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Unread 11-15-2002, 01:32 PM   #1
ModernPistolero
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Chasing battery problem

If my CJ sits for more than 5 days the battery is zapped. I have traced down and checked every possible thing that I can to see what is drawing power from the battery with no luck. Although I feel this is a long shot (or maybe not), the ignition switch needs replaced (have new one, but not any time to put it in). I can start the CJ without a key, sometimes. (I know, I know....I'm just asking for it to get stolen) Sometimes it will lock like it is suppossed to and I need the key to start it, but more often than not I can hop in and fire it up without. Is it possible that since it is not locking all the time that the ingnition is remaining on (even though its in the off position) and slowly drawing on the battery?

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Unread 11-15-2002, 02:44 PM   #2
dana60cj
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Mine used to start without the key and I had no problems with it draining batteries.
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Unread 11-16-2002, 07:26 AM   #3
rustyCJ
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can you get your hands on a dif battery to see if that is what it is. if you have checked everything and nothing is on to drain the battery, you battery might just be going bad.....will take a charge just wont hold it?
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Unread 12-11-2002, 01:17 AM   #4
K5QM
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Does the horn work properly? Had one doing the same thing, but the horn was inop. Repaired the horn wiring and have had no more problems.
Jerry
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Unread 12-11-2002, 06:59 AM   #5
MudLover
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I'd go with what rustyCJ said. I had a '96 Explorer that would do the same thing. I took the Exploder to my mechanic and he checked the system for $16, and got me a new battery for about $40 (friends...gotta love 'em). I can start my CJ without a key too. Kinda takes away from the idea of my parents taking my keys away (still gota find a way to keep them from removing the plates). Oh well.
Best of Luck,
Marc
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Unread 12-11-2002, 09:48 AM   #6
4wheeler4CJ
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Easy way to check if you have something "drawing" on your battery:

Make sure everything is off, including your ignition, radio, etc. Pull the negative terminal off. Now go to touch it slowly to the corner of the post....if you get a spark, even small, you have something drawing your battery down or have a short somewhere, and it probably isnt a bad battery. If no spark, you have no problem, just get a new battery.

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Unread 12-11-2002, 07:53 PM   #7
werewolf7111
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heres a quick idea to help you with your problem

first: lets go by the numbers ( assuming all connections and belt have been verified)

1) battery- a car battery ( wet celled storage device) needs to be checked first to ensure it isnt the problem

a) start with a known full charge and time to cool( 12 hrs sitting)
b) with a multimeter- check the OPEN circuit voltage( should be 12.6or BETTER)- then check the SPECIFIC GRAVITY- of EACH individual cell( should be 1260-1280 per cell) ( assuming CORRECT 65/35 ratio of water to electrolyte)- ( these reading must be temperature corrected)
c) check each CELL voltage ( take leads and start + and walk each cell- the voltage should be 2.1 volts per cell)( this means in the first cell, put the RED lead on the + post and the BLACK "in" the cell- then cell hop from there[ leads in each cell until the end when the BLACK should be on the post and the RED "in" the cell)
NOTE- if there is MORE than a 10% VARIANCE between cells- the batteryis BAD
d) after that, the load test- with a VM attached to the battery, get someone to crank the vehicle with the lights on( this isnt the "textbook" test as a carbon pile for controlled load is used) but look at the voltage valley- it should NEVER drop below 10.1 volts UNDER LOAD ( the correct "by the book" test is a battery should hold its rated amp/ph draw for 30 sec and not drop below 10.1)

NOW to step 2

hook the battery into the circuit again( WITH VM attached)- look for an IMMEDIATE drop in voltage( means a load is there)- if so, check the AMP DRAW of the load( need a DC ampmeter) EXAMPLE- it would take a 1 amp draw about 180 hrs to "kill" a good battery( rated at 500 cca according to BCI)- if you have one- isolate the cause

NOW to step 3 assuming all tests are good- check the alternator output( see many"mystery" problems arise from the following- a "battery" will lose app 50% of its ability at 32F ( thus the term COLD cranking amp)- the battery "MAY" be too small for the ambient temperature ( example- a 500 CCA battery @32 is a 250 amp battery- assuming a starter load of about 150amps to turn[ with radio memory etc]you "may" be pushing the limit ( this accounts for a lot of " once i jump it, it works for a while" type problems)-check the alternator UNDER LOAD( cut everything on and compare it with the RPM/RATING of the alternator- if not in spec, rebuild/replace the alternator)

after all that- if you still have problems- let me know

( testing procedures courtesy of BCI and Johnson Controls)

Joe MSME PE
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Unread 12-12-2002, 12:05 AM   #8
rednek
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Make sure everything is off, including your ignition, radio, etc. Pull the negative terminal off. Now go to touch it slowly to the corner of the post....if you get a spark, even small, you have something drawing your battery down or have a short somewhere, and it probably isnt a bad battery. If no spark, you have no problem, just get a new battery.


