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Old 08-31-2007, 08:20 PM
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What did I do wrong?

My cousin brought her 94 Ranger over because the battery had a drain on it that would cause it to go dead in about 3-4 hrs unless the cable was removed. I pulled and replaced the fuses one at a time until I found the circuit causing the problem then traced it to the cigarette lighter, it had been shorted out with a small latch pin that had fallen into it. This was on an auto reset breaker instead of a regular fuse and was the last circuit left to check because I checked all the "normal" fuses first. ALL that I did to this thing was pull those fuses one at a time until I found the bad circuit then repaired the lighter socket but now the dang thing will not charge! It was charging just fine before checking the fuses but a little while after the truck left she called and said it was not charging and the battery was dead. I am certain I put all the fuses back in the right sockets because I pulled and replaced them one at a time and other than repairing the shorted lighter socket I never did anything else. I intend to go check this thing tomorrow morning so what should I look for? This is kind of embarrassing for me because I had explained how simple the problem was to fix but now it is worse than before.

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Last edited by oldred; 09-01-2007 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:24 PM
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I think I may have an answer for you.I had something similar happen to me and it turns out I burnt a fuse under the hood.It was the one for the charging system.I believe it was on the right side under the hood in the power distribution block.Just find the right one,it should be marked under the cover for the distribution block.Check it for continuity.I hope this helps.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:37 PM
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Not your fault ... per se.

The only thing that it sounds like you did wrong was to let the alternator charge the battery instead of using a battery charger.

Alternators are designed to replace the battery charge as a result of cranking, and to maintain the draws of things like blower motors and headlights ... they are not designed to charge dead batteries.

I think that the alternator was probably damaged "going for broke" trying to recharge the completely dead battery. If that is a 90 amp alternator, there is a good chance that the battery is also toast. High charging rates warp plates and cause gassing.

Always use a battery charger (the slower charge rate the better, left on for a longer period of time ... IMHO) to bring up a flat battery.
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Old 09-01-2007, 09:49 AM
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Ok an alternator replacement has it charging again but what happened? Before finding the shorted lighter socket the battery was not low enough to require a jump for start and it cranked a little slow but started on it's own (and was charging at that time) so the alternator never saw a completely discharged battery. I can not understand how pulling fuses and replacing them one at a time (key off) could have ANY effect on an alternator but NOTHING else was done except to remove the short from the lighter socket. All of the checks were done with the key off because that was the problem, there was a load on the battery with the key off and there was no reason to have a key on condition during the checks or repair.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:38 PM
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Just tore this thing apart and I guess it must have been a case of $%# ^@#%$ luck because the armature is grooved deeply where the brushes make contact and is burned and discolored, the brushes are worn down to nubs. I made no other repairs except replacing the alternator and now it is working just fine. Just one of those things that happens sometimes but if it had nothing to do with what I did while finding and repairing that short the timing sure was bad.
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:14 PM
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thats why most shops today replace everything. they don't wantr u to come back upset. even when u do a friend or relative a favor i can just hear the conversation at their . "I told u not to let him work on your car!"
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Old 09-01-2007, 08:31 PM
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What did I do wrong

You didn't do anything wrong. It's a 17 year old vehicle and mechanical things wear out over time. On a 17 year old vehicle anything can break at any time.
End of story.
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