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special car battery required for coverted vans?

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    #16
    Don't know anything about mini vans.
    We have always used full-size vans with only 1 battery. Usually just good quality battery, if not from dealership where got base van then usually go buy a Sears battery.
    We trend to be a worrier over battery, so replace about every 3 to 5 years. Van shows signs slow crank then replace battery.
    About voltage someone posted about I know they say our Sprinter van will not crank if voltage is below 11, so that makes sense that conversion is protecting itself with all sensitive electrical equipment.


    But, most places that sell batteries will usually test your battery for free.


    Otherwise, I would have van checked for a short. We had a 96 Dodge that required a new grounding strap on lift, interment stopping of lift during use. Shop said they seen it happen before, van/lift were about 4 years old at time.
    Also had one lift that wire to battery somehow got loose while on a trip and melted onto the hot exhaust pipe. Lift would not deploy. Brother got under van, found it and cut wire adding small section to bypass melted section and used pull-ties to keep off exhaust. That made do til back home and lift shop addressed it.
    "Good Luck!"

    Comment


      #17
      The solution for my van, a 2005 entervan caravan, was fairly cheap and easy. It turns out that a common problem with these vans is the sliding door wire harness. The wire harness itself only cost about $75 and you can order it online anywhere.
      Search online for How to Fix Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country Sliding Door Wires.

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by leschinsky View Post
        . think I'll price the emote starter..
        You could pay 300+, or do something like this for $44 and a 6 pack to the fast and furious kid down the block...

        http://www.amazon.com/Avital-4103LX-...7635957&sr=8-1

        Exact same box as a fancy Viper branded unit, but with smaller remotes (same mfr). If you have grey keys you'll need a security bypass unit also.

        Wired in using this guide (for just the remote start, just do the ignition switch wiring and one wire under the hood to the coil pack and don't bother with the keyless entry stuff):

        http://diagrams.marktoonen.nl/index....&ModelID=13356

        I put one of these in my winter beater and it works like a champ, at a whole bunch cheaper than retail

        Comment


          #19
          Originally posted by Andy View Post
          Those prices quoted for batteries seem to be the "they saw you coming" pricing. I think I paid something like $80 for the last battery I bought a couple years ago from Advanced Auto, similar size to what would be found in a minivan.

          That said, the cheapest quality brand battery you can get is the ticket. You don't want something with a 'premium' amount of cranking amps, just regular-style. Reason being is to get that high amperage out of a given battery case size, they cram in more plates into it, making them thinner, and taking up more of the case as well. In shorter time, the battery will precipitate sulfates to the bottom of the case shorting out the plates, and then you need to replace it as it will not hold a charge. There is a reason that something like a 6TL (monster sized military truck battery) has only something like 600 cranking amps, but lasts 10 years.

          A remote start might be in order if the electronics are wigging out due to voltage drop as mentioned in the thread. Might be cheaper than trying to trace out where the high-resistance connections might be causing this effect, and it'll be easier on the battery as well when using the adaptive stuff.
          I like Advanced Auto batteries all in all they seem to hold up well.

          Jim
          Jim, MA, MMET
          Bridgewater, MA

          Comment


            #20
            Originally posted by leschinsky View Post

            AI, I have the vmi one touch so I don't have to hold the button or switch down the entire time.

            Tom, no it happens with the inside switches too.

            i doubt ver much its the battery. probably going to be a bad wire somewhere, something in the door opener motor and or the controller.

            when was the last time the VMI door opener was serviced?

            they should be inspected and serviced every few years when there as old as yours is.

            there are a lot of parts moving around that get worn out.

            simple easy (inexpensive parts) save you from burning up the expensive parts.

            Jim
            Jim, MA, MMET
            Bridgewater, MA

            Comment


              #21
              Originally posted by leschinsky View Post
              They are bay area prices, gotta pay the rent.

