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nissan
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Bare with me while I explain the background. It may help diagnosis.

Potentialy relevant engine / electrics info
- GQ 4.2L turbo diesel
- redarc dual battery system
- HID headlights / 4x100w driving lights
- aftermarket car alarm
- upspecced alternator fitted with reco engine 1 yr ago (not sure of specs)

In recent times (last 3 months) we've had a few random flat batteries. Everytime bar one (left headlights on) we've been scratching our heads to what we may have left on to have caused the flat battery. After recharging the battery or getting a jump start and giving it a 20-30 minute drive the problem was solved. This happened once maybe every 3-4 weeks. After the first two time I decided to buy a new battery thinking it might be on the way out. Battery only 3 months old at best.

Yesterday after being fine for another 3-4 weeks it happened again. This time out in the middle of a state park with no help. I found the negative battery terminal a little loose so tightened it (figured this could have been the cause, getting interrupted charge from the alternator perhaps). We managed to roll start, first go down the only short hill we had.

Once home to friends we turned the car off. It started straight away when we left (I'm now thinking problem solved once again). We had one more stop 2 minutes away at another friends where we again turned the car off. This time it didn't start when we left. Battery completely dead! Bizarre, it started only 2 minutes ago. After jump starting we headed home.

This mornings checks went as follows.

1. Before charging main battery read 11.8V, deep cycle battery 13.5V
2. While away I charged via solar panel for the day battery level as expected rose.
3. Once charged, I started motor at idle. Main 13.5V (but slowly rising), Deep 13.6V, Alternator 13.2V and slowly rising.
4. At 2000rpm. Main 13.7V (and slowly rising still), Deep 13.7V, Alternator 14.4V, Volt gauge in the instrument panel reads 14V charge.

Ok so all looks pretty good and I take it for a 20 minute spin. Turn the car off. Go to restart. Again dead flat?! Nothing! Managed to roll start and got myself home again in another 20 minutes. Should be plenty of time to charge but noticed on the way home that in car volt gauge only reading 12V charge (13V at best). I deliberately drove without any lights, radio etc etc on this drive to maximise charge.

At home take new checks. Main 11.9V, deep 12.6V, alternator at idle only charging at 12.4V. At 2000rpm it charged at 12.6V. WTF???

So to sum up, after taking it for a drive on a close to fully charged battery it drained the battery during the drive and the alternator putting out less volts. I don't get it? Like I mentioned at the beginning the problem was intermittent for some time but corrected itself with one charge / jump start previous to today.

Any help appreciated.
 

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Have you replaced the alternator - possibly intermittant.

Also have you checked the battery to chassis ground - have heard of issue with this cable.

At home take new checks. Main 11.9V, deep 12.6V, alternator at idle only charging at 12.4V. At 2000rpm it charged at 12.6V. = Faulty alternator or battery
 

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What redarc system do you have Grampians? I have been having similar issues and while my factory alternator ('89 Td42) and battery are quite old so may need an upgrade, i find that my bcdc1225 redarc charger system seems to switch on too early and doesnt give the main battery enough time to get a charge while driving, it pulls charge straight to the rear battery very early. I had a 3hr night drive with the fridge fridge, charger and driving lights running and the next morning at camp my main was flat.
Have you sized up what amps you are pulling while driving? Maybe need a larger alternator also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
1. Have you replaced the alternator - possibly intermittant.

2. Also have you checked the battery to chassis ground - have heard of issue with this cable.

3. At home take new checks. Main 11.9V, deep 12.6V, alternator at idle only charging at 12.4V. At 2000rpm it charged at 12.6V. = Faulty alternator or battery
Thanks GQ Tank,

1. No mate. I don't have spare alternators lying around.

2. Just checked. Looks fine. All solid and connected.

3. Something is faulty I agree. Battery is new so it must be alternator then. Just weird that it works sometimes and sometimes not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What redarc system do you have Grampians? I have been having similar issues and while my factory alternator ('89 Td42) and battery are quite old so may need an upgrade, i find that my bcdc1225 redarc charger system seems to switch on too early and doesnt give the main battery enough time to get a charge while driving, it pulls charge straight to the rear battery very early. I had a 3hr night drive with the fridge fridge, charger and driving lights running and the next morning at camp my main was flat.
Have you sized up what amps you are pulling while driving? Maybe need a larger alternator also.
Thanks.

Not sure what redarc. Just looked an can't find model on it. It was all professionally installed. It could be something in there because it all gets wired up through there. I'm not clued up enough on this stuff though.

It wouldn't surprise me with all lights going, fridge etc etc, I may well be pushing the amps and no I haven't checked it. In fact how do you check how many amps are being pulled?

I do know the alternator was an upspecced one which was added with the whole engine conversion 12 months ago. How do I find out what amp the alternator is?
 

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Right Turn Clyde
nissan patrol
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When you say completely dead, where there dash lights, headlights, horn, starter clicking/turning or zero?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When you say completely dead, where there dash lights, headlights, horn, starter clicking/turning or zero?
Good point.

Yesterday it was dead on the starter clicking or crank side of things. Nothing there whatsoever. When arriving home after the final jump start my headlights were running off the alternator pretty much. When backing down the driveway I had to keep revs up just to have the reverse lamps light up.

Today it had one starter click and the dullest of cranks and then dead again. Didn't check for lights etc being daylight.
 

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First thing i would do is take your battery back from where you got it from and get it load tested
But
My last 100amp alternator alternator part no (jas anj029hogq) would stop charging intermittently
If i wet it with a garden hose it would work again
Took it to a auto sparky but he could not fix it
Could not get parts that would fit
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
First thing i would do is take your battery back from where you got it from and get it load tested
Ok. Thanks I'll do that tomorrow when in town.

I've had the battery on the 240V charger all night from yesterday and its still not done. And by now it should be I'm guessing.
 

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Every dog has his day
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Can you also check that light comes on when you turn key to 'ign' and goes out when engine starts.

If it doesn't come on at all there could be an open circuit or crook globe, which will not give the diode pack the resistance it requires to start charging.

If it stays on with engine running (even very dull) it's likely the alt is kapoot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Can you also check that light comes on when you turn key to 'ign' and goes out when engine starts.

If it doesn't come on at all there could be an open circuit or crook globe, which will not give the diode pack the resistance it requires to start charging.

If it stays on with engine running (even very dull) it's likely the alt is kapoot.
Thanks I'll check today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My last 100amp alternator alternator part no (jas anj029hogq) would stop charging intermittently
If i wet it with a garden hose it would work again
Took it to a auto sparky but he could not fix it
Could not get parts that would fit
That's interesting. I've got a feeling its something like this, with intermittent alternator. Which in turn isn't helping the batteries life out either. Just seems difficult to test.
 

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Every dog has his day
2005 TD42 GU IV
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Yes I had considered this too, perhaps a brush sticking, which may be freed up (even if just temporarily) with a good squirt of inox/wd40/crc or even (as per 91shorty's case) water.

But when this was occurring you'd expect the battery light to come on in the dash.

Initially I had considered the starter to be at fault until you explained your engine running voltages.

An additional big fat earth from battery to engine never goes astray... The factory one (pretty old by now) could have a few broken strands or corrosion creating resistance or whatever, which inhibits both charging and starting. I would add a good solid earth here in the meantime to eliminate this one simple possible issue, you may be pleasantly surprised :)
 
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