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Battery Cables bad?

 
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Puff Daddy
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Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Posts: 505
Location: Tri Cities, WA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:26 am    Post subject: Battery Cables bad? Reply with quote

Weird problem. Bronco won't start...as if the battery is dead. When I connect a charger to the battery, attaching the clips to the battery cable connectors where they attach to the battery, it says that there is not a good connection. If I disconnect the cables and attach to directly to the battery, it says that there is a good connection, and the battery is almost full charge. I cleaned the posts and the connectors with steel wool, and the same problem. It seems like it should work. Is it as simple as buying new cables, or is there another problem I'm not seeing?
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Tom

Uncut '73, stock 302 w/Headers, Holley TA Carb, Centech Harness, Wildhorses 3.5 inch lift.
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Puff Daddy
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded


Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Posts: 505
Location: Tri Cities, WA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update...battery is dead after all. So I guess the question is why does it keep dying. Replaced the solenoid, and battery cables. Just waiting for it to charge enough to start. Charger works fine with new cables.
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Tom

Uncut '73, stock 302 w/Headers, Holley TA Carb, Centech Harness, Wildhorses 3.5 inch lift.
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Puff Daddy
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded


Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Posts: 505
Location: Tri Cities, WA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Changed the battery and it starts right up. I think that I have a short causing it to drain. I disconnected the battery for now, but does anybody have advice as to how I can find where the short is? Areas to check with a voltmeter, common culprits, etc?
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Tom

Uncut '73, stock 302 w/Headers, Holley TA Carb, Centech Harness, Wildhorses 3.5 inch lift.
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Formerjughead
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BFix Locked and Loaded


Joined: 22 Nov 2004
Posts: 2926
Location: Chico California

PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Radio / Stereo / CB....etc.
2. Choke
3. Ignition cylinder Off / On / Start....sometimes when they get worn the OFF will not be fully off and trickle drain from ON and ACC

You might take the opportunity to replace the voltage regulator as well, NAPA has a solid state one that is pretty nifty and inexpensive. I think it is the "GOLD" version.
I have a "beeper" that will beep when voltage is present. I have run that before to find stray voltage.
You might also check that something in your glove box isn't laying against your fuse block giving you a dead short.

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Puff Daddy
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded


Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Posts: 505
Location: Tri Cities, WA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where do I check the ignition cylinder, is there a convenient place under the hood to check it, or just under the dash? And tell me more about this beeper. Is it the same as a volt meter?
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Tom

Uncut '73, stock 302 w/Headers, Holley TA Carb, Centech Harness, Wildhorses 3.5 inch lift.
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Formerjughead
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded


Joined: 22 Nov 2004
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Location: Chico California

PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a sensor not a meter.
I monkey'd with my ignition cylinder while it was still in. I think I ended up just changing the switch out and keeping the original keyed portion.

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DirtDonk
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Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Posts: 2732
Location: San Jose, CA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes old batteries just won't hold a charge and will die all on their own. No drain from the vehicle needed.
But another common culprit for a heavy drain is the alternator itself. If the diode array starts to fail internally, it can quickly drain a battery. Certainly overnight.
The quick check is to simply disconnect the battery as was suggested, let it sit for a night or two, then try to start it. If it's dead, it's the battery itself. If'n it still has the beans, it's something in the electrical system.

Obviously, if you leave the new battery connected and it drains just like the old one, then you definitely have a problem with the other stuff. All those things listed by the others, plus the alternator.

Good luck.

Paul

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'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
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Dual batteries, Large 1G alt.

WWW.WILDHORSES4X4.COM Mr. Green
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Puff Daddy
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded


Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Posts: 505
Location: Tri Cities, WA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, so the alternator is practically new. It's been installed for less than a year. I've replaced the battery cables, the solenoid, and I'll probably replace the voltage regulator. It's been a long time, so I can't remember...is it possible to install a ignition cylinder wrong so that it could in the off position, but actually be in ACC, or is it 'fool proof'? Also, when I drive, the meter in the cluster is always charging. The needle never centers up like it used to. Of course, that was before I changed the cables last yesterday. I haven't driven it since.
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Tom

Uncut '73, stock 302 w/Headers, Holley TA Carb, Centech Harness, Wildhorses 3.5 inch lift.
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DirtDonk
BFix Locked and Loaded
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Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Posts: 2732
Location: San Jose, CA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately, "new" and "almost new" don't mean anything any more. Lots of new stuff is just crap waiting to happen, or even crap right out of the box.
That said, it might be just fine. But it's never good to overlook something because it's new.

The cylinder is pretty fool-proof. I can't think of any way to get it installed so that the switch is in a non-indicated position unless the cylinder was the old original and worn out.

How much charge is it showing? Just above the zero line, or well above?
What about below zero when the engine is off?
The gauge can fail from age. Just like any instrument they can degrade over the years. Most don't, but enough do that you can't overlook the gauge simply reading wrong now. But with all that's been going on, it might be trying to tell you something.

Paul

_________________
'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
Hanson bumpers
Dual batteries, Large 1G alt.

WWW.WILDHORSES4X4.COM Mr. Green
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Puff Daddy
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded


Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Posts: 505
Location: Tri Cities, WA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Problem is solved...I think. I changed the voltage regulator and everything looks normal. We'll see in the morning after it sits long enough to drain...but I'm relatively certain that it is fixed.
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Tom

Uncut '73, stock 302 w/Headers, Holley TA Carb, Centech Harness, Wildhorses 3.5 inch lift.
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Stan
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Joined: 29 Jun 2004
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Location: Boring Or

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you found the problem . I had the same issue with a " better/more expensive / almost new /electronic VR - it was draining the battery.
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