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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning to all

I have a odd problem going on. I have a 95 with 5.8 A/T. This problem is starting to get to me. Truck will start without any problems for several weeks then all of a sudden it will act as if I have a dead battery. Volt meter will show a reading of approx 13 volts at the battery. If you try to crank it the starter goes straight to ground causing master circuit breaker to trip. In power through out truck. Unhook neg cable reattach and have power to crank. I have checked the grounds and even replaced a few. The first time this happened I replaced the ground from rad shroud to frame. Truck ran like a champ for weeks. Did it again this weekend. Replaced battery cable clamps this time. Truck again running great.

Any ideas where to look if this happens again and has anyone else had this issue?
 

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Starter could have stuck engaged and spun up with engine speed. When that happens it takes the windings and expands them and they touch the case and short out. The short happens only when it stops in that special place which may take weeks to hit.
 

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Had the same problem... mine was the ground from the negative terminal to the fender. The weird braided one. Hasn't given me a problem since.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. I put the new battery cable clamps on Saturday and everything has been good. I think I had the same ground wire go bad. There was all kinds of corrosion once I pulled the clamps apart. If I hold the cable to the post starts everytime. Now I just carry the tool box with me in case it happens again. I think this week I'm just going replace both cables
 

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in order to stop corrosion and make my quick attach winch work, I cut off my old battery cables (glad I did, the insides were rusty), got out my trusty little butane torch and soldered on some lug type battery ends. Then I bought a top post conversion (about 5 bucks) that clamps on the top post but then has a wing nut to put the battery "lugs" on. I was always having to get out, open the hood, and wiggle my cables. Wasn't the same problem as you, but when I fixed mine like this it worked great. Soldering the wires into the lugs made it nearly corrosion proof, then I got some paint on electrical tape. and it's good to go. NO corrosion at all now...
 

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Do your battery cable ends look like this: http://www.hotrodwires.com/cart/images/products/BatteryCableTop1cRev-lg.jpg

If so, these ends and similar ones are meant for emergency use only. They were designed to repair a cable and get you off the road and to a garage to have the cable repaired properly. Over the years people found them a handy replacement and stores dishonestly would sell tham as a real replacement for a cable end (Maybe just didnt know better either). So now everyone thinks they are a viable solution for a cable end, which is untrue, they are not.

The issue with them is battery gas, air with moisture, dew, etc has the ability to rest on the bare copper wire of the cable. It then seeps into the wire itself, and eventually corrodes the cable and causes it to fail. The whole time before it fails completely is also hard on the battery, starter, and charging system as they have to try and over come the resistance that is being built up by the corrosion.

A proper cable will have double crimp, and heat shrink over it, totally sealing it from the air. A really good cable will have a double crimp, then soldered, and then the heat shrink. The solder should only happen after the double crimp, so it is not making the connection, but rather holding the mechanical (crimp) connection. The crimp having the lowest resistance at first. But left on its own it can loosen a little over time. So if you solder afterwards, it keeps it tight forever.

If you cannot get a crimped end installed, there are other options. Quickcable has Fusion Ends, which are preloaded with solder, so you just heat them until they slip on the cable. Another option which is better is called a Compression Fitting : http://www.quickcable.com/details.php?partno=5010 They work really well and are easy to use. Their downside is they are not cheap, some are like $10 each. But you can use them with heat shrink too, giving you a strong totally sealed connection.

Typically I have yet to see a vehicle come with proper sized wire on it, they are always just the bare minimum wire size, and cheap ends as well. Really good idea to get some bigger cables made up. Big truck stops usually have a wire department capable of doing custom cables for a decent price. Stay away from Stereo shop fancy colored wire, as it is not meant to be abused, or exposed to oil, gas, sunlight, air, higher temperatures, etc. Lots of extra money for lower quality wire. Good welding cable is fine wire, has a great insulation jacket, and isnt over priced. Just make sure it has a 105C or higher rating. Some wire is only 65C.

End of battery cable rant.... for now, LOL.
 

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If new cables dont fix your problem, very well could have a cracked negative post on the battery. Not uncommon for them to break where they met the inner plate connector inside the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
RRRAAAYYY

Thank you for the complete answer. I did buy the cheap clamp you have the link to. That is what was on it so I went with the same trying to keep it looking stock. I questioned the cables cause they just didn't seem right. Your reply answered everything for me. Guess what I'm doing tomorrow? Replacing somr cables. Thanks again
 
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