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Diesel Question: Dual battery.....

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by S10-4x4, Sep 18, 2000.

  1. S10-4x4

    S10-4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Alrighty...thanks for all the help and getting me into my K5.....now I need to tell a story and ask for help...AGAIN...

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    There was this guy who just got a new Diesel K5. He went out and bought all kinds of new things for this Blazer. When he bought it he new that there had been a plow on the front end and lots of extra wiring that he didn't need. So when he had time he went and unhooked his DUAL batteries and began on the plow lighting. Not too hard..they didn't cut anything and all the connections were good. Now comes time to hook the batteries back up. The drivers side goes in without a hitch. The passenger side went in alright..a bit tight but still went in. He dives to his parents house and shows off the bundle of crap that he removed. His parents now want to go out and eat something so he has to move his Blazer. Turns the key on and waits for the "Glow Plug" light to go out...cranks it over...crank crank crank...no fire? What gives? Wait a few minutes...try it again.....hey...theres SMOKE under the hood?!?!?!?!?! Cough cough..smells bad too....not diesel though...Opens the hood to see that the passenger side battery had literally MELTED the posts off. EEK!!! Ok...I can start on 1 battery...its warm out....unhooks the now melted piece o crap...turn key...NADA. Not a thing. Now this fella is pissed. He has to PUSH his Blazer off into the yard so people can get in and out....finally later that evening he gets 2 new batteries and gets the Blazer going again. Started a bit hard..needed some starting help but running good.
    End of story
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Now heres what I need. Since I MELTED the ends of the cables I need to figure out how to tell if I am running off two batteries or just a mere one.
    Can ya help me out fellas?

    Thanks


    SK-15

    J**P...Its what's for dinner

    http://s10-4x4.coloradok5.com
     
  2. S10-4x4

    S10-4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Boy...this is going to sound nuts...relpy to my own post...
    I know what is wrong now.....STARTER. Just went and cranked it...."CLICK.....CLICK.....(insert really bad words here)"


    SK-15

    J**P...Its what's for dinner

    http://s10-4x4.coloradok5.com
     
  3. JimmyDie6.2

    JimmyDie6.2 1/2 ton status

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    I personally had a hell of a time with the starter in my diesel. It might be interesting to note that the starter was fried because the battery was "arching" or "grounded" wrong initially. That the problem might still be there. you posted that after two new batteries the cranking was still difficult. Check those dual battery cables REALLY good. The rubber coating might be melted off causing even more problems.........I hope this gives you some good ideas. JS
     
  4. S10-4x4

    S10-4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Jimmy...gonna make sure it is right...all new cables!!!

    Yes...I can tell ya its going to be bad taking that starter out...I have it halfway already and just have to loosen the bolts on the back of the starter and pull it out...I should finish tonight but its dark and I live next to a community that stays up all night and passes little packages of white stuff around?

    I am actually getting worried about my Blazer...the people were "looking it over" recently and I just happened to be walking out when they were. What the hell can you do to stop these people? I don't have anything visible that is really worth anything and keep my doors locked and windows rolled up. Is an alarm system a good idea or should I sleep in my Blazer for the next couple of nights?

    Laters

    SK-15

    J**P...Its what's for dinner

    http://s10-4x4.coloradok5.com
     
  5. 6.2 man

    6.2 man 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Make sure you get good cables that are the right gage . I picked up a cable at one of those chain stores and it was awfull small . Took it back and got a good ol GM it was about twice the size the first one was . A diesel starter needs good strong grounds and good tight connections or it will fry things .
     
  6. DBLAZER

    DBLAZER 1/2 ton status

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    a well installed alarm system is always a good Idea. I tell you what. I also got a grant steering wheel, and installed the removable steering wheel kit. Hell , without the wheel, they cant drive it. I think it is the best deturant i have done, with the exception of the dog in the back. Good luck

    [​IMG]
     
  7. S10-4x4

    S10-4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Removeable steering wheel...now thats an idea!! They would get in and go "Huh?!?! No steering wheel? How we getting this thing moving?" and probably leaving it with whatever damamge they did to get in.....GREAT IDEA...

