Spark between neg. cable & post? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 07, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
chris
 
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Location: Slaughter, LA. U.S.A.
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Angry Spark between neg. cable & post?

I have 67 camaro. I have relocated the battery to the trunk a few years back. I have converted to a one wire alternator. I keep having problems with batteries. I have switched to an optima thinking it would last longer between driving. Lately it hasen't wanted to start without a jump. I started checking all of my wiring and added more grounds. I noticed I have a spark when I hook up the neg. cable to the post. I didn't think that should happen. I started checking things and found that if I disconnect the wire I had run from the junction block to my starter (charge wire) the spark went away. When the car is running I have 14.4 or volts at the alt. and a little less at the battery. Is there anything else I should check for? Do I have the alt. hooked up right? I can't seem to get the battery to charge enough to crank the car. it just clicks at the starter. This problem is driving me crazy! HELP

67 camaro, 327/2004R<br />12bolt posi 4.10
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 07, 06:59 PM
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Jim
 
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Re: Spark between neg. cable & post?

Do you get a spark with everything off (including the dome light)? If you do, something is drawing current. What gauge wire did you run to the battery? Where is it grounded?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 07, 07:24 PM
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Jim
 
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Re: Spark between neg. cable & post?

Do you have a dedicated wire run from the battery positive post to the starter AND a dedicated wire from the battery negative to the engine ?. A lot of installs of trunk mounted batteries I've seen people ground the battery in the trunk and then at the firewall add a wire from there to the engine and sometimes it works and continues to work just fine and other times they initally don't work good or become worse later down the road. Some car's I've seen also the terminals on the wire are not done properly and may work at first but later corrode. Some installs also do not have large enough wire size to support the current draw of the starter.

As far as the spark this should not happen unless something is on and drawing power. I've heard of one wire alternators being bad and maybe try disconnecting the wire off of the back of it and see if the sparking still occurs. If it continues start checking for other things like a trunk light on, console light on, cigarette lighter pushed in, and so on. If you have a meter this would help out also. If you also have a stereo with a digital display then there will be a constant 12 volt wire to it you may try disconnected to narrow down the search.

Jim

1974 Spirit Of America Nova (being restored), 1973 Nova Custom, 1968 Chevy II (Garage Find 2012)

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 07, 09:18 PM
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Re: Spark between neg. cable & post?

pull off one of the battery cables, and hook a test light up between the cable and the battery terminal.
if the light is on, then you have a draw.
keep unhooking things until the light goes off- you have then found the source of the power draw.
i'd start at the alternator.

you don't plan sincerity.
you have to make it up on the spot.

wanna hear about 20 years ago when i was too smart to know any better?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 07, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
chris
 
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Re: Spark between neg. cable & post?

It has been a few weeks since I have messed with this. I will go out tommorow and try a few things so I can give you a better responce.

Thanks,
Chris

67 camaro, 327/2004R<br />12bolt posi 4.10
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 07, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
chris
 
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Re: Spark between neg. cable & post?

I do get a spark with everything off. I am running 1/0 ga. wire from the starter to the pos battery post through a shutoff switch in the trunk. This has been run for about 8 yrs or so. The ground is run to the frame near rear wheel area and another ground to the body in the trunk and another ground from frame to the tank strap mnt. I have frame connectors also. The grounds in the front are from the motor to frame and frame to body on drivers side. Do I need one from the starter to frame? The spark go's away as soon as I disconnect the alternator. I hooked up a test light between the neg cable and the post on bat. and light was on until I disconnect the alt. then it gos off. Does this mean the alt. is the problem? Should the alt be hot w/ the ign. off? I put a volt meter between the neg. cable and post and it was 12.2v. I know this is not right. The way I ran the alt wire is from the main harness from firewall to the alt. and from alt. to the pos on the starter to recharge battery. Am I missing something?

Thanks,
Chris

67 camaro, 327/2004R<br />12bolt posi 4.10
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 07, 04:45 PM
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Jim
 
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Re: Spark between neg. cable & post?

I think the only thing you are missing is a good alternator. If the output wire on your one wire alternator is disconnected and the test light inline off of the battery to one of the cables goes out then that is your problem.

I would look and see what it would cost to repair that one. I would think it has to be cheaper than buying a new one.

