Battery cable smoking - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 6th, 06, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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Battery cable smoking

Just finished up some mild upgrades and clean ups. They included new stereo, cleaned up some console wiring, new valve covers, carb, fuel pump, etc. Nothing major. I always have a battery disconnect; you know the knob that you unscrew on the battery terminal. In the winter I have it disconnected. When to go fire up the baby for the first time in a month yesterday and when I screwed in the knob to connect the battery I saw some considerable smoke coming from the positive battery cable where it connects to the starter. I disconnected immediately. Then tried again. Yes the insulation is burning off. Scary!!! What if it was left connected? My starter is almost new as is ALL wiring. The starter is a premium $300 mini starter I put on this last summer with my headers. What's going on? Thx in advance.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 7th, 06, 03:40 AM
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Re: Battery cable smoking

Apparently, a pinched wire is somewhere. I'd put a test light between the disconnected battery cable and battery post.

The brillance of the bulb will show the the amount of current flowing. Once the light is in, remove fuses to find the circuit affecting the current load. The lesser the brillance, the lesser amount of current drawn. You should be able to get down to dim glow, meaning the stereo ROM & clock are drawing minimal current to run.

You have added alot of new electrical circuits. Somewhere, a supply wire is pinched. Go over each circuit added and check the wiring and its placement.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 7th, 06, 11:24 AM
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Re: Battery cable smoking

Do you mean it smokes as soon as you connect the battery with the screw, or when you try to start the car?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 7th, 06, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Battery cable smoking

Okay, spent a bit of time in the garage. First of all it is actually the negative that I engage not the positive but I don't think it makes a difference. The positive cable smokes right at the starter connection AS SOON AS I CONNECT CABLE.

I took out all fuses and no change in light intensity. Even disconnected the alternator, light still shines bright. Went back and check a few of the console, radio, etc connections I carefully made. Still nothing. Went a wiggled the positive cable that ran to the starter. A FLICKER IN THE LIGHT!!! Continue to wiggle and the light was quite dim.

So can I assume a problem at the starter connection. I will crawl under there tomorrow and give it a visual. Could it be an internal starter problem? The starter only has about 4 months of use on it!!!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 7th, 06, 09:04 PM
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Re: Battery cable smoking

If your main + lead from the battery begins to literally smoke that means its shorted to chassis ground somewhere...

Everett's troubleshooting suggestions are perfect...

Trace the main + lead to find the problem, it can't be too far upstream...
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 8th, 06, 03:57 AM
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Re: Battery cable smoking

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69rag327
Went a wiggled the positive cable that ran to the starter. A FLICKER IN THE LIGHT!!! Continue to wiggle and the light was quite dim. So can I assume a problem at the starter connection.
Maybe, the positive cable terminal at the starter solenoid bolt should have a 90* bend in it. This will clearance the cable from the heat source of the exhaust, especially if headers are installed, and prevent it from rubbing against the block.

Remember, the General provided a cable clip at the oil pan rail to hold the cable from chaffing against the block, and the cable terminal already had a bend made into it.

It could be the starter, or a loose connection on the starter and the cable shorting out to the case.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 06, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Battery cable smoking

Okay, so here is what happened. I got under there and found the battery cable actually shorting on the corner of the starter. You know how some cables have an angled clip at the end, well this was installed with the cable crimping in on the corner of the starter. I don't know if me or my mechanic did this. I guess whatever insulation may have been there finally wore through and it was basically positive battery directly to ground. SCARY. Well I took it off and straightened the clip so it is clear of any possible contact, and put layers of electrical tape over burned insulation. Lesson learned.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 06, 06:05 PM
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Wink Re: Battery cable smoking

Maybe you would want to change the cable or instead of tape, use heat shrink tubing, even two layers of it. I'm just thinking that the electrical tape is going to come off sooner or later. Wouldn't want this to happen again, especially when you are driving!

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