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int3man

2001 Altenator Charging WOES

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Hi Guys,

               O.K.  WT modification and did the 150 Amp circuit breaker modification 6 months ago followed up with the Fuse in the field wire.  Got in the truck and drove to the post office 98 deg. AC on full.  Come out of the post office and cell phone charger is flashing Low voltage.  Volt meter is to 0.  Stop get out and reset the circuit breaker, it had tripped.  Get on to freeway and drive to next town for dentist app.  Bam the voltage drops to 0.  Pull over after getting off the freeway, reset circuit breaker.  Turn off the AC, roll the windows down.  Start Truck and we get 14 volts.  Drive for a bit and the Faulty gauge idiot light comes on, still haven't fixed the oil pressure sending unit.  90 seconds later the volt meter is diving.  12.5 12.3  12.1  Bam 0  Breaker reset.  Made it home after the dentist.

 

So did I blow a diode pack or what.  This is a rebuilt Alt that has worked perfect until today. 

 

TIA

Michael

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Where did you mount the circuit breaker? If the circuit breaker is near heat it will cause a false tripping of the breaker. Mine is hidden in the cab side of the battery try on passenger side. Keep the heat off the circuit breaker.

 

I would pull the alternator quick run it to NAP or part store and have it bench tested. This will verify the alternator has no shorts or issues. I'm betting the circuit breaker is getting too hot and popping open. 

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Hi Mike,

                I went one better on the mounting location and mounted it on the front battery support passenger side.  I'll pull the battery but wanted to be sure no in truck tests before hand.  I'll pull it in the morning when it is 64 outside, and the alt is the same.

 

Michael

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Posted (edited)

I've read several complaints about false trip of the breaker because of trapped heat or too much heat directed at the circuit breaker and tripping falsely. Still for safety bench that alternator. Then insulate the circuit breaker with a ball of rags as a test. Bit of duct tape. If that resolves the issue then the breaker needs to be hidden where there is less heat.

 

DSCF4596.JPG

Edited by Mopar1973Man

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I'm going to pull the ALT in the AM.  Thermal Tripping breaker doesn't explain the lowering voltage.  Breakers are made or not; not a slow decay.  I'll report tomorrow.

 

Michael

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9 hours ago, int3man said:

Thermal Tripping breaker doesn't explain the lowering voltage.  Breakers are made or not; not a slow decay. 

 

Yeah it does. These truck don't draw much power. When the circuit pops open the truck is running solely on the batteries in a discharging state. This is very slow. Without anything turned on you can run these truck for over 150 miles no problem without a charging alternators. Mine when the voltage get to 12.00 then clicks 11.99 the dash gause just falls to 8V and chimes and turns on the CHECK GAGE light. Just keep going they will continue to run all the way to 8.00 volts the the ECM and VP44 have problems staying running.

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@int3man

The W-T mod does not include a circuit breaker on the charge line from the Alternator to the passenger side battery. This additional aspect was introduced in later subsequent contributions on this site.

 

@Mopar1973Man is guiding you correctly by pointing out the possible thermal dynamics of the device itself and the mounting position could contribute to premature opening of the breaker under certain circumstances considering the location of the breaker.

 

Under normal circumstances your CTD should be running 13.9 to 14.3 volts DC charge rate after starting the engine with no other accessories being activated within the vehicle. This is only achieved if both batteries are closely matched in static DC resting voltage.

The nominal levels of 13.9 to 14.3 is the DC charge level to replenish the "parallel" storage batteries after the tremendous discharge during starter motor activation and sequential activation of the grid heater circuit. At 14.3 volts your alternator is providing current and shortly there afterwards your DC levels should drop to approximately 13.6 to 13.8 depending on the length of time you are driving or operating the engine at 1000 RPM or more. A short trip to the store and then home again may not be enough time to restore the batteries to the reference DC static level. The guide line is exactly 12.6 volts resting for both batteries individually.

