November 17, 2019, 07:06:04 AM

Author Topic: Battery Cranking Power Issue  (Read 358 times)

Offline Gunnytron

Battery Cranking Power Issue
« on: September 15, 2019, 08:43:11 AM »
Originally I had a Westco MX5 battery. This died as I ran it flat and it wouldn't recharge. I then bought another one, but it would just die after a few cranks.

I now have an Odyssey PC1200, which initially appeared fine, but I took the car out today and the first crank was fine. I drove around for 15mins or so then stopped at a shop. When I cam to start it, it was reallyh struggling to turn the engine.

When I got home (another 15mins of driving) I turned the car off then tried to start it straight away and the battery only just managed to start it. I don't think it would have enough runt to do it again.

Has anyone else had issues like this?

I am taking the car to get tuned (on the road) in 2 days and I am worried that the battery is going to leave the guy stranded as I am sure he is going to have to cycle the ignition a fair few times.

I leave the battery unplugged when not in use.

On a side note, it's only the third time I've really been out in the car and already I got challenged at the lights by some youths in a diesel BMW :) I declined.
http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=12880.0
FD, LS1 running 220 3.90 Trickflow heads, Comp Ultra-gold Arc 1.72 Rockers, 7.550 BTR Pushrods, BTR Stage II NA Cam 227/234 .614"/.576" 113+2, ARP Head Bolts, BTR Platinum Springs, Ported FAST 90, NW 90mm TB, FAST 60lb Injectors, Textralia Clutch/Flywheel, T56, Cobra 8.8, 31 spline, trac-loc 3.55 Diff, Holley HP EFI, Racelogic TC.

Offline Cobranut

Re: Battery Cranking Power Issue
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2019, 11:38:33 AM »
Originally I had a Westco MX5 battery. This died as I ran it flat and it wouldn't recharge. I then bought another one, but it would just die after a few cranks.

I now have an Odyssey PC1200, which initially appeared fine, but I took the car out today and the first crank was fine. I drove around for 15mins or so then stopped at a shop. When I cam to start it, it was reallyh struggling to turn the engine.

When I got home (another 15mins of driving) I turned the car off then tried to start it straight away and the battery only just managed to start it. I don't think it would have enough runt to do it again.

Has anyone else had issues like this?

I am taking the car to get tuned (on the road) in 2 days and I am worried that the battery is going to leave the guy stranded as I am sure he is going to have to cycle the ignition a fair few times.

I leave the battery unplugged when not in use.

On a side note, it's only the third time I've really been out in the car and already I got challenged at the lights by some youths in a diesel BMW :) I declined.

I've had exceedingly good results with Odyssey batteries.
The first PC1200 in my Cobra lasted over 10 years before it became sluggish to crank.
My FD has a PC-620, and it starts fine, so unless you just got a bad one, or your PC-1200 is quite old, I doubt the issue is your battery.

I'd thoroughly troubleshoot the charging system, as well as checking the cables and connections between the battery and starter, and to the alternator. 
Also check the complete ground path.  It's fine to use the chassis for grounds, but all connections must be clean and tight.
A single high resistance connection in either path can cause cranking issues.

Good luck,
David
1995 FD, 7.0 Liter stroked LS3, T56, 8.8, Samberg kit.

Offline Gunnytron

Re: Battery Cranking Power Issue
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2019, 12:16:10 PM »
Thanks David.

It's a new PC1200 so hopefully isn't a battery issue.
http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=12880.0
FD, LS1 running 220 3.90 Trickflow heads, Comp Ultra-gold Arc 1.72 Rockers, 7.550 BTR Pushrods, BTR Stage II NA Cam 227/234 .614"/.576" 113+2, ARP Head Bolts, BTR Platinum Springs, Ported FAST 90, NW 90mm TB, FAST 60lb Injectors, Textralia Clutch/Flywheel, T56, Cobra 8.8, 31 spline, trac-loc 3.55 Diff, Holley HP EFI, Racelogic TC.

Offline AHarada

Re: Battery Cranking Power Issue
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2019, 01:54:28 PM »
I started out with the Westco battery and switched to the Odyssey PC-1200 as well.  I chased the exact problem you are experiencing around for a few years.  Cobranut is absolutely correct about the cables, connections, and grounds.  What are your battery voltages while running, at idle, and under load? What alternator are you using and how is it getting the excite signal? Type and size of power/ground cables?

