Jump to content
Eviljohn

Breadvan battery or wiring issue?

Recommended Posts

Eviljohn

Good morning all. Hope you had the best christmas possible. 

Looking for some guidance with my 83 breadvan if anyone can help. 

I noticed in the last couple of weeks, when i start the car, there are a couple of electrical issues. The horn doesn't work for a few minutes and the lights are noticeably dimmer. Yesterday, i also noticed that when i push the horn button, the horn didn't sound but the lights did actually go a little dimmer again while i had the button pressed. The battery is a bosch, had it for maybe 2 years, possibly a little longer? The horn isn't stock but it also isn't a mega loud one, just somethin off ebay. Came as a pair of aftermarket snail horns but only used one. Bulbs are osram nightbreakers. Both go back to normal after a little drive but no specific time or distance i can make out. Can anyone advise on things i can check and rule out? I do have a multi meter but not sure what i should be checking or what settings i should have it on. 

Thanks for stopping by and any guidance you can give. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dvderlm

Charging voltage at battery with engine running. 

(across battery terminals at least 13.8 volts)

 

Maybe the alternator's voltage regulator or its brushes are worn, so your battery is not getting a good top-up after starting.

Easy replacement with alternator on car.

 

You could check horn's resistance. If it is zero ohms it has shorted, if infinite it has broken circuit.

Sorry don't know what resistance should be. I'll guess below 1 kiloohm.

Are any horn wires damaged?

Check that horn wires get 12volts when someone presses horn-push-button (ignition on engine off).  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eviljohn

No damage i can see to horn wiring. I have reason to believe that it may not be the horn. That is just the most noticeable thing as it's noisy. I noticed the dimmer lights before yesterday. At one point on the way to work through a lane, they actually flipped from dim back to normal. Only noticed yesterday, that the lights dip very slightly when the horn button is pressed. Also, on starting, i noticed that the wiper sweep that should be continuous, and normally is, had a very slight pause at the start of the sweep. Only until the horn starts to work as well. The wipers were fine today but the horn did not work for a little while. I'll check the alterernator, is there anything else that is worth checking? Dizzy? Rotor arm? Battery is maybe 3 years old? I think. 2 minimum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dvderlm

Alternator wiring to starter motor and on to battery. I was amazed at the raggedy thinness of the main current carrying wires on my 1984 engine.

Alternator plug.

The current sense terminal in the Lucas style connector is fragile, and the two big spade connectors are worth cleaning.

There should be a clamp wire to hold the plug in place. Mine's been missing for years.

 

mk2f uses a more sensible 8mm terminal and nut arrangement.

 

Earth connections.

Connect a jump cable from battery negative to engine block such as at lift-eye and see if that I improves. 

 

Oh, so the horn works. Maybe one cell of the 6 in the battery is low on electrolyte.Then it would be 11.5 ish volts not the wanted 12.6v  ish at rest.

If it is not sealed you can open a cap to each cell and peer in, then top up with distilled water.

Bosch usually have 4 year warranty, but who knows how long it had been on a shelf before you bought it.

 

Cold weather kills uncharged batteries.

 

 

Edited by dvderlm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eviljohn

Okay. Thank you. I will work my way through that list.

Horn works just fine. Just not straight away when i start the car up. Same with the headlights. They work but are noticeably dimmer for a little while. Maybe 5-10 minutes. It's like each one isn't getting the right amount of juice to work properly straight away, but then something somewhere happens, the lights kick in properly and the horn works again. I haven't noticed anything else. Courtesy light has never worked since i've had the car, nor has the rear wiper or demister so i have no other clues at this point. Blower motor doesn't sound any different. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
vwfan3

Check to see if it has a 'crossover relay'. If it does, then clean the contacts and try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eviljohn

Would the crossover relay be in the Haynes? Not heard that term before. 

Started her up day before yesterday, all worked straight away. Even lights were as they should be. Only things i did differently, were a run a couple junctions up the motorway and back, and to unplug the bluetooth speaker i use in place of stereo. That is normally just plugged in and left. Could be that draining the battery maybe? Or it just needed a decent run to charge up? 

The bit of bay where the battery sits is prone to damp. I have noticed a small puddle under the battery and also a little water collected on top of the battery before. Runoff from the rain tray. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nige8021
1 hour ago, Eviljohn said:

Would the crossover relay be in the Haynes? Not heard that term before. 

 

 

That is because no sutch relay exists !! there is the "X" contact relief relay but neither the headlights or Horn are fed from that relay, The Horn is fed direct from the ignition switch, likewise the main supply for the headlights, so you could be looking at poor contacts in the ignition switch.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eviljohn

Really have not had chance to chase the fault at this point. I have noticed it again though. Same thing. It does all seem to kick back in again properly around a similar sort of distance though. By which point, on my usual route, i have gone up through all 4 gears, but not really pushed past around 40mph. 

Ignition issue would fit with horn and headlights but would it also explain the slight hesitation with wipers on start up, which also seems to go away at the same time as the other issues go away? 

