very hot -battery cable

   / very hot -battery cable #11  

Gator6x4

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Messages
2,620
Location
NC
Tractor
Kubota Grand L3830
Whatever it is - fix it!

Last summer, my JD X740 was parked in my airplane hangar, along with all my other toys. Whatever the fault with the X740 was, it spontaneously ignited at 4AM, and burned down everything. Don't "tolerate" electrical faults!
A positive electrical wire connected with the frame creating a short in the electrical wiring causing what you described as spontaneous combustion.

A couple years ago I was mowing with my old faithful 2084 Cub Cadet. I was mowing beside a building where I had mowed for years and the next thing I knew the mower was turning over. It landed on its side trapping my left ankle. I was laying there struggling to get my leg free and thought all I need is for this thing to catch afire. About that time I heard a poof sound and sure enough it was smoking and burning. I pushed and jerked with force then and freed my leg. Better scratched and lacerated than roasted.

I doused the thing with water to put out the flames. When I turned the thing over the battery slipped out of its holding strap allowing the positive battery to contact a metal part of the frame. This caused a short in the wiring. The hot wiring ignited the plastic side panels and hood, etc. The mower was a total loss.
 
   / very hot -battery cable
  • Thread Starter
#12  
OP
C

calfal

Member
Joined
May 31, 2012
Messages
30
Location
lake charles,la.
Tractor
kubota l275 power king 14/24 kioti ck27
thanks you all for your replies,, 1st I will change battery cables to ensure zero connection .. if that don't work I will try the starter route,, where I live the are no more starter/alt.shops everyone has died no one took there places..I did disconnect the battery from tractor and have a sola charger just on the battery,, thanks again for all the reply and suggestion.. every thing is closed for labor day so it might be Tuesday before I candy any thing..
 
   / very hot -battery cable #13  

hornett22

Platinum Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Messages
955
Location
Kingston Tennessee
Tractor
Mahindra 1626
Make sure you have a good clean ground.especially at the end opposite the battery. I make my own ground cables with welding cable.
 
   / very hot -battery cable #14  

Rebeldad1

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
1,576
Location
Hughett Bend Washington
Tractor
Kioti Tractor, John Deere Mower,New Holland Mini Excavator
if it wee me and i just replaced the alternator. before doing anything i would disconnect the + wire to the alternator ( the bigger one). If it sparks you need a new alternator.
 
   / very hot -battery cable #15  

ultrarunner

Epic Contributor
Joined
Apr 6, 2004
Messages
20,118
Location
SF Bay Area-Ca Olympia WA Salzburg Austria
Tractor
Cat D3, Deere 110 TLB, Kubota BX23 and L3800 and RTV900 with restored 1948 Deere M, 1949 Farmall Cub, 1953 Ford Jubliee and 1957 Ford 740 Row Crop, Craftsman Mower, Deere 350C Dozer 50 assorted vehicles from 1905 to 2006
A positive electrical wire connected with the frame creating a short in the electrical wiring causing what you described as spontaneous combustion.

A couple years ago I was mowing with my old faithful 2084 Cub Cadet. I was mowing beside a building where I had mowed for years and the next thing I knew the mower was turning over. It landed on its side trapping my left ankle. I was laying there struggling to get my leg free and thought all I need is for this thing to catch afire. About that time I heard a poof sound and sure enough it was smoking and burning. I pushed and jerked with force then and freed my leg. Better scratched and lacerated than roasted.

I doused the thing with water to put out the flames. When I turned the thing over the battery slipped out of its holding strap allowing the positive battery to contact a metal part of the frame. This caused a short in the wiring. The hot wiring ignited the plastic side panels and hood, etc. The mower was a total loss.
Glad you made it out!

In the E.R. some serious injuries come from simple mundane everyday life.
 
