Wun Tunn Zoop
Some sort of charging issue
It appears that the rear battery is getting short changed
I have had some issues with the diesel not cranking up the way it should.It has been intermittent at best through the winter. I have not had a chance to check out the factory block heater for functionality to see if that will help in cold weather starting. For now I will attack it as a charging / battery issue.
So I decided to tackle it since I had a nice day at hand. I started by taking out both batteries. The main one in the engine compartment and the other on the rear frame. Both are relatively new and premium Group 78 batteries. After taking them in for testing at the local O’Reilly where I work I discovered that the primary battery was actually OK but the rear battery was way run down. They both checked good so I went ahead and got them both fully charged and headed back to the garage.
I made a concerted effort to clean and reset the rear battery ground. It is a simple 12″ cable that bolts to the chassis. After removing the mount bolt I cleaned the contact area down, cleaned the terminal end and remounted the battery and box. And let me tell you, this is no small task. You have to mount the battery into the box and then lift the assembled pair up onto a pair of frame bolts. I have to use a jack to lift them because it is tight and the battery alone weighs in around 40 lbs !
Then I went up front to the engine bay. The van has a 3-way post setup on the core support that splits the feed and battery cables up. It appears that it has never been disassembled or cleaned. So I did it. Now all the cable ends are clean and snug. It didn’t appear to have ant issues but it is better now. After reassembling the cable block I hooked all the batteries back up.
I gave it a test start and run which went off easily. But that is with freshly charged batteries. I will have to give it a road test, maybe tomorrow, and then recheck the battery status to get a better picture on if I did fix the issue. If I did, sweet! If not, then I have more work to do. I am even considering changing out the starter as a preemptive measure. We shall see!
The big beastie is now tagged!
It took a while but we now have the van tagged for use. A couple of short trips to give it some much need exercise and it was more of a discovery ride to get the feel of this beast on the streets. And I must say it is huge and I need to get used to being way up there and not cut the corners short. Curbs are not nice! The visibility is pretty good on the sides but the rear view is almost non-existent.
One thing that I have already started to address is the dual batteries. They are both Sears Diehards but they are over 6 years old. And after sitting a bit it was a bit arduous to get it started. I had to charge the batteries a couple of times in the last few months in order to just get it awake and warmed up. So ….. I am putting some new ones in. Since I work at O’Reilly’s that takes the edge off of getting two.
The first one out was the frame mounted unit. On top of being in an awkward location on the driver side frame you have to bring the battery box / mount down with the battery in it. No small chore but a jack and some creative maneuvering and it came down. And after disassembling the battery from the box I decided to give the mount a complete makeover. It has been under there a long time and looked bad. Strip, prime and repaint. Along with a refurbish of all the attaching hardware. I also went ahead and replaced the factory cable bolts with new because, as you are probably well aware, they get mistreated badly and the hot post bolt was totally gonzo. Not the whole end just the OEM threaded bolt inserts. I couldn’t even get a wrench on it. A good clean up of the cable ends made them good as new. The frame ground was also cleaned and redone.
Then it was a relatively easy chore to put the new battery in the freshly reconditioned box and lift it back into its’ home on the frame!
“Home on the frame?” Did I really say that? I guess I did!
But with it up in place I hooked up all the cables and gave it a test start. And it appears to me that it came alive much quicker. So I will get the primary battery in the engine compartment out and exchanged in the next few days. That should eliminate any start issues for a good while.
So for now it all looks good and I will have to make sure to take it for a spin at least once a week to keep it limbered up.
I do have the donated roof rails refurbished and ready to go. I will put them on when I can. These are the good ones! Not the cheesy tubular units. Read that heavy buggers! It takes two of us to position them on the roof. So it may be a bit.
That’s it for now. More to come. later.