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  #1  
Old 04-21-2006, 10:42 PM
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Annoying loose battery cable... quick fix?

It seems that every time my wife drives my 560sl she has an uncanny knack for finding all it's idiosyncracies. She drove it to work and back today and after stopping at the grocery, the electrical was dead. Luckily we had met for dinner and I was parked right next to her. I immediately knew what had happened-one of the battery cables had popped off, like it does from time to time.

I've tried every tightening it extra tight and it just pops off sometimes. I'm wondering if there is something I can pinch in the connection that will give the cable more bite withought causing a drop in conductivity. I seem to recall seeing something you could put on like that but do any of you have a shadetree solution to my problem?

Thanks.

Jb
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2006, 10:52 PM
blitzgritz
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Try sanding terminal...then wrap copper wire around and around terminal then tighten clamp

Wire will bite into both the terminal and clamp....good luck

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  #3  
Old 04-22-2006, 01:00 AM
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This is not a "minor" problem. If battery is disconnected while the car is moving, the voltage regulator in the alternator alone won't be able to soak up all of the spikes from the alternator, leading to weird electrical problems, a blown OVP, etc. I fixed my - cable as described above; if this doesn't work it isn't difficult to replace.
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  #4  
Old 04-22-2006, 05:36 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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i would replace it. they dont cost that much and are pretty easy to replace. and prob can use universals too, but they prob wont match originals for quality. has yours by any chance had the end replaced?

if so the ends are junk and you really should do the cable. (at least the ones i have seen are junk)

tom w
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  #5  
Old 04-22-2006, 08:37 AM
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Wink Cut the cable connector down!!

I had this problem with one cable end and we simply cut out part of the metal ring at the end of the cable, so it could close more tightly. The design of the cable end was such that it could not clamp tightly on a new battery I bought, but this quick fix cured it permanently ... Ben Carter
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  #6  
Old 04-22-2006, 09:09 AM
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Also be aware that the posts are two different sizes and if someone has replaced the clamp in the past, it may not be the right size. Making the gap wider, as Ben did , will take care of it.

Michael
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  #7  
Old 04-22-2006, 05:43 PM
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Talking Battery cable adjustment clarification

In my case, cutting some of the lead off the connection ends actually allowed the cable end to tighten down on the post -- when the cross bolt was screwed down. In other cases, perhaps widening the gap would allow the cable end to fit a larger post. I believe the problem in the original post on this subject was like mine and the member needs to cut out some of the post end closure material so that the clamp portion can be tightened on the post.
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1968 Mercedes 230S (106K) (Sold 9/06))
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  #8  
Old 04-22-2006, 06:33 PM
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Just replace the end.
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  #9  
Old 04-22-2006, 08:48 PM
krs krs is offline
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Use a small centerpunch or a 1/4" or so chisel (flatblade screwdriver) and peen a dent into the cable end on both sides of the terminal. Do as many, or hit it as hard as necessary to push the metal of the connector inward toward the battery terminal. DO NOT hit it hard - you could crack the battery case.

It's also pretty OK to peen into the battery post to peen in reverse - outward against the terminal.
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  #10  
Old 04-22-2006, 10:40 PM
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Posts: 259
I took the easy way out....

Advance auto parts sell caps that you place over the battery post that acts to make the post bigger. $1.68 for 2. I installed one of those and tightened the cable down, seems to make a real tight fit.

Thanks, all.

JB
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  #11  
Old 04-23-2006, 07:57 AM
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Sometimes it is the smallest things that cause the biggest problems...

Whne I bought my '72 the seller had indicated one of the reasons he sold it was that 3 times he had to have the car towed to the shop with a "completely dead battery" and they put three new alternators in and then it happened again. He was fed-up. I looked under the hood and saw the battery cable could be taken off by hand and knew I had found the problem. I bought a new end-piece for about $1 and cut the old one off and replaced it...no more towing since then. Some techs just forget about the basics...I swear some mechanics are so bad they should not be allowed to work on cars.
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  #12  
Old 04-23-2006, 10:17 AM
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Location: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBoggs
It seems that every time my wife drives my 560sl she has an uncanny knack for finding all it's idiosyncracies. She drove it to work and back today and after stopping at the grocery, the electrical was dead. Luckily we had met for dinner and I was parked right next to her. I immediately knew what had happened-one of the battery cables had popped off, like it does from time to time.

I've tried every tightening it extra tight and it just pops off sometimes. I'm wondering if there is something I can pinch in the connection that will give the cable more bite withought causing a drop in conductivity. I seem to recall seeing something you could put on like that but do any of you have a shadetree solution to my problem?

Thanks.

Jb
You had a few workable solutions. When I had that problem a light gauge solder wire wrapped around the post provided a solution - alternatively, your local auto parts store ought to have replacement cable clamps that allow one to cut off the old clamp, clean the wire and bolt on a new clamp.

Padraig
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  #13  
Old 01-21-2013, 08:07 PM
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Clean Between Clamp Plates & Press Down as you Tighten

I had a loose terminal and found a simple solution.
Open the battery cable clamp and clean between the plates that come together as you tighten the clamp bolt. I had some corrosion in there. Then push down on the terminal clamp as you tighten it back on. Mine is now very tight once again.

Just a few extra notes, I also noticed the two "plates" had a shape to them. You need to make sure they come together correctly. Also always make sure to open the clamp a modest ways (say 1/8 inch) so that it is initially very loose when you put it back on. Its important to push down on the clamp as you tighten it because Top post terminal batteries have tapered posts.

Last edited by d_gibbs42; 01-21-2013 at 08:08 PM. Reason: improve the title
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:07 PM
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