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Thread: Charging System Problems???

  1. #1
    Junior Member Limo Padawan
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    Anyone having charging system problems? Alternator, Battery or electrical problems? Let me know I can help you! Post here!

    Justin Greenwood
    Powered Industries
    714-783-7101

  2. #2
    Senior Member Limo Padawan
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    OK justin, maybe you can help me...

    I have a 2001 Lincoln Town Car, 120 stretch by American Custom Coach (no longer in business). It has a single battery, but there is a battery isolator in front of the radiator. There is also a dual battery switch on the overhead console, and when I push it (it is a temporary contact), I do hear a relay of some sort under the hood (I have not been able to locate it). It almost seems like they started a dual battery system, but never finished it. So here is the question:

    What do you think it would take to make this car a dual battery system?

    Thoughts?
    Jim Martin
    Night Out Limousine
    Hollister, CA

  3. #3
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    Jim

    For what its worth I was getting my electrician to wire a set of air horns in my sons car, and a limousine was having a new heater core, and I was amazed to see a second battery in front of the radiator, mounted behind the front bumper.
    First time in thirty years, and maybe your vehicle was designed to have one in the same place.

    Dick Hall

  4. #4
    Junior Member Limo Padawan
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    Well, first off you would need a dual alt kit for the vehicle. Then you would need to wire it to an auxillary battery. Then find where the rear system wires to the current battery,remove it and reconnect it to the new auxillary battery. I wouldn't wire it through the switch on the mastercon unit, you don't need the solenoid to attach it to you factory battery system. Some companies prefer the switch to cross the 2 circuits together with that solenoid(just in case the auxillary alt goes out), but I dont reccommend it.

    Its a fairly simple installation, if you need I can make you a wiring diagram.Let me know.

    Justin

  5. #5
    Senior Member Limo Padawan
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    Dick:
    It sure appears that most everything is present, including the isolator (why would you even install an isolator if there is only one battery in the system)? I'm sure if I put a test lead on the second pin I would pick up charging voltage, and I'm sure I could hang the second battery on the isolator for wiring to accessories, but I don't know how to tie a second battery into the system so it can be linked back to the main battery as a "jump" starter.

    Justin:
    I thought I was pretty clear in my explaination, but you are already trying to sell me dual alternators.

    I don't need dual alternators to have dual batteries. That is the purpose of the battery isolator (to let two batteries charge but only one discharge). I only need the second battery as a backup to start the vehicle when the main battery is too low (hence the temporary switch).

    I know this because my other car (a 70" Dabryan) has the backup battery in the trunk and the temporary override switch. It does not have dual alternators.

    I'm not looking for more 12v capacity, just a little 12v security, if you know what I mean.
    Jim Martin
    Night Out Limousine
    Hollister, CA

  6. #6
    Junior Member Limo Padawan
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    I must have misread your post but I am not trying to sell you an alternator kit. I don't sell a kit for a towncar earlier than 2003. I do know what you mean now though, I would hope you mean maintaining the 2 batteries and not charging them. An alternator is not made to charge the batteries and trying to keep 2 charged with one alternator can be dangerous. Because if your batteries or one battery is low your alternator will try to charge them and run your car/coach system at the same time. Then if your alternator overloads and burns up your stranded on the road!

  7. #7
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    Could you help me with a problem that has recently affected my prize possession? When I place a fully charged battery in the car and leave it for more than 1 day without starting it, the battery has been drained of all its charge. I have confirmed that it is definately not the alternator and am inclined to think it has something to do with a relay sticking open. Was hoping if you have experienced something similar that you might be able to shed some light for me. Also would you be able to help with circuit diagrams for the additional wiring. My circuit board is provided by Mastrcom. Many thanks for any help. Paul

  8. #8
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    what happens when a bearing seizes up on one Alternator (Delphi Guy's hate that word)and will not turn. Are you not stranded then?
    David E. Merrill

  9. #9
    Junior Member Limo Padawan
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    Originally posted by David Merrill:
    what happens when a bearing seizes up on one Alternator (Delphi Guy's hate that word)and will not turn. Are you not stranded then?
    RE: For those occasions it is good idea to have another alternator in your trunk along with 10mm wrench (or better have an adjustable) & 3/4 drive for tent. the drivebelt

  10. #10
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    Default dual Altn

    I have a 2000 Lincoln Limo (Destiny Coach)
    It been a really good limo but is starting to show it's age. The 2nd alternator isn't charging the 2nd battery now. There is a blue wire on the solenoid with no power ( + or -). I'm thinking there is a relay somewhere that throws ground to this wire. When I ground the solenoid I get the full 12 volts of charging to the battery. If I can't find the relay I'm going to rewire the thing with a relay, find a switched circuit for power when the key is on (maybe fuel pump) and move on. Any diagram you can help me with would be great
    Thanks
    Fred

    Quote Originally Posted by PoweredProducts View Post
    Well, first off you would need a dual alt kit for the vehicle. Then you would need to wire it to an auxillary battery. Then find where the rear system wires to the current battery,remove it and reconnect it to the new auxillary battery. I wouldn't wire it through the switch on the mastercon unit, you don't need the solenoid to attach it to you factory battery system. Some companies prefer the switch to cross the 2 circuits together with that solenoid(just in case the auxillary alt goes out), but I dont reccommend it.

