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Author Topic: The battery cable saga takes a twist  (Read 2915 times)

shamelin

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The battery cable saga takes a twist
« on: March 07, 2013, 07:50:54 pm »
Battery cable lug fracture are a known problem on the UCEs- many of us, including myself, have experienced this first-hand.  I chalked it up to a bad batch of lugs, but today I've seen the error of my ways.

I put a new gel battery and Battery Tender cable on my B5 about 3 months ago.  Today, I tried hooking up my Battery Tender to my previously installed cable, but I wasn't getting a charge.

I took off my battery cover and what do I see?  A broken negative battery cable lug, off of the Battery Tender cable.  I hit my friendly NAPA autoparts, bought some new lugs, replaced the old ones, reinstalled everything, and now it works perfectly.

After today, I'm going with metal stress from motorcycle vibration, as opposed to manufacturing defect.  RE, you have been absolved.

Royalista

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2013, 08:53:32 pm »
Battery cable lug fracture are a known problem on the UCEs- many of us, including myself, have experienced this first-hand.  I chalked it up to a bad batch of lugs, but today I've seen the error of my ways.

I put a new gel battery and Battery Tender cable on my B5 about 3 months ago.  Today, I tried hooking up my Battery Tender to my previously installed cable, but I wasn't getting a charge.

I took off my battery cover and what do I see?  A broken negative battery cable lug, off of the Battery Tender cable.  I hit my friendly NAPA autoparts, bought some new lugs, replaced the old ones, reinstalled everything, and now it works perfectly.

After today, I'm going with metal stress from motorcycle vibration, as opposed to manufacturing defect.  RE, you have been absolved.

So far I've been spared from this kind of trouble; a little over 11,000 miles. Very few of them are highway miles though, rarely going over 4000rpm (65mph).

Can you provide some data regarding miles done and riding conditions (as in fe how many highway miles)?
Were you able to rule out other factors such as rubbing and the like? Very little room inside the cover, packed as sardines.
Just curious why some lugs would opt for the fast way out. ;)
moriunt omnes pauci vivunt

Arizoni

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2013, 11:12:48 pm »
My bike is coming up on 9,300 miles with no problem with the negative battery connector yet.

After reading all of the fun some guys are having I just went out and dropped two new connectors into my saddle bags.  Usually when I have a new part with me I never need it. (fingers crossed). :)
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

mattsz

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2013, 05:16:38 am »
Shamelin - you're more generous than I am... I'm not ready to forgive them just yet.  I never assumed a defect, but instead a choice of a part that isn't up to the task.

Do you expect your NAPA replacements to last?  If there's an aftermarket lug that can handle the stress, they should be using one at the factory.  Really, guys, I bought a package of 8 or 10 of them for a couple of bucks!  And I assume they're easy to install (haven't done it yet), so I'm not terribly concerned about the time, money or effort to do the job, but it's the getting stuck out on the road that bugs me...
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shamelin

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2013, 05:31:50 pm »
I ride the Enfield fast and hard, typically hitting 70+mph nearly every time I'm on the bike.  Usually I ride about 40 miles a day, and up to 300 on the weekend.

My (-) battery cable lug snapped at about 2,000 miles.
My (+) battery cable lug snapped at about 4,000 miles.

I installed my Battery Tender charger about 1,000 miles ago, but this is the first time I've used it, so who knows when it snapped.  I'm at about 6,000 miles now.

I don't think the damage was due to rubbing, since the first breaks occurred on factory installed cables and battery.  It is pretty tight in the battery box, so to speak, so when I installed the Battery Tender I made extra effort to try to minimize stress on the cable and lugs.

I think the NAPA lugs should do the trick.  The connectors are made of much thicker copper, and I saw no evidence of metal fatigue on the previously replaced lugs when I was reinstalling my Battery Tender.

Royalista

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2013, 07:04:14 pm »
As said mine is ridden not that fast but gets bounced about quite a bit.
While all still looks sound and strong I'll take the hint and make precautions. Prepping doesn't hurt.
moriunt omnes pauci vivunt

motorat

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 11:32:14 pm »
i won't be kind at all!
this happened to my positive terminal in friday commute traffic.
the bike started missing as it did when the injector failed so i figures it was the same, but when i rolled on the gas it cut out and almost died.
 i got the bike to the shoulder before it died completely then went about checking it. i found the positive battery terminal had broken at the bend.
i was able to cut back the insulation and wrap the wire around the battery terminal and get home.
i checked these in January and they were fine, i guess i should have replaced them at that time.
nothing like putting myself in danger because they are trying to save $2 in manufacturing in india.
Joe
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wildbill

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2013, 04:48:14 am »
What's wrong with the importer fixing up these minor problem areas prior to the sale of the bike.
My negative lead broke off about a week ago and unlike my USA bothers - Here in Oz I had to pay $9450 for my C5.
I think all this should be fixed right from the very start. It's not hard for the importer/dealer to see the problems - all he has to do is read these threads.

