Electrical problems - Bad Alternator? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:34 PM
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Electrical problems - Bad Alternator?

I'm hoping everyone here on the .org can help me solve an electrical issue. It was about 35 degrees when I came out of work last night. Stupidly, I didn't wait for the glow plug light to cycle off before starting the truck. I cranked on it for about 20 seconds....no start. Turned it off and waited for the glow plugs and it started right up. Drove about 5 miles to the gym with no issues. After the gym, the truck started right up again and I started the drive home. About 15 miles into the trip, I noticed the ABS light came on. A little further, I noticed the gauges on my pillar not working and the radio started to turn on and off with the clock flashing rapidly on and off. I pulled off to the side of the road and shut the truck off, thinking that restarting it would possibly reset something. When turning the key to restart, the truck turned over a few times and just clicked. Tried to start it a few more times with no luck. I was able to get my wife to come out and give me a jump, after which I got home as fast as I could. On the rest of the trip back, headlights got progressively dimmer and all of the gauges on the instrument cluster went out. I got home just in time before it died again.

I'm thinking the symptoms are pointing to a dead alternator but don't know where to start checking. I'm pretty good with all things mechanical but have no idea when it comes to electrical issues. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the long post but wanted to give as much background info as possible.

Truck is a 2004 and both batteries were replaced within the past 6 months.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:59 PM
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You need this.....Write Up: Monitoring the 6.0L PSD.

Take your batteries and alternator out, charge your batteries then have them load tested. Get your alternator tested. Bad batteries kill ficms.

Sent from my phone that somebody didn't help me get.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:53 PM
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^^^X2 you need to get gauges on that truck. You need to figure it out before a ficm winds up on your list. If the alt is bad I recommend getting a good replacement like DC Power or something comprable. 190 amps is a good size, minimum should be 140 amps.

Myself I run a 190 amp and have a seperate #4 cable straight to battery as well as the factory cable off alt, it never runs off of batteries. The aftermarket alternators have a higher cut-off voltage in the high 14v range 14.4-14.8 volts is common when not under a heavy load much easier on ficm.
Also 1000 CCA quality batteries are well worth the money these trucks are so computer dependant it's important to have good electric components.

Alternator
Batteries
MONITORING GAUGES: Whether you get a cheap ScangaugeII or a nicer unit it's a MUST HAVE ITEM. It will Save you money in the long run and that is the truth !!!
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:07 AM
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Thanks guys. The truck isn't being driven until I get this sorted out. Drove it just far enough to make it home after I noticed the issues. Hopefully I didn't damage anything. I'll take out the batteries and alternator this weekend and get them tested.

As far as monitoring goes, I have been throwing around the idea of getting the Gryphon from PHP since it has custom FICM tuning as well as monitoring capabilities. Do you think this is the right way to go or would you recommend something else?

If the issue is with the alternator, I was going to replace with OEM. Are the DC Power units worth the extra cost? I also wasn't sure how to upgrade the wiring. I guess this is something I'll have to look into.
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:13 AM
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the DC 190 is worth the money and it doesn't require an upgraded wiring harness

you need to ask how fast they are going to ship

I am also surprised your battery / charge light wasn't on ,, or did I miss that ?
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:13 AM
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You my friend have a bad alternator! replace it and you should be good. I have seen these symptoms lots of times and the alternator was at fault
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:11 AM
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Is this the DC 190 that you are referring to:
https://www.dcpowerinc.com/fit/2004~...7-190-oem.html

I'm not worried about shipping times as I've got an awesome minivan to drive around until I get this thing fixed. From what I've read so far, I thought that the stock wiring couldn't handle the output from an upgraded alternator. If I dont' have to upgrade the wiring, the DC Power 190 looks like a good choice. They mention a "supplied adapter harness" on the website. Does anyone know what this is for?

The battery light never came on. Just the ABS light and eventually the airbag light as everything started to shut down.

Last edited by nautiquexl; 12-14-2012 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:35 AM
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I just bought one a month ago through FICMREPAIR.COM a DC Power 190 amp and payed 326.00 shipped which was less than I would have spent direct and it was at my house within a week.
I think he may get priority over individual orders, I would pick it up through Ed.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:22 AM
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Alright, I removed both batteries and the alternator this morning for testing. When removing the alternator, I noticed the wires to the sensor were chafed. I also cracked the clip when removing it from the alternator. How do I replace this harness? Will I need to solder in a new harness or can I trace it to another connector? Also, if the alternator turns out to be bad, I'm going to go with the DC 190 that mhatlen and ZMANN recommended. On the website, it says that it comes with a wiring harness. Is this the same harness that I'd be replacing?
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:58 PM
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Just got back from AutoZone and the alternator tested out bad. So it looks like I'll be giving Ed @ ficmrepair.com a call tomorrow. After taking off the alternator, I noticed some burning around the terminal. Is this normal or is there a possibility that something shorted out and there's a bigger issue than just the alternator? I've included a couple of pictures to show the terminal.
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Electrical problems - Bad Alternator?-terminal1.jpg   Electrical problems - Bad Alternator?-terminal2.jpg  
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