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Battery Cables! #5143913 06/25/19 03:35 PM
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NYEngineer Offline OP
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In another thread I posted in Vehicle Maintenance, I said I needed a body module in my Suburban. A few guys clued me in to reflowing the solder joints and it worked. My truck is ten years old and I've been upping the maintenance on it because I still use it for family trips and I need it for a few more years.
A month or so ago, I swapped out the negative battery cable with a brand new AC Delco replacement. I noticed some of the things started to work a little better. Nothing was NOT working, just not as well as when it was new. Taking a clue from that improvement, I changed the positive cable this past weekend. I wasn't expecting what happened next. EVERYTHING started working perfectly again. The locks lock on the first command, the gas pedal feels a ton crisper, the truck runs and accelerates better.
I also cleaned the ends of the cables that go from the alternator to the body fuse and to the fuse center. I think I'm going to replace them as well.
I told my brother to get busy changing his cables on his 07. My dad has a 14 so he should be good for a while.

Re: Battery Cables! [Re: NYEngineer] #5143919 06/25/19 03:49 PM
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MasterSolenoid Offline
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Good to hear.

You may also want to check & clean the Ground Cables.
I have:
1) From fire wall to hood
2) Frame to box (pick-up)
3) Battery to frame

I have always sprayed Fluid-Film on the Ground Wires and never had a problem.

Last edited by MasterSolenoid; 06/25/19 03:50 PM.

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Re: Battery Cables! [Re: NYEngineer] #5143920 06/25/19 03:50 PM
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Kestas Offline
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I wonder if you really needed new battery cables. You could have cleaned the old ones, unless they were cracked.

The cable connection surfaces really take a beating at the battery, but a lot of people forget about the other ends of the cables. Time takes its toll on those surfaces, especially in the salt belt.

Re: Battery Cables! [Re: NYEngineer] #5143958 06/25/19 04:37 PM
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E150GT Offline
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Nothing like a fresh set of battery cables. The ones on my truck were so bad. I took em out and had them redone. Best thing I've done for that truck.


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Re: Battery Cables! [Re: Kestas] #5143968 06/25/19 04:42 PM
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maxdustington Offline
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Originally Posted by Kestas
I wonder if you really needed new battery cables. You could have cleaned the old ones, unless they were cracked.

The cable connection surfaces really take a beating at the battery, but a lot of people forget about the other ends of the cables. Time takes its toll on those surfaces, especially in the salt belt.
If you can see visible corrosion on the surface, imagine what it looks like under the insulation. Cleaning even moderately corroded battery cables seems like a fool's errand.


97 GMC RCLB K2500LD L30/4L60
99 Toyota Tercel CE 5EFE/C151
Re: Battery Cables! [Re: NYEngineer] #5143973 06/25/19 04:50 PM
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NYEngineer Offline OP
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I had cleaned the ends a couple of weeks ago. Didn't make such a profound difference.

Re: Battery Cables! [Re: NYEngineer] #5143991 06/25/19 05:12 PM
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talest Offline
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I have had a vehicle that would start, run for between 5 and 30 minutes, then just stall. Still have it. The problem is the positive battery cable connection. Finally was able to re-create that moving it, when connected to the terminal in a control test, was able to make the car from completely dead to running fine. Even turning on the headlights would kill the car.

The cable is corroded and either it or the entire cable need to be replaced, but it is now death grip tight on a new battery and the car is running OK. This separate from internal engine cleanings, oil changes, fluid exchanges, etc.

Routing of the cables and access to where they go is best left to those most familiar with their vehicle, unless it is right there and does not split and is easily accessible. Still, no argument that clean, bare metal will yield a better circuit.

Re: Battery Cables! [Re: E150GT] #5144001 06/25/19 05:24 PM
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doitmyself Offline
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Originally Posted by E150GT
Nothing like a fresh set of battery cables. The ones on my truck were so bad. I took em out and had them redone. Best thing I've done for that truck.


Yep. I've had cables that looked fine on the ends but had internal corrosion very bad and not visible under the insulation.

Re: Battery Cables! [Re: maxdustington] #5144036 06/25/19 06:32 PM
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gathermewool Offline
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Originally Posted by maxdustington
Originally Posted by Kestas
I wonder if you really needed new battery cables. You could have cleaned the old ones, unless they were cracked.

The cable connection surfaces really take a beating at the battery, but a lot of people forget about the other ends of the cables. Time takes its toll on those surfaces, especially in the salt belt.
If you can see visible corrosion on the surface, imagine what it looks like under the insulation. Cleaning even moderately corroded battery cables seems like a fool's errand.


Why would corrosion on the insulated portion of the conductor itself matter? Corrosion on mating surfaces and connections (e.g., the crimped connections) matter, because they increase resistance.


