Realtime battery/electrical help..!

Joined
Jun 25, 2003
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Rixeyville, VA
 
 
 
Sorry guys,

I dont have any time to search around and i dont recall seeing tons of threads about this so hopefully it wont be an annoying repost, if it is. I apologoze.

I just ran out in the truck for about 10 min road time. I was sitting at a very long light with the radio(sub w/ amp) on but not very loud at all. I also had my blinker on. All the sudden my radio cuts out, i look at the dash all the lights are super dim, the heater wasnt blowing much at all and my wipers almost quick.
The battery light came on and the truck almost shut off. I popped it in N and revved it, everything came back.
I then shut the radio off and it was fine from there.
Got back home and sat there trying to play around with it. I noticed with the radio on but NOT very loud at all the headlights would dim and the voltage would drop slightly.

I have a capacitor so this is strange. With the radio on i then turn my hazards on. Headlights would dim everytime then lit up, even with the radio off. From there on, the more electrical stuff i turned on(aux light, cb, maplight....the worse it got.

So, is this just a simple dead or dieing battery? I popped the hood to see if my alternator belt was still on, everything looked good under the hood.
FWIW, the 80 has a small old diehard battery. Was planning on replacing soon.

Thanks.
Brandon
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2003
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My guess is battery- have your battery load tested. Your cap would only help for very brief current draws.
 
Joined
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Clarkston, MI (Detroit)
 
 
Wow.

I was kinda going to offer up the ole, 6 of one, half dozen of the other... Arya and AKCruiser hit the nails on the head. What you're experiencing is classic car care/maint stuff, not TLC/LX stuff. Do as Ari said, and get both tested. If you replace one just cuz, Murphy's Laws will get you, and you'll replace the other as well.

And for grins, voltage regulator, if it's not integral in the alternator...

Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.
 
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I'll drop by autozone tomorrow afternoon. I think it should be fine til then....Keeping my fingers crossed hoping its only the battery.
 
Joined
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Hmm,
Wish i knew more about car electronics. I just went back outside and play around with things. Turn the key to "ON". Everything lit up about halfway and then died, nothing.
Pulled the key out, stuck it back in and then it started.
Ran it for 5 minutes or so and shut it off, turned the key again, same thing.
The volt meter comes to about 4 volts or something and then dies.
Also, not sure if this helps to determine the problem but my presets on my radio went away, as if i disconnected the battery and my CEL went off....

Nevertheless, if i can get home tomorrow i will have it checked and maybe get a cheapo batt to hold me over, if thats my issue.
 
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Mar 28, 2003
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Not convinced this is a battery issue. If you had enough juice to start the engine, your radio and/or dash lights would certainly have been powered. Likewise, I'm not convinced it's the alternator (and if it were, I'd just replace the brushes).

Sounds more like a main relay problem or a loose battery connection. Something along those lines. I'd first pull and clean the terminals and check the cables carefully for corrosion before I started replacing parts.
 
Joined
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Removed the cables and cleaned them pretty good.

The truck started. Thought that was all that was wrong.

Went back out this morning, dead.

It wouldnt surprise me if it was the battery considering its pretty old and i do have alot of extra electrical stuff in the truck. It is strange to be that everytime i turn the key the dash lights will come on, but dim, after 2-3 seconds they will go extremely dim but not totally go out.
All the cables seem good and tight.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2003
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Texas
 
 
 
Easiest thing to do is get it running and take it to your local Autozone/O'Reilly's/AAP and have them hook it up. They have never been wrong before and I have had them test several vehicles. Much easier than guessing...especially since the symptoms are not typical for one or the other.


Just my $.02.
 
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TX,

Thats what im planning on doing today.
I'm stuck at school now but should be at an autozone around 2 ish.

If they say its the battery, i'll probably just pick up a cheapo to hold me over b/c i doubt they have optima 34r in stock or exide orbital extreme(i'll take either).

If its the alternator.....i'll rethink it. maybe upgrade to a mean green.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
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Cruiserhead05;

I had a similar problem, when after picking up my cruiser from the Toyota shop. Got home and parked; then weird @&@&@&@& happens, lights etc, and then it quit.
Got out and check the main battery terminals; the mech dofuss had not tightened the neg battery terminal down tight. Jeezz!

So, first check the battery terminals.

Second, check the fuse links for kinks and broken leads.

Third, if u have a charger, pull the battery and charge it up; if possible.

...
 
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Alright, A little update.

Got back to my appt after school. jumped in the truck for grins to see if it would start.
Again, nothing.
I popped the hood and noticed everything on the terminals i had scrummed the night before didnt really go anywhere, it all moved it around. So for the next 2 minutes i scrummed them again and tried to make sure i got everything off, then wiped it all down with a rag.
Truck starts up just fine.
Went to autozone to have the batt and charging system(alt.) tested.
I shut off the 80, hoping it will start when i come back out. Autozone guy and i pop the hood and he puts his tester on the battery, with the engine OFF.
He gives me a weird look, takes everything off and tries it one more time.
Battery reads 13 volts with nothing running, he says thats awesome and my battery is fine(although this seems high).
I then start the truck and the battery reads about 14.5 volts.
After it runs for 2 sec he puts load on the batt, readsa about 11.5 and thats at 600rpm idle.
He says everything looks great, my alt is doing its job and the battery is strong.
I do run around town for the next 1.5 hrs, starting it a dozen times...no issues at all.

Forgive me for possibly making a big deal if my filthy terminals were the only problem, last night it did not seem like it was so simple.
 
Joined
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No problems...bad connections will cause you fits. Pick up a battery terminal cleaner (wire brush) to get those things shinning...or you will continue to have problems.


At least you didn't pay for a tow truck to find out it was just bad connections....let me tell you that sucks BIG TIME *whooops*
 
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Yea tomorrow i plan to clean them very well, they've never had any type of covers so maybe i'll put some on there too.
FWIW, sitting at a stop sign tonight i noticed everything will dim a little still if im running the head unit, amp, flasher, ipf aux lights, heat and then turn on the flasher...the volt meter will drop to about the halfway mark.
Then again, this isnt too bad considering its a very old autzone duralast battery. May still upgrade to something bigger within a few weeks.
Thanks.
 

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