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working on it

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About working on it

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    jack-of-all-trades:adept at many kinds of work,master of none

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  1. I already know what the parasitic drain is...it's the 400 watt inverter that I hardwired under my dash. It drained my truck battery once, and another inverter drained my trailer's battery, before I realized that they do that. Now, I keep all my vehicles and trailers on a charger/maintainer for that reason, and because of my infrequent use of the equipment (being retired, no daily driving). Other than that, none. I disconnected the inverter to check for additional drain, after I installed the new battery, and detected none (I pulled the radio fuse first). It was just the old battery's time to die, and it did.
  2. I had to go shopping today, an my first stop was Walmart, and...yep, I did buy the Everstart Maxx 78S, which is the exact same (externally) as the old one. And only $94 (right about where the "deals" were). It also says that it is a Johnson Controls product (on a label on the battery), so at least I know it "should" be the same. Time will tell. I'll put it in later, perhaps tomorrow a.m., because it rained all day and now it's humid as heck. I'm in no hurry, now that it's a done deal.Thanks to all who joined in on the thread.
  3. From what I'm reading now, most of the good battery warranties (i.e. Sears Diehard, WM Everstart Maxx, etc..) that state replacement dates are getting pretty strict about deadlines & details. Pro-rating was always a crap-shoot, where you had to be a "I won't take an no" kind of guy to get good results from dickering with the clerk, at most places. they would and will try to short-change you. That's just the business landscape out there. I figure that I win some of theses battles, and have lost others; so, I'm just going to stick with my familiarity with either Walmart, Sears, or Autozone batteries. But, then again, AAP and Pep Boys have 25 & 30% off deals that I might try....
  4. I give up trying to revive this battery. After several days, letting the XCS 15 charger do it's best, I cannot get the battery above 10.8 "resting" volts. I have now resumed shopping online for the best battery/warranty/deal/availability combination I can get locally. And, by best, I mean best non-AGM, because I see that the wife is spending as usual, and I might be facing a veterinary bill, if I can't doctor my devoted Dorkie back to health (I think she got a brown recluse bite). She's doing better, after two days with a fever, and swollen throat area, but you never know.... I am still leaning towards the Walmart Everstart MAXX battery; a battery sourcing guide I found says that the Maxx is still made by Johnson Controls, and is only a few dollars more than the others I am considering (so far), it has a 5 year warranty (in stages), and I can get a replacement practically anywhere in America, even overnight (a lot are open 24-hrs), even if the Maxx isn't the same quality as before.
  5. dewfpo- I did use my "toaster" (as answered above, to Formulabruce). It's a little too late to get a good reading after an initial start, since the bad battery is skewing the readings. Currently (double-entendre), I am using my Schumacher XCS 15 charger on the battery. It's the same charger I used to de-sulfate and gradually revive the last two batteries that I saved. I start out with high rate charge, until it shuts off at 100% charge, switches (automatically) to it's maintenance mode (2 amps); then I manually switch it to slow rate at 6 amps, and do the same. Repeatedly. But, Its not looking good, because 10 minutes after each charge, the battery reads 10.8-10.9 vdc. I went to the XCS 15, because it desulfates as well as giving a higher charge rate, which the smaller chargers I use cannot. I have been using a Battery Tender for daily charging of this truck, a BatteryMinder (which can also desulfate, that's why its on my seldom used trailer) for my squareback trailer (semi-off road, semi-teardrop style), a Duralast DL-1.5 on my HHR, and a Schumacher XMI-5 on the reserve truck, a '98 GMC. My wife's car had a Black and Decker charging it, but drove off without un hooking it, so I haven't replaced it yet (she did that before, on the GMC, too). I'll try off and on for a few days, until the weekend, when I have to go shopping anyway, and to get a new battery, I'm sure. I am biding my time, because the wife is visiting friends all over the North, and usually spends buckets of money...I'll get a $100 battery if she does, and a $200 AGM, if she doesn't. HaHa! I know she will....
