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Unread 06-25-2012, 12:55 PM   #1
AKABOB
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Battery bone connected to the brake bone?

Had not driven the Jeep in a couple of weeks and the other day I go to start it. It does absolutely nothing, like the battery was gone. Not dead, but gone. Open the hood and I see this:


I looked around the Jeep to see what had happen and I noticed that the toggle switch for the winch was on the on position. I will blame my 5 year old for hitting it or bumping it. But it was on the setting to let the winch out.

I take the battery back to AutoZone and they gave me a free replacement. Put it back in the Jeep but I don't connect the winch up, because I am not sure the shape it is in. Jeep starts, everything is back to normal. Until, the next day I go to move it out of the garage and as I am taking it out of park notice that the brake pedal goes to the floor with little to no resistance. Pull it out into the driveway, I was moving it so I could get my mower out, and I have no brakes.

Is the battery problem just a red herring to me for my brake problem? I am not 100% sure that the winch is what caused the battery problem, but I am really stumped on the brake problem. There were no leaks in the garage.

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Unread 06-25-2012, 01:13 PM   #2
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If the winch shorted to ground then it could have melted a brake line under the resivour area....but you didn't see any leaks anywhere so...good question.
I would check the winch for proper operation while your playing with the brakes and disconnect it if needed.
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Unread 06-25-2012, 01:37 PM   #3
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I checked the cables on the winch but only saw some damage to them near the battery. Meaning no where else did it look burnt nor does it look like it burnt something else. I will give it a good overlook again this evening, but did not appear to drain any brake lines. I wasn't going to hook the winch back up till I have found a spring loaded toggle for the cab and maybe even another disconnect under the hood to hopefully protect against 5 year olds and switches.
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Unread 06-25-2012, 04:26 PM   #4
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Simple look at the master cyl reservoir will tell that.As far as your battery causing brake problems...it's sounds like karma Bob!!!
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Unread 06-25-2012, 04:38 PM   #5
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The front brake lines on a TJ run from one side to the other underneath the fromt bumper cover for the front sway bar. Check and make sure that your winch cable didn't mess up said tubing.
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Unread 06-26-2012, 08:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wushaw View Post
If the winch shorted to ground then it could have melted a brake line under the resivour area....but you didn't see any leaks anywhere so...good question.
I would check the winch for proper operation while your playing with the brakes and disconnect it if needed.
I know you guys are on the edge of your seats, so.....



I spoke to a few folks and showed more pictures to a couple of fellas smarter than I and it looks like you are pretty close.

The reservoir is good. Fluid above the add and below the full. But the brake lines coming out look burnt. To these other guys (other members here...GrapeApe and Hashbrown) it looks as though the winch used the brake lines for current. I burned through the frame ground and the current went looking for a path. Going to find the frame ground this evening to verify.

Looks like the Battery bone is connected to the brake bone and it also looks like I am about to learn about brakes the next "free" weekend I have.
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Unread 06-26-2012, 08:51 AM   #7
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forumrunner_20120626_095005.jpg



forumrunner_20120626_095104.jpg
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Unread 06-26-2012, 08:58 AM   #8
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And I will assume that the reason I did not see any leaks is because burnt brake fluid has the consistency of burnt coffee. There is a pile of it sitting on the frame rail below.
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Unread 06-26-2012, 09:09 AM   #9
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Holy crap! Have you had any big electrical storms lately? Did the jeep get struck by lightning?
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Unread 06-26-2012, 09:16 AM   #10
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Trip out dude. I wonder how close that whole thing could have been to a catastrophe

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Unread 06-26-2012, 09:17 AM   #11
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Your really lucky nothing went up in smoke considering that jeep was parked inside...

Glad you got it figured out!
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Unread 06-26-2012, 09:38 AM   #12
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Wow! that s crazy I've never seen a 12 volt battery to damage like that. I've seen and heard them pop or blox up but not melt brake lines.
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Unread 06-26-2012, 09:54 AM   #13
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Is the positive power cable to the winch burnt through the insulation anywhere?

I'm trying to get a clear picture of how the current went looking for ground through the brake lines. It's clear that it did, but the melted positive terminal means it should have lost power as soon as that melted, so somewhere else is probably where it lost ground and then hunted it elsewhere.

We had an ambulance with a 270 amp alternator lose the main ground and when that amperage went looking for ground, it fried every switch, solenoid, and relay in the vehicle.

I'm thinking your positive isn't the issue at this point, but the ground side is what caused the issue.

Can you tell where the leak for the brake fluid is from or was from? The lines go into the combo valve and that needs to be opened and inspected to make sure none of the moving parts are arc welded to the block. (not a proper weld because they are brass and the block is aluminum, but the arcing could stop them from moving correctly)
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Unread 06-26-2012, 10:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
Is the positive power cable to the winch burnt through the insulation anywhere?

I'm trying to get a clear picture of how the current went looking for ground through the brake lines. It's clear that it did, but the melted positive terminal means it should have lost power as soon as that melted, so somewhere else is probably where it lost ground and then hunted it elsewhere.

We had an ambulance with a 270 amp alternator lose the main ground and when that amperage went looking for ground, it fried every switch, solenoid, and relay in the vehicle.

I'm thinking your positive isn't the issue at this point, but the ground side is what caused the issue.

Can you tell where the leak for the brake fluid is from or was from? The lines go into the combo valve and that needs to be opened and inspected to make sure none of the moving parts are arc welded to the block. (not a proper weld because they are brass and the block is aluminum, but the arcing could stop them from moving correctly)
1) the only other place where the cable was burnt was about a couple of inches from the terminal where is was laying on the corner of the battery

2) The picture shown of of the battery is after I removed the cable from the terminal. It was still attached, but pulled away from it quite easily.

3) can't really tell exactly where the leak is. Right under the first picture of the brake lines is a frame rail and it has some "burnt coffee" on it. Not much, but some.

As far as fixing this one, it might be laid into the hands of a professional. I have never messed with brakes and I am not sure how far this goes. Brakes are fairly important in my book. Not sure I am up to the job.
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Unread 06-26-2012, 10:18 AM   #15
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Something else that seems odd to me:

I said it was the winch because the toggle switch was on, but it was on to let the winch out. I did not have 30' of rope laying in front of my Jeep.
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