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  #1  
Old 10-18-2014
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Strange power port problem

I plug into my power port with a splitter to power a refrigerator and gps when I am travelling. This has worked very well for many years. On my last off-road trip I started having problems and ended up having to plug into the cigar lighter to power the splitter.

Today I did some quick diagnostics and am somewhat cofused with the results. I checked the voltage at the power port with a multimeter and got a reading of near 12.5 volts. When I plug the splitter into the power port, I only get around 10 volts at the output ports of the splitter. I can then pug the splitter into the cigar lighter and get near 12.5 volts at the output ports of the splitter. This is totally repeatable.

If I plug the gps directly into the power port it does not get enough power to turn on. When the refrigerator is pluged directly into the power port, it does run but very slow and does not work very well.

I have not taken the power port out yet to get a better look at the connection or anythng else that could cause a voltage drop. Before I do I would like to get some advice as to what to look for. Does anynoe know what could cause this?
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Old 10-20-2014
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Socket is bad? Perhaps after the many plug/unplugs of the splitter, the power socket is not making a good contact connection anymore?

What is the voltage reading straight off of the wire (unplugged from the socket) that connects to the socket? If it's 12.5, then this would verify a bad socket.
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Old 10-20-2014
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When I measure power port without anything plugged into it, I get 12.5 volts. That tells me the wire connecting to the socket should also read 12.5 volts. I have not taken it apart yet to actually measure the wire.
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Old 10-22-2014
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Then I'd guess the splitter is simply not making a good "seat" in this connector, indicating the socket itself is worn or stretched from the constant over the years use. A poor connection would add resistance perhaps, causing the slight voltage drop at the splitter. Since this splitter works in the other port, and you see 12.5 volts in the faulty socket, it would point to a socket.

A trip to the boneyard for as replacement (get one cheap) would tell you, without spending a bunch of money to troubleshoot. Then you could buy a new one if you are not into buying used stuff.

me, I like using used stuff whenever possible. There are literally tons of used Rangers out there, rusting away at the local salvage yards. Lots of decent low mileage parts on them that can be used.
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Old 10-23-2014
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I will take the center dash apart to get a better look at the connection of the power port and do some more detailed diagnostics. If the socket or connection appear to be bad, I will probably buy a new replacement. I plan to keep this Ranger a long time so don't mind spending a little more to get longer service life as long as new parts are available.
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Old 10-27-2014
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Update

I found the problem. The ground side of the connector to the power port got hot and oxidized to the point that it created a high resistance. Apparently, over the years the connector contact got slowly worse to until it started getting hot enough to heat the "marginal" contact to oxidize the metal resulting in a voltage drop. It even melted some of the plastic connector housing.

I just replaced it with a cigar lighter port. For some reason I had a hard time finding a power port at parts stores. I was still able to use the power port cap and it looks no different than it did before.

I discovered an advantage to using a cigar lighter over a power port. The cigar lighter has a detent device in it that holds the plug in place. The power port just counts on friction of the outside ground prongs to hold the plug in place. I have found several times when I am off-road, all the vibration can allow the plug to work back enough to lose contact. The cigar lighter port should solve that problem.

Last edited by IN2 FX4; 10-28-2014 at 11:43 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 10-28-2014
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Great!
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