NEED HELP! electrical gremlins have invaded!

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toastersauce
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NEED HELP! electrical gremlins have invaded!

Post by toastersauce » Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:58 am

Im having some really odd issues when starting/charging my car.

It won't crank over like its not getting enough juice. If i charge the battery with the the postive terminal off the battery charger shows a constant charge of 5-7 amps.

When i connect both the pos and neg terminals after about an hour the battery(battery is new) is charged.

I also have a myster wire about 14-16 gauge going from the neg terminal grounded to a bolt on the bracket for the after market starter ( i didn't install).

My stero never remembers any of my presets, anything, its like it never got power while the car was off.

I know this is pretty vague stuff, but i am so useless whith electrical stuff its not even funny, what should i start checking first? second? third? any ideas. thanks guys

thrashperformance
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Post by thrashperformance » Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:10 am

is the battery junk? how are all of the terminal connections in the batter/solonoid/starter cables? that includes the ground cable
jake nawrocki




1 cor 9:24


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Whiplash
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Post by Whiplash » Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:02 pm

For your radio you probably have the ignition and constant power wire reversed.
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John R. Rowlands
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NEED HELP! electrical gremlins have invaded!

Post by John R. Rowlands » Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:23 pm

toastersauce,

Sounds like you have a starter solenoid problem. Do you know how to check it?

John
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Post by Ed Lijewski » Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:27 pm

I'd suspect a possible defective postive and negative battery cable. Installing new ones is cheap insurance--and deals with potential problems within them, unless you can do a voltage drop test on them which would tell you if they're good or bad. But Ford battery cables are known to be susceptible to corrosion underneath the outer sheathing.
Also possible is that your starter is defective/dying and the armature is heating up under applied current.

YMMV 8)
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toastersauce
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Post by toastersauce » Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:55 pm

OK, so i got the battery out and it was very low on water, the thing is the car hasn't run long enough for the alt to boil it to death. If the battery is toast, this will be the 2nd in a row my demon car has aten up. It just seems that there is a draw sucking on the life out of it. if the solinoide stayed open would that be why?

i really dispise electrical problems.

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John R. Rowlands
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NEED HELP! electrical gremlins have invaded!

Post by John R. Rowlands » Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:11 pm

toastersauce,

The starter solenoid will normally be "open" until you apply 12 volts then it closes and the starter engages. Re-fill your battery and see if it will take a charge. To test the solenoid jump from the big terminal to the other big terminal and see if that will engage your starter.

John
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Re: NEED HELP! electrical gremlins have invaded!

Post by Ed Lijewski » Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:22 pm

toastersauce wrote: If i charge the battery with the the postive terminal off the battery charger shows a constant charge of 5-7 amps.
That high of a push of current into the battery is the likely cause of your battery acid boiling away. The best way to charge batteries is with a battery maintainer--which puts out ~ 1 or 1.5 amps--more or maybe less depending on the unit, and when the battery reaches full charge the battery maintained will automatically switch to float mode, where it only charges--and very modestly--when the voltage drops below 12.7 volts, until it reaches that level again.

If you have a parasitic current loss, consider doing this: At night or in a dark garage remove the fuses in the fuse box one at a time and look for a spark jump between the female fuse box contacts and the fuse, as you remove or replace the fuse. That can tell you what circuit is drawing power.

YMMV 8)
Last edited by Ed Lijewski on Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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86XR4Ti_John
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Post by 86XR4Ti_John » Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:02 am

I second what Ed is saying, parasitic drain.

You can shut the car off, let the ECU power down and then shut the door so the lights are off(wait for them to be off).

Then pull the negative terminal off the battery and connect an amp meter in line with the battery and the removed terminal. Like the amp meter is part of the circuit. Then read it.

if its over just a few miliamps there is a draw somewhere. On an older car like this, it should be less than 10 miliamps. newer ones have many more controllers and things that stay semi-active when the car is off, but ours should have at most the clock, the radio keep alive things(station presets etc) and the ecu in powered down mode.

without opening the door, or turning the key on, pull one fuse at a time, until the meter drops noticably. Then you have isolated the bad circuit.
Troubleshoot from there.
John

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toastersauce
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Post by toastersauce » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:13 pm

well the battery is toasted, wouln't take a charge.

gave it a nice slow charge at 1.8 amps for hours and it didn't hold. plus the battery had lost alot of water. So first thing after i get a new batter (thank you warrenty) is going to have the alt tested. ill go from there.

The odd thing is the battery wasn't connected to the alt very long, maybe a few hours of idling and 50 miles of drive in the whole 3 months i had it (brand new) so im kinda curious how it died so fast.

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Post by Ed Lijewski » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:52 pm

If it was discharging during that three months and at some point (maybe more than once) discharged completely and wasn't recharged right away, that alone could have killed it. When a battery discharges and sits unattended for a while, it's, um Toast, er, um, terminal....

YMMV 8)
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Ray
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Post by Ray » Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:17 pm

Ed Lijewski wrote:If it was discharging during that three months and at some point (maybe more than once) discharged completely and wasn't recharged right away, that alone could have killed it. When a battery discharges and sits unattended for a while, it's, um Toast, er, um, terminal....

YMMV 8)
to a point, but it wouldn't explain why the battery water level was so low.
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John R. Rowlands
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"NEED HELP! electrical gremlins have invaded!"

Post by John R. Rowlands » Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:07 pm

demonfire,

The outside temperature could have an effect on the water level also.

John
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Post by DPDISXR4Ti » Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:18 pm

Definitely check the charging voltage. When the VR fails, typically the voltage output goes sky-high - anything above 15V is bad and will kill the battery and potentially lots of other stuff.
Brad

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Post by Ed Lijewski » Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:53 pm

demonfire wrote:
Ed Lijewski wrote:If it was discharging during that three months and at some point (maybe more than once) discharged completely and wasn't recharged right away, that alone could have killed it. When a battery discharges and sits unattended for a while, it's, um Toast, er, um, terminal....

YMMV 8)
to a point, but it wouldn't explain why the battery water level was so low.
The fact that he's been using a standard battery charger--if he didn't check/top up the electrolyte with distilled water-- would explain it.

YMMV 8)
Descartes: "Cogito Ergo Sum"
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