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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
John, Its the same problem I talked about with you back in summer when you mentioned maybe the memory in the stereo. I checked all the connections in the amp and used a test light to make sure the amp wasn't drawing power when the key was off, seemed good to go.

Now for everyone... Problem was slower before, the battery would eventually go dead after about 3-6 months, then over summer it got to the point where a brand new battery would go dead if the car just sat for a day or two.

What I did back around July 6th(Last time I drove it was 4th of July with a brand new battery, went to drive it on the 6th and it wouldn't start) Anyway, I took off the alternator and took it to the parts store and had it tested, it checked out good, it was new back in early spring with the motor swap anyhow. I have an internally regulated alternator, setup as shown in Wes Vann's tech reference.

After John mentioned the stereo I charged the battery for a couple hrs and checked the connections in the trunk on the amplifier, thinkin it was possible something on there was just wigging out. Memory in the stereo shouldn't be a problem, its been the same setup for a solid 3-4 years now and I didn't have this trouble back then.

Now, obviously with a good alternator, stereo checking out and the battery not dying on me when the car does start I feel its pretty safe to say that I have 1 or more shorts in my wiring causing a drain when the key is off.

My best friend used to own a 69 camaro and he said that he had a similar problem a couple years ago and about a half a day his dad sat and tracked down about 9 shorts under the hood and cleaned connections or replaced wires until there weren't anymore and he had no more problems.

Of course, this sounds dandy and all to me, but I dont even know where to begin so I thought I'd ask you electrical experts where some common spots are for shorts or what to check to find my drain(s) I have a voltmeter and a testlight, if I need any other tools let me know.

Thanks for any and all information! I'd love to get the chevelle back on the road! :cool:
 

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Russ
Start by determining if you have a drain problem on the battery. You do not have a short. Shorts will pop fuses or fusible links.
Use the old trick everyone mentions.
Disconnect the negative cable from the battery.
With your test light, put one lead on the battery and the other lead on the negative cable.
Since the key is off, the light should not come on unless powering thing like memory or a dash clock.
If the light does come on, disconnect the memory lead in the fuseblock and retest again.
If it still on, disconnect the hot leads on the horn relay. These are the leads that go to the alternator and the large red lead that feeds the inside of the car. Hooking them up one at a time will tell you if it's the alternator or the drain is inside the car.
See if that gets you started.
 

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First things to check(easy)
Glove box light switch -light stays on but you'ld never know it-
Console light switch-if equipped-
Clock
lighter
dome light circut
all those circuts stay hot even with ignition off
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
John and Phil,
Thanks for the information. I figured I'd start with John's test with the light. I took the battery out of my mustang this afternoon and put it in the chevelle, and did the test. Light came on, not super bright, but it was definately on. So I went back into the car and just went ahead(stupidly) took all the wires off the fuseblock for all my autometer guages and the accessory wire for the stereo headunit. One spade connector came off of a wire so I crimped a new one on.(it was the lamps wire for the tach) Anyway, went back to the testlight and no light. So I hooked everything back up(correctly) expecting to get a light on the testlight. No light, I checked my ground on cable by turning the key to "on" and touching the testlight to the negative terminal, light lit up. Confused, I went back and looked at all the wires I just rehooked up. It looked like I put my tach "power" wire back in a different spot then where I pulled it from.

Now, I wanted to pass this by you guys, but I think its my solution and it fits. I put the water temp and oil pressure(both mechanical gauges) in late June. I think when I hooked up the lights and ground on those I accidently hooked my tach's power wire to battery fused instead of ign fused.(it was one of those last project of the day kinda things and was kind of hurried)

I don't see a light on the testlight anymore, the car fired up, and all the gauges worked so I think its fixed. I think I'm going to charge the battery for the chevelle overnight and put it in tomorrow after school then let the car sit for a bit and see if its still dying.

I guess my question is, with just my tach hooked up wrong(battery fused rather than ignition fused) would that cause the car to die overnight like it has been or should I be looking for something more?

Thanks!
 

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I wouldn't expect one gage to drain a good battery overnight. However, if you no longer see a drain, no much more to chase. Check it again maybe next week. If you haven't got a drain, there's nothing else to chase. After that you may be back to a battery not being charged problem if things still happen weird.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
John,
Now I have something that makes sense!
I couldn't get a battery to hold a charge, so I took it to the parts store. The guys charged it from 10-3 today and turned it back to me. Took it home and no go. Probably managed to kill it by leaving it dead for 3-4 months. Anyway, Ernies gave me a brand new battery.
Took that home and popped it in.
What I didnt realize is the other day before I started in with the testlight I had unhooked the leads for the headunit and amp from the positive cable. There was the slow draw from the tachometer, but with the new battery and all the stereos power wires hooked up I had a brilliant light in the testlight! Unhooked the amp and the draw was gone according to the testlight. So that was the culprit, I had a slow draw from the tach, and a huuge draw from the amplifier in the trunk.

Now, with the amp its been in there for 3 years, I checked it to see if its wet or anything and its dry. Could a bad ground on the amp create a constant draw like that with the key off or is there something else probably going on? The accessory wire on the amp is hooked up to accessories on the headunit(which should tell the amp to turn on when the headunit turns on)

So, question is, Could just a sketchy ground cause that or do I need to start tearing apart my interior and checkin out the accessory wire for the amp?

Thanks A Bunch for all the help!
 

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Not sure how your amp is wired in. Where is the switch in your amp circuit? Are you using a relay on your amp power lead? Does the amp seem to be working properly?
 

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Not a ground problem. Somewhere you tied the aftermarket radio/amp into the positive. Where is that? Something tells me you ran it directly to the battery without a relay. Haven't been driving that car much lately??
Also guessing that there is a memory wire for radio station presets. That will always have a small draw.
 
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