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  #1  
Old March 19th, 2011, 05:57 PM
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Bradlee Duncan
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Electrical Gremlins

I really did search for this but couldn't find anything that is the same thing. Sure, there are plenty of "truck won't start" threads but none of them seemed to fit this scenario.

This problem is related to the '94 D-90... I finally got everything put back together back in November from the rebuild (it was totaled years ago) and have been driving the d-90 ever since then, once or twice a week. Ever since November I've known I've had a bad regulator in the alternator because the alternator will charge the battery fine but if you let it sit, it also drains the battery. I simply disconnect the battery when I park it for more than about a day and then the battery never has time to drain. Finally, about 3 weeks ago I bought a new alternator and decided that it was time to replace it. So, the timeline from there goes something like this:

Feb 26: Replaced old alternator with a Bosch remanufactured one then went to start it up. It ran fine for about 5 seconds and then died. I tried restarting it but there was no electrics whatsoever. I'd turn the key and the electrical system wouldn't even do anything, no lights, nothing. Having done quite a number of alternators on Land Rovers successfully in the past and never having seen this before, I obviously assumed the reman alternator was somehow bad and pulled it out to put in the old one with the bad regulator again (because I knew that I could at least get by with that one). Truck started up fine with the old alternator so off I went, frustrated.

March 9: Went to start the truck in the morning and it started fine but died about 5 seconds later, exactly like it did on Feb 26 (above) when I put in the reman alternator. But in this case the old alternator was in. From November until this date, I had never seen it do this with the old alternator in. I had only seen it on Feb 26th (above). This leads me to believe either 1) the reman alternator caused this problem to start happening somehow, or 2) the starting problem is not at all related to the alternator. I unplugged the negative lead on the battery and waited a few seconds, then re-connected it and the truck started up fine from then on.

March 12: Got the remanufactured alternator tested and it tested fine so Napa wouldn't let me return it. I had thought that it might be defective so I thought I'd test it before returning it anyway.

March 16: Decided to put in the reman alternator again to see if it would work - since it tested as GOOD I decided I'd better try. Got it replaced and the truck started right up and kept running this time (scratching head). Truck continued to run over the next few days with no issues and without needing to disconnect the battery as I used to with the old alternator.

March 19: Started the truck up this morning to run an errand, started fine and restarted fine all through the morning. This afternoon I went to jump in and go somewhere else, started it up and it ran for about 5 seconds and then died. Frustrated, I got out, disconnected the battery, waited 10-20 seconds and then re-connected it. But in this case (unlike on March 9th) there was still no electrical response. No lights, nothing.

The first thing I thought of when this happened is maybe it's related to the crash breaker/switch in the fuse box (the breaker that gets tripped in a bad collision). I remembered that when it was first totaled many years ago we had to reset that breaker to get it to start again. Could that breaker be going bad somehow? I've checked it and it is not physically in the tripped position but I wonder if something inside of the breaker is bad. Any ideas???
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  #2  
Old March 19th, 2011, 09:39 PM
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[QUOTE=cbass;272592] Ever since November I've known I've had a bad regulator in the alternator because the alternator will charge the battery fine but if you let it sit, it also drains the battery. QUOTE]

How did you determine that the alternator is the source for your battery draining? I'd put my money on a short elsewhere.
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Old March 19th, 2011, 11:58 PM
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Bradlee Duncan
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Good point. I actually don't know for sure but the alternator has always made a high pitched electrical-type sound. I traced the sound directly to the alternator and with that information I knew that regulators can sometimes fail in alternators and that will cause the battery to drain so I just assumed that the problem was that.

There could certainly be a short somewhere else though in addition to the problematic alternator. I have gone over the major parts to the electrical system again and can't find anything but I'm sure I could have missed something.

Now that I have the new alternator on there, there is no more high pitched electrical-type sound coming from the alternator and the battery hasn't drained since, even though I've let it sit longer than a day since I put it in.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 05:30 AM
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I would try silver relays, an ignition module and check the chicklet resistor on the harness.

Do you hear the fuel pump run? Are you losing spark or fuel? If you are losing everything that is another matter.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 06:06 AM
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Somewhat similar problem in my D90 was caused by the ECU. It had an intermittent fault likely caused by a faulty alternator. (see http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ad.php?t=26961 for the whole saga)

I also had, at some point, a whining noise in the alternator. The cause was the pulley which was not tight enough. It ate away at the shaft before I figured it out !
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Old March 20th, 2011, 09:24 AM
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You say that the truck was totalled and sat for years. Did the rebuild require new wiring or a harness?
I would check the primary ignition and charging circuits for continuity. When possible move around the wire being checked. Look for a direct short that is causing a battery drain with the ignition off.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 12:07 PM
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Bradlee Duncan
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Just a few clarifications that I might not have made very clear in the initial post

Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
I would try silver relays, an ignition module and check the chicklet resistor on the harness.

Do you hear the fuel pump run? Are you losing spark or fuel? If you are losing everything that is another matter.
I'll check the silver relays, but how do I go about checking the ignition module and what is the chicklet resistor?

When it won't start it is everything that is lost, absolutely dead. But then I leave it for a while it will start up fine again and run and restart without problem for a few days to a week before the start-for-5-second-and-die problem occurs again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maleger
Somewhat similar problem in my D90 was caused by the ECU. It had an intermittent fault likely caused by a faulty alternator. (see http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ad.php?t=26961 for the whole saga)

I also had, at some point, a whining noise in the alternator. The cause was the pulley which was not tight enough. It ate away at the shaft before I figured it out !
Thanks for the tip on your thread, I'll check it out. The electrical-type whining that I hear is only when the engine is off. If it is happening when the engine is running, it's much too quiet to hear. It's just an ever so faint sound when the engine is off and the garage is quiet. The new alternator that I put in does not make that sound anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevcon
You say that the truck was totalled and sat for years. Did the rebuild require new wiring or a harness?
I would check the primary ignition and charging circuits for continuity. When possible move around the wire being checked. Look for a direct short that is causing a battery drain with the ignition off.
Yes, the truck was totaled but it did not require new wiring or harness. The old one was still in pretty good condition so I reused it. Could you explain how to check the charging circuits and ignition for continuity? Or is that outlined in the manual somewhere? I'm good mechanically but electrical systems are pretty much a big dark hole to me :-) Also, kevcon, the battery doesn't drain anymore now that I've replaced the alternator (see March 16 comment of mine in the original post).
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Old March 20th, 2011, 03:13 PM
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Andrew J. Hutton
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When I experienced this on my D2 it was because one of the ground lugs ended up getting some dynamat between it and the floor and was not as tight as it should have been... so every time a passenger sat down and put their feet on the carpet it would give random behaviours, including not starting, the instrument cluster restarting, etc. That took quite a while to track down and was probably my first and worst troubleshooting experience.
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  #9  
Old March 20th, 2011, 03:28 PM
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Sorry I missed that. It could easily be two totally unrelated issues. The comment on disconnecting the battery and then re-connecting it might have something to do with the ECU. I can't think of why else it would have any effect.
To check continuity you just need a test light or amp meter/circuit tester. You are looking for a broken wire or a short.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 06:34 PM
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If it is completely dead, i would start with the ignition switch as silver relays and ignition module and chicklet only effect the motor (not even the starter). Do the headlights work when it is dead or not? If so, look at the ignition switch, if not, look at the inertia switch (the button you push down one) the connections at the battery and the connections at the main fuse block. You basically have to pin it down to one group of things and start eliminating them one by one. Seeing what works or not is the best way to start.
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