95 Ford AeroStar Eddie Bauer Van dead short

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  #1  
Old 03-30-08, 07:57 AM
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Unhappy 95 Ford AeroStar Eddie Bauer Van dead short

HOW DO I FIND A DEAD SHORT. HOW MANY FUSE BOXES ARE THERE? After center collision between front end & light pole the bumper, hood, radiators and top rail (where hood locking mechanism is) needed replaced. Vehicle running fine(start right up after parked for 1 week after accident), then mechanic removed fenders, other front end parts, unplugged harness as needed; removed 3 cooling radiators, replaced rads & other body parts, re-plugged harnesses, lights, etc. Now dead short after installation of parts and re-connecting of harnesses. There were no electrical tears, wire damages nor shorts before removal of parts and harness. CLUES (all new after reinstall): heater blower fan continuously blows after key is turned off (turning it off stops fan, but I have a totally dead battery overnight); checked battery after charge - it is fine at 13.2 & all cells fine; overnight (with battery disconnected) 17 degrees outside temp the inside of the windshield and window glass is covered with heavy water frost (not oily) - to see I had to scrape the inside frost with window scraper; horn does not work all the time. When keeping battery connected will be completely dead after 8-10 hours. How do I test, to locate the problem. Seems like it is all related to one short, but I did not find short by reconnecting and re-checking all wiring. What is next step to locating it?
 
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  #2  
Old 03-30-08, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by CHAUQG View Post
HOW DO I FIND A DEAD SHORT. HOW MANY FUSE BOXES ARE THERE? After center collision between front end & light pole the bumper, hood, radiators and top rail (where hood locking mechanism is) needed replaced. Vehicle running fine(start right up after parked for 1 week after accident), then mechanic removed fenders, other front end parts, unplugged harness as needed; removed 3 cooling radiators, replaced rads & other body parts, re-plugged harnesses, lights, etc. Now dead short after installation of parts and re-connecting of harnesses. There were no electrical tears, wire damages nor shorts before removal of parts and harness. CLUES (all new after reinstall): heater blower fan continuously blows after key is turned off (turning it off stops fan, but I have a totally dead battery overnight); checked battery after charge - it is fine at 13.2 & all cells fine; overnight (with battery disconnected) 17 degrees outside temp the inside of the windshield and window glass is covered with heavy water frost (not oily) - to see I had to scrape the inside frost with window scraper; horn does not work all the time. When keeping battery connected will be completely dead after 8-10 hours. How do I test, to locate the problem. Seems like it is all related to one short, but I did not find short by reconnecting and re-checking all wiring. What is next step to locating it?
something is plugged up wrong it seems to me. i would try unplugging things to see if any of them solve/help the problem. if frost on inside of windshield, i would say the heater core is damaged. sorry, no definate answers.
 
  #3  
Old 04-01-08, 07:49 AM
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Question Another possible clue

Needing the van on a daily basis I have been disconnecting hot wire from the battery; two days ago I disconnected the hot going to the 2 pole starter relay (the hot which comes direct from the battery) thinking it might be easier to put on and off while keeping the battery from draining, it works....... BUT Why is battery not discharging since the only connection disconnected is the hot side of the starter relay coming from the battery?? Could the connections to the relay be wrong and causing the discharge. Another question is which wires and how should they connected to the two poles on the relay? I think the middle smaller wire is from the ignition, but there are several connected to the 2 larger poles. Any help identifying these wires greatly appreciated......
 
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Old 04-01-08, 04:33 PM
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There should only be one from the battery on one post and one from the starter on the other post. You are correct with the smaller wire being an ignition wire. Where do the other wires go that are attached to the solenoid? You may have found the culprit.
 
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Old 04-01-08, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by CHAUQG View Post
Another question is which wires and how should they connected to the two poles on the relay? I think the middle smaller wire is from the ignition, but there are several connected to the 2 larger poles. Any help identifying these wires greatly appreciated......
You need to look at a wiring diagram. Then you would know which is supposed to go where. If your positive battery cable only has one cable at the post (some cars have like 3 wires at the positive post), then that means that the current going to and coming back to the battery from the alternator must be going thru that relay junction. And that wire would have to be on the battery side of that relay - not on the starter side. So, you really do need to see a wiring diagram.
 
