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Old 10-14-2013, 04:17 PM   #1
suby6
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Ford escape electrical help please

Having similar issues in my wifes 06 escape 2.3 duratec to those in this focus thread: http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=261352

I don't appear to have a main fuse but a metal "shunt" which goes across the 2 big wires that go to the under hood fuse box. We took it out and cleaned it up as well as tried replacing fuses for things like the alt or pcm. Also swapped around relays to rule those out.

Found the ground from battery to chassis looked a bit corroded to took it of and cleaned up all ends and sanded the connection points. Still no luck. Batt light keeps coming on.

The strange thing is that if I read the voltage with a multimeter from the battery positive and ground to the engine block it shows 14+ volts while running. If I ground the multimeter to the negative batt post or its grounding cable it shows a volt or so lower. Using the odometer voltage display it seems to get the same voltage that is shown by connecting to the battery ground rather than the block. Alternator which was just replaced thinking it was the problem is indeed putting out good voltage. The battery ground looks good and has been cleaned up. What could be causing this difference in voltage output readings?
The batt negative does have 2 leads coming off it. One is to the body that I cleaned up one disappears underneath and looks like it may connect to the engine. Any suggestions what to do from here please? Somehow its losing a volt or so...


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Old 10-14-2013, 04:50 PM   #2
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Needs 14 volts at the battery MINIMUM using BOTH battery posts to read. Anything less at least on a Focus says bad diode, typically 13.6V at battery is one bad. Maybe look at battery to block ground? The regulator setpoint is supposed to be 14.5 volts. Your shunt could still be a fuse if very thin material. Intended to melt in two at overcurrent.

You could pull alt and have parts store test it for RIPPLE, to show whether all diodes are working. Need zero or very low ripple.

Buying rebuilt alts now has become a huge problem, they are often bad right out of the box. And I mean OFTEN, like 30% of them when I was selling them. It got bad enough I routinely tested new ones before sending out the door with customer just to avoid customer issues.
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:25 PM   #3
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I think I'm going to try replacing the negative batt ground. Is it strange that it appears to both the chassis and the block?
My father in law has the V6 and the batt just has one ground point.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:28 PM   #4
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ALL cars now use multiple grounds, the more the better. You MUST have separate grounds to at least engine and chassis.
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:06 AM   #5
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Looks to be a bad ground. On this engine ford has the block ground as what appears to be a stud from the block and then the ground cable between 2 bolts on the stud. Problem is it hardly makes for any surface area and where it is is prone to getting wet and corroded. Wasn't able to back the stud or first bolt out. Not even sure it can be backed out. Wondering if it would be ok to use the starter mounting bolt as a block ground point instead?

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Old 10-18-2013, 08:55 AM   #6
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Would work fine as long as the contact ring thin just like other one, you don't want to lose much thread on the ground ring, starter needs all the thread engagement it can get.

You can ground anywhere on engine as long as electrical pathway is through metal, engine block is best.
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:24 AM   #7
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Thanks. We scoured the block and couldn't find anywhere else to use as a ground point. Does that stud look like something that should back out? I think that bolt head on it in the picture may be one with the stud. Didn't want to turn. worried about breaking it off with more force but if it can back out I could put the ground wire right against the block instead of between the tiny little bolt heads.
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:35 PM   #8
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Replaced the battery and block to chassis ground as well as added another block to chassis ground. Not sure if its the new alternator (bosch remanufctured) or another issue. Am getting flickering headlights, park lights, dome, and dash lights at idle or low RPM. Voltage seems fine at 13.8 - 14.4 while above idle. At idle can dip as low as 13.5 but mostly closer to 14.
Passes drop tests and ripple tests with multimeter.
Ripple at idle fluctuates rapidly between .04 - .08.
At above idle the ripple is steady but still low.

Any ideas? Could it be the battery not acting as a capacitor very well?
Battery seems fine standing voltage and starting.

Thanks for any help. The escape forums ive found seem lacking and this site is normally good for useful responses.
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Old 11-20-2013, 02:13 PM   #9
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Your voltage measurements seem good. Radiator fans (when on) can cause up to a 1Vdc drop (mine drops about 0.8Vdc). IDK the allowable spec on ripple, but I'm guessing yours is OK (.04 - .08Vdc).

Did you have any of these new symptoms prior to your recent work? (prior to new ground cables/connections; new Bat; new Alt)

Can you get flickering park lights, dome, and dash lights WITHOUT the headlights on? Does the flickering headlights, park lights, dome, and dash lights only occur when the Radiator fans come on?

Some of your prior problems were likely caused by a bad electrical connection/ground cable (ref your quote below). Your new symptoms can also be caused by a bad electrical connection... and yes, can also be a symptom of a faulty Bat or Alt. If I was you, I'd be checking lots of connections and looking/hoping for the easy/cheap fix.

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Originally Posted by suby6 View Post
<snip>
The strange thing is that if I read the voltage with a multimeter from the battery positive and ground to the engine block it shows 14+ volts while running. If I ground the multimeter to the negative batt post or its grounding cable it shows a volt or so lower.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:08 AM   #10
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It started with the old alt not charging but after replacing it we discovered bad grounding a the cause. The original alt was likely fine. Not sure if there was any flickering before then as wasn't paying much attention and was summer so didn't really drive it much while headlights on.
Problem seems more noticeable the lower the rpm is. Only seems to affect the lighting. Car runs great.
I will try the battery from my focus in it, if that doesn't help I will have the alt swapped under warranty. Charging syst grounds all new and clean. Power wire drop tests fine.
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