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THE SMELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  #1  
Old 11-08-2018, 11:20 AM
Ryan2018
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THE SMELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's one for everyone, back towards the end of the summer I drove my truck to work, I parked in my normal spot at school. When I got off work I went to the truck to get something and holy crap,,,,it smelled like bleach in my truck! I didn't know what it was, I thought that maybe I had put a towel from when me and the son had went swimming at the creek in there or something, but nothing.
Now, since then my trucks locks have quit, it keeps blowing the fuse, and now I noticed that my 4x4 switch wont light up I have the manual lock-outs,but of course if there is no power to the switch them no 4x4! There is one thing that I noticed while looking for the bleach smell,It seemed to be coming form around the glove box area. BUT! I have had an issue of the glove box light staying on, however since that day I have fixed that problem. Now the next issue is the batteries (both new) are draining while the truck isn't in use through the week, normally after sitting for 3 days and they wont start the truck. Any help would and will be greatly appreciated!!!!
 
  #2  
Old 11-08-2018, 01:18 PM
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Hey Ryan2018, check your battery fluid levels (if they are serviceable and not sealed batteries). It sounds like one or both of your batteries may have "boiled" ... maybe not enough fluid in them to begin with from the factory/retailer? ~ BugJr ~
 
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Old 11-08-2018, 01:49 PM
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But that won't cause the smell and 4x4 switch from working.
 
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:05 PM
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When a battery runs dry (boils), it really does smell funny. You say bleach ... when mine went I smelled something like natural gas ... anyway you describe it, it smells. Regarding your electrical switch issues, they may be unrelated to the smell. Or, if the voltage supplied is inconsistent, that may be affecting their ability to work properly.

I still suggest start with checking your battery fluid levels (assuming you have lead acid batteries) and make sure the top of the plates are covered with battery acid. If not, you'll need to top them up with de-ionized/distilled water. However, by my personal experience, if the smell is indeed caused by your batteries having "boiled over", then it will likely be too late to save them. Also physically check the batteries themselves and look for any bulging ... and check the battery trays for moisture which would indicate a leaking battery.

Another clue is if your batteries are not holding their charge after three days, that likely means they are either pooched, there is a parasitic draw on them or they are not getting charged up properly (alternator) when the engine is running.

Have you checked your battery levels?
 
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:51 PM
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One known cause of unexplained and seemingly unrelated abnormal electrical behavior is water intrusion into the GEM.

What do the batteries read for voltage - engine running and engine off?

I'm not sure I'd positively associate the odor with the electrical issue unless they occurred contemporaneously. While an electrical component failing could cause an unidentified odor, what we associate the smell with is as much of a wildcard as people finding hints of "saddle leather" in wine.
 
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:32 PM
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Ummmmm, it's not the batteries, my OBD reader reads 13.4-13.7 while running and 12.7 when off. Isn't there a 4x4 switch or relay behind the glove box?
 
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Old 11-09-2018, 03:13 AM
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13.4-13.7 while running, so the alternator is bad along with whatever other problems it might have.
 
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Old 11-09-2018, 06:36 AM
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Your charging system is fine Ryan.

That's the range it should be. Finding a drain is a rough job. Only thing I can offer is to start pulling fuses one by one and checking Batt voltage for the drop to stop.

Denny
 
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:27 AM
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Many people provide pertinent vehicle information in their signature line, as it helps others with getting a picture of your setup for troubleshooting purposes. Your location can be a help as well, as many an FTE member has traveled to aid someone in need of a part, tool, an extra hand, or expertise. You may find that you're the next town over from a really generous FTE member.

If you provide year, make, model, and modifications, I will look at the wiring diagrams I have (if I have them for your vehicle) to see what is on the door lock and/or ESOF circuit as well as check what might be in the vicinity of the glovebox. Also, if you provide your location, it may lend a clue to any potential environmental factors that may be to blame.

Has it had a check engine light anytime recently?
 
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Old 11-09-2018, 10:26 AM
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I am leaning towards what PRESCOTTICE said.
IF, you recently washed the truck and/or heavy rains when this started up, then I would pull the GEM to see if it is showing any signs of getting wet. That controls your accessories and is known to cause weird issues when water leaks past the windshield and right into the module.
If that checks out then I would get an ammeter and put it inline to one battery and disconnect the other. amp draw should show higher when using only 1 battery.
Then while someone watches the meter, start pulling fuses one at a time. Just pull and put it back. When you see a significant drop in amp usage, then you know which circuit is causing the draw. Will at least narrow down the problem area.
 
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by '88 E-350 View Post
13.4-13.7 while running, so the alternator is bad along with whatever other problems it might have.
Originally Posted by DieselDenny View Post
Your charging system is fine Ryan. That's the range it should be.
I'm gonna add my .02 cents tho these two opinions.

I have always had my 7.3's (5 so far) show voltage in the 13.7 - 14.2 range. If I ever went as low as 13.4/5 while driving down the road, and nothing else wrong, it usually means my alternator is heading out. However, the one time that happened and it wasn't a bad alt, I discovered the ring eye terminal on the alt had busted and wasn't maintaining 100% continuity at all times like it should.

So, while DD is correct, for me, that 13.4 is on the low end of acceptable for my own personal situation, and I would investigate it because it's not the norm for any truck I have ever owned.

But it could be for your truck.

Stewart
 
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Old 11-09-2018, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryan2018 View Post
Isn't there a 4x4 switch or relay behind the glove box?
There is on my 2002, Ford calls it the "4WD Module" but we don't know what year you have. 2002-2003 have a different electrical system than 99-01
 
  #13  
Old 11-09-2018, 05:46 PM
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While there are alot of variables in the pile.

Lighting, AC, Heat, wipers, heated or cooled seats etc..........also known good batteries. If these are effects in play, I can see a demand for an extremely high charge rate that would bring down a reading to 13.4, It's still considered a healthy source. It is in fact charging so I offer that it's not the problem we are dealing with here. Make sense?

The draw he's experiencing/you, sorry. isn't just happening while your sleeping. Something as you suspect is pulling amps while the truck is at rest or in operation. Parasites don't sleep.

That would explain your charge rate and loss of voltage.

As discussed above. The only way I've ever resolved this problem is to remove fuses one by one and have patience. I think Walleye had a sim sit with his rig a few years back and he succeeded. His was a ******* to find because he had a plow on it. IIRC.

If I do this, I don't throw the fuse back in, I rack em and pull the next so I don't light off anything with a memory that would show a drop. Your call.

One thing. I don't see the age or size batteries your running. That would also help. The other eyebrow lifter is no mention of terminal and ground maintenance. Huge factor.

That would include backing off starter bolts to the sel and cleaning and greasing. These are things you can do prior to pulling fuses.

Problems can and do happen in pairs. One action can fix them all.

Lets get back to the glove light staying on. Leave it open, and when you pull that fuse, that would be my go to first when the light goes out. See if your still dropping volts.

The 4by switch may well be in the same leg, that would explain that.

Denny
 
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Old 11-10-2018, 05:02 PM
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Old 11-12-2018, 09:15 AM
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Yea DieselDenny, the alternator is great, its also new. I just cant find the drain and I know it is tied to the 4x4 not working.The smell has left but all the issues are still there. And I know its also tied to the power lock fuse that continues to blow.
 

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