Bad alternator on Viper?

2000 Dodge Viper - the battery was replaced two years ago.
I leave the car in the garage for weeks on end before driving it with the alarm off. Every now and then, I need to jump start it to get it
going. Today, I jump started and it took a while for the engine to turn. When it did, it didn't hold the charge, even after blipping the throttle for about a minute.
The lights are dim in the cockpit, so these symptoms point to a bad alternator. However, the car only has 6,000 miles. Does this make sense with the alternator, or could it be a battery problem?
Thanks:
Pat
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You could very well have toasted the alternator if you make a regular practice of this. Alternators don't tend to hold up well to repeated jump starts and subsequent full-output charging of a completely dead battery. Furthermore this isn't particularly good for your battery, either. Lead-acid batteries aren't fond of repeated deep discharges. If you have electricity in your garage I'd suggest investing in a "battery tender" and leave it hooked up while the vehicle is in storage. This way when you want to drive your car you can simply unhook the battery tender, hit the key, and go.
good luck,
nate
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Okay, so either you aren't getting charge or the battery itself is bad.

If you have been regularly leaving the car idle for a couple weeks without driving it and discharging the battery down so far that it sometimes needs a jump start, you have almost certainly destroyed the battery.
You may also have an alternator issue, but it's hard to tell with a bad battery in there.
My suspicion is that you're going to have to change the battery, then start hunting down and seeing if you have a charging issue.
If you leave your car idle for several weeks, either put it on a float charger (the Battery Keeper is fine), or at LEAST disconnect the ground lead from the battery so the car electronics don't discharge it. --scott
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I would remove and clean the battery cables before spending any money. You could easily be describing connections that need a clean.
Mike 86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG Muds, 'glass nose to tail in '00 88 Cherokee 235 BFG AT's Canadian Off Road Trips Photos: Non members can still view! Jan/06 http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id !15147590 (More Off Road album links at bottom of the view page
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I concur with the ruined battery, which may have ended-up ruining alternator... and the root of the cascaded failure possibly-being poor connections... For the usage-cycle described by the owner, once all-else is resolved (cable/connection/alternator) I strongly suggest installation of an Optima 'Blue Top' *MARINE* starting battery... this battery can sit idle for 12 months with no ill effect and negligible self discharge. I am surprised no one else suggested this as part of the ultimate fix to the total problem. Conventional starting batteries are not suitable for lengthy periods of dis-use...
Walt (change distant to local to reply)
Mike Romain wrote:

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I agree with you in theory, but in practice I still say that the battery tender is the way to go. Modern vehicles have a lot of parasitic draw and the battery will still go flat in a couple months if it is left connected with no float charge.
nate

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The Viper's battery is a side terminal only type and is located in a cramped place behind the left rear wheel, a steel structure above the battery tray prevents the use of the Optima which has both top and side terminals.
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*ouch* in light of the "packaging-data" below... nope, my suggested remedy is withdrawn... and a "battery tender" (not a simple float-charger) remedy sounds viable... I do suggest, where fitment allows it... the bluetop starting battery is tough to beat...
John Kunkel wrote:

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John Kunkel wrote:

It would take about 20 seconds with a grinder to take the top terminals off flush with the battery top :-)
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Kowalski wrote:

I'd recommend a trickle charger. Even the blue-top battery will discharge from the parasitic loads of the computers on a modern car, and repeating the discharge/jump start/full-current charge cycle and the attendant stress on the alternator and the rest of the electrical system is foolish. Just get a trickle charger and hook it up when you park the car, so it'll be good to go next time regarless of which battery type you use. Most of these small "battery maintainers" have a quick-disconnect plug that you install in the electrical system, so you don't even have to mess around with clamps on the battery post
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But the jumper battery will supply the needed input.
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