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 Post subject: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wiring
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:41 pm 
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I had been having some battery/charging system issues and after ruling out the battery I was checking the leads and wiring. Cleaned the terminals and hooked them back up, and then decided to check the alternator connections ... like the world's biggest idiot I apparently have become, I forgot to disconnect the battery. The wrench I was using to loosen the top wire hit the alternator housing, got wedged there and created a constant arc I couldn't really do anything about as it shot sparks everywhere and smoke poured out. I disconnected the battery as fast I could but the wrench welded to the housing and the wire to the fuse box melted (not the rubber coating, but the whole wire). Aside from being so mad at myself that I just want to crawl into the freezing woods and die, I'm not sure what to do next. How much did I likely damage? The only visible damage is the wire to the fuse box but I'm guessing it did worse than that. What should I look for? I was thinking of just having it towed to the dealer but I hate to think what they'll charge and I don't know if a tow truck can even get it out of my garage.

Edit: looking at the wiring diagram I think the part that melted is a "fusable link" ... so maybe it's the only thing damaged? Should I try to replace that portion or still expect more damage?

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1987 Mercedes-Benz 300D, Arctic White on Palomino - 314,000 miles
1978 Mercedes-Benz 240D 4spd, Lt. Ivory on Bamboo - 368,000 miles


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 Post subject: Re: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wirin
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:58 pm 
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It is suppose to melt like a fuse. That is probably the only thing that is wrong. The alternator should put more than 13.5 volts when running. Just check output post to ground with a voltmeter.


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 Post subject: Re: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wirin
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:26 pm 
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Start replacing the obvious until things work right again.

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 Post subject: Re: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wirin
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:41 pm 
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After you replace the fusible link, and get it running; test the voltage output of the alternator, it may be damaged, the diodes do not always survive a dead short across from the (+) terminal to the (-) case, it usually will blow them or the rectifier bank.

Not to add salt to your wound and you already know; always disconnect one of the battery cables when fooling with alternator terminals.... :wink:

:SOMBRERO:

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 Post subject: Re: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wirin
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:15 pm 
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WWDiesel wrote:
Not to add salt to your wound and you already know; always disconnect one of the battery cables when fooling with alternator terminals.... :wink:

:SOMBRERO:


The sad thing is I'm usually really anal about this and disconnect the battery even for jobs I probably don't need to. I was going to drive the car to NAPA and have them check my charging system and just thought last-minute, might as well check that connection for corrosion or looseness before I take it there. It was just a complete brainless mistake.

I'm afraid if I don't replace everything that's damaged I could start a fire. I noticed some gluey substance where the negative cable connects to the engine block (by the starter) which suggests it got very hot ... I think it's something that melted off the heatshrink because it's also around the area where the fuse broke. I guess (hopefully) the fuse will have protected the computers and complex stuff but I have such a poor understanding of circuits that I don't know what would be exposed to the high amperage in this condition. I have the wiring schematics but they just confuse me. :|

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2005 Liberty CRD Limited, Light Khaki on Slate - 133,000 miles
1987 Mercedes-Benz 300D, Arctic White on Palomino - 314,000 miles
1978 Mercedes-Benz 240D 4spd, Lt. Ivory on Bamboo - 368,000 miles


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 Post subject: Re: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wirin
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:11 am 
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So as far as I can tell, this is the circuit I created, with the red line being the wrench. If it makes a difference I should clarify I shorted to the bracket that holds the engine cover up, rather than the alt housing. I am assuming current wouldn't have gone through the starter, since the started is only grounded with the key in start position ... right? Obviously I will replace the fusible link, but should I worry about the rest of the wires this circuit ran through? I just want to make sure anything that might cause another short or too high current is fixed and safe before starting and testing the charging system for any other damage.

Image

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2005 Liberty CRD Limited, Light Khaki on Slate - 133,000 miles
1987 Mercedes-Benz 300D, Arctic White on Palomino - 314,000 miles
1978 Mercedes-Benz 240D 4spd, Lt. Ivory on Bamboo - 368,000 miles


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 Post subject: Re: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wirin
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:05 am 
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Replace the fusable link....it was designed to handle a dead short such as you caused.

