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Old 04-25-2004, 09:50 PM   #1
JD Camper
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Angry Battery discharge on 1997 Ram1500

Battery runs down on this vehicle. Have traced the slight discharge to the fuel pump circuit. Isolated the discharge to the forward part of circuit by disconnecting the plug at the pump and then at the connector near the front fender of the vehicle. I still got 12 volts at the circuit breaker terminals at the engine distribution circuit breaker panel with the fuel pump circuit breaker removed and the ignition key off. Also I get an arc when barely touching the negative cable to the battery post. I would think you should not get a voltage reading at this point unless your ignition sw.was on to start the fuel pump. The discharge is at a very low rate as the battery will stay charged and start the engine over night; but will discharge to where it will not start the engine after a couple days. The fuel pump works fine and the fuel gage works good. Any ideas would be appreciated.
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Old 05-01-2004, 09:14 PM   #2
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Re: Battery discharge on 1997 Ram1500

I am glad to hear someone else is having this problem(no offence). I have a 97' with a 318 and a 98' diesel and they both do it. I can't find it, if they sit for a week or so they won't start. I've changed the batteries and done just about everything I can think of without any luck. I think I may have to get those small solar battery tenders, you lay them on your dash and plug them in the cigarette lighter. If you get anywhere with this please let me know.
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Old 05-02-2004, 10:31 PM   #3
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Thumbs up

The solar tender sounds interesting. I may check into this Thanks!
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Old 05-03-2004, 05:58 AM   #4
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Re: Battery discharge on 1997 Ram1500

Try this:
insert an ammeter (DC current meter) between the negative battery terminal and the negative battery cable. Begin removing main fuses (under hood) until the current drain stops. Put it back in, then, working within that circuit, begin removing fuses until the current goes down again. It should at least tell you where you're using the current and which circuit is at fault.

Keep in mind:
Your radio uses an insignificant amount of current to run the clock and memory.

If you have a factory Keyless entry system and or alarm, there is also a source of constant current drain.

Aftermarket amplifiers and alarms, when conected to the battery (not with a separate alarm battery) can cause battery drain.

And lastly, here's an old and dumb problem that occurs more often than you'd think; Lighted console doors and glove boxes. When they close, does the light go out? Kind of like the referigerator light (do they really go out?!!). If the light switches are misaligned, and the light stays on, they'll draw about an amp an hour or so, and your battery will be dead in about 4 days.


The "solar tender" probably won't deliver enough current to keep your trucks alive... they don't even deliver 1 amp per hour, so if your drain is 1 amp or more, it would only sit there and look pretty, plus they don't work at night!

Hope I helped,

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Old 05-03-2004, 06:37 PM   #5
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Have consider most of your suggestions slantsiness, Have isolated to tothe fuel pump circuit; But it is not the pump as I disconnected it and still get a drain. I'm wondering if theres a condensor or diode somewhere in that circuit that drawing some current.
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:01 AM   #6
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Re: Battery discharge on 1997 Ram1500

JD,
This is a stretch, but if it's just the fuel pump, you could have broken insulation out of the tank along the frame, and some kind of conductive buildup between the pump wiring and ground? Like undercoating or brake fluid?

That would be so unusual and rare that I doubt that's the trouble.

Something else HAS to be connected to this line other than the fuel pump. did you try removing the relay? Water and othe conductive materials have been known to get into relays, but they usually dont function. It could be stuck in the "on" position?!!

It might help to spend $25.00 and get the schematics for your truck at www.alldatadiy.com and look at the circuits.

One sure fix: use a switch and cut off the fuel pump circuit when the truck is sitting. We used to do that for a cheap security system anyway...

I don't know of any of these systems ever using a diode or capacitor in the fuel pump line. If there is one, it would be IN the fuel pump assembly.


happy troubleshooting!

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Old 05-04-2004, 08:02 PM   #7
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Slantsixness I have disconnected electric harness for fuel pump circuit at the front fender. Still got a drain. also I switched fuel pump relay with horn relay (same part number) Same results. The remaining part of circuit I have not been able to troubleshoot is to the ignition switch and I don't doubt the computer is tied in some way. These circuits now is not like those easy one back a few years. This why the Dealers have the expensive diagnostic equipment to test for trouble that we cannot afford. Thanks JD
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Old 05-04-2004, 10:32 PM   #8
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Re: Battery discharge on 1997 Ram1500

Actually, the system in this Ram is pretty simple. The only power you should have at the ignition switch when it is off is the red or pink/black. The others should only show voltage when you turn the key.
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Old 05-05-2004, 05:55 AM   #9
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Re: Battery discharge on 1997 Ram1500

Ponchonutty is right, and the wiring is still simple, there's just more of it!
I have seen the wire colors change though, sometimes the pink/black wire is just pink... but the red's always the same.

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