Tow Or Track: Powermaster Supplies Charging Power For Diesel Trucks

Over time, we have all succumbed to the focus of needing more power for our vehicles. If you have a diesel rig for towing your car to the track or a stand-alone performance diesel vehicle as your toy, you might be surprised at the electrical power it consumes.  The accumulation of amperes needs related to performing engine controls and fuel delivery alone is very demanding.

Whether you are towing your toy to the track or your diesel rig is your performance toy, keeping your electrical demands and a charged battery in check is critical.

With later model diesel trucks, the demand can be as much as 90 to 100 amps of load, as injection lift pumps, ECU systems, lights, stereo, and other items add up. It is easier than you think to overpower the output of the stock alternator with even a 140 amp range of output.

The question arises as to whether you have enough voltage to operate these and the plethora of demands required when a trailer is in tow, with add-ons such as interior and exterior lighting, electric brake systems, winches, and more. And let’s not forget when the team of friends is riding along with you, the heater or air conditioning is typically on at full blast. This means your battery may not be receiving a complete charge.

Examples of Powermaster's high-amperage alternators include units for the Ford 6.0 Powerstroke, Cummins-powered Ram, and a unit for the 6.6 General Motors Duramax. All models can be ordered with a black heat-dispersant coating.

Powermaster Performance alternators supply horsepower for your ride by ensuring the electrical and engine systems have enough voltage to operate properly. They feature a variety of high-amperage ratings, a one-wire hookup, a gold battery post, and an optional heat-dispersant coating. The Powermaster heavy-duty 200 amp alternator will supply 130 amps at engine idle speed and 200 maximum amps at “motoring” RPM.

A “one wire” alternator may be fathomable with the proper ground circuit connecting through the alternator’s mounting hardware. Providing a ground wire from the alternator housing directly to the engine block or battery ground is still the absolute surefire way to get the most from any alternator.

Testing your system for proper output with all of your typical electrical demands turned on can check your alternator output plus the voltage your battery is experiencing. You can also gauge the hot wire and ground circuit quality with this method.

When stepping up your charging source, such as with a Powermaster alternator, also take some time to inspect and upgrade the wiring that the alternator relies upon to complete the job. All grounding surfaces need to have a clean surface. The connectors or wiring itself may be corroded from years of use and not carrying your current as much as your alternator is willing to provide.

Maximizing current flow helps reduce the work the alternator has to do to keep the batteries charged as part of a charging “circuit.” The electricity produced by an alternator is only as good as the grounds that complete that circuit.

The last thing you want to do at the end of a day of offroading or racing is for your team to climb into your truck and only hear a “click” when the starter key is turned. Even if you have an armload of trophies and checks from the day, a dead battery would be the ultimate buzzkill.

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Todd Silvey

Todd has been a hardcore drag racing journalist since 1987. He is constantly on both sides of the guardwall from racing photography and editorship to drag racing cars of every shape and class.
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