Some things I found that was not ideal in my initial electrical setup were:
-Using a circuit breaker inline on my main power wire.  I found it to be a source of resistance in the main powerline, and I would pop it often.
-I was using car audio battery cable terminal connections, the type that you slide the cable into a hole, and then screw down a locknut. It took me a long time to figure out that these are garbage.  I replaced them with crimp/solder plug style terminals and I saw a .5V increase during all driving conditions.
-Odyssey customer support told me that their batteries need to be charged at 14.0V and above.  My previous alternator setups did not keep my voltages that high, so I installed a 14.7 self-exciting voltage regulator in my DR44 alternator and see 14.5-14.7V at all times now. Odyssey batteries are charged best with their brand of chargers, and there is also a rehab procedure you can do on the battery.
-My starter seemed to be harder to turn and draw more amps when it was hot.  Make sure the starter connections are good.  I also added a heatshield to my starter.

Since fixing the above, my battery/charging system has been rock solid with no issues.  Good luck!
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Offline wickedrx7

Re: Battery Cranking Power Issue
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2019, 02:18:54 PM »
I have a Autozone Miata battery that I killed it over the winter.  I brought it back to life slowly but it really hasn't been the same since.  This past week my Battery Tender performed a De-sulfate on the battery.  After that, the battery is better than it has ever been.  Standing voltage is around 12.6-12.8, it use to be around 12.  I have never had the tender run that on a battery but it seemed to work wonders....

Probably not your issue but thought it might be worth sharing. 


1993 Touring, 2012 L99, T-56, Ronnin 8.8, Ohlins, Speedhut, Samberg and lots of custom parts
Build Thread - http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=19354.0
Pictures - www.flikr.com/wickedrx7

Offline Gunnytron

Re: Battery Cranking Power Issue
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2019, 02:33:20 PM »
I have tested for current draw on the negative post of the terminal (meter in series), and assuming I got the settings correct, I get 0.18 draw (ignition off, alarm off).


I was then about to test the voltage across the terminals but was an idiot and fried my volt meter.

Interesting what you are saying about the starter getting hot. Mine is really close to the header. I have the standard heat shield on it and have put some extra fibreglass heat shielding on it, but it is touching. Not sure I can do much about that?

I don't know what alternator I have, it's this one:


I have the exciter wire fed into the charge light on the dash.

I don't have a circuit breaker. Battery is in the boot (trunk) fed by 0 gauge cable . The terminal are crimped.

As for charging, I contacted Odyssey support as I couldn't get any of their recommended chargers over here and they told me to get a CTEK with the frost symbol on (I got the MXS 7.0).

I will check the connections tomorrow and if I can I will make a new heatshield for the starter.
http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=12880.0
FD, LS1 running 220 3.90 Trickflow heads, Comp Ultra-gold Arc 1.72 Rockers, 7.550 BTR Pushrods, BTR Stage II NA Cam 227/234 .614"/.576" 113+2, ARP Head Bolts, BTR Platinum Springs, Ported FAST 90, NW 90mm TB, FAST 60lb Injectors, Textralia Clutch/Flywheel, T56, Cobra 8.8, 31 spline, trac-loc 3.55 Diff, Holley HP EFI, Racelogic TC.

Offline radiomike

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Re: Battery Cranking Power Issue
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2019, 08:02:04 PM »
180mA is far too high and will take 13Ah out of the battery in just 3 days, you should be seeing about 30mA.

You may be lucky and find an internal fuse in the multi meter but reading volts on the amp range is not good.

Offline AHarada

Re: Battery Cranking Power Issue
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2019, 02:06:55 AM »
I had a similar parasitic drain before as well. I started pulling fuses and tracked it down to an interior circuit. I want to say it was the room fuse, and it was being caused by a module that I didnít even now. Took out the module and now I have almost zero parasitic drain.

I found a sleek heat shield on Ebay that fits over my LS1 starter. My starter also sits very close to my JTR headers.
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Offline Gunnytron

Re: Battery Cranking Power Issue
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2019, 02:09:53 AM »
180mA is far too high and will take 13Ah out of the battery in just 3 days, you should be seeing about 30mA.

You may be lucky and find an internal fuse in the multi meter but reading volts on the amp range is not good.

Shit. So i read the meter wrong?

