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Unread 07-21-2010, 06:09 PM   #1
rokkshocka
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1999 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Colorado Springs
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Voltage Spike Q's

So the other day I was driving and my voltage meter spiked, absolutely pegged out. Like three times, then it stayed that way. So I pull over and shut down. When I go to restart, my battery is DEAD... Went from fine, to dead, spiked by voltage spikes. I look under the hood, and there's nothing burnt, smoking, etc, just no power.

So I pull the alternator, test it at two different places, and it's fine, no faults.

I'm stumped. What else could have caused that kinda voltage spike?

A ground? The PCM?

Have any of you TJrs gone through this?

99 TJ 4.0L

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Unread 07-21-2010, 11:10 PM   #2
imhere631
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Long Island, NY
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voltage spike

I had the same problem... I think my battery actually shorted out and caused the spike. I m going to check it tomorrow. Let me know how things work out for you.
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Unread 07-21-2010, 11:32 PM   #3
rokkshocka
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I was wondering if I could've dropped a plate and possibly had all this happen because the battery shorted out the connection. I'll drive it in for testing after I've put everything back together. In your case are you already certain the alternator didn't fail? If the alternator fails it can cause this kind of problem as well... It's worth pulling it and having it tested for free at pretty much any autoparts store. Then if it is bad, AutoZone sells a few Denso replacements. One of which is rated at 117AMP versus our standard 76(ish)AMP stocker.
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Unread 07-21-2010, 11:51 PM   #4
imhere631
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I checked the out put at the alt with a voltage meter and it was good at 13.6 but I may bring it in and check it seeing as how I have to pick up a battery and a power steering pump anyway. I did notice a nail sized hole in one of my battery terminals. I 'm wondering if the short may have melted the hole in it.... we shall see.
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Unread 07-22-2010, 12:02 AM   #5
rokkshocka
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Certainly a powerful short can do that. My volt meter (in dash) spiked and my battery (heretofore healthy) promptly domed and died. I wasn't of course watching this, as I was driving, but it all happened in a relatively short period. And just previous I was driving quite a bit down a washboard road. So i do wonder if this couldn't be all battery. I suppose I can hope, as otherwise it's the PCM or the wiring in between.
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Unread 07-26-2010, 07:20 AM   #6
imhere631
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So the moral of the story...... it was the battery. I was to lazy to take out the alt. so I just put in another battery I had lying around. Problem fixed. The old battery had a hole through the terminal to the acid reservoir. If I tilted the battery, it would leak all over. New battery = no more spike and now it will run.
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Unread 07-27-2010, 08:14 PM   #7
rokkshocka
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And you were seeing voltage spikes previously, correct? Visible, like on the cluster yeah? I've got all the bits back onto my Jeep save for the firing it up and testing it...
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Unread 07-28-2010, 12:00 AM   #8
imhere631
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yeah spiked on the cluster. its all good now. except my thermostat went and the jeep over heated and not sure but may have blown the head gasket but def blew the exhaust gasket.
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Unread 07-28-2010, 09:39 PM   #9
rokkshocka
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So I fired up the Jeep this evening and didn't see any voltage spikes. Drove it over to do a voltage test at the local parts mart, everything checked out fine. The catch of course is that they couldn't really test PCM function. I wish I knew if the 99 TJ had voltage regulators in the PCM...

Anyhow, as of right now, the problem seems resolved. I guess I'll tool around in it for the next week and see if anything changes. Then tear apart the steering column, replace the ignition cylinder, and trouble shoot my lack of a horn or airbag. Not that I care about the airbag...

In short-
Symptoms- voltage spike on gauge cluster numerous times, culminating in ongoing spike, then shot battery.

Testing- Alternator good, battery shot, PCM UNKOWN...

Service- Replaced battery (with 1000CCA battery), ran charge diagnostics, no issues, no more spikes as of first drive. I'll post again if anything changes in that regard.

imhere631- It seems mine had fewer overall issues. Was the blown gasket somehow related to the battery issue?
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Unread 07-28-2010, 10:43 PM   #10
1unknown
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if your alternator output is 13.6 amps its about done. low as i like to see them is 13.5, at that voltage i change them out as this is better than in the field.
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Unread 07-29-2010, 06:09 AM   #11
imhere631
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Head gasket issue is not related to battery issue. Had to due with overheating due to bad thermostat.


13.6 amp output on an alt is normal. Normal output ranges from 13.2 to 14.2 in my experience. The only time I think to change an alt is if it fluctuates output or it has dropped into the 12's
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Unread 07-29-2010, 04:11 PM   #12
rokkshocka
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Well mine is definitely within range just now, so no complaints there. And I made it home with nary a voltage spike, so here's hoping everything's kosher. Now I need to order up that window glass and get the thing back together!
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alternator , battery , pcm , voltage

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