Battery Wiring Maintenance

antennaclimber

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Having read a few threads on battery related problems, here is a little tutorial on preventing them.

Starting (and glow plug) systems require a considerable amount of current from the electrical system. All components of the system need to have clean and reliable connections from the battery post to the final connection. Any imperfection can cause the system to not function properly or intermittantly. Minor corrosion between mating conections will have a minimal impact with low current demands. With high current systems, as the current demands increase, the slightest imperfections will result in system failure and possible damage.

Here is what I recently did to the M1009 to help prevent any battery related failures.

Remove all the battery cables from the batteries.
Cover the tops of the batteries with a rag to prevent accidental shorting of the terminals and keep any acid from getting on your skin.

Remove the cover to the positive bus bar.
Remove all the nuts on the terminals that the wires connect to.
Remove the bus bar from the plastic holder.

Clean the areas of the bus bar that the terminals attach to. It is not necessary to clean between the attachment points or the back side of the bus bar.
I used a Scotch Bright pad. Excessive and aggressive cleaning will remove the plating from the copper bar.

Clean the front and back of the wire terminals, external tooth washers and nuts. I used a wire brush for this.
(I also coated my terminals with a copper conductive compound used on tower grounding systems.)

Make sure you have clean shiny terminals and bus bar connection areas.

Reattach all terminals to the bus bar and tighten all connections.
Use the external tooth washers for added electrical connection.

Be careful not to distort the terminals while tightening.

Reinstall the protective cover over the positive bus bar.

Now do the same on the negative bus bar.

Battery connections are next.
 

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antennaclimber

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Battery terminal connections are very important on all vehicles.

Just looking at the terminals for imperfections is not good enough.
Remember that it is the part of the battery connections that you can't see that is the most important.
The mating surfaces of the battery post and terminal need to be as clean and tight as possible. This will ensure a good high current capable connection.

Battery safety is very important. Batteries will deliver large amounts of current in a short period of time. In other words "Things get hot quickly".

Remember the following safety rules when working around batteries;
1. Wear eye protection, full face shield is best.
2. Disconnect and protect or cover all exposed terminals and conductors.
3. Have a source of clean water nearby to flush any acid that may come in contact with you.
4. Good air flow around the batteries and work area.
5. Treat all conductors and exposed wires as being energized.
6. Any others that I forgot.

In order to obtain a good connection, perform the following on the battery connections:
Clean the inside of the battery wire connection point.
Clean the battery post.
Clean the mating surfaces of any conductors.
Clean any connections.
Check for hidden corrosion under wire insulation and heat shrink tubing.

Tighten all connections and keep them clean and free of any corrosion. This includes the wire attachment point on the starter motor.
Karl
 

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mistaken1

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Where do you get this grease? I never heard of it. Thanks for the info!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:beer:
You can definately get it from an electrical supply house. I have never looked in the warehouse building stores like Home Depot or Lowes but they may have it. A really good hardware store may have it as well.


Sanchem NOOXID electrical grease & electrically conductive grease dielectric grease and contact lubricants

Conductive Grease and Electrical Contact Lubricant
"NO-OX-ID A-Special Electrical Grade"


NO-OX-ID "A-SPECIAL" is the electrical contact grease of choice for new electrical installations and maintenance. NO-OX-ID is an electrically conductive grease that keeps metals free from rust and corrosion. This electrically conductive grease which been used in the power industry for over 65 years to prevent corrosion in electrical connectors from low micro-power electronics to high voltage switchgear. NO-OX-ID electrical grease prevents the formation of oxides, sulfides and other corrosion deposits on copper, aluminum, and steel surfaces and conductors.
 

antennaclimber

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Just a reminder and some info for a few of the newer MV owners.

It's that time of year again to check your battery connections. Many battery related failures are preventable with some simple preventative maintenance.

Winter is coming for many of us and it's always a good idea to do some simple battery maintenance before you experience a preventable failure. This is a good thing to do not only to your MV, but to any vehicle that you may own. It's also a advisable to load test your batteries to see if they are good.
Karl
 

Warthog

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Thanks for bumping this thread. I have now bumped it to a sticky.

AC, you don't post very much but when you do, it is great. Thanks.
 

MarcusOReallyus

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Where do you get this grease? I never heard of it. Thanks for the info!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:beer:

NAPA has it, as do most auto stores. Advanced and Autozone sell it in little tiny one-use tubes, where they sell lightbulbs. Don't buy those!

They should also have it in bigger tubes or aerosol cans. I don't like the aerosol cans, because the kids like to play with them. aua

Here's one example from Advanced Auto:

Buy Permatex Dielectric Tune-Up Grease 22058 at Advance Auto Parts

Use it on all electrical connections and it will make life better. Don't just glob it on everywhere - use some common sense. For example, don't fill an ignition switch with the stuff, but a thin layer on the contacts would be good. For headlight sockets, fill 'em up! You get the idea.

It's not a CLEANER. It will KEEP things clean, but it won't clean grungy contacts. For that, use a contact cleaner.

By the way, that write up is wrong. It is NOT conductive. In fact, it's just the opposite. The word "dielectric" refers to an insulator. If it were conductive, it would be very bad news for many of its intended uses! It's just there to keep corrosion at bay. The mechanical connection of virtually all electrical connections is tight enough that, at the point of contact, the grease film is thin enough to not impair the flow of electricity.



:beer:
 
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Warthog

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The Copper Conductive grease (NoOX) and Di-electric grease are two different types of products.

The copper conductive grease IS conductive where the di-electric is not.
 

Keith_J

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The battery terminals eventually wear out. While you can get lead shims, it is best to replace. Stock terminals are either cast onto the wire or crimped, I found they can be melted off with a torch. Wrap the insulation next to the clamp with wet paper towels and heat the opposite end. Do this over a metal bucket to catch the molten lead.

Why use this method? You don't lose cable length.
 

hklvette

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Something else people don't consider on the battery terminals that apply to any vehicle with the cast lead pieces: Over time, the lead will work its way into the threads on the fully-threaded clamping bolt. After this happens, when you attempt to tighten the nut to tighten the terminal, you end up displacing lead instead of actually tightening it. What I do is remove those bolts and replace them with a partially-threaded bolt of the same diameter. I make sure that the smooth portion is just long enough to reach through the whole terminal when its tight, so that it never binds on the terminal itself. I also put a washer on each end to prevent the nut and bolt head from digging into the lead.

my $.02
 

Keith_J

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I use spray chain wax (motorcycle product) on assembled battery terminals/clamps/posts. This keeps corrosion to a minimum and less mess. It can be removed with paint thinner/solvent.
 
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