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Thread: Battery terminal went south (was: Need Positive battery cable replacement)

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    Battery terminal went south (was: Need Positive battery cable replacement)

    Still messing around with the "click, click, click" problem. Took a close look at the positive cable end, where 2 other leads come off the post, the top connection seemed like it was holding on by a strand, not to mention the corrosion.

    I would be grateful if someone here could explain in detail exactly what these two small leads are and where they connect to away from the positive post. I want to replace this cable and the OEM cost is $150! That's almost half of what I paid for the van 5 yrs ago. There has to be a reasonable alternative. Thanks.

    Gary

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    Re: Need Positive battery cable replacement.

    And I forgot to mention that yellow fusible link thingy? Is crumbling apart. Should I put a 30 amp fuse in its place? Thanks again.

    Gary

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    Re: Need Positive battery cable replacement.

    I doubt the positive cable is actually available, although I would be happy to be wrong. Finding a price only means it isn't loooooong gone. I do know that the negative is definitely NLA.

    The really big wire (4ga, 56") goes straight from the battery to the starter. That's the one I would focus on in your case. It needs to be healthy and have good connections to deliver adequate power to the starter.

    The medium (12 ga) wire brings in power from the alternator. It starts out 8ga and goes through two fusible links (including "the" fusible link, located next to the battery). As long as your battery has a good charge, the van should start; also, if your battery has a good charge and the van's alternator has been doing all the charging, this line has to be OK. You can check continuity/resistance between the ring terminal at the battery and the "plus box".

    The weeny wire also comes from the alternator. I don't know what it does. I just know if it's not connected, you get instant Christmas Dash, and when it's re-connected, Christmas Dash is gone. I have put new ring terminals on the battery side of that line on several vans because it's so small it ends up hanging by a thread and/or breaking off over time. At any rate, if you have no Christmas Dash, I'd ignore it (other than crimping on a new ring terminal if you aren't liking how the wire looks coming out of the current one).

    Gwen
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    Re: Need Positive battery cable replacement.

    I've actually had success at my local big-box auto parts store for the positive battery cable. They sell multiple versions with various connectors, so you just need to make sure you get the right gauge with the correct connectors...
    1984 DLX Manual 350K
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    Administrator llamavan's Avatar
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    Re: Need Positive battery cable replacement.

    Or you can build one yourself, too, if that proves the source of the problem.

    I'd like to repeat Tim's advice in your other post on this problem


    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    If you have a helper, have him/her try to crank it while you're checking the battery voltage. If it drops to below 10v while they are trying to crank, then the battery is bad. Tim

    Just because your battery is fairly new or shows 12 volts when not under load doesn't mean you can count on it!

    ALSO: When you turn the ignition switch to "on", does the
    CHARGE dash light come on?

    Gwen
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    Re: Need Positive battery cable replacement.

    Gwen & Sky,

    Thanks very much for your replies. What sticks out in my mind was how sudden the "click" occurred! This simply didn't get worse over time, it just happened. I have an ignition switch on order. I will pursue building my own positive cable. I remember seeing a cable end piece with 2 additional leads coming out of it @ AutoZone. Anyway, I'll get this puppy running sooner or later. Thanks again,

    Gary

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    Re: Need Positive battery cable replacement.

    I finally did what I should have concentrated on doing all along! That is making sure my new battery was fully charged, i.e., 12.68 volts. I assumed that because I was getting the "click", it was the starter, then the ignition switch, then the battery cable, etc.

    Well, the van exploded to life after being dormant for almost 2 weeks. While it was idling I put my multi-meter to the battery and was surprised to get a reading of only 12.05! So apparently my battery isn't being recharged after the initial startup (14.7v). So this narrows my starting problem down greatly. While the van was running I looked closely at the dash and no lights were on (charge) included. I ordered one of those digital volt meters that use the cig plug. I would have spotted the problem a lot sooner and I certainly wouldn't have gotten myself stranded.

    So I'm guessing I have a possible voltage regulator problem or one of those little wires on the positive terminal is loose and preventing the battery from getting a charge. But then, as Gwen mentioned, wouldn't the dash light up?! I know that yellow connector is really funky and I'd like to replace it. I'm also going to take a real close look at that pesky fusible link in front of the battery bay tomorrow. I'm just glad that I'm getting close! Thanks again.

    Gary

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    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
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    Re: Need Positive battery cable replacement.

    You won't always get dash lights when your alternator fails. Even more common on a high mileage van is having the little wires on the alternator harness break inside the insulation. Depending on what wire(s) break, you may not get any warning at all. So before you condemn your alternator, check that harness. Pay particular attention to the round plug with the 3 smaller wires. Those wires tend to break right were they go inside the plug on the back of the alternator. And yes, I'd probably just replace that yellow fusible link with an in-line fuse holder. Try to get one that's sealed and insulated. Tim

    If it is that harness, Llamavan has an awesome write-up on how to replace it HERE

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    Re: Need Positive battery cable replacement.

