Battery Cable Question
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  • 1 Post By geegeeburr
Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, Battery Cable Question in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I'm sorry, I know my questions are hard to read because I don't know stuff. But hopefully you guys can ...
  1. #1
    geegeeburr is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1997 Eldorado
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    Battery Cable Question

    I'm sorry, I know my questions are hard to read because I don't know stuff. But hopefully you guys can help.

    I have a problem with one of my positive battery cables. There are two cables connected to the positive battery terminal, one that goes up over the top of the engine, and one that goes down under the car, near the radiator. This cable, that goes under, is the one that has a problem. Where this cable attaches to the positive terminal, there is a circular piece of metal, which the terminal post bolt goes through, attached to a clamp where the copper wires are clamped on. I don't know what this part is called, but the clamp that holds the wires has failed. It is slightly deformed, and the nut that holds the clamp shut has pulled out, so the wires have come out of the clamp. (There are no covers or electrical tape, just naked wire.) So, at the top of the cable, the copper wires look bad. I think I should cut them off, and re-clamp with shiny new wire from further down the cable, but the cable is very short. If I removed even an inch, I don't think I could re-clamp the wires, because it would pull the cable so tight. But I don't want to go under the car and replace the whole cable, because I get really claustrophobic under a car. So, can I somehow splice a new bit of cable to the old cable, and then attach to the battery? Would that be safe? And also, is it safe to have just the naked wires like that, not even wrapped in electrical tape or anything? Because both my postitive and negative cables are just naked. Thanks!

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  3. #2
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    It sounds like someone has replaced the original battery terminal with an after market one, and shortened the cable slightly in the process. The whole cable really should be replaced, but it is possible to repair it. A car audio shop would be able to do it for you. Otherwise, you'd need to buy your own battery cable crimping tool, or use a torch to solder the connection.

    And no, exposed wire is not ok.

  4. #3
    Tankboy40's Avatar
    Tankboy40 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Battery Cable Question

    Right on Moist...

    Additionally, if the bare positive cable touches steel, its liable to short, and although I dont know exactly what will happen, i know it will mess with the numerous computers in the car.

    My advice, until you can replace it correctly, disconnect the positive cable from the battery and do not drive the car... better to err on the sida of caustion than create a more costly repair down the road...

  5. #4
    geegeeburr is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1997 Eldorado
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    Re: Battery Cable Question

    MoistCabbage, thanks! I googled crimping tools, and I think we actually already have one. So, is the part I need in order to do this called a "butt splice?"

    Tankboy, thanks to you too. I have the whole battery disconnected right now.
    Tankboy40 likes this.

  6. #5
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Yes, butt splice connector. In the correct gauge if course. And you'd need some heavy duty shrink tube.

  7. #6
    geegeeburr is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1997 Eldorado
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    Re: Battery Cable Question

    Okay, the shrink tube is instead of electrical tape? I Googled it- if I don't have a torch, it's okay to use a heat gun? And, I'm sorry, but how do I know the right gauge? Shouldn't they be able to tell me that at the Auto Zone or O'Reilley?

  8. #7
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Definitely shrink tube instead of electrical tape. You don't need a torch unless you're soldering.

    You'll have to measure the cable on your car, there are size charts online.

    .....You'll be lucky if the AutoZone employees even know what a battery cable is.

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