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Old 01-05-2013
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I am: Raz F
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Willamette Valley, OR
Vehicle: 1988 Ford Ranger
Posts: 1
Total Props: 0
'88 V6 Ranger, shorts? Where should I be looking?

Hi guys.
This is probably a fairly simple question. I have a 1988 Ford Ranger V6 2.9L with efi. With the key in the off position, when I pull the negative cable off my battery and put my voltmeter in there it says 11.3 volts. Does this mean I have a short somewhere? How would I isolate it? What are the most likely culprits?

When I take both my ignition/instrument circuit and my charging circuit out of the circuit the draw drops to 8.5. If I add EITHER back in the draw rises to 11.3 again. Does this indicate one short in both circuits? If both circuits share this short, where would it be?

I got this truck a few months ago as my primary vehicle. I live in the country and do handy-man stuff to pay the bills so a truck (even if small) was called for. I'm not looking to mod it up, I just want it to keep running for as long as possible.

There are 2 issues the truck is having that I'm trying to track down and fix. One was there when I bought the truck (rough idle, sometimes stalls in idle). The second is a recent development (wouldn't start at random times, around the same time I noticed a phantom drain on my battery). As you can guess, the second makes the truck unreliable and was my priority. I've checked the starter, solenoid, battery, and all the wiring between them. I replaced the ignition cylinder cause the old one was broken (didn't need key to start truck). The truck starts now (it was a dirty contact or ground).

I'm now trying to track down the drain on my battery. The idle stall is of secondary importance, unless it's related. I appear to be getting 14.5 volts from my alternator. Nor does taking it out of the circuit effect the draw on my battery. I thought I was getting close to the problem when I found the draw in my charging circuit but that 8.5 volt draw when the charging circuit is disconnected has thrown me. Where have I gone wrong?
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