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Q: battery goes dead after new alternater and battery drains completely on 1998 Ford E-250

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I added a new alternater and battery and van still wont stay running..battery charge indicator goes dead within a few minutes of starting then van won't start at all
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If a shop replaced it return to shop. If you replaced it read on. That system is fused by a link in the power distribution center. First, verify power to the thick wire at alternator, ( yellow or red, or black with yellow stripe). POWER? Check charging indicator, or BATT/ALT instrument lamp. If the lamp illuminates with ignition switch on, recheck your connections. NO POWER? Proceed to power distribution center, and check for blown or missing fusible link. It is a big fuze.
Was the alternator NEW or REBUILT? Lots of electrical parts that come remanufactured may not work correctly when installed. Is this the problem that you had before the replacement of battery and alternator? If yes, check electrical connections with an ohmmeter. This will show you if the connection is good (dont place connections on part of the cable, but rather the posts they are connected to)... then you can start looking into the charging circuit fuseable connections or relays (dont forget the ground connections, either!). If it is not the same problem, have the alternator and battery output tested (with engine off and again while running). Look for possible electrical drains on the system (sometimes the under-hood light will stay lit even when the hood is closed). It is a kick in the a$$ how many remanned electrical parts do not work after rehab. I had to go through 3 alternators once before I got one that worked! Just be thorough, and you will find the solution quickly.
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