Cartek Isolator GT - halp! - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

Race Prep Miata race-only chat.
Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

Cartek Isolator GT - halp!

Old 01-12-2019, 10:48 PM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 155
Total Cats: 3
Default Cartek Isolator GT - halp!

Is anyone running a Cartek GT Battery Isolator? I installed one a couple weeks ago and it suddenly quit working today. I had just fired the car up in the garage to test a new MS3 firmware load (trying to fix my AFR gauge as described over here) and let it idle for a minute. Shut the car off with the main switch, and about a minute later when I tried to turn the car back on, pushing the power button caused the power to cycle on and off. I can hear the main relay click, my gauges briefly power up, and the ECU starts to power up, then everything loses power and the process repeats itself ~1-2 times per second. I tried pulling the negative battery cable to reset everything, but that didn't help and the car now just endlessly cycles power whenever I try to turn on the main switch.

Couple things I noticed when I tried to troubleshoot this:
  1. Pushing the kill switch causes the power cycling to stop, but the status LED on the power switch stays on solid (should be flashing once whenever the kill switch is pressed)
  2. If I kill power to the isolator by disconnecting the negative cable from the battery terminal, and then reconnect the negative cable, the status light on the isolator chassis (not the one on the power switch) goes on solid red. Normal operation (per the manual) is supposed to be three quick blinks when power is connected and then the LED turns off until the main power switch is turned on.
  3. Disconnecting either the kill switch or the main switch from the isolator unit does nothing to change the status LED (stays on solid)
  4. If I remove the battery isolator from the circuit and hook up the battery normally, the car starts up and runs normally.
  5. Jiggling all the relevant wires around doesn't seem to produce any change (ie. no intermittent shorts that I can find easily)
Image attached showing how I have the isolator wired up. Note that the stock ignition key is still hooked up in the car as well, which means that I have to turn on the isolator power switch, then start the car with the key (at least I did when the isolator was working).

I'm afraid I've blown this thing up already.... anyone every encounter any issues with one of these? Is the wiring on my installation correct?

Nate99 is offline  
Old 01-13-2019, 02:21 AM
  #2  
Cpt. Slow
iTrader: (25)
 
curly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon City, OR
Posts: 12,595
Total Cats: 615
Default

Only had issues with an impact. Whatís the resistance from the neg terminal to chassis with it on?

try eliminating the kill switch and see if everything works properly.
curly is offline  
Old 01-15-2019, 12:02 AM
  #3  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 155
Total Cats: 3
Default

On my DMM I measure an open when the battery is connected, whether the on/off switch is on or off. When the switch is on and it's cycling power on and off, I still measure open. Not sure if that's because it's changing faster than my DMM can detect or if it's truly an open.

By "eliminate the kill switch", I think you mean disconnect the kill switch button from the isolator. When I try that, I get no power to anything when I turn the main switch on, but interestingly, the red LED on the main switch does come on like it should.

My friend has a brand new, unused GT isolator that we are going to swap in and see if that solves the problem, but I'm afraid if there is a wiring issue, I'm going to blow that one up too. Do you see any issues with the wiring as it is now? Also, what was the problem you had with it after an impact?

Thanks!
Nate99 is offline  
Old 01-15-2019, 12:20 AM
  #4  
Cpt. Slow
iTrader: (25)
 
curly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon City, OR
Posts: 12,595
Total Cats: 615
Default

It’s a solid state relay connecting your battery ground to the chassis when activated. Resistance should be open with it off, near zero when on (less than half an ohm depending on the quality of your meter and wires). A car that was in a crash in the same corner as the kill switch had 1.1ohms and it had some electrical gremlins.

When i say eliminate it, I mean connect the battery permenately to ground, bypassing the kill switch to make sure the rest of the car works.

Your wiring looks good, as long as there’s very little resistance from the body of the cartek to the chassis.

curly is offline  
Old 01-15-2019, 10:22 AM
  #5  
Supporting Vendor
 
@StableEnergies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 97
Total Cats: 14
Default

Nate99 Morning!

