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Discussion Starter #1
my car: 280zx 1978

hey
my battery drains flat in abuot 4 days of not driving it
i found that something is draining 0.26 amps from the battery constantly
ive then checked alot of the wiring in the car and the drain is not through the fuses
its from a cable which is plugged in to the alternator
the alternator seems to still charge my battery when i drive around but with this on and the car stopped its constantly draining 0.26 amps.
i think this is the cable which charges the battery or sumfin, but i duno
can anyone tell me what the top cable plug from the alternator is???

and is there a short in my alternator or sumfin?
should i buy a new one?
sumone help me!! :)
 

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I'm not a big ZX guy, but I know a couple of things about the charging system.

The top plug (assuming you have a plug with two leads coming out?) should be the one that supplies the voltage to your Volt gauge. There is also another lead that works with your fuel cutoff circuit (in line with your oil pressure sender) that kills your fuel pump when the alt dies.

I don't know what the current draw for the gauge is, but it should be low. If you suspect this figure is too high, you can try cleaning the contacts (in the engine bay). I guess it's possible that your gauge is going bad, but I wouldn't bet on it.

The gauge, the clock, and the radio (all circuits that draw voltage with the key off) shouldn't be enough to kill your battery in 4 days. More likely your battery is going south. Have it tested by a parts store (they do it for free, hoping to sell you a new one). Or, clean all the connections and grounds, and see if the battery accepts a charge better. If the posts are dirty, even though your alt is working fine, the battery may not be able to accept as much of a charge as it needs. Your gauge will not show you the problem while the engine is running. After you've driven it, read the gauge when you kill the engine. Is it normal? Low?

I would suspect the battery and cables here, not a drain from your gauge, radio or clock.
 

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Can we assume that it is a 1979 280 ZX?

Where and how are you measuring the drain?

Disconnect the negative battery cable and install your meter between the battery post and the negative cable.

One by one disconnect / remove the fusible links. Which one causes the drain to stop?

If they are all disconnected and you still have a drain then look for something someone has installed on your car that is bypassing the fusible links.

.26 amp or 260 ma would be the draw of a small light bulb, like the glove box light.

Items that are normally powered with the key "Off" should not draw more than 50 ma (.05 amp) i.e. clock / radio.

Wayne Monteath
Masham, Quebec.
 

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I recall some company selling this one-foot by one-foot solar panel that plugged into your cigarette lighter. It was advertised as a trickle charger. Now if it could produce 260 ma or not I don’t know. I would say it would be close.

Madeline Michele
Hollywood, Fl

<http://browardzcarclub.tripod.com>

<http://personal.mia.bellsouth.net/mia/r/h/rhydra/index.htm>
 

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I just got my 240 into the mechanic for Master Vac and Alternator check up as well as Carb Transplant back to SU.

He reported that I STILL had a short circuit in the wiring behind the dash, which really perplexed me since I had just spent the last couple months checking and replacing all of the wiring back there. He traced it down for me and tole me it was the Ameter.

Since I had presumed the gauges to be ok, I had never checked the ameter by itself. He says that's the reason that Sears reported my alternator as bad, and also the reason it was draining my battery within 2-3 days. So, instead of having to repair or replace the alternator just need to find a replacement ameter.

FWIW
Enrique Scanlon
 
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