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Old 11-20-2012, 12:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fresh Rebuild, Huge Voltage Draw

Alright so as the title states I just finished a rebuild on my car and ended up dropping the motor in and hooking everything up. Went to start the car and required a jump to get it started AND keep the jumper cables attached for it to continue to run. Had an Alternator code P0622 (Field Generator Thermal Circuit aka Can't Regulate Voltage) and the ABS sensor on. Not to mention the car was chugging like it was cam'ed (Stock cams and cam gears.) Killed the car pushed it back into the garage and proceeded to check the sensor on the Alternator and the ABS connections/fuses/relays. Found the torched section of the harness for the Alternator pigtail/socket and re-pinned it. I also had the battery and alternator tested at Autozone just for peace of mind (Both passed flawlessly).

Now I've read up on trying to see why my ABS light is on and I found a thread where someone mentioned their car was doing the same thing (starting rough, chugging, and ABS light on) and it ended up being caused by dirty battery terminals and/or the starter connections (The OP never specified which fixed his issue). This grabbed my attention and I remembered the post coming off the starter wiggling when putting the cables back on. I was curious if that post being loose could cause the starter to short internally and be the source of the voltage drop. The Voltage drop ONLY happens with the key is in the ON position (Not cranking just sitting in the ON position).

I pulled the harness and inspected all the wires after fixing the alternator pigtail/socket. I then threw everything back together and started to test for a parasitic draw by removing fuses one by one with a multimeter hooked up to monitor drop. Before turning the key to the ON position the battery read 12.2-5v and with the key in the ON position the voltage dropped instantly to 7.8 and slowly crept back up to about 8.5-6. When I go to turn the motor over the voltage nose dives, the starter will only click, and the interior lights will flicker in sync with the starter clicks. I'm at a loss, the harness was removed from the car during the rebuild as it was stored outside and I kept the harness in closed boxes in my garage. The starter was stored sitting on the post that I mentioned "wiggled"(possibly a mistake on my part).

Pretty much any ideas you guys may have would be greatly appreciated, I wanna diagnose this problem rather then buy a new/used harness. If you need anymore information about this please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer.

Thanks,
Luke
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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unhook the wire to the starter post and see what the voltage does.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the input, I also have a friend who will be bringing his SRT over to use as reference for voltage. I'll include details here later on how that works out. Looking at wiring diagrams the starter is the last part of that circuit that hasn't been checked. I may just have the starter tested while in there.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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to be honest, if your removing fuses, and regardless have the draw, the starter is probably the issue, as it is seperate ( aside from the ignition wire)from the rest of the system and the postive from battery to starter is NOT regulated.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Found 2 issues that were fixed at the same time. Apparently the cables running from the starter had seen some better days after the past 123k miles and there was a slight "split" in the cable running from the battery to the starter post that was shorting out to the starter housing. Taped that up and then noticed a puddle of battery acid on my transmission. Instantly looked at the battery and sure enough there was a puddle gathering under it. Took the battery in and had it replaced (Not all places will replace a physically damaged battery so I ended up telling a little white lie), Neutralized all the battery acid and cleaned it off. Threw everything back together and Viola! the car started right up. Still have a battery and abs light on but there no voltage draw of any sort so chances are I might have to get the ABS light reset at the local college and find the origin of the battery light. Needless to say after 6 months my car is finally alive again and I'm a super happy camper! Thanks for the help Boostinfamily!
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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low charge voltage will cause a battery light, along with a missing batt temp sensor.

and ABS i would recommend scanning that to see what it shows.

test charge voltage, if it is around 13.7-14.5 it is good and you are probably missign the batt temp sensor, if it is batt voltage however, your inline fuse from the alt to the starter probably blew.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah the charge voltage was at 14.1 and I'll have to check the inline fuse. I have a friend at the local college that is going to plug into the abs diagnostic port and figure that one out for me.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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if it is at 14.1 it most likely is the batt temp sensor then, (unless it's an 05, then it goes off intake air temps).

or your re-pinning got a wire wrong.. LOL

the inline fuse is fine, if it wasn't there would be no charging from the alt.
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