Charging system or battery problem. Help.. - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 14, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Charging system or battery problem. Help..

Well this is the second time I went out for a cruise and stopped, went to start and the relay goes click, click click. I'm lost. My charging voltage at the battery is 13.86V when the car is running at idle. I have an MSD6al and a electric fuel pump. Turn the car off and it drops to 12.4. So it looks like the alt is charging. I can take the battery cables off and the car still runs. I clutch started the car to get home with no problems. Now...when I got home I turned the car off and was able to start it once then dead. This is where I'm lost. Last time this happened I went to my local Autozone and had the battery tested. Voltage was good and CCA was around 450 when It should be 560CCA. So I went home and charged the battery over night. Brought it back and had it tested. CCA was now 565 and voltage was good. I was told the battery was good. What am I missing? All connections are tight. If I give the car a jump it starts. I'm charging the battery again and having it tested somewhere else. How can I check the charging system? Or did I do it right?

Thanks

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 14, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Charging system or battery problem. Help..

Note..It goes click, click, click. Cant start it by bridging the solenoid. Battery ground is solid and tight from battery to chassis and chassis to engine. Terminals are clean and tight. Can start it with a jump

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 14, 06:39 PM
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Re: Charging system or battery problem. Help..

First, clean battery posts, then clean clamps with the battery post wire brush.
The wire brush the eng block where the ground cable connects.

Voltage across battery right after start-up should be around 14,4 volts.
If not, then clean Alt red wire connection, and move to horn relay and wire brush the terminals and buss bar and reassemble - or place both red wires on the same screw.
Last place to clean is the battery junction block on the rad support next to the battery.

Measuring from alt BATT stud to battery positive post - I said stud to post - should be less than 0.4 volt difference. Any measurement over and need to clean again and wipe down the connections with alcohol.

You also might get an electronic regulator, P/N VR715, and replace the mechanical regulator and be sure to include the ground strap when mounting the new one.

Belt tight? Might change the belt just to be sure.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 14, 03:59 AM
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Re: Charging system or battery problem. Help..

Could be a starter issue and the extra amps from the jump is convincing it to go ahead and work. Just a guess.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 14, 09:36 AM
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Re: Charging system or battery problem. Help..

Quoting from above, why does the battery negative cable go battery to chassis, and another chassis to engine. Negative cable should go straight to the block rignt to the thermostat housing. Or is that just a description error?

12.4V with car off maybe 10 minutes after it was last run indicates a battery at about 80% of charge. 12.6 is a full charge, and 11.8V is essentially dead.

Probably a burned contact in your starter solenoid. the little extra voltage on a jump, or from a charger is just high enough to burn thru the carbon on the contact inside the solenoid, and spin the engine.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 14, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Charging system or battery problem. Help..

I should have mentioned this isn't in the camaro. It was a just a charging question. It's in my AC Cobra. The battery is in the trunk. Thats why the batt is grounded to the chassis and the chassis is grounded to the trans. Also has a starter Solenoid on the firewall.

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Originally Posted by Mark C View Post
Quoting from above, why does the battery negative cable go battery to chassis, and another chassis to engine. Negative cable should go straight to the block rignt to the thermostat housing. Or is that just a description error?

12.4V with car off maybe 10 minutes after it was last run indicates a battery at about 80% of charge. 12.6 is a full charge, and 11.8V is essentially dead.

Probably a burned contact in your starter solenoid. the little extra voltage on a jump, or from a charger is just high enough to burn thru the carbon on the contact inside the solenoid, and spin the engine.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 14, 11:04 AM
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Re: Charging system or battery problem. Help..

I had almost identical situation as you. I'm not too trusting of those machines that they have at Advanced Auto. I had my battery tested 3 times, and they told me every time that it was a good battery that just needed charging. And of course, their system does not allow for a warranty exchange unless the machine shows the battery as faulty. So, in the mean time I'm checking everything else, had to get jumped a few times in-between, finally, I just gave up on Advance Auto's 'warranty' and bought a new battery from Wally World. No problems since.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 14, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Charging system or battery problem. Help..

