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Old 01-01-2011, 08:08 PM
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Battery Woes...

First off, lemme introduce myself:

I'm a 1st-time PSD owner...actually, I'm a first-time diesel owner, period...

I bought my '05 F250 XLT SD 6.0L a coupla years ago to jerk my new 5'er around the countryside, and didn't look back...I absolutely love my rig.

All that being said, I've got a frustrating problem that I just can't seem to troubleshoot (and I've been at it for over a year!)...

A while back I had my OE batteries give up the ghost while sitting in a bank drive-through, and had to wait for a jump from a buddy. Went to the Wally-World across the street and replaced the batts immediately, but continued to have the same problem intermittently...the ol' gal would show no signs of trouble, then I'd be stranded in some random location with a truck that acted like the batteries were dead, even though a multimeter showed a 12.25+ charge.

The local auto tech sugested that the alternator was fried, so I replaced it with the best Ultima had to offer from my local O'reilly's parts house. This seemed to solve the problem for about a month, but the first damp, chilly night brought about the same, slow cranking, and ultimately left me seeking a jump at the jobsite again.

Since then, I've performed every troubleshooting method I could think of...I've pulled fuses, measured millivolts, connected a charger overnight, conditioned the batts with electrolytes...and still (with a charger/maintainer attached) have a hard time getting this brute started on a mildly chilly morning here in central Florida!

Now that my history is somewhat known, lemme offer up some known facts:

-I now know that my alternator doesn't start putting out a charge until about 45 seconds after the engine is started...is this normal? Because I think that may be the reason why my mechanic back in Arkansas diagnosed a bad alternator (he had me start it, immediately checked the output, and found none, and declared my alternator fried)...I've never had a voltage light come on in the dash with the current or old alternator.

-I haven't, to-date, been able to find any kind of parasitic drain on the batts...although, I'm not certain I've done this test correctly, since I've only followed other "shade-tree" mechanics' advice in this matter.

-I'm a hair's breadth away from paying this rig off, so I'll be tarred and feathered before I even remotely consider going into debt all over again for another truck...especially since everything else works great, and I really do enjoy the truck's power, comfort and driveability.

-I've come across several other 6.0L owners with similar problems, for which FMC has no apparent solution, other than blaming the problem on unrelated systems until the warranty runs out and negates their liability...

-I'm considering installing a power cutoff device, but understand that it would require my rig to "relearn" its settings every morning, and I don't want to damage other systems over a battery issue.

Hello...my name is Bill, and I'm a Power Junkie...any suggestions that won't put me in the poor house?
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:07 AM
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It's normal to see low voltage on start up. The glow plugs can stay on for up to two minutes after starting and until they turn off you will see low voltage.

Check all the battery connections and grounds, my guess is something is loose or corroded.
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:46 AM
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Seems I finally found the problem...

My old alternator (which I kept, just in case) had a fried diode, which fried the original batts. When I replaced the batts, it took about a month for those to get toasted, too, although at that point, I was told that the alternator needed replacing...

So I had a spanky-new alternator, but it was trying to charge a couple of batteries which had been fried by the old, faulty alt...

Talk about two ships passing in the night!

Aaanywayz...My dad helped me pick up a couple of industrial power packs that'll crank a submarine, and everything is skittles and candy-canes...xD

I've had FMC diagnose my electrical system every day, twice-a-day, for the last 3 days, and all seems to be resolved...they also asked for my old alternator for R&D, which I promptly traded for a full lube,oil and filter...xD
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