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Unread 08-18-2011, 07:39 PM   #1
david92xj
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starter or battery or both??/

my xj was cranking very slow today, and its was mid 80s. my alternator was replaced recently after its tragic death after i was stuck in almost 4 feet of water. my battery was drained all the way so i had to charge it off my buddys battery with jumper cables. its been fine with the new alternator, but i think the battery is very weak. i think im having starter issues too now. if i turn the key to acc the voltage meter reads low (the top of the red zone) and when i try to start it, it drops lower and lower until it finally starts. when it is started, the voltage is only around 11-12. however today i tried starting it and it cranked so slow i knew it wasnt going to start so just for the hell of it i pulled out the breaker bar and beat the **** out of the starter. tried to start and it fired right up. perhaps its a combination between a weak battery and a starter thats seeing its last days

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Unread 08-18-2011, 08:14 PM   #2
CJ7-Tim
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Begin with basic trouble shooting of the start and charge systems. Remove, clean, and firmly reconnect all the wires and cables to the battery, starter, and alternator. Look for corroded or damaged cables or connectors and replace as needed. Do the same for the grounding wires from the starter to engine block, and from the battery and engine to the Jeep's frame/body. You must remove, scrape, and clean until shiny, the cable/wire ends, and whatever they bolt to. Jeeps do not tolerate low voltage, bad connections, or poor grounds.

The battery, alternator, and starter can all be tested at the auto parts store or repair shop.
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Unread 08-18-2011, 10:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
Begin with basic trouble shooting of the start and charge systems. Remove, clean, and firmly reconnect all the wires and cables to the battery, starter, and alternator. Look for corroded or damaged cables or connectors and replace as needed. Do the same for the grounding wires from the starter to engine block, and from the battery and engine to the Jeep's frame/body. You must remove, scrape, and clean until shiny, the cable/wire ends, and whatever they bolt to. Jeeps do not tolerate low voltage, bad connections, or poor grounds.

The battery, alternator, and starter can all be tested at the auto parts store or repair shop.
X2

Cleaning connectors at battery, grounds, alternator is the first step.

Don't be surprised if you need a new battery. A battery that has been drained by a weak charging system gets beaten up pretty hard.

One thing that would worry me though... 11-12V is insufficient to charge the battery. Double check with a digital voltmeter at the battery to make sure this is correct. Make sure you do the reading with a minimum load - turn off stereo, lights, everything. If your alternator is new and this is a true reading and your connections are clean, I would suspect a problem with the voltage regulator of the charging system (which is the ECU).
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Unread 08-18-2011, 11:07 PM   #4
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I've posted a writeup on how to check primary electrics here (and on several other boards) in OEM Tech/General tech - find it, and see what it can tell you.

Do you have a problem? Yes. Can it readily be identified by remote control? Not so much. But, a little bit of easy troubleshooting will likely tell you what you want to know - especially considering it won't cost anything and can be done with common tools inside of a half-hour (more like ten minutes, but I like to allow time...)
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Unread 08-19-2011, 12:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by 5-90 View Post
I've posted a writeup on how to check primary electrics here (and on several other boards) in OEM Tech/General tech - find it, and see what it can tell you.

Do you have a problem? Yes. My wife
Can it readily be identified by remote control? No
But, a little bit of easy troubleshooting will likely tell you what you want to know - especially considering it won't cost anything and can be done with common tools inside of a half-hour (more like ten minutes, but I like to allow time...) I tried to shut her up but she won't
Couldn't find your link buddy, liked the jeepaholic link though.
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Unread 08-19-2011, 12:22 AM   #6
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David,

Here is a procedure to check your battery. A good battery is defined as its ability to hold a charge. A digital voltmeter is a very inexpensive tool that is essential to test your charging system. Here is how you proceed:
- Set you voltmeter so you get two decimals. You need a very precise measure of the battery's voltage to appreciate the diagnosis.
- Start your engine (that is if you can...) let it run couple of minutes
- Turn the ignition completely off; make sure all electrical devices are also off (yes that light bulb under the hood too)
- As soon as you do, get a measure of the voltage at the battery. One of two things is going to happen
** The voltage drops and then holds still = good battery
** The voltage drops and then very slowly keeps dropping. Your battery's trash.

A bad battery can cause strange things. And it can affect the proper operations of the ECU (that includes regulating the charging system's voltage). I'd be curious to know if that has a positive effect on the alternator's output...

The starter is a separate issue. You clearly have a battery/charging issue that needs to be addressed first.
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Unread 08-19-2011, 02:01 AM   #7
5-90
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Couldn't find your link buddy, liked the jeepaholic link though.
"Your Google-Fu is weak, Grasshopper..."

Sorry, but it took more time for the link to load than it took for me to find it - keywords were "Alternator Battery" in title, post started by 5-90, search general (not model-specific) Tech boards. If I'd included the model boards, it would probably have taken ten seconds to find, instead of four...

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f27/p...sting-1171690/

Good luck!
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Unread 08-19-2011, 08:17 AM   #8
david92xj
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wow guys thanks for all the quick responses i will most likely be troubleshooting today, and now i know about everything to look for
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Unread 08-19-2011, 09:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by david92xj View Post
wow guys thanks for all the quick responses i will most likely be troubleshooting today, and now i know about everything to look for
No problem. Let us know what's going on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5-90 View Post
"Your Google-Fu is weak, Grasshopper..."

Sorry, but it took more time for the link to load than it took for me to find it - keywords were "Alternator Battery" in title, post started by 5-90, search general (not model-specific) Tech boards. If I'd included the model boards, it would probably have taken ten seconds to find, instead of four...

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f27/p...sting-1171690/

Good luck!
I was actually looking at your web links... duh! My Google-Fu needed some work anyway so I made an appointment with Steven Seagal.
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Unread 08-20-2011, 08:24 AM   #10
david92xj
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I picked up a new battery yesterday because the old one tested bad at the auto parts store. The voltage still isn't all the way up to 14, so I'm going to check out the alternator today
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Unread 08-20-2011, 01:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david92xj View Post
I picked up a new battery yesterday because the old one tested bad at the auto parts store. The voltage still isn't all the way up to 14, so I'm going to check out the alternator today
What volatge do you get at battery while charging, at minimum load? It's normal for the voltage to drop if you draw power from the battery (especially stereo, AC fan, head lights). Around 13.5V is okay.
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Unread 08-20-2011, 11:43 PM   #12
david92xj
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Its usually an 1/8 of an inch under 14 volts. my auxiliary fan is relayed to a switch, but with it on, there's no drop in voltage. however I did notice that if I roll the windows down (they are power) if I hold the switch down once the window is all the way down, the voltage drops a little. it only happens once the window is all the way down and I continue to hold the switch. but as soon as I release it, the voltage goes back up to "normal"
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Unread 08-24-2011, 07:04 PM   #13
david92xj
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i measured the battery with a voltmeter yesterday and with the jeep running it puts out a fairly constant 14.88.
the dash tells me (a little) otherwise, but i know my alternator is doing what it should be. with all of this, i knew it was the starter causing the issue and i picked up advanced auto parts "worldwide" starter for around $60. needless to say with the new starter, ive never heard my xj crank so fast
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