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Thread: The battery indicator lit up??!

  1. #1

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    The battery indicator lit up??!

    I went for some supplies and blinkers and gauges worked fine, then on the way back the gauges and blinker indicators inside did not work and the battery symbol was lit. This battery is only a year or two old. When I got home I had to shut it off to open the gate and when I got it inside the light was off?? So I guess this means I have to look at the alternator. How do I test it? Where do you guys get replacements? RA has 3 2 brands I never heard of https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/...generator,2412

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    The part where you say that the gauges stopped working makes me think to check the electrical connections and grounds for the gauge cluster first, I've heard on 1st gens they can get corrosion and do funny things. This may solve the charging light issue to go away but it may not since the bulb had power and ground to illuminate the light but charging light circuits are definitely interesting. Someone who knows more about first gens should be able to help more, I only owned two non running ones so I haven't had to chase any electrical gremlins in one.

  3. #3

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    I should add that when I worked at a parts store we always had more issues with new alternators than rebuilt factory units. The new ones would burn up fast and were made in china where as the rebuilt ones were more expensive but we hardly ever had problems with them since they were rebuilt factory units with better quality parts.

  4. #4

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    To check if the alternator is charging, start the engine and run a volt meter/multimeter over the battery. If the alt is working it will show voltages exceeding 13.6v. Bad mistake made by a lot of noobs is assuming the battery is fragged and buying a new one without knowing if the alternator is the culprit.
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  5. #5

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    Well I found out what happened to my Multi Meter when I was testing the fuse block, the fuse in it blew! I was busy so I didn't go look for one but its a GB GMT-312 and it takes a 0.5A/250V fuse which is less than an inch long.

  6. #6

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    I just looked up that meter and I'm guessing you may have set the meter to the amp setting instead of volts, that would have popped the fuse in it. If you have a harbor freight near you I would recommend grabbing one of their coupons and getting one of their little digital meters for free or next to nothing or you could order a multi meter fuse online or some hardware stores, looking at the meter I would guess the proper HRC fuse may cost as much as a new meter though but i could be totally wrong. Cant really go wrong with the little Harbor Freight meters, for the price its worth keeping one in the glove box for emergencies. I have a couple of them floating around here.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by StarquestMan View Post
    I just looked up that meter and I'm guessing you may have set the meter to the amp setting instead of volts, that would have popped the fuse in it. If you have a harbor freight near you I would recommend grabbing one of their coupons and getting one of their little digital meters for free or next to nothing or you could order a multi meter fuse online or some hardware stores, looking at the meter I would guess the proper HRC fuse may cost as much as a new meter though but i could be totally wrong. Cant really go wrong with the little Harbor Freight meters, for the price its worth keeping one in the glove box for emergencies. I have a couple of them floating around here.
    Every glovebox in our fleet has at least 1 free harbor freight multi meter If you really want to be cheap, you can use the 20% coupon off on the 25 cent razor blade and walk out the door with a multi meter for 20 cents (plus tax if you have it)

  8. #8

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    Nope sorry to say I paid whatever the full price was for it at harbor freight. Though in my research I was able to find out that GB is Gardner Bender and found the how to use it PDf on their website. They also have a parts catalog where you can find out things like fuse types but they do not sell anything from it! If I had the booklet from when I bought it I lost it. I did take the time to call HF and the guy said they do not carry those fuses which is odd to me as they usually have the parts to back up their stuff. I recently went in there (see my dash speaker post I cut out the dash with it) with a grinder I got more than 10 years ago because it did not hold the cutting wheels they sell and they gave me the correct nut to put on it! I'll look around next time I go in or dig up one of the catalogs they send me and see if I can find a coupon.

  9. #9



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    Always check voltage at the alternator. Should be around 14.2 volts @1500 RPM. Volts come up on the battery as it charges.
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  10. #10

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    Thanks Cam

  11. #11

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    OK I stopped by the Harbor freight and bought another one of a different kind for $6 since it would cost more than that to get new fuses.
    I just drove it for the first time since I last posted, and the indicator lit up again and the gas gauge was below half (it should register 3/4+) and the temp gauge didn't register at all.
    When I got home I tried to work out how to check the alternator but I couldn't. I tapped it with a hammer a couple times nothing. Tightened it up against the belt, it moved about a half inch but no change. unplugged the two wire plug at the top nothing happened or changed. At the battery I had 13.46 when it was idling. I wiggled the harness inside the engine bay next to where it goes into the cab and the fuel gauge went up higher. Something in the harness is off. IDK what. Hopefully before summers end I can take this thing apart and run down the wiring. BTW anyone know what size screws hold the steering column plastic together? Ever since I took it apart to install the last cheap radio it has not gone back together and I lost the screws fir it. I think I might have borked the wiring when I did that too as everything worked fine before I "installed" that radio. shoulda woulda coulda

  12. #12

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    She's been parked for about a week. When I went to start it today the battery (only 2 or 3 years old) was totally dead. I hooked up another battery and it started up and did not die when I disconnected the second battery to hook up the first. It charged up in a drive about 8 miles to the lumberyard. The motor struggles to turn over the first few times when I started it 3 times since the charge and then it breaks loose and turns normally??? It has done that in the past when it was very hot since I blew the head and replaced it. It is high 80's here but the motor didn't seem unusually hot.
    Anyway I think the alt light was telling me the battery was draining. The only new thing is the radio which I set up to have power at all times so I figure even though it is off and the face plate removed it must be drawing significant power. When I get some time I'll try to find a spot on the fuse box that only has power when the key is on. For now I have the neg cable disconnected.

  13. #13



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    That would do it.
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    You can tie the radio to the cigarette lighter - it only works when the key is on
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  15. #15

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    When I ask this, don't take it as an affront - any reason why you're not using the factory fused location for the radio?
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer101 View Post
    When I ask this, don't take it as an affront - any reason why you're not using the factory fused location for the radio?
    I wanted to be able to use it without the key. I had no idea it was drawing that much power even when not on. I can see the clock wanting power but??? It does have a bluetooth that the specs say constantly seeks when on, maybe that is always on when powered? I will probably just use the radio fuse spot.

  17. #17

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    It needs a fused connection off the ignition (stock set up) but it also needs a permanent power connection as well (the yellow wire on the new head unit power connection) You can hook it up off the clock (it's close enough) or run the wire from permanent power in the fuse block. I would have a tendency to have a fuse in the permanent power wire as well just in case. You have the original radio power plug in the loom so I'd just hook the power on from that to simplify the set up so you can find the fuse for it in the fuse block if it pops.
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