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Thread: Repairs and checks you can still "do yourself"

  1. #21
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Repairs and checks you can still "do yourself"

    Quote Originally Posted by Daine
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric

    If thebattery's fully charged, you'll probably get to the store and back - but it's going to drain fast, fyi.
    That is quite interesting and really fast.

    Many many many moons ago with my first TR6, my alternator went out about half way through a road trip to Ohio from NY.
    Actually, it didn't go out... I was in the process of restoring the car and was not done. My friend came by and asked if I wanted to convoy out there with 2 cars so I sort of threw the rest of the car together to depart. At first it would not start and in the trouble shooting process I found what seemed to be a short circuit. I much later realized that it was the charging circuit. :-[

    Anyway, all was well during the day but when evening came and I turned on the lights, after about an hour I began loosing power. We stopped and after some investigation I realized what I had done but by then it was too late, the alternator was dead.

    So I was surprised when you said " it's going to drain fast".
    I could get a good 70 miles with the lights on before we had to swap the battery into the other car to charge it and it never died, it just got slower.

    Daine
    Well, "your mileage may vary"!

    Bear in mind that cars (and their power requirements) differ; then there is the issue of the state of charge of the battery to start with, etc. etc.

    I've gimped along a decent distance on just battery power - and also had the car quit very shortly after starting out.

    The point, though ( as regards Chevy's question) is that running the engine with no alternator (or a dead one) will, indeed, drain the battery pretty rapidly. Batteries are for starting the car - they're not designed to run its systems for extended periods.

  2. #22
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    Re: Repairs and checks you can still "do yourself"

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan


    And what , may I ask is a 'trickle charger'?
    A trickle charger is just what it sounds like - a plug-in charger/battery maintainer. You plug it into any houshold outlet, then connect the leads to your battery's terminals. The trickle charger will automatically keep the battery at optimum charge, which is a great thing during periods of non-use. It shuts off automatically when the battery is fully charged. Some models also have "quick charge" and "start" functions, which you can use to start a car with a dead battery. They cost anywhere from $30 or so to about $75 for a "loaded" model. I have one I use to keep my little-used Trans-Am in the pink. Any auto parts store (or Sears) will carry them. Well worth having....

  3. #23
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    Re: Repairs and checks you can still "do yourself"

    Hmmm..Eric, the way you explain it, it sounds like a handy accessory to have around.
    The manual lists some "alternator precautions", among them: "Disconnect the battery cables before using a fast charger, the charger has a tendency to force current through the diodes in the opposite direction for which they were designed. This burns out the diodes".

    Do you have to disconnect the battery cables when trickle charging?

    The shop had to replacethe alt. and the battery. I called the shop to tow my car in but they assured me I can drive it for the short distance, and taking their word for it, I drove it down (the GEN light was undisplayed on the dashbord then)but it conked out on me but luckily it did within a minute's walking distancenfrom the shop and they towed it the rest of the way

  4. #24
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Repairs and checks you can still "do yourself"

    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan
    Hmmm..Eric, the way you explain it, it sounds like a handy accessory to have around.
    The manual lists some "alternator precautions", among them: "Disconnect the battery cables before using a fast charger, the charger has a tendency to force current through the diodes in the opposite direction for which they were designed. This burns out the diodes".

    Do you have to disconnect the battery cables when trickle charging?

    No; the "fast charger" function is different from the trickle charge function. Just clip the alligator clamps to the positive and negative terminals, and that's it. You can leave the car for weeks (months) and when you comeback and need it to start, you canbe confident you won't have problems because of a dead battery.

    The "fast charge" function (on models that have it) uses household current to "jump" the battery when it's too weak to start the car, etc.

  5. #25
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    Re: Repairs and checks you can still "do yourself"

    Hi Eric,

    Checked with a NAPA store and they had two models of chargers, one being for trickle and another for fast charging as well as for trickle. The latter one costs 3 dollars less than the "trickle only". Go figure. The clerk tells me using either type require discnnecting both battery cables when hooking up. You say not necessary?

  6. #26
    TC
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    Re: Repairs and checks you can still "do yourself"

    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan
    Hi Eric,

    Checked with a NAPA store and they had two models of chargers, one being for trickle and another for fast charging as well as for trickle. The latter one costs 3 dollars less than the "trickle only". Go figure. The clerk tells me using either type require discnnecting both battery cables when hooking up. You say not necessary?
    If all else fails, read the instructions.

  7. #27
    JohnB
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    Re: Repairs and checks you can still "do yourself"

    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan
    <<>

    Well, I'm not fully certain if the battery is "Fully charged". All I can go by is with the battery's built-in state-of-charge indicater on the top of the case. GREEN means "charged ", (what percentage, I'm not certain.It may be only 50%)
    Not quite... That "green eye" gimmick only tests ONE cell. That one can just fine and the other 5 can be toast.


  8. #28
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Repairs and checks you can still "do yourself"

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnB
    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan
    <<>

    Well, I'm not fully certain if the battery is "Fully charged". All I can go by is with the battery's built-in state-of-charge indicater on the top of the case. GREEN means "charged ", (what percentage, I'm not certain.It may be only 50%)
    Not quite... That "green eye" gimmick only tests ONE cell. That one can just fine and the other 5 can be toast.

