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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, 05 42TDi is having issues starting. Primarily a weak start (refer symptoms below) even though battery brand new. Just wondering if anyone has experienced this or has a thought what problem may be before I throw myself to mercy of auto elec?

Symptoms
We did a cape trip 8 weeks ago with 2 oldish Exide extreme batteries, driving every day in hot and hard conditions. We were running 2x 40l Engels (1x fridge 1x freezer) pretty much day and night and other normal acc. Towards end of the trip, the aux started to struggle and fridges not hold cold temp, then at end of the trip, the crank weakened. In the last 2 weeks it's needed the aux linked to crank via magic button to start. Last weekend I topped up and charged crank, but it would not start at all, so dead. I bought a new crank 2 days ago and started strongly but progressively seems to be weakening at first start ups. Starts strongly after driving. Thoughts?

Thanks in advance
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How do you have your start and aux batteries linked ? Are you using a dual battery system, if so which one ?
Redarc isolator with in cabin momentary switch. isolator may be stuffed, refer next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Redarc Isolator stuffed?

Auto elec checked under the bonnet and found the crank battery nearly flat, the aux is pretty much dead (which I knew) and the alternator is charging OK.

He did find that the Redarc isolator was cutting out/switching off when the crank battery hit 10.5V but it should be cutting out at about 12.5V, and then trying to charge both batteries with the aux dead anyway. He suggested I need a new isolator to fix the issue. Not happy as it is only 6 months old!

I dont have a good understanding on auto elec, so does this all make sense and isolator stuffed?
 

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GHMBC #3
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Auto elec checked under the bonnet and found the crank battery nearly flat, the aux is pretty much dead (which I knew) and the alternator is charging OK.

He did find that the Redarc isolator was cutting out/switching off when the crank battery hit 10.5V but it should be cutting out at about 12.5V, and then trying to charge both batteries with the aux dead anyway. He suggested I need a new isolator to fix the issue. Not happy as it is only 6 months old!

I dont have a good understanding on auto elec, so does this all make sense and isolator stuffed?
isolator should only affect charging to 2nd battery.i would guess new battery has a dropped cell if yr alternator is charging ok.did main battery get load tested?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Battery ok

isolator should only affect charging to 2nd battery.i would guess new battery has a dropped cell if yr alternator is charging ok.did main battery get load tested?
Yes the battery got tested and ok. It is actually the 2nd battery in 2 weeks, because the I took the first one back when it wasn't starting well. I can't imagine that 2 out of 2 batteries have been stuffed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just remove your second battery until you isolate the problem. Do you have a simple volt-meter?
Good idea, doing it this morning. Yes I do have a volt meter installed in car and have a Multi meter.
 

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Perfect. You should have 12.6-12.9v before starting the engine on a good battery. If not the battery needs charging. After starting you should have 13.2-13.8v from the alternator. Put the headlights on high beam and the alternator should be able to hold the same voltage. If it's not then your alternator is faulty.

If the batt was showing lower than 12.6v before starting go for a 20 min drive. When you get back switch it off and measure the voltage. It should higher than 12.6v. If it's not and your alternator was ok in the earlier test then your battery is faulty. If it's close just repeat the test again as it could have badly drained.

If the alternator voltage was ok and after driving for 20min you get home, switch off and the battery is showing less than 12v then it's had it.

If the battery appears ok, charge it up fully by driving around, then come home and disconnect the battery completely. Measure the voltage, leave it overnight and measure in the morning. It should not loose any charge. Ie same voltage the next day, if it does loose charge the battery is on the way out.

If it didn't loose any charge overnight hook it back up to the car and leave it another night. Again if the voltage is the same the next morning then your looking good, if it's dropped then let us know before I bother typing the rest on an iPhone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Perfect. You should have 12.6-12.9v before starting the engine on a good battery. If not the battery needs charging. After starting you should have 13.2-13.8v from the alternator. Put the headlights on high beam and the alternator should be able to hold the same voltage. If it's not then your alternator is faulty.

If the batt was showing lower than 12.6v before starting go for a 20 min drive. When you get back switch it off and measure the voltage. It should higher than 12.6v. If it's not and your alternator was ok in the earlier test then your battery is faulty. If it's close just repeat the test again as it could have badly drained.

If the alternator voltage was ok and after driving for 20min you get home, switch off and the battery is showing less than 12v then it's had it.

If the battery appears ok, charge it up fully by driving around, then come home and disconnect the battery completely. Measure the voltage, leave it overnight and measure in the morning. It should not loose any charge. Ie same voltage the next day, if it does loose charge the battery is on the way out.

If it didn't loose any charge overnight hook it back up to the car and leave it another night. Again if the voltage is the same the next morning then your looking good, if it's dropped then let us know before I bother typing the rest on an iPhone.
Thanks Timo!! I'll try this today.

I'm still not 100% sure why the isolator dropping out at 10.5V in lieu of 12.7V would affect charging of the crank, because it still continues to charge both crank and aux? I note that the aux is pretty much dead, so when linked it is trying to charge a stuffed aux.
 

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If the aux is dead it will be pulling more charge than the alternator can supply so the main battery will be drained. It will try to equalise the across the two batts (a+b)/2... so (12+10)/2=11v in both batteries which is discharging your main.

As for the isolator cut off..if it's really 10.5v then it's faulty. You can test that yourself easily too later.
 

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Also the aux battery will be sucking juice out of the main battery and the isolator isn't cutting off high enough so main battery is discharging into the aux overnight
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Timo!! I'll try this today.