Update..I had the battery check and THEY (3people) said it was good.

1- I installed the battery, connected the + and used a test light between the - terminal and wire. NO LIGHT. Turn on the key and LIGHT.
2- Connected my AMP meter between the same leads and read 0. So far no draws.
3- Connected my DC AMP probe around the starter lead and cranked 4 or 5 times with the coil off. Reading was 165A. So far good.
4- Went to start the car and started to get slow at turning over....rrrrrrr...click,click,click...Nothing now.

So it looks like the battery is getting replaced for now. It is rated at 580CCA and I'm getting one that has 700CCA

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 14, 02:51 PM
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Re: Charging system or battery problem. Help..

Quote:
I went out for a cruise and stopped, went to start and the relay goes click, click click. I'm lost
batteries check out, alternator checks out, start checks out WHEN COLD....put the armature in a warm oven and check the coil continuity and u will find a couple coils faulty..
Or find a auto sparky workshop that has an old school growler for checking armatures.. best luck finding one..and if so a tecnition who knows what is does let alone how to use it. sry.
Generally caused by too high intial timing over long periods, initial loading of huge currents causing damage...
When cold, 1st thing in the morning fine...
This is what is referred as the "heat sink " myth... patch fixes include header heat shields , ford solenoids etc to over come mild normal acceptable non damaging warmth That gets to the starter armature

Yep a new battery will sort it... for a short while.. and a bigger battery will enable far greater initial currents (mill seconds) thru the armature, supplying the remaining good coils extra power... then they fail more and the already failing ones become worse.
Basically an expensive temporary patch 'fix'

So what is the intial timing?
How old is the starter?
are u 100% sure the armature is new not a rebuilt onme in a new unit?

Starter motor issue

PS pull the solenoid off 1st, check the big copper contact disc hasnt been burnt away... u can turn these over if hasnt been done before...

Also Check the armiture bearings/ bushes for slop...and the brushes

Thu these generally, if need attention, cause problems on cold and warm starts...generally cold starts more so at 1st.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 14, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Charging system or battery problem. Help..

Just went out and had the battery tested again without charging it. Both places said it has a failed cell, but the voltage is ok..... Maybe the battery was on it's way out. Timing is locked at 9* . Don't know how old the starter is, but the motor has 5000 miles on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steptoe View Post
batteries check out, alternator checks out, start checks out WHEN COLD....put the armature in a warm oven and check the coil continuity and u will find a couple coils faulty..
Or find a auto sparky workshop that has an old school growler for checking armatures.. best luck finding one..and if so a tecnition who knows what is does let alone how to use it. sry.
Generally caused by too high intial timing over long periods, initial loading of huge currents causing damage...
When cold, 1st thing in the morning fine...
This is what is referred as the "heat sink " myth... patch fixes include header heat shields , ford solenoids etc to over come mild normal acceptable non damaging warmth That gets to the starter armature

Yep a new battery will sort it... for a short while.. and a bigger battery will enable far greater initial currents (mill seconds) thru the armature, supplying the remaining good coils extra power... then they fail more and the already failing ones become worse.
Basically an expensive temporary patch 'fix'

So what is the intial timing?
How old is the starter?
are u 100% sure the armature is new not a rebuilt onme in a new unit?

Starter motor issue

PS pull the solenoid off 1st, check the big copper contact disc hasnt been burnt away... u can turn these over if hasnt been done before...

Also Check the armiture bearings/ bushes for slop...and the brushes

Thu these generally, if need attention, cause problems on cold and warm starts...generally cold starts more so at 1st.