              I did get a real cheap one before that was so bad I had to return it within a month or so. So I'm leery. Not that I'm going to get the agm one, think I'll skip that. think I'll price the emote starter.


              AI, I have the vmi one touch so I don't have to hold the button or switch down the entire time.

              Tom, no it happens with the inside switches too.
              I've tried all kinds of batteries including an optima and they all need replacing after 3-4 years. Parasitic drain seems to be common in van conversions. Save your money on the expensive batteries and get a remote starter installed. If you can do it yourself with the help of a friend, even better. Like Ancieny Gimp, I don't operate the ramp without first starting the engine.

              Comment


                #22
                Originally posted by Automotive Innovations View Post
                i doubt ver much its the battery. probably going to be a bad wire somewhere, something in the door opener motor and or the controller.

                when was the last time the VMI door opener was serviced?

                they should be inspected and serviced every few years when there as old as yours is.

                there are a lot of parts moving around that get worn out.

                simple easy (inexpensive parts) save you from burning up the expensive parts.

                Jim
                It's been a few years. I'll be getting it done this week though. thanks. btw it's not just the door it happens with the ramp too.



                thanks Andy that's a big savings


                thanks everyone for all the info.

                eta just checked my van's maintenance records, the battery is 7 years old. oops
                Last edited by leschinsky; 29 Mar 2015, 11:35 PM.
                Embrace uncertainty. Hard problems rarely have easy solutions. Jonah Lehrer

                Comment


                  #23
                  Originally posted by leschinsky View Post
                  ...the door will still open and ramp come out if I hold the button down the entire time.

                  Originally posted by leschinsky View Post
                  ... I have the vmi one touch so I don't have to hold the button or switch down the entire time.
                  Originally posted by leschinsky View Post
                  ... no it happens with the inside switches too.


                  Hello lechinsky,
                  Hello everyone,


                  I came across this thread after a google search on a similar (maybe even identical problem).


                  My good friend and neighbor has a 2005 Chrysler Town & Country, with a VMI One Touch Northstar. It has an AutoZone Duralast Gold (their premium lead-acid battery) that is just a few months old. Last week she started having problems either deploying the ramp and/or starting the van (3 problems in 10 days). The problem was inconsistent: once addressed (either with a jump start or an evening with a trickle charger) everything seemed to work normal, then the problem would reappear without warning within 2-4 days.


                  I was intrigued when I read that your One Touch system requires that you hold the button down. That is what we're seeing, too. The sliding door will open with a momentary touch of the button on the console by the driver, but the button has to be held down to operate the "kneel" feature, as well as to deploy the ramp. Same thing for retracting the ramp and raising the van.


                  My question is: Did you ever get your system to work right? Was it the battery, as the shop recommended? Or did it turn out to be something else?

                  Thanks so much,
                  Guillermo Acosta



                  Originally posted by Automotive Innovations View Post
                  ... but there were a few years where the kneel would start and if the computer saw below 11v it would wig out.
                  The same van would start fine and the door ramp worked perfectly with the knee turned off.
                  Jim
                  Hello Jim,

                  I hope you don't mind if I prod you for some technical information.

                  The last time this happened (day before yesterday) the battery was totally dead. We put the battery on the trickle charger overnight, and had it tested at AutoZone the next day. Their load tester showed the battery was healthy. None of the accessories (radio or lights) were on, but there had been a substantial current draw since it was last used (48 hours).

                  Before reinstalling the battery, I used a power supply with an ammeter to see if there was an excessive current draw. And there was. Something was drawing 30A even while the power supply was only at 3V. Yikes. My power supply is current limited, so I couldn't turn it up to 12V-- but that kind of power demand is seriously bad. I isolated this to the VMI harness, but then it went away as I continued to search for it. I've had experience with intermittents before, and they're the worst. I'm thinking that maybe a relay or switch in either the ramp or kneel motor was stuck closed-- does that sound possible?