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mattsz

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2013, 07:00:19 am »
Wildbill - why not?

Here's a random current recall notice taken from NHTSA website:

Quote
SUMMARY:
Porsche is recalling certain model year 2012-2013 911 Carrera and Carrera 4 vehicles manufactured from March 7, 2012, through November 12, 2012, and equipped with a standard (not sport) exhaust system. The exhaust tail pipe may fracture and separate from the rear muffler.
CONSEQUENCE:
If the exhaust tail pipe separates from the muffler it may become a hazard for other vehicles on the road, increasing the risk of a crash.

 :o Huh?!?  A vehicle dropping parts onto the highway is a safety risk for other drivers?  Who knew?

Now imagine the copy for our problem:

"SUMMARY: Battery cable terminal ends may fracture and separate from the battery.
CONSEQUENCE: If the flimsy electrical connector breaks while the motorcycle is being ridden on, I don't know, let's say a public road with actual other vehicles in the vicinity (a statistical longshot, we know), the engine could sputter and die, increasing the risk of a crash."

Is it so unlikely?  Isn't this a safety issue?  Would anybody argue that having your motorcycle engine randomly quitting would never increase the risk of a crash?  If it's good enough for Porsche, and indeed every other vehicle manufacturer...
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tooseevee

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2013, 10:09:00 am »
Wildbill - why not?

Is it so unlikely?  Isn't this a safety issue?  Would anybody argue that having your motorcycle engine randomly quitting would never increase the risk of a crash?  If it's good enough for Porsche, and indeed every other vehicle manufacturer...

           Absolutely it's a safety thing. I've dropped a road bike twice in my whole life, both harleys  & that's over 60 years of riding. Both harleys. The first time was my fault (exhausted, midnight, wet grass); the second time I was turning left after leaving a stop sign. Very low speed, carb farted, wheel was turned, I was leaned over, instant lose of power, down I went. That was the 2nd time I found I could lift a harley back up on its feet by myself.
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barenekd

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2013, 03:01:46 pm »
I'd like to see a consensus, but it seems like most of the cable end problems are on C5s. I don't see any G5 mentioned. Maybe the ground wires are set up differently. Any thoughts?
Any G5s with the problem?
As for the Porsche problem losing tailpipes, I haven't heard of too many cable ends being dropped in the road threatening other vehicles or drivers. The only bikes I've had much trouble quitting in traffic, particularly at high speeds, were Triumphs. (Bad Crankshaft Position Sensors). I've had 3 or 4 of those go bad, usually more than once. And when it happens in the carpool lanes at 80, it ain't fun!!
Bare
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TWinOKC

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2013, 05:28:15 pm »
I'd like to see a consensus, but it seems like most of the cable end problems are on C5s.
Bare

How do you know?  Wouldn't it be nice if people would put the model and year of their bike in their signature.  I can't remember sh_t.
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Royalista

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2013, 05:28:46 pm »
I'd like to see a consensus, but it seems like most of the cable end problems are on C5s. I don't see any G5 mentioned. Maybe the ground wires are set up differently. Any thoughts?
Any G5s with the problem?
As for the Porsche problem losing tailpipes, I haven't heard of too many cable ends being dropped in the road threatening other vehicles or drivers. The only bikes I've had much trouble quitting in traffic, particularly at high speeds, were Triumphs. (Bad Crankshaft Position Sensors). I've had 3 or 4 of those go bad, usually more than once. And when it happens in the carpool lanes at 80, it ain't fun!!
Bare
I think you're on to something. The cases of E5 and G5 differ from those on C5 and those on B5.
Talking about the casing my dealer told the other models having issues sprouting from the shape of the boxes, referring to C5 and B5. Never asked for details, but it's a clue.
Worth to investigate.
moriunt omnes pauci vivunt

mattsz

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2013, 07:03:12 pm »
Bare - I only used the Porsche item as an example of how obvious dangers beget recalls.  I didn't say or suggest that our cable problem was dropping anything on the highway causing a danger to other vehicles.  But I think you've made my point nicely - "bikes... quitting in traffic, particularly at high speeds..." are dangerous.  Enough to warrant a recall on the parts?
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motorat

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2013, 07:17:24 pm »
- "bikes... quitting in traffic, particularly at high speeds..." are dangerous.  Enough to warrant a recall on the parts?

i agree as i experienced it Friday.
ever try to maneuver an ill running motorcycle over 2 lanes of commute traffic
Joe
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High On Octane

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2013, 07:28:51 pm »
i agree as i experienced it Friday.
ever try to maneuver an ill running motorcycle over 2 lanes of commute traffic

I Have!  Well, 1 lane of traffic.  I was riding my 83 Suzuki home from work one night just as a blizzard was rolling in and the terminal on my ignition switch broke much in the same way these battery cables are breaking.  I was coming down the middle lane, rush hour I might add, and the bike just started cutting on and off and eventually completely stalled with me surrounded by traffic in the middle.    Damn near got killed twice trying to push it to the sidewalk.  Know what sucked worse?  Pushing that damn thing home 14 blocks on snow covered sidewalks in shoes.

