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Old 09-17-2017, 03:22 PM   #1
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6.0L Diesel Alternator Issues

Hello All-

On a recent trip to the Mechanic for unrelated issues, the Mechanic reported that the van was dead every morning when he went to pull it in the garage. I have a 2006 E350 with the 6.0 L Diesel. The mechanic had difficulties with the new alternator, apparently it went out on test drive. It was replaced with another and was supposed to be good. I went to start it this morning after it sitting for a week. Batteries dead. The mechanic apparently checked the batteries, and when I checked them with a load tester this morning, they checked out. After charging the starter batteries for a while (have an RV House Batt with separator) the van started, but the voltage really was low while the glow plugs remained on. Also, the high idle switch (RV Package? Ambulance Package?) was on and lit up, but despite the low batteries, the engine didn't idle up? Any thoughts out there?

Thanks in advance......
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Old 09-17-2017, 04:28 PM   #2
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Quote:
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...and when I checked them with a load tester this morning, they checked out.
What voltage did you have?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rockyzion View Post
... the van started, but the voltage really was low while the glow plugs remained on...
What voltage?


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...Also, the high idle switch (RV Package? Ambulance Package?) was on and lit up, but despite the low batteries, the engine didn't idle up?
Was the parking brake engaged?



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Old 09-17-2017, 05:53 PM   #3
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10.8 this AM (right on the line between Week and Good on Load Tester)

<6 for a little while while running (as indicated on digital gauges plugged into van's computer)

This is strange because it works with parking brake engaged, but it worked before while in Park, without the parking break engaged.

Thanks for the quick reply Her[b. I am suspecting that the batteries need replaced....
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Old 09-17-2017, 07:10 PM   #4
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If you have an auto parts store nearby, have the batteries load tested. It could be there's a parasitic drain somewhere, but it could be the batteries.

Regarding the Hi Idle, strange that it would have previously worked without the parking brake engaged.


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Old 09-17-2017, 08:24 PM   #5
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Hello All-

On a recent trip to the Mechanic for unrelated issues, the Mechanic reported that the van was dead every morning when he went to pull it in the garage. I have a 2006 E350 with the 6.0 L Diesel. The mechanic had difficulties with the new alternator, apparently it went out on test drive. It was replaced with another and was supposed to be good. I went to start it this morning after it sitting for a week. Batteries dead. The mechanic apparently checked the batteries, and when I checked them with a load tester this morning, they checked out. After charging the starter batteries for a while (have an RV House Batt with separator) the van started, but the voltage really was low while the glow plugs remained on. Also, the high idle switch (RV Package? Ambulance Package?) was on and lit up, but despite the low batteries, the engine didn't idle up? Any thoughts out there?

Thanks in advance......
If the van went in the shop for unrelated issues but they replaced the alternator why? Maybe I am just not following correctly but then they replaced that new alternator with a second alternator? Now you are still having issues? Is that correct?

Are the new alternators factory Ford or aftermarket? I have heard that some aftermarket cheap ones don't have a diode needed for them to work properly with the van 6.0 electronics/computer. That could be totally made up but I have heard that from more than one person. The person I know went through a few cheap aftermarket alternators on the 6.0 before going with Ford OEM and then it worked. That was the explanation why.

Hope you get it figured out.
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:41 PM   #6
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Those batteries sound like toast to me. Less than 6V after the glow plugs draw them down. 10.5 at rest is way too low as well. Resting voltage should be 12.5 to 12.7.

Do you have an SMB conversion? They wired them to enable the isolator to open and use the house battery for a boost to the starting batteries if they're low. My understanding anyway.

Also, unless you find a 140A reman alternator either from a box store or Ford it's barely enough. Stock was 110A and that's what comes on a Taurus. Woefully inadequate for running a diesel much less any accessories.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:44 AM   #7
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Put your battery on a charger and give it a full charge prior to having it load tested. (borrow one or take it out and go to an autoparts store) If it's bad, the load test will point it out. Additionally, I'm no diesel expert but I understand that you should be very careful about running the engine with low voltage since it can cause expensive damage. I'm sure others can be more specific.
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:58 AM   #8
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yep, low voltage will fry the FICM and in turn the injectors. They like 47 to 48.5V. That, and glow plugs draw the batteries down hard.
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:02 AM   #9
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you should be very careful about running the engine with low voltage since it can cause expensive damage.
The main point of failure of operating a PSD 6.0 at a lower voltage is the Fuel Injection Control Module (FICM) more specifically the Power Supply side of the FICM will fail as it tries to continue to deliver the 48 volts and current to fire the injectors. This can be an expensive albeit easy part to replace. Then the cascade of failure continues from there.

Also for alternator sizing, the 6.0 will require 80 ish Amps at 13.4V to operate.

Compared to the potential cost of failures I wouldn't even test a suspect battery I'd just replace the batteries and the alternator if it isn't keeping up with demand. Just my preference.

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Old 09-18-2017, 02:27 PM   #10
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Just curious, after driving the van home, did you go under and feel the battery boxes to see if one is hotter than the other?
The way Ford tested my starting batteries was to hook a load to the jump stud and until I told them to drop out each battery and test each on their own but they continued to say there was nothing wrong. Under warranty they replaced the alternator with a stock unit (too small as Joe mentioned) but it did not fix the problem...one of the starting batteries had a shorted cell. The short never triggered any kind of CEL. The Surepower separator gave enough of a voltage pump to make the vehicle start normally. Past 2006, SMB used a push button at the dash that kept the separator from closing during the start unless you activated the switch. I'm guessing you have the stock 2006 build and it probably doesn't have that.

You can pull the ground wire off the separator to force it open. If the separator is working correctly, this will isolate the SMB 12v system. If you charge up the starting batteries with a high amp charger, monitor the charge to see if the charge rate drops to about an amp after several hours. I'd still check each battery box temp and if one starts to get warmer than the other, drop it out and as mentioned go have a parts store do a load test. Good luck with finding the problem, some can be head scratchers.
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