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95.5-2004 Tacomas & 96-2002 4Runners 4th gen pickups and 3rd gen 4Runners

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Old 08-09-2003, 09:30 AM   #1
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Battery Terminal wires fried

Well I finally get my rig back, not after a lot of stressing and negotiating for whats already mine, but the rig was running nicely.
In the past few days, i've been getting "hiccups." During driving, the car will, for a split second, die, everything will go out, gauges, lights, engine and all, then come back on. Yesterday, it got worse and eventually led to a complete shut off, was in mid turn, and the car crapped out, wrenched the wheel and had to coast to a stop on the side of the road. Thank god there wasn't a lot of traffic.
My question is, when I checked under the hood, the battery terminal wires, the negative terminal wire really, was fried. The plastic was melting and smoking. Called the mechanic, no answer, so instead of towing it back accross the city to him, I wanted to replace them myself. Any suggestions? Good idea? bad idea? This something hard to do if the complete wire needs to be replaced?
I know its the mechanics fault, but the cost to tow it and what not would be crazy. I would just take whatever cost I incurred out of what I still owe him. Or should I just take it to a shop and have them look it over and charge the other mechanic? Take it back to him across town?
Missed work because of this so i don't exactly have the luxury of lots of time.

Any suggestions would help
Thanks
Steve
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Old 08-09-2003, 10:06 AM   #2
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I'm sorta in the same boat because I have corrosion everywhere along the wire, so when you find out how to do it, lemme know
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Old 08-09-2003, 10:15 AM   #3
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There may be a few options for you.

1. Go to the dealer and order the cable ($$$)

2. Take the old one off and go to Pep Boys, Autozone, Checker and get one similar length and put it back on ($$).

3. Go to Pep Boys, Autozone, Checker and buy a new terminal, take off the old terminal (wire cutters) strip the wire, clean it (sand paper), and attach the new terminal. ($) Although it's the cheapest, it's usually best to just get a new cable.

Your mechanic may or may not have been to blame. Schmutz happens.
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Old 08-09-2003, 01:06 PM   #4
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I talked to few people, and they told me that what happened was that the ground wires came loose.

Does anyone know where these ground wires are? One connects directly from the negative terminal to the sidewall, and they tell me there should be one running to the engine, and that the engine has a ground wire somewhere as well, anyone know where they are on a 2nd gen?

Toyo_Runner96
I also found out that if you want to replace them, you'll have to go to napa or some auto store to buy just teh battery cable wires. The dealership will only sell a full harness, a good 1100, so napa is the best bet, probably under or around 20 bucks for both, should be.
Negative is grounded to the sidewall and the engine. Positive should run to the starter solenoid, im pretty sure. Hope this helps a bit.

Steve
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Old 08-09-2003, 03:27 PM   #5
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The small guage (10 guage I think) wire bolts to the fender directly to the left of the battery. I just bought a small guage battery ground wire from Autozone and hooked it to the terminal clamp bolt. Then I bolted it to the fender.

I think original broke because of too many dirt roads and the battery moving around too much. The wire eventually fatigued and broke.

The other end of the negative ground goes directly to the starter I think. I'll check when the 4Runner gets home.
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Old 08-09-2003, 08:15 PM   #6
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Re: Battery Terminal wires fried

Quote:
Originally posted by DyeBoi
when I checked under the hood, the battery terminal wires, the negative terminal wire really, was fried. The plastic was melting and smoking.
Dude, this shouldn't be happening. Before you do anything else you need to find out what caused this. Did something come loose and arc across the terminals? Is the battery shot? Is the alternator putting out too many volts? Did your mechanic spill some combustible material all over the engine bay? If you don't fix this problem it's just going to happen again with new cables.
New cables should be easy to put in. Get an aftermarket set or make your own (I did it so it's obviously not that hard). Either way, get at least 2 gauge cable and make sure all of your contact points are clean.
And I would definitely be paying a visit to this guy who calls himself a mechanic.
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Old 08-09-2003, 08:46 PM   #7
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I second the motion about not just fixing the melted wire (although it sounds like it needs replacing) . Thats most likely just a symptom, not the real problem.

If its the small wire from the negative to the body getting hot, that would seem to indicate that there is way too much current flowing through it.

You should have a much heavier wire from the neg. terminal going back to the engine to form the return path for the + wire from the alternator. On my 3rd gen, it connects to the engine block under the alternator just above the oil pan; its probably in the same general area on yours. I'm not sure about other wires from the engine block to the body.

You could have corrosion, a loose connection, broken wire, no connection. If you had work done, maybe they forgot to connect something. Look for fairly large wires not connected to anything down around the engine.

Alan
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Old 08-09-2003, 11:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by gwhayduke
The other end of the negative ground goes directly to the starter I think. I'll check when the 4Runner gets home.
The positive cable goes directly from the + post to the starter. I replaced both the positive and ground cables two weeks ago when I added my optima blue top. it was a pain because I had to strip off the loom and pull out the alternator and fuse box harnesses and then put everything back together using new + and ground and using the existing alt and fuse harnesses. The hard part was getting everything spaced correctly out of the loom so that it would be captured in the clamps and also so they would line up with their appropriate components. I got a 72 inch red 2 gage cable from Autozone and a 54 inch black 4 gauge cable from Walmart. That, combined with the optima fixed my slow starting problem. Then when I replaced the plug wires and plugs with new oem ones last friday, the starting is close to what it was brand new.

Your problem sounds like the shop hooked something up wrong and you are drawing too much current or something through the cable causing it to get hot and melt the insulation. I would get that straightened out before you replace the cables so you don't have to replace them more than once.

Hope this helps you out.
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Old 08-09-2003, 11:06 PM
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