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Thread: Battery dying in Rain (dying alternator and swap vr6)

  1. #1
    Moderator soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute
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    Battery dying in Rain (dying alternator and swap vr6)

    Quote Originally Posted by soundwave View Post
    stopped at grocery store on way home, in parking lot car started to idle @ 1000rpm (normal is like 600). whatever shut car off grab a few things, head home starts doing it again in underground. park shut off, go to start back up batt is dead WT Fuck
    so went to CT batt is good and buddy charged it for like 15 mins , go home vroooooom , scan it everything's fine. starts up today look at vagcom to check voltage nice 13.*v so alternator is working. drive to work all is good until :| im just about to back in and idle goes up to 1000 and as soon as im in spot dies and batt is dead again. co worker said same thing happened to his wife's car ended up being water in a relay.
    Foreign Automotive (519)894-9551 | Chopshop.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zuber Speed View Post
    ....back when I was hardcore

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute
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    that sucks

    Take out the batter and see if water is pooling under where there is the ground connection, see if the connection is all rusty or pooled in water?
    24v

  3. #3
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    mine had this issue too, turned out the alternator was on its way out....battery light on dash would come on and go off from time to time, a good whack with a wrench to the alternator fixed it for 2 months...and then 2 weeks and then a day... when it would work, it worked beautiful, but when it didn't the rpms would sit around 1000-1300 and when the bat light would turn off back to normal rpm.

    first thing i was told was my -regulator- was dying...which in turn then caused my alternator to die...
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    Veteran Member dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion's Avatar
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    when you checked the alt output was it 13v with everything on, or everything off cause it makes a difference, if you start the car , let it idle and turn on your lights, heater fan, and wipers you will get an accurate reading of what the alternator is putting out under load. it is possible that your alt is producing enough voltage to keep the car running and the battery light off but not enough to actually put more charge back into the batteryand then at higher rpms(while driving) drawing more from the battery then the alt can compensate for this would be why the rpm's go up when you stop because the car is trying to charge the battery by increasing the idle , which would normally step up alt output. hope this helps, sorry its a bit long winded
    Well, excuse me, for having ENORMOUS flaws, that i don't work on !
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  5. #5
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    yeah i turned on lights, stereo ect. and was still 13 and change. it was fine(idle) at all the lights/stop signs on the way in. even sitting in the line @ tims drive through :|
    Foreign Automotive (519)894-9551 | Chopshop.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zuber Speed View Post
    ....back when I was hardcore

  6. #6
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    Oooohhh dangerous. The last place you want your car to die is the drive through line at Tims. You could get shot over that Shiz in the morning rush.

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    the only other thing i could suggest is to do the same test with lights etc on and check the actual output at the alternator's 12v source with a mulitmeter, a strong battery could be fooling the vag com into thinking its at 13v when the battery is at 12.5 and the alt is only putting out .5 instaed of 1.5-2. 13 seems a little low to me though, when i used to rebuild alt's/starters we were usually happy if it was between 13.7 and 14. under load
    Well, excuse me, for having ENORMOUS flaws, that i don't work on !
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    ^ will do
    Foreign Automotive (519)894-9551 | Chopshop.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zuber Speed View Post
    ....back when I was hardcore

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    Veteran Member dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion's Avatar
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    i just checked autopartsway to compare(thought i might have an alt for your car at my shop) i wouldn't want to buy one from them $371 +100 core charge, for the 120amp one,hope you don't need it
    Well, excuse me, for having ENORMOUS flaws, that i don't work on !
    www.berlinklassik.ca be there !

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    :| . side note, when i put my vf mount in i cracked the main harness cover, maybe waters getting in there. right below my air filter, think water is getting in there and running down to the ground and shit there?

