Battery Not Charging - Nissan 240SX Forums
S13 240SX (89-94) Technical Questions Specifically for ALL S13's. (Including 180SX's, 200SX's & Silvia's)

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post #1 of 22 Old 08-28-2016, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
 
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Unhappy Battery Not Charging

Okay before someone tells me to test my alternator hear me out.

Background:
So first my car ran great. Never had any real problems after 3 years of ownership with autocross and drag racing and even some rallycross periodically. (Car is an 89 240sx with a '92 KA24DE swapped in).

Cause:
I drove through the city with my perfectly working car and hit the largest pothole of my life. No joke I've been driving on crappy roads for 6 years and this pothole gave me goose bumps when I saw it. I nailed it with my front right tire. Rim and tire were fine (I have a lot of sidewall for cushion) and 30 minutes later I began getting signs of a bad battery; dimmed lights, studdering under acceleration etc. Car dies and I try to jump it. No luck.

Attempted Solutions:
1) I swap in a battery from my truck and it works fine. 2 days later the car is dead again. I jump it and check the voltage across the battery with a volt meter. I watch it start at 12.9 and steadily plummet until the car dies at 9 Volts. This takes about 20 minutes with no accessories on.
2) Now, I visually check the alternator fuse and see that it is fine.
3) Next, I check the alternator connections (3) they are bolted tightly.
4) I do a quick visual inspection of the wires and see that they are also fine but am not very thorough.
5) I speak to the people at the auto parts store and they say at a cell may have broken off of the battery from the pothole and caused my battery to surge and kill my alternator (which was only 1.5 years old with maybe 1000 miles on it). I replace the alternator with a high quality BRAND NEW one and jump the car again. SAME PROBLEM. Voltage starts at 12.9 and steadily drops as if the alternator is not even there.
6) By now I know it must be a break in the wire somewhere. So far all three wires have been traced about 1.5 feet where they disappear back into the loom located by the fuse box. I will more thoroughly check them entirely tomorrow so look for any breaks that I may have missed.

Question:
What am I missing here? Is there a simple solution that I have overlooked?

*I do not know how to run continuity tests. Should I do that and how should it be done?

Any help is appreciated. Thank you

'89 Nissan 240sx Hatch: KA24DE Swap, 2.25" Exhaust, Short Shifter, Eibach Sportline Springs, SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch and Pressure Plate, LED Cluster Lights, PRIME Wheels, EBC Pads w/Dimpled + Slotted Rotors, '98 Trans.

'94 Jeep Cherokee: 2-3.25" Raked Lift, 31" Tires, HID Headlights
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post #2 of 22 Old 08-28-2016, 03:26 PM
 
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You have a parasitic drain. Find it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXX8TfzRAKk

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post #3 of 22 Old 08-29-2016, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank You! I'll give it a try and let ya'll know how it goes.

'89 Nissan 240sx Hatch: KA24DE Swap, 2.25" Exhaust, Short Shifter, Eibach Sportline Springs, SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch and Pressure Plate, LED Cluster Lights, PRIME Wheels, EBC Pads w/Dimpled + Slotted Rotors, '98 Trans.

'94 Jeep Cherokee: 2-3.25" Raked Lift, 31" Tires, HID Headlights
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post #4 of 22 Old 08-31-2016, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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I just ran the parasitic leak test. Here are the results:

Current Across Negative Battery Cable and Negative Battery Pole: 0.02 Amps

Fuse Pulled Causing Current to Read 0.00 Amps: Alternator Fuse

So this narrows my problem to my alternator (which is brand new and related wiring I guess). What should my next step be?

Thanks

*Additionally when I disconnect my battery and connect the positive probe of the multimeter to the Alternator casing and the negative probe to the negative pole of the battery I also read 0.02 Amps of current. The same for when I connect the positive probe to any bare metal on the engine or even bare metal on the strut tower. A single click also happens coming from somewhere by the passenger side of the car when I connect the probe (sounds like a single click of a turn signal but quieter. Could this be a grounding issue?

