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Battery Cables! #5143913
06/25/19 04:35 PM
06/25/19 04:35 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,924
NY, NY
NYEngineer Online content OP
NYEngineer  Online Content OP

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,924
NY, NY
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 04:49 PM
06/25/19 04:49 PM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 535
One Step Beyond
MasterSolenoid Offline
MasterSolenoid  Offline

Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 535
One Step Beyond
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 04:50 PM.

2002 Ford Ranger
2 Wheel Drive
3.0 Liter Engine
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Four basic premises of writing:
Clarity, Brevity, Simplicity, and Humanity.
Re: Battery Cables! [Re: NYEngineer] #5143920
06/25/19 04:50 PM
06/25/19 04:50 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 13,130
The Motor City
Kestas Offline
Global Moderator
Kestas  Offline
Global Moderator

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 13,130
The Motor City
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 05:37 PM
06/25/19 05:37 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,580
San Antonio, TX
E150GT Offline
E150GT  Offline

Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,580
San Antonio, TX
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.


1984 Mercedes-Benz 300SD - 100k
1995 F150 XL 4.9 reg cab 5MT - 251k 5w30
2016 Mazda6 Touring 6MT - 68k 5w30
2006 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.8 40k 5w30
Re: Battery Cables! [Re: Kestas] #5143968
06/25/19 05:42 PM
06/25/19 05:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 3,020
VW Fanboy Island
maxdustington Offline
maxdustington  Offline

Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 3,020
VW Fanboy Island
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.


03 Jetta AWP/09A 210k kms
Edge 0W40 + Mann 719/30
Re: Battery Cables! [Re: NYEngineer] #5143973
06/25/19 05:50 PM
06/25/19 05:50 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,924
NY, NY
NYEngineer Online content OP
NYEngineer  Online Content OP

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,924
NY, NY
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 06:12 PM
06/25/19 06:12 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 477
US
talest Offline
talest  Offline

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 477
US
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 06:24 PM
06/25/19 06:24 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 6,885
MI
doitmyself Offline
doitmyself  Offline

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 6,885
MI
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 07:32 PM
06/25/19 07:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 7,179
New England
gathermewool Offline
gathermewool  Offline

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 7,179
New England
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.


'14 Forester XT FA20DIT (Cobb Stage 1)
Edge 0W-40 + FU filter (64,774 miles)
'15 Legacy FB25 (OEM Stage, uh, neg. 7?)
Magnatec 5W-20 + FU filter (47,300 miles)
Re: Battery Cables! [Re: NYEngineer] #5144041
06/25/19 07:42 PM
06/25/19 07:42 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 8,304
Marshfield , MA
andyd Offline
andyd  Offline

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 8,304
Marshfield , MA
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


'16 Camry LE STP synth 0w20 and STP filter. the Fridge

1994 Ranger ,the Rat, 5w30 dino, STP filter

'16 Camry SE, Valvoline HM 0w20 and OEM filter
Thick oil is better grin2
Re: Battery Cables! [Re: NYEngineer] #5144080
06/25/19 08:28 PM
06/25/19 08:28 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 22,008
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Trav Offline
Trav  Offline

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 22,008
MA, Mittelfranken.de
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).


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: Battery Cables! [Re: NYEngineer] #5144092
06/25/19 08:43 PM
06/25/19 08:43 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 6,550
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Kira Offline
Kira  Offline

Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 6,550
Champlain/Hudson Valley
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 09:00 PM
06/25/19 09:00 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,250
Coastal South Carolina
edwardh1 Offline
edwardh1  Offline

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,250
Coastal South Carolina
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 09:27 PM
06/25/19 09:27 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,897
california
wrcsixeight Offline
wrcsixeight  Offline

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,897
california
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.


LA 318 Roller Cam
Pennzoil Platinum 10w-30 HM
Fram ultra XG8A
Fram Ultra XG16 on remote transmission filter mount
Re: Battery Cables! [Re: MasterSolenoid] #5144350
06/26/19 07:37 AM
06/26/19 07:37 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 9,119
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline

Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 9,119
Waco, TX
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.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
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