    Its a fairly simple installation, if you need I can make you a wiring diagram.Let me know.

    Justin

  11. #11
    Senior Member Elegant Limousines of Palm Coast's Avatar
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    If your 2nd alternator is a Lincoln alternator you don't need a relay. The green wire goes to ignition 12volt. the yellow wire goes to the battery and the white wire goes to the single white wire that come out of the 2nd plug on the alternator. When it is running you should have no less than 13 volts at idle. Hope this helps. It is fresh in my mind because we just had to fix this in our Krystal.

  12. #12

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    Any knowledge of Fords daul alternater systems on a KK33 limo bus. If so, I have a couple questions for ya.

  13. #13

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    Hi, I have a 99 LTC 120" Classic with single alternator & single battery. There is a small battery behind the bumper but it never worked as a back up. From day 1 I bought it it did not have current on battery behind the bumper. The problem is I have to change alternator around every 2 years, I have 2,3 bad once in the garage. Every year I have to change voltage regulator or leds... I do not use more power as I should, actually I change opera lights to leds & all interior lights to leds. Nowdays I will instal plexi led lighted floor & I worry I will have to drag 2nd alternator in the trunk just in case. Is it normal for alterantors to go bad that often? I have hard time to get new once as I run my business in Poland :-) Regards from Krakow :-)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by www.limuzynki.pl View Post
    Hi, I have a 99 LTC 120" Classic with single alternator & single battery. There is a small battery behind the bumper but it never worked as a back up. From day 1 I bought it it did not have current on battery behind the bumper. The problem is I have to change alternator around every 2 years, I have 2,3 bad once in the garage. Every year I have to change voltage regulator or leds... I do not use more power as I should, actually I change opera lights to leds & all interior lights to leds. Nowdays I will instal plexi led lighted floor & I worry I will have to drag 2nd alternator in the trunk just in case. Is it normal for alterantors to go bad that often? I have hard time to get new once as I run my business in Poland :-) Regards from Krakow :-)
    Not normal.

    Alternators typically die from being overloaded, otherwise they last for many years.

    Changing to LEDs helps only a little bit, but the real load is going to come from the air conditioning blower systems and the video/stereo system, especially if you have a high watt sound system.

    You could upgrade to a higher rated alternator to help with the load, or upgrade to a dual alternator/battery setup like many limos.

    Also, if your battery is not in good condition, it puts a heavy load on the alternator. Many people kill their alternators by continuing to use weak batteries in their car that are overdue for replacement. So in addition to a higher rated alternator, I would put in a fresh battery of the highest capacity you can fit into the battery space.
    Last edited by FamilyLimo; April 23rd, 2014 at 04:52 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Sounds normal....

    Quote Originally Posted by www.limuzynki.pl View Post
    Hi, I have a 99 LTC 120" Classic with single alternator & single battery. There is a small battery behind the bumper but it never worked as a back up. From day 1 I bought it it did not have current on battery behind the bumper. The problem is I have to change alternator around every 2 years, I have 2,3 bad once in the garage. Every year I have to change voltage regulator or leds... I do not use more power as I should, actually I change opera lights to leds & all interior lights to leds. Nowdays I will instal plexi led lighted floor & I worry I will have to drag 2nd alternator in the trunk just in case. Is it normal for alterantors to go bad that often? I have hard time to get new once as I run my business in Poland :-) Regards from Krakow :-)

    Your experience is not unusual.

    In my 10 years experience in Texas on stretch limos it is normal (once the vehicle is past 4 years old) that the alternators (both) and batteries (both) will last about 24-36 months assuming your limo is used often. Buy and install the best components you can get, but even with that the high quality alternators and batteries still have a short life when it comes to stretch limos and all the stress those big cars put on the electrical system.

    You need to have a mechanic help figure out why your second battery is not working as part of the circuit. I also am concerned that with one alternator your electrical system is more stressed.
    Tony Franzetti
    Marriton Limousine, Austin, TX
    Austin Limousine service, Austin airport service, austin bus charters
    http://www.marritonlimo.com

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