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Old 04-24-2017, 07:10 PM   #1
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Need answers fast about my battery

Hi my name is sun bear I have a 97 bluebird with a 5 9 Cummins 6bt motor all mechanical 12 valve. I tried starting her in 12 degree weather. She crank over and then did nothing but click so I took the battery to AutoZone and they charged it put the battery back in and she still just clicked at the starter. I was freezing with my five year old so I had to play told me to a safe spot to my friends property then we flew home to California for a couple months. So we get back and I tried to charge the battery with a heavy-duty home charger and she still just clicked so we put the charger to 40 amp and she turned over so that I tried charging the battery with 40 amp charger and it wouldn't take a charge luckily for me I had four days left on the warranty now I have a brand new battery with no warranty and I'm wondering if there's something else besides the cold weather that could have killed my last battery my alternator is brand new for less than a year old the starter is brand new or less than a year old I just don't want to hurt my new battery what can I do to avoid killing this battery someone told me that you can kill a battery by trying to jump it in freezing cold weather is this true what would you do would you just slapped a new battery in and fire it up? Thank you for your response
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:25 PM   #2
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So did it start with the new battery?
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:47 PM   #3
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I won't know until tomorrow with my disability I have to wait for help lifting and I want to re connect the drive line. But since it fired right up with my old battery in a 40 amp charger and my old battery was low on amps is it not sake to assume it would start with a brand new battery?
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:12 PM   #4
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Sounds like it should start. The problem may very have been that the other battery was just worn out.
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:21 PM   #5
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Hmmm that sucks the battery was only a year old and I never drained it to where I needed a jump I hope I have better luck with this one cause the warranty is up in a cpl days .
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:29 PM   #6
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My guess is it will start with the new battery but time will tell.

What kills starting batteries:

- Allowing them to be deeply discharged over and over
- Allowing the electrolyte to drop below the top of the plates
- Overcharging (sustained charging over 14.8 volts)
- Allowing them to freeze

A fully charged battery won't freeze so keeping it charged during the winter is essential, especially if your bus is parked all winter long.

Don't assume the new battery is fully charged. Many have been sitting on the shelf and are partially discharged. If you have a volt meter your battery should show 12.6 volts or better. If not, charge it over night before installing it.

Once the bus is started check your alternator output with a voltmeter at the battery posts. A good alternator should be giving you 14.5 volts or so.
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:41 PM   #7
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Thank you I'll do that
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:21 PM   #8
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A vehicle that just sits for long periods will deplete the battery (and cause damage to the battery). Even with a mechanical engine there's sure to be some ignition-off draw for a radio memory or something. When it needs to sit for long periods, disconnect the battery and use a charger to ensure it's fully charged.
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:25 PM   #9
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But that's the thing, when she originally broke down I was in the middle of a road trip she wasn't sitting
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Old 04-26-2017, 01:05 PM   #10
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So I got a new battery and the starter engaged but not enough power to make her run

I booked her to the 40 amp charger and she still wouldn't start. The new battery read 12.56
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Old 04-26-2017, 01:13 PM   #11
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Could you be having a grounding issue?
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Old 04-26-2017, 01:27 PM   #12
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I would start to look at the ground wire too. Make sure your positive and ground cables and posts have no corrosion on them. Make sure there is no dirt, paint, surface rust etc between the ground wire and the frame, assuming the its grounded to the frame. Find your favorite wire brush to clean up a bit. Make sure its just metal to metal contact. A little bit of attention could go a long way here. Just my $0.02.
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Old 04-26-2017, 02:51 PM   #13
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There should also be a ground wire from the battery directly to the engine block. Some designs have more than one. Basically, follow all the ground wires from the batteries to see where they go and verify their terminations are clean.
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:08 PM   #14
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People don't realize those ground wire connections build up varnish over the years. Vehicles that aren't operated frequently often loose the ground connection. Sometimes it's obvious because the connection can corrode, but most of the time they look just fine. You have to take the ground connection apart and scuff up the metal with a piece of sandpaper on the wire terminal and where it connects to the engine/frame.

It saves a lot of work to eliminate the simple things first.
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunbear View Post
I booked her to the 40 amp charger and she still wouldn't start. The new battery read 12.56
So it didn't start. What happened when you turned the key to "Start?"
dash lights ok, what else wasn't normal? Tell us something.
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:49 PM   #16
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No start issues can be very aggravating, especially when you think you have it figured out.

Way back when, as I was first starting out in the business, I was taught to always start at the beginning. What that meant is you had to have a fully charged battery that was big enough to do the job. I assume your new battery is not only now fully charged but it has sufficient cold cranking amps to start your engine.

The next step in checking stuff is to make sure you have good connections between the battery and the starter and between the battery and grounds.

My mother owned a Buick with a side post battery. She was having a continual problem of non-starting and requiring a jump start. I changed out her alternator, starter, and her battery and we were still having problems. I finally put new cables on because I had run out of other possibilities. With the new battery cables the starter spun like it had been hit with 24-volts! I cut the old cables apart to see what may have been the problem. The ground cable was completely green all the way through from end to end. The amount of resistance was so extreme that I needed at least 2x the normal CCA to make the starter work.

That is all said to tell you to make sure that you not only have good clean connections on both ends of both the negative and positive cables but to also make sure the cables are in good condition of sufficient size to carry the load.

If you know you have good cables, if you know you have good clean connections at both ends of both cables, and if you know you have good cables I would then follow the circuit to see if you have any starter relays in the starter circuit. A bad relay can make starting difficult and cause you a lot of aggravation in determining why things aren't working.

I have a GMC Brigadier dump truck with a Detroit Diesel 6-71. It has a starter relay on the fire wall that has a propensity of going bad. When the truck doesn't want to start with the key it will usually start right up if you jump the relay. I also had a Ford E-350 mini-bus that had a starter relay that would randomly stop working. It got so bad I kept a jumper wire in the bus at all times and showed the drivers what to do if the starter decided to not work.

I think you will discover that what is keeping your engine from starting is something simple that will make you face palm yourself when you get it figured out.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 04-26-2017, 04:46 PM   #17
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Grounding issue?

Where would I start I am guessing I need to clean the ground wires but where do I start?
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Old 04-26-2017, 04:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunbear View Post
Where would I start I am guessing I need to clean the ground wires but where do I start?
In the battery box, then follow them from there.
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Old 04-26-2017, 05:04 PM   #19
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FWIW, I just bought a new battery for my truck. Took it home off the shelf and put the charger on it. 60% capacity so charged it up over night. Store tested it the next day as I told them what I found. They tested the same after charging and was at 1100CCA's available and 12.8V at rest.
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Old 04-26-2017, 05:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunbear View Post
Where would I start I am guessing I need to clean the ground wires but where do I start?
Also clean the battery terminals and cable connectors first and try.
Don't connect either till booth are cleaned up then avoid shorting things out (no metal to metal accidental touching of the cable ends to the batterybox or body) when hooking up again.
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