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Unread 09-22-2014, 07:42 AM   #1
turbogus
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1978 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Albany~town, Oregon, Oregon my home and for 200 billion slugs
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This battery system is driving me bats

Not Jeep related but battery systems cross vehicle types so here goes,

'Easy Bake' the '81 black panel E 150 I have was set up with a dual battery system over a decade ago by me using an isolator I got from EBay, circuit breaker mounted above 2nd battery and 6 gauge wiring.

Since about 8 months ago when I occasionally startup and drive this rig I notice the voltmeter is bottomed for a few seconds and the ammeter is showing charge (10-12 amps) more than normal. I hear the new belts squeal and then after 5 or 10 seconds all is well. The alternator I replaced a few years back with a high amp output Ford unit from Autozone.

I've run smart chargers on both batteries when I'm out and about in my other rig and this seems to take care of the problem for a few days. The secondary battery seems to be the culprit as it's the older of the two but I'm only driving audio and 11 meter radio gear with it, and it is key switched.

After changing belts, checking connections for oxidation, verifying battery (distilled) water levels I'm reaching my wits end. Perhaps the isolator is to blame, or the alternator? I don't know.

Although this system in place has worked well for over a decade and it's only been of late that this issue has surfaced which leads me to believe that this is due to some sort of breakdown rather than design flaw.

Here's a few pics of my battery system;

The Primary Battery


The Secondary Battery


The Isolator


The Circuit Breaker


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The parts shop that stocks part for Skylab II will not have parts for our year/model of Jeep
We cannot accurately judge the trajectory of a speeding critter (cat, dog, sasquatch)
Record heat waves and floods only occur when we visit that area
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Unread 09-22-2014, 07:57 AM   #2
waterdowg
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Did you check the Batteries to confirm you do not have any bad cells? That would be my guess and a place to start. Just because it takes a charges does not mean they are good.
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Unread 09-22-2014, 08:41 AM   #3
Cutlass327
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That would be my first step, testing each one individually. Narrow down which one is not charging. Then if they test good, go from there with checking cables, isolator, etc if needed.
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1978 CJ5 258/T177/D300, '86 D30/D44 WT axles, 'glass tub windshield frame, and fenders, 31x10.5 BFG A/T, TDK galv'd frame - DD and weekend toy

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/ri...8-cj5-1223197/
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Unread 09-22-2014, 10:14 AM   #4
turbogus
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Part of my verification of water levels was also using a glass hydrometer to check the cells and none were terrible (red zone) and checked continuity of the wiring.


From another website;

The problem with normal isolators is that they use diodes to accomplish the task. Depending in the quality of the components there is anywhere from a 0.7 to 1.2 volt drop across the isolator. This leads to a perpetual undercharging of the batteries, as well as slower recharge time for house battery. Yes, it works, but then again non-synchro transmissions also work. ACRs are just a more efficient better quality means of solving the same problem.

Can anyone verify this? I mean this I have system had been working fine for over a decade.
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The parts shop that stocks part for Skylab II will not have parts for our year/model of Jeep
We cannot accurately judge the trajectory of a speeding critter (cat, dog, sasquatch)
Record heat waves and floods only occur when we visit that area
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Unread 09-22-2014, 10:59 AM   #5
waterdowg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbogus View Post
Part of my verification of water levels was also using a glass hydrometer to check the cells and none were terrible .
Not so sure this is the best way to test the cells. May want to take it ans have the batteries tested professionally. Also how old are the batteries.
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Unread 09-22-2014, 12:59 PM   #6
turbogus
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Yep it's just about at the warranty time limit, guess I'm going to have to sock some kazooks away
__________________
The parts shop that stocks part for Skylab II will not have parts for our year/model of Jeep
We cannot accurately judge the trajectory of a speeding critter (cat, dog, sasquatch)
Record heat waves and floods only occur when we visit that area
turbogus is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 09-22-2014, 12:59 PM   #7
Cutlass327
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If I am remembering correctly, the hydrometer on tells the charge of the battery, not if it will support a load. If you think about it, the hydrometer says its all good, but if the lead plates are laying on the bottom of the case, you won't get any output.
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Rick

1978 CJ5 258/T177/D300, '86 D30/D44 WT axles, 'glass tub windshield frame, and fenders, 31x10.5 BFG A/T, TDK galv'd frame - DD and weekend toy

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/ri...8-cj5-1223197/
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Unread 09-22-2014, 02:41 PM   #8
waterdowg
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Bad cell can cause really weird things. I bought my nanny a Honda Accord a few years ago cheap because it was throwing engine codes. There could not get it to pass inspection so he sold it. I read the code and would clear them. Once a week, but what I thought was interesting was the system would never set. What was hopping was every time she started the car the system would reset due to bad cells. I took it to my friends shop he hooked up and told me the battery was good. I asked him to test the cells. Sure enough it was bad. We replaced the battery and never had an issue again. He has been a mechanic for over 30 years and never thought that a bad cell could cause so many issue.
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Unread 09-22-2014, 05:10 PM   #9
turbogus
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I'm glad this rig is an '81 where electronics are at a minimum.
__________________
The parts shop that stocks part for Skylab II will not have parts for our year/model of Jeep
We cannot accurately judge the trajectory of a speeding critter (cat, dog, sasquatch)
Record heat waves and floods only occur when we visit that area
turbogus is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
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