Starting/Charging System - 94 GMC C1500

Friday

Hero Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Messages
271
Points
18
Age
121
Location
Tecumseh, KS
Make
GMC
Model
C1500
Year
1994
Miles
195K
Engine
5.7L
I seldom drive my pickup, just trips to the box stores on the other side of town (10-15 miles). So I keep a solar battery minder on the truck to keep the battery up. Recently, on these short trips, it spins up fine when I leave the house, but will barely crank when I leave the store. I took some readings: Sitting dead with the solar minder unattached, I get 12.5V at the battery. With the truck running, I get 14.5V at the battery. With a load on the system (headlights, fan, and signals), I get 14.2V at the alternator and 13.8V at the battery. Where would I start to look for the problem?
 

billr

wrench
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
7,286
Points
63
Look for a date code on the battery. If it is between 5 and 10 years old, I would be inclined to throw a new battery at it. They tend to lose amp-hour capacity with age. Maybe driving it for those 10-15 miles isn't enough charging time to "top it off" as completely as the long-term charge from the solar charger.

Or, take it your local FLAPS for a load test.
 

paulo57509

Full Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2014
Messages
81
Points
8
After you get it sorted, get a battery maintainer (shop around for the best price):


This maintainer will work plugged into an extension cord as well. It comes with a 2-wire trailer type pigtail so it's convenient to plug/unplug to the battery. If there's room, you can use these to replace the side terminal cable bolts which make the vehicle half of the pigtail connection to the battery that much easier.


This old Die Hard that lasted 16 years with one of these in use.

Battery Minder Setup 002_b.jpg
 

Friday

Hero Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Messages
271
Points
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Age
121
Location
Tecumseh, KS
After you get it sorted, get a battery maintainer (shop around for the best price):


This maintainer will work plugged into an extension cord as well. It comes with a 2-wire trailer type pigtail so it's convenient to plug/unplug to the battery. If there's room, you can use these to replace the side terminal cable bolts which make the vehicle half of the pigtail connection to the battery that much easier.


This old Die Hard that lasted 16 years with one of these in use.

View attachment 11427
Read the original posting: "I seldom drive my pickup, just trips to the box stores on the other side of town (10-15 miles). So I keep a solar battery minder on the truck to keep the battery up. "
 

paulo57509

Full Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2014
Messages
81
Points
8
Read the original posting: "I seldom drive my pickup, just trips to the box stores on the other side of town (10-15 miles). So I keep a solar battery minder on the truck to keep the battery up. "
Sorry. I thought you were referring to those cheap solar panels with alligator clips.
 
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