Battery Issue

Discuss (and cuss) the Nissan LD-series OHC Six diesel engine, popularly available in the US in 1981-83 Datsun/Nissan Maxima Sedans & Wagons.

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Dairy
Posts:48
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Location:SD
Battery Issue

#1

Post by Dairy » 9 years ago

I have gone through 3 batterys in the last year. The first one was old and died so I got a second one. When it got cold it died so I replaced. After it died I got a bigger battery hopeing it would help but just last week it died on me too. I dont understand why the first two stopped working but I think the third one may have stopped because it wouldnt turn the car over when it was -10 outside this winter unless I jumped it or put a charger on it. Can anyone help?
82 maxima ld28 200K

diesel-man
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Location:Elkton, MD

#2

Post by diesel-man » 9 years ago

I use a size 31 battery (lead-post) which is for a semi truck. (original is size 27) I use a little longer hold-down bolt and move it over towards the steering pump so the hood closes.

I don't have good success much below 10 degrees. I keep the car in the garage (which is probably 15 degrees warmer than the lowest daily temp). I don't even try to start one of them without a small sniff of ether. I don't have a way to plug them in.

Check your connection on the starter end of the battery cable, if it is rusted...been hot, that can be a big problem. These old diesels are like reptiles...they don't like the cold.

If all 6 glow plugs are not 100% it can also be difficult.

You mean that it only gets down to -10 up there? I expected -20 or so.

15w40 is thick stuff at that temp, but I wouldn't dare suggest anything else. Maybe a synthetic oil perhaps? I don't know what the standard/ accepted thing might be for your area. (15w40 for here)

Dairy
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Location:SD

#3

Post by Dairy » 9 years ago

I use 15w40. Im not so worried about it not starting when its cold but more worried about the amout of batteries ive gone through.
82 maxima ld28 200K

plenzen
Posts:869
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Location:Cochrane Alberta Canada

#4

Post by plenzen » 9 years ago

Perhaps see if you have something in the car dragging down the voltage. Aftermarket stereos with clocks and memories etc. I have seen kill RV batteries over 1 week. Some ( stereos) are worse than others. I know an RV battery is a different type but just saying that there may be a draw from it. Check with your meter to see if you have an amperage draw at the battery post and how much it is. Battery performance will diminish with temp as well so I would look at nothing smaller than 750-800 CCA. We here (southern Alberta) are sitting at -27C (-17F +/-) this morning and the cranking portion was not an issue. It did however take three cycles on my air heater to get it to fire and stay running. A good quality name brand battery makes a difference as well. Interstate comes to mind, and, they have a decent warranty on their products. Trying to find what battery is actually manufactured in North America is no easy task. Some product lines are imported from overseas. There is a large lead acid battery plant in New Brunswick Canada and I think one in Texas, however if the battery name model and size were actually made at one of those plants is hard to decipher.
I use 15W40 in my engine in the summer but have switched to Castrol Syntec 5W40 for the winter and cold starts have improved dramatically. I doubt that it would have started on the 3rd cycle of the heater this morning, and before I installed the heater it would not have started at all with 15W40 in it.
FWIW
Paul
Retired Pauly
Problem with being retired is that you never get a day off.
1987 D21-J SD25 KC
KJLGD21FN

dn29626
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Location:Anderson, SC

#5

Post by dn29626 » 9 years ago

Make sure all electricals are powered through the switch.
I suspect you trying low cca batteries. Use only high cca batteries.
Go for 1000 cca if you can fit one in. Price is secondary to a reliable engine start.
82 King Cab 2wd (nice)
82 Reg Cab (body damage)
Anderson , SC
Since Fall 2009

Dairy
Posts:48
Joined:10 years ago
Location:SD

#6

Post by Dairy » 9 years ago

Problem just went out to try and start it and no power. nothing no lights no clock nothing. jumped it and ran fine. Shut it off and within a minute battery completely drained. Ive discontted the alternator right now and its got a charger on it. any help?
82 maxima ld28 200K

dn29626
Posts:249
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Location:Anderson, SC

#7

Post by dn29626 » 9 years ago

Clean both ends of your battery cables. Has your voltage regulator gone bad?
82 King Cab 2wd (nice)
82 Reg Cab (body damage)
Anderson , SC
Since Fall 2009

Dairy
Posts:48
Joined:10 years ago
Location:SD

#8

Post by Dairy » 9 years ago

battery cables are good. I reconntected the alt. and I started it and rev it up and it still wouldnt start right after.
82 maxima ld28 200K

Dairy
Posts:48
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Location:SD

#9

Post by Dairy » 9 years ago

battery cables are good. I reconntected the alt. and I started it and rev it up and it still wouldnt start right after.
82 maxima ld28 200K

plenzen
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Location:Cochrane Alberta Canada

