Replacing battery cables: how to do it? -
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back > Models > Jeep Cherokee & Comanche Forums > XJ Cherokee Technical Forum > Replacing battery cables: how to do it?

Rockridge 4WD IS Taking Zone Offroad Suspension Lift Kits End of Summer Sale, 20% OFF!ZONE 4.25" combo lift for TJ available at Rockridge4w

Unread 09-25-2005, 12:01 AM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA
Posts: 71
Replacing battery cables: how to do it?

I have a 1987 Jeep Cherokee, with the 4.0 liter engine, and I need to change the battery cables. The insulation is failing and they are the original ones, with 219,000 miles on them.

I have never had to do this before, so I would like to know how easy, or difficult, it is? I would also like to know if I need any special tools, special instructions, or suggestions on this task.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by adreed24; 09-29-2005 at 11:13 PM..
adreed24 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-25-2005, 12:54 AM   #2
Registered User
1992 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: , Colorado
Posts: 866
this is like one of the easiest tasks in the world. its a matter of unhooking and hooking the new ones on. Loosen the bolt on the cables and pull the ends off the battery, I assume you know how to do that, then get down and loosen the bolt that is holdin it onto the starter. Same for the other, then loosen the bolt at the block. I gotta admit, I thought this was something everyone knew

(Installation is the reverse of removal.) <------ Hey now I sound like a Haynes manual which by the way you should get one it has stuff like this in there, i mean this task is so simple, you shouldnt need instructions, just a good 10 seconds of examining how its setup
"When in doubt... Floor it"
1989 XJ 4.0L I6 - AX-15 Swap - NP231 - 4" RC - 33x13.50 MT Claws

2005 WK 4.7L 3.5" RK, 255/75R17 on Rubi Wheels
1992 YJ 4.0L 5" ProComp on 35x12.50 Trxus MT
Jeepin_XJ_101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-25-2005, 07:22 AM   #3
Web Wheeler
Join Date: May 2005
Location: GA
Posts: 5,911
Originally Posted by Jeepin_XJ_101
I gotta admit, I thought this was something everyone knew

i mean this task is so simple, you shouldnt need instructions, just a good 10 seconds of examining how its setup
When removing battery cables, it is important that the negative cable (ground) be disconnected first and reconnected last.
Apparently, not everyone knows that.
tangofox007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-25-2005, 08:52 AM   #4
Registered User
1987 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: St. Augustine Florida
Posts: 1,641
Also while you are at it, replace your alternator cable with a 4awg wire. Your charging system, and all your electronics will thank you for it......
wolfepack215 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-25-2005, 09:05 AM   #5
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 355
while you're in there you should seriously condider doing the Big 3 upgrade, it will greatly reduce light dimming and power flux and allow your charging system to better keep up with accessories, etc
copbait is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-25-2005, 09:13 AM   #6
Redefining body roll
Blake's Avatar
1996 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Spring Hill, TN
Posts: 3,839
2005 G35 Sedan
Sport Package | Mostly Stock

1999.5 Ford F250
6.8l V10 l Auto l 4WD l 4" Spring Lift | 4.30 Gears | 35" Treadwright MT/R's


Blake is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-25-2005, 11:27 AM   #7
Registered User
Join Date: May 2003
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,234
also, if you want to upgrade, but dont really feel like spending $90 to do it. You can go to places like West Marine (which happens to be walking distance away for me). Buy cut lengths of wire and terminations to fit your needs (including QD terminals). If I remember correctly, when I priced it was something like $60 plus your time (in Southern California).
'91 XJ Laredo
Rustys 3" Coils Frankenleef rears||DT3000 shocks||JKS Quicker DQ
Optima Red Top||Mixin' match 31x10.5x15|| Rusty's HD Trac Bar
isezumi00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-25-2005, 04:46 PM   #8
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 1,350
I was putting in a sub amp at the time and my dad a mechanic and electrician told me to look at the electrical stuff and upgrade my negative wire and it was then i saw it was time for me to replace my badly damaged battery cables... and dont buy replacements, its cheaper to make your own ad u can make ur own lengths to tidy up the engine room and stuff heres how:

like said before go to a place that sells terminal ends for batterys and cable. get the approriate lengths you want and terminals, you also need the proper solder, soldering flux and a torch.

measure and cut your wires for the lengths you want. that being the positive and negative wires on the battery.

strip the ends of the sheild to the bare wires and twist them a little if you want, now time to add terminal ends.

put the terminal end in a vise with the hole up and then put a little bit of solder flux in the hole,

dip the bare wire end in flux and coat it well (the flux makes solder stick way better) then light up the torch and heat the terminal end up and using your solder fill it the termanl end full of solder, using a sweeping motion back and forth over the terminal ends as you dont want melt the termal ends depending on the how hot your torch gets.

now dip the bare battery cable end you stripped, twisted and fluxed into the termail end all the way in, make sure you get the wire right to the bottom using the heat to keep the solder cool. yes the excess solder will overflow, but its better to waste a little solder than not get enuf in there.

now repeat on all ends and you are done

like said before its good to upgrade wires. on mine i left the crappy wire strap from the engine to the firewall, it will melt through when you get alot of electrical addons in there and you dont want that. so I left that there for the engine, but I did create a second battery cable really heavy to go from the negative terminal on teh battery to the chassis which will help immensly for my amps and future lights.
1990 Jeep Cherokee Laredo
Automatic Tranny
NP242 Transfer case
Dana 30 front, 35 custom rear differentials


RE 4.5" Lift
32x11.50 BFGoodRich M/T KM's
American Eagle 058 Polished Aluminum Wheels, 3.63" BS.
Grand Cherokee Rear Disc Brake setup
Custom Downpipe W/ Cat Removed.
Dynomax Super Turbo Muffler.
Surco Roof Rack

My Jeep
twisted_ed is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-26-2005, 05:25 AM   #9
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA
Posts: 1,430
Hold on, there's several places a novice can get into trouble here First, when removing battery cables from the battery the clamps must be spread appart. Loosen the bolt and use a big screw driver in the slit. If you just twist and pull it off then you risk damadging the battery posts internally. Then at the starter solenoid you can brake the plasic it's mounted in if you just honk down on the nut. Use bp blaster on the nut then hold the cable while turning the nut so you don't turn the screw the cable is mounted on while your on the nut If you know this then never mind but I see a lot of questions here from people who don't seem to know what they're doing and it's easy to make a easy job into a major project. For instance, add the price of a starter and battery to your battery cable job and see what a simple job ends up costing
Columbus, Ohio USA
2006 KJ CRD [COLOR="Blue"]Atlantic Blue Pearl Coat[/COLOR][COLOR="Black"] Limited[/COLOR]
2000 Cherokee Classic with factory 16" wheels
JoBo is offline   Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Suggested Threads

Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.