battery leakage while machine off

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rackmaster

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Aug 13, 2015
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If you haven’t already, find and clean any and all grounding points.
Not just at the battery but at the engine. Trace the negative cable and clean and tighten all connection points. These bolts get corroded or loose and cause all sorts of strange problems.
done that, but its still possible somewhere im sure. use a meter, its showing 12.8 volts at panel, using black wire at ground, so I believe its good to this point.
ive called in reinforcements ( a real mechanic) before i buy a control panel.
 

Blacksheep

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Aug 25, 2022
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UPDATE;

I've decided that battery drain may not be an issue with the new battery, I assumed it was because I would have to hook a charger to battery to light up the run panel so it would start. previous battery would leak down, but it did show a weak cell.

1- I've checked all fuses with control panel active, they show 12.8 volts.
2- control panel shows 12.8 v on pin that feeds it, and I'm using the black wire as ground, so I assume that everything is grounded until it reaches the control panel.

what the CRAZY thing is, I can put a 6 amp charger on battery for 5 seconds and the control panel will allow the run button to light the panel up,
why does this extra current , maybe 2 volts, allow this to energize, so that machine can be started.

maybe its the contol panel

i never could figure out how to edit the original post with this update:
ITS not volatage its available amperage with the booster added to the system....same as with an EI system in a car if the battery is pulling down to 10 and it takes 12 for it to run its not gonna happen.....I still think your issue is grounds, especially at the battery, since i assume you cleaned the cables well when you put the new one in.....but did you clean the ground cables frame connection? Doesnt take much oil, rust or corrosion to lessen that ground to the point its not allowing the battery to be charged correctly or dispense its power when demanded....or it could be the connection where frame harness attaches to the canopy harness to the control panel. Dam oil and dust creeps in everywhere on a working machine and all of its an insulator, just depends.
 
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rackmaster

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ITS not volatage its available amperage with the booster added to the system....same as with an EI system in a car if the battery is pulling down to 10 and it takes 12 for it to run its not gonna happen.....I still think your issue is grounds, especially at the battery, since i assume you cleaned the cables well when you put the new one in.....but did you clean the ground cables frame connection? Doesnt take much oil, rust or corrosion to lessen that ground to the point its not allowing the battery to be charged correctly or dispense its power when demanded....or it could be the connection where frame harness attaches to the canopy harness to the control panel. Dam oil and dust creeps in everywhere on a working machine and all of its an insulator, just depends.
yes, I've cleaned and checked all the above. the multimeter shows its getting same volts at cab panel as starter. 12.8 and that's using the blk wire as ground , so its grounded to that point.
it makes sense its a ground, just not sure where.
or control board.
 

vincehay

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Jan 27, 2015
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I had a very similar not starting issue, it ended up being the ECM. The way I diagnose battery draining issues is this: I measure the current being drawn with the machine off. I then start pulling fuses and relays until that current stops flowing. That way I know what circuit is causing the problem. Then I trace down that one circuit. I think it's very possible you have 2 separate issues here.
 
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rackmaster

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def had 2 diff issues, but i think the battery drain was incorrect, I had the issue but replaced the battery, after it checked bad. but it was still not light us the control key pad , so I assumed it was draining the new battery. and it would work when a charger was applied.
But, the new battery is not leaking down, just will not allow the key paid to light up, unless a small boost is applied. .
 
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rackmaster

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update,
I'm waiting on a independent mobile mechanic to come help diagnose , I've taken the cover off to access the ecm , in lower left of machine, and I can see a hair line crack where board meets the outside edge of module.
this ecm was put in mid 2019, ( by error, it was actually an actuator that was the problem ) It has less than 150 hrs on it and stays in barn when not in use, I read there has always been issues with them "cracking" , hard to believe that is such a sorry design if it fails that often.

If I have to put another one on, or even if this one is not bad, I think it would be a good idea to clean them good and go around that edge with something like silicone caulk , to help keep it sealed because it appears all of them will crack.
 
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rackmaster

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just as a follow up, finally got a independent mobile mechanic out,
he could not find any issues with grounds anywhere.
He called a contact who is a bobcat mechanic at dealer, neither one had ever seen a situation like this.

still will not light the panel up so it can start without a small boost, just 6 amps on charger for 5 seconds will work.
next step is to send ecm off for testing.
 

cdmccul

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Jun 18, 2013
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If you charge the battery on a Friday and then leave it all weekend, will it start the machine Monday? Or will you have to boost it then right before you start it?
 
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rackmaster

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If you charge the battery on a Friday and then leave it all weekend, will it start the machine Monday? Or will you have to boost it then right before you start it?
ive ruled out the battery , put a new one in and it did not cure the problem.
the old battery had a bad cell, so it was discharging and since the new battery did not correct the problem after sitting a few days, i assumed it was being discharged also.
that was wrong assumption for me.

