Check your POSITIVE batery lead!! PICS ADDED!!

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Re: Check your POSITIVE batery lead!! PICS ADDED!!

Post by sparksie » 18 Jan 2014, 21:28

Hi

Sadly, inadequate cross sectional area is quite common on French cars, though not exclusive to them.
Insufficient length is also becoming a common sight.
What seems to happen, IMHO, is that tests are carried out, using nice shiny new cable, to see what's the least that will work satisfactorily. This is then fitted and results in a significant cost saving in the production of the cars.
Factor in several years of Winters and Summers, vibration, stress due to drivetrain movement, etc. and the effective cross sectional area has reduced. Simultaneously, the starter will have worn, the pinion bearing will be full of clutch dust and it will be taking more current to do the same job.
I make new leads in a larger size, with decent battery terminals and correctly sized lugs and the problem never recurs.
Something I'm seeing quite a lot at the moment, is a broken body earth lead on 206s. Mostly diesels, though not exclusively.
The body is earthed by a lead going to the gearbox casing. The lead is too short to allow for the normal movement allowed by elderly engine mountings and it gets pulled out of the lug, or broken off where it enters the lug. This results in the failure of all systems, except for the engine itself, which will still start and drive normally! No lights, instruments, radio, or any accessories, including the trailer socket, if fitted.
It's a very easy fix, but most mechanics seem baffled by it! The original lead seems to be 16sq at best, which actually should be more than adequate, given it doesn't normally have to handle starting current. The problem is the length. Make the new lead ( I use 25sq cable) a little longer and use the right size lugs for the cable AND the bolt/stud. ie If using 25sq cable and attaching to the gearbox stud, which takes a 13mm spanner, you need a 25/8 lug. This is a lug for 25sq cable, with an 8mm fixing hole.
When fitting lugs, don't depend on solder to secure them. There MUST be a secure mechanical attachment first. Then, if you like a belt and braces approach, by all means run some solder in as well, before topping off with some heat-shrink sleeving to keep the elements out. Self amalgamating tape may be a suitable substitute, if sleeving is not available.
Pop the upgraded cable in and never have that particular problem again!
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Re: Check your POSITIVE batery lead!! PICS ADDED!!

Post by Chlorate » 23 Apr 2014, 12:49

Just noticed this is a problem on my Xant - admittedly I'd noticed a while ago that the positive battery loom was getting a bit warm but now it's got to the point where it's acting as a current-limiting ballast :twisted:
No trouble starting, but when I'm driving along with the headlights, seat heaters and rear window demister the battery discharge light illuminates dimly.

Job for the weekend then!

Any recommendations? I can tell that the battery positive cable needs replacing and that it appears to be a bundle of cables...
One to the starter, one to the alternator and a bunch to the fuse box?

Let guess...because it's an exclusive it'll need thicker cables going to the fuse box...

Easy to make up a new one or is a ready-made one the answer?

Cheers,

Alex
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Re: Check your POSITIVE batery lead!! PICS ADDED!!

Post by sparksie » 18 Jun 2014, 10:11

Hi Alex
Sorry, I missed this.
I don't get to play with ANY Citroens, usually, apart from my own one.
If you have the skills and can get the appropriate connectors, then you will almost certainly do a better job than simply replacing with a new OE lead.
Having said that, however, any replacement OE spec part will probably have been manufactured in the context of original ones failing, so will probably be of better quality, though expect to pay well for it!
It's really down to personal choice. OE parts usually fit without much fettling and work as well as their predecessor did. Home produced ones require time and effort to make and fit, with results entirely dependant on your own level of skill and knowledge!
A couple of months on from your query, I assume you've done SOMETHING about it by now.
How did it go?
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Re: Check your POSITIVE batery lead!! PICS ADDED!!

Post by Chlorate » 20 Jun 2014, 19:37

Hi there Sparksie,

In the end I opted to buy an OE replacement. Can't remember how much it was but it was of considerably better quality than the original and fitting was a doddle.
I figured I could have done it myself but by the time I'd bought odd bits of cable etc I probably wouldn't have saved much.
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Re: Check your POSITIVE batery lead!! PICS ADDED!!

Post by carman » 23 Aug 2014, 20:27

Hi Iv,e just posted a query on the Pug forum with a similar problem ,2004 2.0 hdi partner,when the weather get colder ,the car turns over very slowly but the battery has been tested and is ok?,someone said the starter ,but will have a good look at the leads first
Cheers
Mick
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Re: Check your POSITIVE batery lead!! PICS ADDED!!

Post by harryjoe » 22 Mar 2015, 17:59

Oh Lordie Lordie !!!

Over the last few days my HDI has in fact developed slow starting like a faulty battery. On checking the battery that is fine having check the voltage, but I had noticed that the positive terminal has split by the tightening nut. Then on inspection of the positive battery lead - Well totally knackered as described in this thread.