  6. 1. Doesn't Johnson Controls still make the MAXX battery for them? They're the most reliable I've found. My other options are a $93 Bosch @ Pep Boys on sale, $99 Exide Nascar Select @ my Tractor Supply nearby, or a more expensive Interstate Megatron2 @ a Firestone (I'm sure they'll jack up the $99 sale price when I get there). 2. I followed the 2000 rpm requested by the 3100i scantool alternator test feature. It does a 20-second countdown, only if I maintain 2k or slightly over. Under 2k, it stops and starts again. 3. I did the "toaster" after charging it, the night before. It barely had 12v, and said it was deep in the weak range, prior to the test.The load test dropped it to Bad. I charged it all night before the alternator test. 4. I've revived many batteries before, de-sulfating with pulsing chargers (I most recently revived my trailer's Optima last year, and my wife's trailer's Exide deep-cycle before that- both were under 8 volts). I think I could try on this one, but at almost 11 years old, what's the point? 5. The only other (than my Pioneer radio's memory/clock) parasitic drain I have is the 400-watt inverter hooked up to the battery; it drained this battery years ago, before I started the full-time trickle/maintainer regimen. (I overlooked a hooked-up inverter in my trailer, before I starting charging it too; that's why it drained the Optima. 6. Battery needs to be charged first, to run the parasitic-loss test, but I've already done it twice in the last year, with no new losses. It doesn't look to be a problem now, just a clapped-out old battery. 7. You answered my question there!; my really weak battery is causing the ECM to be "failing at its' first task", while running its' tests. Thanks Formulabruce. I'll get a strong battery before I replace the O2 sensor.
  7. I just had my Walmart Everstart Maxx 78S battery die. My '04 Silverado 2500HD sits for weeks at a time, while I drive my '09 HHR Panel, or not at all, being retired and not all that active at times. I've been keeping all my vehicles on smart trickle charger/maintainers for years, so they'll be ready to run when I am. My HHR battery lasted for 7.5 years, until the charger fried it (while sitting for 11 months, waiting for me to repair multiple issues). Anyway, the Silverado's battery lasted the longest, 10.5 years, and went flat on me in just two days, while hooking up and testing lighting on one of my trailers (I tested for many hours, making new cables and installing new lights). It won't charge to 12vdc now. I wanted to confirm that my alternator wasn't at fault (after confirming that the battery was bad), so I used the last juice it had to start up, to run the alternator test with my Innova 3100i scantool. While running the test, the 6.0L started to stumble a bit, until I kept the RPMs steady at 2k, for the test. I also got the engine light, and the scantool showed 4 faults pending, current, history, and MIL. All were P0031, I think. I accidently cleared the codes by hitting the wrong button (I dropped my glasses). I had previously gotten the P0031 code two months before, when making several stops and restarts while shopping (knowing my battery was not long for this world, I try to not do that between trickle charging sessions). I suspect that the P0031 O2 sensor heater code was set not by a bad sensor, but by low power to the ECM (and sensors), caused by the failing battery. I've read somewhere that the - Bank 1, Sensor 1- O2 sensor is the first item on the ECM's checklist, and if the power is flaky, then the ECM reports that item as faulty.[*] I'm going to get a new battery first, then drive it for a few GM drive cycles, to see if the codes reappear, before I get an upstream O2 sensor to replace it. Am I reasonably correct in this hypothesis, or am I mistaken?