If i put a small 6 amp charger on battery it will allow run panel to light up and allow machine to start,
if i let machine run some, just a few minutes, and turn off, it will fire right back up,
if i let it sit a day it will not light run panel up, and allow it to start.

a 6 amp charger for 5 seconds will provide the extra volts or ground necessary to allow run panel to activate and allow starting.
 

brdgbldr

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ive ruled out the battery , put a new one in and it did not cure the problem.
the old battery had a bad cell, so it was discharging and since the new battery did not correct the problem after sitting a few days, i assumed it was being discharged also.
that was wrong assumption for me.

If i put a small 6 amp charger on battery it will allow run panel to light up and allow machine to start,
if i let machine run some, just a few minutes, and turn off, it will fire right back up,
if i let it sit a day it will not light run panel up, and allow it to start.

a 6 amp charger for 5 seconds will provide the extra volts or ground necessary to allow run panel to activate and allow starting.
Have you tried to disconnect and clean all of the wire harness connections?

You could have slight corrosion on these connectors, or moisture, that I believe could cause a problem like this. I use this cleaner :
WD-40 Specialist Contact Cleaner Spray
 
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rackmaster

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Have you tried to disconnect and clean all of the wire harness connections?

You could have slight corrosion on these connectors, or moisture, that I believe could cause a problem like this. I use this cleaner :
WD-40 Specialist Contact Cleaner Spray
yes, have looked at every ground on machine, recleaned battery connections, and taken apart the frame to cab connection which looked perfect. taken the ecm off and connections look great, and sent ecm to isoscell and they have said it checks good.
 

brdgbldr

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yes, have looked at every ground on machine, recleaned battery connections, and taken apart the frame to cab connection which looked perfect. taken the ecm off and connections look great, and sent ecm to isoscell and they have said it checks good.
I’m talking about all the wire harness connections. Including the ones with nothing hooked up ( dirt and water get in these and can short them out).

Like where the Tech hooks up the computer above the battery ( this is also where the 7 or 14 pin connector hooks up for attachment with electronics). On my A300 the “computer” connection above the battery was facing up and had collected all sorts of dirt. it now has a cover on it.

The connections may “look” good but just a little corrosion or moisture inside the wire connections can cause a voltage drop and shorts.

A short in what seems to be an unrelated area could also be the issue.

I know how frustrating problems like this can be. At this point I would be trying anything and everything.

Just to give you an idea, here is a video of a professional Bobcat Tech going through wiring trying to find a problem. The connections “looked“ good. (I know you have an older machine then in the video. The newer R series machines have been very problematic with moisture.)

 
OP
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rackmaster

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Aug 13, 2015
Messages
31
I’m talking about all the wire harness connections. Including the ones with nothing hooked up ( dirt and water get in these and can short them out).

Like where the Tech hooks up the computer above the battery ( this is also where the 7 or 14 pin connector hooks up for attachment with electronics). On my A300 the “computer” connection above the battery was facing up and had collected all sorts of dirt. it now has a cover on it.

The connections may “look” good but just a little corrosion or moisture inside the wire connections can cause a voltage drop and shorts.

A short in what seems to be an unrelated area could also be the issue.

I know how frustrating problems like this can be. At this point I would be trying anything and everything.

Just to give you an idea, here is a video of a professional Bobcat Tech going through wiring trying to find a problem. The connections “looked“ good. (I know you have an older machine then in the video. The newer R series machines have been very problematic with moisture.)


good video, glad my lift assists work, he sure struggled. when i put the ecm back in ill recheck some of the connectors, we have not seen any moisture in any we have checked, and i do keep the machine in the dry. but again , when cold then warm moist air happens it does cause condensation.
 

Jim A

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Nov 28, 2022
Messages
54
Check alternator diode s leak current .
often overlooked.
Disconnect output wire from back of alternator let sit a few days see if battery is dead.
 

bullrake

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Mar 6, 2007
Messages
8
A small pinhole in a wire can really ruin your day. You need to check the voltage at the module itself, preferably on the board if possible. When you turn the key, if the module draws current through a bad resistive wire, then the voltage across the module will drop. The module may require the board voltage to be above a minimum threshold in order to power on and, with your 12.8V battery and a drop in the wire, you might be just below this threshold. Putting the charger on the battery will raise the battery voltage and so may lift the voltage at the module enough to cross the "enable" or "start" threshold so that the module powers on. The reason that the circuit powers on shortly after the skidsteer has been running is the battery voltage rises while charging and may take some time to bleed down > the battery voltage is greater than the 12.8V you usually measure when cold.
 

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