As far as the ground connections, it sounds like you have enough to get a ground from the engine/starter to the battery negative post. With it done 8 years ago and the multiple connections maybe one or more have deteriorated.
Maybe go through and check them to make sure the wire ends are still crimped solidly and the surface the connect to is clean and the nuts and bolts tight.

Jim

1974 Spirit Of America Nova (being restored), 1973 Nova Custom, 1968 Chevy II (Garage Find 2012)

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 07, 05:04 PM
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Re: Spark between neg. cable & post?

a bad ground won't cause a battery drain like you have. it will, however, prevent things from working properly.
the problem is the alternator. you've tracked it down- now figure out how to fix it.

you don't plan sincerity.
you have to make it up on the spot.

wanna hear about 20 years ago when i was too smart to know any better?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 07, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
chris
 
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Re: Spark between neg. cable & post?

Thanks for the help guys. I've been looking for an excuse to switch to a smaller case 3 wire int. reg. anyway. From what I have read this is a better alt. setup. I want a smaller case because of the way my brkt setup is w/ heads having no bolt holes. Thanks again!

Chris

67 camaro, 327/2004R<br />12bolt posi 4.10
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 07, 09:46 PM
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Jim
 
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Re: Spark between neg. cable & post?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cw67 View Post
Thanks for the help guys. I've been looking for an excuse to switch to a smaller case 3 wire int. reg. anyway. From what I have read this is a better alt. setup. I want a smaller case because of the way my brkt setup is w/ heads having no bolt holes. Thanks again!

Chris
If you are going to a different alternator and you are wanting let's say 14.4 volts at the battery (and not that the new internally regulated model wouldn't possibly give this) but you might see if they have an externally adjustable regulator in the size alternator you want.
On my 73 Nova I have the battery in the trunk and also have an older maximum 200A output at 200 degree case temperature alternator with an externally adjustable solid state regulator. Now what this does on my car is that years ago I used to compete with the stereo system and to get the maximum output from the amplifiers I was limited to 14.4 volts at the battery. I did my best to reduce the amount of voltage drops with 1/0 wire from the alternator output to the battery and another 1/0 ground from the bell housing bolt also back to the battery with soldered on terminal ends but there is always going to be some voltage drop through the wire and the connections. With the adjustable regulator I can dial in 14.4 volts right at the battery to compensate for the wire lengths and terminals being wired to the alternator on the front end of the car. I don't know if you need anything like this but it's something to chew on.

I gotta ask too what motor are you running and setup for the drives ?. I used to have an old set of 461 heads on my car and those did not have the holes in the head for the pivot bolt for the bottom of the alternator and I made up a 1/4" thick bracket that used one of the bolts on the water pump to support the bottom back portion of the alternator and it worked fine. Mine was a small block Chevrolet with the long water pump.

Jim

1974 Spirit Of America Nova (being restored), 1973 Nova Custom, 1968 Chevy II (Garage Find 2012)

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 23rd, 07, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
chris
 
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Re: Spark between neg. cable & post?

I am running a 327 with the double hump heads and a short water pump. I tried different setups in the past. The one I have now seems to be the strongest setup. I think the brkts came from Bills hotrod. One of the brkts mnts to the upper 2 bolt holes on the water pump and then the other brkts mnts to this one. (hard to explain)I plan sometime in the future to put some better heads on it. Then I can change the brkts to something more normal.
Thanks for the input.
Chris

67 camaro, 327/2004R<br />12bolt posi 4.10
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Jan 23rd, 07, 08:36 PM
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Jim
 
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Re: Spark between neg. cable & post?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cw67 View Post
I am running a 327 with the double hump heads and a short water pump. I tried different setups in the past. The one I have now seems to be the strongest setup. I think the brkts came from Bills hotrod. One of the brkts mnts to the upper 2 bolt holes on the water pump and then the other brkts mnts to this one. (hard to explain)I plan sometime in the future to put some better heads on it. Then I can change the brkts to something more normal.
Thanks for the input.
Chris

Thanks, I was just wondering. On mine with the 461 heads I had to make my own bottom rear bracket but it's also with a long water pump. Another reason I'm asking is I did a dual alternator setup on a mid 70's Impala and now another customer wants a dual set-up on his but it's in a 66 Impala AND a short water pump.

Thanks for replying back.

Jim

1974 Spirit Of America Nova (being restored), 1973 Nova Custom, 1968 Chevy II (Garage Find 2012)

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