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Old 04-01-08, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by CHAUQG View Post
Needing the van on a daily basis I have been disconnecting hot wire from the battery; two days ago I disconnected the hot going to the 2 pole starter relay (the hot which comes direct from the battery) thinking it might be easier to put on and off while keeping the battery from draining, it works....... BUT Why is battery not discharging since the only connection disconnected is the hot side of the starter relay coming from the battery?? Could the connections to the relay be wrong and causing the discharge. Another question is which wires and how should they connected to the two poles on the relay? I think the middle smaller wire is from the ignition, but there are several connected to the 2 larger poles. Any help identifying these wires greatly appreciated......
HOT wire from batt. to solenoid(large cable), wire(large)from solenoid to starter, small wire from one side of solenoid to switch(hot), other wire from switch to solenoid. solenoid is electromagnet to pick up LARGE bronze washer that connects the large hot with the large starting cable to energize the starter and spin the engine. feed from small wire to switch and back activates the solenoid and also supplies power to dist./coil.

by the way, if you had a DEAD SHORT you would smell wire coating burning! you have something drawing current with the switch OFF!
 
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Old 04-01-08, 09:54 PM
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Clarify Please

Originally Posted by mikeTN View Post
HOT wire from batt. to solenoid(large cable), wire(large)from solenoid to starter, small wire from one side of solenoid to switch(hot), other wire from switch to solenoid. solenoid is electromagnet to pick up LARGE bronze washer that connects the large hot with the large starting cable to energize the starter and spin the engine. feed from small wire to switch and back activates the solenoid and also supplies power to dist./coil.
Battery side or starter side of solenoid descriptions would be helpful - Thanks

Originally Posted by mikeTN View Post
by the way, if you had a DEAD SHORT you would smell wire coating burning! you have something drawing current with the switch OFF!
Are you saying the problem is not at the solenoid?

Thanks Again
 
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Old 04-02-08, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by CHAUQG View Post
Battery side or starter side of solenoid descriptions would be helpful - Thanks



Are you saying the problem is not at the solenoid?

Thanks Again
don't know what the problem is, but a dead short is a pos. to grnd.. INSTANT SMOKE/FIRE! if something is drawing the batt. down, it is something that is USING it.

battery(usually red wire) to one side of the solenoid(closest to batt. usually) big black wire to starter from other side of solenoid. when you turn the key, you are energizing the electromagnet in the solenoid which picks up a contact to connect the RED wire to the BLACK wire which makes the starter spin the engine over. the pos. wire to the coil and the neg. wire to the distributor, which connection is made at the time you turn the key to run, makes the plugs fire which ignites the fuel. if your battery is going dead, then you have SOMETHING drawing current. you said the heater fan ran AFTER the key is turned off!!!?? if horn doesn't work all the time, check the wires at the horn relay. does the radiator have 2 fans? one fan usually works even if the car is not running or key on if it needs to dissipate heat. Just a thought! LUCK!
 
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Old 04-04-08, 07:37 AM
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Arrow This is how wires are connected to solenoid

On the post closest to the firewall there is only one wire -- red. It looks like it follows the thick (red) hot wire from the battery down towards the starter, it is in the same binding, but I can't see where it goes. ALL (4) other wires are are connect to the front pole, which is closest to the battery. There is one red from battery; one yellow, one thick oranges stripe on black, and one thin orange stripe on black.

When the front and back poles of solenoid are jumped the starter does activate as it should. How do I diagnose where the wires should be connected? Cant find a schematic for the wiring, and likely could not read it anyway.

MikeTN I really appreciate your help.

Thank You
 
  #10  
Old 04-04-08, 08:03 AM
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it may lead to a faster resolution if you look at your vehicle in the dark. Connect the battery cable as would be normally and observe the vehicle to see if there is a light or some other obvious thing staying on. you might also try sitting in and listening carefully as a helper connects and disconnects the battery. Mike is correct, something is on in the van and that draw is what is draining the battery over night. the wires that are connected to the starter relay are most likely correct. they are feeds to other circuits in the car and it makes no sense that they would be on the starter side of the relay since there is only power there during cranking. by disconnecting those small wires on the relay post (battery side) one by one, you can isolate which circuit the draw is on. once having done this, you would use the wire diagram to see what items are fed on that circuit and then check each one to see which one is on. then you see how that circuit works and why is it on...strange things happen during accidents. what about the guy who did the body work...have you talked with him about your post accident issues?
 
