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i hate GM style side-post battery connections

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by thezentree, Jul 22, 2004.

  1. thezentree

    thezentree 3/4 ton status

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    what the hell was GM thinking with this brainiac move? /forums/images/graemlins/screwy.gif

    my truck (a 97 yukon) doesnt like to start anymore because the positive battery connection is not solid enough to supply the power to the starter. i replaced the bolt, hoping that was the problem, but its still doing the same thing. (of course advanced auto didnt have that bolt, theyre too busy stocking the rice aisle). but i digress...

    anyway, i think the battery terminal may have gotten warped from a ghetto-rigged CB wiring job, and the added pressure of the crimp-on eye bolt doowhack (notice the technical language) that we used to connect the CB to the battery molded the lead terminal to compensate. now that the CB is wired not-so-ghetto-rigged, there is less contact area at the terminal. i need to fix this, im going - or planning on going /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif - on a road trip in a week.

    any suggestions? buying a new battery is out of the question - its a red top.
     
  2. 55Willy

    55Willy 3/4 ton status

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    they make a bolt that serves as a hook up for more stuff, just slap one on first then make all your connections. Also it wasn't GM's ideas it was all car makers.

    besides when ya bought the red top..should have got a dual post,LOL
     
  3. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Use the top posts. Cut the side post off and get the clamp on top post connectors from the auto parts store. Problem solved.

    Harley
     
  4. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    All I've got to say is that I have 100% less problems with corroded connections on the side terminals than I do with top terminals.

    Also never worry about breaking the clamps, needing two wrenches to remove one cable, etc.

    If the terminals stick out the side of the battery a little bit, I'd try and scrape them flat with a razorblade, but IIRC, there is a lip around the terminal so you couldn't easily do that.

    Any warping bad enough to cause electrical problems should be pretty evident. My GM side terminal cables have little "teeth" on the connector that dig into the terminal, so even if it were warped, since it seats on the terminal when the bolt is tight, it HAS to make contact.

    Then again, with that little lip around the terminal, perhaps you could be tightening a cable up against the battery case before it even makes contact, IF the terminal was recessed too far for some reason.

    If it's like the older cables (I know GM has gone cheap on the replacement cables) you can pull the little bolt out of the cables boot to clean it. Even if it were the only thing screwed into the terminal, it SHOULD allow contact, but those things will corrode after awhile, and even though the ring terminal looks good, that bolt and what it seats against (the non-connection side of the ring terminal) could still be corroded.
     
  5. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    What I did was get a dual terminal battery . I run only the starter wire on the positive side post , and all my accessories on the positive top post . I haven't had a problem since changing over. /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  6. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I usely buy the batterys with both top and side posts. Makes it easier for wireing up amps, CB, off road lights, ...ect.
     
  7. thezentree

    thezentree 3/4 ton status

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    well, since the side terminal just fused itself to the bolt and pulled out, looks like i have to get the top post conversion. /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif

    the side terminal has a little cup thing with threads in it that the bolt screws into. this cup is set into the lead of the terminal. that little cup thing broke free of the lead and rotated with the bolt. this is wonderful, since its a $130 battery. /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif


    it should not take a hammer, screwdriver/chisel, and visegrips to get a battery connection apart.


    also, what other car makers use sidepost style? i've only seen em on GMs.
     
  8. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    It sounds like you did something stupid. Chances are if you stare at it long enough you'll figure out what you did that was stupid.

    It's the operator, not the machine.

    Sometimes factory cables are designed to work with a battery that has a shallow recess for the side post. If that recess is deeper then the insulator on the battery terminal will contact the plastic of the battery case. This causes people to do something smart like wrench down hard bending the cable terminal so it contacts the post. Other people are so unhappy they do something inane like strip the threads. Yet other people try to start the vehicle using nothing but that bolt as the contact area and wonder why they melt the threads out of the side post.

    I like side post cables. They rarely corrode, they handle all the current necessary, and a single 5/16" wrench gets it off in no time. Furthermore, you can add more takeoffs using nothing more elaborate than a longer bolt.
     
  9. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

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    I've owned fords, chryslers, toyotas and a kia and some of those vehicles have the side shitty posts. Anytime I own a vehicle and it comes with those stupid things, I completely replace both cables with the top mount style /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  10. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    How about replacing the hot cable? I had a problem with my ground cable(side post), prelaced it, and problem solved.

    I like the side posts better. I have a dual post battery and it makes it very easy to jump other vehicles.
     
  11. ugly_blazer

    ugly_blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I have never had any problems with a side post battery. If I buy a replacent battery I will try to buy a top and side post because as someone mentioned it makes jump starts a lot easier, but jump starts is all that I will use the top post for. The truck wiring still gets hooked up to the side post.
     
  12. thezentree

    thezentree 3/4 ton status

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    i didnt torque it down hardly at all, not much more than snug. i realize that lead is a soft metal and is very malleable (sp?), so i can see why over-tightening is bad.

    this is the first real problem i've had, other than them coming loose every so often. i would gladly swap to the top posts, but of course the two cables that go to the positive post are NEVER gonna fit in the terminal that advanced auto sells.

    anyway, i called optima's customer service line, and they basically told me that i'm stupid for torquing the bolt to 500000000000lb/ft and therefore they will not warranty the battery. and i qoute, "sounds to me like an overtightening issue." /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif

    funny thing is, i know for a fact that it was not overtightened. either that, or im strong enough to pick the truck up with my bare hands and dont realize it. /forums/images/graemlins/screwy.gif /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif
     
  13. mouse

    mouse 1/2 ton status

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    I have fixed Yukons with partially broken side post battery mounts. They tend to crack leading to high resistence- sort of like you mention. Go top mount!
     
  14. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    All I've got to say is that I have 100% less problems with corroded connections on the side terminals than I do with top terminals.

    Also never worry about breaking the clamps, needing two wrenches to remove one cable, etc.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That is the reason they switched.

    I use top terminals because I keep my batteries clean and corrosion is not an issue.

    Clamp on cable ends are not a professional repair in my opinion. They should be replaced by a solder on end or a new manufactured cable ASAP if they are used. They will only result in corrosion and a poor connection in the long run.
     
  15. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    anyway, i called optima's customer service line, and they basically told me that i'm stupid for torquing the bolt to 500000000000lb/ft and therefore they will not warranty the battery. and i qoute, "sounds to me like an overtightening issue." /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I am glad I do not sell optimas any more that often. They're crap and they always end up coming back eventually, as defective and they'll never re-charge because without free acid, a battery sulfates up pretty quickly.
     
  16. surpip

    surpip 1 ton status

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    i dont mind the side posts, but i hated the little bolts that came with them so i replaced them wih cut down header bolts, much better, no little itty bitty head to round off anny more /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  17. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    If you're rounding off those 5/16" heads then you need a smaller wrench. haha.
     
  18. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    i dont mind the side posts, but i hated the little bolts that came with them

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I got some at a run of the mill parts store "Autozone" , near the batteries were bolts that accept 9/16 wrench , I use those and the aftermarket positive cable . Just snugged it up and was done /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  19. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I am no fan of side post batteries either--they are pain to jump start,and they do seem to strip th threads out fairly easy-.I put short brass studs in my side post batteries so I can use regular 3/8 nuts on them instead of those dinky 5/16 head bolts that only vise grips seem to be able to remove.This makes it easier to add accessory wires to them,and the brass has better conductivity than a steel bolt does.Time will tell if brass and lead get along well with each other,havent had any problems so far.. /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
     
  20. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    But if you replaced that battery eventually with dual posts , you could use sides for main power , top for accessories and jump starting . And have no problems /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     

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