    Foreign Automotive (519)894-9551 | Chopshop.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zuber Speed View Post
    ....back when I was hardcore

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    Veteran Member Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute Zuber Speed has a reputation beyond repute
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    That probably has a lot to do with it man
    24v

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    well sheeeeeeeeeeet, anyone wanna buy a slow car?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zuber Speed View Post
    ....back when I was hardcore

  13. #13
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    I'll trade you for a slightly used 2000 4 door Golf GLS, plus cash on your side since my car runs fine
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    Veteran Member dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion has much to be proud of dubonic possesion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zuber Speed View Post
    That probably has a lot to do with it man
    agreed, its not helpng anything
    Well, excuse me, for having ENORMOUS flaws, that i don't work on !
    www.berlinklassik.ca be there !

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    well good thing i got uber duct tape in the car , thanks for all the input
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zuber Speed View Post
    ....back when I was hardcore

  16. #16
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    How about the serpentine belt? If its getting soaked it might be slipping. I find that's more likely to get soaked in the rain than wiring that's higher up in the engine bay.
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    Veteran Member euro.lo has much to be proud of euro.lo has much to be proud of euro.lo has much to be proud of euro.lo has much to be proud of euro.lo has much to be proud of euro.lo has much to be proud of euro.lo has much to be proud of euro.lo has much to be proud of euro.lo has much to be proud of euro.lo has much to be proud of
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundwave View Post
    well sheeeeeeeeeeet, anyone wanna buy a slow car?
    ha ha... Trade for a green GLX!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wparsons View Post
    How about the serpentine belt? If its getting soaked it might be slipping. I find that's more likely to get soaked in the rain than wiring that's higher up in the engine bay.
    maybe, no squeaks or anything

    Quote Originally Posted by stonersvr6 View Post
    ha ha... Trade for a green GLX!

    not a fan of the peanut butter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zuber Speed View Post
    ....back when I was hardcore

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    Ha ha! Peanut butter is putting it nicely....

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    went out and just started barley. did a lil rip around the back lot. guess ill rip into the grounds tonight and look see
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zuber Speed View Post
    ....back when I was hardcore

  21. #21
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    I'd check the wiper circuit too, might be something in there since they'd only be used in the rain.
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    so car barley started after work and i made it home in time for it to start revving up and die. checked everything all nice and tight, even took it all apart cleaned ect. boosted it and watched the volts drop..... guess my alt was on its way out.... although imma boost it later maybe it still is wet or something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zuber Speed View Post
    ....back when I was hardcore

  23. #23
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    oh come on ffs RawR!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by this_dubs4u
    First of all I want to thank darisd and VgRt6 for their DIY write ups that helped me get through this procedure. Some of what I will cover (and pics ) will be from their respective write ups.

    Please do these procedures at your own risk, I assume no liability and be ready to make small adjustments while doing them. Also, please be observant while removing parts so that they go back together correctly.

    You will have to remove the entire front end of the car to complete this procedure you are putting the lock carrier into service position.

    TOOLS NEEDED
    Flathead screwdriver (small, preferably smooth)
    Torx tools (T25 and T30)
    13mm, 10mm, 8mm sockets and ratchet
    Something to contain and deal with coolant, I bought a 2 gal gas can
    1/2 in clear plastic hose (Home Depot plumbing dept)
    6mm hex wrench or socket
    M8x**x1.25 pitch bolt, where ** is the length in mm (Home Depot DOES NOT carry metric bolts, so I ended up going to Ace Hardware) I have not specified a length since it varies depending on the model year/version VR6 you have but I bought 40mm and 60mm lengths (.20 ea) and ended up using the 60mm one.
    Booger hook (also referred to as pick tools)
    Pry Bar
    Wire Strippers (if upgrading charging wire)
    Wire Crimpers (if upgrading charging wire)
    Digital Multimeter (DMM)

    Required Materials
    Mechanics gloves (suggested to prevent cuts)
    Latex gloves
    G12 coolant (one gal)
    Distilled water (one gal) found at Walgreens with latex gloves
    Paper towels and/or shop rags
    and a few

    The Bentley manual indicates in an illustration and procedure in section 50 (Body-Front) that there is a special VAG tool set (3411) that allows you to place the lock carrier into service position. This tool is not necessary if you follow this procedure, but might help. I tried to get this from the stealership, but the guy says all the VAG parts/tools are made by Snap-On, so I did this procedure without the tool (basically long bolts).

