Negative Battery Cable Question | Page 2 | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Negative Battery Cable Question

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

  1. sketchman

    sketchman FEOA Member

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    Still using the "wire jumper box thing" bolted to the frame without issue. I did upsize the battery to the highest CCA rating U series(lawn tractor size) battery I could find at Wal-Mart. Starts fine now, and it's not too much bigger than the mini one I had first.
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  2. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Love the bungee cord too.
  3. sketchman

    sketchman FEOA Member

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    Oh yes, I loves me some bungees. I fabbed a bracket and welded one of these U series behind the bumper cover of my old Neon. Worked well, though I'll probably do one for the engine bay this time. Just a little easier to get to that way.

    They are great batteries for a DD. Less than half the price of a normal sized car battery, and they work just fine. There are even guys up north that use them in Neons through all seasons without issue.
  4. bm95LX

    bm95LX FEOA Member

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    View attachment 83 View attachment 82 View attachment 83 View attachment 82
    I am bumping this thread because I broke my wiring harness/connector like the one in the image. It was rusty and full of dirt and oil, when I pried it a little in an attempt to disassemble it, it literally fell apart. It has become bristled because of age and weather element.

    I'd really appreciate if someone could tell me where can I find a replacement wiring harness like that, and how do I replace it?

    Thanks!

    pictures here:
    escortbrokenharness1.jpg escortbrokenharness2.jpg
  5. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    In the photo it looks like the large gauge ground wire (with yellow stripe) broke out of that negative battery terminal - which in itself is a replacement for the original one; and that the rectangular connector that the several small gauge wires fed into came apart.
    For the large terminal still clamped to the battery - those 'replacement' type terminals are sold in any auto parts store; hanging on a hook in a bubble pack. You would just cut back the insulation on the large ground wire and clamp it into the new terminal. I much prefer the brass replacement terminals over the kind made of lead. You could also buy a regular battery ground cable 2' long and run it from one of the bolts on the bell-housing where the original ground cable runs, to connect the negative post of the battery to ground. But leave the original ground cable running between the bell-housing bolt and the body; that wire bolts to the body behind the battery. I always prefer black cables for the ground cable (negative one), and red cables if I have to replace the positive cable.
    As for the rectangular connector that came apart....That is simply a group grounding connector for the wires that went into it. I didnt find any replacements for that connector either, so I just cut the pins off, stripped the insulation back half an inch, and soldered them all together into a bundle, along with a thicker wire I added, so I would have enough length to connect the thicker wire to the bolt behind the battery. Those several wires need to be grounded, and this accomplishes grounding them all. I did this to two of my 2nd gen. Escorts, when the rectangular connector first gave me trouble.
    I had never really looked for a replacement for the rectangular connector. It isnt among the many connectors available from www.rockauto.com.

    I regard those 'replacement' battery terminals as being mainly for emergency use - because eventually the cable seems to come loose from them again. With the type made of brass, I prefer to solder the original battery cable into the brass terminal. I have done this to several cars over the last 20 years - and so far none of them have given any problem afterward. Its a fair amount of trouble to do the soldering though, since it really takes a propane torch to get the connector hot enough for the solder to flow; usually takes a soldering/cleaning flux like zinc-chloride to overcome the corrosion on the old copper wires too.
  6. 97MTracer

    97MTracer FEOA Donator

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    omg zz you have a factory batery shroud! every mechanic ive seen has thrown the shroud out when they replaced the battery.
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  7. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    I'd make the mechanic buy me a new one if they threw it out. Who the hell pays a mechanic to replace their battery?
  8. 97MTracer

    97MTracer FEOA Donator

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    well im on the hunt for a new shroud out of all the escorts we have none still have the battery shroud.
  9. Sonja Stevens

    Sonja Stevens FEOA Member

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    I have the same issue. I was going to splice the wires and reconnect it to the negtive, but what gauge wire should I use???
    My car is trying to start, but it's not turning over.
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  10. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Sonja Stevens: For those ground wires, about any size will do. They dont carry much current at all. I used #12, but #14 would be good too. On my 2nd generation Escorts there is a bolt that clamps the negative battery cable to the firewall. I used that bolt to run my extra wire to ground.
    I have also replaced the OEM battery ground cable terminal, because it looks so tiny. I got a 2' length standard black battery cable, and connected the non-battery end end to one of the bolts on the bell housing. The OEM ground cable I just left hanging behind the battery.
    If your car is trying to start, but not turning over - that isnt the fault of the several small wires connected to the black rectangular connector. But it could be just a dirty battery terminal, or one not well connected to the battery post. Also a battery not fully charged, or one that is too old. When you say it tries, but wont crank over, I take that to mean it isnt spinning around as it should with the starter turning it. And taking the battery terminals off of the battery post, and lightly sanding both the outside of the post and the inside of the battery terminal can help.

    97M tracer: I had forgotten about the battery shroud. None of mine have them; and I think only one of them showed the remains of an air duct that used to go to the shroud. I think the shrouds might have been needed in southern Arizona, if sitting in slow traffic with the a.c. blasting away. But none of mine have a working a.c. system, and I mostly dont drive in AZ in summers. !!!
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  11. bent_rod

    bent_rod FEOA Donator

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