Must Jump to Start But Batteries Are Full? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:26 PM
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Must Jump to Start But Batteries Are Full?

Yesterday I bought an e350 with the 7.3. It is stock except a side exit straight through exhaust, and a sketchy lift (relevant to some issues I'm having?).

It ran flawless when I purchased it, and all day through constant starts and stops, with one exception earlier in the day when I put it into drive to go and it cut out right as I started moving, but started right up again with no issues. When I got home after a short road trip and let it sit for an hour, it wouldn't start. I experienced the typical dead battery click while my friend was trying to start it, so I switched seats with him to try it, and it spun over, but not fast enough to start. This makes me think it's not the infamous CPS as well. Battery gauge is close to max when running or ignition on, and shoots down to nothing/8v when starting.

I was able to jump it with a much smaller battery and it started up after a try or two, and drove around fine. I turned it off and had the same issue. After a harder time trying to jump it (corrosion on the other vehicle's battery) it started up fine again and I was able to drive it home and park it.

I threw the charger on it this morning, and as I was walking past it ~20 mins later I noticed the "smart" charger was reading full. Is this because it was reading both batteries (24v starting system), or is there a different issue? I noticed my terminals have some corrosion as well, and I'm hoping that's the issue and not the alternator or glowplugs(?) because supposedly the batteries are relatively new. I'll be checking grounds and cleaning the corrosion off this afternoon, but I was hoping someone had some pointers as I'm new to this whole thing (diesels, big trucks, american cars, etc).

Another issue is that I have my ABS and brake lights are on. The guy I purchased it from said that was due to the "lift" he installed consisting of spring spacers that raise it about an inch and a half or so, and that the light will go off when I remove the spacers, but the wheels will rub more than they already do.

Aside from these issues I think I'm hooked!

Thanks in advance,
-Alex
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:37 PM
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I had a similar situation on my 97 f350.. my issue was the main positive loom between the 2 batteries and down to the starter. there was too much corrosion on the connections and running down the wires. It acted up a few times, I would clean the terminals off, tighten them down more on the posts and be fine for awhile. then it progressively got worse, a couple times completely cutting off power when I went to start.. it would show normal voltage etc in the on position but as soon as I went to start it would cut out due to too much resistance. I ended up finding the factory loom on fleabay so I replaced the whole thing and problem solved.
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:44 PM
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Thanks for the tip! I will check that out for sure. Looks like a whimpy lead was dangling down by the second battery. Might not be a major ground, but I'm sure it goes to something. Sure could use a bigger engine bay/hood on this thing.

So will a straight through exhaust cause any issues? The van is not chipped or modified in any other way, just the exhaust cut right after the double doors with a 90* bend and downturn welded on. It is to my general knowledge that turbo vehicles do not need any back pressure after the turbo, as the turbo supplies enough back pressure to the motor.
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:27 PM
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It's not 24 volts. The two batteries are connected in parallel. But it is better to charge and test them separately. Disconnect one of the negatives, then put the charger on each battery separately and see what it reads. And as said above, make sure all connections are clean on both batteries, and make sure the ground wires from both batteries are firmly grounded on the block, and that the main connection at the starter is clean and tight.

Where exactly was this "dangling" lead? What is it connected to?
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:28 PM
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straight pipe should be fine.. as long as the exhaust is pretty long. you still want some back pressure with turbo'd engines though.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:30 PM
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Didn't have time to work on the van today, but I went out and took a couple pictures. I hadn't really climbed up on top and taken a look at the motor, but after doing so it is apparent that the power cable is most certainly a problem:


And here is the dangling ground lead I was talking about:


I also noticed that the intake pipe wasn't tight and had slid off and was allowing unfiltered air into the motor I see a couple sensors on the airbox, is there any sort of metering device?

Thanks for all the quick responses.
-alex
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:16 PM
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Top photo is the passenger side positive? That's, um, gonna be an issue....

Having trouble picturing the bottom photo. Where under the truck is this, which side? How far front/back? Which direction is the camera facing? That may just be a ground strap for radio noise suppression. It's way too small to be a "main" ground wire which would affect starting.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:33 AM
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This is an E350 van. The battery box is about the middle of the van on the passenger side. Just behind the rear double door. I know that isn't a main ground, but obviously it was designed to go somewhere.

And that is in fact the main passenger side battery terminal. Might just redo the whole power line down to both batteries and starter. Can't be too hard to do

-Alex
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:06 AM
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D'OH, forgot it was a van! So are both batteries back there on the frame?

You may have to get an EVTM that's specific to the vans. There's also an E-Series section here on the .org - E-Series Van Discussion - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum - there may be folks lurking there who know the underbelly of the vans better.

You can buy the positive cable set (to both batteries and starter) pre-built. The pickup versions aren't exactly cheap, and I'd bet a nickel the van version will be even more expensive.
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:09 AM
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Hmm, I was thinking I could make one pretty cheap, since the listings online seem to be about $90 and include everything that runs to the starter and alternator too. I'm really hoping that I have about 2" of slack in the line and I can just cut the end off and get clean wire underneath.

One battery is under the hood on the passenger side, and the other is mounted on the outside of the frame on the passenger side just behind the side doors.

Any idea about the ABS and brake lights on the dash?
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