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Unread 05-19-2008, 09:31 PM   #1
79BlackPearl
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bossier City, LA
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Electrical Woes - Draining Battery

OK - so I've traced my electrical problems down to as far a my knowledge will let me go. Need your help to go further. Here is what I know after following JeepHammer's directions.....

Got a multimeter and set it to DC Volts

Battery showed 12.6V

DISCONNECTED the NEGATIVE battery cable from the battery.

DISCONNECTED the 2-prong plug from the alternator.

Connected the multimeter leads between the NEGATIVE BATTERY CABLE & THE NEGATIVE BATTERY POST.

At this time, the multimeter is showing a 11.96V drain!

Started taking the wires loose from the starter solenoid.

1) Removed dedicated light switch - still 11.96V
2) Removed "fuse box wire" - meter dropped to 0V.

So, this shows the drainage in the fuse block.

Reconnected the "fuse wire" to the solenoid and connected two long wires to the meter and placed meter in the cab. Still showing 11.96 V drainage.

Started pulling fuses. Only the hazard fuse when pulled, 11.96 voltage drops to 0V. All other fuses showed no change in the voltage, only the hazard fuse. So, the drainage is in the hazards circuit.

Funny though, the hazards lights work fine.

So.....now that I know it's in the hazard circuit(s), how do I find this 11.96V drain? Do I start checking continuity on each wire, check for a loose ground, cut wire, etc? Where do I go from here? Question, if checking continuity, a zero (0) reading means the wire is good, anything else means there is a knick, short or some other problem with the wire, correct?

I've gotten this far on JeepHammer's directions, I'm just at a dead end (pun intended) and don't won't to ruin a battery.

Also, don't know if it is related or not, but when the emergency brake is applied, and the ignition is off, the brake light on the speedo won't go off. It is staying on. If the emergency brake isn't applied, the light doesn't come on. Just curious that the e-brake light won't go off even though the ignition switch is off. And yes, I've made sure the e-brake light isn't draining the battery.

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79 CJ7, 3" Lift, 360 V8, Edelbrock Performer Intake, Comp Cam, Holley 650 Truck Avenger, Hedman Headers, Moser Axles, Herculiner, Warn M8000i, 33" Timberlines

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Unread 05-20-2008, 06:08 AM   #2
John Strenk
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Was it always draining the battery or just recently.
Was anything added to the jeep lately.?

The brake warning light draws power from the same place the fuel/temp gauge and oil pressure gauge get's it's power from. This is switched by the ignition and should not be on. If this light is getting power then the gauges are running all the time. This will drain your battery. If your fuel and temp gauge are working then they should go to 0 when the jeep is turned off.

This might happen of your ignition switch is going bad or someone crossed a power circuit someplace.

Now you know that the hazard circuit drains the battery so I would say there is some type of cross connection between the gauges and the hazard circuit.

Last edited by John Strenk; 05-20-2008 at 06:41 AM..
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Unread 05-20-2008, 07:35 AM   #3
79BlackPearl
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Has always been draining the battery. It has a manual disconnect installed at the battery and I'm getting sick and tired of opening the hood each time to crank the jeep. So the reason for the repair.......

I just checked and the fuel/temp/oil gauges all turn "off", or go to "0" when the ignition switch is off. However.....brake light will stay on if e-brake is applied.

I'll start look for cross connections between the gauges and hazard circuits.

Would this cause a 11.93V drain?

Also, just got a Hayes repair manual looking for the electrical diagram. ANYBODY got a bigger electrical diagram? My eyes really really hate that small of text.
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Unread 05-20-2008, 07:54 AM   #4
John Strenk
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Hmm... Something seems to of been rewired at sometime.

Pull the terminal off the "I" post on the back of the fuel Gauge and see if the voltage goes away.
Also pull the power wire off the oil pressure and volt gauges.



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Unread 05-20-2008, 02:39 PM   #5
JeepHammer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 79BlackPearl View Post
OK - so I've traced my electrical problems down to as far a my knowledge will let me go. Need your help to go further. Here is what I know after following JeepHammer's directions.....

Got a multimeter and set it to DC Volts

Battery showed 12.6V
Doesn't matter what the battery voltage is, but it's good to have a baseline when you are checking to see what the 'Drain' is...

Quote:
DISCONNECTED the NEGATIVE battery cable from the battery.

DISCONNECTED the 2-prong plug from the alternator.

Connected the multimeter leads between the NEGATIVE BATTERY CABLE & THE NEGATIVE BATTERY POST.

At this time, the multimeter is showing a 11.96V drain!
What do you mean "This Time"?
You didn't do a drain check before, so why should a drain voltage of 11.96v be a surprise....

You knew there was a drain, you knew it was a pretty healthy one...
Why the surprise?
Quote:
Started taking the wires loose from the starter solenoid.

1) Removed dedicated light switch - still 11.96V
2) Removed "fuse box wire" - meter dropped to 0V.
That means the 'Drain' is on the fuse box wire circuit.
That makes things easy!

Quote:
So, this shows the drainage in the fuse block.
Correct! You are on a roll!

Quote:
Reconnected the "fuse wire" to the solenoid and connected two long wires to the meter and placed meter in the cab. Still showing 11.96 V drainage.
Exactly what you were supposed to do!