There is a chance that the diode pack inside the alternator may be toasted....check the voltage across the battery at rest...should be about 12.5 volts, drop down to not lower than 10 volts while cranking and should be about 13.4 volts at idle.....do these tests after replacing the fusable link

The fact that it was shorting for a fair amount of time means battery could also be damaged.
.
There have been reports of owners blowing the TCM or ECM buy doing this type of shorting out but worry about that once you start cranking it over. :?


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 Post subject: Re: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wirin
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:21 am 
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The fusible links should have blown and protected most items! Check and / or clean all of the main connections, replace any blown fusible links, start engine, and if it starts ok, check output voltage of alternator with a voltmeter. Output should be ~13.5 volts or maybe a little more. Report back.... :wink:

Note: Starter is grounded all the time since it is bolted to the engine block! :!:

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 Post subject: Re: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wirin
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:40 pm 
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Thanks guys. I will try to get the link replaced. I'm not sure anywhere near me carries large enough fusible link, at least they don't list it online. Going to try NAPA.

A friend pointed out the starter is always grounded shortly after I posted that ... duh. Now I'm worried that will be damaged too but I guess I can't do anything but replace the link and see what happens.

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2005 Liberty CRD Limited, Light Khaki on Slate - 133,000 miles
1987 Mercedes-Benz 300D, Arctic White on Palomino - 314,000 miles
1978 Mercedes-Benz 240D 4spd, Lt. Ivory on Bamboo - 368,000 miles


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 Post subject: Re: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wirin
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:23 pm 
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BodhiBenz1987 wrote:
Thanks guys. I will try to get the link replaced. I'm not sure anywhere near me carries large enough fusible link, at least they don't list it online. Going to try NAPA.

A friend pointed out the starter is always grounded shortly after I posted that ... duh. Now I'm worried that will be damaged too but I guess I can't do anything but replace the link and see what happens.

I would not worry about the starter, it was not involved in where you grounded wrench, only alternator and fusible link for a very short period of time till it blew which is what it was supposed to do! :roll:
Most part stores carry the larger fusible links in stock. My local O'reilly's web site shows they have 20 through 50 amp links in stock.... :wink:

_________________
05 Jeep Liberty CRD Limited :JEEPIN:
Blk Brush Guard/Hella's/LED's
Ironman Springs/Bilstein's
Yeti Stg4 MaxTune
Weeks ElbowKit/Battery Tray
NO FCV/EGR
Samcos/ProVent
SunCoast/Transgo
Carter Intank-pump
2mic.Sec.Fuel Filter
Flowmaster/NOcat
V6 Airbox
GM11 blade fan/Hayden HD clutch
Ironrock Trilink
98 Dodge Cummins, 5"exh. Viair,K&N


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 Post subject: Re: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wirin
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:12 pm 
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Not to hijack but I thought I would mention mine still gets into the 9s when cranking ... I put leads on the starter and measured vs the batt it's is only a couple point volts different (like .2 less). Also My idle started volts reads about 14.3. Normal?

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 Post subject: Re: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wirin
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:27 pm 
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14.3 is normal charging voltage for this alternator.

I don’t know what battery voltage drop should be when cranking.

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intake elbow and EGR delete. 7 volt Etecno glow plugs
Yeti stage 2 ECU tune. Straight pipe exhaust. DIY intercooler hoses
Provent and modified factory 180F thermostat
Replaced cylinder head (cracked) at 160,000 miles + ARP studs
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 Post subject: Re: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wirin
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:46 pm 
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Anything at or above 13.5 volts with the headlamps on should keep a 12v battery charged! :wink:

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05 Jeep Liberty CRD Limited :JEEPIN:
Blk Brush Guard/Hella's/LED's
Ironman Springs/Bilstein's
Yeti Stg4 MaxTune
Weeks ElbowKit/Battery Tray
NO FCV/EGR
Samcos/ProVent
SunCoast/Transgo
Carter Intank-pump
2mic.Sec.Fuel Filter
Flowmaster/NOcat
V6 Airbox
GM11 blade fan/Hayden HD clutch
Ironrock Trilink
98 Dodge Cummins, 5"exh. Viair,K&N


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 Post subject: Re: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wirin
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:25 pm 
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WWDiesel wrote:
BodhiBenz1987 wrote:
Thanks guys. I will try to get the link replaced. I'm not sure anywhere near me carries large enough fusible link, at least they don't list it online. Going to try NAPA.

