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Plow Problems - Help?

Jason Pallas

LawnSite Bronze Member
I've got a Western 7 1/2' Pro Guard on a 92 Ford F250. Problem is, the plow drains electrical system. Battery is new. Alternator is 60amp (reman)just replaced for 2nd time in a year. Plow Electrical motor runs good and does not drain under no load (not hooked to pump). Hooked to pump, the plow angles and raises fine (angles a little slow to left - but not bad). However, within 10 minutes of use, electrical system will drain and truck will stall. You can get the truck to stall real quick if you angle the plow to one side and continue to angle it after its reached max. Alt meter in truck will drains from 12 to near eight everytime you angle and then recovers pretty quick to 12 but like I said extended angling or moderate to heavy use will kill the truck's electrical. We then have to jump start it and baby it (raise/angle in short bursts) - or park it altogether). Otherwise truck runs great - no problems with heater or lights draining system. HELP - Need advice. I think it may be the new alternator is bad. Others? MUCH APPRECIATED!
 

Chuck Smith

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Nutley, NJ
Bob is right. You need at MINIMUM a 70 amp to run a plow properly. I recommend at least a 90 amp myself. Also, a MINIMUM of 550 CCA battery, and I recommend a 1000CCA battery.
Naturally under no load, the motor won't draw too many amps.
In your case, you might try to plow with the headlights off when you can, and shut off the heater. That is, until you upgrade things.

~Chuck
 
OP
J

Jason Pallas

LawnSite Bronze Member
Thanks! - That's sort of what I was thinking too. The battery is 1000cca and we've been plowing with minimal electrical (lights, heat, etc). I've got a 2000 Dodge with a Western (almost same set up) and I can be running every electrical accessory at full tilt - when I use the plow there the meter barely moves a hair. It's got a bigger alternator (80 amps).
I'm gonna put a bigger alt in the F250 tommorrow. I'll let you know - (of course I'll do this and they'll be no snow for the rest of the season - Murphy's Law). Thanks!

[Edited by Jason Pallas on 01-24-2001 at 12:04 AM]
 

bluebyu62

LawnSite Member
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Yes, I agree with Chuck. Definitely do not hesitate to go overboard with the alternator. I had the same problem last year and by installing a second battery it did not help at all. Just before last storm I had a new alternator built and the truck did not show the slightest form of a low battery as it previously always has.
 

thelawnguy

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Central CT
All 2000 Rams came with a 136 amp alternator.
 

GeoffDiamond

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Maine
The Ford dealer may be able to get you an alternator out of an ambulance. You will have to use the pully off your current alternator. The ambulance alternators put out a lot of amps, I think it is like 200 something.

Geoff
 

Eager Beaver

LawnSite Member
Location
Michigan
I have a 97 ford with a trailer pulling option. Check to see what alternator was used for that option in that year. I have had no trouble with the problems you are having although I have on vehicles before this year of truck. in fact the battery is still the stock one that has never been replaced. Seems to me it is a 120 or so amp alternator.Good Luck
 

MusGuy

LawnSite Member
Check your electrical for an open ground, that is a definite possibility, You will need a multi-tester and some extra hands, check to see if you are drawing a load to your plow system even when it is not in use.... If so, you will have to do some electrical work....
 
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