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Ex Navy Nuke
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5,421 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is pissin me off. I just got the Bronco put all back together from repairing a vacuum leak(upper to lower intake gasket) and go to start it and the starter relay just sits there and vibrates. I swapped it out and got the same thing so I test the original one with a jumper wire and it works fine. 9 month old Battery was on charger all night but still kinda low voltage so I put in a different battery with the charger still hooked up and still the same result.

I should say the day after I pulled the Bronco in the garage last week the battery died for no reason(I'm thinking a short). I charged it up the next day and 2 days later it was dead again and when I popped the hood there was a faint smell of burnt insulation(can't mistake that smell). So this time I recharge it and repair my vacuum leak(leaving the battery unhooked until today when this started). I had no known electrical problems before I pulled it in the garage(ever for that matter), this apparently just decided to happen at the same time I decided to repair my vacuum leak. I hadn't touched anything yet when the battery started draining, it just went dead the day after I parked it.

Here's what I had time to do before I came to work:
- Checked all my cables; positive, starter, neg, other grounds. All were new 1 gage cables last May and they have tight connections and no visible problems.
- Battery voltage 12.6 VDC
- Battery voltage with charger hooked up 14.8 VDC and still can't get past starter relay.
- ignition voltage at the starter relay when key turned to start 11.2 VDC (seems low)
- When key turned I can hear the relays click under the hood but the FP doesn't come on.(could be low voltage?)
- Back probed the EEC and FP relay connectors to see if they were bad. The FP relay only had voltage at the 12 VDC power in. The EEC relay had 12 VDC at the power in and 0.6 VDC at another wire(not sure which one).
- Didn't find any burnt or worn wires. All sensors and other connectors are hooked up in their proper locations.
- jumping the starter relay terminals with a screwdriver didn't do anything either, voltage just dropped.

I plan on checking the starter tomorrow and trying it again(battery is charging right now)
Could the notorious ignition switch problem be the cause of this? If so is there any way to test it?

BTW, I'm going to search right now. I just wanted to post up first to see if anybody had any insight for me while I'm at work in case I missed something obvious.
And before you ask Steve :toothless yes they are still the stock style relays. That was another one of my "to-dos" during this repair session but this kinda sidetracked me.
 

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Ex Navy Nuke
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5,421 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Yup all the big and little wires are hooked up correctly. I didn't check voltage while the relay was vibrating. The 11.2 VDC I got was with the little wire pulled of the relay and testing the connector itself. And wouldn't jumping the relay with a screwdriver nullify how much vlotage it's getting from the ignition(I'm bypassing the relay at this point)
Like I said this all started out of the blue, never touched anything.
 

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Ex Navy Nuke
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5,421 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The battery draining started BEFORE I started the vacuum leak repair. I had it in the garage for at least 5 days before I started pulling off the intake. The battery went dead the day after pulling it in the garage. After the first time it died I recharged it, started it up(started fine) and checked voltage while it was running(14.7 VDC). Then 2 days later it was dead again so I unhooked the battery and charged it again. This time I left it unhooked until I was done fixing the vacuum leak(last night), then when I tried to start it(today) I run into this.

The more I think about it, it just sounds like the battery didn't get enough of a charge after going "dead as a doornail". With the burning insulation smell and the dead battery I'm thinking it might be a short that killed the battery(which I still have to find). The battery is charging on 10 amps right now, I'm gonna leave it on all night then see how it goes tomorrow. Looks like I probably need to do the test light/multimeter on the neg battery cable while pulling fuses to hunt down the short. I noticed that a fusible link at the starter relay seems to be a common culprit(yes I really did search).

Does this sound like a probability or does anyone think I'm way off base? Go ahead and say it, I can't beat you up over the net.
 

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Ex Navy Nuke
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5,421 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Steve83 said:
RLKBOB said:
Like I said this all started out of the blue, never touched anything.
RLKBOB said:
I just got the Bronco put all back together from repairing a vacuum leak(upper to lower intake gasket)...

:scratchhe

RLKBOB said:
I hadn't touched anything yet when the battery started draining, it just went dead the day after I parked it..
i.e. before I started working on the vacuum leak repair
 

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Stuck like a MoFo
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3,450 Posts
I would get the batt fully charged then start hookin you volt meter inbetwwen things trying to find the draw. My draw was at teh battery as i have a 7 amp draw just across the top of the battery, had to clean it all off and the batt had no draw, too bad it was goin on too long and i needed a new batt
 

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Ex Navy Nuke
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5,421 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Steve83 said:
Short circuits blow fuses & start fires; OPEN circuits keep things from working.
RLKBOB said:
I charged it up the next day and 2 days later it was dead again and when I popped the hood there was a faint smell of burnt insulation.
;)


Steve83 said:
My draw was at teh battery as i have a 7 amp draw just across the top of the battery, had to clean it all off and the batt had no draw.
That must've been a pretty nasty battery.
 

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Ex Navy Nuke
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5,421 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I'm home from work now and I hooked up the battery and put my multimeter between the neg post and the ground cable and got 12.5 VDC. Looks like a pretty serious draw on the battery. Unhooking the charge cable from the alt didn't change anything so at least it's not my 200 amp 3G. When I unhooked the 3 yellow wires and the power lead for my Jacob's ignition from the hot side of the starter relay it all but went away. Next I checked each one of the yellow wires and the Jacob's power lead individually, putting them back in place one at a time. The Jacob's lead took the meter back up to 11.9 VDC, the 2 large yellow wires took it back up to 12.2 and the little yellow wire took it to about 2.0VDC. Pretty inconclusive. So right now I'm going to look at my wiring diagrams in the Haynes and tomorrow my boys and I are gonna start pulling fuses to try and track this thing down.
 

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Ex Navy Nuke
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5,421 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Well I got it started, battery needed more time on the charger. The reason the FP wasn't kicking on was the EEC relay was bad. I'm hoping that was the cause for the battery drain, I know I had a bad FP relay kill the battery before.
I didn't have enought time to test everything before coming to work. When I hooked the meter up between the neg batt post and the ground cable I got about 0.7 amps for about 1 sec then the draw went away completely and would only come back if I removed the meter for 20 - 30 sec and did it again. I know it wasn't the meter because I opened the door and checked it again and got a steady 1.5 amps. I left the batt disconnected now b/c I don't feel like coming home to a burned down house tonight. When I get home tonight I'm gonna pull it out of the garage and hook the battery back up and see if it's still charged in the morning. If it's dead again then I guess I need to keep looking but hopefully since the EEC relay was bad that was also the cause of the dead battery.
 
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