1968 Camaro Convertible ,350 TWIN TURBO , PTC 3000 stall, Hotchkis TVS kit / Subframe connectors, Caltracs, 9" rear, Street Star wheels (P275/40ZR17 / P235/45/17) , Electric cutouts. [B] .....FOR SALE.....
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 14, 04:03 AM
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Re: Charging system or battery problem. Help..

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnm99 View Post
It's in my AC Cobra. The battery is in the trunk. Thats why the batt is grounded to the chassis and the chassis is grounded to the trans. Also has a starter Solenoid on the firewall.
Since different configuration than the standard, more connections, longer cables, and maybe too small of wire gauge.

First, with engine running, measure voltage at BATT stud and alt case.
Then measure across battery posts.
The difference is the power lost due to the three items mentioned.

The longer the wire/cable, and smaller gauge, the more power lost through the conductor.
High current through a conductor heats up the conductor, and resistance goes up, less power at the other end.
All connections are the same. Add up the 0.1 volt across the connections, and same principle, more resistance, more power lost.
The same applies to the return/negative side.

Think of a 100 foot garden hose. Nozzle off, lots of pressure.
Turn nozzle on, and pressure differential between the faucet and nozzle, loss contributed by the water flowing through the hose - the resistance of the hose.

So what is one to do? Granted, with the auto selected, it is a race car in sheep's clothing.
Hence, the designers/engineers used the bare minimum requirements because of weight reduction.
As long as the engine starts one time for the race, the requirement is met.

One fix is running either #4 or #6 AWG cables from alt case and BATT stud to the battery posts. Solder the terminals to the cables.

Another is run the next bigger wire/cable gauge for each wire installed and solder the terminals.
On battery cables and jumper from solenoid to starter, and return cable, use multi-stranded cable, ie, welding cable, 2/0 AWG, and copper terminals.
Run a single ground cable from engine block to battery.
Wire brush those connections.

I forgot, you can measure the cable loss from one end of the cable to the other. On the DMM lead, chose one, doesn't matter, add the selected length of wire extension to the one lead. Turn meter on, select the voltage range, and touch the lead extension and other lead together (include the wire extension) and let the meter self-zero. When zero appears, meter is ready for a more correct reading of loss of the same cable from Point A to Point B.
Turn starter on and read the loss.

By getting a bigger battery, the cabling is the weakest link - bigger battery is more current available, but still only X amount of current can travel through the wre/cabling.
Think of filling a 5000 gal tank with a 3/4 inch garden hose and a 2 inch fire hose - which one will fill the tank the fastest?
If you get paid by the hour, use the 3/4 inch hose.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 14, 06:00 AM
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Re: Charging system or battery problem. Help..

My guess is bad battery

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 14, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Charging system or battery problem. Help..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vega$69 View Post
My guess is gad battery
Brought it to 3 places again today after it died yesterday. All 3 said it was a bad cell. It was on it's way out I guess. Looking for a new one now. Thanks

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 14, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Charging system or battery problem. Help..

I ended up going with a Optima Yellow top battery. The CCA were high and it's a dual purpose battery. It fit perfect in the box. I must have turned over the car 20x doing checks and it's still going strong. What I found was at idle the alt isn't putting out more than 12.7v as soon as I hit the gas it jumps up to 14V. I guess this type of alt has to get excited at a certain rpm to start making power. I remember on my other car with 1 wire 140a alt I was running at 14v all the time. I changed the pulley to a smaller one to get it to do it. My Ammeter is reading +25 at idle. I can't report back yet about driving, so that may drop to 0.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 14, 03:58 AM
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Re: Charging system or battery problem. Help..

If your problem persists after the new battery, I would turf the ammeter. I had an aftermarket one in my car and it was causing all sorts of problem. I installed a volt meter and they found the ammeter was fried and there was a huge loss at the meter. You should read up on them compared to volt meters. They can cause fires as well. If it came from the factory with it the wiring is done correctly. Aftermarket ones can cause issues. The voltmeter tells you exactly how many volts are being produced. And we are usually talking volts not amps here.

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