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Old 04-04-08, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by CHAUQG View Post
On the post closest to the firewall there is only one wire -- red. It looks like it follows the thick (red) hot wire from the battery down towards the starter, it is in the same binding, but I can't see where it goes. ALL (4) other wires are are connect to the front pole, which is closest to the battery. There is one red from battery; one yellow, one thick oranges stripe on black, and one thin orange stripe on black.

When the front and back poles of solenoid are jumped the starter does activate as it should. How do I diagnose where the wires should be connected? Cant find a schematic for the wiring, and likely could not read it anyway.

MikeTN I really appreciate your help.

Thank You
carguy has the answer. unless the body man unhooked the wires during repair(which is unlikely), they should be where the were before. the yellow is probably a hot to the switch, the ones with tracers are supply lines to other components(likely) and the large red one is the supply FROM the battery.
removing them as caqrguy has said will eliminate portions of the electrical supply/demand at a time and allow you a direction in which to go to find what is killing the batt.. keep us posted. interesting!!!!
 
  #12  
Old 04-07-08, 06:50 AM
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Question Continuing to loose battery when parked

No sparks or anomalies seen in the dark. Still disconnecting the battery lead to the solenoid EVERY TIME I PARK. After disconnecting the wires connected to the solenoid only the YELLOW stopped the heater motor from running with key off and on (nothing much there?). Tried all combos did notice arcing when nut was not tight and turned starter, but not sure if that is common or not. The arc was very noticeable almost like crossing the cables and occured between elements connected to the battery side of the solenoid. Is that normal with loose connection - tightened it and no arc??
Just got copy of fuse layout, maybe I can do something with it, I know disconnecting the heater fuse will stop the heater motor, but is there any other ways I can test where the drain is? Keep in mind the heater motor turned off (with key off) will still drain the battery, it just runs when the key is off and did not do that before the repair (I say repair, since the battery held its charge through weeks of moving the vehicle 3 times). BTW horn wires not connected tightly - fixed that. The battery only drew down when vehicle parts (fendors, rads, bumpers, hood) were reinstalled. THere were no wire replacements, damages or power loss after the accident - only after final assembly. Mechanic is stumped and admits it. What to do now? Any thought greatly appreciated. Thanks
 
  #13  
Old 04-07-08, 07:15 AM
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would still look into the heater motor issue would probably start there as it could be related to your battery drain.
would probably suggest you see a shop so they can hook it up to an ampmeter and start pulling fuses to find the problem circuit and diagnose the problem, if you have the equipment like an ampmeter and wiring diagrams you could possibly isolate the circuit yourself otherwise would see a shop.
dont really think your problem has anything to do with the starter solenoid.
 
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Old 04-07-08, 11:31 AM
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absolutely nothing except computer memory should run, operate or be turned on when the key is off (retained accessory power is an exception but that vehicle doesn't have that) if your heater motor is on when the key is off, THAT is your battery drain. something is reconnected wrong or the relay is failed. does it run on high or low...if high, then i would suspect the relay is stuck. on low...the feed to the blower is connected wrong, it should be switched (hot in "run" only).
 
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Old 04-07-08, 01:43 PM
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Question reply to carguyinva

What would you think about the connection to the blower motor if when you turn the ignition OFF; (then) the heater switch in the vehicle to OFF; the heater motor stops running; the battery will still completely discharge. In this scenario: Could the problem still be with the heater blower motor connection even though it is turned off and battery still looses its power??
 
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Old 04-07-08, 05:43 PM
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As suggested by others, how many of those wires at that relay/junction terminal have you tried to remove, on a one-by-one basis, each night, while leaving the others connected?

Go by voltmeter reading at battery, before and after, to compare to see if voltage drops down, in case it still starts even though battery was wearing down.

The big red cable on the battery side could be a cause maybe, depending on internal design, if there is some leakage to ground by carbony dirt, or ? On the starter solenoid side, once again not knowing the internal construction of the relay and what is possible and what is not, I suppose it could be possible, in theory, that drainage could go to the solenoid in a low voltage condition that is not enough to engage the solenoid, if something was barely being bridged inside when it should not be. Unlikely?; perhaps. But if me, I'd leave no easy to turn over stone, unturned.

Wire by wire, at that relay, should at least tell you which of those color wires is the culprit, since all car power goes through that junction. Then a wiring diagram of your car will tell you exactly where every one of those wires goes.
 
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