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Lights dim and truck stalls when lifting

Discussion in 'SNO-PRO PLOW AND ACCESSORIES by Curtis' started by Stan MI, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. Stan MI

    Stan MI Member
    Messages: 86

    Seems to take an awful lot of power to lift the plow. I cleaned all the connections and it didn't help much if at all. Battery is a couple of years old. Alternator is 1 year old.

    Could it be the connection to the battery. I believe what I have is the Curtis stock connection. Which is a small screw through the side post battery connection. Seems like a heavy (I'll say 2 gauge, not sure) wire with a very small screw. Is there a better setup.

    I haven't changed the fluid in two years.
  2. mycirus

    mycirus Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 589

    I have a sno pro 3000 and my lights dim too but truck doesnt stall. Is your alt putting out enough?

  3. wild bill

    wild bill PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,239

    id put on a charger for a couple hours and do a battery load test ,see how it act's with the battery charged up ,check amp draw on the plow motor ,might be high .
  4. Lil STX Ford

    Lil STX Ford Senior Member
    Messages: 176

    my lights also go dim on movement, but still works fine no stalling
  5. Stan MI

    Stan MI Member
    Messages: 86

    How do I test the draw ?? I'll put the battery on a charger this afternoon. I thought I'd also put a larger wire (read on another post) on the + post of the alternator to the positive post of the battery. Sounds like it might help as well. Any thoughts on that ?
  6. Stan MI

    Stan MI Member
    Messages: 86

    Forgot to add......... Thanks to all who posted I appreciate the help !!!!!!!!
  7. wild bill

    wild bill PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,239

    you can get a small hand held inductive amp draw mater to test the plow motor ,they have larger free standing test unit's at shop's to do a performance test on the charging system and battery ,i don't know the particulars i let mt old man Handel that .i know you test how the battery holds a load ,how much the alternator charges and if the regulator is picking up the amp draw and charging accordingly . the battery and alternator my not be big enough for all of the load the truck and plow electrics are putting on them . :salute:
  8. bow2no1

    bow2no1 Senior Member
    Messages: 338

    how many amps is the alternator?
  9. ondirtymax

    ondirtymax Member
    Messages: 70

    You need to do as wildbill said, test your alternator output, test batteries for load and test plow system for amperage draw on your electrical system, speak to a tech to find out normal draw and see if yours is inline with what he says, if not, could be a number of issues, i.e. wiring, pump motor etc etc

    FLASHMAN Member
    Messages: 78

    Go to your local, advance auto, pep boys, or whatever chain auot parts store you have there. Most of them will load test your alternator/battery for free.

    As far as the larger charging wire goes, that's not a bad idea, but not really necessary unless you're adding a high output alternator.

    What is your setup, truckwise? Stock batt/alt?

    Like Max said, there's any number of things you could be suffering from, from something as simple to fix as a bad ground, to an old plow motor that's drawing too much, and everything in between. First thing is to get that load test done, knock out the simple things and go from there IMO.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  11. zztarg

    zztarg Member
    Messages: 68

    "very small screw through the side post"? That doesn't sound right. My "Curtis stock connection" is though a junction box bolted to the engine block. The connection from the battery goes to the box where is splits off to the plow solenoid and to the starter solenoid.
  12. Stan MI

    Stan MI Member
    Messages: 86

    Thanks again for the replies!! Haven't been on here in a while so I missed a few posts.

    I will get a load test and check that out. Alt (not sure what the output is. I put it in so I'm sure I bought the least expensive one) and battery (Sears Diehard Gold) were new a couple of years ago. May be time to replace.

    I do have the junction box. What I was referring to was how the wire hooks up to the battery in the vehicle. The bolt that would be used to hook up both the positive and negative wires has been changed. The one thats there now has an extension on it that sticks out a little farther and allows another wire to be added on. This is where the screw is. I should also say I have side mount wires on the battery.

    It will probably be a couple more days before I can do anything. The extended forecast is calling for snow every day !!!!!!
  13. zztarg

    zztarg Member
    Messages: 68

    Interesting - a pic might help visualizing this.

    If the connection to the battery is not capable of handling the current draw, then you'll get a voltage drop to the vehicle. When you test, you might look at the voltage (under load) directly at the battery sideposts versus the voltage (under load) at the junction box. If the connection to the battery is flakey, you'll have a lot more voltage drop after the connection than before it.
  14. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    I wouldnt worry about it

    I have 2 superduties w/PSD and a suburban with curtis's on them and all three dim when running the pump

    We have had these for 4 years and plowed as much as 60 hrs in one storm with absolutly no problems

    Hope this helps:drinkup:
  15. d&rlawncare

    d&rlawncare Member
    from mi
    Messages: 39

    STAN MI or anyone else with suggestions-->Let me know if you solve this problem. Mine is doing the same thing but wont restart when It stalls. I have to jump start the stupid thing.

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,581

    Dump the fluid in the pump an inspect the screens inside of the valve body. I remember mine last season was acting slow and above normal power usage too. Restrictive flow will put a super stain on the system both on the pump and on the electricial. Often you will find small pieces of debris inside of the pump from sitting during the summer months.

    A strong alt and dual batteries will ease the electricial demands of the plow. Good luck!!!

  17. Stan MI

    Stan MI Member
    Messages: 86

    I think I have solved my problem. Plowed today for a couple of hours and no problems with truck stalling.

    I had another problem with a frayed wire going to the lift coil. While I had the cover off and was fixing that problem I also took the main power and ground wires off the pump and cleaned them up. They didn't look that bad but were not perfect. I also took the negative wire off the block in the engine compartment and cleaned it up. This connection looked bad.

    Long story short. Plowed today and no problems. Amp meter still swings farther than I'd like but the truck ran fine. All plowing was done in the day so no headlights but I felt comfortable with the radio and heater blowing on high. If I get a problem when the lights are on I'll post back, if not thanks for all the help !!
  18. stans1949

    stans1949 Junior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 18

    One common problem we see at our shop is people using atf in the plows instead of plow oil. Plow oil is around 11 times thinner than atf and when your in cold weather that thicker oil really draws the amps to move the hydrolics. Dirty oil or a partly plugged screen in the pump will do the same thing.
  19. Lil STX Ford

    Lil STX Ford Senior Member
    Messages: 176

    -22f / -30c and lights dimmed... but plow lifted took about 5 minutes to warm up... but I run HVI 22 grade hydraulics in mine, was more happy the truck started in this lol