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 Replacing positve cable(s)

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Jack the R
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PostSubject: Replacing positve cable(s)   Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:28 pm

What's involved in replacing these cables? I'm thinking maybe I should get on with this as my windows are noticeably slower lately. That can't be a good sign. How much of the interior am I going to have to tear apart? Any special instructions I need to know? I figure I might as well replace both the battery to switch and switch to starter cables. Once and done.
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:00 pm

Try cleaning the cable ends (esp at the battery and in the pass compartment) and the grounds (esp at the battery, in the engine compartment and behind the driver and passenger kick panels).  The positive cable is long, runs under the carpet up to the engine compartment.

After cleaning each cable end (sandpaper and alcohol (dry gas) or CRC's QD Electronic Cleaner (if you have it) then wipe a thin layer of NoAlOx (if you don't have it, GET IT, a small tube from a hardware store does not cost much and will last a while) on the terminals before reassembling.

THe problem with the windows may be the motors are wearing out or resistance at the window switches.  Does the window roll faster from drivers side vs. passenger side switch?  Maybe switch.  Does the window roll faster if the car is running?  maybe battery.


Last edited by albertj on Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:29 pm

The driver's side motor and switch were replaced a few years ago, and barely used since.

The windows are slow with the engine running, alternator was replaced this year.

The positive battery cable at the battery has some kind of corrosion running back up into the wire. I don't think it can be permanently cleaned.

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:18 pm

Jack the R wrote:
The driver's side motor and switch were replaced a few years ago, and barely used since.  

The windows are slow with the engine running, alternator was replaced this year.

The positive battery cable at the battery has some kind of corrosion running back up into the wire.  I don't think it can be permanently cleaned.  


Corrosion in the wire is a problem, because it increases resistance and weakens structural integrity. So, yeah, now you tell us. I think you will want to make up a cable.

The only problem I can think of is that you really should get a terminal crimper that will handle the proper gauge cable. Like this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hydraulic-Wire-Crimper-w-10-Ton-9-Dies-Battery-Cable-Lug-Terminal-Crimping-Tool-/231660071463?hash=item35f0042a27:g:vo0AAOSwd0BV1aTw

Getting the raw cable is not that much of a problem. For instance

http://www.ebay.com/itm/WELDING-CABLE-1-AWG-20-10BLACK-10RED-CAR-BATTERY-LEADS-USA-NEW-Gauge-Copper-/251141099723?hash=item3a792d10cb:g:FDEAAMXQR4FRkmvm

and getting fittings is not that much of a problem either. I am thinking CARQUEST (Advance Auto), NAPA, etc.

Finally, you will need to come up with a way to transfer the thermistor gadget from the old cable to the new. Should not be hard, and this might be a good time to install a better thermistor. There was a post on this thermistor topic some years back.
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:56 am

albertj wrote:

Jack the R wrote:
The driver's side motor and switch were replaced a few years ago, and barely used since.  

The windows are slow with the engine running, alternator was replaced this year.

The positive battery cable at the battery has some kind of corrosion running back up into the wire.  I don't think it can be permanently cleaned.  



Corrosion in the wire is a problem, because it increases resistance and weakens structural integrity. So, yeah, now you tell us.   I think you will want to make up a cable.  

The only problem I can think of is that you really should get a terminal crimper that will handle the proper gauge cable.  Like this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hydraulic-Wire-Crimper-w-10-Ton-9-Dies-Battery-Cable-Lug-Terminal-Crimping-Tool-/231660071463?hash=item35f0042a27:g:vo0AAOSwd0BV1aTw

Getting the raw cable is not that much of a problem. For instance

http://www.ebay.com/itm/WELDING-CABLE-1-AWG-20-10BLACK-10RED-CAR-BATTERY-LEADS-USA-NEW-Gauge-Copper-/251141099723?hash=item3a792d10cb:g:FDEAAMXQR4FRkmvm

and getting fittings is not that much of a problem either.  I am thinking CARQUEST (Advance Auto), NAPA, etc.

Finally, you will need to come up with a way to transfer the thermistor gadget from the old cable to the new. Should not be hard, and this might be a good time to install a better thermistor.  There was a post on this thermistor topic some years back.