#10

Post by plenzen » 9 years ago

Can you get or borrow a battery tester?
Not a meter but a load tester. That will tell you straight off if the battery is pooched
Did you check voltage at the battery with the engine running?
How much is it?
A completely dead battery will take some time to charge by just the alternator alone. A few minutes is not nearly enough, plus, using the alternator to charge a dead battery is not really the way it should be done as that is quite hard on the alternator. A proper 110V type battery charger is the best way to go if you have access to one.
The load test with the battery fully charged is what you want to check

Paul
Retired Pauly
Problem with being retired is that you never get a day off.
1987 D21-J SD25 KC
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240ZD
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#11

Post by 240ZD » 9 years ago

I think there is a diode or something in the alternator which, if fried, will drain the battery even as the car sits, yet will charge the battery when running.

I went through two crappy alternators before scoring a really good one at a random auto parts store for like $60, that has been bulletproof.
"Man, your engine is knocking really bad..."~

plenzen
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#12

Post by plenzen » 9 years ago

Try this. Disconnect the pos cable from battery. Put charger on battery and let charge for 20 - 30 mins. As you reconnect the pos cable to the battery term lightly touch it to the post. Watch and listen to see if you are getting any kind of a spark there. If you are, then there is a drain on the battery through either a short, or some accessory is on someplace. If not, then see if you can load test the battery. Most auto supply places will have a load tester and they may rent it to you or loan it to you with a deposit or something. That is the best way to test the battery and, the newer testers will allow you to check the entire charging system while the car is running etc. These testers are quite inexpensive and, you can get a basic one for around $40.00. Real handy to have and will eliminate a ton of screwing around trying to figure WTF is going on.

:wink:

Paul
Retired Pauly
Problem with being retired is that you never get a day off.
1987 D21-J SD25 KC
KJLGD21FN

Dairy
Posts:48
Joined:10 years ago
Location:SD

#13

Post by Dairy » 9 years ago

I think its the diode. When i have my lights on they are hardly on unless I rev the enigne then its fine.
82 maxima ld28 200K

rlaggren
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#14

Post by rlaggren » 9 years ago

I don't know if it's the alternator (sounds possible though) but you certainly have something draining juice from the battery while the car is not in use. I think you would be able to see that by (when the car is off) taking off one of the leads and putting an amp meter between that lead and the battery terminal. It sounds like something in the line of 1/2 amp or more, maybe up to 5 amps draining your battery.

Regarding [jump starts, rev, then won't start] that would be normal for any car. A dead or deeply drained battery takes at least 1/2 hour to get any real charge back into it; to fully re-charge it might take a couple hours driving.

I put an Interstate 1000cca (IIRC- whatever the one recommended in their book and it just barely fit) battery in last fall and the car starts at -5*F. You only get one or two tries, and you need to keep the starter cranking until at least 4 cylinders are firing (about 10 seconds when it's really cold) but it's performed consistently like that for about 10 cold morning starts at or below 0*F. Any warmer and basically no problem. I park outside and don't use any heaters.

I'd like all the cylinders to fire right up, but not sure that's realistic below zero. Come summer I'll check the GPs and maybe get around to a compression check.

Bottom line. You don't have a battery problem you have an electrical problem.

Also, somebody suggested check the connectors on your big leads and truer words were never spoke. It's trivially easy for 12volts to get knocked down to 8 or less with a bad connector or bad wire and you won't be able to tell w/out looking very carefully, maybe not then. My experience w/diesels is that you find what the factory recommends for cable then go up TWO sizes (both Hot and Ground and you'll notice a difference immediately in the way the engine starts. And it's well worth putting the adhesive heat shrink tubing over the connector/wire joins at both ends (after you clean up real good) - I'm talking doing this to brand new factory made cables. Then use good nuts and lock washers on your starter connections and keep the battery terminals clean. $50 and two hours never got you a better insurance deal.

Rufus
82 Maxima wagon

dn29626
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Location:Anderson, SC

#15

Post by dn29626 » 9 years ago

Use a voltage tester. You can buy one for less than $20.
Pop the hood and connect it to the charged battery, observe the reading. It will be approximately 12v.
Start the engine, with the engine running, connect it to the battery. It will likely read between 12.5v and 14v if the alternator is OK. If it reads outside this voltage range, you have a bad part in the alternator (bad alternator).
It is possible that you have a component constantly draining your battery.
What cca is your battery?
82 King Cab 2wd (nice)
82 Reg Cab (body damage)
Anderson , SC
Since Fall 2009

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