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98 Sport 4wd battery discharging, codes, etc...

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by James Lloyd, January 21, 2018.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^
  1. James Lloyd

    James Lloyd New Member

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    City, State:
    New Mexico
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1998 Explorer Sport
    I inherited this Explorer from my late father. The check engine light was on all the time, I asked him about it to which he said "it's nothing, runs fine, don't worry about it". He drove it for years that way. When I started driving it the check engine light made me crazy so I started looking for the cause. Scanned codes said vacuum leak at manifold, lean bank 1 and 2. I found the egr valve was melted as were the two hoses. Replaced, codes wiped, drove a few days, popped the CEL again. Code said maf sensor. cleaned it, same code so I replaced it. A few days later another code, this time vacuum leak at manifold. I checked for leaks with starting fluid, no idle change. Finally found a vacuum leak under the air-box, a plastic line crack. fixed it, drove it, another code! Fuel pressure low. I borrowed a tester and sure enough the fuel pump was weak. Pulled the tank, replaced the whole assy. plus the fuel filter, cleared it, drove it, damn, the idle was low, engine was dying with the A/C on. Replaced the ICV, problem solved. Drove it, on comes the CEL again! Codes lean bank 1 and lean bank 2. Causes listed cover everything I have already replaced except O2 sensors and manifold gaskets. I doubt it's O2 sensors (at least $200. for all )
    Now I'm faced with actually replacing those dreaded manifold gaskets, spent quite a lot chasing these problems already.
    Sometime during all this my 4wd/2wd warning light started flashing 6 times every 30 seconds or so. The 4wd system is still working but I haven't found the reason, it's making me crazy!
    So, as I'm getting around to doing the gaskets the battery goes dead. I charge it, test it and test the alternator, both show good. Went over to A.Z. and had them test it, said all good but since the battery is 4 year old and 2 years out of warranty I bought a new one, the most expensive one with the 5 year warranty, $160 later I drove it home, noticed the battery light on the dash is flickering and the battery gauge falling towards the peg.
    This as of Friday night, I'm now wondering what to do. The dealer will most likely charge more than I can afford but short of parking it I'm running out of options and patience. I've done about everything I can do at home except the manifold gaskets but the electrical problems are a can of worms.
    I've read a lot of the forum answers. I have spent the time, spent the money, replaced the parts and still have the same problem and now more problems. What now?
     
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  3. lobo411

    lobo411 Active Member

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    I found that Autozone's alternator test was worthless. If it wasn't on fire, it passed.
     
  4. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    Changing the intake manifold gaskets/O-rings isn't that bad of a job. Couple of hours. As far as your alternator, it may be bad or it might be a wiring issue. With a VOM you can check the alternator's voltage output at the "B" terminal on the back of the alternator. You can also check it at the battery. Should be around 13-14 volts. When the BATT/CHG light comes on you're running on the battery, so something is going on with your alternator or perhaps it's connections.
     
  5. James Lloyd

    James Lloyd New Member

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    City, State:
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    1998 Explorer Sport
    The Alt tested good and 14V at the battery. Maybe the fusible link behind the Alt is an issue, I'll try to check it tomorrow. Checked connectors also but I'll use a tester next. I'm by no means an electrical guy so help will be needed...
     
  6. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    If you're seeing 14 'ish volts at the battery with the engine running (accessories/lights off) and the CHG/BATT light is coming on, that doesn't make sense. Maybe a problem with the voltage regulator or one it's wires. With the key ON 12V power flows to the CHG/BATT light and the voltage regulator provides the ground for the bulb. Once the engine is started the voltage regulator breaks the ground for the bulb and it goes off.

    The wire that goes from the light to the voltage regulator is light green with a red tracer. You may have a break or bad connection on that wire, probably at the alternator's plug.

    I tried to insert an image of the wiring diagram, but it didn't work - sorry.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: January 22, 2018






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