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1988 jeep cherokee electrical problem please help me!!

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alexkbee
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Joined: 09 Apr 2005

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeep'n'John wrote:
First thing first

Throw away your test light and get a multimeter!!!
Even a cheap one as long as it reads DC VOLTS up to 20 Volts and DC AMPS up to 10 Amps. A test light will light up with 6 volts though it would be very dim but if your looking for 12 volts and only have 10 it will be real hard to tell the difference with a test light.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN IF YOUR BATTERY ISNT A MANTAINANCE FREE BATTERY MAKE SURE ITS FULL OF DISTILLED WATER

Second, you will have a slight draw on the battery even with the key off. All new cars do with there ECMs and stuff. But it shouldnt have much. when you use your test light all your testing is voltage and since the draw is gonna be 12volt anyway your light will light up. Thats why you want an ammeter so you can test for the amout of current draw not voltage to decide if its an excessive amount.

What you do is set your meter up for "10 Amp DC". Youll usually turn the dial to that setting and when testing Amperage you usually have to change the red lead on the meter over to a different socket marked "DC AMPS"

Disconnect the POS battery cable and touch one Lead to the POS BATTERY TERMINAL and the other Lead to the POS BATTERY CABLE (the cable you took off the battery). Doesnt matter which Lead goes on the battery or cable. If the polarity is backwards the meter will display a - sign but the reading is just the same. Just dont let anything touch ground and double check your meter settings before you connect it, when doing this test if your meter is in the wrong setting it will fry it.

If you get a reading around .5 or so its probibly ok. (thats only 1/2 an amp)

Like i said, I was getting almost 5.0 on my 96GCL and that scares me. Im gonna be doin some troubleshooting as soon as the weather gets better.

So anyway that will tell you if there is an excessive amount of draw on the battery when there shouldnt be.

Next, Hook your battey battery back up and set your meter to "20 Volt DC", make sure you move that red lead back to the main position also.

Check the voltage of the battery with the key off by putting the RED lead on the POS BATTERY TERMINAL and the BLACK lead on the NEG BATTERY TERMINAL. AGAIN double check your meter settings before you make the connections.
You should have MORE than 12.0 on this test, we like to see about 12.5 volts. If its less then take the battery out of the car and put it on a 2 amp charge for the night and test it again tomarrow after its been off the charger for an hour or so.

If your battery tests good on voltage then, with it properly connected back in the vehicle we can load test it. Load testing is testing the voltage of the battery under a high Current Draw..... Now you can buy a load tester, they are pricey specially compared to how often you will use it. But with your voltmeter we can load test the battery on the car using the starter. Which really is a good test because your starter will pull as much current as the battery can supply.

Heres what you do. Youll need a helper to turn the engine with the key. Unplug the coil wire at the Dist. Cap so the engine wont start. Make sure your meter is in the 20 volt DC position and put the red lead on pos battery terminal and black lead on neg battery cable just like your testing the voltage of the battery.
It should be above 12.0. Keep the leads on the battery and have your helper turn the engine over with the key switch. Let it turn a few times and watch your voltage reading. If it drops much below 12.0 then you need a new battery.

Also you can check the alternator by checking the voltage of the battery with the engine running. Just check the voltage like you did before but you should get about 13.5 volts at the battery with the engine running.
ok I finaly had some time to do this I checked my battery and it reads 4.56 DC amps so you said thats ok right, so then i went to the second step witch is check voltage on battery and its reading 12.18 so is that good? i havent checked the loadtest yet but i checked the altenator when the car is running and it reads 17.62 so i`m guessing its higher then 13.5 so yesterday i left my battery hooked up and it still died there was no juice, needed to get a boost. so are these reading good? what should i check out now?
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alexkbee
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Joined: 09 Apr 2005

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alexkbee wrote:
swamp boy wrote:
Took me 3 weeks of driving around and almost stalling at every left turn.. Neutral
I couldnt figure it out.. Then one day I raised my hood and saw a bulge in the battery cable right near the clamp and I pulled the cable it broke right off in my hand... Shocked

So I got a new one and it solved the problem..