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Re: Battery Cables! [Re: NYEngineer] #5144041 06/25/19 06:42 PM
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andyd Offline
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Why would corrosion on the insulated portion of the conductor itself matter? Corrosion on mating surfaces matter, because they increase resistance Battery cables are stranded the contact between strands is just more mating surface grin2


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Re: Battery Cables! [Re: NYEngineer] #5144080 06/25/19 07:28 PM
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Trav Offline
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Some cars really need better cables especially as they age the OE Some VW, Saab (GM era), Ford F150 and Volvo (Ford era) are just a few that I have done a big 3 or 4 upgrade to.
I just did a Saab 9-3 with the black box relay on the + post, it had transmission codes, would only shift from 3 to 5, dash codes, CEL, body module codes you name it, all codes were for loss or low volts.

The fist thing I noticed was an cheap chain store battery to starter + cable, it looked thick enough but in reality it was 8GA with a thick cover, worthless junk on anything bigger than a small riding mower. Then the cheesy bolt on terminal and some melted insulation on the alternator and fuse box cable (solder was coming out of the joint on that one.

The new cables are 1/0 red and black, fine strand tinned full copper and black for the pos/neg, 2ga tinned fine strand copper (the best corrosion resistance) for the alternator and + fuse box cables and eliminated the black box (its redundant) with a heavy Volvo 3 bolt terminal pole shoe.
I used heavy tinned copper lugs hydraulic crimped then finished soldered through the "peep" hole. The result is amazing, instant starting, no codes, everything works as it should. I have had similar results with the others I have done over the years.

On Some VW I do a forth 2ga cable from the fuse box above the battery to the under dash relay fuse box. the result is no more melted fuse box and properly working gauges with no occasional drop out (also common).


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Re: Battery Cables! [Re: NYEngineer] #5144092 06/25/19 07:43 PM
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Kira Offline
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1989 Chevy K1500, 5.7l
The nascent spark and fuel controllers were separate black plastic boxes bracketed above the intake manifold powered by a 4 ga. branch from the battery + clamp.

Truck ran lousy. Raw gas pumped out the short exhaust.

Found severe corrosion where the branch split away.

New cable = problems gone.

Re: Battery Cables! [Re: NYEngineer] #5144106 06/25/19 08:00 PM
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edwardh1 Offline
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who makes toyota cables?


These products are all new every year?? They are a revolution!!! Razor blades, mens shirts, TVs, wiper blades, gutter guards, hearing aids... according to the ads. But also all new last year
Re: Battery Cables! [Re: NYEngineer] #5144116 06/25/19 08:27 PM
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wrcsixeight Offline
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The importance of electrical connections is often overlooked.

While surface corrosion on stranding wire should not appear to matter on a well crimped connection, the fact is, it does. Outside an engine compartment, wires passing a significant portion of their rating , wires with poor terminations will be Significantly hotter near the connection than several inches away.

The sensor wires on my vehicle are fed 5v. the lower the voltae the more resistace affects voltage.

When I cleaned all my sensor connections with Caig DeOxit d5, it felt like I took 500 Lbs of weight from the vehicle.

Beware of some auto parts stores battery cabls, the ring terminals are stamped steel with a hole drilled through it. Corrosion can easily wick up inside.

I had a pair of identical gauge cables in parallel, one with properly crimped tinned copper ring terminals, and the other cable was one of these stamped steel Ap stores cable. My clamp on Ammeter showed that 70% of the current chose the wire with tin coated copper ring terminals, and once I cut off the steel ends and crimped on ew connectors the wires shared the current nearly exactly 50/50.

Properly crimping wires does not include hammer crimps, or vice grips. Professional crimping tools for battery sized cables, cost north of 100$, but some hydraulic crimping tools are more than adequate for most in the 30$ range.

Those without proper tools should not attempt to crimp, and soldering such terminals properly on battery sized cables, requires skills that few have.

This joint makes customs sizerd AWG cables for as good a price as AP stores cables, but uses quality wire and terminations heatshrink, and professional tools to assemble.

http://www.genuinedealz.com/custom-cables

Most Ap store cables are SAE gauge, which is 6 to 12% thinner than AWG cables, with the same amount of reduction in current carrying capacity.


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Re: Battery Cables! [Re: MasterSolenoid] #5144350 06/26/19 06:37 AM
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Linctex Offline
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Originally Posted by MasterSolenoid

You may also want to check & clean the Ground Cables.
I have:
1) From fire wall to hood
2) Frame to box (pick-up)
3) Battery to frame


^^ THIS ^^

I have been dubbed "a miracle worker" for fixing "impossible" electrical problems on vehicles by simply adding another ground strap somewhere.


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