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Unread 01-15-2014, 11:09 AM   #1
tmredmond
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Lynchburg, VA
Posts: 4
Confusing Battery Problems

My 1996 Grand Cherokee will turn on if I charge the battery, but after about a minute of running, I get check gauges light and the battery gauge drops to zero.

I have replaced the battery, and the alternator I just replaced anyway. I tried cleaning the terminals.

My next guess is replacing the plugs to the alternator. Any idea what else could be causing this?

I also have an over sized battery, though brand new. Could that cause this?

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Unread 01-15-2014, 01:16 PM   #2
Gearhead31
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1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: St Pete, Florida
Posts: 1,940
If even a regular sized standard lead acid battery is on a full charge, it should run the vehicle at idle for a good 20 minutes at least strictly off the battery. Highway travel, maybe only a few minutes. A larger than factory sized battery should last even longer.. What is the condition of the battery terminals and cables? Are they splitting, corroding, etc? If I had to make a guess, i'd say the battery cables are corroded and not allowing proper charging, nor allowing the alternator to provide sufficient power to keep the vehicle running after the battery drains a bit.
battery size(above the OEM) will not matter as long as it is a standard 12v(really 13.2v) automotive/marine rated battery. There should be a relay in your PDC box(the skinny black fuse panel box right by the battery tray) that controls the flow of power from the alternator to the battery. That may be a good place to check next. Someone else will have to confirm this first but I think the horn relay can be pulled and put in that place to test that theory out. If it continues to run after that, it's a bad relay(around $15 starting for most relays at any auto parts stores). If it still dies, it may be the wiring harness or the ECM.

My advice, look through this Dirty Dozen link. That has some of the most common problems that causes a vehicle to stall out and the fixes for them.

it could be something as simple as a loose/bad wire on the computer. that will get you started into diagnosing it thoroughly
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Unread 01-15-2014, 02:19 PM   #3
johns1mj
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1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: midland, michigan
Posts: 166
New doesn't make it good. Test the alternator output. A simple inline hoop up from an ohm meter will tell you what the alternator is producing.
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Unread 01-15-2014, 06:16 PM   #4
ZeeJay1997
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Location: Sweet Home, Alabama
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unless you can use a voltmeter, the only thing you can do is give a good physical inspection. cables corroded inside the sleeve, fuses, all grounds, including the one on the fender. if you can use a meter, follow the links in the dirty dozen #4.

there are no relays for the charging system, though the asd relay cuts power to the generator field terminal. if it were bad, it wouldnt start at all.
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Unread 01-15-2014, 06:40 PM   #5
Gearhead31
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1995 ZJ 
 
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Location: St Pete, Florida
Posts: 1,940
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeeJay1997 View Post
unless you can use a voltmeter, the only thing you can do is give a good physical inspection. cables corroded inside the sleeve, fuses, all grounds, including the one on the fender. if you can use a meter, follow the links in the dirty dozen #4.

there are no relays for the charging system, though the asd relay cuts power to the generator field terminal. if it were bad, it wouldnt start at all.
I knew there was a relay related to that.. Thanks for the correction!
__________________
1995 ZJ ltd, 4.0 i6, *cough stock cough* 253,xxx and still pumping strong
1998 Chevy Cheyenne K1500, 5.7L Vortec, mostly stock
*In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons. - Herodotus
[QUOTE=JasonStebbins]We can call it the Whoosh King Catalog System. :D[/QUOTE]
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