81 CJ5 Battery keeps dying - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 21 Old 09-20-2021, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
TheFlynn01
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Cj 81 CJ5 Battery keeps dying

Hello everyone! Back again with another gremlin that I need help squashing!

My battery keeps calling it quits. It will be fine after a jump but has recently started dying. Got a new one, and parked for a few days and same end. I did the negative lead test and it has a draw of around 1.20 I am not an electrician, so all of this is Greek to me, I have been stumbling with some YouTube videos and trying to find good info. I went and found the fuse box under the dash on the driver side and I pulled all of them, with the exception of the larger metal covered ones, as I was not sure if I can pull them or not. The drain did not drop.

Now the good news is: I know I dont know what I am doing, so there is room for plenty of user error. I have come here many times for help and you guys have always came through, so I am here again needed some help!

Thanks!

Mike

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post #2 of 21 Old 09-20-2021, 10:10 AM
Ken4444
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When you mention the "larger metal covered ones", are those round and silver? If so, those are the flasher modules.

In general, it sounds like you're getting 1.2 amps of current draw between the negative battery post and the negative cable, even when all of the fuses are removed. That means something is drawing power outside of the factory electrical system (which all goes through the fuse panel), which is why the battery is dying. I would look for non-standard electrical connections from the positive side of the battery, trace those wires, and see what could be shorting or running (for example aftermarket radio, lights, winch, anything really)

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post #3 of 21 Old 09-20-2021, 11:00 AM
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No results with the above?

Take the wires off of the alternator----Did that stop the draw?----might be bad diodes

------JEEPFELLER
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post #4 of 21 Old 09-20-2021, 03:34 PM
Matt1981CJ7
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Just a small correction to Ken's post above.

The '81 factory headlight circuit doesn't not have a fuse, only an internal circuit breaker built into the switch. IIRC, the horn isn't on a fuse either.

So, if you still have a parasitic draw on the battery with all the fuses out, it could be a problem with the headlight or horn circuits. That's where I'd poke around next, after doing the alternator test Jeepfellar suggested.

Matt


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post #5 of 21 Old 09-20-2021, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken4444 View Post
When you mention the "larger metal covered ones", are those round and silver? If so, those are the flasher modules.

In general, it sounds like you're getting 1.2 amps of current draw between the negative battery post and the negative cable, even when all of the fuses are removed. That means something is drawing power outside of the factory electrical system (which all goes through the fuse panel), which is why the battery is dying. I would look for non-standard electrical connections from the positive side of the battery, trace those wires, and see what could be shorting or running (for example aftermarket radio, lights, winch, anything really)
Yes they are round and silver. the previous owner put in a new radio, but it looks like its wired somewhere else, as the radio fuse is long gone. So I will try to find and unplug that and see what it does. Wish me luck! After that its on the other guys ideas.

Thanks! Mike
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post #6 of 21 Old 09-21-2021, 09:15 AM
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I chased a draw for several years. Even rewiring didn't solve it. The oil pressure was always high but, upon turning the heater blower on low it got higher. On high it pegged. I must point out I seldom drove when I needed heat. Pulling the fuse to the blower fan didn't make it go away. When I replaced the electric oil pressure gauge with a mechanical gauge the problem went away. Problem was either the sending unit or the gauge itself.

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post #7 of 21 Old 09-21-2021, 11:59 AM
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Well

This is a definite counter to an overnight draw

Either

until you find it the draw

Or

You wanna just leave this on for

when your Starter Solenoid hangs up and you have a "Runaway Starter" (It's just a matter of time!)

And no tools to disconnect the battery.

Yeah, it is a pain to open the hood and turn this off or on.

But it beats dragging out the jumper cables and pulling the Chevette up there close.

-----JEEPFELLER
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post #8 of 21 Old 09-21-2021, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Alright guys did some digging. Pulled every fuse, removed the after market radio. Disconnected the alternator.

The draw stopped when I unhooked some wires from the solenoid. It was a large ring ended wire that hooks up next to the positive cable to the battery. I have the picture attached. My question is: is it the solenoid or the thing that is attached to that wire? Where does that wire go? The wire in question is in my hand in the photo.

Really appreciate the help!
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post #9 of 21 Old 09-21-2021, 03:00 PM
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I believe those are 2 fusible links connected to one ring connector. The fusible links should be spliced into one red 10 ga wire that goes to the BATT terminal on the alternator. The other fusible link should be spliced into a red 10 ga wire that is the main power feed to the firewall.

So, if I had to guess, your alternator may have a bad diode. Re-connect the wires at the solenoid, and disconnect the red wire at the BATT terminal on the alternator to confirm.

Someone correct me, if I'm wrong.

Matt


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post #10 of 21 Old 09-22-2021, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt1981CJ7 View Post
I believe those are 2 fusible links connected to one ring connector. The fusible links should be spliced into one red 10 ga wire that goes to the BATT terminal on the alternator. The other fusible link should be spliced into a red 10 ga wire that is the main power feed to the firewall.

So, if I had to guess, your alternator may have a bad diode. Re-connect the wires at the solenoid, and disconnect the red wire at the BATT terminal on the alternator to confirm.

Someone correct me, if I'm wrong.

Matt
So I took the loom off just to find where the wire went, and it did go to the firewall and to the alternator. The thing I am curious about though: I had the alternator disconnected when I found it was making that draw. Would it be able to do that with the alt wires off? The wire was still connected to the fire wall.
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post #11 of 21 Old 09-22-2021, 01:02 PM
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So, I'm trying to follow your diagnostic sequence, here.

When you disconnected the wires at the alternator, were the solenoid wires still connected, and you still had a draw?

Or, did you disconnect the alternator wires and the solenoid wires at the same time?

Matt


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post #12 of 21 Old 09-22-2021, 02:03 PM
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The way I am digesting it is the alternator is 100% out of play and you still have the draw from the battery?

Well you have eliminated the alternator, keep looking, pulling fuses, or disconnecting stuff till it quits!

-----JEEPFELLER
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post #13 of 21 Old 09-23-2021, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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So the looped headed wire that connects to the solenoid has two wires attached to it. The thicker red one goes all the way to the firewall. The smaller ones goes to the alternator to plug into it as well as a screw on loop. With the alternator half of this twin wire. I still get the draw. If that makes sense?
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post #14 of 21 Old 09-23-2021, 11:29 AM
John Strenk
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Does the horn work?

There may be a problem with the horn button and someone disconnected the horn to make it stop sounding.

It may be an intermittent problem which is why you never notice it before.

You didn't happen to notice if that was 1.2 mAmps (mA) or 1.2 Amps (A)?


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post #15 of 21 Old 09-23-2021, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFlynn01 View Post
So the looped headed wire that connects to the solenoid has two wires attached to it. The thicker red one goes all the way to the firewall. The smaller ones goes to the alternator to plug into it as well as a screw on loop. With the alternator half of this twin wire. I still get the draw. If that makes sense?
Did you disconnect both wires (Screw and Plug) or just the plug.... It makes a difference.

There was a certain year (1970?) jeep that the owners manual mentioned not to jump another car because the spark created when connecting the jumper leads was enough to overvoltage the diodes in the alternator causing them to short out and drain the battery.


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