A friend pointed out the starter is always grounded shortly after I posted that ... duh. Now I'm worried that will be damaged too but I guess I can't do anything but replace the link and see what happens.

I would not worry about the starter, it was not involved in where you grounded wrench, only alternator and fusible link for a very short period of time till it blew which is what it was supposed to do! :roll:
Most part stores carry the larger fusible links in stock. My local O'reilly's web site shows they have 20 through 50 amp links in stock.... :wink:


NAPA did not have anything thicker than 14 gauge ... from everything I've read fusible link wires aren't measured by amps but by gauge/length. The one that was in the Jeep says 8 (though the schematic says 10). Will try another store tomorrow or maybe ask the parts counter at dealer. Looks like there are more choices on Amazon though so I might order some from there.

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2005 Liberty CRD Limited, Light Khaki on Slate - 133,000 miles
1987 Mercedes-Benz 300D, Arctic White on Palomino - 314,000 miles
1978 Mercedes-Benz 240D 4spd, Lt. Ivory on Bamboo - 368,000 miles


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 Post subject: Re: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wirin
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:33 am 
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ryanchris wrote:
Not to hijack but I thought I would mention mine still gets into the 9s when cranking ... I put leads on the starter and measured vs the batt it's is only a couple point volts different (like .2 less). Also My idle started volts reads about 14.3. Normal?


The High 9s are OK when cranking.....13.4 volts at idle is the minimum spec, nothing wrong with 14.3.
The ECM measures and adjusts the voltage output from the alternator....I had some wiring issues on my 2002 Export CRD which would cause the charge voltage to go up to 17 volts at which time the CEL would light up and Jeep would grind to a halt. By the time I had fixed the wiring issue my battery had boiled away to its death!

Voltage drops through the circuit going from battery through the starter motor to ground are on any resistances inline that will cause voltage drops over said resistances. These voltage drops are across the series internal resistance of the battery which will always be there but there is a lot more resistance when the battery is failing.

The other voltage drops are on all the connections so the battery terminals need to be clean and tight, the negative battery lead going to chassis must be clean and tight and the engine grounding strap grounding engine to chassis needs to be clean and tight both ends.

Finally the thick lead going to the starter solenoid needs to be clean and tight.....a bad solenoid will also cause high resistance in that circuit. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wirin
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:19 pm 
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Quote:
The ECM measures and adjusts the voltage output from the alternator


On 05-06 north American CRDs, the alternator has a built in voltage regulator. The ECM does nothing to control voltage output.
Should the regulator fail, the regulator can be replaced fairly easily.
I replaced my voltage regulator a few years ago. Symptom was flickering lights while driving.

_________________
Bought my '05 CRD on June 2nd '07, used with 29,000 miles.
intake elbow and EGR delete. 7 volt Etecno glow plugs
Yeti stage 2 ECU tune. Straight pipe exhaust. DIY intercooler hoses
Provent and modified factory 180F thermostat
Replaced cylinder head (cracked) at 160,000 miles + ARP studs
2.5 inch lift, 255-75-17 tires.
Still love it.


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 Post subject: Re: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wirin
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:04 pm 
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OK so nobody carries 8 gauge fusible link wire, other than one source on Amazon which only has 25 feet for $70+. Anyone know of a source I might be missing? I can always try to pull something from a junkyard but I'd rather use new wire if possible. Talked to NAPA and Advance and neither could source anything smaller than 12. Seems bizarre to me because the gas KJs used the same wire, so it's not like it's just the car being obscure.