    Go ahead and DISCONNECT the battery cables NOW!! or you will forget

    You will need to remove the bumper cover, I have an aftermarket one and have done this procedure plenty of times to replace bulbs, etc. If you already know how to do this skip to the next section.
    1: Remove the two lower side grilles.

    2: Remove the grille. See section 66 of the Bentley manual. First disconnect the hood release lever from the hood lock assembly. This is a plastic clip held together with a metal retainer. Move the retainer away from the lock assembly, then insert a small screwdriver into the gap and twist, then pull it towards the front of the vehicle until it is free. The grille is held in place by three plastic tabbed clips. There are two on each end of the grille at the top. Insert a small screwdriver into the gap between it and the bumper skin to unclip each of these two. The third is in the center and is easy to identify. Once it is unclipped it just pops off.

    3: Remove the bumper skin. First pop the two side marker bulbs out of the housings. There are 4 torx screws in each wheel well (turn the wheels to access them or use a torx socket), five under the grille, and one behind each of the lower side grilles. Once they are off the skin will be free. It is very light and does not pose a danger: remove it and place in a safe location.

    4: Remove the impact absorbing foam insert. It is not attached, just pull it free.

    5: Remove and unplug the headlights. The drivers side will require you to remove the plastic baffles that funnel air into the air box which are between the lock carrier and the battery box.

    6: Remove the lower sound absorption panel (4 torx screws). This is the FRP panel below the oil filter.

    7: Disconnect the plug for your hood latch sensor. This was above the passenger side headlamp for me held to the lock carrier by a wire clamp, it may be different for you.

    8: Disconnect the lower radiator hose from the radiator. Begin by opening the system up to ambient air pressure by opening the overflow tank. Drain the coolant from the drain on the lower drivers side. I attached the clear tubing to the drain nipple (red arrow) and ran the end into my gas can (less mess) and turned the knob (yellow arrow) to begin draining.



    Now disconnect the lower radiator hose (drivers side) by moving the metal clip straight up through its notches until it stops (booger hook is useful here), and then pull the hose towards the rear of the vehicle. Be VERY careful doing this: there will be coolant that was not able to drain normally inside the lower hose, and considerable force was required for me to get mine off. Do yourself a favor and wear splash resistant eye protection if you have it handy. This image has the groove that the clip slides in pointed out.



    On models with the auxiliary radiator on the passenger side, unclip (2 clips) the return hose leading to the auxiliary radiator.

    9: Remove the two screws holding the plastic lock carrier to the front quater fenders. These are right behind and above the respective headlights.

    10: Remove the four bolts holding the lock carrier to the frame rails. Expert advice: you would also be advised to mark the exact bolt locations and note how many, if any, spacer washers are where. You can mark the pocations with off-color spray paint (ie:white). WARNING: The lock carrier assembly will now not be attached to the vehicle, and only resting on the frame rail!



    11: Support the lock carrier with a floor jack, and give it a extra centimeter or so extra push upwards to free it. Do not be alarmed, the lock carrier is still held close to the car by the lock cable.

    12: Remove the lock cable. The cable is braided steel and has a metal ball on the end. Use needle nose pliers to grab the end of this cable and work it out of the gate that retains it in the lock assembly. Then remove the sleeve clip from the lock carrier.

    13: Remove the upper radiator hose. The location will be slightly different from vehicle to vehicle. It will be on the drivers side again, behind the battery. You will probably have to move the lock carrier assembly out a tad to get clean access.

    14: Unplug the radiator fans. To do this you will again have to pull the lock carrier assembly back a tad to get better access.

    15: Unplug the coolant sensor on the radiator. This is on the drivers side tucked above the radiator fan plugs. This plug was one of the most pain in the butts of the whole procedure.

