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Thinking hard about replacing my 136 with a higher amp alternator, I’ve read a lot of good info on here, but seems like the last info I found was from 2018. Is there anything new I should check out for a good drop in replacement option with some more amperage? It snowed here in TN a few weeks ago on Christmas Eve, I spent the entire night winching tourists and holiday visitors from Florida out of ditches and creeks and one guys trout pond. Pretty sure the  old 1981 Ramsey worm gear along with the 100W KC Halogens fried my diodes, figured I’d just upgrade it instead of replace. 

 

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Actually wasn't the alternator but the batteries that caused this. If your batteries where up to the task the load should of been handled just fine. Since the batteries was not the voltage starts to fall and then the current starts to rise. Being the working load will always be the same. I just seen this very same problem at my other shop. My landlord truck =he was winching a vehicle on a trailer and blew the alternator fuse. (W-T ground mod). It's not the alternator or fuse that failed but the batteries that are so weak the voltage drops instantly under load. Now the alternator is ramping up to max flow and diodes got hot and started popping. Even if you upped the alternator with weak batteries it will do the same thing again because the batteries dropped out so fast under load.

 

Just for fun say the winch is 2,800 watt load (200 amp) with good batteries.

 

2,800 watts = 14 volt x 200 amps

 

Now batteries are weak and winch is used...

 

2,800 watts = 11 volts x 254 amps <- this is a 54 Amp jump from just the batteries being weak. 

 

Being the alternator can't hold those load directly the heat wipes out the diodes. It not the alternator job to hold the massive load but the batteries. Hence why grid heaters can wipe out alternators when its either 95 amps for a single and 190 amps for dual elements. Same problem. It's not the alternator but the batteries...

Edited by Mopar1973Man
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Most of us have starting batteries in our trucks which are not designed for loads like a winch. So the batteries and the alternator are to blame for not being able to support the sustained winch loads. Winches can draw up to 400A, so when you’re above alternator output even the best batteries are going to reduce voltage. For a 270A load you really need a batter bank of around 800AH to not have a large voltage drop, even on quality batteries with a full charge. For example my RV has a pair of Lifeline 300AH 6V batteries, very high quality deep cycles. If I put a 150A load on the 300AH bank the voltage is below 11V within seconds. It just from the high draw, as the voltage will go back above 12.9 just as quick when I remove the load (assuming the duration load is short). 
 

My 220A alternator makes a huge difference over the 136A I had on the 05, especially with the winch. The winch still out draws the alternator and you rely on the batteries but it’s not as bad. Going from idle to 1500 rpms also make a huge difference in alternator output and voltage drop. 
 

If I winches more I would take advantage of the 2nd alternator option on my 18 and have 440A, but I don’t winch often enough to justify it. 
 

Don’t forget to upgrade the fuseable link too. 

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Yeah high idling with help a bunch being the alternator isn't designed to max charge rate for idle speeds. Just need 1,200 RPM to reach a good RPM. This will help pull air through the alternator and the diodes to keep them cool. 

 

This is part of the reason behind the high idle kit I build was to kick up the RPM's to keep the engine warm on cold days and also to get the alternator up from idle to keep it cool under load. Since I did the W-T ground mod, I not had to replace an alternator since. Between jump staring dead vehicles, etc. I will again admit that I don't have a winch on my truck, but have had to power a lot of dead vehicles in my 426k miles.

Edited by Mopar1973Man
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Temp is huge! 
 

Here is the output chart for my OEM alternator. At 1500 rpms the difference is 30A from warm to hot air. 
 

But at idle a 220A puts out quite a bit more than a 136A does peak.

DFBD8C44-CE59-4647-8509-35110F902706.jpeg

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6 hours ago, Mopar1973Man said:

Actually wasn't the alternator but the batteries that caused this. If your batteries where up to the task the load should of been handled just fine. Since the batteries was not the voltage starts to fall and then the current starts to rise. Being the working load will always be the same. I just seen this very same problem at my other shop. My landlord truck =he was winching a vehicle on a trailer and blew the alternator fuse. (W-T ground mod). It's not the alternator or fuse that failed but the batteries that are so weak the voltage drops instantly under load. Now the alternator is ramping up to max flow and diodes got hot and started popping. Even if you upped the alternator with weak batteries it will do the same thing again because the batteries dropped out so fast under load.

