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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-21-2001, 11:22 PM
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More battery problems!

About a month ago the battery kept draining on the CJ, finally figured out it was a broken wire from the alternator. This morning went to start it, click, click. No juice. Let it sit for four hours, got it turn over, let it run for 10 minutes. Just tried to start it, got a real slow turn from the started and that dreaded wrrrrr wrrrrr sound and then, click, click. All the wires are good from the alternator and the battery tested good last month. The weird thing is that all the accessories work, heater, stereo, cb, lights, and can all be on at the same time. Any suggestions? time for a painless wiring kit? new solenoid?

cjcrawler
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2001, 12:07 AM
 
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Re: More battery problems!

Clean and load test your battery cables...

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2001, 12:15 AM
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Re: More battery problems!

battery cables are brand new. put them on a month ago too, everything's clean and tight. Just not enough juice to turn the thing over.

cjcrawler
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2001, 01:10 AM
 
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Re: More battery problems!

Store bought battery cables are junk.

Make your own out of 4 Ga., or larger, fine strand welding cable.
If you need to move low voltage, high amperage direct current, use the proper cables. (Not 'Wire')
(Found, oddly enough, at welding shops.)
Take the connection nuts from your starter terminal and your solenoid terminals to get the correct size 'Eyes'.
They have the correct heavy duty ends too.
Don't forget the heat shrink tubing (insulation) and silver solder for proper, low maintenance connections.
-----------------

Have your battery load tested. If it doesn't have a large set of 'Heating Coils', it's not a load tester.
Make note of what the battery does after 10 seconds.

Hook a battery load tester to the large cable where it bolts to the primary ground,
(that should be a starter bolt, but is usually an engine accessory bracket).
Hook the positive side of the load tester to the battery cable side of the starter solenoid.
Make note of the reading after 10 seconds.

Leave the ground side of the load tester hooked to the engine ground.
Hook the positive side to the starter end of the starter positive cable.
Have someone hit the key for 10 seconds while you load test the cable.

This test will find a bad cable, connection, starter solenoid, or what have you...

(Prepare to have your eyes opened! A load test tells no lies.)



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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2001, 01:14 AM
 
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Re: More battery problems!

I just went back and re read your post...
Check to make sure your alternator has it's own ground wire (10 Ga. from battery to alternator case, bracket is NOT good enough).

You may also want to check the fusible link from the alternator.

While load testing your battery, you may want to have the alternator tested too, just to make sure it's not the alternator...

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2001, 10:50 AM
 
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Re: More battery problems!

Just read your post. As usual, I agree 100% with TR, Check the post I did over on RICE701's ignition problem thread. Bad cables can cause all kinds of problem. Several other things nobody has mentioned yet:

1) While replaceing cables with HD welding cable upgrades, do NOT forget your starter cable. If I had to guess I would give this the highest probability.

2) Anything less than a 4ga charging cable from alt to solenoid is unacceptable, replace it ONCE. Why gamble?

3) GROUND-GROUND-GROUND-GROUND-GROUND-GROUND-GROUND-GROUND-GROUND-GROUND-GROUND-GROUND-GROUND-GROUND-GROUND-GROUND-GROUND-GROUND-GROUND!!!! Get it! KEEP IT!!! On my system, I run 2 separate 0ga welding cables to the block (one from each battery). If you have replaced the ground BATTERY cable and are STILL having problems, check the block/chassis ground straps. Generally these go from the block to where the motor mounts are bolted to the frame. Ordinary mortals can get by with one. Jeepers with winch and such should run 2 HD (one on each mount). These are available from NAPA, ask for the Belden HD ground straps, they are braided, about 1.5-2" wide and of variable widths (I think I'm using 12"). Cost about $5-8 ea.

'83 CJ-7 nothing original but the tub and axle tubes
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2001, 12:28 PM
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Re: More battery problems!

You can go to Tractor Supply or the like and get 0 or 1 gague cables and use them. That way you can get ready made that are pretty good. Some times crimping and soldering the ends on the welding cables can be a little bit of a problem. I use Marine terminals on my battery. Marine terminals have the screw post to hook the wires to. They hook to the battery normaly.

