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Old 03-20-2013, 08:07 AM
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BATTERIES DYING ONLY WHEN PLOWING

I HAVE A 99 F-250 WITH THE 7.3L DIESEL. WE RECENTLY HAD AN ISSUE WITH THE TRUCK NOT STARTING, I HAD THE ALTERNATOR REBUILT AND BATTERIES TESTED. ONE OF THE BATTERIES WAS BAD SO I REPLACED IT. STILL DOING IT SO I TESTED THE GLOW PLUG RELAY AND SURE ENOUGH IT WAS BAD. THIS CURED THE ISSUE UNTIL I PUT THE BOSS V-PLOW ON LAST NIGHT. TOWARDS THE END OF PLOWING MY DRIVEWAY THE LIGHTS WERE FLASHING AND THE BATTERY METER WAS SUPER BUT LOW ONLY WHEN I WOULD LIFT THE PLOW OR ANGLE IT. WHEN I DIDNT USE THE PLOW IT WAS FINE. I PLUGGED IN THE BATTERY CHARGER AND THE BATTERY THAT WASNT REPLACED WAS AT 25% AND THE NEW BATTERY WAS AT 67%. WOULD THAT MEAN I NEED TO REPLACE THE OTHER OLDER BATTERY? OR WOULD IT BE A GROUND OR ALTERNATOR AGAIN AFTER BEING REBUILT?
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:15 AM
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Electric plow, plow lights, low rpms, all gonna tax the crap out of the electrical system. You need everything to be 100%.

First, ALWAYS replace your batteries in pairs (if one wore-out, how far can the other one be behind?).

Second, Hi Power Alt, did you get a Good one? Or just what the parts store had? If you're gonna be plowing you need a Good, Hi Amp, alternator (the reason for factory "duals" sometimes)

It really is a Huge "new" load you're adding...
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:25 AM
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GOOD POINT WITH THE BATTERY I WILL BUY ANOTHER ONE REGARDLESS. I BOUGHT THIS TRUCK BRAND NEW AND HAD FORD PUT A HIGHER AMP ALTERNATOR ON IT BC I KNEW I WOULD BE PLOWING. I HAVE A FRIEND WHO IS A GENIUS WITH THEM AND HE REBUILDS THEM FOR A LOT CHEAPER THAN YOU CAN BUY A NEW ONE FOR SO I HAD HIM REBUILD IT AND SAID IT WAS GOOD TO GO. WOULD ONE BAD/WEAK BATTERY CAUSE THE TRUCK TO SHUT OFF ALMOST?
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:44 AM
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Not unless it was the sole cause of the System Voltage dropping really low (you had it tested though - right? Load Tested?

Remember, the battery is just a Storage device, this would be more about the Charging system not "keeping up" (if the battery was still good, not Great like the new one, but still Good)
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:48 AM
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CORRECT I HAD THE BATTERY LOAD TESTED AT AUTO ZONE ABOUT 2 WEEKS AGO AND THEY SAID IT WAS STILL GOOD. I JUST DONT KNOW WHAT ELSE IT COULD POSSIBLY BE..
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:49 AM
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Granted, your running alot of extra stuff on the system, my vote is your Alternator is bad. If you got a high output alternator, did your buddy rebuild it with high output components? When my alternator went out, I went to the local rebuilder to have him do his magic. He said it was cheaper for me to just buy a new one than to have him rebuild it. I'm almost wondering if your rebuilder "cheaped out" on some parts to save you some coin when he rebuilt it. From what I understand, these alternators are fairly complicated to rebuild, and parts for the rebuild are somewhat costly.

Anyway, My thoughts are to replace that other battery, then check the alternator again. Put a multimeter on the battery terminals while running and check the voltage. 13.8-14.2 is acceptable. if the voltage is less than that, time for another alternator. Heck, I would turn everything on (full heat, high beams, accessory lights, beacons) and if your alternator can't keep up then its time for it to go. Theoretically a vehicle should be able to run and sustain itself without a battery after it has been started.

best of luck!
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:14 AM
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THAT IS A GOOD POINT, I WILL HAVE TO CALL HIM AND ASK IF HE USED CHEAPER PARTS OR WHAT HE DID BECAUSE THAT IS THE ONLY THING THAT WOULD MAKE SENSE TO ME. THANKS FOR THE ADVISE! I WILL FIGURE IT OUT
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:47 PM
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Also, the Load Test you get at AZ isn't really meant for our trucks. All they load it with is about 100A (fine for a 6cly gasser). BUT, we have High Capacity batteries that, to be properly tested, need a load of 250-300A (you test at around 1/3 of the CCA)

So, you can actually have a Bad Battery that an Auto Parts Store will PASS because it met the criteria for a small battery...
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:28 AM
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I would suggest plowing with your head lights off, my plow guy has always told me to leave my headlights off to save the alternator. Not sure if it works, but if I have my lights on they always dim out when I lift my plow. Also check the charging wire off your alternator, mine has corroded out within the wire not at the connector. And replace the second battery, the alternator does not have enough power to operate a plow and all your electronics on the truck, without good batteries the alternator can't keep up with the added stress of a plow.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:56 AM
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I find it odd that the plow takes so much power. Say, compared to a winch. Lifting the plow should take considerably less effort than winching in a stuck truck.

That said, if you are bopping around in idle for most of this, you may consider a high idle tune. Most alternators don't put out much at idle, high idle would fix that. Putting a large capacitor in line with the plow may aid with the headlight dimming issue too. Just like a capacitor for subs. The plow would be a continuous load instead of hits, but a cap would smooth the initial surge.
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