1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Power problem

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by Scavenger, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Scavenger

    Scavenger Junior Member
    Messages: 18


    I have a 2003 F250 Super Duty 4x4 with a Meyer V-Plow. I bought the truck and plow in the fall of 2007, and used it last winter without problems. This fall, while doing plow maintenance (welding cracks) I managed to knock off a piece of conveyor belt that the previous owner had attached. It was about 18" square, and sat above the top of the blades, in the center of the plow. I'm guessing the intent was too keep snow from coming over the top of the plow. I didn't bother reattaching the belt when it came off. Now, I'm having alternator problems, yet my alternator tests fine. The symptom is that the lights will suddenly dim while plowing, then within a minute or two, they'll instantly return to normal. One of my neighbours, who has some mechanical smarts, suggested that light fluffy snow is now getting into the alternator, and causing it to malfunction. Since the only obvious difference between this year setup and last years is the conveyor belt, I was wondering if this could be the cause. The old conveyor belt is buried in the snow in my yard (won't find it until spring), so I don't want to fashion a new one if it's unnecessary.

    My driveway is 1.5 miles long. This morning I plowed nice and slow to make sure that the light fluffy snow we got didn't drift up over the plow. I did not have any problems today. While I could continue to plow slow, I prefer to plow some sections (fields) fast to keep the banks as low as possible.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,511

    How about the snow is getting onto the belt and causing it to slip.

  3. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    I'd say they are completely unrelated.

    Does the dimming happen just randomly or while you are running the plow?

    Have you ever replaced the belt on the engine?
  4. Scavenger

    Scavenger Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Certainly could be that. Would the light fluffy snow that might get in cause that problem? Do you think replacing the missing conveyor belt piece would reduce/eliminate the snow getting in?
  5. Scavenger

    Scavenger Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    I haven't replaced it since I bought the truck in 07. The mechanic said the belt looks sound.
  6. sefh

    sefh Senior Member
    Messages: 436

    It sounds like he used a conveyor belt or something like it as a deflector. Post a thread or move this thread to the Meyer section and I'm sure someone in there will help you.
  7. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179


    Part of troubleshooting a problem is process of elimination.
    If this problem is only happening when you plow then find or put a new piece of rubber on as a deflector. If you do this and problem doesn't go away then start looking at alternator,drive belt, or other areas.
  8. Scavenger

    Scavenger Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Thanks for the replies. I'll see if I can find the original piece of conveyor belt, or find a new piece - then go from there.
  9. Scavenger

    Scavenger Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    The original owner of the truck suggested putting a fine screen over the rad to keep the snow from passing through. He said he had to do that on his new F250. So, I did that and it didn't help. This past Saturday, while plowing, the lights dimmed and the "Battery Charging System Problem" light came on. It's stayed on ever since.

    So, I took the alternator in to the rebuilder. He tested it and said it's definitely defective. I told him I was using the truck for plowing, and he said he thinks the alternator (stock 110 A) is overheating, and that it's not suprising under the circumstances. I asked if he could sell me a higher capacity alternator that would fit and he said no. Either the bolt holes won't line up, or the plug-in won't be right.

    He suggested getting a second battery and battery isolator so the truck and plow run off different batteries. He said that the alternator works harder (and hotter) when the battery level gets lower, so the second battery should ease the load on the alternator because the batteries won't drain down as much.

    My F250 is a 5.4L Gas, so it only comes with one battery. The Ford dealer said the F250 diesels come with two, so it should be easy to fit a second battery in on the other (drivers) side of the engine compartment. I was thinking about getting a 1000 CCA battery but the current battery is odd-sized (low height), so a 1000 CCA battery is hard to source.

    Your thoughts as to the best approach?

  10. Scavenger

    Scavenger Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    I forgot to mention that the truck sometimes stalls when things act up. I have to use a boost to get it going. My driveway is off a main highway, and I often back out on the highway to clean up the end. If it happens to stall when out on the highway, lives are at risk. :-(
  11. Crash935

    Crash935 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    I would start by checking all of your connections to the plow, if that doesnt help then check the load that the plow motor is putting on the electrical system.
  12. Scavenger

    Scavenger Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    I haven't changed the filter in the pump since I got the truck in the fall of 07. I just read somewhere else that a partially plugged filter can add a big load on the batteries. I'll do that as well as your suggestion on checking the electrical connections. Thanks. :)
  13. Scavenger

    Scavenger Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Crash935 - when I check the load that the pump is putting on the electrical system, I'm guessing it's the current I'm checking, not a voltage drop? Is that correct? What would be a typical current draw when lifting the plow? I have a Meyer 8.5' V Plow (which is quite heavy). I don't have a manual on the V-66 pump and Meyer says they don't have one available, so I don't have any specs on typical load vaules.

    I put my rebuilt alternator back on yesterday (they replaced the voltage regulator). Worked fine at first, but last evening stopped charging. Rebuilder suspects voltage regulator is gone again (I didn't bring it back in yet), and said that a short could be causing the problem. I'm wondering if a hydraulic pump with plugged filters could put too big a load, causing the regulator to blow. I plan to change the filter and replace the hydraulic oil tomorrow.