    Where can you get one?


    SK-15

    J**P...Its what's for dinner

    http://s10-4x4.coloradok5.com
     
  8. Espen88k5

    Espen88k5 1/2 ton status

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    And if your passanger side batteri is loose........ the positive terminal is one inch away from Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!
    If you look, there is litle room for error between the frame and the terminal.

    http://www.espen88k5.coloradok5.com
     
  9. mike race

    mike race 1/2 ton status

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  10. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    SK-15, huh? Is that adding your two trucks together? Is it all right if we just call you S-15? J/K.

    Anyway, yeah, the diesel starter needs tons of current because diesel engines have really high compression ratios. I think that yours is in the range of 17-20:1 This is also part of the reason that the 6.2 likes to chuck head gaskets. (BTW: If you do blow a head gasket at some point, make sure you have it checked for straightness before putting the new gasket in).

    The diesels came from the factory with two batteries. This is not a special setup for plowing. The two batteries are connected in parallel, so that they are in essence one big battery. I'm pretty sure that the cable is supposed to be 2 gauge. As for the smoke, that could be explained by a bad starter. The battery that melted is the one with a better connection to the starter, which makes sense since it is closer. I nearly took all the insulation of my battery wires once with a bad starter. You are better off keeping the dual battery setup, especially if you are likely to see cold weather. 6.2s don't like to start when it's really cold (my idea of cold: January in Michigan) unless you have the block heater plugged in. If you can, buy them with a bigger capacity than stock, assuming that they still fit safely.

    A word to the wise, for diesels or gas: When the starter starts to perform poorly (slow cranking) when the engine is hot, get rid of it. It is soon to fail. It will either get a dead spot where it just doesn't turn sometimes until you beat on it with a hammer, or it will get a shorted spot so that you torch your cables or batteries.

    For more diesel starting advice: The key is the glow plugs. There are three important components to the glow plug system, all of which have a tendency to go bad after a while. The first is the thermostat. It is a little electrical device mounted on the engine that has three temperature breakpoints, although I can't remember what they're all for. The service manual tells you how to check this. The second is the glow plug relay. You can just test the output with a voltmeter or a test light as the plugs cycle. The third is the glow plugs themselves. Since they get so hot, they tend to wear themselves out. The problem that really gets you is glow plugs that short. Then whenever the relay turns on, all of the current goes through the shorted glow plug. That plug may or may not be getting hot enough, but none of the rest of them are and the added problem is that you wear down the batteries really fast before you can even get your cylinders hot enough. You can check all of the glow plugs with an ohmeter, but make sure it's one designed to measure really low resistance because I think that they are 1-2 ohms or so and you want to make that you can measure the differences between them. If you're in doubt, you go get a new one and check it's resistance. Anything that looks much different from the others needs to be replaced so that you can get all of the cylinders hot. Just so that you're not shocked if you ever go to buy glow plugs, they are much more expensive than spark plugs. I think $12 a piece or something. But, nothing starts as good as a set of 8 new glow plugs.

    Any small starting problem in the summer is magnified in scope when the weather is cold. The 6.2 will probably never stall on you even once over its life (unless you get water in the fuel and trip the cutout), but you will more likely than not have trouble at different times starting it.

    The other thing to watch out for is the tranny. Diesel=big torque and big torque=enemy of the tranny, so it's best to at least run a big cooler on it. I didn't look at what year yours is, but the only tranny that was really notorious with diesels was the overdrive (700R-4). If yours is an 82 to about 84 you are in for trouble with that transmission unless it's been beefed. With an early 80's diesel and a plow, most transmisison shops won't even give you a warranty. The 87is the best of the 700R-4's. The non-overdrive transmissions are tougher.