Quote:
Started pulling fuses. Only the hazard fuse when pulled, 11.96 voltage drops to 0V. All other fuses showed no change in the voltage, only the hazard fuse. So, the drainage is in the hazards circuit.

Funny though, the hazards lights work fine.
HAZARD has more than one thing on that line...

Quote:
So.....now that I know it's in the hazard circuit(s), how do I find this 11.96V drain?
You get a wiring diagram and look to see what else is on that line,
You check the hazard switch for current when it's 'Off' to see if rust or corrosion has made a connection in the switch,
You look to see if a Dip Stick PO attached anything to the hazard wiring.
Since it's full time 'Hot' that's a REAL possibility and something I've seen before!

Quote:
Do I start checking continuity on each wire, check for a loose ground, cut wire, etc? Where do I go from here? Question, if checking continuity, a zero (0) reading means the wire is good, anything else means there is a knick, short or some other problem with the wire, correct?
I'm going to pretend I didn't read that!

Quote:
I've gotten this far on JeepHammer's directions, I'm just at a dead end (pun intended) and don't won't to ruin a battery.

Also, don't know if it is related or not, but when the emergency brake is applied, and the ignition is off, the brake light on the speedo won't go off. It is staying on. If the emergency brake isn't applied, the light doesn't come on. Just curious that the e-brake light won't go off even though the ignition switch is off. And yes, I've made sure the e-brake light isn't draining the battery.
It may be related, leaking switch or a switch that is making partial contact would cause the problem you described.
Let me look at the book to see what else is connected to that circuit...
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Unread 05-20-2008, 02:51 PM   #6
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John, it sounds like someone has hot wired the brake light from the hazards since it's always 'Hot' and on the fuse for the hazards...
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Unread 05-20-2008, 08:47 PM   #7
boydog40
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not discounting what all has been advised above but an easy way I find a drain is to pull the neg cable off of the battery, stick a test light on the pos cable and connect the light to the neg cable if it lights up you have a drain, next have someone pull each fuse until the light goes out - when light goes out - drain culprit found!!
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Unread 05-21-2008, 09:45 AM   #8
NEWJEEP78
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Hey had similar issues last week drove me nuts did all the testing changed battery starter solenoid and was about to change alternator when a buddy of mine came over and said he found the problem. the alternator belt was wearing and loose. Replaced it havent had a problem since
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Unread 05-21-2008, 12:21 PM   #9
JeepHammer
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To the OP,
John Strenk is your best bet, he has the stop/turn/hazard wiring all mapped out so you can track where it's SUPPOSED to be, and find your problem...

Since your hazard is integrated into the column, he's your best bet!
----------------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by boydog40 View Post
not discounting what all has been advised above but an easy way I find a drain is to pull the neg cable off of the battery, stick a test light on the pos cable and connect the light to the neg cable if it lights up you have a drain, next have someone pull each fuse until the light goes out - when light goes out - drain culprit found!!
Unless you have a bulb that takes most of 12 volts or more to light it up...
Then you won't be able to see the filament glow, although it still draining, and the test light is worthless.

Multimeter is MUCH MORE capable of finding the drain than a test light...

Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWJEEP78 View Post
Hey had similar issues last week drove me nuts did all the testing changed battery starter solenoid and was about to change alternator when a buddy of mine came over and said he found the problem. the alternator belt was wearing and loose. Replaced it havent had a problem since
That would be a battery that wasn't getting charged, his is running at over 12 volts, so it's charging.... And not an alternator issue.

He's found the drain, now he needs to track everything on that power feed line and find out what's wired wrong, or which switch is 'Leaking'...
-------------------------
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Unread 05-21-2008, 02:18 PM   #10
79BlackPearl
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Well, I now know why the PO put a manual disconnect on the battery...........

I went underneath the dash and started tracking where the leak was and it is a bird's nest under there. It's terrible!!! Spliced wires all over the place.

This is really becoming a nightmare indeed. However, I'm not afraid of the dark or what's in the dark!!!

So...I'm tearing into this wire issue full force, determined to correct everything.

How hacked up are things??? The wire that is connected from the starter solenoid going to the interior that was showing a drain, well....that wire is actually connected to the red wire on the cigarette lighter. So, I thought, couldn't be that easy.. So I disconnected it. Multmeter showed no drain.....and the beloved Jeep wouldn't crank!!!!! Connected the wire back to the wire and she cranked write up!!!

So, I'm tracing wires now, as per the tiny wiring diagram. Have already fixed and repair numerous hack splices. Being safe, I'll make one repair and put the multimeter on all circuits to test for drain, and then crank here up to make sure I haven't caused another problem somewhere. Slow and steady...

One way are another, the BlackPearl will not have a battery drain and crank as necessary with all electrical items working as necessary.

JEEPHAMMER - Thanks for the heads up on John's electrical diagrams.
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Unread 05-21-2008, 02:32 PM   #11
JeepHammer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 79BlackPearl View Post

JEEPHAMMER - Thanks for the heads up on John's electrical diagrams.
When it comes to stuff like this, JOHN IS THE MAN!

Best diagrams, best pictures, best explanations and if he's got time to help, he will work with you until this is finished and working better than stock!
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