    16: Now you can slowly lower the jack and lay the whole assebly to the side, use the jack to keep it propped up a bit. Be very careful with how far you move this assembly, as the AC system fittings could be damaged.



    As you can see, we now have EASY access to the alternator. Now we will begin with alternator removal. You will not only have to loosen the belt tensioner but you will have to remove it to gain access to the bolts

    You will need to remove the plastic engine cover to gain access to the tensioner.

    To remove the tension from the serpentine belt, thread a M8x**x1.25 pitch bolt into the threaded hole in the top of the tensioner unit (as indicated by the yellow arrow in the picture below) and turn using a 13mm socket or wrench until the serpentine belt is loose. ** is the length of the bolt in mm and will depend on the model year/version VR6 you have. Basically, you need a bolt that is long enough to fully remove the belt tension before the bolt head threads in completely, but is short enough to not interfere with the fuel lines overhead (red arrows in picture below). On my '00 VR6 a 60mm bolt worked fine.



    Once the belt tension has been removed, remove the tensioner unit from the engine by removing the three (3) 6mm Hex bolts indicated by the yellow arrows in the picture below (Note: On some cars, these bolts will be 13mm bolt heads instead). When the three bolts are out, slide the serpentine belt towards the passenger's side of the car and off of the tensioner pulley. You should now be able to remove the tensioner unit from the engine.



    NOTE: I recommend that you remove the M8 tension-release bolt to release the extra tension from the spring inside the tensioner. While not likely, it's possible that the spring may be damaged or deformed if it sits for too long in an over-tensioned state. If you do remove the tension, make sure to thread the M8 bolt back into the tensioner and reapply tension to the spring before reinstalling the tensioner onto the engine. If you don't, you will not be able to get the serpentine belt back onto the tensioner pulley.

    Now you will be able to see the (2) bolts holding the alternator to the engine. One at the top and one at the bottom.



    Loosen and remove the 13mm bolts. Use the pry bar to ease the alternator foward. Pop the cover off the charging lead bolt and loosen the 10mm nut to disconnect the battery wire. Unplug the sensor and loosen and remove the 8mm nut that holds the clamp in place. Now you can remove the alternator. Here is another pic of the bracket (alternator out) that holds the alternator.



    Since I have a lot of stereo equiptment I bought a 200 amp replacement alternator from HO Alternators http://www.h-o-alternators.com/index.htm It is the factory case and plug and even comes with the pulley already attached!! I also decided to "upgrade" the charging lead to the battery with a 1/0 guage wire. You can purchase the wire and connectors from your local stereo shop if you want to upgrade your wire as well. I also used a red protective sleeve from Vitek.



    Install the new alternator reversing the above steps. I had to grind the top portion of the alternator brackets to make it fit in place. Reinstall the tensioner reversing the steps used to remove it. Make sure the belt lines up in place.

    Front End Re-Assembly

    1: Attach upper radiator hose.

    2: Place the assembly on the frame rails and screw in the four 13mm bolts. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN! They are only torqued to 15 ft/lbs (20 N/m).

    3: Attach lower radiator hose.

    4: Plug the three plugs into the radiator: two fans and the sensor.

    5: Replace the hood release cable. First put the ball end throught the gates, then pull back on the housing and clip the end onto the lock frame where you pulled it off (a centimeter to the drivers side).

    6: BEFORE CONTINUING check the operation of the lock release. If you continue and have problems you will not be able to easily reach the internals of the lock, without doing something like pulling the motor from the bottom of the car, blowtorching a hole in the hood, calling your cousin Vinny who has been "fixing" locks for years, Etc. FIRST check that the release lever in the cabin is in the normal position, and pull on it to see if it is solid. Now drop the hood slowly and push to see if it wants to latch. Now pull it up a half meter and drop it. It should latch. Now check that you can release it from the cabin. All is now well.

    7: Replace the bumper externals. Foam core first, then the bumper. The bumper clips onto the fenders and rests on the lock carrier at this point. Now screw the bumper in from the front, and last get the wheel well screws.

