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Thread: special car battery required for coverted vans?

  1. #21
    Senior Member lazierdog's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

  2. #22
    Quote 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; 03-29-2015 at 11:35 PM.
    Embrace uncertainty. Hard problems rarely have easy solutions. Jonah Lehrer

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by leschinsky View Post
    ...the door will still open and ramp come out if I hold the button down the entire time.

    Quote 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.
    Quote 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



    Quote 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; 08-16-2016 at 01:57 PM.

  4. #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.

  5. #25
    wasn't the battery. the door contacts needed to be replaced.
    Last edited by leschinsky; 08-17-2016 at 08:15 PM.
    Embrace uncertainty. Hard problems rarely have easy solutions. Jonah Lehrer

  6. #26
    Quote 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

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