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Altenator problem

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by packey, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. packey

    packey Member
    Messages: 97

    I have a 72 dodge with what I think is an oe altenator. My lights dim to nothing when I lift my plow. What size altenator are you running. Also what type of lights can I run on my plow to give me plenty of light while driving.
  2. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341

    i don't care if you run 9 batteries any time you go pulling 100amps out of it something got to dim and, the lights on your ol' truck probably aint to bright to start with, if you think theres a prob you might check the voltage regulator or just upgrade to a single wire alternator

    why aint this posted in the "dodge" forum
  3. packey

    packey Member
    Messages: 97

    The reason this is not in the dodge forum is
    1. I am new to plowing and this is what I thought would be a newby question
    2. Old dodge most guys on dodge forum run new trucks and no very little abut old trucks
    3. It was a general question that could apply to any truck with altenator problems.

    Sorry I offended someone by not posting in the forum they thought I should. I will do better next time:)
  4. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341

    don't bother me none i just thought you might get better response
  5. matt12

    matt12 Junior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 9

    If your alternator and battery are good and working properly and your lights still dim then you should be able to wire your headlights to a capacitor and that should help out a great deal while running your plow good luck Matt
  6. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341

    HUH? a capacitor stores voltage not amperage:rolleyes:
  7. itzkcatz

    itzkcatz Member
    from CT
    Messages: 63

    I have the Same problem on my 1999 dodge ram when i use my plow the warning buzzer starts screaming about the amps going down, the lights dim like crazy also. Im not sure if its the altenator or the need for 2 batteries. Anyone got any advice?
  8. matt12

    matt12 Junior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 9

    The capacitor stores voltage if it is wired from the battery and directly to the head lights it will store up its charge and when the plow pump comes on the capacitor will be able to provide constant power to the lights. The capacitor also helps remove the ripples produced by the alternator this is part of the reason why your headlights dim. The capacitor will work with your headlights similar to how they work with the boom boom stereos in some cars. Matt
  9. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341

    i knew you was going to come back with something about a boombox.

    the head lights require AMP. the voltage is not imprtant yes it has to be between 6-18vdc but the capacitor stores voltage and discharges for mili-seconds not 15-20seconds it takes to lift a plow, 'Cmon man you know better than that

    now your just trying to defend yourself because you posted the first time before thinking

    edit: so on the same token if you carried a charged capacitor with you and your battery run dead you could jump your truck off of it "Cmon. i am not sure if you know the differ between volts and amps
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2007
  10. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    You said nothing about your battery! The plow draws over 200 Amps (I think) so most alternators wont keep up, that is what the battery is for it supplys the power that the alternator cant for short periods of time. Then when the pump is not working the alternator can charge the battery.

    Check for Belt slipping, bad connections, That is ALL connections. I recently had a kid with a truck that would turn over for 1/2 second then every thing went out, lights gages... but the battery and starter where good, I told him to check his connections, he said he did and was still having the problem.. Turns out he checked the clamp to battery connection but the cable to battery repair clamp connection was bad.

    Actually a Capacitor stores enrgy, both voltig AND current but so little current you would need a HUGE capacitor to prevent the lights from dimming. You will also need some way to prevent the energy stored in the capacitor from also going to the plow motor.
  11. packey

    packey Member
    Messages: 97

    I was looking at the altenator and it is an oe 50 amp altenator. The battery is a everstart (neverstart) that is supposedly a 750 cold cranking amp and 850 amp battery.. Although I would not trust the stickers. This truck has been setting a while and the batter is 3 years old I just checked. I guess I was wandering if anyone has replaced their altenator with a 100 amp or larger altenator. and if this would be wise. Alos would it be wise to run a battery like what I have on my one ton. it is an optimu battery like you would run on a cummins.
  12. murphyslaw

    murphyslaw Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    I have a 200amp alternator on my 85 that I got from Dbelectrical.

    I would definetly get a new batterie 3yrs old for plowing might as well be 10yrs old. I normaly change my batteries every 2-3yrs
  13. Midwest BuildIt Inc

    Midwest BuildIt Inc PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,280

    That is a small alternator, Larger would be better, change the battery. Check your ground wires, If your plow motor is grounded to the frame and your battery to frame ground is small gauge or bad, it will dim the lights...I run large gauge cable for everything, Small gauge cable will generally cause it to draw more amps than it needs to....
  14. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    I have a rebuilt Alt (by a local shop) in my 74 that puts out almost 100amps.

    But I think your problem is in your connections, wires, batt or all 3.
    Old dodges are known for there crappy wiring.
    (corrosion and cracked wiring)
    The amp gage is the worst offender and a power hog.
    I know it is just a gage But ALL of your power runs throught it first.

    Get a new batt and clean off all your electrical connections from the alt to the batt to the plow. Remove clean with sandpaper.
    Then install a second batt if that does not do the trick.

    If your alt was bad you would have been dead in the watter long time ago. Alts ,they ether work or they don't.
    If you need a new batt get one with at least 1000cca.

    Correct powerjoke;), a capacitor will not work in this application for the reasons Powerjoke listed.
    They discharge in milliseconds, they may give a brief flicker to your lights but that would be it.

    Ohms law. It takes 1amp to push 1 volt through 1 ohn of residence.