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Old 11-26-2017, 05:46 PM
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Default School me on grounding?

Hey all,
89fj62, recently wouldn’t start. Turn the key, one big click, and 100%dead everywhere. Turn the key back, & it would go through the whole cycle again. Tested all the visible links, & rebuilt the one that looks like just a wire, connected via a bolt instead of a plug, because it was loose. No change. So I figured we were grounding out on something, so started Tinkering with wires. Found out that it will start if I hold up the main ground wire from the battery. Now I would have thought that if the ground wire has a cut & bare wire touching the truck, it would just “add” to the ground rather than kill everything. So what do I not understand about how grounds work?

Thanks
Abe
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Old 11-26-2017, 07:08 PM
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Sounds like you have a bunch of corrosion at the connection to the battery on both the posts, and possibly inside the wire. Then when lifting the cable it contacts some of the broken/corroded pieces. Start by removing the terminal from the battery and cleaning any corrosion off both surfaces. Pics of battery and cables?
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Old 11-26-2017, 07:09 PM
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Maybe the ground wire is loose? Clip a jumper cable to the ground side of the battery and the other end to the engine block - if that makes it start, I'd be hunting for a loose ground.
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Old 11-27-2017, 08:33 AM
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Sounds like the connection has come loose in your main ground wire. Replace it with a fat piece or welding cable and clean the frame to the bare metal (use dielectric grease to prevent corrosion) and add a star locking washer.
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Old 11-27-2017, 11:06 AM
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If the terminal post on the battery has broken loose (internally) you can have this happen. Under a heavy load, the battery can't deliver the current. Wiggle each post by hand and see if there is excessive movement of the post. I had this happen on my 40 many years back.
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Old 11-27-2017, 12:24 PM
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I have seen the wire inside of a ground lug corrode away so the ground cable wasn't actually touching anything inside the lug, but the connection "looked" ok at a glance. A tug on the wire revealed no wire left in the lug. It was just insulation left.
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Old 11-27-2017, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leiniesred View Post
I have seen the wire inside of a ground lug corrode away so the ground cable wasn't actually touching anything inside the lug, but the connection "looked" ok at a glance. A tug on the wire revealed no wire left in the lug. It was just insulation left.
That exact thing happened to me once, the battery cable looked fine on the outside, but inside the insulation it had corroded to the point where the copper was no longer making a connection with the lead terminal. Manipulating the cable with the headlights turned on, you could see the lights go on or off depending on the orientation of the battery cable. A new cable was a simple, cheap fix but the fault was not obvious visually.
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Old 11-28-2017, 11:04 PM
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Thanks for the tips all! I’ll use the insights here to keep chasing this weekend (no garage so can only work during the daylight). It certainly sounds like the fix will be a new negative cable. The terminal was tight & the Post seems perfect with no corrosion. Pics of the post below to help give you an idea.
Thanks
Abe
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