   / very hot -battery cable #16  

pycoed

Silver Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2007
Messages
144
Location
West Wales UK
Tractor
Zetor 7045; Wheelhorses C121, C101, A8;Cushman Turf truckster
. Blimey - talk about money to burn!!
Don't buy anything until you have thoroughly cleaned the battery cable connections & the earthing point(s) on the engine & chassis. 10:1 it's just a bad connection. Next thing is to check the cable terminations. If these are bad then just shorten the cable & use new terminals. Only if still bad do you need to go & buy new cables . Have you seen the price of copper these days?
 
  • Good Post
Reactions: JWR
   / very hot -battery cable #17  

Shorteraaron

New member
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Messages
8
Tractor
Is mt122
If it worked fine up until needing to replace alternator I would start there. Maybe a refurbished alternator and not redone correctly. If cables have not been replaced in tractors life time I would redo those. Have seen on several older trucks that the resistance of old cables can tax the rest of the charging and starting system causing parts to fail. I personally would not just redo the cable ends if corrosion is found under the insulation.
 
   / very hot -battery cable #18  

edmoor

Member
Joined
May 7, 2016
Messages
30
Location
killbuck
Tractor
john deere 318
hi all,, I have a older L275 Kubota ,,I replaced the alternator yesterday took the tractor for a ride also washed it at a pond,,drove it back to the parking spot,,about 2 hours later went to start it and the start would just click...I know the battery is good because I checked it after installing alt...any way I noticed the - battery cable was extremely hot..any body have any idea what is going on? it always cranked fine before is this a sign of a bad starter? your thoughts please...
You got water in the alt.
 
   / very hot -battery cable #20  

bgr

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Messages
39
Tractor
kubota L35
You don't say which battery cable. Is it the positive from the battery to the starter solenoid? If the cable ends are hot it is probably a bad connection/corrosion there. If the cable itself is getting hot along its length, you have excessive amp draw. First recheck all wires you touched when doing alternator. Are they in right place according to the book? Always suspect your recent work when a problem occurs afterward.

Voltmeter tests you can do.

1. Put voltmeter leads on battery positive and negative when battery is at rest. Set at 20 volts. Should read over 12.5 v. ignition off, no draw. Turn on key and headlights. Voltage should not drop more than .4 volts. if there is a big drop, battery has a bad cell.
2. Visually check all connections and starter to frame ground to make sure contacts are all good.
3.Turn key to start, should be over 9.6 v. If below that battery has a bad cell or excessive starter draw.
4.Test battery with load tester before going further. A weak battery producing low voltage will cause excessive current to flow to starter and heat up wire.
Battery must be good for rest of tests.
5. Put one voltmeter lead on battery positive and other on end of positive cable where it attaches to starter solenoid. Leave meter set at 20v. range
Crank starter. If voltage is over .2 volts connections are bad. Over 1.0 volt is a bad cable. (You are measuring voltage drop in cable under load.)
6. If Test #5 shows less than .2 volts , leave one voltmeter lead on positive connection at starter solenoid. Put other lead on negative terminal of battery.
Meter should read within .1 volt of battery voltage. Crank starter. If voltage drops to 9.6 volt or less, and battery is good, starter is drawing excessive current.
Take apart starter, make sure lubrication of motor shaft is good, and armature is not rubbing on case or windings somewhere and brushes are free and clean off dirt on brush slides.
If the voltage stays above 11.5 volts or more and starter is slow or won't turn, there is an internal problem in starter.
If no visible problems, take starter to rebuilder.
7. To test ground circuit. Put one voltmeter lead on some metal part of the starter. make sure you have a clean connection. Put other voltmeter lead on battery negative post. meter in 20 volt range. Crank starter. If voltage is over .2 volt you have a bad ground connection somewhere. Make sure starter bolts to engine are clean and tight. Check and clean connections on ground strap from engine to frame. Check and clean end of negative cable where it bolts to frame. Check negative terminal on battery.

Probably you have something wrong related to your recent work or battery has a bad cell, but these voltage drop tests will let you isolate a problem quickly. If you replaced the alternator, I assume the battery was getting low and repeated starting with a low battery draws heavy current and can damage starter or cables.
 
Last edited:
 
Top