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I think I have an electrical issue

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Old 05-01-2012, 08:37 AM   #1
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I think I have an electrical issue

For some time now, I've been noticing anything electric in the truck I use will cause the engine idle to drop pretty noticeably. For example, rolling the windows down, using the fan etc. I really started to notice when it had rained this past day. Any time the windshield wiper would be wiping, the idle would drop. What does this sound like? Alternator? I have a yellow top and its about 3 years old. I also have 2 amps and 2 subs + four 50 watt HIDs
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:42 AM   #2
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Might want to have the alternator checked out. Also, check the voltage at the battery to make sure it's being charged when the engine is running. Keep the volt meter hooked up and see what happens when you turn something on, like the windows.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:42 AM   #3
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I would look into upgrading the "alternator to battery", "engine ground to battery", and "frame ground to battery" cables. With all of your high draw accessories, having thicker cable for all of this provides a little less resistance in the electrical system. Also, yellow tops are deep cycle batteries. These are designed to provide low amp draw over long periods of time. High amp draws will kill them faster. What you want next time is a red top.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:42 AM   #4
wo ai ni bao bei ^_^
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time for dual optimas!
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:46 AM   #5
wo ai ni bao bei ^_^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maticuno View Post
What you want next time is a red top.
directly from Optima's website:
Quote:
RedTop is idea for trucks, SUV's, luxury cars, hot rods, off-road vehicles and other applications that require a leak-proof starting-only battery.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhawke88 View Post
directly from Optima's website:
Also from Optima's website for the yellow top:

Trucks with winches, vehicles with multiple electronics, cars with high-demand audio systems, commercial vehicles and heavy equipment all rely on this battery to provide ultimate starting and deep cycle power
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhawke88 View Post
directly from Optima's website:
Then what he wants is a dual RedTop setup. Subjecting a deep cycle battery to heavy loads will shorten its lifespan, regardless of the manufacturer.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:04 AM   #8
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I'm really not trying to be an asshat here, guys. I've just lived on an off-grid solar electric system for 4 years and there is a lot of technology difference between battery types.

From WindSun.com:
Gelled electrolyte

Gelled batteries, or "Gel Cells" contain acid that has been "gelled" by the addition of Silica Gel, turning the acid into a solid mass that looks like gooey Jell-O. The advantage of these batteries is that it is impossible to spill acid even if they are broken. However, there are several disadvantages. One is that they must be charged at a slower rate (C/20) to prevent excess gas from damaging the cells. They cannot be fast charged on a conventional automotive charger or they may be permanently damaged. This is not usually a problem with solar electric systems, but if an auxiliary generator or inverter bulk charger is used, current must be limited to the manufacturers specifications. Most better inverters commonly used in solar electric systems can be set to limit charging current to the batteries.
Some other disadvantages of gel cells is that they must be charged at a lower voltage (2/10th's less) than flooded or AGM batteries. If overcharged, voids can develop in the gel which will never heal, causing a loss in battery capacity. In hot climates, water loss can be enough over 2-4 years to cause premature battery death.

Using a deep cycle battery as a starting battery

There is generally no problem with this, providing that allowance is made for the lower cranking amps compared to a similar size starting battery. As a general rule, if you are going to use a true deep cycle battery (such as the Concorde SunXtender) also as a starting battery, it should be oversized about 20% compared to the existing or recommended starting battery group size to get the same cranking amps. That is about the same as replacing a group 24 with a group 31. With modern engines with fuel injection and electronic ignition, it generally takes much less battery power to crank and start them, so raw cranking amps is less important than it used to be. On the other hand, many cars, boats, and RV's are more heavily loaded with power sucking "appliances", such as megawatt stereo systems etc. that are more suited for deep cycle batteries. We have used the Concorde SunXtender AGM batteries in some of our vehicles with no problems.
It will not hurt a deep cycle battery to be used as a starting battery, but for the same size battery they cannot supply as much cranking amps as a regular starting battery and is usually much more expensive.




So, I will take back what I said about the shortened battery life, but the above points out why the engine RPM's drop due to the increased load on the alternator because the deep cycle battery cannot supply the initial amperage necessary to start rolling up/down the windows, etc.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:55 AM   #9
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Thank you guys for the replies. I will try the volt meter as I don't think it is an issue between red and yellow top. I've hady yellow top and all these electronics for years and it has only begin doing this maybe the past few months.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:07 PM   #10
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Clean the battery terminals if you haven't already, even if they look ok on the outside. If the trouble continues, have the battery load tested, and the alternator output tested.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:18 AM   #11
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I have seen this happen in vehicles where a main ground is corroded through, or one or more ground wires have a bad connection to the chassis.

The FIRST thing I would do is check all the ground wires you can find, especially the ones in the engine compartment between battery--frame/body, frame/body--engine, and engine--battery.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landphil View Post
Clean the battery terminals if you haven't already, even if they look ok on the outside. If the trouble continues, have the battery load tested, and the alternator output tested.
I'll try cleaning them. I just had the battery tested about a month ago and it was at 60% after the truck only sitting for 5 days, so who knows maybe the battery is going bad because that doesn't seem right

Quote:
Originally Posted by JKD View Post
I have seen this happen in vehicles where a main ground is corroded through, or one or more ground wires have a bad connection to the chassis.

The FIRST thing I would do is check all the ground wires you can find, especially the ones in the engine compartment between battery--frame/body, frame/body--engine, and engine--battery.
My engine bay is pretty dirty so that is a possibility. I've seen at least 5 grounds in there that I can think of
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:31 AM   #14
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An easy way to check connections is to run the engine, turn on headlights, heater fan on high, even turn the wipers on high, and measure voltage drops with a voltmeter. Simply measure between the negative battery terminal and the engine block, also between the block and the body. Then, measure from the positive post of the alternator to the positive battery post. Anything over .5V indicates a bad connection.

I should have mentioned it in my earlier post, but I consider this part of testing alternator output, where many do not.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:34 AM   #15
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go to sears - get the Group 31m Platinum deep cell - its built by Odyssey and branded for sears. Its a beast, but it fits in stock location and better than 2 smaller 24 or 34 IMO - less weight, less wiring/expense. Best bang for you buck.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:45 AM   #16
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Alternator upgrade.

390 Amps anyone?

http://www.m2kinc.com/detail-tlc-4-0...0-39-38-2.html
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:48 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98tacoma27 View Post
Alternator upgrade.

390 Amps anyone?

http://www.m2kinc.com/detail-tlc-4-0...0-39-38-2.html
Holy Jebus! I wonder if you get that electric motor sound with that thing
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:52 AM   #19
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I like - whats the $ on that sucker?


I never asked. FWIW, they go from 250A to 390A.
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