Replacement battery cables? - Nissan Forum
B13 91-94 chassis 1991-1994 Sentra and 1991-1993 NX

 
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#1 Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 01:30 PM
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Replacement battery cables?

My original cable clamps wore out. They were essentially two parallel brass loops that wrapped around the battery posts, and eventually those loops cracked & loosened up.

Right now I have generic replacement clamps on the cables. However, I hated to cut into the original cables (especially the positive one, where corrosion likes to take root). Also the little red plastic cover that used to snap over the post & clamp & fusible link connection on the positive side to prevent accidental short-circuits doesn't fit any more. When I have gone to auto parts places (including some really well-respected ones), they look it up & the catalogs say either "Buy matching length" or "Cut to fit."

And of course if you look at the split-loom cover on the positive cable, it appears that there are a number of branches off there. It doesn't seem to just bolt straight into the starter & leave it at that.

Has anyone else had to replace their battery cables?

Is there any way to really do it right without going to the dealership & paying their price?

RIP as of 12/9/2008: was a well-maintained winter blue B13 w/4-speed auto OD (~93K on the clock)
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#2 Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 05:47 PM
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Well, I replaced ALL of my cables when I relocated my battery to the trunk during the auto to manual swap.







As you can see from those pics, I completely replaced the main starter wire with 1 gauge welding cable and crimped ring terminals on both ends. Then I cut off the battery terminal from the 2 other wires that were attached to the factory clamp, the ECU/Main fusible link and the alternator wire. I crimped ring terminals on the end of those, and attached them to the Power post pictured. I then replaced the ground wire with the same size 1 gauge welding cable and crimped ring terminals. That power post is available at West Marine. Yes, it comes with a cover, but I couldn't fit all the wires in the cover. I am redoing it shortly, so I left it exposed.

Now this is not totally necessary in your case, as your battery is still up front. Just wanted to show you what I did. What I recommend you do, is go get some of those bling-bling battery clamps from your local stereo shop, and clamp the 2 small wires to the battery clamp, and get a small piece of heavy gauge battery cable or welding cable and completely replace the starter wire and clamp it to the battery clamp.

1991 Sentra SE - Auto to Manual swap, 15" Rota Subzero's, 205/50 Kuhmo 712's, Tsuru headlight conversion, SE-R front and rear disc brakes, SE-R front and rear swaybars, SE-R throttle body, SE-R rear inner taillights, HS CAI and Header, H&R springs, Koni shortened struts, ES Hyperflex kit, B&M Short Shifter, Autometer gauges.
#3 Old Jun 6th, 2005, 08:28 AM
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Cool Jeez! That's almost overkill

Wow, man! That's serious.

First, two quick questions:

1. Did you move the battery to the trunk for better weight distribution?

2. Where did you run the power cables?

----------------------------------------------

You've already given me more info than I needed. Which is good (unless I get myself confused here).

When I've had the battery out, I've seen that (in addition to the pair of fusible links tied to the battery clamp) there are some branches in the split-loom wire covers off the positive terminal. I haven't wanted to strip those off to see where they go. So tell me if I've got it right about the branches off the positive terminal of the battery:

1. A big, beefy wire (in your case, 1-gauge welding cable) goes to the starter to deliver all the start-up current (and that's the only time that that particular wire should be hot--when the ignition switch is turned to "start");

2. Two other smaller wires go to:
a. The alternator (providing the positive side of a charge circuit for the battery) and
b. The ECU/main fusuble link.

Is that correct? Or are the two smaller branches wrapped with split-loom covers off the positive side in the factory setup just where the pair of fusible links tied directly to the battery clamp go to make contact with the alternator & the ECU/main?

Thanks for your help. I hope these don't seem like dumb questions. I just like to gather all the information that I can before I go cutting & crimping & all that.



Quote:
Originally Posted by johnand
Well, I replaced ALL of my cables when I relocated my battery to the trunk during the auto to manual swap.