    Hello everyone,

    I purchased a 1987 Toyota 4WD van about a week ago. It was loud at first but runs well and is smooth on the road. I had a muffler and catalytic converter installed and the exhaust is now quiet. But I cannot get it to pass the emission inspection because I have dash lights on. I have the common "Dash Christmas lights" problem. I had a leak in the return hose from the p/s reservoir to the p/s pump. I fixed that. When I purchased the van there was no p/s fluid so none was leaking. It was when I filled the reservoir that I noticed the leak. The alternator tested ok at the local auto parts store, but I bought a new one anyway. The little black box by the air intake is fried. I found another one off a 89 van at a car heaven, or purgatory, and was planning on installing it today. Then I looked at the yellow connector by the battery and found the wire severed between it and the positive battery post. So I was planning to just reconnect a wire to it and fasten it to the positive battery post. Then I thought that I had better check the black box fusible link and it is not there. I saw one on the 89 I went through yesterday so I am familiar with what it looks like and where it should be, but mine is not there. I am now afraid to connect the yellow connector to the battery and install the found 1" black box by the air intake without that black box fusible link. I have not found any pictures of the battery and the battery cables. I did cut the black box fusible link off of the 89 van but am not sure how to connect it to mine.Has anyone else had a van without that black box fusible link or does anyone have any suggestions about what my next course of action should be? The wire leading to the yellow connector is bunched with a white wire with a blue line on it. That wire was cut and then connected directly to the battery. Is that wire the one that the black box fusible link is supposed to be connected to? The other wires connecting to the positive battery terminal are a pair of yellow wires bound together. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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    Re: Need Positive battery cable replacement.

    Hello Vango and congrats on finding us! Due to all the recent questions on the subject I had decided to make a thorough post on fusible links, and your post was the one that finally motivated me to do so. My new FUSIBLE LINK post may just answer some of your questions, so take a look at it and hopefully it will help.

    A bad FL 0.5G (the yellow fusible link in the battery box) WILL cause the dash lights to come on and will also make your alternator go into a "full field" mode (maximum output all the time). This excessive & prolonged current could also explain why your "little black box by the intake" is fried. Another thing usually associated with a full fielded alternator is the smell of rotten eggs after about 15 minutes of driving. That smell is caused by your battery venting hydrogen due to being overcharged. If you were to have a friend rev your engine while you put a volt meter on your battery, you would most likely see an excess of 15v .

    If in the off chance repairing that link doesn't solve your problem, then I would suspect damage to the alternator wire harness (specifically the small white wire going to the "S" post of the round 3 conductor plug). A faulty IC regulator or an open anywhere in the "sense" circuit between the battery and the alternator could also cause this problem.

    If your van doesn't have the FL 1.25B fusible link or mounting box, then I would suspect somebody bypassed it and got rid of it. As problematic as these can be, they are certainly preferable to having your wiring (and possibly your entire van) go up in smoke. I would strongly recommend putting one back in there. Based on your post, it sounds like the FL 2.0L fusible link has been cut out and bypassed too .

    Please take care of these things ASAP (before something bad happens) and report back. Tim

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    Re: Need Positive battery cable replacement.

    Thank you very much for your reply and I am very glad to be the final catalyst to get you to post your amazing new fusible link post. The fusible link post is extremely helpful. I am not nearly as baffled by the two fusible links, and where they are, as I was before. I have spent hours trying to find the FL 2.0L fusible link only to find out that it is essentially a wire. It is a relief knowing what it is, and I am so thankful that I saved the salvaged one that I unknowingly got off of the 89 van a couple of days ago. I thought it was just a wire.

    At any rate, today I attached the FL 2.0L fusible link (6" blue wire), that I cut off the purgatory 89', to the white wire with blue stripe and attached it to the positive battery post. The white wire with the blue stripe was in the same wiring as the FL 0.5G fusible link in the yellow connector. I then connected a 12 gauge wire to the yellow connector and attached that to the positive battery post with a ring connector. I then replaced the 1" plus box with a salvaged one and reconnected the two wires within it. The Christmas lights are gone.

    I still am not sure how to rewire the salvaged main 1.25B fusible link mounting box back onto my van. BTW, I have ordered new fusible links, FL 2.0L and FL 0.5G from an online site with the original part numbers. They should be here soon, but I do not mind having used backups for emergencies. I found a Toyota parts website that takes Toyota part numbers. I do have a used 1.25B mounting box with two gray wires coming out of it but I am not sure what I should connect them to.