                  After reading your comment above regarding a past problem with the kneel motor, I went out and turned off the kneel feature. It didn't make a difference. One thing I did notice, though, is that it appears that the opening of the door and the kneel processes don't happen at the same time. I remember that before they would run simultaneously, and also read
                  in the VMI manual that they should. As it is now, "one touch" of the button will open the door, but the button has to be held down to "encourage" the van to kneel, THEN again to deploy the ramp.

                  Lastly, after being under the dash yesterday, I think a wiring diagram would be really helpful. Do you know if VMI is willing to share that information, or if it is available on the net somewhere?

                  Thanks so much,
                  Guillermo Acosta
                  Last edited by acosta; 16 Aug 2016, 1:57 PM.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    you might look in the wiring loom that runs in the sliding door. its in a plastic chain looking thing. i've found broken wires in them. causes the intermittent short depending on where the loom get bent, as the door opens.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      wasn't the battery. the door contacts needed to be replaced.
                      Last edited by leschinsky; 17 Aug 2016, 8:15 PM.
                      Embrace uncertainty. Hard problems rarely have easy solutions. Jonah Lehrer

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Originally posted by acosta View Post



                        Hello lechinsky,
                        Hello everyone,


                        I came across this thread after a google search on a similar (maybe even identical problem).


                        My good friend and neighbor has a 2005 Chrysler Town & Country, with a VMI One Touch Northstar. It has an AutoZone Duralast Gold (their premium lead-acid battery) that is just a few months old. Last week she started having problems either deploying the ramp and/or starting the van (3 problems in 10 days). The problem was inconsistent: once addressed (either with a jump start or an evening with a trickle charger) everything seemed to work normal, then the problem would reappear without warning within 2-4 days.


                        I was intrigued when I read that your One Touch system requires that you hold the button down. That is what we're seeing, too. The sliding door will open with a momentary touch of the button on the console by the driver, but the button has to be held down to operate the "kneel" feature, as well as to deploy the ramp. Same thing for retracting the ramp and raising the van.


                        My question is: Did you ever get your system to work right? Was it the battery, as the shop recommended? Or did it turn out to be something else?

                        Thanks so much,
                        Guillermo Acosta





                        Hello Jim,

                        I hope you don't mind if I prod you for some technical information.

                        The last time this happened (day before yesterday) the battery was totally dead. We put the battery on the trickle charger overnight, and had it tested at AutoZone the next day. Their load tester showed the battery was healthy. None of the accessories (radio or lights) were on, but there had been a substantial current draw since it was last used (48 hours).

                        Before reinstalling the battery, I used a power supply with an ammeter to see if there was an excessive current draw. And there was. Something was drawing 30A even while the power supply was only at 3V. Yikes. My power supply is current limited, so I couldn't turn it up to 12V-- but that kind of power demand is seriously bad. I isolated this to the VMI harness, but then it went away as I continued to search for it. I've had experience with intermittents before, and they're the worst. I'm thinking that maybe a relay or switch in either the ramp or kneel motor was stuck closed-- does that sound possible?

                        After reading your comment above regarding a past problem with the kneel motor, I went out and turned off the kneel feature. It didn't make a difference. One thing I did notice, though, is that it appears that the opening of the door and the kneel processes don't happen at the same time. I remember that before they would run simultaneously, and also read
                        in the VMI manual that they should. As it is now, "one touch" of the button will open the door, but the button has to be held down to "encourage" the van to kneel, THEN again to deploy the ramp.

                        Lastly, after being under the dash yesterday, I think a wiring diagram would be really helpful. Do you know if VMI is willing to share that information, or if it is available on the net somewhere?

                        Thanks so much,
                        Guillermo Acosta

                        imho: What you need to do is find someone thats really good diagnosing electrical problems.

                        A schematic will not help you find the electrical draw.

                        Jim
                        Jim, MA, MMET
                        Bridgewater, MA

                        Comment

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