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Charging system question

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Paxx, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. Paxx

    Paxx 1/2 ton status

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    Ok I have a pickup with a 500 in it. The alternator has been replaced and there is a new battery but it still won't charge. I can jump it and drive it around fine but as soon as I turn it off it will need another jump. I've heard something about a module in the distributer that could be toast but I don't know anything for sure about it or how it effects charging in anyway. Tow truck driver said something about it. Anyone help me out with this?

    thnx
    ~Max
     
  2. 1979jimmy350

    1979jimmy350 1/2 ton status

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    is it HEI ignition?
     
  3. Paxx

    Paxx 1/2 ton status

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    Nope battery is good, I have tried it with the one I still run in my 4x4 and the alternator was replaced with a new one when I took it to the store to have the old one tested. I'm stumped.
     
  4. Paxx

    Paxx 1/2 ton status

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    Pretty sure its hei. It looks like it. I don't know how to tell if its not though.
     
  5. Big89Burban

    Big89Burban 1/2 ton status

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    If your battery is bad then your truck wont start. If your charging system is bad then your truck will still start (if the battery is good!) but it will simply drain the battery and die. Sounds like your charging system is ok. You either need a new battery (most likely the problem, as stated above) or you have a parasitic draw that is killing the battery (not as likely)

    Is it a crank but no start problem(cranks to slow maybe?) or does it not crank at all?

    Kinda vague on your info here
     
  6. Paxx

    Paxx 1/2 ton status

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    It is not the battery for sure I have used 4 different batteries that I know for sure are good. If you put in a charged battery it will start a few times until the battery is dead. It will run with a dead battery. It just wont charge any of the damn batteries that I've put in. Not much more info I can give you.
     
  7. Big89Burban

    Big89Burban 1/2 ton status

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    How is your charge-back wire doing? You need to check voltage at the battery terminals to make sure charging voltage is making it back to the battery. If it will continue running even with a dead battery then your charging system is either fine or your alternator is weak and making just enough to keep the truck running.

    What kind of voltage is at the battery when the truck is running?
     
  8. MrArmyAnt

    MrArmyAnt 1/2 ton status

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    Something is draining power. Sounds like a + wire somewhere is touching frame or body...
     
  9. Paxx

    Paxx 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the tips guys, I'll have to buy the tools next payday. Its starting to get old.
     
  10. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Check for shorts..

    Take off one battery cable,and hook a test light between the cable and the battery post..if everything is off,but the lamp lights,you have something short curcuited or drawing power that shouldn't be..that could be killing your battery..

    It sounds like the battery just isn't getting charged..without any test meters,there are a few crude tests you can do to see if its charging..turn on all the accesiories,high beams,wipers,blower motor,etc...see if the lights get brighter,and the wipers go faster,and the heater blower speeds up, when the motor is revved up past idle..if so,some charging is taking place..

    Also,when holding a screwdriver near the rear altenator bearing on the back of the case,you should feel a strong magnetic pull if the altenator is charging..

    Both those tests wont tell you if the altenator is 100% (it can have 1 or 2 diodes out of the three blown,and still charge somewhat--or the rectifier bridge inside it can drain the battery if its faulty while the engine is off)..but it will at least give you an idea if its working at all..

    At the 2 prong plug on the altenator,you should have 12V at both with the motor running,and only at the red one when its off..the other (tan or brown or white wire) should only have juice when the key is on,or when its running...that wire often F***ks up somewhere,and if no juice gets to the voltage regulator from it,it will never charge!..
    I find a lot of those wires to that plug coroded in the harness between the altenator plug and the fuse box,or where they plug into the altenator itself -especially the tan,brown,or white wire for some reason :confused: (at the firewall side of the fuse box..).,with NO visible damage..the wire just turns to powder at a random spot!.. :doah: .

    Do some diagnosis..don't buy an altenator or any more batteries until your sure they are junk!.. :crazy: I know I bought and installed MY share of them for nothing,only to find a bad wire somewhere later! :doah: :mad: :crazy:
     

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