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1948 - 1956 F1, F100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Fat Fendered and Classic Ford Trucks

1953 6 volt battery terminal caught fire!!!!

 
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:17 PM
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Question 1953 6 volt battery terminal caught fire!!!!

We were coming home from a local car show in the 53 f100,and Terri said...smoke was coming up through the battery box cover, and she was flipping out.
Our German shepherd pup was not happy either, and we pulled over and when I pulled the rubber mat up and the battery lid up......wow the negative battery cable was melted.
It has a brand new 6 volt battery and A brand new rebuilt starter.

I replaced the battery cable and got it home,but why would it get so hot?
thanks ....Bill
 
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:24 PM
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Assuming positive ground, possible issues could be defective new battery, defective voltage regulator allowing the generator to go crazy overcharging the battery, or bad cable. Why did you need a new battery? Any other symptoms of problems prior to that replacement?
 
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:28 PM
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how thick was your old cable?
 
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:33 PM
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Hi Bill,
High resistance is the most probable cause, poor connections..,paint between the ground cable and chassis,"loose" terminals at the cable ends, insufficient grounds from cab to chassis,chassis to engine etc,heavily corroded battery cable etc, etc..give everything a good look-over.Good Luck!
 
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:26 PM
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Cheap cable... probably got hot and loose during cranking, and with a bad connection just kept getting hotter and hotter. 6v needs a really heavy cable with tight copper terminals. Not like this:
 
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:39 AM
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WOW that pic is crazy!! I have always thought the 6 volt cranked too slowly ..so I had starter rebuilt by a guy in Painesville and then when I checked my battery, it was no good.
So I installed new 6 volt battery and cleaned all my wires and connections to solenoid.
I have really thick wires....1gauge....and I now believe the battery terminal and wire end were moving and smoking after cranking the starter.
It melted the crap out of the terminal.
I installed another terminal and got the 53 home.
ALWAYS SOMETHING EXCITING....now the dog won't even jump into the truck...LOL

I think I will replace the voltage regulator next.....Bill
 
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:33 PM
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FYI: the cable from the solenoid to starter runs right next to the exhaust on my 215/6 '53 F250. the solenoid to battery negative cable is not too far away from the exhaust either.
 
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:26 PM
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I installed a new cable. The old cable actually melted the lead on the connection. It starts nicer. New starter and cables reallt make a difference!!!
Now if I can get my 71 to start.....UGGGHHH!!!
The 71 f100 has 302 and auto........it has sat for a while, and now no nothing at the key.
The radio works and that is it. SOLENOID? VOLTAGE REGULATOR? FUSIBLE LINK?
ANY IDEAS???
 
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:39 PM
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Bill,

Probably dirty connections on the 71.

How old is the German Shepard pup? I have 2 shepards; one old girl (15 and getting blind and senile) and a pup, well, she's almost 3 so I guess she's not a pup anymore. She's kinda scared of my truck too, its a bit loud for her. She might look big and tough but she's a big sissy....LOL.

They are great dogs!
Bobby
 
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:01 PM
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Another reason to switch to a 12v system. You cut the current requirements in half!!
 
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:23 AM
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I have 3 dogs and they ALL are great in the truck. The pup is o.k.now.....she loves to go in it.....so that being scarred didn't last long....LOL

The 6 volt truck will remain 6 volt. I have way too many trucks and projects to change it to 12 volt. I contemplated it....but have to finish EARL first, and he is coming along fine.
The 71 seems to be totally dead from the battery to the ignition. I don't really need it, so it is on the back-burner....but I like ALL my trucks to run.
I swapped out batteries.....and that wasn't it. ??????
 
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:07 PM
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I had a LeSabre Limited that kept killing the battery and turning the starter slow. after taking the starter in and out a few times i got showered with sparks. the cable to the starter had rubbed raw on a frame member just enough to short out. it wasn't visible until it started the light show.
 
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:04 AM
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Cables look fine. It is dead as a door ****. The radio plays and that tells me there is juice .....but none to any other component.
Will have to tow her in to my buddy and have him figure it out. It is hard to do maintenance on 10 vehicles ....LOL
 
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:20 AM
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Re 6V battery: Could the new battery be taller than the old one so it shorted on the underside of the cover when the cover had weight on it (passenger, dog)? Is the battery bolted down so it cannot bounce around and short out? If the cover is within 1/4" of the battery top I'd glue a hard rubber pad to the bottom of the cover and check it periodically for wear.
 
 
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