    Yep - just another gimmick...

    PS - When do we get the pics of the Machine??

  9. #29
    JohnB
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    Re: Repairs and checks you can still "do yourself"

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnB
    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan
    <<>

    Well, I'm not fully certain if the battery is "Fully charged". All I can go by is with the battery's built-in state-of-charge indicater on the top of the case. GREEN means "charged ", (what percentage, I'm not certain.It may be only 50%)
    Not quite... That "green eye" gimmick only tests ONE cell. That one can just fine and the other 5 can be toast.

    Yep - just another gimmick...

    PS - When do we get the pics of the Machine??
    Next time I go somewhere more interesting than my driveway

  10. #30
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Repairs and checks you can still "do yourself"





    Next time I go somewhere more interesting than my driveway
    Heck, even a driveway shot will do!

  11. #31
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    Re: Repairs and checks you can still "do yourself"

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan


    And what , may I ask is a 'trickle charger'?
    A trickle charger is just what it sounds like - a plug-in charger/battery maintainer. You plug it into any houshold outlet, then connect the leads to your battery's terminals. The trickle charger will automatically keep the battery at optimum charge, which is a great thing during periods of non-use. It shuts off automatically when the battery is fully charged. Some models also have "quick charge" and "start" functions, which you can use to start a car with a dead battery. They cost anywhere from $30 or so to about $75 for a "loaded" model. I have one I use to keep my little-used Trans-Am in the pink. Any auto parts store (or Sears) will carry them. Well worth having....

  12. #32
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    Re: Repairs and checks you can still "do yourself"

    I bought a charger from Sears, amid-price model (2/10/50 amp model).It says to use 2 amps for 'small battery",...motorcycles, lawn tractors. Can I use 2 amps for trickle charging my car. Your words of advice is infallible so I trust you on whatever advice you offer here. The owners manual says to connect a 24 in. 6 AWG cable between the Neg. terminal and the Negative charging cable when charging out of the vehicle.
    I saw such a cable at Wal-Mart which is called "Switch to Battery" cable. Is that the right cable to use in charging.

  13. #33
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Repairs and checks you can still "do yourself"

    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan
    I bought a charger from Sears, amid-price model (2/10/50 amp model).It says to use 2 amps for 'small battery",...motorcycles, lawn tractors. Can I use 2 amps for trickle charging my car. Your words of advice is infallible so I trust you on whatever advice you offer here. The owners manual says to connect a 24 in. 6 AWG cable between the Neg. terminal and the Negative charging cable when charging out of the vehicle.
    I saw such a cable at Wal-Mart which is called "Switch to Battery" cable. Is that the right cable to use in charging.
    Hi Larry,

    The directions that came with that particular charger are the directions to follow. The2 and 10 amp setting are typically for slow charging while the 50 amp setting i s for "fast starting" of a weak or dead battery - but go by the directions that came with the unit. They know more than I do!

    -Eric

  14. #34
    JohnB
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    Re: Repairs and checks you can still "do yourself"

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric


    Next time I go somewhere more interesting than my driveway
    Heck, even a driveway shot will do!
    I tried to get some while in San Francisco but....

  15. #35
    DonTom
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    Re: Repairs and checks you can still "do yourself"

    "Can I use 2 amps for trickle charging my car?"

    Yes, but do not leave it on there forever. If you wish to leave it on for a long time (like I do with my 1997 Sebring, which is rarely used , ( is kept at our other home) & normally draws a lot of current even when ignition key is out) don't use that, but get a "battery maintainer" which will switch off & on as needed. They usually can be purchased at Wal*Mart's battery department. I keep these on my vehicles that I don't use often.

    Do not confuse a tricker charger with a battery maintainer. A trickle charger won't shut off completely. A battery maintainer will, and it will come back on only as needed to keep the battery at it's very peak.

    This works better than removing the IOD (Ignition Off Draw) fuse. It seems Chrysler and Jeep products draw the must current with the key out and if I won't use the vehicle for a week I remove the IOD fuse if not around any 120 VAC. If longer than for a week, I use the battery maintainer if there is 120 VAC near by and keep the IOD fuse in. If the IOD fuse is removed, the radio and clock will need to be reset. Stock car alarms will still function with the IOD fuse removed (at least with the Jeep, not sure about others).

    I keep these battery maintainers on my motorcycles, electric boat deep cycle batteries as well as on my Sebring. If I didn't, I would have a lot of dead batteries. These "battery maintainers" may be left on forever, even on a motorcycle battery. Most of them are about 1.5 amps, but switch off when charge is at full and come back on perhaps for a few seconds every minute or less. The tricker charger if left on for months could damage the battery or at least make it dry out faster. The "battery maintainer" won't cause such problems when left alone. It will still charge the battery, but may take a little longer than a trickle charger. I find the "battery maintainers" to be more useful to me than trickle chargers because I own many vehicles, (4 cars, 4 boats, one SUV, one pickup truck, one RV, 4 motorcycles that all have a battery) that are not often used.

    A battery maintainer is more useful than a trickle charger because it will still trickle charge a battery but you can also leave it on and forget about it.

    -Don-



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