Carl

ok i checked all my main wires and they check out fine i put new battery clamps on a while ago cause they looked in ruff shape the conections for my altenator, starter , and battery there all good!! i`m just waiting for a friend to come over and bring a voltmeter 20 volts 10 amps Wink but there was something i come across, i noticed this went i was changing the sparkplug wires theres a green wire rapped around one of the wires for the spakplug with black tape around not sure what its for though? and today i was checking all the main wires like you said and there is this little steel box right by the battery and theres a bunch of stuff hooked up to it like the altenator, battery, starter, stereo, ect.. theres five connections to it. i unhooked everything that was on it and cleaned all of them put all the connections back on but the box it self looks in really bad shape rusty!! maybe that has something to do with it?
ok I finaly had some time to do this I checked my battery and it reads 4.56 DC amps so you said thats ok right, so then i went to the second step witch is check voltage on battery and its reading 12.18 so is that good? i havent checked the loadtest yet but i checked the altenator when the car is running and it reads 17.62 so i`m guessing its higher then 13.5 so yesterday i left my battery hooked up and it still died there was no juice, needed to get a boost. so are these reading good? what should i check out now?
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1fox2go
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Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Location: Fishersville, Virginia

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

is anything pulling power off the battery overnite? lites on wipers on radio on etc?

just a guess
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96 Cherokee 7.5 inch TnT long arm Locked F/R, D44 rear, 4.56s, 35x12.50 Muds/36x12.50 TSLs
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alexkbee
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Joined: 09 Apr 2005

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1fox2go wrote:
is anything pulling power off the battery overnite? lites on wipers on radio on etc?

just a guess
nope thats what i thought it was the first time it happened but everything is off i double checked just in case!! but thats not even my many consern right know its triing to find out why i`m losing power to my wheels and everything else after i`m driving for about 15 minutes if i give it gas after that she revs but no power to the wheels Sad
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1fox2go
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Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Location: Fishersville, Virginia

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mite need a new tranny...or add fluid sounds like its slippin
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alexkbee
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Joined: 09 Apr 2005

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1fox2go wrote:
mite need a new tranny...or add fluid sounds like its slippin
my tranny is good its something to do with the electrical system like a short or something cause she will drive for about 15 minutes and everything in my truck will start to go out my lights will go dime my radio will turn on and off i was thinking maybe the silonoid cause it looks in ruff shape i`m getting a new one tommorow and see what happens, sometimes i can drive it for longer but it always ends up doing the samething and if i turn off the engine then tri to turn it back on nothing i would need a boost then she will go again for maybe a couple blocks it happens over and over again it`s like the engine is just taking the juice from the battery till it goes dead and after theres no juice left in the battery she will start to die again and my altenator is in pefect condition i just had it checked before i installed it .. i never new something like this would be so difficult to figure out i guess thats electrical for yeah!!!
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swamp boy
Cherokee Muderator
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Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Location: New Orleans LA.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if maybe the voltage reg is bad.. You need at least 10volts to operate the computer maybe the voltage reg is going bad and not transfering enough power>>

I am just shooting in the dark here.. But its possible ...Especially since you said your alt was putting out like 17 volts.. (Should only be 14.4 or so...)


Problem is the voltage reg is in the Computer ... Sad
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Unless you include the sawzall work..

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alexkbee
Member


Joined: 09 Apr 2005

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

swamp boy wrote:
I wonder if maybe the voltage reg is bad.. You need at least 10volts to operate the computer maybe the voltage reg is going bad and not transfering enough power>>

I am just shooting in the dark here.. But its possible ...Especially since you said your alt was putting out like 17 volts.. (Should only be 14.4 or so...)


Problem is the voltage reg is in the Computer ... Sad

isn`t that built in the altenator? i`ll check it out i just bought a solenoid what is the proper way to install the wires for it i kinda mixed them up not think that they go in order Confused
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swamp boy
Cherokee Muderator
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Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Location: New Orleans LA.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should be marked (+) on one terminal... But if you post a good pic of it I can tell you...


Carl


I am pretty sure the voltage reg is in the computer .. Let me google it...

Carl
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swamp boy
Cherokee Muderator
Cherokee Muderator


Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Location: New Orleans LA.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I should have read the topic.. ON an 88 Cherokee.. I think you have an external voltage reg.


Autozone web site...
http://autozone.com/servlet/UiBroker?UseCase=C001&UserAction=performSearch&Parameters=Auto+Store%7C%7EREGULAR+PARTS+LOOK+UP%7C%7EVOLTAGE+REGULATOR

Oh and by the way.. Did a little looking around and I was right voltage should be between 14.1 and 14.8 ...Never any more...

Good luck..


Carl
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Unless you include the sawzall work..

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