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Old July 25th, 2006, 08:14 AM   #1
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Default Ram Police package vs. HD Service Alternator

note the bit about the high amp alternator:

Alternator and Battery
The Ram 1500 “heavy service” package includes a 136-amp alternator. In
comparison, the police package Intrepid has a 160-amp alternator and the “heavy
service” package Durango also has a 160-amp unit. A 160-amp alternator is simply
not available on any factory option with the Ram 1500 truck.

So far, the 136-amp unit has kept up with the electrical demand on retail trucks
sold by Thomas Dodge and used for police service. Just the fact that the pickup
does not have a high amp-draw rear window defroster may allow the 136-amp
alternator to keep up.

With all LED lights and a below-average amount of cop electrical gear, the
136-amp alternator will keep up. However, if the Ram is outfitted with the
normal radar, in-car video, MDT, halogen lightbar, spotlight, redundant
communication equipment with GPS or AVL, block heater, flashlight chargers along
with power outlets for cell phones and a halogen lightbar... the 136-amp
alternator may not be enough.

This emphasizes the problem for even a dynamic and progressive local dealership
in providing a “package.” If a particular component is not available through the
fancy footwork of “optional options” at the dealer level, factory fleet
engineering will need to step in and coordinate the upgrade. This may be a slow
process, regardless of the manufacturer.

Two options are available to handle the higher amp draw. One is to add a
dealer-installed 160-amp alternator. The 160-amp alternator is available on the
Ram 2500 series truck as a part of the Snow Plow Prep package. The difficulty of
retrofitting this factory alternator at the dealer level depends on the engine.

The high-amp alternator is a drop-in, bolt-on replacement on the Ram 1500 with
the 4.7L engine. However, putting this 160-amp alternator on a HEMI-powered Ram
1500 requires a change in drive belt, engine pulley and idler pulley, in
addition to the obvious harness and termination lead changes and the alternator

The other less costly option is the use of twin (auxiliary) batteries, again
dealer-installed or available at most truck/RV dealers. Thomas Dodge indicates
the dual battery option is the least expensive route.

On the topic of power draw, the “heavy service” package includes a 700-amp
battery from the 2500/3500 models, replacing the 600-amp battery, which is
standard on the Ram 1500. The Ram we tested had the 750-amp battery, which comes
with the optional Trailer Tow Group.
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