Remove the ground lead from your battery and insert a test lamp between the battery post and cable clamp. The test lamp should not light. Make sure the dome light and other predictable things are off (door shut etc.). sdt^2 is correct also - 8 volts is mysteriously close to a battery with one dead cell.
The best way to test for a bad cell or similar is get a battery hydrometer..cost a cople bucks...dont take to much notice of the charge part charge levels, look for a cell(s) that is quite different from the rest...
Took the battery to Advanced Auto to get tested. Machine said it was good. Taking it back to see if its a dead cell. Just installed a crate 400 and put all the connections back the same way that the were before. Will do the test like you guys told me to try before I drop the battery off. Thanks.
As a side thought, also check your timing the next time you have the car running ... If it is advanced too far, it will make starting more difficult.
There is a possibility that you may have a starter or solenoid issue. Still, with the positive cable being connected directly to the starter, you should have full voltage on that connection. You may want to check the voltage on the crank circuit wire attached to the starter solenoid.
I was taking you initial post to mean that the voltage dropped when you attempted to start the car. If you are coming out in the morning and the battery is down to 8 or 9 volts, something else is draining it. For example, you may have a bad alternator draining it, or you may have wired something incorrectly. You just have to work through the possibilities.
Upgraded the battery. Put it in and it started up with not problem. I go to start it this morning and nothing. I hear the starter and thats it. It is not rotating the engine. I'm stumped. When I turn the key it reads 12 volts. When I start it it goes down to 8.
My neighbor had a fuel pump problem a few months ago. Long story short he puts some abuse on the starter trying to get it home. After it was all over with and his battery was recharged, the starter would crank, but not very well. We pulled the starter out and did a test on it. As we expected, the motor would spin up (though not as fast as it should), but when the power was removed it would stop immediately. We believe one of the magnets inside fell down against the armature. The thing stunk like the dickens so we just replaced it without getting into it to see what was wrong.
During crank, seeing your battery voltage drop to 10 volts or so is normal. When it hits 8 volts something is wrong.
Basic Battery alternator load check..assuming u have done a cell hydrometer check as mentioned in a previous post and all cells read about the same... and all terminals clean and tight.
idle the car, turn on everything can, wipers indiactors lights radio heater fan etc
Assuming the alternator inslalled is rated for your car accessoriies 64 up then the voltage across the battery should be over 12 to 12.5 volts
If not faulty battery but would have shown up with hydrometer, or faulty charging system
If the above is ok...
basic Starter check With a fully charged battery lights etc all turned on, turn the motor over on the starter , voltage across the battery should be about the 9.5 to 10 volts
If not... bad contacts in solenoid, poor terminal contact, dry joints in the armature, bushes stuffed, comutator (where the bushes run on the armature) needs resurfacing.
Finally found the problem. Went to get the alternator checked and the guy was like its not hooked up right. It wasn't hooked up to the voltage regulator. Plugged it in the back of the alternator and its doing its job now.
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