Electrical repair ,

Asked by Jan 11, 2017 at 03:40 AM about the 1997 Dodge Ram 2500 ST Standard Cab LB 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 97 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L 12v would start when you
hooked a battery charger up to it then someone told me
to go out and check if my alternator was out and I was
going to take both negative battery terminals off while the
truck was running (bc that's how you check to see if
alternator is bad) and it died so I automatically thought it
was alternator so I put new alternator on and it's still not
charging my system if I put a battery charger on it then it
will fire right up and stay running for about 20 mins then
all my gauges as in (boost, ext temp) will start dimming
out radio will start cutting out. I don't know if it would be
battery's or what. I don't wanna go put a arm and a leg in
it before I know what the problem is so if someone could
please help me I'd appreciate it.

1 Answer


Ok, first of all you never disconnect a battery cable with the engine running, on these new high amperage systems it causes a voltage spike that can fry electronics, a customer found that out the hard way, cost him over 1500 bucks to get his Crown Vic running again. That old school way of checking was for the old generator systems. Now check to see if the red light charging light comes on when you turn the key on, if it does great if not then find out why, blown bulb, fuse wiring. So next you need to test for blown fuse links and replace them if any are blown and then move on to checking the voltage regulators operation, power supply, ground path and trigger signal from the ECM, this trucks charging system is triggered by the main computer. Hopefully you have a good shop manual for this rig, one with wiring diagrams in it as it would be invaluable for circuit checking. If you don't then get one if you planning on keeping this rig. Plus a good test light, ohm meter, wiring repair kits and heat shrink tubing. HTH

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