 

Disconnecting the parallel strapping lines and individually testing each battery at static DC level should reveal 12.6 volts...approximately. If one battery is 12.8 volts and the other is 12.1 volts DC or worse 11.9 volts DC this indicates a large imbalance between storage cells. This is unacceptable as the lesser storage cell is taxing current from the higher level storage cell.

 

The original article stipulated additional large Gage lines to be applied between the two batteries in a robust parallel strapping configuration. I have noted several respondents to the original article having done less than what was suggested. May I point out, the "thermal sensing charge device" is under the driver side battery and in this W-T mod configuration the initial DC charge from the alternator is being applied to the passenger battery first. Any discrepancy of fractional resistance between the two cells must be avoided. The suggestion of "double strapping" the two storage batteries into compliance between one another must not be taken lightly. 

 

Michael, your location is the central valley of California and it has been quite hot as of late. Confirm what Mike has pointed out and static check your cells individually for closely matched DC levels. Examine your parallel lines between the two batteries and the connectors at the battery terminals. 

 

To be opening a 150 Amp circuit breaker is alarming in any circumstance...lets find what is causing that kind of sever current demand.

 

Cheers,

W-T

 

           

 

  

  • Thanks 2

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1 hour ago, Mopar1973Man said:

 

Yeah it does. These truck don't draw much power. When the circuit pops open the truck is running solely on the batteries in a discharging state. This is very slow. Without anything turned on you can run these truck for over 150 miles no problem without a charging alternators. Mine when the voltage get to 12.00 then clicks 11.99 the dash gause just falls to 8V and chimes and turns on the CHECK GAGE light. Just keep going they will continue to run all the way to 8.00 volts the the ECM and VP44 have problems staying running.

Yup as usual your are correct sir.  As soon as the breaker trips the voltage goes down!  As to the heat it is 2 miles from the house to the post office where it first happened.  I'll pull the ALT and Volt meter the 1 year old batteries, no strap.

 

Michael

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Posted (edited)

Alt tested fine. Well it must be a heat thing, with the AC running raising all the temps.  I'll move the CB to the back side of the battery and put the Alt back on.  Batteries were  11.88 and 11.89 .

 

So now it appears that it is BOACB time (Break Out Another Couple of Benjamin's time.).  Time to replace the battery cables, I did the battery terminals when I bought it.  Never been a big fan of friction clamps. Mike do you have lengths and eye sizes listed somewhere?  I would like to order them prior to replacing them.  I have a customer that owes me one, and has some 00 Marine cable that he bought  couple thousand feet of.

 

Thanks

Michael

Cable one.jpg

Edited by int3man

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14 hours ago, Mopar1973Man said:

 

Yeah it does. These truck don't draw much power. When the circuit pops open the truck is running solely on the batteries in a discharging state. This is very slow. Without anything turned on you can run these truck for over 150 miles no problem without a charging alternators. Mine when the voltage get to 12.00 then clicks 11.99 the dash gause just falls to 8V and chimes and turns on the CHECK GAGE light. Just keep going they will continue to run all the way to 8.00 volts the the ECM and VP44 have problems staying running.

Well the plot thickens.  Got the Alt reinstalled and moved the circuit breaker to behind the battery.  Drove it to the post office and dinner.  On the way home I looked and again no voltage.  Sure enough the breaker was tripped again.  So time to find the Clamp on Amp meter and see what the --ll is going on.  I've been running the AC on Max but I have done that since I have owned the truck.  As WT pointed out its hot in the Central Valley!!!

 

Michael

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1 minute ago, int3man said:

I've been running the AC on Max but I have done that since I have owned the truck.  As WT pointed out its hot in the Central Valley!!!

 

I've already seen 106°F down in Ontario a few days back. Even today was right around 92°F. I'm running the 150A circuit breaker and never tripped once yet.

 

I suggest pulling the alternator having it bench tested to find out what its putting out and if there is any diode issues. Normally running truck doesn't draw very much at all. If there was a issue the grid heaters would be the biggest load at 195A but still in all a 136A alternator shouldn't be enough to trip a 150A circuit breaker.

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Hi Mike,

                Did that this morning.  Alt is fine puts out to 15.6 volts.  Might be cheap Chinese Circuit breaker?  It was an amazon find.