    '85 JIMMY
    '90 paint/grill/trim 5"susp 33/12.5/16.5
    Fresh 350 B&M '87 TH700
     
  11. Gopherkiller

    Gopherkiller 1/2 ton status

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    Just remember when you do the r&r on the starter, that it is a BIG and HEAVY THING! When doing mine, I let it slip, and it fell and loosened my front teeth! Only once!
     
  12. S10-4x4

    S10-4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Espen: yes I know about that battery that is close....lets say it kinda gave me a new spike hair cut....

    Blue85: Wow...you know alot...
    I got the starter in. Pain in the butt...
    Yep..I got 2 good batteries..1000 cold amps each...hope they work...
    Goodie now I get to play with glow plugs!!
    Tranny cooler....thats an idea....should that come before the tires or after? Mines an 83 so it probably doesn't have one....
    Thanks all for your help. I might need you all later!!!


    SK-15

    J**P...Its what's for dinner

    http://s10-4x4.coloradok5.com
     
  13. JimmyDie6.2

    JimmyDie6.2 1/2 ton status

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    BLUE awesome post, It would have taken me a week to type all that. Get the cooler first they are only about 40 bucks
     
  14. S10-4x4

    S10-4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Wow..$40? I was thinking they were in the $150+ range...goodie..now I get to hear my mother "Your taking that thing apart AGAIN?!?!?!?!"

    Yes..my new starter is in and it starts like a new Blazer...no questions asked it turns over and BOOM...POWER!!
    Now Tranny cooler, maual hubs, tires, little tree air freshener, someone to run over, some spare parts..wait...did I say run someone over? Naw...run a J**P over!!! Also need some paint, rust remover, GF...bed in the back, a 20 pack of....er..wait getting off topic...
    I best get back to paying attention in class...


    SK-15

    J**P...Its what's for dinner

    http://s10-4x4.coloradok5.com
     
  15. Espen88k5

    Espen88k5 1/2 ton status

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    Haynes got a book thats called "the diesel book" That and a afternoon of going over your engine with a rag should give you a good idea whats what. It looks a litle intimidating at first but when your cleaning it hose by hose, wire by wire with a rag like that, you get the feel for it.

    And dont worry Nick, you'l get there, just dont tire yourself out trying to fix everything at once. Have fun with it to.

    When low on power, if it should happen again the glow-plug relé will go click click click click click really fast. And there is no way your starter will turn if it's that low on juice. Just so you'l know it's not your starter again.

    Get the Haynes book..

    http://www.espen88k5.coloradok5.com
     
  16. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Glad to hear that your rig starts good, now. Changing starters is really just regular maintainence on most Chevy trucks. Just pay once for a lifetime warranty one and change it every year or two as it goes bad, right?

    IMO, 2x1000 Cranking Amps will be great!

    The truck probably has a factory cooler. Most of them did, but you usually need to add cooling ability to protect the transmission, unless you live in the land of the midnight sun. You just want to put the aftermarket cooler in front of your radiator, "downstream" from the factory cooler. This lets you return ATF to the tranny that is up to 20 degrees cooler than your engine coolant. So the fluid will come out of the tranny, go through the factory cooler, go through the aftermarket cooler and head back to the tranny. If you want to keep an eye on temperature, gauges are about $50 and a lot of blazers have a nice empty hole in the instrument cluster for them.

    If it starts good, you may not need to worry about glow plugs for a while, but at least now you have a heads up of what to look for.

    BTW, I'm happy to help if I can and I type pretty fast, so it's no big deal.

    '85 JIMMY
    '90 paint/grill/trim 5"susp 33/12.5/16.5
    Fresh 350 B&M '87 TH700
     
  17. S10-4x4

    S10-4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Thank you all for the help.....

    How hot does your temp guage on the coolant get? Mine doesn't go over the second tick mark at all? I assmue that tick mark is approx 150 deg? Should it not run a bit warmer than that or is this one of them "guage" problems. Like my fuel guage doesn't work well and my clock sure don't work all the time...
    Thanks again


    SK-15

    J**P...Its what's for dinner

    http://s10-4x4.coloradok5.com
     

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