So yeah.  Why don't they have a recall on this?   ???
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Arizoni

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2013, 08:28:30 pm »
If they did have a recall, they would just replace it with the same weak connector that's already on there.

Maybe a better idea would be to find a really HEALTHY connector that can take the dynamic loads?
Jim
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mattsz

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2013, 09:29:20 pm »
If they did have a recall, they would just replace it with the same weak connector that's already on there.

Well, in my book, that's just a repair.  A recall is generally designed to prevent the (potential) event from occuring...
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High On Octane

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2013, 11:00:19 pm »
 ::)    ^   Agreed
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Ducati Scotty

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2013, 11:43:22 pm »
It seems most people are fixing this themselves and not informing the dealer.  If it doesn't get back to the dealer and up the chain the manufacturer may never know.

Scott

barenekd

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2013, 12:23:23 pm »
I think if I had a C5 that's apparently prone to the problem, I'd reroute the the ground wire to a different site an the frame where the vibration might be a different frequency.
Bare
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motorat

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2013, 12:47:30 pm »
I think if I had a C5 that's apparently prone to the problem, I'd reroute the the ground wire to a different site an the frame where the vibration might be a different frequency.
Bare

that is what i did when i put the new ends on. the posts are facing out now and i have a piece of old innertube between the posts and the cover.
Joe
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motorat

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2013, 08:46:41 pm »
here is how it looked when i got home....it lasted 20 miles
Joe
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Ducati Scotty

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2013, 09:26:26 pm »
Nice emergency repair!  I feel old and lazy.  If I was anywhere near home I'd just break out the cell and get a tow, fix it in the comfort of my own garage  ::)

mattsz

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2015, 05:45:30 am »
Dusting off this old "recall" chestnut...

Recall: Kawasaki recalls W800 over potential engine stoppage defects

http://en.responsejp.com/article/2015/12/14/266147.html

Of note: this recall was instituted after eleven reports of problems.  How many have there been here?

The interesting parts:

Quote
Kawasaki has issued a recall for the W800 due to defects in the electrical wiring and throttle body holder.

The recall applies to one model of the W800. It apples to 5,973 bikes built from December 17, 2010, to December 4, 2015.

For the electrical wiring defect, the wiring isn't installed properly and there is friction between wiring and parts of the frame. Over time, the wiring's coating could wear away and cause a short circuit. In a worst case scenario, this could cause the engine to die while riding...

As a measure to rectify the electrical wiring defect, all models are undergoing inspection and damaged parts are being replaced. In addition, a new protective cover is being added and the routing is being changed...

There have been 11 reported problems due to the defect but no accidents reported...
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ToesNose

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2015, 07:21:25 am »
One here, had to repair it on the side of the road a few months ago.
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portisheadric

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2015, 12:38:40 pm »
Never suffered with anything like this on my (apparently) inferior EFI Bonneville during 20,000+ miles of trouble free ownership  ::)
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mattsz

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2015, 04:40:41 pm »
Some of the RE fan boys here will happily instruct you on how much you should dislike your Triumph for its lack of soul, but I don't recall anyone here saying Triumph quality was inferior to RE quality...  ;)
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portisheadric

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #28 on: December 24, 2015, 04:33:10 am »
Well RE quality is definitely in a class of its own  ???

I considered a Dubya, but a bad experience (they don't handle as well as the Triumphs) quickly put that idea to bed. I sold the Triumph because of its weight, its replacement at 100lbs less but with almost 50 horses more is much more fun  :o  yet the Enfield is still my first choice...
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mattsz

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #29 on: December 24, 2015, 04:35:25 am »
Just keep an eye on that battery cable end...  ;)
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malky

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #30 on: December 24, 2015, 07:26:44 am »

I considered a Dubya.
What is this please? :)
I like my Enfield ,because it has yet to be sanitized. You wouldn't accept a Honda that broke down, with an Enfield you expect it. In that good old fashioned charming way. ;)
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Blairio

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #31 on: December 24, 2015, 10:44:01 pm »
I'd like to see a consensus, but it seems like most of the cable end problems are on C5s. I don't see any G5 mentioned. Maybe the ground wires are set up differently. Any thoughts?
Any G5s with the problem?

