Electrical problem? - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-24-2009, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Electrical problem?

For the past month now, after starting my truck cold, I have noticed that the lights dim for a couple seconds and then return to normal brightness. This pattern continues for about 5 minutes and then goes away. When the lights dim, you can hear the engine is being loaded as if the A/C compressor is cycleing but it is not. It has new 750CCA batteries and a new alternator. Any ideas? Thanks.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-24-2009, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry that I didn't have a sig. It's a '01 Ram Diesel with the six speed manual. Could this be the Intake air heater cycling after cold start? Would they draw enough current at idle to dim the lights for awhile?

1997 Ford F-250HD Super cab/Short bed 4x4
7.3L Power Stroke Diesel
5-speed manual transmission

(Dad's Truck)
2001 Dodge Ram 2500HD 2WD
Standard Cab/Long Bed
SLT Laramie
5.9L Cummins 24Valve Turbo Diesel (Vin code-7)
NV5600 6-Speed Manual Trans.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-24-2009, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Chevy Tech View Post
Sorry that I didn't have a sig. It's a '01 Ram Diesel with the six speed manual. Could this be the Intake air heater cycling after cold start? Would they draw enough current at idle to dim the lights for awhile?
You are exactly right. The intake heater pulls a lot of juice, and the dimming of lights you are talking about is totally normal. When I was new to the Cummins a few years back, I had the same question.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-25-2009, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, thank you, I'm glad that it is a normal characteristic of a diesel.

1997 Ford F-250HD Super cab/Short bed 4x4
7.3L Power Stroke Diesel
5-speed manual transmission

(Dad's Truck)
2001 Dodge Ram 2500HD 2WD
Standard Cab/Long Bed
SLT Laramie
5.9L Cummins 24Valve Turbo Diesel (Vin code-7)
NV5600 6-Speed Manual Trans.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-25-2009, 02:29 PM
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You got to remember the grid heaters draw 190 AMPs but the alternator only produces 120 AMPs so it a losing battle with the charging system.

When I'm running 3 cylinder high idle it will pull so hard that when the ECM throttles up to keep the steady RPM's it will blow a small cloud of black smoke. Yea the load is that big!

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116K Miles On My VP44 - 4 Years of 2 Cycle Oil Diet! - Mixed at 128:1 Ratio - 25.3 MPG maxed out!
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