Negative Battery Cable Question | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Negative Battery Cable Question

Discussion in 'Tech & Repair' started by protodad, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. protodad

    protodad New Member

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    SO can anyone post a photo of what a stock negative battery cable should look like? Mine seems to have a giant growth on it that I can't believe is from the factory.

    [​IMG]
  2. ShakeZilla19

    ShakeZilla19 My name is ^^^

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    LMAO, That is a ground connection for your ecu and dash. The one on my cable melted and got all nasty, and my car would die when I hit a hard bump, so I did this to clean it up.

    [​IMG]
  3. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with the above poster. My 92 Escort (and my 91 and 94) has the same thing. On my 92 the temp gauge started reading high when the engine was running, but would read normally if the engine was stopped. It was a bad ground connection at the battery. I cut off that connector and soldered the wires together, along with a thicker wire that I ground to the body right behind the battery. I also replaced the factory ground cable, running it to the bell housing, as well as connecting the new grounding point (for the various wires from that connector) to the new negative battery cable. My temp gauge now reads properly.
    I consider that strange connector at the battery cable to be a place that is likely to cause problems; so when my 91 also had an electrical gremlins, I did the same thing on it. The gremlins were gone.
  4. protodad

    protodad New Member

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    shake: so any idea what the point of those giant plugs are? Looks like you just cut them off and went straight to the battery post.
  5. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    As far as I can guess, they allowed testing of the cluster and the computer functions, during manufacturing - when the motor and fuel system didnt have oil or gasoline yet.
  6. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    It's supposed to be there, yes from the factory. When you change the cable end, you can do it like this:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
    bm95LX likes this.
  7. ShakeZilla19

    ShakeZilla19 My name is ^^^

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    Yeah, honestly I have no clue, they could have just as easily bolted the wires to the frame. Thats pretty much all I did, cut the wires and put connectors on. All I know is I unpluged it one day and the thing pretty much fell apart and was full of corrosion. I hooked it back up and my car would only crank for a split second, then all the gauges started going backwards. 8O
  8. pstrbrc

    pstrbrc FEOA Member

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    That ugly plug allowed Ford to save $.20 on the cost of the loom and guaranteed that the trained union monkey (I spent 10 embarrassing years as a member of the UAW, so...) couldn't mess up plugging the wiring harness together. The battery terminal is wired to the underhood fuse box, and the fuse box is all wired into the car through a hole in the inner fender and then through the firewall right above the cab fusebox. But the engine wiring harness comes through the firewall front and lower center (behind the radio) and the ecu HAS to have a 100% ground, no resistance. So there is a unique plug that snaps into the battery ground, and once it's snapped in, is almost impossible to pull out. N o other plug in the wiring harness is like it, and once it's in, it can never come out. Trained monkey-proof. There are better ways to accomplish the same thing, but they require connectors that probably cost twenty cents more. The only reason you would not want to do it Shakezilla's way is if you were expecting to have to pull the engine control wiring out, and you were afraid you wouldn't be able to figure out where to hook them back up. ;)
  9. xTBEARx

    xTBEARx New Member

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    ground cable

    So I have the same thing on my escort and I'm getting a drain from those wires somewhere? I've disconnected the relay and taken the fuse out and my clamp and the testlite is showing I have a drain still? I'm stumped can anyone tell me if they have had a problem with this and how to fix it? Thanks
  10. xTBEARx

    xTBEARx New Member

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    ground cable

    So I have the same thing on my escort and I'm getting a drain from those wires somewhere? I've disconnected the relay and taken the fuse out and my clamp and the testlite is showing I have a drain still? I'm stumped can anyone tell me if they have had a problem with this and how to fix it? Thanks
  11. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Some slight drain is normal. There is memory in the PCM that keeps the 'history' for idle control, probably a few milliamps of draom; and the memory 'sustain' function of the typical modern car radio takes up another 3 to 5 milliamps. I have had a car radio that worked fine, but drew a steady 20 milliamps, which would drain the battery in 2 weeks of sitting. Then there are a couple of small lamps that draw more like 100 milliamps each. Im thinking of the small map lights in the dome light. They can get left on, and you dont see them in the daylight. The same is true for the trunk light, if the trunk latch isnt turning it off. Also, if your car has its original underhood light, you should make sure it is going out when the hood is shut. Its controlled by a mercury switch in the housing right next to the bulb.
  12. escortrio

    escortrio FEOA Donator

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    Had mine keep building up blackstuff around the ground connector & battery post to where i had to clean it off for it to even work, once a month

    I put some dielectric greese on it and it hasnt been a problem ever since. 6months so far.
  13. tjjoiner

    tjjoiner New Member

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    In an effort to resolve my wife's horn issue (it works, but not when the alarm is going off) and sudden shut-off (the car will suddenly die while driving), I removed that ground connector and replaced it with a couple of ring connectors -- one mounted on the negative post and the other to the bracket behind the driver side suspension point. I don't know if this will help either problem, but it's worth a shot.
  14. sketchman

    sketchman FEOA Member

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    Just ran into this weirdness today. Ended up bolting mine to the frame as I converted to ring terminals for my micro battery. There was already an unoccupied threaded hole like it was made for it so I used it. Hope it doesn't cause issues. It does start fine right now, though.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  15. ShakeZilla19

    ShakeZilla19 My name is ^^^

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    Dude, awsome battery. How much does that thing weigh?
  16. sketchman

    sketchman FEOA Member

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  17. sketchman

    sketchman FEOA Member

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    For whoever might have been considering the battery above, you might want to go for something a bit more robust than the one I linked. It might be because of the alarm system in my car drawing more than most that just use the battery to keep the ECM and radio alive while the car is off, but I will be installing something a bit bigger before winter is here. After sitting over night, it's a bit slow to turn over. However, after just being shut off it starts up fine. It started doing that after the new battery was installed, and the battery is functioning properly as far as I can tell. Shows 12+ volts after sitting for months before I installed it.

    Those that don't have the "Theft" system, might not have an issue with it or I may be off base with the blame. But others have used the same battery and haven't had this issue, so..... YMMV.
  18. Mikey27

    Mikey27 FEOA Member

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    That battery will actually start the car??
  19. ShakeZilla19

    ShakeZilla19 My name is ^^^

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    Nice, if I ever build a race car im dropping that in it, LOL!
  20. sketchman

    sketchman FEOA Member

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    Yep. Look above for precautions, though.

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