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Old 12-17-2013, 01:07 PM   #1
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Alternator, battery or cables?

Hey guys so I've have some weird electrical power issues lately. About a week ago my check gauges light came on and I saw my battery hiked all the way to the right end. So I pulled over shut down and restarted the engine. Problem fixed. Then last night when I got in and rolled the engine over; as soon as I kicked on the lights the electrical went out but them back on a few seconds later; resetting clocks and what not. This morning I had some troubles starting up. It didn't not turn over but you could tell it was trying hard to spark.

I'm thinking battery, alternator or cables but not sure. Alternator has no corrosion or white; looks good. Battery is old and the positive cable end was pretty caked with corrosion until I cleaned it this morning. Here's pictures of the cable end after cleaning

Any advice greatly appreciated!
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:43 PM   #2
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Take the cables off the battery and clean the sides of the posts and the contact area of the cable ends with a battery brush or scraper. They should be shiny.

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Old 12-17-2013, 02:26 PM   #3
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check the ground connections at battery terminal at engine and especially to body of jeep as poor intermittent ground will shut everything off that uses that ground path

Look at the ground connections on the firewall make sure clear and tight with no damage to wires

Either battery cable can be eaten thru near the terminals so check there carefully too
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:07 AM   #4
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So I ran a diagnostic on the alternator and battery with both passing. I check the braided grounds cables at the hood, engine block head and the lower engine ground from the battery. All if ten look good other than the Lower cable being gnarly muddy. Also cleaned both termjnals and connections religiously.

Issue happens again.

Would the grounds being dirty affect them this bad? Any other ideas?
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:14 AM   #5
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Best to try when not working so see instant effect


Regardless run temp good ground like one jumper cable bat neg to engine and another bat neg to clean shiny tight bolt on body and it that solves prob you know it is a ground issue

Also on a separate note make sure bat positive to power distribution center ( the box under hood with fuses and relays) is clean and tight ( the big wire(s) on the end of the box
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:40 AM   #6
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guessing your battery itself is getting ready to take a dive.

unless you ran a 2 hour progressive load test in a pretty sophisticated tester, your battery coulda tested good, ann still be toast...
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:22 AM   #7
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Next question would be; how old is the battery?
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:44 AM   #8
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Did you physically remove both battery connections and clean them inside and the posts as well with a wire brush? Cleaning only the outside of the connection does nothing to help problems like this.
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Did you physically remove both battery connections and clean them inside and the posts as well with a wire brush? Cleaning only the outside of the connection does nothing to help problems like this.
Yessir.

Used some foaming CRC acid solvent And wore brush for both then finished it up with baking soda and a water rinse. Shiny as can be now.
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:25 PM   #10
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Next question would be; how old is the battery?
I'm the third owner of the TJ and I know I haven't changed the battery and have had it the last 12k miles
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:00 PM   #11
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Get it load tested by a shop battery tech that knows how to properly do one. Not all do even though they may have done many.
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:04 PM   #12
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Get it load tested by a shop battery tech that knows how to properly do one. Not all do even though they may have done many.
Sweet, will do. I'll try and swing by a local shop tonight after work
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Old 12-21-2013, 05:56 PM   #13
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I took a deeper scrub to the engine block ground and went the terminals and battery again. No issues for the past couple days so I'm thinking I'm good. I'll head to a shop for a test if the issue comes back. Save the battery and cable money for some cooler gear!

Thanks again everyone!

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