Excursion low batteries?? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-08-2013, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Excursion low batteries??

Our truck just recently began not starting on try. We try immediately again and it starts. This has only happened 3X so far. I search the forum and found several things to check. I have a FICM from swamps, the oil cooler was replaced and several of the updates done while my mechanic was in the engine that deep. I have the Edge CTS and this is what I found:
FICM was 48.5v-49.0v off, just started or running.
ICP was in the 500's right after starting, and in the 900-1000 range while driving around town.
Voltage was 11.9v while off, dropped as low as 8v while cranking, it goes back to 11.9v to 12.2v while running.
The batteries are a little over 2 years old. I'm in Florida and it's summer, there is nothing cold going on around here but my AC. I'm running Interstate Mega Tron Plus MTP-85's. 850cca and 1000.
I read about the 7 pin bargman trailer plug can have a bad ground and drain the batteries. That seemed similar to my issue as the longer the truck seems to sit the slower it cranks.

I unplugged the trailer harness at the back of the truck and then checked the battery using the CTS. It was still low, dropped to 8.5v while starting, but after driving it around for awhile, it climbed up to about 13.3v and when I came to a stop it would stay around 13v. I used a multimeter on the batteries and each had about 12.5v I started the truck again, waited a bit, then checked them and each had 13.4v

So my question is Am I on the right track? It looks like I had a short in the trailer harness, so I should replace it. I'm hoping that I didn't hurt anything by running with the low voltage as I'm not sure how long this was going on before the truck began the no start condition. Should I charge the batteries or let the alternator deal with it?

Sorry for the novel, just trying to give the info that I know currently. Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thank you,

Joe
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-08-2013, 08:09 PM
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I would get the batteries tested for state of health. If is a common misconception that if they have 12+ volts then they are good. It is possible to have the 12 volts but only have 100 cranking amps. Getting them tested will tell you the cranking amps of the battery, not just the voltage. If they test fine then awesome. I've read good things about the Megatrons. After that I would get the alternator tested. As for testing the trailer plug, google how to do continuity checks with your meter.

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post #3 of 16 Old 07-08-2013, 09:42 PM
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You most likely have a battery issue going on. Like stated above 12.6 volts means nothing when cranking voltage is 8 volts, which by the way is not enough for the ficm to stay on to get it started.
If you have a battery drain you need to track it down. 10.6 volts is really as low as you want to see while it's cranking. Anything less is not a good thing. Try charging batteries up overnight and see how it does for you, if it still drops down low while cranking then you do have battery issues. Unless you have bad grounds or starter issues.


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post #4 of 16 Old 07-09-2013, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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I put the charger on it this morning (passenger side only) and let it run all day. I got home and disconnected it all. Still had 12.6v on both batteries. Started it and it still shows 11.9v on my CTS gauge and drops to 8.5v while cranking. It fires right up though and seems to run just fine. I did notice that the ICP was at 800 right after it fired up today.

I will take the truck to the local Advanced Auto and have the batteries and Alt tested. What is the deal for doing that with dual batteries? Pull the positive off one of the batteries while testing them?

Thanks,

Joe
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-09-2013, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jbenoit28 View Post
I put the charger on it this morning (passenger side only) and let it run all day. I got home and disconnected it all. Still had 12.6v on both batteries. Started it and it still shows 11.9v on my CTS gauge and drops to 8.5v while cranking. It fires right up though and seems to run just fine. I did notice that the ICP was at 800 right after it fired up today.

I will take the truck to the local Advanced Auto and have the batteries and Alt tested. What is the deal for doing that with dual batteries? Pull the positive off one of the batteries while testing them?

Thanks,

Joe
I would completely unhook them while having them tested. Then there is no possibility for a faulty result. I haven't paid attention to my numbers while starting the truck. Maybe I should begin to.

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post #6 of 16 Old 07-09-2013, 10:36 PM
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Each battery must be tested individually… Les Schwab tested my batteries three times telling they were great just to find out they were testing both at the same time and when I took it to a shop they recommended, they failed with flying colors…lol save the time and just take the batteries out of the truck so you know it's done one at a time. IMO it's your batteries…. Good luck

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post #7 of 16 Old 07-10-2013, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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I went to Interstate battery where I got the batteries and they tested them. Passenger side was barely 6v under load. Other one was fine. They replaced the bad one under what was left of my prorated warranty. I know I should do both, but can't afford it right now. I think I had a short in that trailer harness causing all of this. I will have to look into it and figure it out.

Now when I start the truck, volts drop to 10.8v, then go up to 13.1 to 13.5v when I'm driving. I've never seen 14v on my cts gauge.

Thanks for all of the help on this.

Joe

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post #8 of 16 Old 07-10-2013, 07:51 AM
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Nice, glad to see ya got it fixed!

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post #9 of 16 Old 07-10-2013, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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I read in other threads that purple are seeing 14v while driving. Is that normal with a stock alternator? I'm only in the low 13's no matter what I do. Should I have the alternator tested as well?

Joe

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post #10 of 16 Old 07-10-2013, 07:49 PM
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Mine stays above 13.6 and 80% of the time above 13.8. I have the dual alternator system. If your voltage is dropping like that then I would say it has to be an alternator. Do you have your high idle mod done? If so then does it drop or fluctuate the same on high idle?

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