Still having Charging/battery probs!!! - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 04-19-2009, 04:59 PM
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Still having Charging/battery probs!!!

I have had some pretty serious problems with my charging system. I have replaced the batteries. I have had about 9 alternators on this thing. The regualtor would go bad in anywhere from 3 days to 3 months. I had put an advance auto parts alternator in it. But after Scott worked on it, he put a Motorcraft one on it hoping to resolve this issues.

I have had the truck since Tuesday, and all seemed well. I checked the alt yesterday, and it was putting out 13.6 volts. I checked the batteris and they were holding charge at 13.2 volts.

I checked the truck today, and the batteries were down to 11.58 V each.

Somewhere I am getting a drain. I dont know how to check this. I am pulling 0.0 amps DC when i put my clamp meter(fluke) on the positive batt cable, and on the Pos. alt. wire. so, where is my starting point?

Could it be the batteries have a bad cell, and its draining the entire system? Thanks guys. I am goin to Charlotte this Saturday for PINKS, and I dont wanna end up over there and not being able to drive home cause of dead batteries!!!!
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Old 04-19-2009, 05:02 PM
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My brother had an OBS truck and his ground was no good. Alternators kept ckecking bad, and he kept replacing. Then a Ford Tech friend of my dads told him to get a good thick wire, like 8 or 10 gauge and ground the batteries to a good place on the frame, and his troubles went away. He got to where he was hauling a jump box with him every where he went. After he put a good ground on it, he never had another issue with it. It's worth a shot.

Last edited by 06F250FX4; 04-19-2009 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 04-19-2009, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HVAC SuperTech View Post
I have had some pretty serious problems with my charging system. I have replaced the batteries. I have had about 9 alternators on this thing. The regualtor would go bad in anywhere from 3 days to 3 months. I had put an advance auto parts alternator in it. But after Scott worked on it, he put a Motorcraft one on it hoping to resolve this issues.

I have had the truck since Tuesday, and all seemed well. I checked the alt yesterday, and it was putting out 13.6 volts. I checked the batteris and they were holding charge at 13.2 volts.

I checked the truck today, and the batteries were down to 11.58 V each.

Somewhere I am getting a drain. I dont know how to check this. I am pulling 0.0 amps DC when i put my clamp meter(fluke) on the positive batt cable, and on the Pos. alt. wire. so, where is my starting point?

Could it be the batteries have a bad cell, and its draining the entire system? Thanks guys. I am goin to Charlotte this Saturday for PINKS, and I dont wanna end up over there and not being able to drive home cause of dead batteries!!!!
Have your batteries tested
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Old 04-19-2009, 05:07 PM
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Can they test them on a full charge?


Also, where did the ground wire go from on the alt? Like where was the point?
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Old 04-19-2009, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by HVAC SuperTech View Post
Can they test them on a full charge?


Also, where did the ground wire go from on the alt? Like where was the point?
Yes they can
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Old 04-19-2009, 05:32 PM
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what kind of gauges do you have? Do they have a memory? My buddy with a cummins has a kind with a memory (dont remember what brand) but they were making it difficult to start the truck every morning due to low power.
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Old 04-19-2009, 05:35 PM
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I seriously doubt that a clamp meter is sensitive enough to measure the small amount of current that could be draining your batteries. You might try in inline ammeter. I believe that the key value of normal drain current is 50 to 75 milliamperes (.050-.010)

Its easy to check the condition of the individual cells with a hydrometer...if you can open the caps (some zero maintenance batteries have caps)A hydrometer is available from walmarts for like 2 bucks.

The most common method of isolation is to first ,establish a repeatable fault (the drain).then removeing one fuse at a time, to see if the fault will go away.
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austinj427 View Post
what kind of gauges do you have? Do they have a memory? My buddy with a cummins has a kind with a memory (dont remember what brand) but they were making it difficult to start the truck every morning due to low power.
I have just regular Stewart Warner and autometer guages. nothing special

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrnecsteve View Post
I seriously doubt that a clamp meter is sensitive enough to measure the small amount of current that could be draining your batteries. You might try in inline ammeter. I believe that the key value of normal drain current is 50 to 75 milliamperes (.050-.010)

Its easy to check the condition of the individual cells with a hydrometer...if you can open the caps (some zero maintenance batteries have caps)A hydrometer is available from walmarts for like 2 bucks.

The most common method of isolation is to first ,establish a repeatable fault (the drain).then removeing one fuse at a time, to see if the fault will go away.
I know I have a drain. I just dont know if its because of a dead cell in the battery, or if its something electrical. If I find out its electrical, do I pull one fuse at a time and wait till the next morning to see if I have a drain from the previous night? that would take like a month! Literally.
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 06F250FX4 View Post
like 8 or 10 gauge
You make a good point, these alternators can just burn up anything that is less then 10 gauge, we even used 12 gauge on an charging system once.
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:32 PM
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Actually, 12 gauge is smaller than 10 or 8 gauge when it comes to wire. Just sent my dad a message about the issue, and he said they run a length of 10 gauge wire from the the battery to the frame. They took some scotch brite and WD40 and cleaned away the hot wax undercoating on the frame around a hole that was already there and run a bolted the wire there and it cured my brothers problems. My dad tried to track electrical issue with that truck for 2 months, changed out 4 alternators, and 2 sets of batteries and couldn't get it to stop draining. Run another ground off the batteries and my brother put the jump box back in the garage for good.
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