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Unread 11-10-2014, 04:02 PM   #1
Darman
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1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Yellowknife, NWT
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electrical draw help

so heres the problem. my zj always kills my batteries whenever i leave it parked for awhile. anywhere from a week in the winter to a couple in the summer and its usually dead. i finally decided to try and fix this and i was looking for some help. im trying to test for any draw from the battery. i had the keys out of the ignition, doors shut, positive battery cable hooked to the battery, negative car terminal hooked to positive on the multimeter and negative on the multimeter to negative on the battery. i borrowed my friends multimeter as seen below and im wondering if i had it set up right. i unplugged and replugged every fuse and the needle didnt move.
thanks

tested it with a brand new fully charged battery

img_6809.jpg  
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Unread 11-10-2014, 04:08 PM   #2
zjosh93
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1993 ZJ 
 
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You had it hooked up right but you need to move the + lead on that multimeter to the 10A hole and set the meter on the 10A scale. You're looking for amps of power lost. It's all 12V.

Wow that's an old voltmeter. My dad has that exact same model. It's 1970's for sure. I'd go get a cheap $20 digital mulitmeter from Sears. That one is reading 15V from your battery so it might be out of calibration.
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Unread 11-10-2014, 04:38 PM   #3
Darman
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thanks alot. ya i just figured that out when i went out there again. swapped the lead to the 10a spot and set it to 10a scale. tried it again and no indication of a drop at all. it did fluctuate when the lights started flashing and when the door lights came on. after i stopped and unplugged it the needle didnt return to 0 and stayed around the 1-2 amp range (where it was at the whole time i was testing). i have a small crappy one from princess auto but it wont read dc amps only ac. looks like ill need a new one and test it again
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Unread 11-10-2014, 06:57 PM   #4
ZeeJay1997
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zjosh93 View Post
Wow that's an old voltmeter. My dad has that exact same model. It's 1970's for sure. I'd go get a cheap $20 digital mulitmeter from Sears. That one is reading 15V from your battery so it might be out of calibration.
I had one like that. I let the magic smoke escape from it. Just a note for anyone who cares, this is an analog meter. Use these to check hall effect sensor outputs only. All other circuits should be checked with a high impedance multimeter to avoid overloading circuits.
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Unread 11-11-2014, 12:13 AM   #5
9496ZJs
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Agree ...get a digital multimeter. Protect your circuits, and yourself.

If you have a couple extra bucks, you can get a multimeter tester with a clamp-around loop to measure dc current running through the wire, without having to stick the leads in series.

Search "clamp dc current digital multimeter"
Most low priced clamping meters only measure AC current, so read the specs to find one that has both AC and DC current (uses a Hall effect trick of inducing a magnetic field) measurement using the clamp.

I have the Klein Tools CL2000. I see it listed online for prices ranging from $100-120 tonight. Has helped me track down both DC current gremlins in cars, as well as 110v AC current in the house and underground sprinkler valves that use 24v AC.
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Unread 11-11-2014, 05:19 PM   #6
coralman
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I picked up the clamp for the drb3, but Thank the jeep gods I haven't had a need for it. Zee hooked me up on the meter end of things, couldn't ask for better.
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