    8: Replace the grills. For the center top grill, clip the hood catch release first, then clip the rest in the reverse as removal.

    9: Close the hood and check the fit. Everything should be lined up exactly as before. If you are not happy, feel free to remove the bumper and adjust the positioning of the four frame rail bolts, or add washers under these bolts, rinse and repeat. REMEMBER TO CHECK THE LATCH MECHANISM EACH TIME!

    10: Reattach the battery.

    11: Refill the radiator 50% water, 50% coolant. As indicated in the bentley manual, fill the reservoir and keep filling it until it hits and stays at the MAX mark. Start the car, let it run for a second or two, and stop it. Refill to the max again. Start it again and let it run until the fans come on. Now stop it and refill again if necessary. Repeat until the expansion tank is full to the max mark with the fans running. Let it cool all the way down and recheck the level (fill to the max mark).

    12: Once you are full on coolant, start the vehicle and use your DMM to verify the alternator is properly charging. With no load (A/C or heat off, lights off, stereo off) it should be reading 13.4 to 14.2 volts.

    This is the BIGGEST PITA to replace an alternator HOWEVER if you are even a little bit mechanically inclined, have some patience, and 4-6 hours this CAN be done with ease. Remember, it is just as much a PITA for the stealership mechanics, so save yourself some $$$ DIY and use the extra cash you saved for some

    Hope this will help someone
    Foreign Automotive (519)894-9551 | Chopshop.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zuber Speed View Post
    ....back when I was hardcore

  24. #24
    Veteran Member Punjabi_Dubber has a reputation beyond repute Punjabi_Dubber has a reputation beyond repute Punjabi_Dubber has a reputation beyond repute Punjabi_Dubber has a reputation beyond repute Punjabi_Dubber has a reputation beyond repute Punjabi_Dubber has a reputation beyond repute Punjabi_Dubber has a reputation beyond repute Punjabi_Dubber has a reputation beyond repute Punjabi_Dubber has a reputation beyond repute Punjabi_Dubber has a reputation beyond repute Punjabi_Dubber has a reputation beyond repute Punjabi_Dubber's Avatar
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    looks like you got some work to do. Holy shit.
    bankrupt.
    SymproCNC.com im for all your machining needs (spacers, center cap spikes etc)

  25. #25
    Moderator EMSbyDay has a reputation beyond repute EMSbyDay has a reputation beyond repute EMSbyDay has a reputation beyond repute EMSbyDay has a reputation beyond repute EMSbyDay has a reputation beyond repute EMSbyDay has a reputation beyond repute EMSbyDay has a reputation beyond repute EMSbyDay has a reputation beyond repute EMSbyDay has a reputation beyond repute EMSbyDay has a reputation beyond repute EMSbyDay has a reputation beyond repute EMSbyDay's Avatar
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    F that man, call Jason

  26. #26
    Moderator wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons's Avatar
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    All that to replace the alternator? Fawk!

    I'd want to test the alternator VERY seriously before digging into that
    Light travels faster than sound, so people may appear to be bright until you hear them speak...
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  27. #27
    Moderator soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute
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    Talked to Jason, said my batt might have a cracked plate. gunna rent a batt from CT and test it out
    Foreign Automotive (519)894-9551 | Chopshop.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zuber Speed View Post
    ....back when I was hardcore

  28. #28
    Moderator wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons has a reputation beyond repute wparsons's Avatar
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    ^^ That's MUCH easier to swap out if that is the problem! Definitely worth testing out before pulling half the front apart.
    Light travels faster than sound, so people may appear to be bright until you hear them speak...
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  29. #29
    Moderator soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute
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    picked one up at lunch, will test once i get home.
    Foreign Automotive (519)894-9551 | Chopshop.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zuber Speed View Post
    ....back when I was hardcore

  30. #30
    Moderator soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute soundwave has a reputation beyond repute
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    looks like im taking this pos apart
    Foreign Automotive (519)894-9551 | Chopshop.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zuber Speed View Post
    ....back when I was hardcore

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