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Thread: 4-5 amp draw with key off

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date:  Jul 2015

    Posts:    5

    4-5 amp draw with key off

    Positive connected to battery post (direct to starter wire).

    Negative going through meter.

    With no connection between alternator and starter, about a 1 amp draw.

    With the brown wires from starter to alternator attached (and the brown wires from ALT to fuse box post disconnected ... no power to car) I get a 4.8 - 5 amp draw.

    Any Ideas?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Leonardtown, MD

    Posts:    7,868

    My VIN:    03572

    You should not get a 1 amp draw in your first test unless you have the doors open with the door and dome lights on.

    Your 5 amp draw looks like your alternator is bad and drawing field current all the time.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date:  Jul 2015

    Posts:    5

    Hey thanks for the reply.

    I had that thought too so I got a brand new Motorola from DMC Huston. Same story.

    Something else is off. I'm powering the inside of the car in front of the Alt/Starter and the 5 amp draw is there with either the door lock module plugged in or the RPM relay module plugged in. With both unplugged, .23. As soon as the alt is connected back to 4.9 (even with the RPM and Door Modules unplugged)

    I have an isolator switch, so not a huge problem, just trying to work out bugs

  4. #4
    Senior Member D Knight's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Cleveland, Oh

    Posts:    231

    Leave your meter hooked up and start pulling fuses 1 at a time. As soon as it drops you’ll at least know what circuit or circuits are having the issue.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date:  Jul 2015

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    With the ALT connected, draw is present with ALL fuses, relays, and modules unplugged. With ALT disconnected draw present if either RPM relay or door control module are connected. I think I'm chasing an incorrect ground connection somewhere. Testing the RPM Relay socket, no draw on individual socket terminals (except ground).

    The brown wire bundle that connects the inside post to the alternator acts like it is being grounded when connected to the alternator (positive output post)

  6. #6
    Member gluaisrothaii's Avatar
    Join Date:  Sep 2019

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmj78 View Post
    With the ALT connected, draw is present with ALL fuses, relays, and modules unplugged. With ALT disconnected draw present if either RPM relay or door control module are connected. I think I'm chasing an incorrect ground connection somewhere. Testing the RPM Relay socket, no draw on individual socket terminals (except ground).

    The brown wire bundle that connects the inside post to the alternator acts like it is being grounded when connected to the alternator (positive output post)
    I am working with DMCH on exactly the same issue. Alternator field circuit stays active with ignition off, draws about 4 amps.

    My first thread on the alternator issue

    http://dmctalk.org/showthread.php?17...t-ignition-off

    Best
    Ken
    1981 DMC 12- Black
    VIN 46**
    Alameda CA

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Posts:    569

    sure it's the field and not a diode ? or the wire to the battery bulb in the dashboard ?

    field - take out the regulator with the brushes and measure again.

    when still there -> diodes or bulb wire.

    5A = 60W = something gets damn hot !

  8. #8
    Member gluaisrothaii's Avatar
    Join Date:  Sep 2019

    Posts:    88

    Quote Originally Posted by Elvis View Post
    sure it's the field and not a diode ? or the wire to the battery bulb in the dashboard ?

    field - take out the regulator with the brushes and measure again.

    when still there -> diodes or bulb wire.

    5A = 60W = something gets damn hot !
    Yes. The reason is that I can trigger the 4-5amp draw by applying as little as 0.3V to the field trigger line, and it (usually) stops when I remove the trigger voltage. A failed diode would stay failed, in addition to causing other problems.

    60W is a lot, but remember it's being dissipated into a large chunk of metal that is designed to radiate heat efficiently.
    1981 DMC 12- Black
    VIN 46**
    Alameda CA

  9. #9
    Administrator Ron's Avatar
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    I'm betting on the regulator...

  10. #10
    LS Swapper Josh's Avatar
    Join Date:  Mar 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by D Knight View Post
    Leave your meter hooked up and start pulling fuses 1 at a time. As soon as it drops you’ll at least know what circuit or circuits are having the issue.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    the problem with this is not all the circuits are fused in the car, lol

    The alternator and starter connections come to mind, and im not referring to the main feeds (which are also not fused like is all modern cars)

    5.3L LS4 + Subaru 6spd 314whp/348ft-lbs
    Getting it back on the road!
    LS Swap

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