'89 Nissan 240sx Hatch: KA24DE Swap, 2.25" Exhaust, Short Shifter, Eibach Sportline Springs, SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch and Pressure Plate, LED Cluster Lights, PRIME Wheels, EBC Pads w/Dimpled + Slotted Rotors, '98 Trans.

'94 Jeep Cherokee: 2-3.25" Raked Lift, 31" Tires, HID Headlights
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post #5 of 22 Old 09-02-2016, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
 
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I thought I should add that no work has been done recently to the car that could have caused this condition.

'89 Nissan 240sx Hatch: KA24DE Swap, 2.25" Exhaust, Short Shifter, Eibach Sportline Springs, SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch and Pressure Plate, LED Cluster Lights, PRIME Wheels, EBC Pads w/Dimpled + Slotted Rotors, '98 Trans.

'94 Jeep Cherokee: 2-3.25" Raked Lift, 31" Tires, HID Headlights
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post #6 of 22 Old 09-02-2016, 01:44 AM
 
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Similarly, my alternator was being a pain. But, the amperage it was pulling was more than .02amps.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Qoe...ature=youtu.be


I would keep testing the other circuits and if nothing else shows up, then I would pull the alternator out to get it tested at the autoparts store.
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post #7 of 22 Old 09-02-2016, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
 
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That's the thing. I was having this problem for a while now. As a result the alternator has already been changed so I doubt I would have the exact same problem with both alternators. Additionally, the battery is brand new. The starter is not new but not old either, and now work has recently been done on the car that would have caused this. I'll keep pulling fuses but the removal of the alternator fuse makes the reading go right to 0.00 Amps every time. And if I didn't mention this before the alternator is doing nothing to charge the battery. It acts like it is unplugged.

'89 Nissan 240sx Hatch: KA24DE Swap, 2.25" Exhaust, Short Shifter, Eibach Sportline Springs, SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch and Pressure Plate, LED Cluster Lights, PRIME Wheels, EBC Pads w/Dimpled + Slotted Rotors, '98 Trans.

'94 Jeep Cherokee: 2-3.25" Raked Lift, 31" Tires, HID Headlights
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post #8 of 22 Old 09-02-2016, 03:48 PM
 
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I would start checking continuity for the positive cable from the alternator to the battery. Then check continuity between alternator case to ground.

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post #9 of 22 Old 09-02-2016, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you. I will give that a shot although on first inspection the three wires running from the alternator all appeared fine. Time to delve deeper into the wiring harness. yay :l
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'89 Nissan 240sx Hatch: KA24DE Swap, 2.25" Exhaust, Short Shifter, Eibach Sportline Springs, SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch and Pressure Plate, LED Cluster Lights, PRIME Wheels, EBC Pads w/Dimpled + Slotted Rotors, '98 Trans.

'94 Jeep Cherokee: 2-3.25" Raked Lift, 31" Tires, HID Headlights
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post #10 of 22 Old 09-05-2016, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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So here's the update; I ran the check between the positive alternator cable (with car off) and got some confusing results. before doing this I checked the current between the negative battery cable and the negative pole on the battery. That value was still 0.02 Amps of current. *All results were triple checked*

Next, I removed the plastic connector from the alternator (I assumed this was power-in) and saw that it had two prongs. I tested the current running between the top prong of the connector and the top prong of the receiving end on the alternator. I saw 0.00 Amps with multiple tests. Next I tested the bottom prongs. At first I got a value of 0.01 Amps touching the connector prong to the receiver prong on the alternator. After finding the same value several times I decided to push the negative MULTIMETER probe deeper into the receiving connector on the alternator. I saw the Current Readout jump to 1.75 Amps on my Multimeter. I repeated this several times and got the same results.

My New Theory: What I had forgot was that my car had been having a small problem before the current one. That problem was that sometimes when I removed my key, the car would remain in accessory mode and the fuel pump would continue to prime. I took note of this and was more careful when removing my key.