I can always bypass it and see if anything starts to smoke!!!

 

Naw I have a clamp on Amp meter just have to find it!

 

Michael

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1 minute ago, int3man said:

Alt is fine puts out to 15.6 volts.

 

Half the unfo. I need the maximum amps it put out.

 

1 minute ago, int3man said:

Might be cheap Chinese Circuit breaker?

 

Mine was also a Amazon find but I picked one without the temperature issues. If you go back and look at their comments and might be people complained about popping early and heat issues. 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Mopar1973Man said:

 

Half the unfo. I need the maximum amps it put out.

 

 

Mine was also a Amazon find but I picked one without the temperature issues. If you go back and look at their comments and might be people complained about popping early and heat issues. 

Well Crap Amazon Orders history only goes back to the first of the year.  Well I needed something to do tomorrow!  Ah Haw Search engine found it December 2018.

 

Thanks

Michael

Edited by int3man

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13 minutes ago, int3man said:

 Alt is fine puts out to 15.6 volts.  

 

 

That's a bit much. I've never seen more than about 14.4

13 hours ago, W-T said:

 

 

Under normal circumstances your CTD should be running 13.9 to 14.3 volts DC charge rate after starting the engine with no other accessories being activated within the vehicle. This is only achieved if both batteries are closely matched in static DC resting voltage.

 

 

 

           

 

  

 

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1 minute ago, dave110 said:

That's a bit much. I've never seen more than about 14.4

That is what the test stand reported.  I looked over his shoulder.

 

Michael

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What I'm saying is that alternator is putting out excessive voltage, and could be putting out excessive amperage as well causing your problem Only way to tell for sure is to check the amp draw 

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Hey int3man, do you have your own volt meter? I'm wondering at what level the AC ripple is.

 

I know M73M always says, ''take it out and have it tested on a test stand'', but if you have a good volt meter what is the benefit if you can test it yourself?:think: And the guys down at Oreilly's still say, ''Huh'' when I ask to test for AC voltage level. They still don't understand the importance.

 

My experience is limited so I have to ask..... wouldn't a poorly grounded alternator charge at higher rates? Often they ground thru the mount bracket and as W-T pointed out, that connection is often weak from rust and corrosion. IBMobile and me run a wire ground from the Alt casing/ frame to battery neg. I was reading some benefits to that years ago.

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Posted (edited)

Hi All,

            So truck no start this morning.  I put the trickle charger on it (10 Amps) and went off in the wife's car.  Came home and it was still sucking down 3 amps.  Found the clamp-on Amp meter and fired up the truck.  At idle the Alternator was putting 23 amps out.  Turned on the AC to Max and output jumped to 46 amps.  Still short of the 150 amps that is tripping the breaker.  So I'm going to extend the wires to the Clamp on so that I can drive the truck and measure the Amp output.  Drive the truck and see what is what.

 

Any other suggestions?

 

Michael

 

Oh the Test stand did not have an amp meter it just reported the min / max voltage dumped into a carbon load I assume.

Alt Bad Ground:  Voltmeter has never indicated an issue until this event. rock solid.  I have a Phone charger that is also a Digital volt meter that runs the Quadzilla tablet.  Always 13.9 +.

Edited by int3man

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11 hours ago, int3man said:

Oh the Test stand did not have an amp meter it just reported the min / max voltage dumped into a carbon load I assume.

 

Need a another test shop. New test stands report max voltage, max amperage, max AC ripple, and even a sine wave of the ripple. Most NAPA stores have a quality test stand.

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O.K.  Fully charged Batteries.  Truck running 14-19 amps 13.9 volts.  A.C. on Max 33 amps  13.9 volts  Brake lights No A.C. 23 amps 13.9 volts.

 

So I have to agree with Mopar1973Man that too high of a heat area, in front of the battery.  I will be carrying tools so that I can bypass circuit breaker in the future.  And if it continues to false trip I'll replace it with a Brand name Chinese Resettable circuit breaker!!

 

Thanks 

Michael

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