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  #1  
Old 02-07-2012, 07:41 AM
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Dead truck after 4 hours, really rough starts

Hi there,

my truck is having some weird electrical probelms, and this is my worst area so if anyone has any input i would really appreciate it.

about a month ago my batteries kept draining, i couldnt leave my truck turned off for more than 8 or so hours or it wouldnt crank, even if the block heater was plugged in. Had the less than one year old batteries checked and they were bad so i replaced them with optima red tops. Truck worked great for about 2 weeks. Once it started dying again, i figured i had an electrical draw and the only things that ive changed from last year (when my remote start would work in 0 degree weather after being parked over night not plugged in) are my stereo and aux lights. So at my lunch break i would run my truck for 5-10 min to let the batteries charge because at work we dont have plug ins, and before i turned the truck off in the mornings i would turn my lights from auto to off and i would turn my stereo off. Again this worked great until last week when my truck wouldnt start due to no power after my 8hour work day. It starts fine after sitting in my driveway for 12 hours, but i leave it plugged in so i assume its easier on the truck when its warm. The new lights are all led, and i have disconnect them, and i put a switch on the power line for my sub. So then i figured it was the alt, and i planned on replacing it. On a seperate issue, i noticed that my ficm drops to 45 volts at start up, and it starts super rough. I cant even use my remote start in 30 degree weather, and when it does start (only when not plugged in) white smoke billows out for 30-45 seconds.

So i realize that i have a few issues here, but does anyone think they could be related? I have been searching and trying to do some research, and up until i read this post

ficm/ battery drain

i thought i had two unrelated probelms. If they are related, which one should i replace first? I really want the swamps 58v ficm, but i cant afford my truck to be down for more than a few days right now. At this point in time, i also dont have the extra money laying around to justify replacing a properly working alt or ficm (thats if one went bad and is affecting the other).

I apologize for the novel i just wrote, but i didnt want to thread jack rageingbulls thread, and i wanted to include as much info as possible. Please let me know what you think. Thanks much, have a good one.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:23 AM
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What are the battery volts while the truck is running and the glow plugs are off? 13.8 or better your alt is ok. Ficm should not be below 48.
It's a place to start anyway.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:29 AM
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When my truck is at idle, my volts barely if ever break 12. Usually they sit right around 11.9 until i build some rpms, which then i see a reading of 12.8-13.4 generally. Since the installation of the cts ive never seen the volts jump above 14. At start up right before ignition they are between 9-10, they havent been over 10.5 at a start up this week. i was thinking my glow plugs might be bad too due to the terrible start up, but could that be a side effect of a bad alt/ficm? Sorry for asking what may be dumb questions but i'm new to diesels and have never been good with the electrical system. its sounding more and more like a bad alt, which is an easy and realitvely cheap ($200-400 depending on brand/output), but i just dont want to spend that if i dont have to, especially if i have to spend another $600 for the ficm from swamps.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:27 AM
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At idle after the truck is started the glow plugs will stay on for up to 30 seconds depending how cold the engine is. When they shut off the volts should jump up above 13 volts. This will vary slightly but should be above 13 at idle. If this is the case it's not likely the alt. Something else is draining the batteries.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:48 AM
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Ok so then my alt might be fine, but rather i might have an ficm problem (drawing from what ham radio man said in the other thread).

If thats the case, does anyone know how much damage i will be doing to my truck by driving it this way? Its too cold for me to take my bike to work so i cant really afford to remove my ficm and send it off (swamps isnt accepting anything but "own core" right now). Thanks for the help
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:09 AM
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Not good for the injectors. Try some local shops or a good dealership. I know dealerships are not the cheapest. There may some other places other then swamps but I don't know of any. Sorry I can't help further. Good luck.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:17 AM
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well i appreciate all the help, you might have saved me a few hundred bucks. Knowing my luck both the ficm and alt are bad and one is masking the other. I'll call swamps today/tomorrow and only drive my truck to work (dont need a $3000 injector bill right now). Thanks again, i'll update when i have had the time to get some things replaced. Have a good one.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:43 AM
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i am haveing siml issues but mine drain after 3-4 hrs
new battery -had checked fine - on bench
new alternater benched checked good 12.4 at start then after 5 min or so 13 .4 13.6 on the bench the alt read 14.3 - tommoorrow going to dealership -white flag i give up lol
i did amps .8 draw when i have the red harness 10 mm nut on the passenger side battery taken off ( not the battery wire the harness that goes to the starter and alt and i am sure other stuff like glow plugs - ithink - anyway with that hooked up i draw 38-40 amps alot i pulled every f**in fuse and relay no change i moved evry wire i could touch no chasnge i was thinking ficm also the dealer ship told me most ficms when they go its almost like nothin works and reall rough- i was also thinking swamps with the extra amps for more horsepower but i am alsready running sct loony program so i dont know if that would mess anything up or go into the unsafe range - and yes i put it back to stock already before dealership if any one has any sugestions plz replie - i was just telling a freind how i have never i mean never had a problem with this 6.0 ever and just litterly days later i will let you guys know what dealer says
thanks agin for any help
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:47 AM
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Best of luck, and please keep me updated. i planned on doing the swamps as part of my bullet proofing anyway, but i wanted that to be in the summer when i had a little extra cash and could have the bike out. I think mine might also be the alternator though because i've never seen my voltage go into the 14 range, but ill double check that on my way home tonight.
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:17 PM
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just heard from dealership its in the glow plug circuit -to find out if yours is in the same neiborhood -on the pass battery terminal is a harness -red- 10mm nut - it goes to the alter. and other stuff like glow plugs un hook that and see if your s still draws down when mine was un hooked it did not draw down at all - obviusly hook it back up to drive it
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