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  1. #1
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    Default Connected Battery Jumper Cables Wrong

    This isn't a 'Bota question but I have spent enough time on this forum to know some of you will get a kick out of my stupidity this morning.

    I went to jump my Impala this morning with my F150 and having my mind on other things I reversed the positive on the F150 with the ground. Big spark when I connected it to the impala but didn't think too much of it as there is always some spark. Well fortunately the jumper cables started to burn before I tried to start the Impala.

    I went to yank the cables off and got a heck of a burn on my thumb but couldn't figure out what was going on as this is not my first time jumping a car (or tractor or using a tractor to jump a car). When I figured it out i felt about as dumb as BP executive.

    I did it correctly and the car started and I drove it to Sam's and got a new battery for it - I am sure I screwed something up with the battery. The car seems to be running fine and all the electrical components work.

    Truck seems good to go but I am looking at taking it on a 1500 mile trip soon - Any ideas if I could have screwed something up with it's system?? The truck was running the whole time and did "rev down" when I connected the terminals incorrectly.

    Any thought would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Connected Battery Jumper Cables Wrong

    Reverse voltage could have stressed the alternator and the computer module, only time will tell for sure. Or you may have lucked out without damage.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Connected Battery Jumper Cables Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Transit View Post
    Reverse voltage could have stressed the alternator and the computer module, only time will tell for sure. Or you may have lucked out without damage.
    I agree and I guarantee you it stressed the alternator. I don't know anything about the computer modules but I can imagine they don't like it when you hook their system up to another 12V batt wrong!

    I suspect I'll be OK with the car since the key was out of it and I have since replaced the battery - I don't see where anything could be broken since there shoudn't have been any draw of current. If I had burnt something I would guess it would have been picked up in the 35 mile trip to replace the battery?

    Thanks.

    Oh and BTW - When you see how fast those cable start burning their housing you realize how much power you are dealing with and how safe you SHOULD be - (Not how safe I was).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Connected Battery Jumper Cables Wrong

    Yep! I have seen 2 x 2 copper bus bars vaporize.

    Working at NYC Penn Station looking for the reason a 1,200 amp breaker is tripping only on aux power from AmTrack.

    The load current is 800 amps and it will run 3/4 of an hour between trips.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Connected Battery Jumper Cables Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Transit View Post
    Yep! I have seen 2 x 2 copper bus bars vaporize.

    Working at NYC Penn Station looking for the reason a 1,200 amp breaker is tripping only on aux power from AmTrack.

    The load current is 800 amps and it will run 3/4 of an hour between trips.
    So the Aux power was set up wrong (rev. polarity) and vaporized a 2X2 bus bar??

  6. #6
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    Jul 2009
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    B2710

    Default Re: Connected Battery Jumper Cables Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by funwithahoe View Post
    When I figured it out i felt about as dumb as BP executive.
    I did the same thing with a Silverado and my wife's Mazda. I noticed the end of the jumper cable was glowing red and it still took my neuron 5-10 seconds to figure out what was happening. I never had any electrical problem with either car. You'd think there'd be some sacrificial diodes in front of all these sensitive electronics. In a country with 250 million vehicles there must be a couple thousand people a day crossing their jumper cables.
    Kubota B2710, New Holland CM274 front mower, Toro Zmaster ZTR, Ford 908 bush hog, New Idea manure spreader, Swisher trail mower

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Connected Battery Jumper Cables Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by funwithahoe View Post
    So the Aux power was set up wrong (rev. polarity) and vaporized a 2X2 bus bar??
    No, two different problems. The bus bar was from UPS battery bank at Hoboken station-yard years ago, testing a Locomotive to drive Rail Road Signal power.

    At Penn station the 1,200 amp breaker and load [AC chillers] is common to both the main and aux power sources and is connected to either source one at a time. Source A delivers 800 amps to the load at 480 V, Y three phase, or source B delivers the same 800 amps. Only when the load is connected to source B does the breaker trip after 3/4 hour. Reset the breaker and it runs another 3/4 hr. The vector-phase diagram for both lines is in sync, we have everything surrounded with recorders, no results as yet.

    Reverse polarity would cause an instant trip.

  8. #8
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    New Ipswich, NH
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    BX 24

    Default Re: Connected Battery Jumper Cables Wrong

    I would think it's a high resistive (loose connection) connection droping the 480 volts raising current draw. Are the chillers loading up on full load? Could be up to 4X's current draw on start up. High heat at connection should be checked by scanner. One phase could be drifting out causing additional load. Need fast acting recorders, curve rate on C/B should absorb some of mismatch. Is source B from generated source running at 60 cycles. Something is drifting the phasing out of syc. I know it's all about tractors, but sometime we need a little tune up.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Tollster's Avatar
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    Benton, Pennsylvania
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    Kubota, BX23

    Default Re: Connected Battery Jumper Cables Wrong

    Some vehicles are outfitted with a fusable link on the positive cable, in the event of an overload or incorrect terminal hook up, the link will blow, therby prevent more serious damage to the computer circuits.
    I would say you got off lucky and should see no issues for your trip.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Connected Battery Jumper Cables Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by justturc View Post
    I would think it's a high resistive (loose connection) connection droping the 480 volts raising current draw. Are the chillers loading up on full load? Could be up to 4X's current draw on start up. High heat at connection should be checked by scanner. One phase could be drifting out causing additional load. Need fast acting recorders, curve rate on C/B should absorb some of mismatch. Is source B from generated source running at 60 cycles. Something is drifting the phasing out of syc. I know it's all about tractors, but sometime we need a little tune up.
    Dave, we have looked at all the normal stuff, now it is time for the Ouija boards, snake oil and witch doctors.
    One thing we know for sure, what its not.

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