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Lights dim

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by redrunner, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. redrunner

    redrunner Junior Member
    from NW Iowa
    Messages: 5

    What kind of power pull are most of you having when running your plow? Mine finally killed the battery and the jeep today. The lights would alway dim each time I move the plow. I have noticed a discharge when running the pump in the past but it continued to recharge but not today. I pulled the alt and found a local shop that wires basically a plowers alt major output at idle 75 amps, then powers up more with increased rpm. I have put it on but not run the thing yet. I plan on running it tonighting.

    Anyone have any other fixes for the problem?

    I was still thinking of putting in a dual battery system. I was hoping to put that off until winter break from school.
     
  2. snow patrol

    snow patrol Senior Member
    Messages: 163

    I recommend having your battery tested. I have had similar problems and in my case its always been a battery that goes bad. Either a bad cell, or something happens where the rated cranking apps drop. It won't hold as much energy and as a result the voltage drops off significantly. I replaced 2 this year and 1 more on the to do list. Problem solved. I've had this problem over the years a number of times and its always been the battery. Good luck!
     
  3. twinman326

    twinman326 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,683

    I would start by changing out your alt, and adding more grounds.. I had the same problem and I change my alt to a 200amp. I also added ground cables from the second battery to the engine, and from the engine to the frame...

    Here is a link were I brought my alt..
    http://www.db-starter-alternator.com/c-3902-jeep.aspx
     
  4. no lead

    no lead PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,308

    jump start the truck and get it running. unhook the positive battery cable on the battery. if the engine shuts off the alt is bad. if it stays running reconnect the battery cable. now run the plow up and down about 10-15 times. if it kills the engine the battery is bad. don't waste your time with dual batteries unless you are running multiple lights and a back blade at the same time.
     
  5. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    While the battery disconnect test may have been OK on an 81 Chevy pickup, highly discouraged on a current generation vehicle. Not only does the battery serve as a power storage unit for starting, interior lights, etc while the engine is off - it serves another very important purpose. The power output of the alternator is not very "clean". Voltage spikes, AC leakage, etc. are all detrimental to the very sensitive electronics and computers in modern vehicle.

    It is far more effective to have the battery and alternator tested. Many parts stores including AutoZone will perform courtesy tests either on or off the vehicle. In addition, an experienced technician can evaluate your truck and find opportunities to improve your existing system.
     
  6. twinman326

    twinman326 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,683

    2Cor517; your absolutely correct.

    Redrunner;
    I would bring it somewhere and have the system check out. They can also do a load test on the battery as well. By doing this kind of test, it will show how the vehicle will perform under a load (lights, radio,heater, and any plow accessories that is attach to the truck). Keep i mind, the more of a load you have on the vehicle, the harder the alternator has to work..

    What make, model, and year is the vehicle??
     
  7. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Oops, forgot one sentence....
     
  8. pvtben121

    pvtben121 Senior Member
    Messages: 226

    sounds like a ALT
     
  9. no lead

    no lead PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,308

    if his vehicle was from this century i would not have advised that trick. a load test is the best bet but sometimes in the dark of night the old fashioned way is the only way.