Need to start pulling fuses then :(
http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=12880.0
FD, LS1 running 220 3.90 Trickflow heads, Comp Ultra-gold Arc 1.72 Rockers, 7.550 BTR Pushrods, BTR Stage II NA Cam 227/234 .614"/.576" 113+2, ARP Head Bolts, BTR Platinum Springs, Ported FAST 90, NW 90mm TB, FAST 60lb Injectors, Textralia Clutch/Flywheel, T56, Cobra 8.8, 31 spline, trac-loc 3.55 Diff, Holley HP EFI, Racelogic TC.

Offline radiomike

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Re: Battery Cranking Power Issue
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2019, 04:59:57 AM »
180mA is far too high and will take 13Ah out of the battery in just 3 days, you should be seeing about 30mA.

You may be lucky and find an internal fuse in the multi meter but reading volts on the amp range is not good.

Shit. So i read the meter wrong?

Need to start pulling fuses then :(

Looking again at your meter it looks like the lower red socket is 200mA max and you have the probe in the top socket which will read up to 10A.  0.18A is 180mA, might you have connected something which is supposed to be ignition controlled to a permanent feed?

Offline Gunnytron

Re: Battery Cranking Power Issue
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2019, 10:22:11 AM »
Tested the battery again this lunch time (new multimeter  ::) )

Strangely it now reads 0.05???? The only difference is that I left the battery attached to the car with the alarm on last night which I haven't been doing. It was on 12.6volts IIRC.

The only thing I can think is that maybe the battery alarm siren needed charging up. Massive guess though.

http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=12880.0
FD, LS1 running 220 3.90 Trickflow heads, Comp Ultra-gold Arc 1.72 Rockers, 7.550 BTR Pushrods, BTR Stage II NA Cam 227/234 .614"/.576" 113+2, ARP Head Bolts, BTR Platinum Springs, Ported FAST 90, NW 90mm TB, FAST 60lb Injectors, Textralia Clutch/Flywheel, T56, Cobra 8.8, 31 spline, trac-loc 3.55 Diff, Holley HP EFI, Racelogic TC.

Offline radiomike

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Re: Battery Cranking Power Issue
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2019, 11:18:30 AM »
That's better, 12.6V is almost fully charged, you should see 14.2V give or take when it is running.  50mA is not unreasonable but I would suggest disconnecting the battery or leaving it on a battery conditioner if not using it for a couple of weeks.

Offline freeskier7791

Re: Battery Cranking Power Issue
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2019, 01:33:16 PM »
I have a parastiic draw in my chassis harness that killed my PC1200, one cell was over dischaged.  It was about 120ohm to ground from the battery positive cable.  I will say that the Odyssey chargers work great though!


Going to be more careful on my next one.  I have seen PC1200s go through some insane conditions offroading, including being damaged by a broken driveshaft and still hold a charge fine
https://www.youtube.com/thedriftingdad
1985 Mazda RX7 GSL Drift Car

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Offline Gunnytron

Re: Battery Cranking Power Issue
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2019, 03:27:13 PM »
Well I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing as maybe the problems intermittent.

I wrapped my starter with some heat fabric I had so I will see how that goes tomorrow.
http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=12880.0
FD, LS1 running 220 3.90 Trickflow heads, Comp Ultra-gold Arc 1.72 Rockers, 7.550 BTR Pushrods, BTR Stage II NA Cam 227/234 .614"/.576" 113+2, ARP Head Bolts, BTR Platinum Springs, Ported FAST 90, NW 90mm TB, FAST 60lb Injectors, Textralia Clutch/Flywheel, T56, Cobra 8.8, 31 spline, trac-loc 3.55 Diff, Holley HP EFI, Racelogic TC.

Offline jwvand02

Re: Battery Cranking Power Issue
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2019, 05:43:18 PM »
I had really similar issues, and chased all kinds of things around for a long time before I finally fixed it. Before getting too far down a rabbit hole, knowing the voltage in the system while running is pretty important.

I can't really overstate how important it is to make sure your entire Battery-Alternator-starter cable line is made of quality cable (I recommend full copper 0 gauge welding cable) with CORRECTLY CRIMPED ends. This means appropriately sized terminals, HYDRAULIC CRIMPER. Same for your ground. I personally ran a full ground cable right to the engine block... I don't think this is generally the recommended method but I wanted to be absolutely sure I had a solid connection to the engine and wasn't sure I could trust the chassis. I found screw terminals and terminals that were crimped with a f-ing hammer from the PO. They were corroded and loose.

I also had a parasitic draw issue, but it would really only be a problem after sitting for a couple of weeks at a time. It turned out to be a universal o2 sensor that was installed by twisting and taping (again, PO) where the wire was just barely poking through the tape.