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Old March 21st, 2013, 07:32 AM   #1
974x4Taco
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Default 01 Dodge 2500 charging issue

2001 dodge 2500, cummins, 5 speed.

2 days ago while driving volt gage randomly pegs all the way up, stays that way till i get home, looked it over and found a not so great battery terminal, replaced that and all seemed fine.

The last night i was driving the interior lights dimmed and the gage dropped all the way out...drove it like that for 30+ miles trying to get home.....got home, let it sit overnight, then went out this morning and it cycled the intake heater and started perfect.....gage read normal for about 5 mins then dropped....brought it inside at work and with the volt gage on the dash reading nothing the voltage at the battery measured with a volt meter is 14.5 running, 12.6 not running, both batteries test good.

I am at a loss....is the alternator trying to die? Gage dieing? If its the gage why do the lights dim too it drops?

Thoughts?
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Old March 21st, 2013, 09:29 AM   #2
montecarlo33
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Imo sounds like a alternator to me if its not some bad wiring. Could pull it off and get it checked.
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Old March 21st, 2013, 09:36 AM   #3
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Or the pcm is wigging out. The voltage regulator is part of the computer. This just happened on my zj. I ended up converting it to an external regulator.
Check the two small wires on the back of the alternator for damage first. These are the two wires that control voltage output.
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Old March 21st, 2013, 04:53 PM   #4
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I spent all day thinking about this and i really think it has to be in the power feed to the fuse box or the box itself.... here is why:

Even when the gage is going nuts the voltage measured at the battery remains a constant 14.5....at least it did this morning when i was messing with it....also the starter and grid heater both function properly....both of them receive power directly from the battery not through the fuse box.....the only things that are acting bad are things that receive power through that box.

I wanted to mess with it more after work today but it did not act up
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Old March 21st, 2013, 05:15 PM   #5
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In my 97 that did the same thing it was the voltage regulator, which is inside the PCM, and very expensive. I chose to just wire in a 1980's dodge external regulator. Works great now, total parts under twenty bucks.
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Old March 21st, 2013, 05:53 PM   #6
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Was the voltage at the battery constant on yours like mine?

That's what has me leery on the whole voltage regulator thing is if you use a external meter you can watch the voltage stay constant at the battery stay constant where it belongs even though the gage is showing something else
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Old March 21st, 2013, 05:56 PM   #7
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Yes, it was constant at the battery. With the new regulator it runs a bit high, around 15.5-16 volts but has been that way for near a year with no issue.
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Old March 21st, 2013, 06:07 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info.

Is there a sure fire way to pin point it as a bad regulator? Sounds like i would prolly go the same route you did to fix it
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 08:01 PM   #9
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I think i fixed it....today i was double checking wiring and realized the cable from the battery to the starter had rubbed bare and burnt on the motor mount...it was obviously grounding so i got a new one made up and rerouted it so it can't do that again....seems good so far, hopefully that was the issue
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Old March 24th, 2013, 11:53 PM   #10
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Yeah that is never good when a hot wire hits ground. It will do everything you explained in your first post
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