  8. About three years ago, I made a weird front trailer pushbar (as an experiment, a welding practice piece, and a back-saving device), I never did get around to buying a factory - made front receiver hitch. I haven't used the trailer much since, nor had to move it a lot, either, but it still saved my bad back (though the contraption was time-consuming to attach, and by itself, was very heavy). Well, I'm older and my back and knees are worse; I'd never be able to move the trailer alone, so I still need to use the contraption - or replace it. So, I recently went to Northern Tool, with coupons in hand. I bought a replacement wheel, for my spare tire, a yard wagon for my wife (she has two, now), some flashlights. and a 2" x 18" receiver tube. I used a "$20 off $100 purchase" coupon, so I only spent $10 bucks (or so I told the wife) on it. I removed one of the truck's factory tow-hooks from the frame rail, cut part of the receiver tube away (to fit over and around a round frame tube intersecting the longitudinal frame rail), and drilled three corresponding holes in the tube to match those of the tow-hook. Using grade 8 hardware, I used the three holes to bolt it in. It comes straight out of the original bumper space of the tow-hook, so I could replace it if I wanted to. Now, no heavy lifting , and I will always have it available wherever I may be (possible for other uses. Looks a lot better too! new hitch what I used old contraption
  9. Not any of mine. I started with scanning apps: Torque Pro, then OBDWiz using two OBD dongles : a BAFX then an OBDLink LX (used the BAFX until I needed the LX to use the OBDWiz app). Both pps & dongles use a smartphone or tablet to give me the live data and OBD readiness status. I bought an Innova 3100i scan-tool to verify the apps' data, and to read my ABS faults (the apps cannot), I bought the 3100i for cheap ($75), but wish I'd ante'd up another $100 to get the 3130 bidirectional tool. That one will run the EVAP test.
  10. I've used the Torque Pro app since Oct.'13. I bought my first and only smartphone-a Samsung Rugby Pro- specifically to use it for that app. I bought the BAFX dongle for about $15 on Amazon (now $21). Used for hundreds of hours by me and friends I loaned it to, and worked fine until recently, when it would lose the Bluetooth connection, but it has been through the wringer, so it was worth having. I still can use it, but it is now erratic. While looking to replace it, I came upon the OBDLink LX dongle, and its'associated app OBD Wiz. I bought the dongle, for $49, and the app is free, The LX dongle has one feature the BAFX doesn;t, you can leave it plugged in, and it'll shut off by itself. I always pull it anyway, but that's just my habit, The LX will also run the Torque app, but not simultaneously with OBD Wiz. Both show running live data, OBD readiness monitors, and many user-customizable data points. I use both, to double-check and confirm the data. I recommend both dongles and both apps. Also, while searching for the replacement dongle, I was looking for a scanner that would read and reset ABS codes (the apps do not) for cheap, I found the Innova 3100i hand-held scanner, on sale for $75 on Amazon. Couldn't pass that by. I opted-in for Innova's optional online "Repair Solutions" plan, for additional data and advice, I formerly used an AllData plan, so I knew the value of having another source. My next step would be to get a bi-directional scan-tool, but they're pretty expensive, and being retired, I probably couldn't justify the cost to my wife!
  11. I had multiple problems to solve before my HHR was ready to test. I had parked it a year earlier, when the sticker expired. I fixed ABS sensor, MAP sensor, fuel cap leak, and finally the Evap vent solenoid. I had to restart the DRIVE CYCLE 5 times before I was done, and even so, I couldn't get the EVAP not ready to go away. Total 1100 miles; 200 after last repair. Texas passed it with the Evap still unset. I followed this Drive cycle : Good luck with your problem; I just got a P0135 code this afternoon, as well, on my '04 2500HD. I cleared the code, and will see if it sets again. I have 8 months to complete that next drive cycle!