This is the quickest and easiest way. If you want you can also leave the battery post off for a week and put it back on. If the vehicle cranks and the battery isn't dead, It is in the wiring not the battery. Also check for corrosion and wore connectors on the battery. I had the same problem and never could find the draw so I put a battery cut off on mine - helps with someone driving off with your JEEP (no key problem also).
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Unread 12-12-2002, 08:19 AM   #9
4wheeler4CJ
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Quote:
Originally posted by rednek
Make sure everything is off, including your ignition, radio, etc. Pull the negative terminal off. Now go to touch it slowly to the corner of the post....if you get a spark, even small, you have something drawing your battery down or have a short somewhere, and it probably isnt a bad battery. If no spark, you have no problem, just get a new battery.


This is the quickest and easiest way. If you want you can also leave the battery post off for a week and put it back on. If the vehicle cranks and the battery isn't dead, It is in the wiring not the battery. Also check for corrosion and wore connectors on the battery. I had the same problem and never could find the draw so I put a battery cut off on mine - helps with someone driving off with your JEEP (no key problem also).


Eric BSCE P.E. (Bachelor of Science Civil Engineering, Professional Engineer)

Just busting, werewolf....I'm an engineer also, but I am the type to go for the simple, easy "fixes" first, especially with Jeeps. I like to keep it simple and practice common sense. I will, however, keep the battery testing procedures in mind if I ever have the need to go there.

As far as batteries go, I always buy the largest CCA rated battery that sears sells, in "Die Hard Gold", costs about $85 or even less if you catch a sale, and I never have a problem, as long as I don't have a short somewhere.

I do like the battery-cutoff idea, and am considering it for my current project. I have a very slight drain occurring somewhere also, and can't track it down, as is the case with most CJ's. All wiring is brand new, done by the previous owner. I got this Jeep in trade for some parts. I got everything working finally, but I do still have a very small drain. I'll be going the cutoff route I think. THEN I'll buy a new battery, as I am operating on a sacrificial one now.

Draining a battery constantly and then recharging will severely shorten a battery's life, by the way. So, before spending good $$$ on a Die Hard Gold, either fix a draining problem or use a cutoff.
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Unread 12-12-2002, 09:24 AM   #10
dallen
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cutoff switch

I used to use a cutoff switch but took it out. They, at least the one I had, tend to oxidize between the plates where the knife slides in to open and close the circuit. On several occasions I would be on a run and start the rig over and over and all at once nothing. I would have to take sandpaper to the contacts and bingo, everything was ok until the next time. Just my experience with cutoff switches.
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Unread 12-12-2002, 09:44 AM   #11
4wheeler4CJ
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That may tend to happen, but they sell oxidation-fighting compounds that I use myself on my battery terminals. It is a conductive material (doesn't inhibit conductivity) and totally prevents oxidation if kept coated. The stuff is so gooey, once you put it on, it usually won't come off anyway, LOL.
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Unread 12-12-2002, 06:25 PM   #12
werewolf7111
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gee Eric- a BSCE? hmm ( thats ok, I wont hold that against you LOL)

>>>>>I'm an engineer also, but I am the type to go for the simple, easy "fixes" first, especially with Jeeps

I understand and agree with you, however your customers ( the roads and buildings) dont raise near as much H@@L as mine do with me( the mechanical and electrical[ I'm actually a BSEE,BSMEand MSME while plodding thru as a doctorial candidate] and the often "less than qualified" types who service them) ( Im SURE you "know what I mean" LOL)

with that said, i probably do "over-tech" things but it seems every time i dont, i get blasted for it and have learned from experience in RCA, FMEA and troubleshooting- the greater the accuracy there- the better in the long run from both cost and problems. So sum it up simply ( out of respect for another engineer)

as we say in the army- the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle

as we say in the south- measure twice- cut once

see, i can be short and simple too LOL

Joe MSME PE
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Unread 12-12-2002, 10:30 PM   #13
SamFromCO
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The "check for spark thing" didn't work on mine because of the clock in the radio that stays on all the time. I know this because when I first hooked up my battery and it sparked (very slightly) it drove me crazy until I found the cause.
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Unread 12-13-2002, 08:07 AM   #14
Scrambler82
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I didn't read all of the posts but, I would go to the nearest garage and have them do a load test on the battery and eliminate that first.
The load test will tell you if you have a bad cell or not and a bad cell can cause what you are talking about.

If after you try all of the rear of the good ideas above try this mine if all else fails.

Good Luck,
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Unread 12-13-2002, 08:23 AM   #15
4wheeler4CJ
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Quote:
Originally posted by 4wheeler4CJ
Make sure everything is off, including your ignition, radio, etc. Pull the negative terminal off. Now go to touch it slowly to the corner of the post....if you get a spark, even small, you have something drawing your battery down or have a short somewhere, and it probably isnt a bad battery. If no spark, you have no problem, just get a new battery.

To properly have "everything off", you simply undo the wirenut that supplies your radio/clock power. Easy to get to under a CJ dash.
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