87YJ
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2001, 05:37 PM
 
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Re: More battery problems!

The problem I find with discount 'Tractor Supply' places is not that the wire is undersized, (like with discount 'Auto Supply) places) but rather the wire is made of strange alloys, not pure virgin copper, and it's usually thicker strands. The insulation is usually plastic and not rubber, so it is hard to bend, cracks and breaks away...
The terminals are usually just a light crimp on, not hard crimped, not silver soldered, not heat shrinked, so the elements pour into the wire core and do bad things, especially at the connections where there are open air gaps...

With the strange alloys in the wire, I've seen some pretty bizarre things go on, like corrosion balls in the middle of the wire, corrosion streaks that start at one end an go clear to the other, wires corroding on the shelf never hooked to power (dissimilar metals not getting along)... The wire pinching off when you try to hard crimp it in the terminal, and the wire changing color when you crimp it...
Like I said, strange stuff...

Pure virgin copper is the best conductor next to maybe silver or gold, and thinner strands means more current (amps in particular) carrying capability.
Heavy, solid copper ends that are Zinc or Lead cadmium plated will live the longest, especially at the battery positive connection.

Using Marine connections is questionable for me on the starting circuit. Too much amperage needs to pass through that connection, and using a 'Eye & Stud' connection really cuts down on the surface area that current can pass through compared to a battery post and good clamp terminal...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again...
Soft lead battery terminal clamps are just good enough to get you in trouble.
Soft lead clamps have so many weaknesses I can't even list them all here...

Go with a good SOLID copper or SOLID brass terminal, lead or zinc cadmium plated (looks like dull, dry crusty silver surface, but is heavy for it's size) with stainless steel bolts, and proper battery clamp nuts (or stainless steel spacer under the nut).
Don't forget to spray the battery terminals with some kind of spray grease, like motorcycle/ ATV chain lube.
(That red battery terminal stuff seems to work pretty good too... If you can find it...)
<hr>

Remember the three components to an electrical connection...

1. Mechanical connection.
Contact Surface Area! Make sure the wire is stripped far enough and cut evenly enough to reach to the back of the socket in your connector.
Usually a hard crimp to hold the connector on larger wire or cable.
A hard crimp can't be achieved with thin or extremely soft materials, so you must combine with #2.

2. Electrical connection.
Usually achieved with a silver bearing solder.
Solder seals the connector so the elements don't disrupt the connection in the future also...
A good solder joint also stops the 'Dissimilar Metals' problem by removing all air, moisture and voids in the joint.

3. Insulation.
Insulate (and color code) your connections with a heavy Heat Shrink Tubing that has a heat activated sealer incorporated.
This makes your connection all but impervious to the elements for years to come.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2001, 08:54 PM
 
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Re: More battery problems!

Hey TR, I use Marine terminals too, but have been concerned about exactly what you have talked about. Where can I find the terminal connectors you are talking about and what exactly am I asking for, please?

'83 CJ-7 nothing original but the tub and axle tubes
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2001, 04:41 AM
 
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Re: More battery problems!

If you live near a big city, go by a big truck supply house, or a Factory battery retail store. (not one of those Batteries Or Us places).
Look in the phone book under industrial batteries or battery manufacturers...

You are looking for a husky clamp, solid copper or brass, with a white/ gray coating, Lead or Zinc Cadmium plating.
(Forget all those gold plated clamps for stereo wanna-be's)
You are looking for clamps that require a large, heavy duty crimper. (mine is about 3.5' long and look like bolt cutters, but there is a type you can hammer on too.)

If you can't find the cadmium plated clamps and eyes, use the bare copper eyes from the welding shop to get you up and running.

If you can't find any where you are at, I'll send you some at my cost (you pay shipping)...

Here is a hot link to a site http://premierpowerwelder.com/terminals/terminals.html they have a type of the clamps I'm talking about, but not exactly...



If you want a picture of the clamps I'm talking about, I'll get you one.

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