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Drunkinmonkey
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2,678 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
hey guys havent updated in a while...few thuings have changed ....after experiencing an eectrical fire that iv been trying to figure out...ybe you can shed some light on this for me as i am confused a bit...after the car sat for about three weeks cause i was abit scared to drive it after the fire lol, i took the oportunity yesterday to try and fix the problem...after trying to tighten the stupid bolt on the alti for the power wire i gave up..and wedges the wire so it wasnt so loose. after firing the car up i noticed my battery light was on and my volt gauge read 10 volts. i did notice once i gave he car gas and got to mid-higher rpm range the battery light woud go off for a split second and the vot guge would spike a bit. after this test i brought the car to a stop pooped the hood and felt the bolt and it was still cool to the touch (good thing). so i said of ets go for a drive, fter driving for about 10 minutes the battery light was still on and the volts were now around 8.5-9, so i pulled over turned the cr off and checked the wire agian and was still cool to the touch. so more driving for about 10 minutes i came to a turn and well i turned i hit a bump..well what do you no my battery light went off and my volts were now at 13 WOOHOO..got to my buddies house after driving the car for about 5 minutes on 13 volts and popped the hood and felt the bolt and it was SCORCHING HOT...burnt the crap out of my fingers....what would be cusing this bolt to get so hot all of a sudden????? please help me
 

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low n slow
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2,163 Posts
because its loose and doesnt have a good connection that may cause it. had the same problem with a flaming alternator on my t-bird. the wire came loose and from acring around it burnt up the insulator between that stud and the body of the alternator. i drove it for a few weeks like that (which i dont suggest) after i ghetto rigged it but in the long run i replaced my alternator and got another end for the wire because by then mine was toasted haha
 

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low n slow
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2,163 Posts
when it has a connection it will be charging and be at the higher volts but if its not a good connection it will be arcing and causing heat same concept as welding or spark plugs when its getting down to 8.5 9.5 its not charging thats all battery
 

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Drunkinmonkey
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2,678 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
ugh i was affraid i woud have to replace the alti...those things are a huge pita in the focus..fml
 

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Registered
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1,073 Posts
"""""""and felt the bolt and it was SCORCHING HOT...""""""
For the bolt to get hot, then there is current going through it, but the material has resistance causing heat. [is there corrosion on the bolt and what material is that bolt made out of? if steel use stainless steel bolt]
Alternative theory:
The crimp is bad or you made it your self-and this crimp on a terminal is a bad connection with high resistance that causes heat and causes the bolt to get hot.

While banging on a terminal with a hammer might be OK for a 'McGyver' fix, a proper crimp on a heavy gauge wire needs to be done by [e.g.] a welding shop that has access to a crimper that can do gas tight crimps
 

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FF's Night Security
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28,766 Posts
Replace the whole wire. It goes from the alt. to the starter and then to the battery. Melted all the insulation off of my wires. Also had charging problems like your having. Most likely the wire is no good anymore. Especially if it got cooked already. I just went to the auto parts store and bought some generic 4g wire. I did the ultimate big 3 lol, All my wires are 4g from the alt. to starter and to the battery, and all grounds except ironically the one by the alternator lol.
 

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200 Posts
Take care of that ASAP i had a loose connection like this on my mustangs alternator... Melted everything pretty bad.
 

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Premium Member
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21,250 Posts
I know this is a different engine, but the problem might be similar, and there's a novel way to repair the cable correctly mentioned in here. There is a fuse in the cable to protect the battery from high current. Read the last few posts by the OP except that stuff about DC generators and alternators that I wrote.

http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=265204

I would take Sleepy's advice for replacing the main hot from the alternator to the battery, but I would put a fuse in there of the same size as the original fuse. For putting a lug on the cable side, you can use what's called a mechanical lug or solder-less lug from the hardware store. Those are available in copper or aluminum and will allow you to bolt the wire to the fuse. I'll go find a pic and post it in here.

That's a pic of an aluminum one. I'd find a copper lug. Copper is a better conductor, but most importantly it expands and contracts the same as the wire. Tighten down on the wire, then loosen and remove the screw, add a dab of blue thread-lock, then reinstall the screw. I would use thread lock on the bolts used to connect the fuse to the terminal and wire. I would also wrap the fuse and connections in rubber electrical tape or shrink wrap. If you use rubber electrical tape, first be sure to stretch it when wrapping, second use Scotch 33 or 88 vinyl electrical tape over the top of it to hold it in place. Those 2 are the only vinyl tapes I know with adhesive that will survive under the hood of a car. Expect those tapes to be much more expensive- like $5/roll as compared to typical electrical tape.
 

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FF's Night Security
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28,766 Posts
HHmmm I seriously need to look into that fuse. I didn't see one on my factory wire. Maybe that's why it burned up and melted the insulation off? Funny you also have a 00' and I a 01'. Maybe the early years didn't have inline fuses?
 

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Premium Member
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21,250 Posts
Maybe the early years didn't have inline fuses?
That is possible. I'd have no guess at what ampacity would be applicable to Zetec wiring, but you're probably ok with the same size. Now this is what you'd use to reconnect it to the factory battery terminal- which on my Dtec is really freaking nice- stainless steel, and excellent clamp design. If you don't have one, then you might want to search junkyards until you find a factory cable to rob a terminal from.
 

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FF's Night Security
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28,766 Posts
I hate the factory clamps on the battery, mine have been long gone. I've had a host of electrical problems, ranging from bad alternators, to burnt up wires from said alternator causing problems for the new ones. Needless to say I'm well versed in the zetec charging system lol. This is also why I was like holy cow there's a in line fuse?! I didn't see one on the factory replacement wires ether? Though I didn't purchase them just saw pics on the internet.
 

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Premium Member
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21,250 Posts
Yours are probably different. The ones on the Dtec, I don't know how anyone wouldn't like those. Like I said, made of stainless, and it's a wedge type clamp, so if it gets stuck you just loosen the nut, tap on it with something to break it loose, and then take it off. Because it's stainless, corrosion doesn't affect it, or grow on it like on the lead ones, and it's harder so you can beat on it without it deforming. Regardless, you just need a terminal that you like, and either has a stud or a hole you can put a bolt/nut through to install that fuse, that's what I'm saying.
 
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