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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2000, 06:31 AM
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Voltage problems very strange to me

Help! I have a chalenge and I'm stumped.
Ok, it is 4:15 in the morning and I can't figure out what is wrong with the electrical system in my Jeep. A couple of weeks ago I drove home from a wheeling trip. It was about a 4.5 hour drive from Shaver. About half way home I see that my voltage gauge has begun bouncing around a bit. It peaked at about 12.5 V and dropped to less then 10V. Normaly it sits around 14 depending on the draw. The changes seemed random, it would be 20 seconds high then 5 min low then 10 min high, etc. There was no real pattern. The lights dimmed when the voltage was low, so I don't think it is the meter. I figured it was the voltage regulator, so I thought what the heck I'll replace the whole alternator. Well the symtoms seemed to go away, but tonight I noticed that the lights would dim and the voltage would drop again. I was sitting with the engine running and when I played with the clutch the lights would dim as before, so I checked for a wire near the linkage that might be shorting. I moved every wire under the dash away from the clutch pedal. I even took a look under the hood, but there aren't any wires around it there either. Is there some ground that has failed? ANY ideas? Dang I'm tired. I'm going to bed now. Why would the clutch effect the voltage of the system? All I can think is that somehow when I push on the clutch it grounds the dash better. Help [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]


Pete <font color=yellow>83CJ7</font color=yellow>, <font color=blue>96YZ250</font color=blue>
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2000, 08:55 AM
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Re: Voltage problems very strange to me

Check all the wires going to the lights.When you depress the clutch, there may be enough movement in the body to make a naked wire touch somthing it's not supposed to.I had a naked wire from the front parking lights that would blow my fusible link every time I got it in a bind.The voltage ga. would do the same thing yours is doing until it got good and grounded, then it would pop!! I like'd to never figured that one out!! Just another thing to check out, hope you find it..

post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2000, 11:15 AM
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Re: Voltage problems very strange to me

Oh I for got to mention that the symptoms happen if the Jeep is in Neutral, in gear, or even if it isn't running at all. [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/frown.gif[/img]

Thanks LEADER. I will look at all the lights. The right front marker light is flaky at best. Some times it barely glows sometimes it shines bright. I just thought it had a bad connection. I will check again.

Pete <font color=yellow>83CJ7</font color=yellow>, <font color=blue>96YZ250</font color=blue>
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2000, 11:23 AM
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Re: Voltage problems very strange to me

take a set of jumper cables,go from engine block to ground(dont hook up hot side),if problem is gone suspect a bad ground cable,it might be trying to ground all throgh the body ground

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2000, 11:33 AM
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Re: Voltage problems very strange to me

[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] In my Jeep BBS-Trained opinion, I think Matt1911 has nailed it. Your three Jeeps have become strangers. You know the ones.....the tub/front fender group....the engine/tranny group.....and the chassis group. Run some real substantial ground wires to each of the three Jeeps that you drive around, and you could then enjoy the benefits of gauges that work and bright lights. Oh,....and one more thing....that threaded hole in the back of the alternator....run a ground wire to that as well.[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img][img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img][img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2000, 12:52 PM
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Re: Voltage problems very strange to me

Thanks for the good ideas Matt1911 and CJDave!!! [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif[/img]
I will go nut ball with grounds when I get home from work! [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif[/img]
I was thinking of 12 or 10 AWG wire. Does that sound reasonable? [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

CJ Daveís moonguys stopped by with some coffee and Iím starting to feel better! [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img][img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif[/img][img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif[/img][img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img][img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]


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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2000, 01:48 PM
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Re: Voltage problems very strange to me

[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] Nope.....think #8 and MUCH larger for some areas.[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img]

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2000, 02:18 PM
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Re: Voltage problems very strange to me

Yikes! [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]
I donít know if Iíll find that at Radio Shack[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif[/img]
That means Fryís. I hate the lines there! [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]
So this makes the assumption that it will be a current carrying conductor?
Maybe Iíll just use a ďbattery cableĒ from the frame to the body/tub. Or is that over kill?


Pete <font color=yellow>83CJ7</font color=yellow>, <font color=blue>96YZ250</font color=blue>
post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2000, 04:37 PM
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Re: Voltage problems very strange to me

[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] Now jest a durn minute here, boy......you ain't dead yet.[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img] You can go to the local welding store and they will make you up some cables of various wire sizes and lengths with the nice ends on them and that will really be a good setup. The fine strands will keep the cables from breaking from vibration and so forth, and the copper will carry current well. Don't fergit, these grounds are the RETURN for all the current that every other wire in your Jeep is distributing.[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img]

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2000, 04:52 PM
 
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Re: Voltage problems very strange to me

The symptoms you describe are one of two things...
1. NO GROUND TO THE ALTERNATOR.
Make a 10 Ga. wire that connects from the back of the alternator to the negative side of the battery.
Use star washers on the aluminum alternator case, or you get to have this problem again real soon.
'83 CJ used the Delco 10-SI, internally regulated alternator, so there is a specialty dedicated threaded hole in the back of the alternator for a ground wire.
DO NOT USE TOO LONG OF A BOLT.
5/16" X 1/2" is usually plenty. Thread it in once by hand with nothing under it to see if it hits anything, if it doesn't, you should be OK.

2. Your voltage regulator is going out.
Probably 90% of voltage regulator failures are from bad ground or crossed polarity when someone tries to jump start the vehicle.
Neither are usually immediately fatal, and both will kill the voltage regulator slowly.

Looks like Matt hit the head on the nail [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img]!!
(Or something like that...)

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