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Old 02-19-2007, 06:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Battery ground cable burning up?!?

Had the bike apart for a project, put the battery back in as last step and started it up. Saw smoke, investigated, and found that the very short ground cable from my battery to the frame was so hot it was melting its insulation. What the heck would cause that?!?
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Old 02-19-2007, 06:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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loose connection................
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Old 02-19-2007, 06:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Tightened up the cable connection to the battery, will try again. Thanks! Out of curiosity, why does a loose connection cause the cable to heat?
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Old 02-19-2007, 06:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 02-19-2007, 06:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Will do. I'll start 'er up in the AM and report. - Thanks again - BrianK
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Old 02-19-2007, 06:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianK
Tightened up the cable connection to the battery, will try again. Thanks! Out of curiosity, why does a loose connection cause the cable to heat?
Sorry if you know all of this but........

increased resistance for the current being passed will cause the overheating. Same reason aluminum to copper wiring don't play nice and cause house fires. High resistance joints due to oxidation.

E-I*R is Ohm's Law: Voltage equals current times resistance
P=I*E is Power equals current times voltage

substitution of E: P=I^2 * R (power equals the current squared times resistance)

As you can see, if resistance goes up, so does power. If it's high enough, it will melt the insulation.
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Sorry if you know all of this but........

increased resistance for the current being passed will cause the overheating. Same reason aluminum to copper wiring don't play nice and cause house fires. High resistance joints due to oxidation.

E-I*R is Ohm's Law: Voltage equals current times resistance
P=I*E is Power equals current times voltage

substitution of E: P=I^2 * R (power equals the current squared times resistance)

As you can see, if resistance goes up, so does power. If it's high enough, it will melt the insulation.
DO YOU KNOW THOSE SYMBOLS BY HEART OR DID YOU LOOK THEM UP?
YOU LAST FORMULA IS FOR CALCULATING POWER THATS LOST DUE TO RESISTANCE. NO REAL RELEVANCE HERE. ITS NOT ABOUT LOSING POWER ITS ABOUT FAULT CURRENT CREATING HEAT.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hivolt132
DO YOU KNOW THOSE SYMBOLS BY HEART OR DID YOU LOOK THEM UP?
YOU LAST FORMULA IS FOR CALCULATING POWER THATS LOST DUE TO RESISTANCE. NO REAL RELEVANCE HERE. ITS NOT ABOUT LOSING POWER ITS ABOUT FAULT CURRENT CREATING HEAT.
No, this is completely relevant and it's a simple way of explaining about high resistance connections and the added power that is consummed when that happens. If you have a fixed current passing through a connection but resistance goes up, power consummed must go up. What happens when power goes up?? more heat is generated.

Oh and I've had Ohm's Law and related formulas memorized for a very long time. Kinda comes in handy.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Make sure you have no corrosion between the terminal and the frame, also use a star washer so the teeth get a good bite on the frame and terminal.

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Old 02-20-2007, 07:41 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The star washer is the best,.. common issue for a poor ground on the baggers, as many times you would hear about sticky clutch cables. What was going on was the ground was poor and when the bike was started the c-cable was being used for a ground and melting the liner. The customer only knew that his clutch seemed hard to pull. I have seen the t-cables smoke as well. Not a pretty site. Clean the ground at frame, and battery.
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:50 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
No, this is completely relevant and it's a simple way of explaining about high resistance connections and the added power that is consummed when that happens. If you have a fixed current passing through a connection but resistance goes up, power consummed must go up. What happens when power goes up?? more heat is generated.

Oh and I've had Ohm's Law and related formulas memorized for a very long time. Kinda comes in handy.
o.k. sounds good. This stuff is interesting to me and wasnt trying to argue. Thats the way I was taught that formula. I work in the field of high voltage, mostly 13.2kv hot, and as I have always maintained I dont know everything not even close. BTW that formula PIE is for an AC circuit for DC its PEI. Some rocket scientist polly thought of this for easy ID. Now there is something that has no relevance at all. Still loose connection good to know.
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:11 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I use 'Yooper' cables where he makes them from good welding cable with gold plated connectors. Plus the second ground is that big too instead of the little piece of crap from HD.

I don't know if it helps anything or not but it make me feel better!
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:12 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDWRENCH
The star washer is the best,.. common issue for a poor ground on the baggers, as many times you would hear about sticky clutch cables. What was going on was the ground was poor and when the bike was started the c-cable was being used for a ground and melting the liner. The customer only knew that his clutch seemed hard to pull. I have seen the t-cables smoke as well. Not a pretty site. Clean the ground at frame, and battery.

Holy crap! That sounds like trouble.
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:31 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hivolt132
o.k. sounds good. This stuff is interesting to me and wasnt trying to argue. Thats the way I was taught that formula. I work in the field of high voltage, mostly 13.2kv hot, and as I have always maintained I dont know everything not even close. BTW that formula PIE is for an AC circuit for DC its PEI. Some rocket scientist polly thought of this for easy ID. Now there is something that has no relevance at all. Still loose connection good to know.
understood, didn't take it as argumentative. So, just to be clear.....

Actually, P=IE or P=EI is the same mathmatically and is DC circuits. and if you prefer, P=VI or P=IV works too.

For reactive AC circuits, you have to take the relationship of the phase angle between the current and voltage into account. Simplistically, it looks something like P=V I cosΦ for average power in an AC circuit. As you mentioned, meaningless for the problem at hand.
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