Battery/charging/starter cables

shanemac

Active member
Ok my second battery as gone dead three times in the last few weeks, i decided to snoop around and do a few volt checks with the time i had. For starters i checked volts at the + jump start terminal under the hood and the fender ground terminal with engine off i read 12.1 vdc.... after i got the van started i checked again it was 13.65 vdc with the heater blower running and the booster heater. I checked the volts at the battery posts under the same conditions and read 12.1 to 12.4 all the cables looked clean and tight in the battery area. Went under the van( i love crawling around in the snow:crazy:) started looking at the cable from the alternator to the starter and when i looked at starter connections and cables this is what i seen. I was to lazy and cold to try and check for alternator output



The cable with the plastic loom goes to the inline fuse link right ware the loom is coming off the cable is like + 150F hot to the touch that can't be normal?

Hear are few other pics in that area









I would assume the red cable from starter goes to the battery? The jump start terminal under hood must join in at the Y part of cable just off the starter? When my ass warms up i may trace them out. the connections on starter are tight but rusty looking must be poor contact there.
 

piper1

Resident Oil Nerd.
If you are losing that much voltage between the battery and the rest of the system you are definitely going to have continuing battery woes. The voltage drop from the alternator to the battery should not be more than .2 V. Put one lead of your meter on the alternator output, put the other on the battery positive post, vehicle running-accessories off, you should not see more than .2 v. I was losing .8V at one point before I re-cabled. The heat you are feeling in the cable is almost surely the resistance of a bad connection/cable.

If you have the time, or have an independent shop you trust, IMHO, get new cables made. Have one go directly from the alt to the battery, and have one go from the battery to the starter. The boost post can be routed to either the battery or the big positive post on the starter.

Again, my opinion, the factory high current starting/charging wiring is a cheap unreliable design. Being as far north as you are, if any of it is even slightly under performing, you will continue to have issues.
 

folzag

New member
I would assume the red cable from starter goes to the battery? The jump start terminal under hood must join in at the Y part of cable just off the starter? When my ass warms up i may trace them out. the connections on starter are tight but rusty looking must be poor contact there.

You've seen this thread?
https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10155

And my post w/ photos?
https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showpost.php?p=86926&postcount=39 (you really should do this crawling around stuff in the summer ;-)

First, that you are burning through the starter cable is major bad. That needs replaced yesterday. Every time you turn over the starter it gets a little worse. Also, the rust on the cable terminals is from the heat cycling. It speeds up the oxidation process (fire is _really_ fast oxidation). If you were to cut-away the insulation you cable would look like a corroded, green mess.

To answer your questions, yes, the one starter cable, slightly rustier and has the nut against it, goes up and to the jumper post at the top of the engine. The insulation is pulling away from heat conducting to it. The other starter cable, the heavily melted one that goes back to the alternator, is the notorious Y cable. It has the fusible link about midway in the center where it passes over a cross-member. As Piper was saying, the problem is the Y is on the wrong side. It should be on the alternator side, not the starter side. Bad design, but hey they probably saved 5 euros per van.
 

shanemac

Active member
yep seen that thread and your post...the thread in some sense gave me some inspiration to go and snoop around. I plan on ordering new cables.. custom made cables would be best but need to have the specs and find the right person to do it. Thanks for your help.
 

shanemac

Active member
Thanks.... ya it's been pretty cold lately the motivation as been low, I took things for granted I wouldn't have issues seeing van was at the dealer a short while ago. I have proper part numbers for cables it's just a matter of getting them ordered and shipped.
 

shanemac

Active member
Thanks.... ya it's been pretty cold lately the motivation as been low, I took things for granted I wouldn't have issues seeing van was at the dealer a short while ago. I have proper part numbers for cables it's just a matter of getting them ordered and shipped.
 

folzag

New member
Every time you turn over the starter it gets a little worse.

Actually, I take that back. The starter gets juice from the battery on the other side of the Y. It's the alternator trying to push juice through the corrosion that is heating things up and melting insulation. So, it's not the starting per se, it's the recharge after the starting. And the heater. And the headlights. And the -- you get the idea.

Good luck with it. Try not to waste any more time than necessary addressing it.
 

jdcaples

Not Suitable w/220v Gen
What part numbers and descriptions did you determine need replacing?

Are they in the attached document?

-Jon
 

Attachments

shanemac

Active member
Well today i got under the van and figured it wouldn't hurt to clean the terminal end on the y cable and the jump cable end, also wrapped some good quality electrical tape thinking why not...i can't do much else. The nut for cables is 13mm i used a stubby wrench there was no room for a 1/4 ratchet and a shallow socket.



I took a volt output from alternator to a chassis ground and it was 14.17 vdc. and from the jumper positive under hood to fender ground was 13.65 vdc. this was with van running with no accessories on only headlights.

I went for a log drive to try and get battery recharged and noticed volt gauge reading was 13.7vdc(been some time i seen it that high) with heaters on and booster it never went below 12.5vdc after a 45 min drive i took my temp reading at the y part of cable it was 190F and my volts were dropping below 13vdc sometimes less than 12.5vdc.

Jon item 180 for sure 68047520aa a9064408155, item 200 i could change but i don't think is a critical part seeing its just for boosting part number

During this time i bought a power box it has come in handy more than few times.

