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smelly_cat

Dead no lights 83 GL Electrical Goblin

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My 83 GL SW went dead as a post. No light, no buzz, no reason. ..nothing. I put a charger on the battery and it drew very few amps so I think the battery is ok. While the charger is on. , I turn the key. The wipers start going , even though they are turned off, the RPM gauge read 4000 rpm and the engine is off. Just a weak click on the starter when the key is turned. What the heck? So i try 5 minutes later. Vrooom, alls fine. drive around no problem. , I try to restart and nothing . same thing. So I change the battery, nothing.. but ghost wipers and phantom rpm gauge. I hook up the charger to the 2nd battery. 10 mintues. vROOM. RUNNING. ANy ideas?. SC

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this car has fusible links, does it not? Sounds like a bad wire to me; check any fusible links, and the battery cables, AND terminals, and check the heavy "charging" wire going from the alternator into the fusible link block (the heavy wire attached to the back of your alternator by itself, with an eye terminal rather than a part of a plastic T plug.)

 

This smells like a cable problem to meeven with a cooked alternator, if the battery had charge the vehicle SHOULD go through some of the basic functions described as "failed."

 

Do you own/are you familiar with a digital multimeter? It is a somewhat vital tool when diagnosing electrical problems of this sort, but cables can always be checked visually, so try that first and give us an update.

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I agree with Daeron about checking the fusible link connections. Also check the main ground connections near the battery along with cleaning the battery connections.

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I think yuo have a bad diode in the Alternator/voltage regulator. The wipers running with the switch off is a dead giveaway that there is AC voltage.

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I have had wipers just up and run by cycling the ignition switch several times fast.

Clean your battery terminals, don't just look at them, and tighten them down. If there is any play in the cable where it comes out of the terminal, or there are any signs of corrosion around that junction, change it out. These cars have such weak electrical systems, that any corrosion or bad connection will make it fail.

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Hey everyone thanks for the wisdom.

 

The car was stone dead this morning. I charged it for 20 minutes and Vroom.. which seems like to short a time to get that much juice in the battery .

 

I multimetered the GL

Battery ,,engine off 12.2

Battery ,, engine running 13.9

The Alt gauge shows its charging

I found the fuse links, I think. Are they braided red and blue cables in a little box near the battery? I pulled them out and put them back in to clean the connections. I have wiggled and pulled on lots of wires and things

 

Gloyales comment made me think that maybe my battery charger is going fruity and pouring AC in with the DC when it charges and that maybe why I saw all the wierdness. . I need to meter the charger. :Flame:

 

I am starting to think that my starter has had it.. When i give the battery extra juice and assistance with the charger , the starter turns over like a champ/ But that does not really explain the complete deadness that just started occuring

SC

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First off be sure to clean the battery connections even if they look ok. Then charge the battery for at least 4 hours using the charger. The battery needs more charging than you gave it and you shouldn't make the alternator do that. If the battery is more than four years old you should really think about changing it out or at least get a load test done on it. To see if the alternator has some bad diodes you can measure the AC voltage across the battery while the engine is running around 2,000 RPM. You shouldn't see more than around 0.25 volts AC if things are ok.

 

It sounds like you found the fusible links ok and hopefully the connections were tight and not burned on the ends. Another place to check on this kind of trouble is in the steering column. The connector for the ignition switch may have a bad connection.

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I put the meter on the charger. just for fun. set to AC. I got like 23 volts ac.

 

I thought huh? so I went to the store and got another charger. metered it and got 23 ac volts. So I guess the meter on the charger just reads that and that is ok. Yay I have 2 chargers now

 

Good Idea Couger . I will chek the ac on th battery tomorrow, It does look like the battery is gassing some so its on its last leg probaly

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I put the meter on the charger. just for fun. set to AC. I got like 23 volts ac.

 

I thought huh? so I went to the store and got another charger. metered it and got 23 ac volts. So I guess the meter on the charger just reads that and that is ok. Yay I have 2 chargers now

 

Good Idea Couger . I will chek the ac on th battery tomorrow, It does look like the battery is gassing some so its on its last leg probaly

 

Be aware that some meters will still read the DC component when in the AC mode. To see if your meter does that all you need to do is measure a battery when the meter is in the AC mode. If you get a reading close to the battery voltage then you need subtract the battery voltage from the AC reading or place a capacitor in series with the probes to block the DC.

 

A charger will have a lot of DC ripple since there usually is no real filtering of the rectified AC voltage, especially if it isn't connected to a battery. That is different from true AC voltage which a battery cannot tolerate.

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Well thanks guys. I did alot of checking and wire pulling etc but now the car is running fine and not going dead. Oh Oh Oh is magic,

I also learned I have a gremlin and not a goblin. must me goblin spring break. . SC

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Did you go and get your alternator checked? They can work halfway sometimes and fully others, what happened to me last week.

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