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Old 01-02-2013, 09:40 AM   #1
RHDNEAL
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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1997 outback sport
white/gray

Default Maryland newb with parasitic draw

Hello nasioc,
I am the new owner of a 1997 OBS that was converted to right hand drive(usdm firewall) and swapped with a hybrid 2.5/2.0 turbo....As of yesterday i was happier than a gazelle with night vision goggles but now i have a starting issue. Ive been driving the car with no issue for 2-3 days now everything was fine, but then it decided to leave me stranded. I get in the car dome light comes on door ajar but as soon as i turn the key i get one click and everything is dead. I can jump start the vehicle and drive it around fine but once i leave it overnight it will do the same thing over again. Battery is new alternator is producing normal voltage. I guess what im trying to say is are there any common issues with these cars that draw power, say the power locks pulling voltage or a sticking relay. While i am a mechanic by trade im just seeing if there are some things i should go for right away. Once i get home im going to check my ground wires possibly pull a few fuses and put my multimeter to use, any leads would be nice though. Thanks in advanced
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:58 AM   #2
Loyale93
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I had a '98 OBS with the same problem. However it was not swapped or anything.

Unfortunately, with electrical issues, it's really hard for the forum to diagnose. Personally, I replaced the alternator, replaced the battery, checked what grounds I could, and then it blew a spark plug out of the head (threads and all). With the various problems, I kind of called it quits and sold the thing.

Start by checking you voltage draw with the car off. If you find that there is a slight draw, start pulling fuses until you find at least the system it could be coming from. Although with the various swaps, it could be a hack job of wiring, with different systems coming off different fuses.

Best of luck though!
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:05 AM   #3
RHDNEAL
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white/gray

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Four star motorsports inc was the company that did the swap a canadian company and also andrewtech automotive has had their hands on the car. The harness work seems legit everything is soldered and shrink wrapped. You are right about electrical diagnosis over the web though, it is quite tought to solve a problem via text.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:49 AM   #4
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Remove a battery terminal with everything shut off. Put in a milliammeter and measure the current. I don't know what's acceptable for your particular car, but if you're over about 100mA, go looking for why.

Also, are you sure on the alternator? It's at about 14V when running?

Battery connections. Be sure at the battery and wherever it's connecting, but that's basic stuff.

Subarus are fairly normal. It's not like it's a Lotus, where killing a battery in 2 weeks is normal and expected.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:08 PM   #5
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Hopefully somebody made notes on the changes to the wiring. If so, and you can get your hands on them, verify the draw (see above) and then start pulling fuses. Once isolated to a particular circuit, you'll need to know what's on that circuit to go from there.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RHDNEAL View Post
Hello nasioc,
I am the new owner of a 1997 OBS that was converted to right hand drive(usdm firewall) and swapped with a hybrid 2.5/2.0 turbo....As of yesterday i was happier than a gazelle with night vision goggles but now i have a starting issue. Ive been driving the car with no issue for 2-3 days now everything was fine, but then it decided to leave me stranded. I get in the car dome light comes on door ajar but as soon as i turn the key i get one click and everything is dead. I can jump start the vehicle and drive it around fine but once i leave it overnight it will do the same thing over again. Battery is new alternator is producing normal voltage. I guess what im trying to say is are there any common issues with these cars that draw power, say the power locks pulling voltage or a sticking relay. While i am a mechanic by trade im just seeing if there are some things i should go for right away. Once i get home im going to check my ground wires possibly pull a few fuses and put my multimeter to use, any leads would be nice though. Thanks in advanced
I took auto shop in high school, but I'm not a mechanic. The first thing we were taught when diagnosing an issue like this was to put an ammeter between the battery + and the + cable. Then pull each fuse until the draw went away. You now know where the draw is...

That would have been faster than posting this. Do that, and let us know what you come up with.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:39 PM   #7
RHDNEAL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacon117 View Post
I took auto shop in high school, but I'm not a mechanic. The first thing we were taught when diagnosing an issue like this was to put an ammeter between the battery + and the + cable. Then pull each fuse until the draw went away. You now know where the draw is...

That would have been faster than posting this. Do that, and let us know what you come up with.

I left the car at home, me and my DVOM are here at work.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:41 PM   #8
RHDNEAL
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1997 outback sport
white/gray

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamBot View Post
Hopefully somebody made notes on the changes to the wiring. If so, and you can get your hands on them, verify the draw (see above) and then start pulling fuses. Once isolated to a particular circuit, you'll need to know what's on that circuit to go from there.
From what i can gather the window switches are the only thing that was really hacked up along with the jdm folding mirrors having a handful of unused wires since they never hooked them up
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:45 PM   #9
RHDNEAL
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1997 outback sport
white/gray

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack ffr1846 View Post
Remove a battery terminal with everything shut off. Put in a milliammeter and measure the current. I don't know what's acceptable for your particular car, but if you're over about 100mA, go looking for why.

Also, are you sure on the alternator? It's at about 14V when running?

Battery connections. Be sure at the battery and wherever it's connecting, but that's basic stuff.

Subarus are fairly normal. It's not like it's a Lotus, where killing a battery in 2 weeks is normal and expected.
HAHA i was a lotus tech for a short period of time, that is a battery killing sum bish voltage was 13.9-14.2 when i checked it last night
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by RHDNEAL View Post
I left the car at home, me and my DVOM are here at work.
Surfing the internet at work? Shame!
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:34 AM   #11
RHDNEAL
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white/gray

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Well i did a voltage drop test when i got home and the culprit was the negative lead on the battery the terminal clamps are those cheap advanced autoparts post clamps, covered in red and black paint and little to no surface area for that large of a guage wire. So i picked up a new wire harness that goes from the battery to both + and - and the starter and the inner fender under fuse box. Problem solved in about 5-10 minutes...PS dont use advanced auto parts battery terminals!!!!
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:34 AM   #12
RHDNEAL
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Originally Posted by Bacon117 View Post
Surfing the internet at work? Shame!
gov't job
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:25 AM   #13
Jard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RHDNEAL View Post
Well i did a voltage drop test when i got home and the culprit was the negative lead on the battery the terminal clamps are those cheap advanced autoparts post clamps, covered in red and black paint and little to no surface area for that large of a guage wire. So i picked up a new wire harness that goes from the battery to both + and - and the starter and the inner fender under fuse box. Problem solved in about 5-10 minutes...PS dont use advanced auto parts battery terminals!!!!
That was my guess since I had the same problem last winter in my GC. Glad you got it fixed, I know this car.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:03 AM   #14
RHDNEAL
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1997 outback sport
white/gray

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jard View Post
That was my guess since I had the same problem last winter in my GC. Glad you got it fixed, I know this car.
I figured someone on here has seen this car somewhere one time or another...its a cool little car but there are some gremlins; all electrical so far. The window used to roll itself down and short the relay. Rear wiper doesnt work, cig lighter, if it has power locks they dont work. small creature comforts dont function but thats how it goes sometimes. Its a fun little project for me im happy with it.
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