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when plow is in constant use, my radio restarts from power drop?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by monson770, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. monson770

    monson770 Senior Member
    Messages: 133

    has anyone had this happen to them? i am suspecting that the high output alternator that i installed is either not high enough or my plow is drawing too much power due to something wrong with the pump..

    going to be ordering the new alternator today and hopefully this fixes the problem...
  2. affekonig

    affekonig Senior Member
    Messages: 909

    I have had that problem only on my Cherokee and only when it's cold and it hasn't been driven in a while. Mine is definitely power related because once the cattery in charged, it works fine. A higher amp alternator will likely solve your problem.
  3. monson770

    monson770 Senior Member
    Messages: 133

    good to know affekonig, i won't have the new alt. till friday, so i'll re post results after i get it in.
    i guess it's not time to worry about my plow till after i know the alt is good.
  4. no lead

    no lead PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,308

    i would change the switched power lead in the cab to a different source first. if you are on the same circuit as the radio it will cut out.
  5. affekonig

    affekonig Senior Member
    Messages: 909

    No problem. I've had all sorts of weird things happen on different trucks over the years, and every time it's happened, a higher amp alt has solved my problems. Good luck. It is weird that the radio is the only thing to go out on the Cherokee though.
  6. affekonig

    affekonig Senior Member
    Messages: 909

    Ah, that was the first thing I checked and mine isn't wired into the radio circuit in any way (other than them both being wired to the same vehicle). I think that the radio is either an on or off deal. Lights can dim, blowers can slow, but the radio either has enough juice to be on or it doesn't.
  7. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Plan your plow moves. When you are backing up and the RPM's are up do any angle changes. At the end of your run, just lift the plow a couple inches, not to the top.

    High beams off, fan on low,
  8. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    Bad battery connection can do that. week battery, slipping fan belt week alternator.

    depending on the plow the plow motor can draw 250 amps, no you dont need a 250 amp alternator. the battery makes up the difference and when not using the plow IE backing up the alt recharges the battery
  9. KBTConst

    KBTConst Senior Member
    Messages: 426

    I had the same peoblem on my truck it was a weak battery changed it problem gone the battery just wouldn't hold a full charge
  10. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Ok, I realised my origional answer is a dumb a@@ one. It was late and I thought more than I typed.

    Yes, it's wierd - others have given you the hopefull solution
  11. monson770

    monson770 Senior Member
    Messages: 133

    thanks a lot for the reply's, it's allways nice to know someone else has the same issues and is willing to suggest solutions..

    got two new batterys as of 2010, so hopefull yi haven't burned one out, can't load test them myslef so i'll have to have a friend do that.

    batt connections are all good.

    my harness going to my plow, on the other hand, i discovered when dissconnecting it i heard a realay turning off and on like there might be a bad connection in the plug.
    ( not the pump power plug, it would be the other plug w/ about 6-8 pins, not sure how many exactly, don't have it in front of me...)

    does anyone know how i would check that?

    it seemed to happen when i jiggled the plug, so no i didnt disconnect it and hear everything turn off, it was like the plug or some of the wires inside the plug are not making a solid connection.. could just be paranoia, but i figure this is the place to figure it out.
  12. monson770

    monson770 Senior Member
    Messages: 133

    actually that is all i have been able to do to keep my sanity... and by that i mean keep my radio from dying. just letting the alt catch up to the power draws, just slows me down..

    i do however live for the morning radio show when i'm plowing so when my radio is on the fritz, it drives me up the friggen wall...
  13. coyote

    coyote Member
    from montana
    Messages: 39

    Sometimes larger dia. cables will work.
  14. Watkins

    Watkins Member
    Messages: 60

    Here is the solution to all your Battery and lead / contact issues.

    #1. Buy a new alternator the higher the amp the better however when the alternator has a small case
    ( stock 89 model chevy trucks for instance ) you do not want more then 160 amps as it becomes less reliable for small cases.

    #2. Check all connections and assure all are spotless and shiny, Copper Crimp on connectors are a must have for professional plow operators.

    #3. Run 2 batteries if possible, and replace then every 3-4 years minimum, when you buy your batteries you may need as much as 60 amps to turn your plow at max load times depending on the plow, so amps are crucial however you need to retain your 14.5 volt charge at at least 140 amps continuous to keep 2 batteries charged.

    #4. Plow motors run less efficiently when the brushes and bushings are worn and require more energy to operate, it's not worth the time to wonder over an 80-120 dollar purchase.
    If it's older then 3 years old replace the pump motor.

    #5. Make sure your drive belt is not cracked split or tore up in anyway.
    If it show's signs of wear, pitted, rough, grooved, showing cords replace it.

    Last but not least, make sure you idler pulleys are in excellent condition and the bushings are tight, a worn pulley or tentioner pulley is a cheap way to assure proper preventative maintenance.

    Here is an important thing, Make sure you get a battery with at least 130-140 mins of reserve capacity.
    This is how long your battery will run before it begins to lose power.
    Just because you have 2 batteries does not make it so you have 5 hours of power but it does extend the initial time before you need to drive and recharge the battery.

    Essentially, no jobs ever taken more then 2 hours for us and the drive time has always charged the batteries up before the next job begins.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  15. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    MAKE SURE all the black ground wires under the hood are good. Pull them, clean, sand shiny and protect with dielectric grease. If the voltage drops so low the radio loses it's presets the truck has to be close to stalling. If the engine is stumbling when you trigger the pump, let go of the switch. I would rather sit with a high idle recharging then sit dead in the water. Waiting for a jump. You have a charging/amp problem or a very weak/reserve battery.
  16. monson770

    monson770 Senior Member
    Messages: 133

    got the new alternator in today, noticed while i was exchanging the one i had orriginally purchased, that the vehicle description for that particular alternator was for a non-HD model...
    the new one however is only for HD models, and i am putting on my new pulleys tomorrow.. i'll test out the plow function tomorrow and re-post..

    thanx again for all the replys, will update sat. afternoon or evening
  17. monson770

    monson770 Senior Member
    Messages: 133

    took a while to repost, but the alt was doing really good, until my radio dies again.. not nearly as bad as it was before, but i am going to be going through and inspecting the things mentioned. let y'all know what i find
  18. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    FWIW my alarm system cuts out when I plow- same sort of thing- when voltage drops below a certain threshold the alarm switches off. Design of the alarm was to conserve battery life from whatever drain was on the system by turning off (and the resulting was cutting the ignition as it were) to allow the battery to recover. New batteries (2 Interstate group 24's) did not help, and the alt was fine.
    Just had to deal with it... and run the alarm in Valet mode which effectively shuts it off so it might power down, but it leaves the truck running.
  19. monson770

    monson770 Senior Member
    Messages: 133

    well good news i guess, i got the new 200 amp alt in, installed new idler and tensioner pulleys, and voltage is holding, even with the subs going while plowing.. think it was mostly the alternator.. i do have some squeeling going on now though... nbot sure if i tightend the puilleys too much or if i am just in time for another bad pulley...

    i thknk that my plow is still running pretty good, not sure if that harness issue was even an issue... but will start a new thread if it is.. thanx everyone for posting, a lil extra knowledge never hurt anyone