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Negative Battery Cable Melted Terminal

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Oldpappy View Drop Down
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    Posted: 29 June 2020 at 9:35pm
Been working on a 47 CJ2A. It has been converted to 12V.

With the Ignition switch, which is a more modern switch with a start terminal, turned all the way to the right, the starter still has to be engaged by a push button switch which has been installed on the dash. I guess this was Bubba's replacement idea for the foot switch?

Anyway, this arrangement seemed to work okay, up until today when the negative cable got hot enough to melt the lead terminal and the cable just fell off.

I had wondered about, and puzzled over this push button rig, since there is a solenoid in the set up which I would think should cause the starter to engage via the igition switch rather than the push button on the dash.

Something isn't right, and electrical stuff isn't exactly my forte, so any ideas will be appreciated.

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Bruce W View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bruce W Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 June 2020 at 10:45pm
  Shocked  You have to do both, turn the key to the right AND push the button? Sounds like FUBAR to me, but of course it CAN be repaired. But I don't think it has anything to do with melting the neg cable terminal. You probably had a dirty connection between the battery post and the terminal, or corrosion inside where the cable end connects to the terminal. This causes a lot of resistance. High resistance causes heat, lots of it, especially under high load conditions, as when you're running the starter.
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Oldpappy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oldpappy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 June 2020 at 7:45am

Yes, have to turn the key all the way to the right, and then push the button on the dash. There is a wire from the starting terminal on the switch going to one side of the button switch, haven't traced the wiring going to the solenoid yet. Lot of electrical stuff on this Jeep doesn't work right now.

Looked at it some this morning before coming in to work. The cable itself is corroded inside the insulation, and I also noticed the grounding / bonding strap from engine is not even present. 

Wiring on this ole gal is a bird nest of wire, just a total mess. I have a buddy who is real good at this who will be coming over to help me re-wire the whole thing. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SE Kansas 46 CJ-2A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 June 2020 at 8:41am
Sounds like the Bubba button on the dash is wired in series with the ignition switch starter terminal. That wouldn't cause a battery cable failure though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark W. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 June 2020 at 8:52am
Easiest way to make that ignition switch problem right would be to install a 3 position ignition switch ON-OFF-ON with the Ign side run to the starter button. Thats the way mine is. Works nice. this way unlike if you removed the starter button you don't have a empty hole in the dash.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rus Curtis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 June 2020 at 10:39am
In addition to fixing the wiring/switching - so that it works as intended, do yourself a favor; replace the battery.
 
If the temperature got hot enough to melt your wire terminal, then almost certainly the negative post has also melted.  IF it's separated inside the case (that's where the outer post is connected to the plates) but still able to arc and provide electricity, that arcing can ignite the hydrogen gas that is always present. 
 
Exploding batteries can make a mess and cause injury.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oldpappy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 June 2020 at 10:52am
Good point on the battery.

I once had a battery explosion in a Ford truck, sounded like a 357 magnum went off under the hood.

A small Hydrogen Bomb under the hood is not a nice thought.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oldpappy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 July 2020 at 4:12pm
I have ordered a set of battery cables, including the grounding strap from enigine to chassis, from Custom Battery Cables. I have bought from them before for hotrods I used to fool with, always good quality stuff.

My friend can re-wire anything on wheels and does a very neat job of it, so will be waiting on him for that. 

I want to be driving this Jeep, but I want to have it as right as possible first, break downs are better in the driveway than out in the mountains. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oldpappy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 July 2020 at 1:52pm
Installed the new cables today, including a new braded grounding / bonding strap from engine stand to engine plate.

I highly recommend the cables from Custom Battery Cable, I paid the extra couple of bucks for the heavier gauge wire. These are much better cables and terminals than you can get from most stores.

http://https://www.custombatterycables.com/

This seems to have fixed the issue of the negative cable heating up, and now the headlights and tail lights work which they didn't before. 

I still need to re-wire the whole rig before I will be happy with it, but at least I can start it without melting anything, and yes I used a different battery just in case.

 



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