    I have 4 wires connected to the positive battery post; 2 yellow wires bound together, the yellow(FL 0.5G) fusible link connector with a wire and ring connector attached to the battery side, and the white wire with the blue stripe connected to the FL 2.0L fusible link (6" blue wire). From what I understand, it is this last wire , white with blue stripe, that I should connect to the 1.25 mounting box fusible link. Does this sound right?

    By the way, there has not been a rotten egg smell in the van, thankfully.
    Last edited by Vango303; 10-15-2010 at 04:34 AM.

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    Re: Need Positive battery cable replacement.

    First let me chime in and thank Tim for the super-detailed fusible link post. I can stop scratchin' my head over the "missing link" now!

    Next, Gary When I asked about whether the
    CHARGE light came on, I was referring to when the van is OFF but the ignition switch is in the ON position. If the CHARGE light is on, it indicates your battery is discharging (as well it should). But if the light is off, there could be a problem with your alternator's regulator, which in turn would mean the alternator couldn't charge up your battery. I learned this the hard way ... with a dead alternator and then (thanks to my ignorance) a dead battery on a long road trip.

    Gwen
    1985 5-speed window cargo van set up for llama haulin'; 345K ("Trustyvan")
    1989 4WD 5-speed DLX; 410K and an odd sense of humor ("Skylervan")

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  15. 10-15-2010, 01:20 PM

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    Re: Need Positive battery cable replacement.

    You really have to love the enthusiasm new van owners have with their Toys! Anyway, I'm glad Vango found the forum, which is not easy.

    Gwen, I checked as you suggested and, sure enough, the only lights on the dash are the "check engine", and the "seat belt", briefly. With the van running, no lights.

    I tested the battery while the van was at idle and I got 11.95v!

    So tomorrow, if the weather holds, I'll get under and check those 3 wires of the connector as best I can, and also pull the alternator and have it checked at my nearby O'Reilly's Auto. I pulled the voltage regulator from the original alternator (the one with the bad diode) and, hopefully it'll work in the one I'm going to pull.

    I find it incredible that my original alternator lasted over twenty years; it was so full of burnt rubber powder and dirt! It was unbelievable. Anyway, thanks to all for the great advice.

    Gary

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    Re: Need Positive battery cable replacement.

    My dear friend says, "I'm blessed!", Myself, being agnostic, feels merely "lucky!" Anyway, I pulled the alternator and swapped the IC regulators from the original alternator that I had kept and the junkyard alternator I bought 3 years ago for $18.

    I took the alternator to O'Reilly's and it passed all the tests! Installed it and started the van and, with trembling hands, took my multi-meter and tested the posts. Dah,dah!!!!! :-) My meter read 14.58V!!!!

    My lower back is killing me, and I know I'll be in deep "dodo", pain wise, in the next week or so, but it's all worth it! Thanks to Gwen and Tim and everyone else who read my post and gave it some thought and learned from it! Very cool!

    Gary

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    Re: Need Positive battery cable replacement.

    Hey that's great! The part about the van anyhow. As for the pain, don't you have some of those "old people drugs" laying around ? I'm only laughing because I'm learning about that too. I just finished putting a new roof on my house and realized I'm not 20 years old anymore (it about killed me). Fortunately I had an old prescription of percadans laying around from when I hurt my back a couple years ago . As I was walking around hunched over like an 80 year old I realized the reason why you never see old roofers. They are always 20 - 30 year old guys! . Hang in there old timer .

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    Re: Need Positive battery cable replacement.

    Excellent !!! (About the van, of course.)

    I've learned not to schedule chiropractic appointments until AFTER I've worked on the van(s) ... Usually it's my neck that I manage to screw up, but my back doesn't much like some of the things I do either. Someday I will learn to act my age ... NOT! (I spent the weekend doing back-to-back llama pack trials — without any conditioning. I be hurtin' now, but I will forget about it before the next time, just like the last time ... )

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    Re: Need Positive battery cable replacement.

    So the van passed emissions with flying colors last Friday. As I triumphantly drove west, looking at the mountains and reflecting on all the work that had gone into making the van legal, I was beaming. I pulled into the lot at the DMV, empty, amazing! I walked up to the door knowing I would be in and out. And posted on the door was a photocopied announcement that the DMV was closed for a furlough day due to the recession. I laughed and went home to figure out the next issue on the van. I had to wait for the plates until Monday. Thank you for your help.
    Last edited by Vango303; 10-25-2010 at 01:12 AM.

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    Re: Need Positive battery cable replacement.

    Hello! I am new with repairs to my 85 van I've had almost a year now --- I have done a couple small things, and was/am still hoping that this task might be pretty easy but I am having my doubts now.
    -- My battery cable split- and I am needing to replace it, but all the other connections to it have got me nervous and unsure about how simple or doable that task may be for me. I went to O'Reilly's yesterday and just got the standard replacement connectors not realizing that the positive cable wont work.. where do I start??

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