A bought a hammer-type crimper (sorry can't remember the correct terminology) a while back, but adding up the costs of cable and fittings and such I wonder if I really come out ahead over buying the $100 ACDelco cable from RockAuto.

Do I need to get into the steering column to change the + cable? Pull seats or interior panels?
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:36 am

I think at $82.79 for the Standard Motor Products cable if you don't have a crimper already it's cheaper to buy the cable already made than make it up yourself. One reason to make it up yourself is to use a red cable instead of black, or a heavier gauge wire.

It's been a long long time since I has the interior of the car out. When I did, I noted the cable ran thru the passenger compartment to the firewall then thru a grommet in the vicinity of the glovebox. I do not clearly remember the exact routing and I do not have my manuals ATM. Maybe another lister (Abaddon?) can comment on the routing from a FSM drawing? I think you have to pull the passenger side of the carpet and in order to do that, the panels that hold it in. Cable from the battery per se does not go into the column although there is a primary wire of sorts that does. By the way, (poke poke) where is your FSM?
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:06 pm

Do you like the Standard Motor Products cable better than the AC Delco? Or is there no meaningful difference?

What is the $50 positive cable on Rock Auto for? Does that one go to the alternator?

I see that the postive battery cable from the battery runs up the passenger side of the car and passes through the firewall in the passenger fenderwell. Maybe the passenger seat won't have to come out. FSM's are really useful.
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:19 pm

Jack the R wrote:
Do you like the Standard Motor Products cable better than the AC Delco?  Or is there no meaningful difference?

What is the $50 positive cable on Rock Auto for?  Does that one go to the alternator?

I see that the positive battery cable from the battery runs up the passenger side of the car and passes through the firewall in the passenger fender well.  Maybe the passenger seat won't have to come out.  FSM's are really useful.    

RockAuto's site gives sly hints about parts once you catch on. I will send you a PM about that.

Please post or send me a link to the $50 rockauto cable so I can be sure what you're talking about.

Glad you found your FSM.
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:56 pm

Here's the cable I was talking about - Link

I see it doesn't go to the alternator. There may be no reason to replace this one.

Thanks for the RA tip. I would never have guessed.
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:29 am

Jack the R wrote:
Here's the cable I was talking about - Link

I see it doesn't go to the alternator.  There may be no reason to replace this one.

Thanks for the RA tip.  I would never have guessed.  

check the (-) cable for corrosion and replace accordingly.
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Wed Sep 14, 2016 3:37 pm

albertj wrote:

After cleaning each cable end (sandpaper and alcohol (dry gas) or CRC's QD Electronic Cleaner (if you have it) then wipe a thin layer of NoAlOx (if you don't have it, GET IT, a small tube from a hardware store does not cost much and will last a while) on the terminals before reassembling.

I may still have a tube of dielectric grease - will that do? I've seen some concern about copper to aluminum connections with N0AlOx. Of course it is copper to lead at the battery but I don't know what the front connection is yet. Steel?

I've got my new cable and will be installing soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Wed Sep 14, 2016 4:37 pm

Jack the R wrote:

albertj wrote:

After cleaning each cable end (sandpaper and alcohol (dry gas) or CRC's QD Electronic Cleaner (if you have it) then wipe a thin layer of NoAlOx (if you don't have it, GET IT, a small tube from a hardware store does not cost much and will last a while) on the terminals before reassembling.


I may still have a tube of dielectric grease - will that do?  I've seen some concern about copper to aluminum connections with N0AlOx.  Of course it is copper to lead at the battery but I don't know what the front connection is yet.  Steel?  

I've got my new cable and will be installing soon.

In my experience, dielectric grease (polysiloxane) is A-OK for reducing corrosion on connections. Seals out the air. NoAlOx both seals out the air and is conductive in and of itself. I suspect it's just silicone oil and some sort of metal or metal oxide powder mixed in.

When I check my battery and clean the terminals, I will use NoAlOx unless (a) it is inconvenient (gotta go in the house or whatever) to get it and I think polysiloxane will do [I have several plastic vials of polysiloxane tune-up grease around (from a can of the stuff that got damaged) and if that is convenient I may use it] or unless (b) I am working on a ground connection in which case I will stop and get the NoAlOx. For bulb sockets and what not I will not use NoAlOx - it is conductive not dielectric.
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:18 pm

It's a shame the car places don't have NoAlOx. I'd either have to mail order it or drive an hour.
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:03 pm

Jack the R wrote:
It's a shame the car places don't have NoAlOx.  I'd either have to mail order it or drive an hour.

