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Battery Charging Problem

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 74BBPowerHouse, May 19, 2006.

  1. 74BBPowerHouse

    74BBPowerHouse Registered Member

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    Well before I rebuilt the BB I never had a problem with battery power. I was running a stock starter, kirkland battery, and a stock 95 alternator (for the serpentine belt setup). Once the motor got rebuilt we dropped it in (Feb 06). And ever since we tried firing it, it has been a pain in the ass to me. It took a car, a battery charger, and another battery to just get the thing jumped. So I went and spent the money on a red top optima battery. Well then i burned up the stock starter. And then another. So i bought a gear reduction starter to work better with it. Well to this day I am still having battery problems. Could it be a bad ground? Where are you grounds at for your batteries? Right now mine is grounded to the front of the block. Im really just stuck on what is worng here. I have a digital amperage gauge and it keeps reading around 14. I had the battery recharged at napa once and it only got a couple starts off of it. Any help is wanted. TY. BTW the tranny is blown up so the truck just sits in the driveway when I fire it up.
     
  2. 74BBPowerHouse

    74BBPowerHouse Registered Member

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  3. 1-ton

    1-ton 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Maybe the problem may not be electrical, but a problem with improper starter to flywheel engagement. Did you put a new flywheel on the engine, when you rebuilt it? Did the starter motor have a shim when you removed the engine?
     
  4. 74BBPowerHouse

    74BBPowerHouse Registered Member

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    yes a new flywheel was put on. And i dont think there was a shim. Im curious now as to how that would affect it? I just charged the battery and itll work fine for a few starts and than itll get low. Possibly a bad ground somewhere? Its grounded to the block right now.
     
  5. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Your battery should be grounded to the body too.. And an engine to body strap also...

    Are we talking about a stock compression rebuild here? Is the timing balls on?
     
  6. 1-ton

    1-ton 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    The block is a perfectly good place to ground the battery. Since you have been going through more starters than batteries, this makes me think the problem is with the starter motor function.
     
  7. 74BBPowerHouse

    74BBPowerHouse Registered Member

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    The compression is at like 9.7
     
  8. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    still, a gear reduction starter should have no probs with that....They're generally 150 ft/lb + for torque, and spin over 12:1 no prob...

    Are you sure cabling is adequate?

    I would check resistance to the starter lug, then how many amps its drawing when cranking...

    any noise, shim it... a paper clip will do the trick for a feeler gauge..

    If it starts fine on a full charge, it sounds to me like a charging/battery issue to me... Are you getting output from the alternator? Might have a dead battery cell too...
     
  9. JEBSR

    JEBSR 1/2 ton status

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    I had this same problem when I went from my 350 to the 468 on my 74. You have the ground from the batt to the block but if you don't have it already you need to put a ground from the block to the frame in the same gauge wire and a small strap from the block to the body. Never had a problem since.

    One more thing. Is your battery in the stock location? If not you need bigger cable than you would have normally.
     
  10. 74BBPowerHouse

    74BBPowerHouse Registered Member

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    Battery is in the stock location. Its a Red Top Optima. Im thinking it is either the battery cable gauge size, bad ground, or possibly a dead cell to. The input is helping. Thanks alot.
     
  11. ak bandit

    ak bandit 1/2 ton status

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    I too had this problem. My battery was also grounded to the block. As soon as I grounded it to the frame AND the block my problems went away.
     
  12. DwarF

    DwarF 1/2 ton status

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    I have almost exactly the same problem. I have an Optima Red top, with an upgraded 90 amp alternator (Ultima). I have a digital voltmeter and it never gets above 13.5. I also upgraded the starter afer heat killed the OE. I did some reading up on it, but havent had time to test yet.

    I have the alternator grounded to the engine block. I have the block grounded to the frame and the body. I have tested resitance of ground (all of them) all they way back to the anode of the battery. Everything checks out. I have even sanded and used the star-washers to make sure the connections were getting as good of a ground as possible.

    Here is what I read:
    Check voltage at the battery with everything off.

    Check voltage at the battery with the car idling and everything electrical turned off.

    Check voltage at alternator and amerage back to the battery with the car idling.

    Make sure the output from your alternator has a short run back to your battery. The longer the wire, the more drop in current to the battery. To my understanding, checking resistance will not tell you anything significant here. Make sure you have a heavy gauge (<= 8g). You don't want it to run back to some junction at the firewall before making it back to the battery. Don't use the stock 10g wire if you have upgraded to a high amp alternator, it can cause a fire under your hood. :doah:

    If you do not have output at the alternator, you should ensure that the ignition is turning it on. The Red Top is so strong that my truck has run for quite a while with no alternator at all, and you may belive that the alternator is functioning when it isn't. I even took it back to the parts store and it tested out great.

    HTH
    Wish Me Luck Too!
     
  13. DwarF

    DwarF 1/2 ton status

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    Ok, so...last night I started toying around with my voltmeter. The battery with everything off was 12.56 (I had charged it and have only run it once since)

    Ok, so I crank it up and check at idle. The voltmeter was slowly climbing to 13.2. Great, it looks like I have a full 13.2 coming back to the battery at idle! I check at the actual alternator, and it has 13.2 also, so there is no significant drop, more good news.

    Then, I rev it up to 1500 to see if it goes up. It did, but only to about 13.5, nothing spectacular. I wanted to start poking around so I let it rev back down. It was a little warm in there, nothing crazy, but the voltage began to drop. I though, hrm, wonder if there is something with the ignition being off (to the alternator). So, I unplugged the ignition lead, and the voltage started dropping. Plugged the ignition leads back in and it crept up slowly again, but never when up to 12.3.

    So, in a nutshell, I think the alternator is bad. It is good in that initially it can pump out some volts, but quickly loses it's gusto after 5-10 mins of running. I am going to replace with a Delco and see if I have the same results.

    HTH
     
  14. 74BBPowerHouse

    74BBPowerHouse Registered Member

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    Well yesterday I hooked the strap from the battery cable thats mounted to the block to the frame. And so far the few times i started it its worked.... so we'll see. Ill give it a week of starting and thatll be the real test
     
  15. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    you need to have both...
     
  16. 74BBPowerHouse

    74BBPowerHouse Registered Member

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    **UPDATE**
    Well after a couple good days of starting nothing seemed to be draining it. Well I went out around 12 today and nothing.... Barely cranked. So something has to be continuesly running or something....
     
  17. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    disconnect your pos bat cable.. put a test light between it and the battery post. if you have a draw, it'll light... start pulling fuses till it goes out.. thus, you've found your draw...
     
  18. redneck396

    redneck396 Registered Member

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    Hey dude just have your alternator tested. The regulator is probably burnt out. It's an electric part and when the mess up they do it right now usually with no warning. I'm sure that's where your voltage loss is. It will still charge when running but will lose volts when not.
     

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