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Battery Sparkage

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 90blzr, May 19, 2004.

  1. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
    This is on a friends truck. Its a newer S-10, whenever you hook the battery back up wether it be the negative cable or the positive cable, there is a pretty big spark/sparks. Not the normal little zz....this is more of a zzzzzzzzcccckkkkkkkrrrrrrrrrakkkkkk. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    What would cause this?

    He does have a stereo system with a couple amps and a capacitor. Not sure if that makes a difference.
     
  2. chulisohombre

    chulisohombre 1/2 ton status

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    bad grounds.check those first.if the amps are powered all the time or if there is a short somewhere it will spark when you put the battery cables back on.
     
  3. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    How do you find out if the grounds are bad? Makes sense. Thats what I told him...something had to be 'on' all the time I would think.
    How should the amps be hooked up...the the ignition switch somehow?

    He always take the cheap way, a guy puts in some 6x9's and all of the sudden he thinks he can wire up a whole system /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif
     
  4. bcrewcaptain

    bcrewcaptain Registered Member

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    it's normal for it to spark, you're completing a circuit. Things that could cause it woudl be as stated above poor grounds on both the battery side as well as where it mounts to the vehicle. A lot of manufac. have a tendency to put the ground at the closest point to the battery but not the best one. I've run across this a lot in the 12volt install in the past, check all connections, those will always be a weak link. Wirebroush them or sand down to make sure there is a good bare metal to bare metal connection and if possible attach a new ground strap directly to the frame, the stock ground usually runs between a 2-4 ga wire with no cover over the connection..can we say corrosion?
    clean the connectors, insulate if possible, upgrade if needed and just don't worry /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  5. TorkDSR

    TorkDSR 1/2 ton status

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    there should be no spark with the key off. since current shouldnt need to go anywhere.
    the only thing that may cause sparking is any parasitic drain suck as a clock or computer memory, but that should be minimal. if the capacitor and ignition coil discharge while the battery is disconnected, then they will try to recharge when power is resupplied, that should be where the spark is coming from.

    try charging the capacitor before reconnecting the battery, or even disconnecting the capacitor first
     
  6. chevy_addict

    chevy_addict 1/2 ton status

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    If he has BIG capacitors in the system these can cause a huge spark if they are not charged when the battery is connected. Disconnect them, then try connecting the battery. Also, the amps should have a turn-on wire that should be connected through the ignition so they are off when the truck is off. Check the grounds as mentioned in the other posts.

    Dave
     
  7. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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    Put a volt meter on it hooking it up the correct way, i have seen a battery come into the store i used to work at that actually had a reverse polarity charge in it, freaked me out, never saw this before, double checked all my connections and sure enough, -12.48 volts.

    Just a thought.

    Not sure if you have the battery already hooked up and are just complaining of the spark it creates while connecting the cables, or you are too concerned to keep it connected.

    If ya have it already connected and everything is fine, i would say it's the cap causing the spark.
     
  8. chevy_addict

    chevy_addict 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Put a volt meter on it hooking it up the correct way, i have seen a battery come into the store i used to work at that actually had a reverse polarity charge in it, freaked me out, never saw this before, double checked all my connections and sure enough, -12.48 volts.

    Just a thought.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Holy cow! was this a new battery or a customer battery?
     
  9. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    How does he charge the capacitor before connecting the battery?

    Or you are saying he should disconnet the capacitor and then hook up the battery and reconnect the capacitor?
     
  10. bcrewcaptain

    bcrewcaptain Registered Member

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    unless you have separatly drained the cap before disconnecting the battery there is no reason to charge it again, the cap will hold its power if unused for quite some time(several yrs) put a voltmeter across the terminals and you should read 11-14 volts on that, again the arcing you see is simply the"shock" of the circuit being competed by connection of the battery, no need to worry
     
  11. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    no need to worry

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Unless things start smoking,,,,, /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif


    /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  12. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    okay cool. Kinda figured it was just cause of the 'stored power' of the capacitor, but wanted to make sure something else wasnt going on.
    So for a system with a capacitor or two, this is normal when reconnecting the battery.
     
  13. bcrewcaptain

    bcrewcaptain Registered Member

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    cap or not, you'll get the spark, all vehicles I've EVER worked on will do it to a point, granted there is also a bit of capacitance in every vehicle as well, my 90 grand am does it, the beast does it and neither one does it any more than the 'vell which has 8 farads of caps in the back
     
  14. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    yeah, I agree, every vehicle I have worked sparks when you hook up the battery or jump another or whatever. But this a BIG spark(s)
     
  15. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    As long as you have a radio with presets and/or an ECM, you will get sparks every time you connect the battery wires.
     

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