Mail order works. Home Depot stores carry it as well as many independent hardware/MRO stores. Maybe put a reminder somewhere for yourself to get one in your travels.
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:44 pm

I've almost got the old cable out.  I'm stuck at the firewall.  The rubber grommet that seals the cable looks like it is only big enough to pass the cable, not the connectors.  There's also a take-off at the engine bay end, because there's also a fuse box in the engine bay.  It looks like the firewall grommet will get torn up if I try too pull the old cable head through it, or push the new cable head through it.

The cables are different.  I don't know if that means the Standard and AC Delco cables are different, maybe not, but they aren't the same as the original cable.  On the engine bay end, the original take off wire has an "L" connector, and the replacement is straight.  Maybe the replacement connector can be bent into an "L."  Otherwise the fuse box lid isn't going back on, and I'm sure that's a bad idea.

On the battery end, there is a doohickey that snaps over the cable head.  It's like a take-off wire, but it doesn't directly tap into the positive cable.  It just snaps over the head.  Maybe it contacts the battery terminal, and the battery cable holds it in place.  I'll have to look at it again.  The important thing is that the original cable head is designed to have this doohickey snap over it, and the replacement cable head isn't.  

There are a couple restraining clips on the original cable, around the passenger footwell area, which I may or may not be able to transfer to the new one.  They don't look like they were designed to come off.

And that's where I'm at.  The FSM was somewhat helpful, but not really.  This is a five or six hour job of finding odd fasteners in odd places and doing odd contortions to reach them.  It's not quite as bad as I thought and yet I've already put three hours into not-quite removing a cable.
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:48 pm

You can bend the connector but be sure you get it right the first time. If you flex it back and forth. it will crack because it is already somewhat work hardened when swaged on. But it's straight to aid feeding thru the &^%*&^&%* grommet.

You may find that removing the grommet works better than passing stuff thru. Replace with a right-sized grommet - should be common hardware at a home center or an old-line auto parts store - or reuse the old one by slipping it onto the wire before install. You may need to cheat and cut a slit (a radial slit from edge straight toward center) in the grommet to make it easier to fit on the new wire.
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:12 pm

What about the doohickey that goes over the battery connector? I've got no idea what it does but I bet I need it!
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Sat Sep 17, 2016 10:13 pm

Jack the R wrote:
What about the doohickey that goes over the battery connector?  I've got no idea what it does but I bet I need it!

IF you mean the cover for the positive power point under the hood, just transfer it or get one from a junkyard. Keeps you from accidentally shorting things on the power point.

Otherwise, post a picture.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:20 am

albertj wrote:

Jack the R wrote:
What about the doohickey that goes over the battery connector?  I've got no idea what it does but I bet I need it!


IF you mean the cover for the positive power point under the hood, just transfer it or get one from a junkyard.  Keeps you from accidentally shorting things on the power point.

Otherwise, post a picture.

Albertj

Not under the hood, at the battery. I'll post a picture later if you don't know what I'm talking about. You have to have seen it, it's a red box that snaps around the positive battery cable head at the battery. it has a couple small wires coming off of it that go off towards the fuse boxes. It doesn't have any kind of contact for the battery or the cable, so I'm not sure how electricity gets to it, but I don't know why else it would be where it is.

Anyway I got the new cable in. I cut the head off the old one so I could pull it through the grommet without damaging it. Then I went to bend the take-off cable for the fuse box under the seat, and like an idiot did the one under the hood by accident. But it turned out not to be a problem at all. I lubed it up and it slid through the grommet easy as could be.

All I've got to do now is put the various covers and fasteners back in place, and this little project will be done.
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:54 am

Got it all together and so far as I can tell everything works despite the doohickey being out of place.  The start is too soft though, I wouldn't trust it to take me anywhere.  I'll order some NoAlOx fwiw and then I guess I'll order a new battery.  I wonder if parking on concrete makes it extra easy for the Riv to kill good batteries.

