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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2002, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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long time no post, Urgent charging system question

Hey guys. Merry Christmas. Ive been away from the bbs for about 3 months now. I went off to college in the fall and got de-jeeped for my first semester. But all is well now. My jeep is finally road worthy! Its safety inspected and lincenced. I owe a huge thanks to all of you guys, your suport and help has been invaluable. I took some pics and will post a write up when i get the pictures back.

Here is my question. Im in the "debugging phase" of this project, where its drivable but its got a few problems left. 78 CJ5 258. My battery keeps going dead. I took my 100 amp alternator to Autozone to have it tested and it works fine. I have a new painless wiring harness, a new battery, and i have everything grounded as per cjdave and teamrushes' advice. I cant figure this one out and its becoming quite a bother. I need help quick please.

Also and in a hopefully unrelated matter. I have a small drain in my system .01 volt/hour but enough for to drain out in 3-4 days. I want to put a battery disconnect in but i dont want to run 2/4 gag wire to the switch in the cab. Is there any such thing as a remote mounted battery disconnect? Something like a starter soleniod but rated for continuous duty? Call a welding shop?

Thanks and God Bless- Tim
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2002, 06:56 PM
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Re: long time no post, Urgent charging system ques

sounds like the battery is just bad. once they go, they don't like to hold a charge. check the water in it. also have it tested. how old is it?

i think i've seen battery disconnects at summit that mount on the battery so that would solve your wiring concerns.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2002, 07:06 PM
 
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Re: long time no post, Urgent charging system question

I don't know anything about the remote disconnect idea. It sounds like a hassle for a problem that should be solveable. I'd start by removing the negative lead from the battery post after parking it,and see if this elimates the problem, just in case it has moreto do with the battery and it's state of charge. Have you verified that current is being drawn from the battery while it is parked? Have you verified this with an ammeter? Disconnect the clock, if you have any?

You can get an inexpensive brass battery disconect that goes on the negative terminal to make things easier until you solved the problem.

The way I see, few circuits are live when the key is off. Make sure the key off circuitry does in fact disconnect when the ignition is off. If that's the case, only a small number of items get power with the key off. Headlights, alternator and clock come to mind. I'd see if I could figure out a way to disconnect these one at a time and see if it eliminates the current draw.

Sorry if I am not being entirely systematic in this search, but I guess its a process of verification that the problem is of the nature you believe it to be, then a process of elimination. If you are lucky, you will think of the right circuit to eliminate near the start of your search for this current draw.

Best of luck
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2002, 09:39 PM
 
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Re: long time no post, Urgent charging system question

What about wiring a relay into the batter disconect? might work though i'm not 100% sure.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2002, 12:57 AM
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Re: long time no post, Urgent charging system question

You could use a continuous duty solenoid , but they aren't cheap at all . The best place to find one is at a truck supply, or even some truckstops . You have to specifically ask for a continuous duty one , and be prepared to spend about $60-80 for a good one .
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2002, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: long time no post, Urgent charging system question

The battery disconnect is for two reasons: I want to find my jeep where i parked it, and two i have a drain.

The drain is the biggest of my problems right now. It must be big enough to keep my alternator from charging my system when my engine is on and yet there is still a drain when engine is off. I tried to messure it tonight, all i can say is that it is bigger than 200 mA. My meter wont read past that. Its late now and i have to go to work in the morning but i will try to hunt it down later tommorow night. Thanks- Tim
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2002, 09:52 AM
 
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Re: long time no post, Urgent charging system question

Disconnect the alternator and see if it's creating the drain.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2002, 10:30 AM
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Re: long time no post, Urgent charging system question

good call, tim. i forgot about the fact that the diode pack on the alternator could've gone bad, and i dont know if autozone woul've checked that when they tested his alternator...
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2002, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: long time no post, Urgent charging system question

Actually you were more right than you probably though. The alternator was creating the drain but it was my fault. On an AC Delco alternator you have a power wire and two smaller wires that plug into the voltage regulator. One of those wires is a jumper from the power wire. When i rewired my jeep i installed the two smaller wires on the opposite posts. My fault, im just glad i found it today.

My meter only reads up to 200 mA so there is no way of telling how big the drain was but i did blow a .5 A fuse in my meter so i had to be bigger than that. I now have a 4.78 mA "drain" coming from the alternator, which is much much better but im still not sure if its supposed to be there. Let me know if it is please. God Bless- Tim
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-24-2002, 09:54 AM
 
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Re: long time no post, Urgent charging system question

Not sure about the 4.78 ma drain. Glad to hear you found the major problem and corrected it. If your alternator is like mine, there are essentially two "circuits", one that is always live on battery, that's the thicker red wire, and a smaller (looks black on mine) that only gets power with the ignition on. I assume the wire that is drawing power with the ignition off, is the thicker red wire? I've got to be honest and say I really don't know, but always figured the thicker wire drew no current at all with the ignition off, being the dc output, it should be going thru the diodes. Possibly way off here, but could this measurement somehow be indicating the current flow elsewhere, like the clock? Not sure where you are measuring it between.
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