Electrical gremlins please help. - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Electrical gremlins please help.

I have a 1999 7.3 diesel that was bought used about 3 years ago for a tow vehicle. Love the truck, just not the problems that have been occuring.

I have replaced batteries and alternator because batteries were dying. If the truck sits for several days without running batteries are dead.

Because the truck was bought used I figure I should tell you that there is a aftermarket stereo and alarm with auto start. Not sure at this time what brand alarm.

Some of the things that have been happening and I don't know if any of this is related because I am not a mechaninc. I will list them. Back light in truck bed turns on mysteriously, wet weather makes radio turn on, fan has been found running in the truck when key was out of the ignition. Interior lights will not work when any door opened but will turn on when switched on manually.

I also aquired some kind of leak that during a heavy rain seems to drip right by the drivers side E brake pedal.( I am pretty sure that's not good) it is where the PCM is if I recall. I am working on that as we think.

Started the truck this morning to make sure the batteries were ok and ran for 10-15 minutes. Put my multimeter on it and the alternator was putting out somewhere around 14.26v turned the truck off to see where the batteries where and they were at 12.86... Then watches the volts conitue to drop like I was watching the second hand on a clock 12.86...12.72...12.55... Is this normal? Again I admit I am no mechanic.

I know I am about to go on a wild goose chase but hope that someone can point me in the right direction maybe give me a clue.

Since I can not buy the person who help a beer this is what I will do. The person that point me in the right direction to fix this problem will get a $25.00 AMEX gift card in the mail. I am serious!!!! You can go get your own beer. Multiple input may actually get multiple gift cards.

I really appreciate any help that you can give me.

Paul

Oh yeah, The horn stopped working last week... Go figure?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valcas1 View Post
Because the truck was bought used I figure I should tell you that there is a aftermarket stereo and alarm with auto start. Not sure at this time what brand alarm.

Some of the things that have been happening and I don't know if any of this is related because I am not a mechaninc. I will list them. Back light in truck bed turns on mysteriously, wet weather makes radio turn on, fan has been found running in the truck when key was out of the ignition. Interior lights will not work when any door opened but will turn on when switched on manually.

I also aquired some kind of leak that during a heavy rain seems to drip right by the drivers side E brake pedal.( I am pretty sure that's not good) it is where the PCM is if I recall. I am working on that as we think.

Well, I am no electrical wiz, so I probably won't be in the running for the $25 AMEX card ... but ... here are my suggestions based upon my experience.

First I would remove the stereo and alarm. Who knows how they put it in or wired it. I have seen lots of issues with home installs of this type equipment. I had a Jeep YJ where the stereo would go off if you turned on the headlights.

Second, it sounds like you have a short or intermittent connection. Maybe some rust in a connection. Definitely need to fix the water leak. If your 99 is like my 02 the area you describe is also the area your fuse panel is located. Check for water damage / rust in your fuse box.

Just a start, Iím sure there will be some more experienced answers shortly!

Good Luck

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 06:55 PM
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No need for the gift card but thanks for the gesture..
I personally would start with the terminal connections and fuses. IMO
All hots and grounds, battery, alt to the fuse blocks.may seem a little much..Noted that the batts and alternator was changed, and the water leak is right by the fuse block in the cab, that's were I'd start..
If all seems to be ok there, I'd jump right into chasing down the stereo and alarm wiring.
since it's affecting the lights and horn.
When the wiring for those items are found you'll be testing for constant draw or open circuit on the main power and memory wire..Any amps installed for the stereo?As far as seeing the drop involtage after shutting down, the drop should stop after the computer, relays and interior lights go off..The alarm shouldn't be drawing that much..
Hope that gets you started in the right direction.. I'm sure others have some more thoughts, advice and will help you out on here that's gone through the problems you're experiencing now..Good luck and keep us updated
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 07:10 PM
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It sounds as though your windshield has developed a leak.

My guess is your GEM module is going. If that's the case, the truck just won't start one day when you get in it. Mine left me stranded @ the NAPA store

Get the windshield pulled and the weatherstripping replaced. That should cure the water leak.

Then start tracing down the gremlins, if they still exist.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 09:15 PM
 
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IMO, CRAWFISH is dead on...you've got an open circuit somewhere that is drawing amperage. Electrical issues are hands down the most evil of evil problems that you can face!
My '99 7.3L also had an aftermarket alarm/remote start installed and one day my neighbor came into my house and asked if I knew my truck was running... WTF??? Just mysteriously started up! Needless to say, had it removed and no issues since, although mine wasn't "leaking" amps anywhere, thank goodness. (your alarm wouldn't happen to be an AUTOPAGE brand, would it?)
You're going to need schematics, a multimeter, and tons of patience to find your problem. Good luck and DEF let us know what you end up with!

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone that has replied so far.

I already called to have the windshield pulled and replaced. I will continue to report my findings as I go along.

GEM Module... How much will that set me back?

I was also told to check the ground on the passenger side of the engine block. At this point I can't rule anything out.

Think I am going to pull the radio completely and wire it new myself. The prior owner was younger and I know when I was young, quality work was not my strong point.

Keep the ideas coming gentlemen and the beers are on me when I get this resolved
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 03:56 AM
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GEM module ain't cheap - between $2-300 iirc, but it's been nearly 5 years since mine went out. Check out

It's a PITA to get to, though. I spent the better part of 2 hrs getting the old one out and the new one in (start to finish, no beer - stuck in the NAPA parking lot).

Fuller Ford Parts is a TDG vendor and should be able to get you the best price. Give them a call and tell them you found them @ TDG.

Keep us posted.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 05:12 PM
 
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hey redtruck the link say's it's broken..?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 05:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVPILOT View Post
IMO, CRAWFISH is dead on...you've got an open circuit somewhere that is drawing amperage. Electrical issues are hands down the most evil of evil problems that you can face!
My '99 7.3L also had an aftermarket alarm/remote start installed and one day my neighbor came into my house and asked if I knew my truck was running... WTF??? Just mysteriously started up! Needless to say, had it removed and no issues since, although mine wasn't "leaking" amps anywhere, thank goodness. (your alarm wouldn't happen to be an AUTOPAGE brand, would it?)
You're going to need schematics, a multimeter, and tons of patience to find your problem. Good luck and DEF let us know what you end up with!

I wtih them..
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 05:58 PM
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www.fullerfordparts.com

Try that one.

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