 
Last edited:

shanemac

Active member
Ok i decided to brave the cold weather and change out the cables this afternoon, why you ask, well i was on borrowed time and don't have the patience right now to deal with a local garage or any type of dealership.With the new cable 68047520AA the only difference i can see with it is on the Y terminal there were two small holes in the metal end other than that its the same, it comes with all the tie wrap mounts to properly secure it preinstalled. It was just a matter of snipping off the tie wraps and prying off the plastic mounts.... the areas under the engine are a bit awkward over all it wasn't to bad besides laying on the ground:bash: Took me about 2.5 hours that included going in and out of the garage for the right socket. The alternator nut is 13 mm just like the starter nut.

Now at the battery posts with only head lights on i get 14.2 vdc with old cable i was getting around 12.2 vdc
68047520AA 246.40 CAN



68011449AA 94.20 CAN



I also fitted the wolverine battery warmer BH-60



And i also installed a new Braille battery B10049

 

jdcaples

Not Suitable w/220v Gen
Thanks for the informative write-up and taking the time to shoot some pics in the cold for us; totally appreciate it!


Can you provide a recording of the engine starting in a few mornings, after the Braille's fully charged?

Thanks again

-Jon

PS: WiTECH driving my StarMOBILE scan tool tells me I'm only getting 12.2 off the battery with headlamps on high, wipers going, heating the glass, heater fan on full and driver seat heater going. Cutting everything brings me back to 12.8 - 13.3 volts... I can't get 14 any more... so maybe I too am looking at a cable change. What do you think? Anyone reading can chime in with an answer.
 
Last edited:

mackconsult

New member
Wow .... this is a great thread. I have not had battery or starting issues, but am getting ready to do a 2 battery house w/ inverter setup.

So when I do this I might just be looking for these same issues and change out those alt/battery wiring ....
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
I did the fuse modification to my glow plug module yesterday and also changed my battery. The main GP module feed lug and stud (10 mm nut size) were kinda nasty looking. I cleaned them up and used vaseline for re-assembly. It appeared the lug was crimped and soldered.

This is the 2nd crummy connection I've run into which had soldered terminals. The other was the 200 amp lug up at the battery post fuse assembly. In that case the other 4 crimped only lug connections immediately next to it looked great. I wonder if the solder flux MB uses is a bit corrosive? Perhaps their belt and suspenders (crimped and also soldered) is actually biting us in the a$$? That said, this is based upon only two connections so far on my 2004.

Are the failing connection lugs that others are finding soldered also? vic
 

piper1

Resident Oil Nerd.
Great pics Shane as always!:thumbup:
 

shanemac

Active member
Sure Jon, i will PM you when its ready. In all fairness i kinda think i fried my cables over a period of time the culprit my battery charger. When i had dead battery's from last winter i never had a jump start box so i just threw my charger on using the jump terminal i never left it on for more than a hour but i think the weak cable design as piper mentioned just can't take any extra abuse. Ever since i had owned my sprinter the first winter of 08 i had battery problems/ starting problems(winter only) and that was before i was using my charger, so i figured a crappy battery seeing my 07 was sitting on the dealer lot for so long.

I was kinda hoping for a visual difference on the charging cable a heavier gauge wire or something...maybe the y connector is manufactured better i don't know. I will be saving my old cables if i decide to get a custom set made up with heavier gauge wire and a Y eliminated as Piper has done.
 
Last edited:

jdcaples

Not Suitable w/220v Gen
Thank you, Shane.

Both the StarMOBILE desktop client and the WiTECH software reported 11.92 for battery voltage while idling in my driveway, no headlamps or other drags on the system.

The WiTECH software changes the voltage measurement information to a yellow font, which means "take a damned good look at what I'm telling you."

I am now very concerned and will look into ordering a new cable.

It's too bad you can't tell the difference between your old cable and your new one. MB EPC has a superseded part number for the original equipment. If I order a cable, it'll be from an MB dealership and, if I replace it, I'll post comparison photos and hands-on, obvious differences (there may be none; dunno).

The web resource I use to cross-ref MOPAR part numbers to MB part numbers - http://starparts.chrysler.com/home/crossref.htm is no longer available. So the MOPAR part number you provided may or may not reflect the updated MBpart number. If you have the MB part number, I can check EPC and confirm that you have installed the updated version.


-Jon
 

shanemac

Active member
From the info i found Jon...the latest MB number is A9064408155 FOR MY VIN and dodge's number is 68047520AA also the bag the cable came in the dodge sticker has been put over the MB sticker which has the latest number. The new cable compared to my old one had a extra plastic tab mount and one extra tie wrap mount and the y terminal end had two holes drilled in the end of terminal i guess some kind of identification mark.
 
Last edited:

Hubert

New member
shanemac thanks a lot, I had the same problem in my Crafter, once again two diferent VW dealers can't find why I had charging problem, then I found your post and replace that "Y" cable exept that in Crafter those two on yours pics are conected, charging is back to normal, every thing cost me 330$ and I ad some extra isolation as you did but way more ;-), and I sugest to check short conection made of copper between engine and body, mine was completely green because of the corrosion

 
Last edited:

shanemac

Active member
Your welcome, yes your cable is a one piece system no attachment at the starter like mine but i can see the similarities....thanks for heads up on the ground strap when i was snooping around on my van the other day i seen that strap and mine looked clean but i may check the hardware to make sure its snug.

Hope you have better luck with your dealer in the future.
 

jdcaples

Not Suitable w/220v Gen
I love this thread, but I hate that it is necessary.

Shane, where does the cable enter the battery box? I don't remember a hole in there, but it's been a year or something since I replaced my factory battery.

-Jon
 

Top Bottom