random dying and battery gauge jumping around - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 04-25-2013, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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random dying and battery gauge jumping around

95 E350 7.3 turbo diesel 91,000 miles ambulance package

When i start the rig the battery gauge shows very low charging then about every 30 sec the engine will smooth out and the gauge will go past half towards 18 then will start idling a little rougher and the gauge will go back down below half. It does this over and over. I can visually see the gauge move down quite a bit when i just roll a window up or down.

It also has a random dying problem. Sometimes it will do it within 30 sec of starting and sometimes will take an hour and sometimes you cant make it die. After it dies it will sometimes start right back up. Other times it wont start for an hour or over night.

2 new batteries. Cleaned up all the connections so that's not an issue. Maybe alternator?

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post #2 of 12 Old 04-25-2013, 07:25 AM
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checked connections on the alt? and your issues with it falling dead have you checked the cps?

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post #3 of 12 Old 04-25-2013, 07:44 AM
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The voltmeter will always read low for the first 1-2 minutes; that's the glow plug run time. After that, it shouldn't cycle. It _might_ be worth trying this test - warm the engine up, then shut it off and disconnect the glow plug relay. Then start it back up and see if the voltage still cycles up and down.

No tach on the van dash, correct?
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-25-2013, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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I have yet to check the connections on the alt...hard to get to in the van but on the list to do. I have a brand new cps to put in but have not found any diagrams on the location of it.

I will def try the glow plug relay test. Correct...no tach on the van.

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post #5 of 12 Old 04-26-2013, 03:51 PM
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If I remember correctly, the CPS is located in the block right behind the harmonic balancer. There will be a wire(s) connected to it and a single bolt holding it in place. If you can't see it, with the engine off, just feel the block all the way around behind the HB for a wire going to it. I think it was a 9/16" or 5/8" bolt holding it in place. As far as the battery gauge jumping around, I would imagine it has to be between the battery cables, connections and alternator. Unless there is a loose connection going to the gauge itself.


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post #6 of 12 Old 04-30-2013, 04:34 AM
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Just saw an old reply of mine right after I changed my CPS. It's a 10mm bolt holding it in place.


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post #7 of 12 Old 04-30-2013, 06:47 AM
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When my voltage was fluctuating on my truck (not constant, but intermittent) it was the alternator or more precisely, where the brushes contacted the slip ring tracks. Cheers!

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post #8 of 12 Old 05-01-2013, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys...got the CPS changed out last week and so far no random dying.

I have still yet to figure out the battery issues. I can run it all day and it starts fine but let it sit 2 days and the batteries are dead. I am guessing maybe a short somewhere. It is an ambulance so there are more than enough wires running around to cause an issue. Somebody took the siren and lights off so i will start with where those used to be. But i would think it has to be something big pulling lots of juice to drain 2 batteries in 2 days. I checked all connections to the alternator and looked good.

On another note...the horn doesn't work. I can hear the relay clicking though. I changed the relay out and still no go. Pulled the horns and direct wired to battery and they work fine. Just no horn when pushing on the steering wheel.

Also the flashers only work on the left side. Even the indicator dash lights only show the left blinking. But the turn signals work on both sides and even show it on the dash indicators. I changed all the bulbs front and back but no go yet.

Any ideas???

Thanks,

Jarrett

2013 F350 6.7 CCLB KR 4X4. No Limit Intake. 4" delete pipe. No Limit Blockoff Plates. SCT Livewire TS. Leveled. 35" shoes.

FOR SALE 2002 F250 7.3 psd crewcab short bed. 4x4. DIY 6637. 4" turbo back mbrp exhaust. PHP Hydra. AIH Delete. Riff Raff CCV Mod. New icp. New cps. New ebps. Rebuilt ipr. 207,000 miles. 4" rough country lift. 05' front end. Driven diesel pre pump kit. Shimmed fpr. Boost guage. Fuel pressure guage. Tranny temp guage. EGT guage. FOR SALE
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-01-2013, 09:50 AM
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Flashers issue sounds like the switch. IIRC, there are separate sets of contacts in the switch for left and right side. Both our '95s do that every now and then. Usu. I hit the switch again and it's fine, so I figure it's just the contacts need cleaning.

Horns - gotta be the wiring between the relay and the horns; that's all that's left.

Battery drain - could be some other ambulance accessory, hidden behind a panel somewhere, not decommissioned. Are there separate fuses for the ambulance bits? You'll need a voltmeter with a fairly high capacity in the current range. Disconnect both battery negatives, then connect the meter, set to the highest current (amperes) rating available, in series between the negative terminal and negative post of one of the batteries. It will prob. show some significant current flow. Then start pulling fuses until the current reading drops. Start with the fuses associated with the ambulance accessories, if there are separate ones. Another common one is the alternator itself. Do the same meter connection, then unplug the small connector on the top of the alternator and check the meter.
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-01-2013, 11:01 AM
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