Battery Drain on new build - Team Camaro Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical.

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 11, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Battery Drain on new build

Any advice on how to start troubleshooting a battery drain problem? I have a newer frame off resto, 350 crate and AAW classic update wiring harness. I finally had the courage to leave my battery hooked up for a week and now it's dead. Not sure where to start?

Clint
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 11, 04:24 PM
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Re: Battery Drain on new build

Check the obvious things like an always on trunk light, glove box light, or hot wired radio. If not there then check electrical subsystems one by one.

Let us know the year and style of your ride along with options installed factory and aftermarket that will help. Is the Voltage Regulator new or original? Original or conversion alternator, stock distributor and ignition system?

Have you tested how much current is being drawn from the battery yet? I assume there is some original harnesses left when using the classic update or does it replace everything - only adding new style fuse system?


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 11, 05:28 PM
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Re: Battery Drain on new build

A quick test is to pull the fuses one at a time until the drain goes away. Though, not everything is fused... But other things can be disconnected, as well. Like the alt., VR, HR, etc.


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 11, 06:08 PM
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Re: Battery Drain on new build

Rig up a test light between the battery cable and battery post and look at the bulb glow.
As suggested, disconnect all electric devices one at a time and the one reducing the glow is the problem circuit.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 11, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Battery Drain on new build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Everett#2390 View Post
Rig up a test light between the battery cable and battery post and look at the bulb glow.
As suggested, disconnect all electric devices one at a time and the one reducing the glow is the problem circuit.
Just so I understand this.........if I have a short the test light bulb will glow when placed between the battery post and cable, correct? Do I check this on the positive or negative or doesn't it matter?

Thanks everyone for the help. I will try this over the weekend and get back with everybody.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 11, 04:53 PM
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Re: Battery Drain on new build

positive terminal to positive cable. If you have a short, it will light up (dim light usually)

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 11, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Battery Drain on new build

Thanks everyone for the help. Here is where I'm at..........I tried the test light between the cables and the light will glow for about 2-3 seconds and then go out. I removed the fuses and any other wires one at a time and still had the test light glow. I also removed my electric fan wire and the alternator battery wire and still had the problem. I also get a arc while connecting my negative cable up.

I have the AAW classic update kit with electric fan, Vintage air, Mallory SS Comp distributor and coil if that helps anyone.

Clint
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 11, 01:51 PM
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Re: Battery Drain on new build

Make sure the door is closed when you perform this test.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 11, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Battery Drain on new build

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Originally Posted by MTN10 View Post
Make sure the door is closed when you perform this test.
I did it with the door open. What problem would this cause?

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 11, 04:12 PM
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Re: Battery Drain on new build

Door open, dome lights on, do the test on neg cable, always disconnet neg first, connect last.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 11, 05:43 PM
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Re: Battery Drain on new build

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwb90 View Post
I tried the test light between the cables and the light will glow for about 2-3 seconds and then go out. I removed the fuses and any other wires one at a time and still had the test light glow.
Clint
If test light is on for about 2-3 seconds, do you have an OE electric clock?
An aftermarket stereo/amp?
Unplug voltage regulator?

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 11, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Battery Drain on new build

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTN10 View Post
Make sure the door is closed when you perform this test.
Tried this and still had the same results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Everett#2390 View Post
If test light is on for about 2-3 seconds, do you have an OE electric clock?
An aftermarket stereo/amp?
Unplug voltage regulator?
No OE clock. Have retrosound radio with no amp, pulled hot lead for radio during testing. Voltage regulator is internal to alternator and unhooked the battery leads to it and still had a glow on the test light.

Thanks to everyone so far for the help. Please keep the ideas coming if you could think of anything.

Clint
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 11, 04:25 PM
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Re: Battery Drain on new build

Watch this; it shows how to detect very small current drains :

http://www.youtube.com/user/scottyki.../0/B__DqK90IIc
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 11, 07:17 PM
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Re: Battery Drain on new build

Keep the light hooked up and unplug every device one at a time and check glow.
When everything is unplugged, disconnect the red wire going into the firewall and check.
If it is still glowing, check/remove the positive pigtail junction block from the rad support next to the battery. Sometimes there is rust build-up between the stud and support - high resistance - very low current drawn.
If bulb goes out, then a dash harness problem. Red wire inside feeds two devices - ign sw & head light switch and fuse panel for convenience circuits - courtesy lights, glove box light, trunk light, cig lighter, any device you can think, disconnect it.

Once the light is out from the last circuit, reconnect the last circuit, disconnect both battery cables and measure the resistance across both cables - it will be a high resistance, >100K ohms meaning microamps of current drawn, a low glow.

Good luck, may the force be with you...........

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 11, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Battery Drain on new build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Everett#2390 View Post
Keep the light hooked up and unplug every device one at a time and check glow.
When everything is unplugged, disconnect the red wire going into the firewall and check.
If it is still glowing, check/remove the positive pigtail junction block from the rad support next to the battery. Sometimes there is rust build-up between the stud and support - high resistance - very low current drawn.
If bulb goes out, then a dash harness problem. Red wire inside feeds two devices - ign sw & head light switch and fuse panel for convenience circuits - courtesy lights, glove box light, trunk light, cig lighter, any device you can think, disconnect it.

Once the light is out from the last circuit, reconnect the last circuit, disconnect both battery cables and measure the resistance across both cables - it will be a high resistance, >100K ohms meaning microamps of current drawn, a low glow.

Good luck, may the force be with you...........
Everret, thanks for the reply. Where do I disconnect the red wire from?
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