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

Question for old dodge owners

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by 78W200, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. 78W200

    78W200 Member
    Messages: 62

    I plow with a 78 W200 400 ci. My plow is a cable operated western. When I plow for a few hours ,which is about every time we get three inches of snow or more, my dash and my amp gauge get hot and melt. I replaced my instrument cluster two years ago, but during our last snow it started doing it again. When it finally shorts out completely I have to run a jumper wire across the amp gauge because the whole electrical system runs through the gauge. Once its toast it is like you took the battery out of it. I think the plow is pulling to many amps and it is to much for the trucks wiring. Has anyone else run into this problem? Does anyone have any suggestions on how to fix this problem?
     
  2. wddodge

    wddodge Member
    Messages: 64

    When I had my ole '79, I got rid of the ampmeter and put in a voltmeter. Never had a problem after that.
     
  3. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,504

    Or an amp meter eather way just get an after market one, not a stock replacement. Some old Dodges have started on fire from a bad amp gage.
    I had the same problem in my 74, W200 and 68 ,Charger.
     
  4. grotecguy

    grotecguy Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    Ask that question over at www.ramchargercentral.com.

    There is a huge wealth of Dodge information there.

    Good luck,
    Mark K
     
  5. RTW5150

    RTW5150 Junior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 24

    I'd also ditch the ammeter in favor of a voltmeter. What's the factory ammeter go to? 30 amps or so? A plow prolly draws 2-3 times that.
     
  6. RODHALL

    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

  7. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Dump the Amp meter- it's useless anyway. A voltmeter tells you more useful info and is safer. Odds are yes, since all the current for the system is passing through the ammeter in the dash it's overloading. It's not a safe idea to have all that current in the dash anyway. (that's one of the main reasons they don't use ammeters anymore)
     
  8. 78W200

    78W200 Member
    Messages: 62

    Thanks for all the input it has beenvery helpful, but the only question I still have is how does the dash get its power if I use a voltmeter?
     
  9. RTW5150

    RTW5150 Junior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 24

    You are just bypassing the ammeter guage, all the rest of the dash cluster should have power, then just run new wires to the voltmeter to any switched source.

    here's a link to some good info : http://www.madelectrical.com/electricaltech/amp-gauges.shtml
     
  10. 78W200

    78W200 Member
    Messages: 62

    When I disconnect the amp gauge none of my other gauges work, except of course the speedo.With all the fine engineering of the old dodge electrical systems I may look like this guy one day:yow!: lol.
     
  11. RTW5150

    RTW5150 Junior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 24


    Did you follow the wiring diagram on that link? You can't just disconnect the ammeter you need to bypass it, the rest of the dash picks up power from the load side of the ammeter.
     
  12. 78W200

    78W200 Member
    Messages: 62

    I follow you now, sometimes you just have to draw me a picture.:dizzy: Thanks.
     
  13. RTW5150

    RTW5150 Junior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 24

    lol it's much easier to visualize with a schematic or wiring diagram, good luck! :drinkup: :drinkup: