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Anonymous Poster

1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/23/2010 5:58 PM

1998 dodge ram 2500 cummins batteries will drain shortly after starting truck, juss replaced alternator and both batteries.

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#1

Re: 1998 dodge ram 2500 electrical problem

02/23/2010 6:55 PM

Did you replace the alternator and both batteries because the batteries drain shortly after starting truck?

Or did the batteries drain shortly after starting truck after you replaced the alternator and both batteries?

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Anonymous Poster
#2
In reply to #1

Re: 1998 dodge ram 2500 electrical problem

02/23/2010 11:44 PM

the batteries were draining before i replaced both the batteries and the alternator, so the problem continues after replacing both

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: 1998 dodge ram 2500 electrical problem

02/24/2010 1:50 AM

I use capital letters to emphasize importance,,not shouting(:>)

Remove positive cable.

Use a Volt Meter with a hand.Analog.

set the volt meter on DC,

connect one lead to battery terminal(the one you removed the cable from)

connect the other lead to the cable you removed

observe meter,if the needle tries to go to the left(less than zero) Reverse the Volt meter leads,

Observe numbers on volt meter,if no numbers TURN KNOB on volt meter till numbers appear,while staying in the DC range,this may be in the mV range.It WILL be there,,as SOMETHING is killing your batteries

This is the voltage LEAVING you batteries.

THEREFORE: start removing fuses,while observing meter.Needless to say you will need some LONG extensions for your meter,this is O.K.

If your trouble goes thru the fuse box,then the fuse you remove that stops the battery drain,will be leading to the fault,ie:radio,cig lighter,whatever.

when needle goes to zero,no more battery drain.This may not happen after you have removed ALL fuses,relays,anything removable in fuse box.Work slow.Remove and replace back before removing the next one.

Positive cable may have frayed insulation rubbing against metal GROUND. Make sure you have a GOOD frame to cab GROUND WIRE. Hard to find.If all of above FAILS,,you may have to talk to a better mechanic than me. Good Luck on your hunt.

Thanks

Joe in Texas

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#6
In reply to #3

Re: 1998 dodge ram 2500 electrical problem

02/25/2010 12:44 AM

It's all good advice but off topic If I read the OP correctly the drain occurs after the truck is started, so the batteries drain while the engine is running.

I suspect the glow plugs are involved...

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Anonymous Poster
#27
In reply to #6

Re: 1998 dodge ram 2500 electrical problem

12/10/2010 7:16 PM

i had the same thing happen to me.had the alt and the 2 batteries replaced to only find out it was a fuse that was gone.on my truck its a big red square one located in the fuse box under the hood.

hope this helps you

mike

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#4

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/24/2010 10:48 PM

Use the typical method of removing the ground cable and connecting a volt meter between the battery post and the removed cable. Then start pulling the fuses and watch the readout on your meter. When you find the circuit that is causing the draw the meter will show a major drop in the reading displayed, and that will be the circuit you need to trace and inspect to find your draw.

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#5

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/25/2010 12:28 AM

Some simple test,

1. With the ignition/engine off gentlely try to remove the connecting cable, if there is a large sparking , there's probably a leakage in the circuitry, if not #2.

2. Battery is likely faulty.

3. check Charging circuit connection.

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#7

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/25/2010 6:08 AM

I am going with the glow plugs as well, almost bet money that the batteries are not showing current loss with engine switched off. Glow plug controller would be my best guess.

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#8

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/25/2010 8:01 AM

I had a similar problem with my 91 dodge 2500 and it turned out to be the voltage regulator that was causing the problem. Replacing it corrected my problem.

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Anonymous Poster
#9

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/25/2010 8:45 AM

Take it to a mechanic

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#10

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/25/2010 9:21 AM

With out a doubt intake heater is not cycling draw is over 160 amps, alternator can not keep up. very common problem ,heater solenoid is stuck on this will KILL your new batteries and alt quickly DO NOT check for an arc by disconnecting the batt it will be large enough to do electrical damage to the vehicle!!~!!!

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/25/2010 1:15 PM

Agreed,

Glow plugs are still energized after start. Run the truck for a bit and look at the idiot gauge on the dash or use a volt meter at the batteries. If the Glow plugs are still energized you will not see significant voltage to keep the batteries charged. Once the engine is hot you can restart with out the glow circuit, so pull the plug at the harness feeding the glow relay or just pull the relay. Read the voltage output again and see the difference with out the glow plugs energized.

This option would prove or eliminate the Glow circuit from the mix.

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#12

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/25/2010 5:11 PM

is it a 12 or 24 valve motor?

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/25/2010 5:38 PM

1998 will be 24

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/25/2010 6:04 PM

1998 was a split year for dodge trucks. early were 12 valve and later were 24 (gereration 2).

i have to order parts for a 99 to fit my 98.5 unless i go to the dealer and give them my VIN.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/25/2010 6:07 PM

I stand corrected

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#18
In reply to #16

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/25/2010 6:12 PM

dont feel bad, it took me 10 years and too many trips to napa.