Questions:
1. My question is could this have ^above mentioned^ lesser problem been a symptom of a bad ignition switch?
2. If the answer to the first question is yes, could a bad ignition switch be causing the problem that I am now having with the car dying? For example, could the Ignition Switch be causing the battery to send power to the alternator while the car is off and cutting power to it while the car is running (the reverse of what it should be doing), therefore causing the false symptoms of a bad alternator that I have discussed in previous posts?

Thanks again for all the help WonderBread!

'89 Nissan 240sx Hatch: KA24DE Swap, 2.25" Exhaust, Short Shifter, Eibach Sportline Springs, SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch and Pressure Plate, LED Cluster Lights, PRIME Wheels, EBC Pads w/Dimpled + Slotted Rotors, '98 Trans.

'94 Jeep Cherokee: 2-3.25" Raked Lift, 31" Tires, HID Headlights
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post #11 of 22 Old 09-06-2016, 03:29 PM
 
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You do not have a drain. If the alternator is not putting out between 13.7- 14.7 volts while running then one of the following is your problem:

1) alternator is bad...but you already swapped out with new one so rule that out

2) Belt is loose... but that should have been adjusted when you installed new alternator

3) Blown fuse/fuses...ones to be concerned with are alternator fuse and ignition

4) Broken ground wire...check ground at battery, battery box, and engine

5) Broken or bad ignition switch wire... if your alternator does not get signal from ignition switch it will not charge

I'm leaning towards the ignition switch wire ran to it because the car doeas actually crank and run so it leads me to believe that just the wire between ignition switch and alternator is bad.
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post #12 of 22 Old 09-06-2016, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quick Update:

Just ran current checks on on negative cable from alternator and ground wire. Both ran 0.00 Amps of current. Double checked to see if I still had the 0.02 Amps running through the negative battery cable and I do.

Just for shits and gigs I tried connecting the positive and negative cables on the ignition switch (keeping door closed). This primed the fuel pump and turned the dash lights on. This ran 2.5 Amps of current. Not sure if this is normal or what.

Thanks for the input Katfan27. I completely agree, I've been beginning to suspect the ignition switch (but I'll check #s 3 and 4 as well). Is there a possible temporary bypass I could do to test this theory without doing a bunch of wire checking? Something like a push button start system . . .?

This car is not my daily so a push button start wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Just Checked: Ignition Switch Fuse Is Fine

'89 Nissan 240sx Hatch: KA24DE Swap, 2.25" Exhaust, Short Shifter, Eibach Sportline Springs, SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch and Pressure Plate, LED Cluster Lights, PRIME Wheels, EBC Pads w/Dimpled + Slotted Rotors, '98 Trans.

'94 Jeep Cherokee: 2-3.25" Raked Lift, 31" Tires, HID Headlights
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post #13 of 22 Old 09-13-2016, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Just a quick update, I haven't got to do any work on the 240sx cause all of my time has gone into fixing my daily; Jeep Cherokee XJ.

'89 Nissan 240sx Hatch: KA24DE Swap, 2.25" Exhaust, Short Shifter, Eibach Sportline Springs, SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch and Pressure Plate, LED Cluster Lights, PRIME Wheels, EBC Pads w/Dimpled + Slotted Rotors, '98 Trans.

'94 Jeep Cherokee: 2-3.25" Raked Lift, 31" Tires, HID Headlights
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post #14 of 22 Old 11-23-2016, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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Alright so I'm back to working on the 240x after a ton of time being spent on the jeep.

Here's whats new:

I jumped the car and measured voltages:

Before Jump: 8.2 Volts

During Jump: ~14.3 Volts

Immediately After Cables Disconnected (with car running): 12.5 VOLTS and dropping at about .05 VOLTS per second

After a few minutes: 11.3 VOLTS and steadily dropping @ same rate

With Car off and key in accessory: Voltage dropping faster at about .1 VOLTS per second

With Car off and no key: Voltage remains constant at 11 VOLTS





Am I right in assuming that my Alternator is indeed fine since when the engine (and therefore the alternator) was running the voltage drop was not as fast as when the engine was off and the key was in accessory mode?

