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  #1  
Old 03-13-2013, 12:40 PM
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Default Battery ground cable

Ok, so in tinkering this past weekend I noticed that the battery negative cable which appears to be connected to the block had some of the insulation melted. When I ran the engine a bit the cable got fairly hot. I have new cables and ground straps for the battery, what would you guys recommend as far as routing for ground, or why it would be heating up? does this sound like a placement issue? Any input would be welcomed.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:20 PM
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I don't think it's a placement issue as the normal spot is attached to the generator bracket. Is it the original ground wire. The originals were way too thin in my opinion. Use a good heavy duty replacement and that should fix the problem.

John
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:35 PM
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Default Not the original

Not sure why it was so hot, as the cable appears fairly heavy duty. I will see when I get it off if there is any issues lurking. I am wondering if the battery that was in the vehicle previously was incorrect or something. I just swapped batteries with one my cousin got for me (works for a battery distributor) and he also got the new cables. It may resolve with the switch, I just want to make sure I am installing it correctly (seems like it should be a straight forward swap though).
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:26 PM
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Ford spent the least amount of money possible on heavy cables. They work, but just barely.

The National Electrical Code would never allow these wire sizes in a house or garage. The first rule is, the supply must meet the damand. The second rule is, the wires must be protected by an overcurrent device (like a breaker or fuse). Well,.. it kinda works if you consider duty cycle but there is no wire protection. If you ever found a wire in your house that gets hot, it needs to be upgraded and fused properly.

So Ford ran a short #8 stranded copper wire to the nearest point on the engine to the battery. The real load is at the Starter Motor, another three feet away! So count up three feet of heavy copper wire times millions of cars. The cost savings is huge.

For proper (but not concours) and most efficient Starter Motor operation, BOTH wires should be connected at the Starter Motor because current flows much easier through copper than it does through iron. In fact, iron (by definition) is 2% carbon. Carbon is a resistor.

Pop for the few extra feet of stranded #6AWG copper wire (for 12 volts) and bolt it to the bell housing close to the Starter Motor. You will notice a healthier cranking speed, your engine will start sooner and your battery won't need to work as long. Oh, and... your wires won't get hot.

Keep your connections clean and tight, and don't let the end connector take all the strain from vibration. I use one of those empty bolt holes on side of the block to strap both wires before they terminate. That way the middle of the wires are the only places that vibrates, so leave some slack between the engine and the body.

#6 American Wire Gauge? Yep. For my 55's six volt system I use #1 welding wire. The 6 volt battery is 85amp/hour (not 55a/hr).

One last thought: Make sure your car body is grounded. Ford used a strap coming off the LH head to the firewall. New cars use a #10 from the battery (-) to the radiatior support. If you think about it, grounding at the battery is better because that wire never sees engine vibration. Hope this helps. - Dave
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:42 PM
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Can I revive a dead thread? I have a dead short, when I hook up the negative battery cable to the terminal, it smokes and there is a big spark. A test light hooked from the negative battery terminal to the negative battery cable lights up. When I disconnect the yellow wire from the solenoid to the generator, the test light goes off. The ground wire is connected to the generator bracket. Why the short?
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:07 PM
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If the short goes away when you remove the cable from the solenoid then I suspect you either have a bad generator or the wire is shorting on the generator case. There's an insulator on the generator lug. It's possible the insulation is gone and the lug or the ring terminal is touching the case.

John
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Old 10-11-2017, 02:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Leather Feather View Post
...When I disconnect the yellow wire from the solenoid to the generator, the test light goes off. The ground wire is connected to the generator bracket. Why the short?
All battery power starts at the starter solenoid if you have the original setup. Start there, disconnecting each power lead and see which one makes your 'test lamp' shine. Don't forget that the starter solenoid can also be shorted to ground. The yellow BATT wire for your charging circuit goes through your voltage regulator FIRST, before connecting to the generator.

There are three relays inside the voltage regulator. The far RH contact, right above the BATT terminal is the cutout relay. It disconnects the battery from your generator every time you turn the key off. The Cutout Relay only energizes when the generator starts producing power. So, a shorted generator is possible but it is disconnected from the battery and it will never turn on the cutout relay.

If you suspect the charging system, troubleshoot from the voltage regulator's three terminals (Batt, Armature & Field).

If you suspect components in the car body, troubleshoot from the yellow wire, starting at the starter solenoid and leading to the headlight switch (as shown in the electrical diagram). - Dave
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:51 AM
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I'm sitting here having breakfast, but I think you guys have resolved the problem. I have a wire that goes from the solenoid to the generator. That doesn't seem right, as Simplyconnected says, it should go to the voltage regulator first. That must be the problem. I will check tonight, the car is on my friends lift, he is at work. Thanks.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:41 PM
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The way the wires are run it can make it appear that it goes directly from the solenoid to the generator. They are also the same color and thickness so it can be confusing. The yellow wire that goes from the solenoid to the voltage regulator splits and goes to your horn relay so that could also be causing your short.

John
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:02 AM
Red Leather Feather Red Leather Feather is offline
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Resolved! Yes, you are right, it looks like that wire goes to the generator, it doesn't, there is another similar wire that is right there. Anyway, it was the two wires on the solenoid, they were touching the body, and, shorting.
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