowing with just running lights made a big difference but ditching the computer and the amp helped also
  6. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    No, if the power cables are already on the battery, leave them there as thats the best place for them.

    You mentioned in your first post that the voltage drops to 12.5 when you lift the plow, that's not bad at all, in fact I'd call that excellent.. many will drop to well under that.
  7. stroker79

    stroker79 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,802

    Thanks B&B, i was really waiting for you to reply, lol

    So you say that i should be ok then? I let my truck run high idle (1200 rpm) for an hour and a half today and the idle controller charged the electrical system up to 14.4 volts, and when i hit the up switch it would only drop to13.5 and the longer i held it it would drop a tenth of a volt/ 2 secs (didnt hold onto it too long).

    Other than turning off accessories, what are other options to keep the lights from dimming? or should i even bother and leave it alone?
  8. yamaguy

    yamaguy Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    I think your doing ok Doug. I don't have the amp (but the radio is cranked),computer or back up lights yet, and I will pull the same volts (seen it go just under 12 once) when raising the plow. My batteries are about 9 months old, so with the extra stuff and the dual alt. you are in good shape. I am gonna buy the 6g alt. soon cause the ghetto bass and reverse lights will suck me down!
  9. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Sounds like it's doing the job just fine to me...when they drop down to 10.5 or 11 volts and don't recover very quick thats when you know have a problem. Note though, the factory gages aren't too accurate or too quick to respond but if it seems to do a good job of keeping the batteries charged, even after operating the plow for a long period of time then I wouldn't change a thing.

    Light dimming is just the nature of the beast.
  10. jrglandscape

    jrglandscape Member
    Messages: 40

    My 99 f-350 runs a 9'2 boss vee. It has dimmed the lights since new. I run all the stuff as you except for the computor. The factory gages are just basically idiot lights. Never had a problem with the truck because of it doing it. The negative wire to the battery.
  11. stroker79

    stroker79 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,802

    Thanks guys for the help, and im releived that I dont really have a problem. The volt guage that I unising is far more complex than a factory one on the dash. I am using fords amulance aux idle controller/battery charger controller and it displays the the voltage when in charge mode. thanks again for the input!
  12. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,709

    Wow, i've never had a problem with a diesel running low on juice.
  13. stroker79

    stroker79 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,802

    and thats why i posted this. I thought that with the 2 batts and 2 alts my lights should never dim. I dont think im running low on juice because as soon as i let go of the switch my power is back around 14+ volts but seems like everything is ok though so im all good.
  14. yamaguy

    yamaguy Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    What would you do without me!:rolleyes:
  15. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,739

    another idea

    stroker79 another thing you can try(assuming you know electrical wiring) is wire a switch into your head lights. that way you can only run your plow lights and not the parking lights. so you would have only 2 headlights and the back-up lights on. thats cutting out alot of juice you don't really need.
    just a thought
  16. stroker79

    stroker79 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,802

    not a bad idea, thanks!