As you can see from those pics, I completely replaced the main starter wire with 1 gauge welding cable and crimped ring terminals on both ends. Then I cut off the battery terminal from the 2 other wires that were attached to the factory clamp, the ECU/Main fusible link and the alternator wire. I crimped ring terminals on the end of those, and attached them to the Power post pictured. I then replaced the ground wire with the same size 1 gauge welding cable and crimped ring terminals. That power post is available at West Marine. Yes, it comes with a cover, but I couldn't fit all the wires in the cover. I am redoing it shortly, so I left it exposed.

Now this is not totally necessary in your case, as your battery is still up front. Just wanted to show you what I did. What I recommend you do, is go get some of those bling-bling battery clamps from your local stereo shop, and clamp the 2 small wires to the battery clamp, and get a small piece of heavy gauge battery cable or welding cable and completely replace the starter wire and clamp it to the battery clamp.

RIP as of 12/9/2008: was a well-maintained winter blue B13 w/4-speed auto OD (~93K on the clock)
#4 Old Jan 10th, 2006, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 92 Sinatra
My original cable clamps wore out. They were essentially two parallel brass loops that wrapped around the battery posts, and eventually those loops cracked & loosened up.

Right now I have generic replacement clamps on the cables. However, I hated to cut into the original cables (especially the positive one, where corrosion likes to take root). Also the little red plastic cover that used to snap over the post & clamp & fusible link connection on the positive side to prevent accidental short-circuits doesn't fit any more. When I have gone to auto parts places (including some really well-respected ones), they look it up & the catalogs say either "Buy matching length" or "Cut to fit."

And of course if you look at the split-loom cover on the positive cable, it appears that there are a number of branches off there. It doesn't seem to just bolt straight into the starter & leave it at that.

Has anyone else had to replace their battery cables?

Is there any way to really do it right without going to the dealership & paying their price?

Hi, I have the same problem Don't want to pay the dealer $180 for a terminal. Were you able to resolve this. I am in Austin, TX as well. Thanks for any help you can offer.
#5 Old Jan 10th, 2006, 03:57 PM
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New cable terminals

Yeah; here's what I did:

For the negative (ground) side, I bought one of those 2-part quick-disconnect terminals--the kind a lot of people use for batteries on boats. It's a pair of machined lead fittings (one for the battery post, one for the cable end) that link together and connect securely with a knurled knob. So now if I work on the car & I have to disconnect the battery, that part is easy. It doesn't even require tools.

On the positive side, I bought a Tsunami BT704 terminal. They stocked that at the Auto Zone on Burnet. The thing has a pair of 8-gauge and a pair of 4-gauge inputs; you tighten those down with hex wrenches.

So this setup is not as pretty as it was before, and it did require cutting into the cables, but it works. Tsunami even makes a cover for the terminal, but I don't know where to get it.

I haven't looked at it lately, but at some point I will go back, dissassemble the main hot lead from the Tsuanmi, clean off any corrosion that might be there, and use good electrical tape like Scotch 33+ under a shrink-to-fit sleeve to cover the cable as best I can. I figure I may not have to do this until May or so, and it won't be as clean a set-up as the insulation on the wire being imbedded in the clamp; my electrical problems always wait until the first really hot day, when I might get stranded in traffic or something else really nice.

Not ideal, but the dealership cost was just way too high for me. Talk about a rip!

I had a terrible run of luck with Auto Zone batteries and alternators back there. I mean, it was bad. I'd advise you to get most of your under-the-hood parts from Van's instead. I buy fluids and filters at the Zone, but I'm not going through all that again.

Another thing I learned that I hadn't known before: the diameters of the hot-side (positive) and ground posts on your battery are different. Don't believe any one-size-fits-all jive.

I used a dremel tool in an effort to cut open the brass band on the positive cable & fold it back where it was crimped onto the copper; I thought I might save about an inch of conductor. But that was a waste of effort. The thing is really on there, so you might as well just cut it off.



Quote:
Originally Posted by dkakridas
Hi, I have the same problem Don't want to pay the dealer $180 for a terminal. Were you able to resolve this. I am in Austin, TX as well. Thanks for any help you can offer.

RIP as of 12/9/2008: was a well-maintained winter blue B13 w/4-speed auto OD (~93K on the clock)
#6 Old Jan 10th, 2006, 09:26 PM
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Lovely job man... Kinda like my setup....