Thanks guys for taking time to read and leave xp by the way. Really appreciate it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
steveo3002

run it up the road with a multimeter conected to the battery , note down the readings as it goes along

 

long shot guess...sticky brush in the alternator freeing with heat?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
caretakerplus

It sounds to me as if you are lacking in volts, at least until the alternator has replaced what the starter motor has used in starting the engine.

This could be as suggested above (poor electrical connections or alternator being a bit 'low' - It could also be the battery that has lost some capacity.

Try connecting your multimeter set to 'volts' to the '+' and '-' battery terminals, disconnect the ignition coil (to prevent the engine from starting) and have an assistant operate the starter for you. Whilst the starter is in operation, note the battery voltage, this should NOT fall below about 9.5 volts and should maintain that, certainly for a few seconds (the time that it would normally take for the engine to start).

 

NOTE (1): A low voltage in this test does not necessarily mean that you need a new battery, it could simply need FULLY charging.

NOTE (2): Do NOT carry out this test when the battery has just come off charge - even a 'duff' battery could stand up to that test straight off charge. It is best to allow the battery to stand for at least 12 hours before testing.

 

Another little tip, is to see if there is any improvement in the situation after leaving the battery disconnected overnight. If there is an improvement, this could indicate that current is being drawn from the battery when it should not be (A 'parasitic' loss) If you should find that this IS the case, let us know, and we will look at some possible causes.

 

Regards

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dvderlm
On ‎02‎/‎01‎/‎2019 at 15:15, nige8021 said:

 

That is because no sutch relay exists !! there is the "X" contact relief relay but neither the headlights or Horn are fed from that relay, The Horn is fed direct from the ignition switch, likewise the main supply for the headlights, so you could be looking at poor contacts in the ignition switch.

I have a red and yellow wire from that relay to dip switch, if the relay is bust I can only get main beam not dipped.

Before it failed the headlights became slow to turn on, like 3 to 4 seconds from pressing the headlight switch with engine running.

 

Combine with dim/dip wiring (post 1987? ) might suck amps until relay switches, quiet horn, dim headlights?

 

Below dash, was the smallest relay 12v 40A normally open 4 pin.

 

Mine said number21 in metal case but I had replaced it about 10 years ago.

Edited by dvderlm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eviljohn

Got an early breadvan. Pretty certain it's 1983. Been away over weekend so it's been parked for 96hrs. Fired up just fine, horn didn't work straight away as usual but did come back on sooner than normal. Was daylight so didn't use headlights. Pretty sure that made a difference. As i was sat idling just after starting, when i tested the horn, i did notice it was REAL faint, like just barely audible. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eviljohn

Just an update:

Had chance to install new battery last week. Issue is still persistent. I have found something new that may help narrow down the issue:

When i start the car, still get no horn straight away. Even with new battery. Found out that if i blip the throttle, all kicks in just fine. Horn, lights, everything. Anyone else had this or similar?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
steveo3002

can you try if anything else is not working ...theres an x relay that stops accessories working during cranking , possibly sticky or faulty 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eviljohn

The only things i have noticed are horn doesn't work, headlights and dash lights are dimmer and there is a very slight pause at the start of the sweep if i use my wipers. Tends to go away after a few minutes of driving. Sorts itself out straight away if i give the throttle some welly. Headlights and dash lights go back to normal brightness, (running osram nightbreakers,) and the horn works again. Haven't noticed any difference with the fans. Courtesy light, demister and rear wiper have never worked as long as i've had the car. Have no issues with actually starting the car. I do have an aftermarket cigarette lighter fitted by previous owner. I've removed the lighter part and use a usb charger. This works/charges even if the key isn't in the ignition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dvderlm

Does the Lucas plug with three blades in alternator make good contact?

How old is the alternator regulator and brush pack?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
steveo3002

need to get a multimeter on it and see whats going on 

 

does the horn wiring look like its been messed with at all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eviljohn

I've not had chance to get to the bottom of this yet. 

Good news is, if i start her up, (which doesn't seem to be an issue,) give it a second and then rev the engine, all seems to be fine. Lights, wipers, horn. 

I have multimeter ready and every intention of getting to the bottom of it as soon as i am able to. Will be back with findings. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eviljohn

As for age of any components on car, unless i have replaced it or have a receipy in the log book for it, i have assume it came out of the factory with it. 

I have not replaced the alternator or any of the parts. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
caretakerplus

Reading through this thread again, I now get the impression that there isn't anything wrong with your car.

The fact that the horn doesn't work when you first start the engine, but does work when you blip the throttle, reinforces what I said previously, namely that the starter has pulled the battery voltage down in starting the engine and that the alternator does not replace that charge 'till you blip the throttle.

 

Maybe a slight increase in idling speed will cure your 'problem.'

 

Regards

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eviljohn

Although i am limited in things i can actually compare while car is in use, (rear wiper, demister and courtesy light don't work at this point, i have no stereo,) if it was something somewhere failing, i think there would be more symptoms. 

Obviously still worth checking out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Terms of Use Privacy Policy Guidelines