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6.5L Diesel Engine Discuss the 6.5 GM diesel engine & associated components. Automatic transmission questions & problems belong in the 4L80/85 - 4L60E - 6L90 Transmission Forum

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Old 09-06-2005, 07:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
cretan
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Charging system tip

I worked on a 98 6.5 today.Guy said voltage gauge was low.Batteries are only couple months old.Started the truck and connected voltmeter.Volt readings started at 13.5.voltage was gradually climbing and after a couple of minutes got to as high as 17.4 volts.At first I thought it was the regulator.It ended up being the battery cable spacer.look on the passenger side of truck where the drivers side positive cable connects to the passenger(positive) cable.In between them is a spacer.If this spacer is in bad shape and not making a good connection,replace it right away(pry out with screw driver).A bad connection there will cause over-charging and will eventually destroy your batteries and if the voltage gets high enough probably the electronics of the truck.The parts store I got the new spacer from said it is a common problem with the diesels and some gas models.

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Last edited by cretan; 09-06-2005 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
knkreb
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17.4? measured on the battery post or elsewhere?

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Old 09-06-2005, 08:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Great tip! The other day I was driving and volt gauge got real low and truck began to act funny. I stopped to have alt. checked and it showed good on pass side but bad on driver side. Trouble was the cable that crosses over fan shroud. Seems all electronics work off the driver side battery and starter and alternator work on passenger side. (Provided the "crossover" cable is bad.)
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Old 09-06-2005, 10:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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On the 95 and older I believe only the starter connected directly to the right battery, the rest hooked up to the left one.
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Old 09-06-2005, 10:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
cretan
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Original
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By knkreb
17.4? measured on the battery post or elsewhere?
I measured at the passenger battery terminals.
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Old 09-07-2005, 08:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Is it normal for the voltage to be pulled down a little with head lights, AC, and blinkers? With all off I get 14+. All on, I get about two graduations of the scale under 14. Blinkers cause some fluctuation. Initial charge to 14+ takes several seconds.

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Old 09-07-2005, 11:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I put a larger size + connection between the batteries, and added a - connection between them as well. Replaced cable to main terminal; acid had wicked the entire length of the cable.
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Old 09-07-2005, 12:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The spacer used on dual battery installations has been a BIG problem since the 5.7D days. I've fixed many problems by cleaning/replacing that spacer. It's soft lead material and invites corrosion. It also conforms to any cable irregularities. It is often misshapen by removing and replacing the cable connection. I try to "line up" the impressions/indentations in the spacer with the raised lugs on the cables each time I clean and/or replace the cable connections. Very important piece to the "Phantom Electrical" problems we've all experienced. It's important to the proper sealing of the cable ends also. My advice is: Clean and tighten carefully and deliberately!
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Old 09-07-2005, 12:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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OK, this is confusing to me. Does the spacer play some kind of an active function? does it provide some kind of voltage drop - it is resistive in some way? If it contributes a 3 volt drop at say 10 Amps, then E=I*R means R=E/I=3 volts/10 Amps=.3 ohms?

What say you?

Sincerely,

Rob
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Old 09-07-2005, 07:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
cretan
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Quote:
OK, this is confusing to me. Does the spacer play some kind of an active function? does it provide some kind of voltage drop - it is resistive in some way?
All this spacer does is provide connection between the two posts.If connection is bad it invites arching and erodes the connection even worse.As Fred482 said part of the problem is from loosening and tightening the terminals.It just wears out.The spacer gets worn because of the grooves in the cable terminal.I replaced this spacer and voltage dropped from 17.4 to 15.5.Everyone who owns a 6.5 or any other gm product with dual batteries should know this info as it is hard to diagnose and can lead to un-needed parts replacement to fix the problem such as alt. and also new batteries and any electronic components fried by too high voltage.Maybe this should be a Sticky.

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Last edited by cretan; 09-07-2005 at 08:27 PM.
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