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Old 06-13-2021, 05:52 PM   #1
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Engine batteries draining - need some help

Long story, short-ish.


2006 6.0 PSD. Van batteries (Motorcraft 850 CCA, new in January, 2021) would not turn the engine over a couple days ago. No degradation indicated previously. Threw a charger on for a couple hours and it started. Once running, batteries register 13.2 - 13.8 on the Edge CTS monitor, even higher on my cig lighter charge indicator.



Pulled both batteries and took them to Napa for testing today. Both batteries tested good. Forward batt = 970 CCA, rear 1130 CCA, which seemed high. Reinstalled batteries and it started. After running for 5 min or so I shut it off. Went back an hour later and cig lighter gauge says 12.7. BTW, I've owned the van 6 weeks and removing/reinstalling the batteries on this this is a PITA! As most of you PSD folks know.....



Doesn't seem like the batteries, nor the alternator, although I've not yet tested it. Can someone explain how to test the alt without taking it off? It's ugly under the hood of these diesels.


Seems likely a phantom draw/grounded ckt somewhere. I have no idea how to test for that grounded circuit. Seems like this would be a common ask, but I did not see a specific thread. Can anyone offer some guidance?


Last question for now; what are the signs of a bad FICM? PO was AWESOME with shop records and recording in the 'bible' and I see no indication of a new FICM since 2014.

EDIT: where is the battery isolater located? Wondering if a failure here might cause the house battery to drain the engine battery?


Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-13-2021, 10:01 PM   #2
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Don't have much to add in the way of answers, but I'm running through the exact same troubleshooting process you are and am thinking I've reached a similar conclusion to you about the house battery draining the starting batteries.
- House battery was dead, van was having trouble starting.
- Drive van to where house battery shows over 12 volts, turn van off, van restarts fine.
- Put starting batteries and bad house battery on chargers to full, van starts with no issues.
- Removed house battery and covered solar panels to make sure there wasn't any draw from solar charger and the starting batteries seemed to retain voltage.
- Replaced house battery with brand new one and van seems to start much better. Still haven't had it in there long enough to determine if the house battery draining the starting batteries was the sole issue, but it seems to have been a contributor at least. Will keep you updated if anything else pops up.
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Old 06-13-2021, 10:27 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info, Moto. Iíll post updates to this discussion as well.

Drove van 20 miles to dinner and back tonight. Started fine both at home and in town. It goes into the fabricator tomorrow for a week. Will emerge w a new bumper on Friday. So, not much research to be done this week.
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Old 06-13-2021, 10:38 PM   #4
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I have an 06 PSD 6.0 RB50. My separator is under the rear bench seat on the passenger side. If you're running the original separator, mine was the Sure Power model 1315-200, these are notorious for not operating correctly and allowing good batteries to drain into weak batteries. On this forum it appears the preferred replacement is the Blue Sea 7622 (with manual control switch) or the Blue Sea 7620 (without control switch). Both use a magnetic latch system and have low current draw (<40mA). They are a technological improvement over the original Sure Powers. If it hasn't already been replaced, I'd recommend starting there.
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Old 06-14-2021, 05:55 AM   #5
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It is possible that the relay got stuck in the combined or closed connection. This would mean using the house electrical would also drain the start batteries. The Surepower is almost always installed inside close to the other electrical. It is pretty easy to trouble shoot that it is always on, as the battery voltage of both the house and van systems will always track. They will not be exact do to measuring points and wire loss. After you run the engine and stop you should see the start battery slowly start to drop as it slowly get to (approx) 12 .8 it should disconnect. This can be hurried by keep a load on the house such as lights, water pump, etc. There is usually a hearable clunk as the relay changes state. After that if the surepower disconnected the voltages should start to drift farther a part.

Being that in this case the failure mode is a stuck relay, you could remove the ground wire going to surepower. In this case, you would look to see if the voltages were still tracking when starting the van, if so it would be stuck.

Feel free to pm me, if you need help trouble shooting it.



Motorwerx,
need more details on your rig, or specifically the separator/acr/isolator you have (year manufactures as SMB helps). The same offer goes out to you, feel free to PM.

Here are two videos I made trying to explain how the surepower and Bluesea 7620 works.

https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...5-a-14502.html

https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...2-a-16340.html

-greg
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Old 06-14-2021, 06:55 AM   #6
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Greg, thanks! Iíve read through some of your posts and was hoping youíd respond. Iíll reach out via PM.
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Old 06-18-2021, 07:46 AM   #7
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I had a parasitic draw on my van as well which I eventually traced back to the drivers seat electric motors (was actually the little toggle switch on the side that moves the seat forwards and backwards).

It's a major PITA to figure these out, but the best way is to get at it with your multimeter and measure the current draw across all the fuses to try and narrow things down. I would find a fuse that showed a draw on it with the key off. I did replace a couple of relays in the process (likely unnecessary in the end).

Good luck!
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Old 06-18-2021, 03:51 PM   #8
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Thanks Sierra. Think Iíve got it diagnosed (with the help of the forum) as an old/bad battery isolator. Itís on order and should be here Monday.

Basis for my diagnosis is the house and engine batteries are tracking almost identically. The engine batteries were new in January, whereas the house battery is several years old.

Iíll report back when I have the new isolator installed.
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Old 06-24-2021, 10:37 AM   #9
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Isolator mis-wired

The 2006 6.0 I bought this year had the isolator wired wrong, always activating the solenoid until both batteries were dead. Feel it under the bench and if it is hot it is on. Mine was too hot to touch. There's another solenoid that only connects the engine batteries when the ignition is on which interferes with a properly connected isolator I switched to a Blue Sea, but thing the old one would have worked properly after disconnecting the start wire which was always on, even when ignition off. My guess is it was mis-wired from the factory.
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Old 06-24-2021, 09:30 PM   #10
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Engine batteries draining - need some help

Thanks, Wacker. My Blue Sea 7622 arrived earlier this week. Tomorrow is install day. Iíll check to see if the existing unit is cold, warm, or hot.

Thanks for the tip!
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