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#14

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/25/2010 5:58 PM

i dont know about 12 valve motors but my 98.5 24 v has an intake heater instead of glow plugs. i just had to replace both batteries an alternator. for some reason dodge thought it would be a good idea for the onboard computer to stop the the alternator from charging the batteries when the intake heater is on. the heater will cycle due to temperature when the engine is running or key in the on position. i was told that the heater will not cycle when the vehical speed is above 20 mph. my batteries were weak before this winter and the power draw for the heater finally did them in.

now when i start the truck i can watch the the volt meter drop to about 10 volts then back up to 14 until the engine warms up or till im driving (above 20 mph). also the heater seloniods have been known to stick on and drain the batteries on these trucks. i actually disconnected mine untill i replaced the batteries and alt. it was hard to start sometimes but it gave me about a week until i had the time to do the work.

also try to get a high output alternator. bosch makes one that puts out 136 amps. it costs a little more but i havent had any problems since changing mine last november.

good luck

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#17
In reply to #14

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/25/2010 6:10 PM

I have the hi-amp alt and I use the block heater when ambient temps drop below 45°F

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#19

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/25/2010 11:46 PM

Tim Hawley Master Mech.

Hello Guest with 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummings Diesel.

When you purchase a new battery it may not have a full charge. It is recommended that you fully charge the batteries before installation. Charge each one at 10 amp input for about 5-6 hours. A good charger will turn off automatically when full charge is reached.

Just because you bought a new alternator doesn't mean it's a good one, It only means it will be the last thing you will check.

My friend found this out when he replaced an internal gas tank fuel pump (twice).

Conclusion.

Charge the batteries, remove the alternator and take it back to where you purchased it. If they can't test it then have them replace it under warranty and take the new one some where else to test the output before re-installation.

Note: With the key off and all lamps off, there shouldn't be any large arch on the terminals during battery re-installation. Only ECM LOC and Clock Radio will draw a small current spark.

Good Luck

We'll be as your disposal for further assistance..

Best Regards,

Tim

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/26/2010 2:06 AM

With all due respect THMM a diesel engine doesn't drain batteries down fast when running unless the vehicle lights are on. In my dodge diesel PU I can run about 8hrs on the battery w/o lights on and no charging system functional.

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/26/2010 2:39 AM

From THMM

hello bwire,

So what is your point!

I was explaining how to fix his charging system, not kill his battery.

Regards,

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/26/2010 3:11 AM

Just reading between the lines...

If the engine doesn't draw down the battery fast when running then why suspect the charging system when the intake heater if not releasing will draw down the battery with a good charging system?

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#24
In reply to #22

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/27/2010 2:34 PM

From Tim Hawley Master Mech

bwire:

Batteries is used to start the engine, the alternator is used to charge the battery during normal operating conditions. The only way the heater can discharge the batteries is if it is hooked directly to the battery which isn't recommended by O.E.M.

and further more while the engine is running the regulator switches over and operates everything on the field circuit including the heater.

Conclusion:

If the batteries are discharged after engine is running it can only be what is responsible for maintaining the battery charge...................

the alternator, or new batteries that remain discharged for a long time resting on a shelf.

I Hope this helps you understand the basic principals of engine wiring and charging system responsibilities.

Regards, Tim

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#23
In reply to #21

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/26/2010 11:34 AM

Well now,

This is no place for the attitude, especially since your response to the question was way off topic when reading the question.

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#25
In reply to #23

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/27/2010 2:39 PM

from Tim Hawley Master Mech.

Hello Stedou73ish,

I though I was on the topic, sorry you didn't understand the question.

Regards, Tim

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#26

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

02/27/2010 4:22 PM

From Tim Hawley Master Mech.

Hello Guest,

In addition to my response #19...

If once your batteries are charged and you are convinced all is well with the alternator, I would only then, recommend to go to phase two.

Phase2

If the intake heater is on all the time the intake will feel warm TO THE TOUCH after engine has cooled down for several hours.

The heater isn't connected directly to the battery source. There is a relay that provides a dry contact closer to turn the heater on. The cause of the problem is the relay contacts have welded together, causing power to stay on all the time.

Replace the relay.

To help you with the wiring connections please refer to the link below, it will help you find the location of the relays and wiring.

http://dodgeram.org/tech/dsl/troubleshooting/Maniford_htr.htm

Good Luck

Best Regards,

Tim

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Anonymous Poster
#28
In reply to #26

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

12/18/2010 12:43 PM

Hello Tim, I am new to this site , have been reading about the electrical problems, I also have a question , I have been working on my soninlaw`s 2003 dodge 2500, the grid heater is not working , the relay`s are ok and I have checked as far as the IAT (intake air temp) sensor cant get any resistance on any terminals, I would like to fool the ECM by putting a resistor across the terminals on the plug , there are two 5v feeds , my question is which 5v do I use to jump to the IAT terminal ? my schematic dosent identfy them just where they go on the ECM ,, think the IAT sensor is faulty,,

Thank`s N734

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 - Electrical Problem

12/24/2010 2:33 PM

Hi-jacking another's thread is considered poor taste at best so start your own eh!

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