So my question is; Where or how do I obtain new leads ?

Is it a big job to replace this lead, I did see that Paul at the beginning of the thread mentioned to replace up the the alternator.

Do the cables have to be make up ? or am I being a numpty ! :rofl2:

Thanks Guys
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Re: Check your POSITIVE batery lead!! PICS ADDED!!

Post by citroenxm » 22 Mar 2015, 18:20

I had access to crimping of 16mm2 cable so was lucky.. ideally yes. The starter cable joins at the starter to a smaller 8mm2 cable that goes to the charging point on the altinator.

So obtain aftermarket battery clamps.. 16mm2 cable or even 20mm2 if you wish.. get a ring connection put on one end to connect to the starter.. cut the original off at the starter ring so the altinator is still connected to the starter.. theres enough thread on the starter for two ring terminals.. so the cables dont physically need to be joined.
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Re: Check your POSITIVE batery lead!! PICS ADDED!!

Post by Raul » 18 Apr 2015, 09:49

I ordered a new original part for my hdi because the cranking speed after the replacement of the battery has not changed. It costed ca 130 euros. I think I am also going to remove the starter for preventive overhaul. The positive lead has all the symtomps mentioned in this thread - slightly melting isolation that gets hot.
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Re: Check your POSITIVE batery lead!! PICS ADDED!!

Post by harryp » 18 Apr 2015, 21:08

OK, but there is also a negative cable that takes the other half of the current! Secondary cable to engine/gearbox may help too....
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Re: Check your POSITIVE batery lead!! PICS ADDED!!

Post by Raul » 06 May 2015, 17:08

Today I picked up the original part I ordered and I must say I am disappointed. The cable looks thinner and has a battery clamp type which has a lever that is pushed down to get a grip.
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Re: Check your POSITIVE batery lead!! PICS ADDED!!

Post by sparksie » 07 Jun 2015, 01:05

Raul wrote:Today I picked up the original part I ordered and I must say I am disappointed. The cable looks thinner and has a battery clamp type which has a lever that is pushed down to get a grip.

Hi Raul

Sorry, I'm having terrible internet problems, that don't seem to be going away, so I'm not seeing the forum every day.
Don't worry unduly about the new cable appearing thinner. Modern cables are thinner, both because the insulation is thinner and the copper is of a better grade and can handle higher currents. It's in the interests of weight saving, apparently.
Those cable clamps are not too bad either, providing the battery posts are the correct size and shape.
I know they don't look too confidence inspiring, but they seem to be reasonably trouble free. Just don't use a hammer to fit them. They're suppose to be "tool free" fixtures and they work well if used correctly.
I bet the price was eye watering...
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Re: Check your POSITIVE batery lead!! PICS ADDED!!

Post by turbom » 13 Jun 2015, 09:53

Just been reading through this very informertive.
I have read else where that the same happens on the picasso so i will look at mine although it starts very well in the cold so may have been done in the past but will deffo check rather than have trouble in the winter...
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Re: Check your POSITIVE batery lead!! PICS ADDED!!

Post by reanimation » 14 Sep 2015, 18:34

My early phase one is struggling at the moment wondering if it's this. Mostly struggling in a morning or when cold, was gonna get new glow plugs. It sometimes seems to have no turn over power whatsoever like after a long drive and restarting. I gave battery a good charge to charged, it's a newish battery and a new alternator, not changed starter or leads. I noticed the negative leaked a blob of lead off the connector when turning it over the other day, and I can see a few mm of exposed wire between the connector and insulation. It failed for my partner tonight, a jump off a spare battery got it going...
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Re: Check your POSITIVE batery lead!! PICS ADDED!!

Post by Xantidote » 14 Sep 2015, 20:22

You need to check that both ends of the battery's positive & earth leads are good. I'm wondering if you've got a problem where the lead is crimped into the battery clamp/fitting. These do ultimately fail, usually at the battery end, and a sign of their failing is that when you've operated the starter, the clamp feels warm. If the insulation is becoming exposed, maybe there's a bit of heat.

Are you saying a blob of molten lead? If so, it may start to smoulder/catch fire - WATCH OUT! (in which case, be careful touching it with your fingers)
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Re: Check your POSITIVE batery lead!! PICS ADDED!!

Post by reanimation » 14 Sep 2015, 21:11

Thank you Martin, sounds like you agree with my suspicions I suppose if it gets hot there will be even more resistance and more heat and then this will melt away a firm connection, I think I will look at buying a new lead and clamp this week and see if that helps, it looks easy enough to do, though I'll have to face the dreaded alarm unless I rig up a quick jump lead to the body.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-CABLE-18- ... 51a9cc2e56
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