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Old 05-17-2008, 11:44 AM   #1
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Battery will not recharge and alternator is good?

Hi guys. this is my first post here. I recently (last week!) bought a lifted 4x4 1987 toyota truck with a 1984 22r engine with 200xxx miles on it with a straight rear axel. When I bought the car, the guy said it needed a new battery and i put one in it and it drove fine. It continued to operate perfectly for 2-3 days. i even took it 4 wheeling and it perforned beautifully. On the night of the problem, i parked my truck and went to sleep.
The next morning, i went to start the truck, and found there to be only enough power to listen to the stereo and turn on my fuel gauge. The starter did not attempt to turnover. I left it for the day, and when i attempted to start it again that evening, absolutely nothing.
The next morning, i bought some jumper cables and jump started my car. After the cables were removed, the car ran for approx 1 minute and then sputtered out again.
The next day i removed the alternator and took it to autozone to be tested. came back as working perferctly. i took the battery in to be charged, and was able to drive the truck around for the day only to be unable to start it again the next morning. While the truck was running, the truck was not able to keep running with the battery disconnected.
I have tightened some of the connections but am really at a loss as to what to do. I believe the problem is:
1) alternator is not charging battery
2) something is slow draining the battery when the vehicle is off

Does anyone have any ideas for me? Im sure that im missing something very basic but this is my first real work truck and dont know where to turn. Any ideas would be REALLY appreciated.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:04 PM   #2
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Sounds like a dead cell in the battery, and as such will not accept a charge. I have had that problem before.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:05 PM   #3
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but its a brand new battery?
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:05 PM   #4
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You're checking in all the right places. Sounds like battery to me..there have been a couple times i've brought one in and they said it was fine, duh..it was charging while i drove it there.
Check connections, clean off and use wire brush.
Check battery water.
Inspect cables.
Usually after u disconnect the batt while running and car dies it's a bad alt??
Good luck man.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:07 PM   #5
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Sounds like a dead cell in the battery, and as such will not accept a charge. I have had that problem before.
X2 i've had that problem before, usually caused by letting the battery drain too much too many times. Back in high school when my loud stereo was the most important part of my truck, I drained it one too many times and it caused dead cells.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:09 PM   #6
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Actually if the battery is bad, the truck SHOULD stay running after being disconnected. That is the job of the alternator.

I didn't read your entire post, ie the part about disconnecting the battery and it dying. That leaves me thinking two things:

#1 Alternator is bad (even tho autozone tested it, take it somewhere else for a test)
#2 Your main fuse is bad. Look in the fuse panel, and make sure none of the big 30,40, or 80 amp fuses are blown.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:10 PM   #7
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so i should just take the battery back to walmart and say that the battery is a piece of garbage and doesnt hold a charge? IF I get a new battery and its still a no go, what are my next options?
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:11 PM   #8
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i can take a picture of my fuses right now. i really dont know how to tell if they are good or not? this is my first time working on a truck by myself, usually im just the helper.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:19 PM   #9
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Pictures

wOk. heres pictures of under the hood. Anything stand out?? never mind. i caant post pics bigger than 48 k?
where are the big fuses located? I only have found 10 and 5 amp fuses?
also, would it be a good idea to invest in a voltmeter and how much does one cost?

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Old 05-17-2008, 12:21 PM   #10
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host the pics on Photobucket.com then post them here.

The big fuses will be under the fuse block cover just like the smaller ones
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:21 PM   #11
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once I read it all, it sounds like your battery is ok. LIke i said, you may have an alternator or fuse problem
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:23 PM   #12
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what willl a bad fuse look like? will it stand out?
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:30 PM   #13
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yeah, a clip in small fuse will have a thin wire through it. if its good, the wire will be straight. if its blown, the wire will be snapped. with the big ones, same thing.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:39 PM   #14
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i found the 30 amp fuse and a 40 amp fuse, two 10 amps and 2 five amps and they all looked good. i did not see anything larger than that though? also, isnt there something draning my battery when parked? it went dead overnight after sitting, which would lead me to believe something is draining it?
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:05 PM   #15
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a bad cell in the battery would cause it to drain overnight
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:09 PM   #16
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Actually if the battery is bad, the truck SHOULD stay running after being disconnected. That is the job of the alternator.

I didn't read your entire post, ie the part about disconnecting the battery and it dying. That leaves me thinking two things:

#1 Alternator is bad (even tho autozone tested it, take it somewhere else for a test)
#2 Your main fuse is bad. Look in the fuse panel, and make sure none of the big 30,40, or 80 amp fuses are blown.
Not 100% true, a bad cell will mimick a bad alternator what with the shutting off and all. I would start by getting a multimeter and leaving it on your battery and checking it after you have jumped it. If it doesnt read 13.9 volts or better the alt is shot.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:18 PM   #17
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A bad battery will not cause your truck to die when disconnected. If it is not connected, bad or not, how could it affect the truck, its not connected! That just doesn't make sense. You think the truck dies because a bad battery is in close proximity??? LOL!

Every single thing you said (other than the autozone test) points to the alternator or alternator wires. I would also get it tested somewhere else or invest in a multimeter. If it isn't a few volts above 12 than the alternator is not working.

Your truck needs power to run. So if your alternator is not working, your truck will run until it uses up everything in the battery. Then when being jumped off another car, it is getting power to run from other car. It even got recharged enough from the jump to continue running for a minute after the cables were removed. If not the alternator itself, than its a bad connection on the wires from the alternator. Grounds always corrode faster than positives, but check them all well.

Your truck "should" also run without a battery because it is getting the power it needs directly from the alternator. The parts that are not connected to your truck (ie bad battery) do not affect the operation of the vehicle, hehee!
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:19 PM   #18
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Do you know how to use a Multimeter? I had exactly the same problem with my truck something was draining it over night, it was driving me crazy. I used my multimeter and found the promplem when I had a considerable Amp drop coming from the battery when it was off after I took out the fuse connecting to the radio. heres what you do.

1.Turn the multimeter to amps
2. diconnect the negative wire on the battery
3. take the wires on the multimeter and connect the negative one to the negative side of the battery, the other wire should be connected the the negative battery cable.
4. take out fuses, until you see a consider amp drop coming from the battery, then whatever thats powering is whats draining your battery.

The normal amps coming out of you battery when the car is turned off should be between 30-35 amps.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:42 PM   #19
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thank u guys. Im going to go buy a voltmeter and test those things out like you suggested. Would replacing the alternator and all the cables/wires atached to it resolve this problem?

1stgen: So i want to take the black probe and touch the neg on the battery and then pull fuses untill i see it jump? and thats whats draining it? im sorry for all the dummy questions, im totally new to this and cant afford to pay a mechanic.
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:08 PM   #20
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He is saying to take the neg battery cable off. Then put one probe on the neg battery post, and the other probe on the neg battery cable.

But if your truck runs until the battery dies, than the problem is not that it is being discharged overnight. The battery is dying while it is running.
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