Negative ground wire smoked!! - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 06, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Negative ground wire smoked!!

What could cause the negative ground wire that mounts to the fender to smoke? Need some troubleshooting recommendations.

I was cranking the starter for about 5 seconds when I saw the smoke. The ground wire insulation at the small wire on the negative cable has the insulation cooked.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 06, 02:03 PM
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Re: Negative ground wire smoked!!

Is the battery ground to the block in good shape?

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 06, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Negative ground wire smoked!!

Yes. In fact I went and re cleaned it as that was my first thought. This is real strange as I haven't started the car in many months it's just been sitting. I changed the heads a while back but never started or tried to start it until today. Didn't do any elevtrical work at all??
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 06, 04:27 PM
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Re: Negative ground wire smoked!!

Key word; 'Fender' as in 'mounts to the'.
Jack, the battery ground should always be to the engine block or starter mount bolt. If you don't have enough contact area at the ground lug it'll over-heat and cause the burning you saw. But somethings changed. Your starter is taking a bigger load,,, it sounds like. As in; maybe you have more compression now?????
In any case be sure the ground is to the engine and try again. Keep us posted!!! Oops, sorry about the pun,,

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 06, 04:35 PM
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Re: Negative ground wire smoked!!

Whoa Fred, ok, Jim's turn.

The battery cable is really 2 cables. The big one to the engine block handles the starters load, or as Don pointed out, it should if the connections are clean and the cable is good.

There is also a little one to the inner fender, and it handles the rest of the car's loads, everything except the engine, which, except for the radio interference straps, is actually fully insulated from the body.

In this case, I'm with Don. You have a problem with that negative cable, and if cleaning the connections didn't help, I'd spring for a PAIR of new repro spring ring cables, the darn things actually work really well.

I also use star washers under all my ground connections, just to make sure. New paint is a really good insulator.





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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 06, 04:42 PM
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Re: Negative ground wire smoked!!

Ring terminals???! Why? My car was originally wired with side mounts. Still have them too.
Edit; OK, I missed the part about the 'small wire'. Sorry. Yep, bad cable ground and the wire will burn. I didn't think of it because my Camaro has never had that wire connected.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 06, 04:53 PM
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Re: Negative ground wire smoked!!

Im not sure where the orginal -ve earth goes to, I have mine bolted to the bottom alternator mount bolt.

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 06, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Negative ground wire smoked!!

I bet the cables now. Thanks for the heads up on that. And yes I have more compression with the new heads, probably is the big difference. The engine is fairly new so there may be some paint at the contact point that didn't clean off. I'll change out the cables tonight and use some star washers!!!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 06, 05:17 PM
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Re: Negative ground wire smoked!!

Bad/weak factory crimp on the Neg cable at the battery post side.
Get a new cable. large cable ring terminal to the block. Smaller ring terminal to the body.
Use proper sized star washers for the block and body locations.
Make sure all contacts are clean & secure.
Also make sure there are grounding straps from the frame to the body as well.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 06, 08:35 AM
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Re: Negative ground wire smoked!!

i agree!

its a bad connection between the engine block and the ned side of the batt.

at least we know this was the weakest link!

who knows? the starter my be drawing to much current and your weakest link(neg cable) smoked,
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 06, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Negative ground wire smoked!!

Yup, in the daylight I pulled off the cable and found an arc mark where it mounts to the block. Never experienced that one before. Put a new cable on with star washers and cleaned the block real good. All is fine now.
I drove it to the muffler shop with open headers....that was interesting and still don't know why the Mesa cop that pulled alongside didn't write me a ticket?
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 06, 10:52 AM
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Re: Negative ground wire smoked!!

that was interesting and still don't know why the Mesa cop that pulled alongside didn't write me a ticket?

Probably because you were acting like an adult?
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 06, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Negative ground wire smoked!!

"Probably because you were acting like an adult?"
Ha! Could be.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 06, 03:10 PM
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Re: Negative ground wire smoked!!

Speaking as a retired cop, he (or she) knew that cool cars sometimes need to do things that aren't always following the letter of the law. Kinda like Harley riders who remove the mufflers. As long as they keep it reasonable,,, well, it's Americana. Sure beats those damn rice burners! Oops! This is the Electrical thread,,,

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 06, 05:27 PM
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Re: Negative ground wire smoked!!

You would be suprised what cops have in the garage at home m8..or use to own...I have often been pulled up, flashing lights and all, just cause the cop wants to have a chat lol...

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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