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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Question Electrical question

OK, let me see if I can word this to be understandable.

I wiried up my amp and sub a few months ago to my battery through the positive jump start post and not directly to the battery terminal. I noticed that once in a while starting my car seeming to take of few more 'clicks' of electric to turn over the enigine.

Today, I got a repitition of clicks, then nothing, juiced the battery. Jumped it within a minute had it started back up.

Took a look at the power cables and much to my amazment, the wire inside was burned about the first 1-2" from the connector. I have the wires wrapped together in one of those plastic protective housings all the way to the fire wall. This however was also melted down to the rubberized coating of the power cables.

So, not sure on how these got this way without blowing either of the fuses in the line, I took both cables off the post, and once again I am without speakers.

Would these burned wires have created my vehicle startup problems, such as poor startups, dead battery, and even melting the plastic and frying the wires inside?

I am assuming I made a poor decision in trying to run my cables to the jump start post and rather should have gone directly to the battery. Call me a lazy ass I suppose. Extra effort to get to the actual battery.

Should I be cautious of anything else when I re-wire to the battery in the fender well? I will need to try and find new clamps, clasps, or rings to attach them to the terminal, the current wire tips are well beyond fried.

I just don't want to get stranded again begging for someone to jump me. The battery is less than a year old and is a DieHard Gold series, I am confident that is not the issue. I am thinking it must have had something to do with pulling all that power for the amp and sub through the jump start post and not the battery itself.

Any feedback is appreciated, i'd like to get my toons back without having to worry about catching my ride on fire or something!
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 01:56 AM
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it didn't blow the fuse because all that excess energy went into melting the cable. Have you washed your engine recently? Has it rained? Did you expose this in any way to moisture? Also, check the quality of your ground connections on your amp(s). Could you tell us everything about the system, so we can get a further undertsanding of what's going on? Everything, down to the gauge of all the wire you ran especially.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 10:43 AM
 
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You won't blow a fuse until too much current is drawn through the cable. What guage cable, what size fuses (where are the fuses) and what size amps do you have? How far are the cables melted? Can you find a spot where they may have been rubbing? This is definitely a possible cause of your starting and battery problems. Leave them disconnected until you find a source of the problem.

Also, can a mod move this to the car audio section???
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Here's what I can tell you.

I have an aftermarket Pioneer head unit with aftermarket Pioneer door and rear deck speakers. I have an 8" powered Bazooka sub (150W) in the trunk and a 4 channel 300W RF Punch amp under the passenger seat. The power cable running from the amp under the seat to the jump terminal is an 8 guage wire with a 40 amp fuse under the hood near the terminal. As for the sub power wire running from the trunk, it is a 12 guage with a 25 amp fuse near the terminal. I know the wires have been exposed to mositure, I have washed the motor in the past, but I have done my best to keep any excess of water from touching any electrical wiring.

The cables were connected back to back on one side of the jump start teminal. Both fuses in the lines were less than 10" from the end of the wire. As for the melting of the cables, it wasn't the colorized coating, like the red or blue plastic around the wire. The wire itself inside was charred from the end of the wire in about 2". I had both power wires wrapped in black loom tubing. This is what's actually melted to the rubberized part of the wiring.

I do believe this was why the startup issues. I got a jump start last night, drove to my second job. Started up fine after leaving there and started up fine this morning for work.

As for the ground wires, the sub in the trunk is grounded to the side wall of the trunk, near the antenna lead beind the lining. The ground for the amp is under the passenger door step molding under the carpet into the body frame.

If you have any other questions, let me know, I hope this info helps!
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 12:12 PM
 
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How far was the plastic loom metleted to the wires? Was it only between the jump post connection and the fuse or further? Any chance you can get some pics of this???
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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It was only melted less than an inch, no where near the fuses. It was only at the end where the wires were connected to the post. I will try to get some digital pics of this tonight if I can get a hold of a camera.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 12:39 PM
 
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Well, it sounds like there is excessive resistance at the connection point then. Make sure the connection between the eyelets and the wire is clean and solid as well as the connection between the eyelets and the jump post. I don't think your problem had anythingn to do with where you connected but rather how you connected...
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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So is it OK to run those wires off that post? I thought maybe it was trying to pull too much power from there off the battery instead of feeding it directly from the positive battery terminal.

I know looking at the wires, the connection between the eyelets and the wire looked to not be completely protected. The wire did look to be exposed. As for the eyelet on the terminal, they looked and felt to be snug.

I should have pics to give you a clearer picture later this evening. I'll leave everything alone until then. Thanks for all your input by the way db.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 01:19 PM
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Your first fuse should be 12" or less away from the battery.

If you have a line that runs all the way to the trunk and then you have a fuse there, the wire can burn up because there is no fuse to protect the battery.

Hope this helps.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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hardwarz,

Thanks, I do have the first fuses in the power lines less than 10" from the terminal so I know I'm safe there. The fuses are still good, never blew.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 01:32 PM
 
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The fuses will not blow if the problem occurrs between the power source and the fuse (as is the case here). A fuse can only protect what's beyond it in the circuit. It's 100% fine to draw power from the jump post as long as you don't require more current than the 4AWG wire to the jump post from the battery can handle (which you shouldn't be, 8AWG + 10AWG is much less than 4AWG). It would be interesting to see the pics. They might show something we've missed, but it really sounds like it's just a high resistance connection that caused a lot of heat...
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Here are two pics that hopefully will give you a clearer idea of what I was trying to describe. The heavier guage wire is harder to see the burn mark, the red however shows up pretty well as well as the eyelet connectors.




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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-24-2003, 05:48 AM
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I concur with db, that's a mechanical connection issue, not an excessive electrical current one. It appears as if you didn't have the bolt connection tight enough, allowing resistance to cause heat.

At this point you have a couple of options;
If there's enough length, cut the baked insulation bits off and crimp new eyes on the wires, sequence them in order of size on the + bolt, add a plated flat, then a lock washer and TIGHTEN the nut.
If length is a problem, you can use insulated crimp sleeves to add a new piece of wire, then new crimp eyes. Don't try to re use the baked eyes, they now have severe oxidization from the heat.
If you're going to do this, use only a professional quality crimping tool and brand name eyes and sleeves.
Or take it to db's shop.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-24-2003, 11:49 AM
 
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Those pics definitely show signs of a high resistance connection. All the heat appears to start at the eyelets and the wire cools quickly moving away from them. Those eyelets look kind of weak IMHO (i.e. not much metal there in the actual eye part). I would avoid adding on to the wire and just put a whole new piece on from your inline fuse back to the battery. Are those gold plated eyelets or just standard ones from say Autozone or something? I would recommend getting some gold plated ones. If you wash the engine compartment fairly often it's possible some corrosion built up on the eyelets (this won't happen with gold plated ones) which caused the high resistance. A bad crimp can also lead to a high resistance connection. Make sure you have a good tight crimp using a tool designed for crimping (i.e. don't use a big set of pliers or a hammer to simply crush the eyelet on)...
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-24-2003, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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The eyelet on the blue wire for the amp actually came in an amp wiring kit, the other eyelet on the red wire for the sub however, to the best of my knowledge was just a standard.

I did see gold plated eyelets for automotive stereo wiring at Autozone, $10 for the 8 guage, $8 for the 10-12 guage. They came in packages of around 6 pieces.

So, I should put the 8 guage wire on first, then the 10 guage followed by a flat washer, then a locking washer, then the bolt? Do I need a flat washer in between the eyelets as a seperator?

I'll just do the new wire fom the fuse relay, easier and safer IMO.
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