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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in SC at school with the Army. Well today after class I get in to the RC and fire her up to head to my room. No problem there. Driving down the road and the turn signals slow down, the lights start to dim and she bucks and dies. WTF I say. Some class mates pull over and give me a jump thinking it may be the battery or alternator. I get it running and head to the local Autozone to have them test it out. I get there and the guy hooks a tester to the battery that can test both the battery and alternator. Goes to test the battery, nothing. Battery cant read so cant test the alternator so I spend 107.00 for a new Optima battery. Get that installed, he comes out to test the alternator and still nothing from the alternator. WTF, change that out, Life time warranty. Comes back out and tests again. Still nothing. Really stumped now. He goes in and gets a voltage regulator, slap it in and tests again. All good this time I think. Not!!!!
I go start it after buttoning it all up and she dies after starting.. I check under the hood, take air cleaner off cant see any issues. start it and no problem there. I make is back to the hotel after filling her up hopeing that my gas mileage is not that bad but it still had 1/2 tank.
Now the issues. What would cause it to buck in the first place? And with the alternator, there are 3 wires. Two of which are green and red. My issue is on the alternator itself there are two blades for the green and red to go to. Is the top most one for the green and the blade closere to screw stud for the red? Could it be backwards??? I did it the way that it came off but just want to be sure. Sorry so long but been a bad night. Thanks BB
 

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dont worry bout the buckin, i figure its just from when you were losin electrical power to everything (including your coil), and the motor just didnt wanna give up the fight ;) you need to fix that chargin problem, sounds like you got a ground undone someplace....is your grounding strap that goes from the engine to the frame hooked up, if not, that can cause chargin problems...
 

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also check the starter relay.. it might be goin bad... i know when the one in my valiant did that i lost everything just about the same way.... but also check your grounds....
 

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I bought an AutoZone alt once when I was in a bind. Got the lifetime warranty. replaced it 6 times in 4 years, and it was parked for nearly half of that. eventually just had it rebuilt by a reliable starter/alternator shop. 2 years later it's still chargin. Just carry a spare.
 

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if it was a 70s id say your Amp guage got disconnected.

change your Ballast resistor. its 2-4 Bucks. a lot cheaper than an Optima

where are you at in Ft Stewart? my ol stompin grounds there
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys for listening and the input. As for the above mentioned issues, I have never seen a ground strap that goes from the engine to the frame, where would that be located? The starter relay was replaced about 5 months ago. Could be bad again. The funny thing about the amp guage is that all through this, the damn thing stayed right in the middle, no discharge or over charge. The ballest resistor was changed about 1 yr ago when I upgraded my ECU to the orange box from summit. There is away to test that right? Thanks again BB
 

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I had trouble with my 81 RC killing voltage regulators. I cooked 3 regulators, one battery, my headlights, my stereo and a 2 meter ham rig. Ran a ground wire from the engine directly to the voltage regulator and have not had a problem since.
 

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ground strap goes from the motor to the frame someplace, on my ramcharger it went from the head of the motor to the motor mount bracket, but sometimes they go to the crossmember as well, it just has to ground out someplace on the frame...if it is a 70's model, like was said above, could be the gauge, if it goes bad, it wont complete the circuit, take the two wires from the back of the gauge, and just hook them together, and see if that fixes the problem....if the gauge went bad you are lucky, because when the gauge went out in my 78 pw, the dash caught fire, my buddies 79 done the same thing....
 

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There's a little wire (10-12 guage) that goes from my negative battery terminal to the radiator frame. Mine looked good from the outside but wire was all corroded and shot on the inside of the insulation.
I went through a new battery, alt and VR too. Yeah, it was just the wire...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I will have to check that wire from the battery to the radiator frame. Thanks for the tip. Anyhow, now I got another issue. I went to lunch today, rode good all morning. Exit the post and she dies. Motor just cut out. Pulled into a clear area and started to smell smoke. Popped the hood and fusible link was melted. Disconnected the battery and began to look into it. I had nothing, no lights, no radio, no start, nothing.
I did not have any wire on hand so I went across the street to Walmart and picked up the smallest guage wire they had. 16 GA in stock. Got back to the truck and ran a ground wire from the voltage regulator to a good gound. Is this good???? I thought that it was grounded on the firewall. Anyway, the fusible link issue was another story. I did not have my books on hand, and just repaired it my memory(read it before) and the truck started. Drove back to class and then back to the hotel without incident but keeping my fire extinguisher handy. Right now going over the wiring diagram looking into the link area. I will get back with you on more questions in a bit. Thanks BB
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As I was going through the FSM wiring diagram I noticed that it had a 14 GA wire coming off the positive battery terminal right to the fusible link near the drivers side fender well. Mine does not and that is the link that melted today. The color of the wire on the end closest to the fire wall is blue and pretty thick. Not sure on the guage. I traced it to the bulkhead connector then to the fuse block inside the cab(on paper that is) will look at it in the AM as well as going to autozone to pick up a new ballest resistor. This sucks being away from the use of a second vechile to run for parts. I plan to trace the wires from the alternator to the battery. Through the voltage regulator and see if I can see any issues. Any input would help thanks.
 

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Have you had rain lately? If so what is the condition of your bulkhead connector going throught the fire wall to the cab? That some times can collect water and start shorting out and cause all kinds of crap to mess up. May want to check it out.
 

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Check the ignition switch and wiring, it has been known to cause all sorts of problems too.
 

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Check out the wiring harness that goes from the firewall to the alt. It may have fell on to the exst manifold. That shorting out will keep it from charging and cook other wires. I had this happen on my granfury police car and it cooked alot of stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well I went out this morning and checked under that dash, the wires to the alternator, battery, and link area. Could not find any disconnected ground wires or any other signs of burning. I checked my fuses and all good. Like I said yesterday, I ran a wire from the voltage regulator to the body, is this ok? Should it work as a good ground? I have almost had it with this thing. I just am hoping for the best until I get done with school and hope to make it back to Georgia in one peice. What do you guys think it would cost to have a PRO look at the wiring and diagnois the issues? Thanks worn out. BB
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
One thing that I forgot to ask was how safe and long will this wire repair last? The book is saying replace with another fusible link but not available from parts stores. What about inline fuses? How high rating would I have to go. You know the glass type or even the blade type. I think that I have figured out why my hazards wont work without the key in the run spot and turn signal lever engaged. One of the links has been replaced or my hazards switch is shot. I guess that I dont have to worry about draining my battery if I break down with the flashers not on. LOL
 

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NAPA should have the 20ga fusible link wire in bulk or on a card...color is not important but the gauge is. If you go to an inline fuse, i would not go any larger than a 20 amp. maybe 15 amp, especially since it was hosed once before. Here's a diagram of the hazard fusible link. I would prefer the blade type of inline fuse, but either will work.

 

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Try this......My 86 RC was giving me problems similar to yours....It was as simple as changing the positive wire that ran from my batery to my starter......It was all corroded inside. Try that out.......it's cheap and if it's not that...You fixed a future problem anyway.
 
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