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Old 05-18-2018, 04:37 PM   #1
odinthewanderer
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Default battery drain after sitting over winter.

Alrighty, 90 245 aw70, stock heap.

The car charged fine before sitting over the winter. I attempted to begin running it again and now i get a pretty steady battery drain, no charging, etc. I am glad i did not move it durring the winter only to have the battery frozen killed.

Grounds to the charging system test fine, and externally jumping them does not change anything.

However, i get only get the CEL, service light, oil, and the OD/downshift arrow when switching the ignition to position 2. Of those the service light and od/downshift arrow both go off nearly immediately one after the other.
When i ground the alternators exciter wire i get all appropriate dash warning lights on solid when in position 2 on the ignition switch like i should.

Anybody have any suggestion where to go next, i am guessing something is shorted, ...but where. Any help is much appreciated!

Thanks everyone!
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Last edited by odinthewanderer; 05-18-2018 at 04:37 PM.. Reason: changed 91 to 90
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Old 05-18-2018, 04:45 PM   #2
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Voltmeter it.

exciter wire to 12V+ does what?
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:34 PM   #3
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Voltmeter it.

exciter wire to 12V+ does what?
Thankyou, it reads at battery voltage.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:51 PM   #4
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Any precious little mice winter over with the heap?
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:07 PM   #5
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Any precious little mice winter over with the heap?

Yea, the question there is not of mice or not, but of how many. However nothing looks obviously disturbed so far, i'll pull the instrument panel tomorrow. We have some in the kitchen I am currently hunting. I don't care if i hear them from time to time, but when i see them... its bad.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:22 PM   #6
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also, with key off i get full bat voltage with the meter running from the exciter wire post on the alt, to the positive post on the bat.

...and i get full continuity between the exciter post and ground.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:24 PM   #7
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If you ground the small red exciter wire at the alternator to the alternator case and get all the appropriate lights. Then if you measure the voltage on the wire at 12V when on and not grounded then the alternator may have a non functioning exciter circuit.

Probably a bad alternator. I just had one with a bad exciter circuit that had shorted internally. This car sat over the winter, too.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:33 PM   #8
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If you ground the small red exciter wire at the alternator to the alternator case and get all the appropriate lights. Then if you measure the voltage on the wire at 12V when on and not grounded then the alternator may have a non functioning exciter circuit.

Probably a bad alternator. I just had one with a bad exciter circuit that had shorted internally. This car sat over the winter, too.
Thanks! i'll check it tomorrow morning, gotta get kids in bed and pick up the kitchen before the boss gets home!
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:35 PM   #9
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i should mention too, the alternator is somewhat new, still has its stickers and lack of corrosion, was on there one i got it. Not that that matters...
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Old 05-19-2018, 07:15 AM   #10
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oh wait i did those things already. i would not mind having a spare i run a few of these cars, so i may just purchase an alt...
any recommendations on which are not junk? I'll assume the one in the car is what ever napa stocks, as the car was used as a parts runner for them before it got "totaled" and i bought it.
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:44 AM   #11
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On easy to replace items like the alternator I usually choose lowest cost/life time warranty things.
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Old 05-19-2018, 01:03 PM   #12
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If you don't get the lifetime warranty one then I'd suggest a bosch or denso. They have lasted the best for me.
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Old 05-19-2018, 03:55 PM   #13
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On easy to replace items like the alternator I usually choose lowest cost/life time warranty things.
I have heard of way too many dying to be much interested in that direction. If i was the only driver of this car, i hear you, but my wife tires of me having to come deal with vehicles that have left her stranded...
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Old 05-19-2018, 04:02 PM   #14
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If you don't get the lifetime warranty one then I'd suggest a bosch or denso. They have lasted the best for me.
Thankyou,
Looks like i am going with a used, known good 100 amp denso, from Phil.

I still wonder if that really is the issue... this car never really charged all that well to be honest, i may throw new cables and wires at it too.
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Old 05-19-2018, 06:04 PM   #15
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Have you had the actual battery tested?
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Old 05-19-2018, 06:34 PM   #16
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Have you had the actual battery tested?
No, so i am not certain, however, it will hold a charge overnight etc, and rapidly drains on running. No warning light on position 2, but good bulb has me looking else where. I can try another bat from a daily driven car when my wife is next off.
...and then there is the full continuity between exciter post and ground, and bat voltage from exciter post to positive terminal, that does not stink of bad battery to me.
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:28 PM   #17
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No, so i am not certain, however, it will hold a charge overnight etc, and rapidly drains on running. No warning light on position 2, but good bulb has me looking else where. I can try another bat from a daily driven car when my wife is next off.
...and then there is the full continuity between exciter post and ground, and bat voltage from exciter post to positive terminal, that does not stink of bad battery to me.
I've had batteries go not infrequently, especially if they've been jumped several times or drained and charged. Might just try a second one that's verified good to see if that resolves your issue.

Get yourself a quick-disconnect for your battery moving forward and your problem will be solved.

I'm willing to bet a dollar you need a new battery.
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Old 05-24-2018, 02:20 PM   #18
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I've had batteries go not infrequently, especially if they've been jumped several times or drained and charged. Might just try a second one that's verified good to see if that resolves your issue.

Get yourself a quick-disconnect for your battery moving forward and your problem will be solved.

I'm willing to bet a dollar you need a new battery.
I'll find out, i need another 240 battery anyway for a different car, so i will pick another up, but the 100 amp denso from Phil came today.

This makes me think it is not the battery alone: "...and then there is the full continuity between exciter post and ground, and bat voltage from exciter post to positive terminal, that does not stink of bad battery to me."

Edit, i say there is full continuity, but that is not actually totally correct. 17 Ohms.

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Old 05-24-2018, 02:45 PM   #19
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Load test the battery with a battery testing tool. I change old-man-car batteries all the time.
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Old 05-25-2018, 04:42 PM   #20
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Drain only when running but no drain while off? Points me at the battery and alt. Easier to pull both, take them to the parts shop and test them both. While you’re at it, check the b+ wire from the alt to the chassis for continuity as well, a small current leak in the charging system can give similar symptoms. I doubt it, but never rule something out based on doubt.
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:52 PM   #21
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Parasitic draw test. Use a high quality meter. I wouldn't want to see more than 20 milliamps.
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Old 05-25-2018, 07:02 PM   #22
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Parasitic draw test. Use a high quality meter. I wouldn't want to see more than 20 milliamps.
And if you see more, lights out fuse puller test. Turn the lights out and pull/replace fuses... sparky circuit is your problem.
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Old 05-26-2018, 12:52 AM   #23
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On my old 1979 242 dl kjet years ago. I had a 100ma draw. The fuel pump relay section 87a would stay energized when the car was shut off. Would just about kill a good battery overnight. You'd get one shot at starting in the morning. Once I figured it out I would just pull the relay till I got a new one.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:44 PM   #24
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Thankyou guys! i just had time to start getting on it late today, too many things totally blown apart. for what its worth the airbox was PACKED, and i mean PACKED with mouse house. Which probably accounts for at least some of the horrid idle. I just need to clean some grounds, change some contacts, and i'll put it on and see what i get, i'll take the alt and bat for a test once i get my van back together...

Thankyou for the continued commentary and support.
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:37 AM   #25
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Parasitic draw test. Use a high quality meter. I wouldn't want to see more than 20 milliamps.
I'll do it once i have a decent charge/battery.
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