 

Just for fun say the winch is 2,800 watt load (200 amp) with good batteries.

 

2,800 watts = 14 volt x 200 amps

 

Now batteries are weak and winch is used...

 

2,800 watts = 11 volts x 254 amps <- this is a 54 Amp jump from just the batteries being weak. 

 

Being the alternator can't hold those load directly the heat wipes out the diodes. It not the alternator job to hold the massive load but the batteries. Hence why grid heaters can wipe out alternators when its either 95 amps for a single and 190 amps for dual elements. Same problem. It's not the alternator but the batteries...

Thanks Mike, if it was your truck would you just replace the diodes and get fresh batteries? (My batteries “tested good” yesterday, but who knows.) Also, the diodes on the site store, are those “improved” or were you just providing the correct part number for stock diode replacement? The only reason I think my diodes are shot is because after 3 trouble free years my TC lock/unlock issue came back after I pegged the charging system with all that winching. Also had a random “surge” in acceleration from idle the required me to throw it in neutral and turn it off (did I damage the Timbo apps too?) I had just changed the fuel filter 25 miles earlier so I don’t think it was air in the fuel, also had dumped some cetane booster (injector cleaner) in the tank when I changed the fuel filter. A lot of variables I know.

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Diode in the store are direct replacements. No difference in ratings. Like most alternator rebuilders told me is not the diode being weak but wiring, batteries, and bad grounds. These problems tend to add the stress on the diodes to make up for bad connections or weak batteries.

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If the batteries tested good then it's possible they are. You can easily wear the diodes out with good batteries and a high amp draw, like a winch. The brushes also get eaten very quick when alternators are putting out max amperage for more than a few seconds, like winching. 

Edited by AH64ID
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Would the Nations upgrade be worth it, or should I do the WT ground mod and just drop in a diode in the 136 and get back on the road? I use the winch like twice a year in emergency situations for the most part. 

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4 hours ago, Doubletrouble said:

Is there a list of some sort that explains where all the trucks grounds are located?

In the FSM section 8 wiring,  sub-sections 8W12 and 8W-90.

Down load the 2001 Ram FSM here:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwDkuRJfDNZEaVhqcm93M0lEM1E/edit

 

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10 minutes ago, Andyba20 said:

Would the Nations upgrade be worth it, or should I do the WT ground mod and just drop in a diode in the 136 and get back on the road? I use the winch like twice a year in emergency situations for the most part. 


You’re the one who can say if it’s worth it for you or not. A bigger alternator will absolutely help, but is the cost worth your use?? That’s what you have to decide. 
 

Are you sure it’s the diode and not the brushes. 

Edited by AH64ID
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I’m a reliability first performance second kind of guy, and I don’t mind spending the money to keep things working correctly. If the nations unit is more reliable than the oem unit then it’s worth it to me, I just don’t have any experience to go by. 

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33 minutes ago, 01cummins4ever said:

I’ll just copy and paste this:

 

Think of the battery as a bank. The more money you have in the bank the longer you can pay the bills. Think of the winch as your wife. She can really pull the bank account down quickly. If you have two bank accounts the longer it takes said wife to empty them. Think of the alternator as your paycheck. The bigger the paycheck the faster you can refill the bank account and keep the wife happy.

That’s a really good analogy. What set up are you using with your winch? Connected to the passenger side battery? Using a quick connect? Using a stock alternator or upgrade? What batteries? 

Edited by Andyba20
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Just now, Andyba20 said:

That’s a really good analogy. What set up are you using with your winch? Connected to the passenger slider battery? Using a quick connect? Using a stock alternator or upgrade? What batteries? 

I still have the original Bosch alternator that came with my truck new, ya I’ve had it since 02. And 350k on it now, Just the factory size battery cables running from winch to passenger side battery. and solid connection lugs, As far as batteries I change them out about every 4 to 5 years, Right now I got the last set at orielys, I forget the brand, I also live at 7500ft. Elevation in Colorado and they do take beating with the cold starts and such, but I do contribute the longevity of my alternator by keeping my batteries and wiring  and lugs in top shape.

 

I am not a heavy user of my winch but it’s their when I need it and it is a heavy beast, I mostly use it during firewood season dragging logs and trees,   On just about all pulls I always give the winch a lot of breaks and time for the charging system to keep up, I ve had to use it to get myself going in the snow once or twice but mostly for other people.. lol

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