Am I also right in assuming that something pretty powerful is grounding out that is causing me to lose power this rapidly?

'89 Nissan 240sx Hatch: KA24DE Swap, 2.25" Exhaust, Short Shifter, Eibach Sportline Springs, SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch and Pressure Plate, LED Cluster Lights, PRIME Wheels, EBC Pads w/Dimpled + Slotted Rotors, '98 Trans.

'94 Jeep Cherokee: 2-3.25" Raked Lift, 31" Tires, HID Headlights
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post #15 of 22 Old 12-01-2016, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quick Update:

1. Replace two fuses; Dome Light and R/C Mirror (both located in driver foot-well) and checked the current running through the car when off. Went from 0.015 Amps to 0.04 Amps when I replaced the fuses so I think I'm losing a decent amount of power to accessories even when the car is off.

2. I pulled all unnecessary fuses in the driver side footwell and jumped the car. The car ran much longer before dying but still eventually died.

3. I noticed that my EGI and EGI pump relays were warm after a little while. I'm not sure if this is because they were opening and closing a lot because the battery is partially drained or because there's a problem with them.

4. Is it normal for the door lock timer to pull current when the car is completely off and doors closed? (Mine was)

5. Initial voltage drop when the car is powered up in accessory mode is due to seat belts moving and fuel pump priming. this levels out after 20 or so seconds. So, I don't have that steep voltage drop that I thought I had when the car was off. It does still drop slowly.

Also just confirmed that pulling the alternator fuse when car is off causes the current running through the car to drop to 0.005.


Thanks for any assistance!


P.S. If it is normal to have current running through the car when it is off can anyone tell me how many Amps is the normal amount?

'89 Nissan 240sx Hatch: KA24DE Swap, 2.25" Exhaust, Short Shifter, Eibach Sportline Springs, SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch and Pressure Plate, LED Cluster Lights, PRIME Wheels, EBC Pads w/Dimpled + Slotted Rotors, '98 Trans.

'94 Jeep Cherokee: 2-3.25" Raked Lift, 31" Tires, HID Headlights
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post #16 of 22 Old 12-12-2016, 11:36 PM
 
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check th e 10amp eng cont fuse under the hood, i just had a similar problem and bought a new alternator only to find out i had a blown fuse
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post #17 of 22 Old 12-18-2016, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Jordan. I'll make sure to re check that one. I'm also going to do a close inspection on all alternator connections. After doing some reading it sounds like the wiring right before the connector can fray but this is hidden by part of the connector so everything looks fine. I'll be back with the results on these two new possibilities.

'89 Nissan 240sx Hatch: KA24DE Swap, 2.25" Exhaust, Short Shifter, Eibach Sportline Springs, SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch and Pressure Plate, LED Cluster Lights, PRIME Wheels, EBC Pads w/Dimpled + Slotted Rotors, '98 Trans.

'94 Jeep Cherokee: 2-3.25" Raked Lift, 31" Tires, HID Headlights
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post #18 of 22 Old 12-20-2016, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
 
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I just picked up a space heater so now I can get back to working on the car on a regular basis. I really hope that a combination of capping unused wires, fixing the alternator connector and changing that fuse along with a healthy battery allow the car to finally run for more than 5-10 minutes at a time.

'89 Nissan 240sx Hatch: KA24DE Swap, 2.25" Exhaust, Short Shifter, Eibach Sportline Springs, SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch and Pressure Plate, LED Cluster Lights, PRIME Wheels, EBC Pads w/Dimpled + Slotted Rotors, '98 Trans.

'94 Jeep Cherokee: 2-3.25" Raked Lift, 31" Tires, HID Headlights
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post #19 of 22 Old 01-01-2017, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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FINALLY made some real progress.

