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Punching above his weight
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Discussion Starter #1
I've been wanting to replace the starter-battery cable on my van for a while. Probably about twice a year on damp days it's kind of a jerk about starting after you drive it for a little. Weird, I don't know. Whatever. You can solve it by disconnecting the terminals and cleaning them off with a wire brush, which just takes a minute, but is annoying and makes you look like kind of an idiot if you're in the parking lot of the coffee spot in front of a bunch of other cops and contractors.
"No thanks, I'm fine. No, it's not the cap and rotor."

So finally today I got time to replace it. Warm day, sunny, nothing but shop work on the horizon this week and next. Let's party.
Took the cable off, which involved my neck straining and hand grime.
Turns out, the 96" side post 2 gauge cable is like a damn unicorn!
Dealship discontinued it and nobody else carries anything larger than 78". I could get it made at one of the big box auto places but it'd be in 4 gauge, which is smaller than the OEM's.
Amazon to the rescue, but it's not getting here until Friday. Well dang.
Hoping I've got everything I need for this project on site, of that whatever I don't have can fit in an Impala.

There's probably a lesson to be learned here. Not sure what it is, but there probably is one.
 

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Maybe it would have been better to just replace the cable ends, dab a little bit of dielectric grease on the terminals, and get a new battery from Costco.
 

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Just got a new battery. My post clamps are shot too.

I'm going to get the heavier style clamps with 2 ga but only need 12"-15" leads.

Gonna pigtail old with new --- tape the coupling up --- leave the rest spooled up in the engine compartment.
 

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Punching above his weight
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9,194 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Maybe it would have been better to just replace the cable ends, dab a little bit of dielectric grease on the terminals, and get a new battery from Costco.
I've done that already. I'm pretty sure the cable itself is cooked. Might have something to do with the time I literally set the starter on fire. I don't know. You can't prove that.

I really need a welder in my life. I've never known a welder or really any metal fab guys and I feel like I'm poorer for it.

Anyways, near-oem part is on the way, so I think I'll live.
 

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Punching above his weight
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9,194 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Well, I fixed most of the problem.

That is, the new cable gives me just enough oomph in the voltage to be able to tell now where the rest of the problem is coming from. What's nice is there really aren't that many parts in these old trucks. Even if I replace every single piece of the truck individually, I'm really only looking at a couple grand, which is way cheaper than what they're selling these things for nowadays.
Silver linings everywhere.
 

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Punching above his weight
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9,194 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks.

Got the near-oem part online for about $30, which is fine.

This dragon is slayed. Now I can go looking around for something else suboptimal to occupy my mind while I drive around from job to job.
 

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loose, bad battery connections will warm/HOT to touch after a few seconds cranking....


Check the ground lugs too...


my Silverado has short side mount cables that run at 3:00 pm, and self loosen from road bumps, a few extra cable ties help.


check that all ground straps are replaced over the years, some times an added ground strap parallel to the stock one increases starting rpms and Amperage.


In My big stereo days, every truck had TWO batteries,,,
 

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John the Builder
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16,993 Posts
FWIW, I if you need a long wire for the starter, cannibalize some cheap jumper cables that are the right gauge.

Boom, done.
I drove a poncho all winter with cables clamped on under the hood.

No need to ruin a perfectly good set of jumpers !
 
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