Author Topic: Battery connection  (Read 6339 times)

Offline TexasBorderDude

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Battery connection
« on: December 03, 2013, 11:30:51 AM »
I've been fighting a balky starter since my rebuild this summer.  It is a slow crank and barely catches.  I had the starter rebuilt and much improved but still symptoms of a "tight" engine.  Then the cold weather and barely starting.  Had to jump from the house batteries after running all day, but symptoms of low/bad battery.  I disconnected the suspected bad battery and it cranked pretty freely on one (but still cold and did not start)  Only cranked about 5 sec.  Load tested the suspected battery.  It's ok.  (Both only 14 months old.... 8D's) Then looked at the presumed "good" battery that cranked it good.   Whoa!  It has obviously got a flaky connection and caused almost a meltdown.







Could this be the cause of all these symptoms all along?  Would it act like a bad cell or direct short on that battery?  Why would it crank on only this bad connection and not with both?

Thanks.
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Offline Len Silva

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Re: Battery connection
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2013, 11:43:07 AM »
Those battery terminals are notoriously bad. The only real solution is a professionally crimped compression terminal and those can be hard to find.  If available, I would pay the price for a factory replacement cable.

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Online luvrbus

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Re: Battery connection
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2013, 11:51:29 AM »
Doyle, buy some straight barrel fusion battery ends from Del City about 6 bucks each,they are preloaded just heat till the solder melts then wrap with heat shrink they will last for ever

I know about the corrosion crimp vs solder before the flames get started but the heat shrink protects it from the air,no air no corrosion in the cables

good luck  
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Offline Oonrahnjay

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Re: Battery connection
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2013, 11:57:26 AM »
... Could this be the cause of all these symptoms all along?  Would it act like a bad cell or direct short on that battery?  ...

    That's a bad connection for sure.  But you might want to check the starter - the best way to damage a good starter is to power it with a bad battery (or on a bad battery or ground connection) and the best way to damage a battery is to use it to power a bad starter.  I hope you haven't damaged your recent rebuild.

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Offline Lin

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Re: Battery connection
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2013, 12:05:51 PM »
If using those bolt on connectors, it is good to realize that the area that is in contact with the wire is just as prone to corrosion as the connection to the battery itself.  I know that I have been guilty of ignoring that and merely cleaning the battery terminals.  Even the professionally made cables can be victim to similar corrosion over enough time, but are certainly more dependable.
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Offline chessie4905

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Re: Battery connection
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2013, 02:55:03 PM »
   For the draw those starters require, I'd never use that kind of terminal. They do make a heavy duty version with double plate size and four bolts though. A cable with a factory crimped end from a name brand like Belden or.... would be the way to go. Make sure that the cables are load rated for heavy draw, and not automobile size. Been through this on Olds and Chevy diesels for several years, and they draw much less than a H.D. Diesel.
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Offline gus

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Re: Battery connection
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2013, 03:17:53 PM »
Any type of connection will cause high amp flow if corroded. Clamps are OK if kept clean and lubricated with a good corrosion preventive, I use Corrosion-X but there are a lot of other good ones

Another invisible problem is internal corrosion of batt cable strands, very common on older buses. I've had cables corroded completely from end to end, but mostly near the terminal regardless of type of terminal.

The overall problem here is running current through connections of different metals, this will always cause corrosion more or less, depending on conditions.
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Offline TexasBorderDude

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Re: Battery connection
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2013, 03:29:04 PM »
  ... They do make a heavy duty version with double plate size and four bolts though.


Thanks, the only 4 bolt type I've seen are:


>
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Offline belfert

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Re: Battery connection
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2013, 04:00:08 PM »
I've used a company called Genuine Dealz (genuinedealz.com) to make custom crimped battery cables for me.  They used to charge $4 for the labor plus their standard materials price, but I see they have a new application on their website for custom cables.  The other thing I have done is to make my own crimped battery cables with a borrowed hydraulic crimper.  The hydraulic crimper was a very high end unit and produced crimps as nice as any factory made ones.

Either way is better than a bolt-on battery terminal in most cases.
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Offline Lin

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Re: Battery connection
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2013, 04:34:23 PM »
If using the bolt on connector, it should be rated for the cable size.  A quick look online seems to show 2 bolt ones that are rated up to 4/0 cable.
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Offline LuckyChow

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Re: Battery connection
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2013, 05:41:04 PM »
TexasBorderDude,

I'm guessing your in Texas (from your handle), but for anyone located in the Atlanta area, I will crimp your lugs onto the cable just for the asking.  I usually keep an assortment of lugs and connectors for different size cable, but our local NAPA also carries many of the common size 4 - 4/0.  I have one of the long handle professional crimpers.  A few years ago I grew frustrated trying to find anyone local that could do the job and finally purchased one myself.  It's been the best investment I've made in tools. 
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Offline TexasBorderDude

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Re: Battery connection
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2013, 06:00:43 PM »
TexasBorderDude,

I'm guessing your in Texas (from your handle), but for anyone located in the Atlanta area, I will crimp your lugs onto the cable just for the asking.  I usually keep an assortment of lugs and connectors for different size cable, but our local NAPA also carries many of the common size 4 - 4/0.  I have one of the long handle professional crimpers.  A few years ago I grew frustrated trying to find anyone local that could do the job and finally purchased one myself.  It's been the best investment I've made in tools. 

LC

A very generous offer... thank you!  Yeppa, I'm in Texas and am looking to replace all the cabling back to my disconnect switches.  Will probably go with 4/0 welding cable and the fusion terminal ends with heat shrink.

I have a friend who has a  hydraulic hose crimper with all the dies and he says it's great for battery cables, but he's way across the country  :D
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Online luvrbus

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Re: Battery connection
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2013, 06:28:25 PM »
Now I feel bad Doyle as you gave it to me and now you could use it but I don't feel bad enough to give it back ::)
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Offline chessie4905

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Re: Battery connection
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2013, 07:00:14 PM »
No, that 4 bolt end is a piece of crap for our needs. I'm talking about one like this 3 way:

http://www.electerm.com/battery.html
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Offline TexasBorderDude

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Re: Battery connection
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2013, 07:11:13 AM »
Now I feel bad Doyle as you gave it to me and now you could use it but I don't feel bad enough to give it back ::)

No Clifford, it's not you, it's that other guy ;D
A curmudgeon's reputation for malevolence is undeserved. They're neither warped nor evil at heart. They don't hate mankind, just mankind's absurdities. They're just as sensitive and soft-hearted as the next guy, but they hide their vulnerability beneath a crust of misanthropy.