  12. Inspected rear driveline/ axles / wheels & tires with truck lifted off the ground, in gear, and running at 20 mph: left rear (although pothole contact was on the right ?!?) was very out of round (with slight deformation of the inside sidewall), no problem with right rear or driveline. I measured toe-in, and did a rudimentary check of caster/camber angles with the help of my meticulous engineer neighbor: all were good (1/8 toe-in...same as I measured two years ago...and 0 camber and 4 degrees caster both sides). Inspected tie-rods, hubs, damper, everything was pretty darn solid (no damage). Raised the front, to spin / inspect the tires: right was good, though it had lost its two balancing weights, and the left tire had an ever-so-small bulge under the tread. Both tire defects surfaced after the incident on the side opposite pothole contact...go figure! It did launch my truck into the air, and I guess the landing on the left caused the damage. Plan of action: replace the two left side tires, re-balance the right-side tires, put the two new tires on the front, and get a four-wheel alignment done (I always prefer my newest tires on the front). Also replace the rotted bumpstops! Thanks for your input, guys! P.S. I just noticed I put this post in the 1500 section, not the 2500 section. Just as good; same good advice all around.
  13. Took my '04 2500HD WT(127000 miles, well-maintained) and teardrop trailer to a park in OK. last week. On the trip home to DFW, I pulled in behind a semi to let a faster vehicle pass (I was doing 75mph). I didn't see the major pothole until too late, and hit it. Both. truck and trailer went airborne. I drove for a few hundred yards and pulled over, after the immediate onset of body shake (tail-wagging enough to shake the tailgate open). I looked everywhere for damage (no obvious tire damage, bent wheels, or leaning/tilt on either truck or trailer). I waited by the side of the road for 20 minutes, hoping some fellow campers in my group would come by, and help me "observe" the shake source by following me. None came, so I resumed the trip (125 miles to go). I found the shake worse at 30-40 mph, than at 60-65 mph, so I gritted my teeth and headed home in order to beat storms approaching my home. I pulled off again, took another inspection tour of my truck & trailer, still finding nothing wrong, and undertook a small test in a strip-mall parking lot. Unhooked the trailer, and drove the truck through a series of turns and switch-backs and over bumps in that lot, at speeds from 5-50 mph. Under 30, no problem. Over 30, bad. The trailer wasn't the problem (although I'm going to align it in my garage if I find it not true). Hooked back up, and made it home. Today, I drove the truck around the block (2 miles) to refresh my "memory" after a week, and yep, it was as bad as I thought. I did a thorough tire inspection, and still found no damage (tires are 9 years old, even tread, at 48 psi front- 72 rear...my normal trailer towing set-up..., and were balanced 3k miles ago...1 year...). I did find that the lower a-arm bump stops on both sides were dry-rotted and useless. The shocks have less than 5k miles, and the Rancho steering stabilizer less than 1k miles. I think it has to be the alignment, since it was absolutely smooth/stable before the pothole. Even with the shaking going on, the steering wheel is rock-steady, and steerable with one finger. Tomorrow, when my neighbor returns home, I intend to use his concrete driveway in lieu of my sandy one, to lift the truck and test the rear wheels/driveline for trueness, then the front end for damage or play. (He has my floorjack in his garage!) Anybody have any ideas here ?
  14. Probably gonna jinx myself by posting this...I have 129000 miles on my 2004. I've only put 5500 miles on since Dec.2009, when I started using an HHR Panel as my daily driver (120miles roundtrip 5x a week). Gas savings paid for the HHR. No engine problems at all. Changed plugs and wires at 100000 (made it run rough for a day). Other problems: transmission started "hunting" on deceleration down hills at 70k (fixed with tranny solenoids upgrade), overloading the bed and towing too much at the same time weakened the leaf springs (using overload shocks to compensate now), once or twice a year, the A/C blend door actuator will squeal as it moves when the A/C is started (has only blown hot twice though, I can live with that!), and since I park it facing uphill for long periods of time without using it, the torque converter empties itself, then shudders on start-up. Oh Yeah, it used to have the steering death wobble, but clamping a u-bolt on the upper plastic bearing, and changing to a Rancho steering stabilizer made that problem go away (after 8 years of constant re-lubing the intermediate shaft splines). My wife wants me to trade in the truck, since we have two other cars (Chevelle race car not included), and a '98 GMC in great shape, but if it ain't broke, why trade it! it might outlive me. Now to decide whether to get a 4x4 also??
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