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Old 03-14-2011
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lakehurst, NJ
Posts: 1
Icon5 Electrical Issues

I have a 1998 Ranger and am having electrical issues with it. About two months ago I started to have problems keeping a charge on my battery. It had been a few years since I changed it out and this winter has been very cold. I got a new one and it slowly drained as well. So I took my truck to a mechanic. He charged me $30 and he told me to change the alternator. I did this and my battery guage showed the battery was still low and was still not charging. I put a rebuilt alternator from Auto Zone in and after starting the truck using the power of the battery, I remove the positive lead on the battery to see if the alternator would run the truck but as soon as I remove it the truck dies. I am not sure what step to take next. If anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate it.
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Old 03-15-2011
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SoCal
Posts: 6,773
This is just random but chg up all of the charg’g cables, use 2-ga min.
Next replace all of the ground cables, battery to frame, to engine and one to the alternator mount. Run a new ground wire to the upper bolt on the starter; get to bare metal on all connections and seal all of the lug connections with adhesive type heat shrink.
Then replace the power cable to the starter.

While you are at it run a new ground wire from the battery to the body of the vehicle.

Now if the battery and the alternator are new then all should be good.

if there is a slow drain then start by disconnecting things that might pull juice, then check the battery to see if there is still a drain by lifting the positive cable and see if there is a spark.
From there it is trial and error.

Now there might be a better electronic way but I am old school.

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Old 03-19-2011
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Aiea, HI
Posts: 59
Dealing with the same thing right now. Have narrowed it down to a faulty ignition switch and/or a faulty starter solenoid. My experience has been that if you have a faulty voltage regulator or faulty alternator (bad bearings, clogged brushes) then your battery won't charge at all. In fact, one trip and you are history because it will drain your battery. Anyhow, my suggestion would be to pull the alternator and starter and have both bench tested. My .02 cents.
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Old 03-22-2011
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: aspers, PA
Posts: 801
my buddies blazer did the same thing, he tried all of that stuff and nothing, he actually had a bad volt gauge / sensor, and it wouldn't charge actually charge not knowing that it needed it, that's what the mechanic said, in my buddies contour he had the same problem as well but there was some kinda inline fuse on the line that charges the battery that blew, not saying that it's not and or you shouldn't check the things grev said but those are just some other things to check
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