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Bad battery; runs rough

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ludwig
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Bad battery; runs rough

Post #1 by ludwig » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:44 pm

I installed a new battery about six months ago. It had excessively tapered terminals and the negative clamp kept working lose, so the engine would not turn over every now and then. Grrrr. I replaced the terminal clamps with the smallest ones I could find and squished them a little so they grabbed better. That worked fine for a few months, but lately the negative clamp was back to its old tricks. Every so often I would have to jump out of the cab, pop the hood and bang on the negative clamp a couple times to seat the lug so it would start again.

Yesterday it did it for the last time. I stopped at NAPA and got a good battery with relatively straight terminals and a new set of cable clamps. They are nice and tight. As I left the store, my engine started but ran extraordinarily rough, without any torque. It nearly died when I dropped it in gear and had no power, nor would it shift at speed. I had to keep the revs up so it would not die at the lights. Since the temp was about 107*, I was pretty worried I would have to walk home and didn't like the prospect.

I did get home and changed out the battery and clamps. It started right up. The clamps are nice and tight and the idle is as smooth as before. There is no problem with the idle or the shift points. It's a 1995 F150 with EFI.

So, is the rough running a problem with low current or insufficient charging? I mean, I hope it is not an intermittent failure of some electronic part that will fail out of the clear blue and leave me stranded.

Advice? Opinions? Wisdom? Looking for any one or all three. Thanks.
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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #2 by bubba22349 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:22 pm

Yes I believe that your old batteries under sized terminals and or lose cable clamp connections was the main cause of it running poorly. An EFI system needs to have the correct voltage to operate properly. in addistion bad or dirty battery terminals or cable clamps will also keep the battery from recharging back to its full voltage. I don't care for most of the replacement battery cable clamps especially the low buck specials NAPA used to have some heavy duty truck ones that were fairly good, my preference though is to replace the complete battery cable with new one. I will usually install new battery washers along with a new battery to help keep corrosion from forming as fast too. Good luck :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #3 by ludwig » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:37 pm

That's what I was hoping to hear.

Yes, new cables might be the hot tip. Which brand do you recommend? The bad battery was from Auto Zone down the street. The new one was from NAPA a couple miles away. These clamps are holding tight from the get go. It took several runs at it to get the other ones - and a replacement set - to grip even for a couple months.
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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #4 by bubba22349 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:11 pm

I am not impressed with some of the parts Auto Zone's sells but if you are on a low budget sometimes it's all you can afford. I used to use NAPA parts exclusively on a large fleet of trucks and construction equipment that I use to maintain and only had one battery problem that had to warrantee right away in many years. The Echlin line of battery cables are very good there are others that are good quality too like Ford OEM or Motorcraft. Look for cables that are at a minimum at least the same gauge size as originals or better still bigger Dia. wire that also equals even less resistance which will give a little more cranking power, they should be made of copper wire with a molded sealed cable clamp. Good luck :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #5 by ludwig » Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:04 pm

By now, it's not luck. It is risk avoidance. Otherwise the 20 yr old truck is running fine and only has 150 K.

I keep thinking about a new or newer used one but they are going to start putting in those GPS tracker things in them and I prefer to fly under the radar. Plus, and it's a big one, NOBODY cases my truck in a parking lot, looking for something valuable to steal. All I have is something functional.
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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #6 by bubba22349 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:28 am

My 1994 F150 4.9 & 5 speed has around 137,000 still runs great been thinking about selling it though. :hmmm: Yep I don't want any of the new ones either. :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #7 by chad » Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:44 pm

"...Advice? Opinions? Wisdom? Looking for any one or all three. Thanks..."

