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Old 12-28-2013, 09:00 PM   #1
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Why 2 Cables For Positive & Negative?

Each of the positive & negative battery cables on my jeep has 2 cables coming off of the battery posts, instead of just 1.

Is this normal, or is this something that the PO did?

If this IS normal, where do the secondary cables go to?
I can't just trace them down, because both the positive & the negative cables leave the battery, and go into some sort of sheath. I suppose I could cut the sheath open, but I don't want to, if it isn't necessary.

I don't know if these cables are factory, because there is electrical tape wrapped around these cables, right where the cables come away from the battery clamps, at the battery terminals.

You can see, if it weren't for the electrical tape, where the actual exposed ends of the cables are. I would think that the OEM cables wouldn't be this way.

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Old 12-28-2013, 09:04 PM   #2
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Do you have a winch? Mine looks the same, one goes to winch... I'd cut it open, better to learn in the garage rather than the field.

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Old 12-28-2013, 09:35 PM   #3
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... better to learn in the garage rather than the field.
That's true.
I was actually getting my oil changed.
When the oil guys went to pull my jeep into the bay, it wouldn't start. No power. Nothing.

As it turns out, the cables that go to the negative side of the battery had a bad connection.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:12 PM   #4
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Do you have a winch? Mine looks the same, one goes to winch...
I don't have a winch.
Everything except the radio is stock.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:17 PM   #5
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I guess I was lucky that I had the "bad cable connection" today. Last night was the 1st time we took the jeep to the drive in. It would have really been a pain to have it not start last night. Playing around with the wiring (in the dark) would have been no picnic. Today, when this happened, I had the oil guys wiggling different wires, while I waited for my dash lights to come on. When the lights DID finally light up, I asked them which wire they moved just then. That's how we discovered which wire was the problem.

One of the guys said that he just lifted up on the negative wire where it connects to the battery clamp.

I'm going to remove all of that electrical tape, and ensure that there is a really good connection there.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:16 PM   #6
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Those battery terminals are not stock, but two wires to each is normal.
For positive one goes to the starter, one to the pdc.
For negative one goes to engine block, one to the firewall.
I would definitely take the tape off if you are having issues. Undo the battery terminals first so you don't short anything...
Military style terminals and lug ends are great for fixing up stuff like that.
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IcarusLSC View Post
... one to the pdc...
What is the "PDC"?

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... Undo the battery terminals first so you don't short anything...
That's a good idea.
It seems like the trouble is only at the negative battery terminal.
I figure I'll just remove the tape, & unbolt the clamp to that terminal. Clean the cables up real good, then reassemble that negative terminal.
Since there is also electrical tape on the positive terminal, as well, I figure to do the same with the positive terminal, too.
No sense waiting for that side to have an issue, too.

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... Military style terminals and lug ends are great for fixing up stuff like that.
What are "military style terminals"?
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Old 12-29-2013, 05:47 AM   #8
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basically you crimp or solder the ring terminals on, then just bolt onto terminal

and PDC is your power distribution center. IE main fuse box
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:14 AM   #9
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The PDC is the power distribution center/your fusebox.
The ends you have are quite prone to corrosion/bad connections. Get new ends like SmokeEater posted, they are great
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
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basically you crimp or solder the ring terminals on, then just bolt onto terminal ...
Where do you find these military clamps? Pretty cool design. O'Reilly Auto Parts or maybe Auto Zone? Or do you have to order them?
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IcarusLSC View Post
... The ends you have are quite prone to corrosion/bad connections...
There is electrical tape on the positive cable @ the PDC, on the outside of the PDC box. I have no idea what the PO had in mind, or why he wouldn't just do it right the 1st time.

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... The ends you have are quite prone to corrosion/bad connections...
Once they have installed new cables onto a battery, I've seen mechanics spray a reddish substance onto the terminals. I always assumed that once this spray dried, it would keep the cables from corroding.