There's one plastic clamp under the hood I couldn't get back on. It's the first one down from the cable head, down the big cable (not the take-off). For the life of me I can't get it to clamp down over the protective plastic sleeve, but that's how I found it. I guess the clamp was originally put on before the cable was snapped in the car. I can't get to it well enough to force it closed. I don't think it will hurt anything to leave that clamp off other than my OCD.
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:04 am

Jack the R wrote:
Got it all together and so far as I can tell everything works despite the doohickey being out of place.  The start is too soft though, I wouldn't trust it to take me anywhere.  I'll order some NoAlOx fwiw and then I guess I'll order a new battery.  I wonder if parking on concrete makes it extra easy for the Riv to kill good batteries.

There's one plastic clamp under the hood I couldn't get back on.  It's the first one down from the cable head, down the big cable (not the take-off).  For the life of me I can't get it to clamp down over the protective plastic sleeve, but that's how I found it.  I guess the clamp was originally put on before the cable was snapped in the car.  I can't get to it well enough to force it closed.  I don't think it will hurt anything to leave that clamp off other than my OCD.  

I went out last night to look at my battery. I am not sure what plastic clamp you're having trouble with; there are a couple red plastic covers at the end of my positive cable. One snaps over the positive terminal and the other snaps over the thermistor and its splice. I did not bother unsnapping/snapping the one covering the thermistor. I presume that is the one troubling you. IF you cant get the cover back on then wrap the splice with tape so it does not accidentally contact anything. Maybe I should take a picture--but I don't have the car today.

If your car starts, it starts. Measure the battery voltage OUT OF CIRCUIT, it should be 12.4v or higher. a fresh, fully charged up battery will measure 12.6V or more. Mine measured 12.6-12.7. A typical auto battery measures 12.4v free (not connected to anything but a voltmeter) at 65% charge. 12.5v at 85% charge. If your battery measures less than 12.4 v out of circuit try charging it, and as you know -- follow the instructions on your charger for a standard charge. If you have a trickle charger it will have to run overnight, the Riv has a big, big battery...

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:50 am



Here's my mystery item.

I don't know anything about a thermistor, and the FSM doesn't either  scratch  It does sound like it could be a car part.

I also found this tag under the dash in the passenger fender well -





Not sure what that was doing in there.
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:27 pm

That assembly you are showing is where the thermistor is. There is another thread about dealing with it, use the site's Google search tool to find it. As for the blue label, it's a tag for a replacement wiring harness. See http://www.ebay.com/sch/sis.html?_nkw=NOS+OEM+GM+HARNESS+ASM+BODY+WRG+12171288&_itemId=221983490474&_trksid=p2047675.m4099.

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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:11 pm

For future ref here is a link to the thermistor thread - Link

Well that was a fascinating and unwelcome read. So without the thermistor in place the alternator is going to charge the battery at the highest rate it can manage, right? And I'm going to have to find a way to jury rig a new thermistor.

Can the Riviera even correctly charge an AGM battery without modifications? My trickle charger has different settings for lead acid and AGM, so I assume the differences are important. Could this be why my Optimas aren't lasting as long as they should?



albertj wrote:
 As for the blue label, it's a tag for a replacement wiring harness.  See http://www.ebay.com/sch/sis.html?_nkw=NOS+OEM+GM+HARNESS+ASM+BODY+WRG+12171288&_itemId=221983490474&_trksid=p2047675.m4099.  

Albertj

My wiring harness is a replacement? At those prices I'm glad it's already been done!
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PostSubject: Re: Replacing positve cable(s)   Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:04 pm

Jack the R wrote:
For future ref here is a link to the thermistor thread - Link

Well that was a fascinating and unwelcome read.  So without the thermistor in place the alternator is going to charge the battery at the highest rate it can manage, right?  And I'm going to have to find a way to jury rig a new thermistor.  

Can the Riviera even correctly charge an AGM battery without modifications?  My trickle charger has different settings for lead acid and AGM, so I assume the differences are important.  Could this be why my Optimas aren't lasting as long as they should?




albertj wrote:
 As for the blue label, it's a tag for a replacement wiring harness.  See http://www.ebay.com/sch/sis.html?_nkw=NOS+OEM+GM+HARNESS+ASM+BODY+WRG+12171288&_itemId=221983490474&_trksid=p2047675.m4099.  

Albertj


My wiring harness is a replacement?  At those prices I'm glad it's already been done!

I can't answer the lead-acid AGM charging question.
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