We sell and use a ton of Cartek components. I had our tech Mike and owner Bob take a look at your post and give their thoughts... so here we go:

1) Make sure battery is fulled charged (assuming you did this ha)
2) Try bypassing the switches manually to activate the system by connecting the wires. What happens?
3) Bob is concerned about your connection into the fuse box. How are you connected? Which side are you tapping into? Make sure it's the power feed side.

Hope this can help a little.

Side bar: Bob felt the cable to your battery + could be a thicker gauge.
__________________

Stable Energies
Motorsport Performance & Safety Equipment
Ph (973) 773-3177
Retail Showroom - 175 Passaic St - Garfield, NJ 07026
www.StableEnergies.com
[email protected]
Find us on Facebook
@StableEnergies is offline  
Old 01-15-2019, 04:57 PM
  #6  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 155
Total Cats: 3
Default

Originally Posted by curly View Post
Itís a solid state relay connecting your battery ground to the chassis when activated. Resistance should be open with it off, near zero when on (less than half an ohm depending on the quality of your meter and wires). A car that was in a crash in the same corner as the kill switch had 1.1ohms and it had some electrical gremlins.

When i say eliminate it, I mean connect the battery permenately to ground, bypassing the kill switch to make sure the rest of the car works.

Your wiring looks good, as long as thereís very little resistance from the body of the cartek to the chassis.
OK got it. Yes I'm seeing an open circuit when the system is on, at least as far as my DMM can measure (it's not a scope, so I don't know if it's rapidly switching between an open circuit and some lower resistance). Back when the isolator was working, I did measure resistance between the bolt holding the isolator to the chassis, and I measured somewhere around 0.5-0.6 ohm, using just pointed DMM tips.

I have tried eliminating the isolator completely, and the car starts and runs normally.

Originally Posted by @StableEnergies View Post
Nate99 Morning!

We sell and use a ton of Cartek components. I had our tech Mike and owner Bob take a look at your post and give their thoughts... so here we go:

1) Make sure battery is fulled charged (assuming you did this ha)
2) Try bypassing the switches manually to activate the system by connecting the wires. What happens?
3) Bob is concerned about your connection into the fuse box. How are you connected? Which side are you tapping into? Make sure it's the power feed side.

Hope this can help a little.

Side bar: Bob felt the cable to your battery + could be a thicker gauge.
Thanks for the ideas! Battery is definitely charged - I've been keeping it on a trickle charger and I measure ~12.3 V across the terminals. I can try bypassing the switches and see what happens. I won't blow anything up doing that?

Regarding #3, I hooked it up per Cartek's instructions - see page 8 at this link. I basically cut the output wire of the ENGINE fuse and soldered it directly to the wire that runs to the "FUEL or IGN" post on the isolator. I believe that's exactly what the diagram is showing there - correct?

Side note: I've also been emailing Cartek about this, and they think that it's a bad isolator. They are overnighting me a new one, so I will swap it in and see what happens. Cartek seems like a pretty good group, props to them!
Nate99 is offline  
Old 01-15-2019, 05:37 PM
  #7  
Cpt. Slow
iTrader: (25)
 
curly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon City, OR
Posts: 12,595
Total Cats: 615
Default

Yeah you've done all the checks I would do. As long as the wires to the main and exterior buttons aren't cut or shorted, it sounds like a bad unit.
curly is offline  
Old 01-15-2019, 11:26 PM
  #8  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 155
Total Cats: 3
Default

OK thanks! I'll keep you all posted on whether the new one works.
Nate99 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
cj9694
Suspension, Brakes, Drivetrain
6
02-15-2017 04:04 PM
Rallas
Suspension, Brakes, Drivetrain
14
02-15-2012 01:56 PM
Oscar
MEGAsquirt
11
10-11-2009 02:41 PM
anarchyx34
DIY Turbo Discussion
26
02-20-2009 01:35 AM
Newbsauce
General Miata Chat
17
11-27-2006 08:01 PM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Cartek Isolator GT - halp!


Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.