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I'd love to be in the Rat Patrol
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Weird stuff happening with my charging system.
Okay I'll try to keep it short. Battery is discharged. Won't seem to stay charged. I think it's my alternator. I test the alternator it's fine. I look at all the connectors they seem fine.

So last night. I jump her to the wife's Taurus and get her going. Battery is dead at this point. So I get in and notice I have no dome light. I also have no electric to the seats. So I pull the fuse for the dome light to see if it was bad. It was fine. But when I plug it back in I get a nice blue spark and the dome light starts working. As well as the seats.

Up to now the alternator does not seem to be charging the battery. But after the blue spark incident it is charging the battery.

I wonder if someone wouldn't mind giving me a reading from their Rangie.
Disconnect the negative lead from the battery. Disconnect the chasie ground too. Measuring from the positive post to the negative battery lead how many volts do you read?


I expect some there (radio, clock etc...) but am not sure how much is normal.
 

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I get 13.6 volts, but you have to remember every battery with a different capacity, age, and charge level will read different. I would simply replace every fuse in the box one at a time, making sure each is inserted firmly. Clean battery posts and ends. Check your fusible links--I had one go out on me. I also had to rebuild the Lucas alternator--how's your tach working--if good, and no red battery light on, chances are alternator is OK. Also the alarm and CD-changer can wear battery down--it has happened to mine-but takes a few days of no use. I would get a new battery. Even a junk battery can register good volts. If you are sure battery is good, look to connections & grounds. Good luck.
 

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Oakierover....I have your doppleganger, same problem, same paint, and probably same year. My battery often dies when the rig has been sitting for more than a week (not always but sometimes) - I get the sproradic seat operation (usually when raining) and dome and door light weirdness. In addition to that I had an issue with the door buzzer not going off when the key was in the ignition, but odly enough, going off when was pulled out. I noticed a while ago that my window lift ECU was working strangely (relays sticking open)...making the windows not operate properly (sometimes working when they were not suppose to - door opened and closed, and sometimes not working at all). I'm not sure how much of a draw the ECU with open relays is...perhaps a few amps. I'll charge the battery, disconnect the window ECU and let er sit for a while...I'll keep you posted if your interested.
 

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I'd love to be in the Rat Patrol
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3,205 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Okay here is the result.

I was measuring the draw on the battery while one of my kids pulled each fuse. Didn't notice anything really. Then I heard a high pitched humm and found it was the alternator. So it was drawing 5+amps without the engine running or nothing just sitting there.

So I was convinced it was my alternator. So I ordered one. I still notice the occassional hum but the battery doesn't die anymore.

As far as the window ECU goes. Just replace it. Mine started acting up too and there was nothing you can do to fix it. Well nothing I could do and I can solder. So I just replaced it and all the problems with the windows went away.

If you are having strange problems with the electrical check your ignition switch. I had all kinds of trouble with the radio shutting off and such and turned out the back of the ignition switch wasn't making a good connection.
 
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