The question of whether this is a model-dependent issue was raised in a previous thread:

https://forum.classicmotorworks.com/index.php/topic,22726.0.html

....titled "High Speed Stutter". Back then it seemed that predominantly C5 owners were encountering the fatigued battery terminal issue.  Maybe someone smarter on the inter web than me could set up a poll on this forum to determine of the three UCE models (C5 / B5 / G5) how many owners of each type has had battery terminal problems?

My tuppence worth (and it is probably not even worth tuppence) is that there are different vibration modes in the different frame types. Somehow the C5's vibes are hitting the battery terminal's sweet spot.

Happy Christmas everyone!
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Ice

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #32 on: December 25, 2015, 12:17:07 am »
 I think it's a wire thing or terminal material thing of late.
Reason I say that is C5 owners were not reporting it in the first few years, B5 and G5 owners are not that I know of and it was not an issue on the Iron Barrel and AVL machines.
I can break it better,,,,at night, in the rain, on the trail,, 20 miles from nowhere.

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krimp

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #33 on: December 25, 2015, 09:59:11 am »
The question of whether this is a model-dependent issue was raised in a previous thread:

https://forum.classicmotorworks.com/index.php/topic,22726.0.html

....titled "High Speed Stutter". Back then it seemed that predominantly C5 owners were encountering the fatigued battery terminal issue.  Maybe someone smarter on the inter web than me could set up a poll on this forum to determine of the three UCE models (C5 / B5 / G5) how many owners of each type has had battery terminal problems?

My tuppence worth (and it is probably not even worth tuppence) is that there are different vibration modes in the different frame types. Somehow the C5's vibes are hitting the battery terminal's sweet spot.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Rather than hitting the sweet spot for failure, I think this is a two fold issue: bad terminals and bad placement of the battery. I think this for two reasons:

1. the terminals are prone to breakage
2. the battery placement does not leave a lot of room for other things, such as the fuel hose going from the tank to the injector.

I think it's a wire thing or terminal material thing of late.
Reason I say that is C5 owners were not reporting it in the first few years, B5 and G5 owners are not that I know of and it was not an issue on the Iron Barrel and AVL machines.

I agree about the terminals being part of the problem, but when you literally have to force the battery into place in order to get the battery cover on, there is a problem. There is not enough space around the battery to allow even small hands in there to put the strap back on after maintenance.

Right now, I have to move the battery to the left, put the straps on their hooks, then move the battery to the right to get the straps put into place on the left side of the battery. That is too much movement of the battery just to secure it. Ideally, we need about another inch (or 1.6 cm) of space on all sides of the battery just to ensure that we have the room needed to install a battery tender.

When my AGM battery dies, I will look into replacing it with a smaller battery.
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suitcasejefferson

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2016, 12:09:56 am »
My big issue with the RE battery cable terminals are that they mount on the side of the battery posts, and on the back side at that. All my other bikes have had battery cables that attached to the TOP of the battery. So when I installed my ne MotoBatt battery, I partially replaced the battery cables, and used new connectors that mount to the top of the battery. I also installed a battery tender pigtail. I made sure that the cables were plenty loose, so there would be no stress on the connectors. I have never had a battery connector break on any bike, including the Enfield, but after reading all about it here, and having a problem with the connectors connecting to the back side of the battery, where they were almost impossible to get to, I converted them over to the more normal position. If you were using a Harbor Freight battery tender, that may have been the reason it broke. I use Deltran Battery Tender JR.s. Even they have an issue. The screw hole in the connector is to big, making the connector too thin. I use a washer on top of the connector to make sure they are secured properly. Metallurgy has a LOT to do with how metals behave. A brittle metal will crack from vibration, while a more malleable metal won't.
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Rattlebattle

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2016, 11:25:18 am »
That's interesting; the terminals are mounted to the top of the original battery in my 2015 C5. The other thing is that as delivered mine had only one securing strap fitted. The second one was in the box of goodies I collected later. I have never bothered using two straps. My battery can move a little, which I feel is a good thing. I have a spare negative cable in case of breakdown, but I want to see if the terminal ever actually fails.

malky

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2016, 12:23:28 pm »
I replaced mine and used a piece of old inner tube like a big elastic band to hold the cable against the battery, obviously below the electrolyte check level.
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suitcasejefferson

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #37 on: January 28, 2016, 11:15:00 pm »
I replaced mine and used a piece of old inner tube like a big elastic band to hold the cable against the battery, obviously below the electrolyte check level.

Were the actual screws mounted to the top of the battery? The oem cable ends were an odd shape. All the motorcycle battery terminals I've ever seen were round and flat, like a washer, and the retainer bolt went through the hole and into the top of the battery post.

This is what I installed on mine.

http://www.autozone.com/ignition/electrical-wire-connector/dorman-ring-terminal/415779_0_0/?checkfit=true
« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 11:18:03 pm by suitcasejefferson »
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