I think these guys are looking for a Cheap, and Effective, Fix..

Here ya go.... $5 and 15min. Terminal end replacement.


From the Auto parts store (Prefferably NAPA)..........
2 QUALITY Repalcement terminals. I usually get the $2-3 ones. And has 2 bolts to clamp the wire with. Also get a Cheap battery terminal cleaner. Get a Soda while your on break, and an extra for later.....

From the toolbox...............
Either a Dremel w/cutoff or Heavy duty Wire cutters, Side cutters. Appropriate wrenches/sockets for Old and New terminals. Hammer or Large pliers.


Pull both Old terminal off battery. Neg is ALWAYS the FIRST to come off and LAST to go on! Take the bolt out of the Old terminal (might have to cut it out). Fold the terminal out semi-flat (open it). Youve now got something like this O====O-------. The O's are the bolt holes. On the end CLOSEST to the wire-----. Snip/cut off the Majority of the terminal, Leaving the 1 Bolt hole intact. Using either the hammer or pliers, Flatten the remainder of the terminal.

Take your New terminal out of the box... Unbolt the Wire clamping part. Run a bolt through the clamp, through the Freshly Flattened terminal end, and into your NEW terminal. Repeat as Necessary.

Take the Soda you bought and pour it on top of the Battery... YES! I mean whatever Carbonated Beverage you bought pour it on your battery!!! While your soda is eating the Acid off, use the Battery cleaner to clean the Battery terminals, Even the NEW wire terminals. Rinse with WATER.

Re-Attach Battery cables and Check your work.

Hope this helps.

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#7 Old Jan 11th, 2006, 10:26 AM
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Soda trick

Yup--I surely didn't invent it, but I have startled, amused & amazed people with the "pour some Coke or Dr. Pepper" on the terminals to remove corrosion. Sometimes that plus a minor twist on the battery post, and voila! Their car starts right up.

I think it's the carbonated water that actually does it. Like cleaning your grill with club soda. If the soda had gone flat, I doubt it would work.

Club soda is probably generally preferred, anyhow: no sticky syrup & all that stuff to leave a gooey residue after it evaporates. So if you can't run the hose on it to rinse afterward (like you're way out there someplace & all you've got is a cooler or a machine of carbonated drinks), there's no clean-up necessary afterward.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nastynissan
Lovely job man... Kinda like my setup....

I think these guys are looking for a Cheap, and Effective, Fix..

Here ya go.... $5 and 15min. Terminal end replacement.


From the Auto parts store (Prefferably NAPA)..........
2 QUALITY Repalcement terminals. I usually get the $2-3 ones. And has 2 bolts to clamp the wire with. Also get a Cheap battery terminal cleaner. Get a Soda while your on break, and an extra for later.....

From the toolbox...............
Either a Dremel w/cutoff or Heavy duty Wire cutters, Side cutters. Appropriate wrenches/sockets for Old and New terminals. Hammer or Large pliers.


Pull both Old terminal off battery. Neg is ALWAYS the FIRST to come off and LAST to go on! Take the bolt out of the Old terminal (might have to cut it out). Fold the terminal out semi-flat (open it). Youve now got something like this O====O-------. The O's are the bolt holes. On the end CLOSEST to the wire-----. Snip/cut off the Majority of the terminal, Leaving the 1 Bolt hole intact. Using either the hammer or pliers, Flatten the remainder of the terminal.

Take your New terminal out of the box... Unbolt the Wire clamping part. Run a bolt through the clamp, through the Freshly Flattened terminal end, and into your NEW terminal. Repeat as Necessary.

Take the Soda you bought and pour it on top of the Battery... YES! I mean whatever Carbonated Beverage you bought pour it on your battery!!! While your soda is eating the Acid off, use the Battery cleaner to clean the Battery terminals, Even the NEW wire terminals. Rinse with WATER.

Re-Attach Battery cables and Check your work.

Hope this helps.

RIP as of 12/9/2008: was a well-maintained winter blue B13 w/4-speed auto OD (~93K on the clock)
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