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Old 04-04-2017, 11:57 AM   #1
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Won't start - 1 click then no electicals

Hi all,

Its been a while since I've posted here and may have had my old username purged (03svtSD). I thought I had a pretty open/shut case but figured it be best to run it by FF before I started DDing my SVT again.

Problem: Sometimes won't start
- First start of the morning > stick the key in the ignition > 1 click > all electricals turn off (dash lights, anti-theft blinker, no power)
- Pop hood > wiggle the battery cables a little > stick key in the ignition > starts and runs okay > drive to work
- End of day > stick key in the ignition > 1 click > all electricals turn off again

*Battery is brand new (~4months, Autocraft gold), hooked it up to a Schumacher Charger+Maintainer until it read "Charged"

*Alternator is reman (~6months, ~3,000mi, Pepboys Prostart?), when idling I get 14.0v across the terminals

As you probably surmised, about 4-6months ago I was having similar starting problems and swapped the battery and alternator to try to fix it. On Sunday, I replaced the battery loom with an OEM replacement (terminals to starter and alternator) and it fired it up no problems. My question is: Am I good? Would you go ahead and change something else?

I've been reading about ignition switch problems, diodes going bad causing parasitic drain, pulling and checking relays for drain, etc. However, I can't quite find anyone with the same issue.


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Old 04-04-2017, 12:27 PM   #2
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Yep, you should be good once you double check the negative terminal tightness.

Cable issues are fairly common as these age, the terminals themselves are the most common cause of your symptoms. They can be loose even when fully tightened.

No usernames were purged, but there was a recent requirement for new passwords due to hacking of multiple sites. In a case like yours, with a changed E-Mail, the notification wouldn't have reached you and lost password methods wouldn't work since the E-Mail doesn't match for confirmation.

There was enough matching info. I could find to confirm ID, got you updated with all the old posts/join date merged to your new acct. info..

WELCOME BACK!!!!
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Old 04-04-2017, 02:56 PM   #3
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Wow thanks, so my old username is no longer valid, I should just go with the one I am using to post now? Original join date 8-15-2004, crazy to even think back that far.

Thanks for the confidence booster. I was reading so much about electrical gremlins I was starting to second guess my own sanity.

For anyone reading this in the future, about 1 tablespoon of water came out of my wiring loom after I removed it. I was under the car removing the alternator end and as the wire flopped down, out came the water from within the sleeve. I can't be certain if that was the case when I did my alternator because I did that from the top.
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Old 04-04-2017, 03:19 PM   #4
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Yes, it's defunct now that it got merged to this one.

You can have it back if you want, but looking at the two I figured this was a better match for you now - since you updated to fit the current situation. SD is only a memory, welcome to WNY!
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:20 AM   #5
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Mine was doing the same thing for a couple days, it got really annoying putting in all my settings on my aftermarket head unit. I don't understand why these cars do this, my negative is as tight as it possibly can be and it's loose
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:51 AM   #6
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Too small a battery post or a clamp that was widened out from cleaning are both possibilities for not being able to tighten it up.

This fancy clamp used stock is nice when it works, but it has a limited range of movement.
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Old 04-05-2017, 02:23 PM   #7
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X2, Focus battery terminals are utterly crap parts. One of the first parts I toss when I get one, along with the stupid battery cable melting plastic beauty cover over the battery. The standard $4 OTC battery terminals work fine on them and forever.

Don't underestimate how much trouble that part will cost you, thousands in excess cost due to them. They wreck plenty of alts when the battery cannot get the charge the alt is trying to send to them.
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:05 PM   #8
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Hmm, I don't like spending money. I have a few of the traditional clamps, but any time I try to do something like that on a car I own I somehow f*** something else up. So the clamp is basically maxed out, it's hitting itself and cant go any farther. What if I grinded a little off so it can move a little farther? And then possibly drilled a little hole in there for a traditional bolt/nut setup? I think it would work
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:10 PM   #9
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A bit out of the pinch slot MIGHT give it room to close tighter, you'll have to look close at it to see what the current limiting factor is.
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:13 PM   #10
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It's the pinch slot that's stopping it, and someone has tried to tighten it more and wore a groove into the clamp. I could either put something as a spacer for the clamping part or use a bolt. I'll look into it tomorrow
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