Sarcasm:
Yeah, move.
8-0

I would hafta...if I break down I won't die walkin home. No desert or scorpions here.
(Just a joke - to me - may B not you, sorry if so).
"Big thing is only make one change at a time. Change 2 or more things at a time it becomes difficult to figure which change helped or hurt" turbo2256b » 1/16/2017
Chad - '70 LUEB on '77 frame (i.e. PS, D44, trapezoidal BB 9", 4.11), 250, NV 3550 & DSII to B transplanted, "T" D20/PTO, 2" SL, 1" BL, 4 discs, 33"X15", tool boxes, etc. Seeking: Hydraulic gear motor for Koenig pto. chrlsful@aol.com (413) 259-1749

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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #8 by ludwig » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:27 am

They have a very extensive bus system here in LV. But I hate to study it when the temp is 110* and I don't really know where the streets are located at the far ends of the lines.

The bad part was going to be what to do with my stalled truck on an arterial street with no parking at rush hour.

I survived, 'cause I got moves others don't: I keep dimes in my penny loafers.
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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #9 by chad » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:14 am

Thanks for patronizing our public transportation system!
The more you (we) use it the more likely it is to come out here to rural amerika.
It's good for us, the country and our environment...
"Big thing is only make one change at a time. Change 2 or more things at a time it becomes difficult to figure which change helped or hurt" turbo2256b » 1/16/2017
Chad - '70 LUEB on '77 frame (i.e. PS, D44, trapezoidal BB 9", 4.11), 250, NV 3550 & DSII to B transplanted, "T" D20/PTO, 2" SL, 1" BL, 4 discs, 33"X15", tool boxes, etc. Seeking: Hydraulic gear motor for Koenig pto. chrlsful@aol.com (413) 259-1749

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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #10 by bubba » Sun Aug 02, 2015 1:50 pm

I've had bad luck with new battery clamps. I had a van I put new ones from autozone on and one of them would not stay tight. I usually save good older ones for spares.
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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #11 by Lazy JW » Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:51 am

Over the years I have developed a philosophy about batteries: either get the absolute best quality money can buy, or go as cheap as possible.

When the safety of you and your family is at stake, the best is none too good.

My White Ox doesn't get used daily or even weekly; it may sit for several months without being started, but when I do use it, it may get started multiple times per day for several weeks on end.

It also has an electric powered hydraulic hoist for the dump bed. Plus an electric fuel pump pushing through the stock mechanical pump to boost the fuel to the carburetor after it has sat for extended periods of time.

All of this is is expected to perform with only a single battery and a stock 65 amp Ford alternator driven by a single belt.

My solution is to use an Optima battery and custom battery cables that I made from 00 welding cable and heavy duty crimp-style terminals that I purchased from NAPA.

The White Ox sat last winter for over four months and started this spring without need of charging or jumper cables.

Another solution is to purchase some genuine GM Delco brand side terminal cables and a sealed Delco battery. They really are quite good.
Joe
"The White OX" 1974 F-350 300-6, Stock single exhaust, Carter YF, T-18A, Dana70 w/4.11, Flatbed dually w/dump bed. "Where no oxen are, the crib is clean, but much increase is by the strength of the ox" (Proverbs 14:4)
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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #12 by chad » Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:09 am

Hey Ludwig!

"...solution is to use an Optima..."
Joe, I have an ele. winch and hydro/ele sno plow.
Which color optima is suggested?(they're in a $250 range).
"Big thing is only make one change at a time. Change 2 or more things at a time it becomes difficult to figure which change helped or hurt" turbo2256b » 1/16/2017
Chad - '70 LUEB on '77 frame (i.e. PS, D44, trapezoidal BB 9", 4.11), 250, NV 3550 & DSII to B transplanted, "T" D20/PTO, 2" SL, 1" BL, 4 discs, 33"X15", tool boxes, etc. Seeking: Hydraulic gear motor for Koenig pto. chrlsful@aol.com (413) 259-1749

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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #13 by ludwig » Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:42 am

My solution is to use an Optima battery ... from NAPA.


Hey Ludwig!

"...solution is to use an Optima..."


