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Unread 01-14-2010, 12:28 PM   #1
Dannyboy6292
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My $%^&ing battery is still not holding a charge.

The idiots at Tire Kingdom re-wired/grounded the alternator which is putting out plenty of juice. I had the battery checked at Auto Zone on the tester and they said its fine. Its a red optima battery. I am at wits end. Is it possible the battery is just bad and the people at Auto Zone are morons or the alternator is not big enough for the v8 engine? Anyone? What happens is when I get it back with the battery charged it runs and starts like a top for a few days. Slowly the start gets weaker until I have to pop start it. It almost seems that the gauges are affected in the end of its period of being able to crank. I am friggin baffled...

Buy a new battery and try that?

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Unread 01-14-2010, 12:41 PM   #2
YJBlues
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I would check the system for a short, if the alternator is putting out at least 13.5 volts, and the battery is good, a short is about the only thing I can think of that would drain the battery. Easiest way is to disconnect the neg battery cable. clip a test light to the neg battery post and touch the lead to the disconnected neg battery cable(dont touch the cable to the battery) if the light lights, you have a short. Try it with key on and key off. You can do the same thing with a multimeter, just check for voltage.
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Unread 01-14-2010, 12:41 PM   #3
RebuildRookie
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or take it somewhere else and test it.
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Unread 01-14-2010, 01:16 PM   #4
Que89YJ
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It is getting to the point where you need to do some troubleshooting yourself. Your need to get your hands on a current probe and a voltmeter. The first check is at the battery with the ignition off and see what your battery voltage is. Then using the current probe or a meter that can measure current measure the current draw. This current draw is called Ignition off draw. It should be less than 10 milliamps. Start your Jeep and measure your current draw, and then turn on all your electrical loads(highbeam lights, blower, radio, etc). Then hook up the current probe on the alternator wire output. I really think what you have is not a failure of the system as much as an alternator that is stock 90AMP output unable to keep up with your current load. Especially if you are wired with a continuous electric fan load. I know you just got the Jeep and you are dealing with the previous owners screwups. The Frequently asked questions gives a good list of upgrading your alternator and the local scrap yard has plenty of the CS 144's for around 30 dollars. Do the
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Unread 01-14-2010, 01:39 PM   #5
Dannyboy6292
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CS 144 is the way to go for a 350?
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Unread 01-14-2010, 01:57 PM   #6
Que89YJ
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The FAQ has the write up and yes its on a bunch of GM vehicles. The CS 144 is almost a direct bolt on for us. You should still check your IOD though like I said.
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Unread 01-14-2010, 02:08 PM   #7
Dannyboy6292
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Que89YJ View Post
The FAQ has the write up and yes its on a bunch of GM vehicles. The CS 144 is almost a direct bolt on for us. You should still check your IOD though like I said.
I will. The thing I dont understand is all I have running is the lights and an auxillary cooling fan. No radio, gps, computer etc....

I would think any alternator would do just fine.
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Unread 01-14-2010, 02:17 PM   #8
Dannyboy6292
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To add to the question does an engine draw that much voltage? I have nothing running really at any one time.
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Unread 01-14-2010, 02:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyboy6292 View Post
The idiots at Tire Kingdom re-wired/grounded the alternator which is putting out plenty of juice. I had the battery checked at Auto Zone on the tester and they said its fine. Its a red optima battery. I am at wits end. Is it possible the battery is just bad and the people at Auto Zone are morons or the alternator is not big enough for the v8 engine? Anyone? What happens is when I get it back with the battery charged it runs and starts like a top for a few days. Slowly the start gets weaker until I have to pop start it. It almost seems that the gauges are affected in the end of its period of being able to crank. I am friggin baffled...

Buy a new battery and try that?
I had an issue that fairly was similar to yours, the battery would take a charge from a charger, but would die after driving.

The battery would test out fine. Took it to a Napa a little further down the road and they did a few extra tests and found that in fact the battery was bad. Sometimes the battery was making a connection fine but would periodically loose connection.

Replaced battery and it was good.

With that said, are you sure they properly wired your alternator?
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Unread 01-14-2010, 02:48 PM   #10
Dannyboy6292
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Why J? View Post
I had an issue that fairly was similar to yours, the battery would take a charge from a charger, but would die after driving.

The battery would test out fine. Took it to a Napa a little further down the road and they did a few extra tests and found that in fact the battery was bad. Sometimes the battery was making a connection fine but would periodically loose connection.

Replaced battery and it was good.

With that said, are you sure they properly wired your alternator?
I am going to bite the bullet and get a new battery to rule it out. Battery is 3 years old and was sitting for 6 months with no activity before I got it.
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Unread 01-15-2010, 11:00 AM   #11
Que89YJ
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Hey Danny, the battery is a good thing to do anyways. I didnt catch that you had a 350. I dont know which alt you have to know what your rated output fot it is. The Ford Fan mod can draw down 40 amps if its wired high side continuous,Light 15 amps, engine 7-10 amps, blower 5 amps. That fan could be wires with a kit from autozone and save you a significant draw. An electric fan is about as usefull at nipples on a bull above 30Mph and during the winter time in the north.
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Unread 01-15-2010, 12:37 PM   #12
brk913
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There are several other easy tests you can do to determine the culprit, first start the Jeep and then disconnect the positive battery cable, Jeep should still run, load it with lights, blower motor and radio, should still run fine if alternator is good, reconnect cable....I am assuming that all your battery connections are clean and shiny including the positive connection at your starter, if they are not get out the wire brush, do this for all connections inluding the grounds to the body and frame...now with a muti meter test the voltage being received at the battery while the jeep is running, should be a minimum of 13.5 volts, if it is not then your wiring for your alternator is not correct and the voltage being output from the alternator is not making it back to the battery...lastly, take it to a real mechanic with a good battery tester and have them do a load test on the battery, this will show the batteries ability to recover from a large draw down...hope this helps and FYI I had this trouble in a car once and it was a dirty positive battery cable, right at the battery, cleaned it and problem solved...
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Unread 01-17-2010, 08:00 PM   #13
Dannyboy6292
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Well I found the possible problem. It turns out the battery is fine, the alternator is putting out the right amount of power,its rated for a 350. HOWEVER, whoever wired the alternator wired it directly to the solenoid for the starter with a 12 guage wire (I believe) with a 30 amp fuse on the line. I had zero problems for a for 5 days until I just lost power driving at night a lot. I just checked the fuse as I dawned on me and of course it was blown. Is a 30 amp fuse not big enough or do I need to rewire the alternator to the ignition?
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Unread 01-17-2010, 08:20 PM   #14
Dannyboy6292
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I am thinking I may need to upgrade the size of the fuse or is it blowing cause of a short? I am confused. I know the previous owner had to put a larger alternator cause of the engine upgrade and I am thinking a 30 watt fuse is not enough to handle the load? Man I wish I knew more about cars.
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Unread 01-17-2010, 08:23 PM   #15
dodger889
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No a 30 amp fuse is not big enough and nor is the 12 ga wire. You should have the at least a 8 ga wire from the alternator to a 80 amp fuse. Then straight to the battery.
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