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Unread 07-24-2013, 02:28 PM   #1
jlconlin
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Options for replacing battery cables

I've been struggling with keeping corrosion from my battery terminals and cables for several years now. (I have a 97 Grand Charokee, 4.0 L engine.) I think it's time to replace the battery cables.

It seems that the cables are tied up into lots of other components; it doesn't look like it will be easy to replace the ends that connect to the battery. Can someone provide some insight on this and what I should try?

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Unread 07-24-2013, 03:13 PM   #2
sebian
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I purchased a set from Kolak that replaced the cables going from: battery to chassis ground, pdc, starter and alternator. Took me about an hour to make the swap out. Other option would be to purchase spool cable in the lenghts that you need. You may as well upgrade the cable thinkness if you go that route.
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Unread 07-24-2013, 07:59 PM   #3
ZeeJay1997
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Do you know why they are corroding?

This is usually a sign of electrolyte leakage that can be caused by over charging or some other problem in the charging system. The battery temp sensor is always a suspect.
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Unread 07-24-2013, 08:34 PM   #4
zjosh93
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I used a marine terminal and some cable ends I found at the parts store to repair my negative terminal. I was having lots of corrosion on the positive side but as soon as I cleaned up all the grounds my corrosion went away. I think it's pretty clean as well.
photo-1-.jpg

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Unread 07-25-2013, 07:00 AM   #5
jlconlin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeeJay1997
Do you know why they are corroding?

This is usually a sign of electrolyte leakage that can be caused by over charging or some other problem in the charging system. The battery temp sensor is always a suspect.
I don't know why they are corroding. I'll have to look into the battery sensor.

I just replaced the exhaust manifold. I know the battery was full discharged somewhere along the way. I left it on the charger all night (twice), but it's not keeping a charge. I get a single click when I try to start it and then I have no power to anything.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 10:52 AM   #6
JS97ZJ
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It could have started with the previous battery that was in your vehicle or the one presently in the Jeep.
The battery post will start to leak vapors were they go into the battery as the battery ages. This will start the corrosion. If the battery is good and it's the terminals themselves you can neutralize the acid with a mixture of water and baking soda. Just don't get any into the battery or you'll screw up the cells.
After it's fixed you can put this

http://www.amazon.com/989-Anti-Corro.../dp/B000CQFS0O

and some spray corrosion protector on it. I used this stuff and it's been on the terminals for the last 10 yrs.

http://www.amazon.com/NOCO-A202S-Bat...pd_sim_auto_23 They do make a smaller size.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 12:42 PM   #7
zjosh93
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I worked at a parts store for ten years and I put in my fair share of batteries. Everyone has there own way to protect terminals.

I don't like the treated washers because they seem to dry out pretty quickly and I saw plenty of batteries where the terminals had corroded right on top of the washers. Since the terminals are tapered the amount the washers spaces the terminal up means that the cable won't clamp down on the terminal as well.

Likewise the spray-on battery protectors don't really seem to me to get into the connectors and protect where they need to. At least not the way most people use it. If you sprayed the parts first then put them together it would probably work alright but most people seem to put the cables on then spray them down leaving the underside of the connection bare.

I like to clean the terminals and cable really well with a wire brush and smear this stuff all over:

http://www.amazon.com/American-Greas...erminal+grease

They sell it or stuff like it at the parts store for about a dollar. If you look at the picture I posted earlier there isn't a spec of corrosion on either terminal.

The best and easiest thing I know of to keep corrosion away is to make sure your cables are clean and tight on both ends. Next is to keep the top of the battery clean. Over time as the battery charges and discharges it outgasses a little and a thin film of acid builds up near the vents. If the acid film reaches both terminals it will create a tiny short and the terminals will corrode.

If you have corrosion now you need to get rid of ALL of it before trying to protect the metal. I used CLR to remove corrosion from my girlfriends terminals but she has a Lancer and the terminals just unbolt. I'm sure it would also work on the lead terminals but you'd have to leave a plastic container under your hood while it works and make sure to neutralized or flush away any remaining CLR.
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Unread 07-30-2013, 11:25 PM   #8
eagsc7
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Get a set of new Battery Terminals. THESE are what I use. you can pick them up at Any parts store(incl wally world). Use a set of dikes to cut the old terminals off, strip 3/8-1/2" of the rubber shielding off, then screw on and put back together.

Total time to replace ~ 15mins
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Unread 07-30-2013, 11:28 PM   #9
jlconlin
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Thanks eagsc7. I ended up doing that, but I only replaced the negative end. I was concerned that cutting the original cable wouldn't leave enough to connect the new terminal. I did have enough, but just barely. I'll have to do something more dramatic the next time—which I hope there isn't a next time.
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Unread 07-30-2013, 11:41 PM   #10
zjosh93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eagsc7 View Post
Get a set of new Battery Terminals. THESE are what I use. you can pick them up at Any parts store(incl wally world). Use a set of dikes to cut the old terminals off, strip 3/8-1/2" of the rubber shielding off, then screw on and put back together.

Total time to replace ~ 15mins
Worst possible way to replace the terminals.

1. The exposed wire corrodes like crazy.

2. You can't tighten the bolts down enough to clamp down the wire properly before the nuts pull through the cheap lead.

I sold parts for ten years and we sold those ends. I saw tons of them on cars and they were never a good solution. There were lots of times the battery was good but the clamp was not making a good enough connection to start the car. Given how sensitive the ZJ seems to be to clean power I'd stay away. Do it right or do it twice.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 04:16 AM   #11
eagsc7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zjosh93 View Post

Worst possible way to replace the terminals.

1. The exposed wire corrodes like crazy.

2. You can't tighten the bolts down enough to clamp down the wire properly before the nuts pull through the cheap lead.

I sold parts for ten years and we sold those ends. I saw tons of them on cars and they were never a good solution. There were lots of times the battery was good but the clamp was not making a good enough connection to start the car. Given how sensitive the ZJ seems to be to clean power I'd stay away. Do it right or do it twice.
I guess I'll be doing it twice. When I did them to my dads XJ, they lasted for 10 Years.

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Unread 08-01-2013, 06:21 AM   #12
ZeeJay1997
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zjosh93 View Post
1. The exposed wire corrodes like crazy.

2. You can't tighten the bolts down enough to clamp down the wire properly before the nuts pull through the cheap lead.
I have the clamp type on my negative cables. You are correct that , as sold, they do have sufficient clamping force to hold the cable tight. My solution was to drill the threads out of the clamp and use a thin headed bolt with the head down and a nut on top. Not the optimal way of doing it, but it works for those who cant shell out the money to do it right.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 04:38 PM   #13
jeeepguy
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These are the best battery terminals you can use...



These, battery terminal grease and post covers are the best solution out there.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 09:08 PM   #14
dusterdude
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Ok,dont hold out on us,where does one find those?
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Unread 08-01-2013, 11:25 PM   #15
dylantheheeler
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Those are military battery terminals,
Seen here:

http://www.prime4x4.com/shop/OffRoad...MilTerm001.htm

I just used marine terminals with cable lugs. Same concept as the military terminals, except the posts are vertical and have wing nuts.


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