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Old 05-31-2009, 01:16 AM
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charging problem?

i just installed a new electric fan on my chevy 350 with a relay and thermostatic switch. now my battery wont hold a charge. I hooked the thermo. switch positive to the switched positive on the column and the positive for the relay to the battery with a 20 amp inline fuse. i can jump the truck and it will run but when i turn it off it wont turn back on. im going to install a kill switch in between the battery and the relay but i dont think it will help. when i turn off the truck and then unplug the thermo switch and pull the fuse from the other positive it still wont fire. help me out guys

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Old 05-31-2009, 11:44 AM
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Electrical problems suck even when working on them in person but I'll give it a shot.

1. I know this seems basic but make sure the battery is fully charged. Have you charged and tested it? Batteries can go bad at the drop of a hat. One minute good, next shorted and dead. Maybe it took a dive? Particularly possible if you had the batt out while doing the fan.

2. Check the cable connections. Especially if you are using the side terminals. They can be tight but not making a good connection. Clean them or at the very least loosen the terminal just enough to twist it back and forth a couple of times and then retighten. If this works they need cleaning regardless of what they look like.

3. Put a meter across the battery terminals and check voltage. At 2000+ rpm you should have 14.5+ volts. Turn on headlights and put blower on high. If voltage drops below 12.5-13 volts with engine revved you may have a blown regulator or diode trio in the alternator.

4. Check for current draw when everything is off. Remove battery cable and place amp meter in series and see if there is a current draw over what it takes to run clock/keep radio program. Shouldn't be more than a few milliamps. If you see an amp or more you have a drain/short.
If you don't have a meter you can make do with a light bulb in a pinch. A 12v turn signal or running light lamp will work ok if you have a pigtail socket for it(or someone to hold the wires on the bulb). Put the pigtail across the batt terminals and make sure it works(lights up). Once you've got a working bulb, remove the positive batt cable from the battery and hold one of the pigtail leads on the cable connection while connecting the other to the battery positive. If the lamp lights at all you have something pulling too much current.

5. If all else fails, go back and temporarily unhook ALL new connections you made for the fan and see if the problem clears.

Hope this helps a little. I know how frustrating it is to run down electrical gremlins.
Good Luck,
Fiream
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:27 PM
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Hi Marine,
If you have an auto zone on the island they will load test your battery & check your charging system for free, it's just easier & quicker then what Fiream wrote, but if there isn't an auto zone or one of the other chain stores there, you'll need to do what was written in the previous post.
Take care,
Rich
PS I really think the battery is kaput, at around 10v the battery won't turn the starter, that's just one dead cell, or a couple of week ones
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Old 05-31-2009, 01:24 PM
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it was a brand new battery two days ago and i did pull the connestions and then charge it with a trickle charger and still nothing.
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Old 05-31-2009, 03:11 PM
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Yeah, it's always quicker to pull an alternator and carry it somewhere else to have tested rather than perform a few basic tests.

Ok, usmcsawgunner even new batteries can be/go bad. If you ran this battery completely down a trickle charger isn't going to bring it back. You need a full fledged charger. A TC is for keeping a fully charged battery topped off not for charging a depleted one.

Are you saying that the vehicle won't crank at all or that it cranks but won't start? If you're getting a no-crank then either the battery didn't get charged, is bad, you have a bad cable, or you have more serious problems.
Fiream
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:15 PM
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it would try to crank but it just wouldnt have the juice to turn it over till fire
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:03 PM
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I don't know but it sounds like you need to get that battery fully charged. A fully charged battery should spin it over fine for a while even if it won't actually start.
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:33 AM
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well ya thats just it. i bought the battery and i thought that that was the problem. that the old battery was just not holding a charge or whatever. anyway i just installed a kill switch and i ran it right after the fuse fron the battery and then i piggy-backed the "switched" positive that goes to the thermo. switch into that. with that essentially i can kill the entire fan system right? or will that tax my 20 amp switch as well as the 20 amp fuse too much? its a flex-alite thermo switch.
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:43 AM
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Here is a diagram of fan wiring, it's for two fans, but the principal is the same. Ensure that you have a good battery, even if it's new. Check for excessive current draw from the battery with the key in the off position. Check your alternator operation. If all that is OK then probably you have the fan wired wrong.

Vince
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Old 06-01-2009, 07:51 AM
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Charging circuit.????

Quote:
Originally Posted by usmcsawgunner
well ya thats just it. i bought the battery and i thought that that was the problem. that the old battery was just not holding a charge or whatever. anyway i just installed a kill switch and i ran it right after the fuse fron the battery and then i piggy-backed the "switched" positive that goes to the thermo. switch into that. with that essentially i can kill the entire fan system right? or will that tax my 20 amp switch as well as the 20 amp fuse too much? its a flex-alite thermo switch.
Maybe because an old and a new battery are not keeping up with the current demand of your fan motor, the alternator /reg needs a close bench check/test by an auto electricianfan as was suggested above in another reply. Muti meters will tell you heaps. You can buy them for a few dollars and read the voltage of the battery with the engine off and running at a charge which should be higher than 12.5 and less than 15. Get a jump start and see if you can measure the voltage.
Cheers
Al.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:45 AM
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Fiream,
You don't take anything off when you go to one of the chain stores for testing, you drive to it (store) & they go from there,
I suggested going there because I don't think he has the equipment to check it himself, wasn't saying anything other then what I wrote, you must admit that driving to a place & having someone check out your problem is easier, if it's accurate.
Rich
PS Ya know Fiream, I've been recamending that people go to one of the chain stores, but I have not gone there myself, so I think today while I'm down by Philadelphia, I'll stop at one & have them check my vehicle, then when I get back I'll post here what they did or didn't do, & if it's worth the time to go there.
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard stewart 3rd
Fiream,
You don't take anything off when you go to one of the chain stores for testing, you drive to it (store) & they go from there,
I suggested going there because I don't think he has the equipment to check it himself, wasn't saying anything other then what I wrote, you must admit that driving to a place & having someone check out your problem is easier, if it's accurate.
Rich
PS Ya know Fiream, I've been recamending that people go to one of the chain stores, but I have not gone there myself, so I think today while I'm down by Philadelphia, I'll stop at one & have them check my vehicle, then when I get back I'll post here what they did or didn't do, & if it's worth the time to go there.
that would be cool if you do that!
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Old 06-01-2009, 03:00 PM
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i stopped at the local parts store and they ran the diagonostic and said there was a charging problem. is there a way i can isolate the promlen to the alternator specifically or am i looking at a wiring problem?
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Old 06-01-2009, 05:33 PM
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You could remove the alternator and take it down to have it bench tested. Did they also test your battery to see if it holds up under load?

Vince
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:29 AM
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i had the alternator bench tested and its good and i switched the battery to the one from another car that i know is good and it ran but the battery was still not charging. the alternator light is on when the key is in the on position when the alternator is plugged in as well as when i unplug it. i called hot rod wires (the guys i bought the wiring harness from) and he said that it must be the brown wire that goes to the alternator light must be grounding out somewhere. would that cause just the light to come on or would it stop the alternator from charging as well? i really dont want to go thru all the wiring if i dont have to. if you all have a quick diagnostic tip for me PLEASE share it! im lost when it comes to the electrical system.
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