I'm still not 100% sure why the isolator dropping out at 10.5V in lieu of 12.7V would affect charging of the crank, because it still continues to charge both crank and aux? I note that the aux is pretty much dead, so when linked it is trying to charge a stuffed aux.
Timo_ed, results for this weekends tests........still a mystery to me!
Thanks for your help!

Disconnected aux battery
12.65v after charging for 15 hours
Weak start first time after charge
13.45 once started, then 13.9 and even as high as 14.31V while idling
14.18V-14.16V steady with car running/idling with high beams, hid spotties, interior lights and stereo all on
Switched off and restarted strongly
Waited 20 mins and started weakly and drove for 15 mins with headlights and stereo
Stopped car, disconnected terminals and measured 12.75v
Left overnight and measured 12.79v in the morning
........but started a bit weakly again!
Drove 15 mins and with terminals connected, measured 12.8v

Aux battery was not connected during all tests.
I now understand how dead aux battery was flattening crank but.......
Still confused why crank starting weakly/windy!!!!!
 

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Well from that info your charging circuit (alternator) is fine, you don't have anything draining your main, and your battery seems fine too...it's holding full charge. But to be sure, and given the punishment it's had by being repeatedly drained by the dead aux, you're going to need to do a load test on the batt. Hook up the volt meter and watch the voltage as you crank your engine. It will drop but should hold above 10v.

Assuming the above test is fine then you need to start looking at your starter and it's connections. Simple test first...get a set of jumper leads and hook the negative up from the - battery post to the engine. Hook the positive up to the back of the starter motor and the battery + post. Try to start the car. Is it better or the same?

If it's better then you've got a simple dodgy connection. Pull the terminals off and clean them, especially the earth lead.

If it's the same, and your batt is good then your starter is going to need a refresh. They are really easy to rebuild. Remove the wires from the terminal, remove the 3 bolts that hold the starter in place and get it on your bench. Separate the motor drum and clean the commutator.

From this:
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1408879070.165913.jpg

To this:
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1408879106.479795.jpg
 

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Master Coalroller
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Check all your earth straps, and your vehicle should have a chassis to engine earth strap retrofitted with all the charging going on.
 

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Sas, mine struggles to turn over the first time I start it as well. I dont think its the battery though as I can turn it over for ages, it seems to have plenty of power. I think something is going on withing the starter and so will be ripping it out and fitting a new bush kit to it and cleaning armature (unless its knackered). Might be worth trying.....
 

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I'm not a fan of exide batteries. They're not so bad for commodores & falcons but not for diesels that run high current drawing accessories like fridges, inverters etc.

I had this same issue you're having in my '98 TD42 & it happened every yr. 1stly Patrols have really bad air flow through the enigine bay so batteries get hot & dry out quickly. Then if you don't replace both batteries simultaneously, soon the weaker one will drag the stronger one down & you go back to having the same problem once again. I looked at RedArc systems etc but they seemed pricey & complicated to me. Plus many of them have issues too. Then I learned about the DC-DC charger system.

How it works is very simple & most effective. It's not cheap but it's cheaper than the top end RedArc systems & more effective providing you set your car up right. I guess it's not for everyone but for my set up it was perfect. Basically you have 2 batteries, 1 your main cranking battery & the other an auxiliary battery except with this set up you can have a full deep cycle battery as an aux instead of a marine semi cycle batt. This set up saves the load on your alternator trying to charge 2 batts regardless of what point the aux batt gets charged. The DC-DC basically charges at 20A from your cranking batt to your aux batt once the cranking batt is charged & it stops charging once the aux batt is charged or once the voltage of the cranking batt drops below usable voltage. So you set up all your accessories like fridges, stereo amplifiers, inverters, exteroir work lights etc to run off the deep cycle aux batt & you leave the cranking batt purely for cranking & use of standard low current accessories like interior lights, spotties & stuff that you use whilst eng is running.

I have a deep cycle Gel batt as an Aux batt with a 20A DC-DC & after a weekend of use powering a fridge & stereo it takes about 1-2 hrs to charge whilst driving. You can get the DC-DC in a 10A, 20A & 30A water proof & non water proof unit. It's a tad smaller than your car's CD player. You don't need to worry about isolating the batts because they're never joined. You always have cranking power & you get a lot longer life out of both batteries & your alternator.

I got my 20A DC-DC on special for $275. My deep cycle Gel batt was $375. I have a 760CCA Yuasa with a 185RC for my cranking batt. Since doing this I've had no batt related crank issues.

I did have a recent starter motor issue causing weak cranking but a new starter sorted that. Mind you, 470,000km out of a starter is pretty good I reckon. It might pay to load test your starter if your earths are all ok. Check voltage at the starter to make sure you're getting a strong current to it. Patrols are prone to having voltage drops to the solenoid. You can fit a starter relay to overcome this issue if you don't have one.
 

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Master Coalroller
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^^^Good post. Good advice & I like the sound of that setup.
 

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Sas I had a weak start problem a few years ago without the 2nd battery and isolator issues usually when cold. I thought it was my start battery and bought another and the problem continued. It turned out that the starter was the problem, a quick strip showed a bit of corrosion and after a good clean and lube it was as good as new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sorry it's been a while since i posted (or even got on the forum), bc a bit of chit going on.
With all the chit going on I never got around to checking the starter, so did the lazy thing and took it to the shop - it was the starter! New starter in now and it starts by just touching the key!
Will check and clean up the old one as a spare. Now to find out if redarc faulty before buying new aux battery.

Thanks for all the advice guys, especially Timo!!
 
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