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alternator question?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by Scenic Lawnscape, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. Scenic Lawnscape

    Scenic Lawnscape Senior Member
    Messages: 481

    I have a 01 ram cummins 4x4

    It has dual batteries(duh) and they are brand new, but when I am raising and lowering my plow my head lights dim, but as soon as I stop the plow its fine. I haven't even hooked up my (rotor) light bar or my strobes

    I was looking around and it seems that they only offer a 130 amp alternator for this setup. Should I upgrade the cable from the alternator to the battery, or should I look for a aftermarket ho alternator?
  2. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    having the lights dim is normal. The question is how badly do they dim?

    your pump motor draws about 200 to 300 amps. the alt supplies 130 amps so the batteries have to make up the difference of 70 to 170 amps. that will cause the battery voltage to drop 1 to 2 volts witch will cause the lights to dim. as soon as the pump motor stops running the alt is still putting out 130 amps so the batteries charge up in short order.
  3. Scenic Lawnscape

    Scenic Lawnscape Senior Member
    Messages: 481

    I guess I am just worried when I am running my strobes and light bar, that it will cause to much drain
  4. no lead

    no lead PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,308

    depending on severity of dimness, make sure your grounds are tight! plow is grounded to the batt right? no motor or frame?
  5. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    With the engine running and measure the battery voltage. Now turn on ALL your electrical stuff and measure the battery voltage. if the two measurements are within 1/2 volt your fine.
  6. Sealer People

    Sealer People Senior Member
    Messages: 210

    plowmeister, when your measuring the battery voltage, mine for example runs at an average of 14, after we hook everything up & run it i think my meter goes down to about 11 - 12. I used to have a plow last year on a different truck that at times would shut off when rasing the plow. is 10 - 12 normal?

    What im most woried about is, ever since I put the snow gear on the truck ( 1996 chevy 2500 diesel, dual battery etc ) Im hearing almost like a wining noise when I accelerate. I cant stand it, someone told me its just a working alternator but, Im thinking maybe I should try to get a bigger heavier duty alternator. The only thing im not sure of is :
    1,, is that wining noise coming from the alternator ?
    2,, how do I know if its already an HD alternator ?

    Just trying to pick your brain is all :)
    any suggestions / reccomendations are appreciated
    thanks again.
  7. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,882

    Your strobes shouldnt put any drain on it at all. It has a capacitor inside the control bax that stores the energy. Puts much less of a drain on the battery. I doubt the lightbar will have much affect either. But it is normal to have some light dim when you are operating the plow pump. Those things do suck ALOT of juice at once. But as long as they go right back up within a few short seconds or less, you are fine
  8. Sealer People

    Sealer People Senior Member
    Messages: 210

    thank you very much,, i think im good then
  9. Spitz

    Spitz Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    The whining is more then likely the alternator, they do whine pretty good while charging. A louder than normal whine though, as in any higher then your probably hearing now, may indicated a diode going bad, but you'd probably experience other issues accompanied by the noise.
  10. streetfrog

    streetfrog Senior Member
    Messages: 337

    Go on ebay. type in high output alternator checy. There is a guy that has from 105 amp all the way to 250 amp. even for the newer ones. These are noew and come with a warranty. I have used in past and now and works the balls