Today I:
-Taped off most of the loose wires
-Sanded the battery cables
-Wire-brushed the associated connectors hooked up to the positive battery terminal
-Noticed the alternator connector and accessory connection at the positive battery terminal are in bad shape
-Wire Brushed the cable on the alternator were the positive battery cable connects
-Swapped in a known healthy battery from my Jeep

At this point I was pretty suspicious of the alternator to battery connection as the connector looked terrible and also contacts the upper radiator hose. After swapping in the health battery reading 13.13 Volts I started the 240sx and watched the voltage slowly decline. I jiggled the connector on the positive battery terminal and then the voltage started going up. I gave the engine a few revs and next thing I knew the alternator was reading 14.14 Volts. Needless to say at this point I'm pretty damn sure its that connector and I am going to replace it.

My question is can I replace the complex looking plastic connector with a simple ring terminal connector?

Let me know if I need to clarify anything.

Thank You!

Happy New Year!

'89 Nissan 240sx Hatch: KA24DE Swap, 2.25" Exhaust, Short Shifter, Eibach Sportline Springs, SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch and Pressure Plate, LED Cluster Lights, PRIME Wheels, EBC Pads w/Dimpled + Slotted Rotors, '98 Trans.

'94 Jeep Cherokee: 2-3.25" Raked Lift, 31" Tires, HID Headlights
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post #20 of 22 Old 01-02-2017, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Okay so I did a little bit of research and apparently the problem part is a fusible link. Please See attached pictures for connector or fusable link or whatever this thing is called. I want to be able to order the right part.

Thank You

Edit: Attachments wont work so here is a link to the part I'm looking at.
https://www.google.com/search?q=240s...WMuY1_HJUhM%3A

It is labeled as E22 in the charging system section (in Electrical) of the Factory Service Manual

'89 Nissan 240sx Hatch: KA24DE Swap, 2.25" Exhaust, Short Shifter, Eibach Sportline Springs, SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch and Pressure Plate, LED Cluster Lights, PRIME Wheels, EBC Pads w/Dimpled + Slotted Rotors, '98 Trans.

'94 Jeep Cherokee: 2-3.25" Raked Lift, 31" Tires, HID Headlights
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post #21 of 22 Old 01-05-2017, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Okay so I still don't have a name for the part I need so my working title is "positive battery terminal that has a connectors for the alternator and starter that may also act as a fusible link thingy." Using this description I searched the following places

Advanced Auto Parts - said NO and good luck finding one
Rockauto - couldn't find quite the right part so NO
Nissan Dealer - can't find the part even with pictures as aid - NO
Junkyard - we cut out all of the battery cables when the cars come in so... NO
Craigslist - Still searching

P.S. I forgot to mention I checked the Engine Cont. fuse under the hood with my multimeter and it checked out so it wasn't that. Thanks for the suggestion though Jordan.

'89 Nissan 240sx Hatch: KA24DE Swap, 2.25" Exhaust, Short Shifter, Eibach Sportline Springs, SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch and Pressure Plate, LED Cluster Lights, PRIME Wheels, EBC Pads w/Dimpled + Slotted Rotors, '98 Trans.

'94 Jeep Cherokee: 2-3.25" Raked Lift, 31" Tires, HID Headlights

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UPDATE: Car has been running great for about 2-3 weeks now (since I giggled the connector into place). The connector is still damaged and brittle and I have been unable to track down a new one using craigslist, Advance Auto, Rockauto, EBay, Nissan Dealer etc. Looks like at this point the only thing to do is to fix the contacts within the connector as best I can and hope for the best. Then its time to fix the very rusted Driver-side frame rail. This pretty much concludes this thread as I have stated the problem, diagnosed it with all of your help and found as good a solution as is possible at this time. Thank you

'89 Nissan 240sx Hatch: KA24DE Swap, 2.25" Exhaust, Short Shifter, Eibach Sportline Springs, SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch and Pressure Plate, LED Cluster Lights, PRIME Wheels, EBC Pads w/Dimpled + Slotted Rotors, '98 Trans.

'94 Jeep Cherokee: 2-3.25" Raked Lift, 31" Tires, HID Headlights
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