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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, My RC is down. I had to have it towed back to my dad's farm on my way home from out of town today. I actually just got back from that whole ordeal, not even 5 min ago. Ok heres the prob. I had been having some charging probs. I have a dual battery setup using an isolator and I swapped in a 120 amp alt from a 88 or 89 van. It never worked right from the get go due to me wiring some things in wrong. Got the wiring figured out and thought that everything was ok. Until my main battery kept dying and wouldn't hold a charge. So I had the main battery tested and found out it was no good. Ok no prob, I have my aux battery to run off of until I can buy a replacement. So I switched the aux battery over to the main batteries terminals and unhooked the now useless aux battery wiring and zip tied it out of the way. Now everything was fine and dandy until last night. I went out of town after work and was just about to get to my destination and I stopped, turned on my offroad lights to adjust them, just because, and as soon as I turned them on, my radio went dead and everything else dimmed quite a bit, so I turned them off and decided that I better just get to where I'm going. So this morning I go to leave and my battery is dead. I jumped it and it started right up. Drove it for a couple of miles and it started surging everytime I would give it a little gas, like it was going to die. It finally died. I figured ok, maybe I got the dist wet when I opened the hood(rained over night), I had to go to a job interview so I let it sit for a couple hours, came back, jumped it and it started right up. Drove to town, no probs. I get on the freeway to go home then, and as soon as I get up to about 65-70 mph it starts surging again, anytime I would barely give it gas to keep my speed up. So i would have to let off of the gas to keep it going, I made it about 25 miles doing this until it died for good and I called a tow truck.

Now I think that there could only be 3 things that it could be battery(on the charger right now), alt or, voltage regulator. I'm leaning towards the alt right now. Tomorrow when I go up there I'm going to get it running and hook up a voltometer to it and see whats going on. Any ideas? I fried something when I turned on the lights last night, but what?
 

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Your main battery has a drain (short) pulling on it somewhere. For testing, disconnect the wiring to the aux battery from the isolator (just remove the charge wire running between the isolator and the aux batt + terminal to be sure it is not shorting out on anything)

Hook up the positive cable to your charged main batt. Stick a test light in series between the batt negative cable and the negative terminal on the battery. If the light is on, there is a drain (short) somwhere. Leave it connected this way, and start pulling fuses from the fuse block one at a time (replace them as you go if the light stays on). When the light goes out, you found the circuit with the short. Trace the wiring for that circuit to find where it is shorting out.

Another possibility is a poor ground Offroad lights draw a relatively large number of amps, when you turn them on and other electrical items quit, the lights are using all the 'juice' your wiring can handle...possibly due to a poor ground (meaning the lights have a better ground and/or wiring than the electrical items that shut-off) Check your engine to frame/chassis ground strap, the battery to block/radiator support ground cable, and the ground wires to the accessories that shut off when you turned on the offroad lights.

-SM
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The thing is tho, that after last night, the battery wasn't getting charged at all. After it died this morning and I jump started it, it ran fine into town, which was about 10 miles, and I had no electrical accessories on,ie radio, ac, ect.., so if it was a bad ground it would still have charged even a little bit I should have been able to start it in town., but It was fine until, like I said , I turned on the lights to adjust them. The wiring for the aux battery is disconnected like I mentioned and tied back so that isn't even an issue. I'm going to bring my multimeter up with me tomorrow and see what voltages are going where and if the battery is even charging or not. But I'll check those things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I just got back a while ago and heres what I found out. At the battey I am getting 12.5 volts, right where it should be. However on the alternator I am only getting 1-1.5 volts. So I'm guessing that the alt crapped out?
 

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Or the VR or wiring bewteen the Alt and VR is bad. Have the alt tested to verify it is the problem before you get a new one.

-SM

-SM
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I doubt that the wiring itself is bad. As far as the VR goes, I was going to try a different one I had around, but it used a different kind of connector. Anyways I just called the shop thats going to rebuild it to verify that they were going to test it and they said it was bad. On a different note however, does it matter that the alt is out of an 88 van? I know that the VR in the 88's are in the PCM, didn't know if there was a difference or if a VR is a VR regardless of year.
 

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You can use your VR to regulate the newer alts....I have one myself ;D

-SM
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thats what I figured, just wanted to double check. Thanks Slanted!
 
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