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2005 Liberty CRD Limited, Light Khaki on Slate - 133,000 miles
1987 Mercedes-Benz 300D, Arctic White on Palomino - 314,000 miles
1978 Mercedes-Benz 240D 4spd, Lt. Ivory on Bamboo - 368,000 miles


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 Post subject: Re: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wirin
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:00 am 
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flash7210 wrote:
Quote:
The ECM measures and adjusts the voltage output from the alternator


On 05-06 north American CRDs, the alternator has a built in voltage regulator. The ECM does nothing to control voltage output.
Should the regulator fail, the regulator can be replaced fairly easily.
I replaced my voltage regulator a few years ago. Symptom was flickering lights while driving.


Yes my bad...I will sort of agree with you here :)

I say sort of because your ago while I had the User name of Billwill I had a long discussion on this site about this issue because the
Theory of operations under the Engine Systems section for 2005/6 KJs still states that the PCM....for gassers....adjusts the voltage.
No mention of the CRDs.

The wiring diagram for the 2005 would appear to show that the ECM is not involved but the Front Control Module sends a signal to the alternator. The wiring diagram for the 2006 shows the diesel alternator getting a signal from the ECM.

I recall that Keith from GDE got involved in the discussion and I seem to remember that he stated that the 2005 CRD gets a "wake-up" signal from the FCM 20 seconds after starting telling the Alternator to start providing current via its internal voltage regulator...the 20 second delay is to give the starter full power to turn the engine over.

Then I seem to recall that Keith said that this was dropped in 2006 and Jeep went back to the old system...as used in Export 2002-2004 CRDS whereby the ECM controlled the alternator voltage via Pulse Width Modulation pulses.

I will see if I can find these old posts from Keith to confirm if I am stating the truth but seeing as I have never worked on a 2005/6 Export CRD here in SA I am not really the Expert here.....USA models may in any case be different so I will bow down to the opinions of USA CRD owners.

Another point that is a bit confusing is whether or not the USA models have the Battery Temperature Sensor fitted under the battery which slightly controls the ECM output....the Theory Of Operations state that this exists...maybe only in the gassers...but the wiring diagrams do not show them. Here is where USA readers here can easily put this question to rest as they would have noticed the presence of this Sensor staring up at them when they removed their batteries.

I had charging problems on my Export 2002 CRD which I traced down to a ground gone missing on this Temperature Sensor. :?

I will check the part numbers I have for the 2005/6 CRDs to see if they match or not.....I like to know the real status of our KJs as I am a retired Electrical Engineer and like to assist all KJ owners in resolving their problems. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wirin
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:46 am 
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Quote:
Another point that is a bit confusing is whether or not the USA models have the Battery Temperature Sensor fitted under the battery which slightly controls the ECM output

There is no temperature sensor in or around the battery tray.

_________________
Bought my '05 CRD on June 2nd '07, used with 29,000 miles.
intake elbow and EGR delete. 7 volt Etecno glow plugs
Yeti stage 2 ECU tune. Straight pipe exhaust. DIY intercooler hoses
Provent and modified factory 180F thermostat
Replaced cylinder head (cracked) at 160,000 miles + ARP studs
2.5 inch lift, 255-75-17 tires.
Still love it.


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 Post subject: Re: Turned a small problem into a disaster, melted alt wirin
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:03 am 
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FYI: When I replaced the battery tray on my US model 05 CRD with the Weeks tray, there was NO battery temperature sensor! :roll:

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05 Jeep Liberty CRD Limited :JEEPIN:
Blk Brush Guard/Hella's/LED's
Ironman Springs/Bilstein's
Yeti Stg4 MaxTune
Weeks ElbowKit/Battery Tray
NO FCV/EGR
Samcos/ProVent
SunCoast/Transgo
Carter Intank-pump
2mic.Sec.Fuel Filter
Flowmaster/NOcat
V6 Airbox
GM11 blade fan/Hayden HD clutch
Ironrock Trilink
98 Dodge Cummins, 5"exh. Viair,K&N


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