If this is so, couldn't I just fix my connections, then use that spray?
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:05 PM   #12
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the anti corrosion spray is nice, keeps the terminals somewhat clean. its purple round here. the military terminals are cheaper on ebay/amazon. you MIGHT be able to order them through autozone/oreally?s

id start checking ALL your connections, sounds like you had a gremlin
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:12 PM   #13
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Sounds like the PO got cheap/creative on the repairs?! Check the insulation etc once the tape is gone, maybe they just wanted to cover it with some extra protection.
I'd crimp or solder new lugs on the wires if they are ok, and use the military style terminals. Then coat the ends with the red or yellow or purple stuff
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:23 PM   #14
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:10 PM   #15
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I don't think this sort of cable would work.

Look at the secondary cable. It's really thin gauged. I don't think it would hold up to carrying the required power across.
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Old 12-30-2013, 02:05 PM   #16
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So, what gauge wire are the 4 wires coming from the battery supposed to be?
I want to use the correct gauge wire when I change them out.
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Old 12-30-2013, 03:21 PM   #17
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Photo #1 shows both of the battery terminals, and the PDC connection with the electrical tape on them.

Photo #2 shows the metal piece that connects to the PDC.
As you can see, the PO placed electrical tape around where the positive cable attaches to it, like he did on the other 2 ends.

I would like to replace that connector piece. Anyone have an idea as to what that piece is called, and where you would find it? Also, would it already have a positive wire attached to it?

Is there a way around having to replace that connector piece? How is the positive wire actually attached to it? (It's hard to tell, with all of that tape on it, and I don't want to remove it until I have the components to replace it with.)
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:26 PM   #18
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Stock wires are 6g for the positive, and 4g and 6g for the grounds.

I'd disconnect the terminals from the battery, and unwind the tape to see what is underneath. Did the previous owner just cover them more, or is the insulation on the wires gone/burnt etc? You can always rewrap them in new tape for now (though fixing/replacing them would be best.)

I'd cut back a bit and replace the ends on the battery side if they are good/not corroded with the ring lugs (like in the picture/info SmokeEater posted) that will fit the military style clamps we mentioned. You'll need to solder or crimp these and shrink wrap them.

If that connecter to the PDC looks fine, and the wires are secure in the crimp at it under the tape, I'd leave it alone/just clean it up with a brush and reconnect.
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:20 PM   #19
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While the most expensive solution, if I could afford it, I would replace with a set of stock cables from a local or an on-line dealer.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:45 PM   #20
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While the most expensive solution, if I could afford it, I would replace with a set of stock cables from a local or an on-line dealer.
I checked with the local dealership.
They want $150 for a set of cables.

If all else fails, I may have to go that route.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:49 PM   #21
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I checked with the local dealership.
They want $150 for a set of cables.

If all else fails, I may have to go that route.
Wow, more than I thought, Try IcarusLSC's suggestion.
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:46 AM   #22
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I went with a bit heavier cable (way heavier actually!) but did the same basically as what I suggested to vertical horizons. I also added wires/fuse to an aux. fuse panel on the other side (pics as I did the work, I covered the ends with yellow protection spray etc):

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Old 01-01-2014, 06:04 PM   #23
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I went with a bit heavier cable (way heavier actually!)..:
I know if you go with a smaller guage cable, you can/will have problems. But, can you go with too large of a cable, and that. Cause you to have a problem?
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Old 01-01-2014, 06:07 PM   #24
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No, just make sure it's loomed and protected and it's fused at the alternator like stock and you'll be fine.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:14 PM   #25
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No, just make sure it's loomed ...
What do you mean by "loomed"?
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:21 PM   #26
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What do you mean by "loomed"?
Wire loom. See they black plastic stuff covering his cables in the picture.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:26 PM   #27
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You don't need to cover it all, just where it might rub etc. I tend to overkill stuff, lol..
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:51 PM   #28
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IcarusLSC -

Where did you get that POSITIVE cable terminal?
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:04 AM   #29
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It's a military style one as well, it also has a single BlueSea terminal fuse block on it too (the tan part.)

I got the fuse from a local boat place up here, it's for the aux. fuse panel I put on the other side of the Jeep.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:52 PM   #30
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I've been having the same issue. I will be replace all cables on my next pay check. I ended up taking them off and cleaning the ends for now.

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