That's funny. I ended up with an Optioma from NAPA.
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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #14 by Lazy JW » Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:32 pm

chad wrote:Hey Ludwig!

"...solution is to use an Optima..."
Joe, I have an ele. winch and hydro/ele sno plow.
Which color optima is suggested?(they're in a $250 range).


Mine is a yellow top. The blue marine deep cycle starting Optima would be ideal for your application.
"The White OX" 1974 F-350 300-6, Stock single exhaust, Carter YF, T-18A, Dana70 w/4.11, Flatbed dually w/dump bed. "Where no oxen are, the crib is clean, but much increase is by the strength of the ox" (Proverbs 14:4)
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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #15 by ludwig » Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:51 pm

I'll wait for the next failure and then proceed. It's worked out to about every 5 years since I quit buying those DieHard ones about 12 years ago.
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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #16 by woodbutcher » Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:38 pm

:hmmm: Hi Ludwig.With that Optima,you might expire before it does.
Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
Leo
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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #17 by ludwig » Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:44 pm

You may be right. Sometimes I find my own lights dimming just a bit for no reason. So then I eat something spicy.
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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #18 by JackFish » Sat Oct 31, 2015 11:32 am

I too made my own battery cables.
The problem I am having is significant build-up of deposits on the positive post.
I hadn't opened the hood for a while and when I did I found a pretty tough lump on the post.
I'm not sure this is something a bit of dielectric grease would have solved.
Not sure how to prevent it either.

Could it be from a bad ground?
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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #19 by ludwig » Sat Oct 31, 2015 11:55 am

How the heck does that stuff form? Does it attract stuff from the air or is it some kind of crystallization of the acid gas from the cells.

Seriously. How does it form? Of course, I use dielectric grease too and it helps keep it to a minimum. I have always wondered, though.
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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #20 by bubba » Sun Nov 01, 2015 11:30 am

No matter what I've noticed that stuff always builds up. Grease seems to slow down the build up, but no matter what that crap builds up eventually.
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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #21 by bubba22349 » Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:14 pm

I have had the best luck using the felt type battery washers you can also use a few drops of engine oil on them to help the grease works well too though it's a little more work to clean it off. I also clean the top of the battery every few months and clean the battery clamps with a battery brush about twice a year. If the corrosion is light then water will rinse it off if it's real heavy then it will take some Baking Soda to clean it. Good luck :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #22 by ludwig » Sun Nov 01, 2015 7:48 pm

Stuff i just read says that powder on the terminal is corrosion. Lead is white and blue is copper corrosion. So it is clear that the dielectric grease inhibits it because it shields it from moisture.
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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #23 by chad » Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:27 pm

interesting -
lead's corrosion is white,
I should have realized the blue I've seen was the copper's!

Ludwig U sleuth!

"...from moisture…"
I thought oxygen wuz the ('corrosive') agent, not water… wanna nother assignment?
"Big thing is only make one change at a time. Change 2 or more things at a time it becomes difficult to figure which change helped or hurt" turbo2256b » 1/16/2017
Chad - '70 LUEB on '77 frame (i.e. PS, D44, trapezoidal BB 9", 4.11), 250, NV 3550 & DSII to B transplanted, "T" D20/PTO, 2" SL, 1" BL, 4 discs, 33"X15", tool boxes, etc. Seeking: Hydraulic gear motor for Koenig pto. chrlsful@aol.com (413) 259-1749

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Re: Bad battery; runs rough

Post #24 by ludwig » Sun Nov 01, 2015 11:46 pm

I'm no genius. I just put in the Bing search line: "crystals on battery terminal".

Some of the comments said that the corrosion was caused by acid leaching out of the cells below. You can clean it off with baking soda or vinegar and a stiff brush. Bast case, I think, is the felt pads and a good, thick coat of dielectric grease. That way, whatever the thing that causes the corrosion is kept at bay for a while.
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