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6.0L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 6.0L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 2003-Up Super Duties and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 6.0L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 04-08-2009, 10:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Dual batteries and alternator

I have a 2006 F350 6.o diesel...the last two days I've had to boost it.

I don't drive it much and from what I've read, guys are saying to have a charger on the batteries......Did Ford drop the ball on this one?????
Is the alternator not large enough for the dual batteries????
I can't believe that the alternator would not keep the batteries charged
even if you only drove 25 miles a day.
What battery drain is on the batteries while the motor is idle??

Thanks
Rob
2006 F350 Dually Diesel
Crew Cab King Ranch
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have the dual battery setup also, had to replace mine about 4 months ago. From my understanding it also has dual alternators to charge those batteries. A senior member will hopefully confirm that. One was bad out of the two, but would not start. All my truck does is pull, not a daily driver and they don't seem to like to sit idle.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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One alternator, it is pretty common that if one battery is bad it will work against the good battery and won't charge properly.
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Old 04-09-2009, 02:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The single alternator should be able to maintain charge in both batteries if the batteries aren't bad.

If you have the original batteries in the truck still, you can look at the little "eye" between the battery posts. If the batteries are good you should see green or red if they are heading south. I just replaced mine last week with Duralast Golds from Autozone. $100 apiece, but with 3 year full replacement warranty and 8 year prorated warranty, they are worth it in my opinion. I plan on keeping my truck long term.
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Bad batteries will kill the altenator by over working it.... Test the batteries if one is bad replace both and save your self some time. The single altenator is plenty and can be built for more output.. The dual set up is expensive to repair vs. Single altenator
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skidrow View Post
I have a 2006 F350 6.o diesel...the last two days I've had to boost it.

I don't drive it much and from what I've read, guys are saying to have a charger on the batteries......Did Ford drop the ball on this one?????
Is the alternator not large enough for the dual batteries????
I can't believe that the alternator would not keep the batteries charged
even if you only drove 25 miles a day.
What battery drain is on the batteries while the motor is idle??

Thanks
Rob
2006 F350 Dually Diesel
Crew Cab King Ranch
No, Ford didn't drop the ball. I have a truck with a single alternator, and I got more than 6 years out of my batteries. A diesel needs the two batteries to provide enough amperage to turn the high compression engine over.


The major cause of battery failure is neglect. Batteries are not "maintenance free" if you want them to last a long time. The alternator is there to run the electrical components of the vehicle after its been started, and to recharge the batteries IF left on long enough at a decent rpm. You need to check the fluid on a regular basis, and make sure it's over the plates. Also, check the specific gravity of each cell. If it get low, use only distilled water to up the level.

The biggest killer is rapid start stops with little drive time. the next biggest is letting them set for long periods of time w/out charging. Batteries will blled off charge, and if just left to sit, will loose all charge & not recover.

If you are not using the truck at least 1/2 an hour at a time at least once a week, put a battery tender on it to keep the batteries fully charged.

As mentioned, batteries are a set, and need to be replaced as a set. A bad batter will pull the other down, and stress the alternator. Its a whole system. Take your truck into someone you trust, and have them run a load text on the batteries. then check the alternator. The little eye thing is only in one cell, and may or may not reflect the health of the whole battery.

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Old 04-09-2009, 07:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the info...will get a load test done on the batteries and the
alternator...
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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dual batteries and alternator

Well, I tested both batteris with thetruck off...They both
showed 12.7 volts...I turned on the trucdk and the voltage on the batteries
dropped to approx 11.9 volts then slowly increased (took approx 1 minute)
to 14.2 vots on both batteries.....I'm thinking that both my batteries
are OK and so is the charrging system...THe batteries have just been frundown with short trips and not enough time to charge them.
Does this sound correct??

Thanks
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Sounds like the altenator might be trying to go to me... Mine would charge for a while then not... The stator had a short and it took out the batteries which were stock from 04.
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Here's the deal. You need to check the batteries independent of one another. unhook them from each other. Then check them one at a time. if both read the same and maintain the same reading for several minutes (around 12 volts) they are at least not shorted. doesn't tell you much about their load capabilities though. You can buy a cheap load tester most any where that sells auto parts. Don't rely on the volt meter on the load tester though unless you buy a good one. I prefer to use a separate volt meter that I know is accurate and reliable. If your alternator is putting out 13.5 or better volts at idle when hooked to the batteries it is most likely OK. The low initial reading may be because the glow-plugs were still activated. On the 6.0 the glow-plugs continue to operate for a minute or so after the wait to start light goes out and the engine is running. If the engine is cold, give the glow-plugs time to cycle off before taking a final reading. The voltage will read below 12 volts even with a good alternator if the glow-plugs are on. On the 7.3s the excess vibration usually guaranteed that one of the batteries would short out internally in less than three years. I have an '05 6.0 that has the original batteries and still cranks over fine. Also, when the price of diesel got so high, it was lucky to get run once in three weeks and I never had a problem save the time I left the after market satellite radio on. If you can't find a load tester unhook one or the other and operate on one battery temporarily until you can determine that one or the other is faulty. It will do fine on one battery if the outside temps are not below 40 degrees or so. If replacement is necessary always replace both batteries with identical new batteries. One old and one new battery is a recipe for early failure.
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Last edited by jbdawson; 04-11-2009 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
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batteries

Checked both batteries separately...
one read 12.8V and the other one read 12.7 V
The one "eye" is showing red while the other
battery eye is showing green...
I take it that one cell in the red battery is shot....
I'm then thinking that it would have to be replaced
and as well the other one???

The voltage does climb when the engine
is turned on after a minute..I guess that means that the
glow plugs are still lit......and alternator is charging?
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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If your voltage gets at or above 13.5 at idle it's likely not the alternator. I'll bet if you load tested the one with the red eye it would drop like a ton of bricks compared to the other one. Given what you have learned so far and the fact that they are on the order of three years old, I'd vote for a set of new batteries. I figure I'm on borrowed time with my four year olds.
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Old 04-12-2009, 04:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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One thing to think about is sulfation and this will happen to any lead acid battery left setting for periods of time without being charged. sulfation interferes with the ability of the battery to accept hold and deliver a charge. if your car truck boat or rv will only get part time use a battery conditioner will keep the battery fully charged between uses without over charging and so no sulfation that will kill your pricey batteries years too soon. H
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Old 04-20-2009, 02:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Load Test

Had the delaer do a Battery load test as well as an alternator output
test..
all checked out fine....I guess it was the fact that the truck had been sitting a while and wasn't charging the batteries..
Thanks to all of you guys for your input....
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Old 04-20-2009, 05:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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If you're not driving it much and AFTER AFTER AFTER you make sure your batteries are good or replace them. Then look up Nationsalternator.com on the web. Their alternators are pricy but worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY. They put out as much at idle as the OEM batteies do at about 2k rpm.
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