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Author Topic:   Batter Cable Replacement
JDog posted 06-20-2002 09:48 AM ET (US)   Profile for JDog   Send Email to JDog  
I have an 86 Yamaha 115 on my '86 Montauk. When starting it the battery cable starts to smoke a little bit, but the engine finally starts. When I look at the cable, there is a small slice in the cable back by the engine. When you pinch the cable in your fingers you can feel that the cable has corroded. I'm assuming the smoke is because there is not enough contact between the batter cable and the motor so there's too much resistance. My question is this: Is this a repair I can do? Just get the new wire harness and bolt it on right? It doesn't bolt on like a car, but it looks like it's got two bolts that hold the cable down, then a wire connector. Doesn't look too hard, but I want to make sure. Second, (for any Houston-based Whaler owners) is there a fair-priced Yamaha parts dealer in the 290/Beltway 8 area? Thanks!
acseatsri posted 06-20-2002 11:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
You can go to West Marine and make up new cables yourself. You buy the cable, the ends, and then crimp them on with the tool they have there. As a little added insurance, I coated mine with vaseline before I did the crimp to deter water from intruding into the crimp. If you're gonna replace them, you may want to consider moving the battery(s) into your console to shift the weight farther forward.
JDog posted 06-20-2002 12:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for JDog  Send Email to JDog     
Actually the battery cable is in the console. On the battery side it looks like a normal battery cable, but on the motor side it has a wire harness of some sort. (unless I'm looking at the wrong cable) I does not have a normal battery cable terminal on the engine side.
JDog posted 06-20-2002 12:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for JDog  Send Email to JDog     
The "Battery" not "battery cable" is in the console. Sorry.
NoviceWhaler posted 06-20-2002 12:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for NoviceWhaler  Send Email to NoviceWhaler     
I have an '84 Montauk and replaced my battery cables as part of moving the battery to the center console. You can get all the parts at your local marine store. However, the gage of wire you'll need is going to be expensive. Since I was moving the battery an extra 6 feet forward, I bought one size larger cable to eliminate future resistance problems.

Since the battery cables to the motor are high amp usage, there should be no wiring harness involved.

If I remember properly, the battery cable on my boat with an Evinrude 88SPL attached directly to the starter solenoid for the hot and to the starter for the common. This should be absolutely no problem for you to replace yourself.

Best of luck,


whalerjake posted 06-28-2002 12:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerjake  Send Email to whalerjake     
I just put new battery cables in my 17. West Marine wanted 6.99 a foot for cable.
I dug around the forum and found someone recommending welders cable.

I found some at a local welder's supply store. They cut any length for 1.79 per foot, 2 AWG. Nice flexibility. You need to tag the positive with a wrap of red tape because the wire is black.

JDH posted 06-28-2002 05:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for JDH  Send Email to JDH     
The problem with welders cable is it is not tinned - all marine cable should be. I guess if the boat will never see salt water, it won't be a big problem.

I did wire & cable design for over a decade, and use welding cable for my 4x4 projects - but I will definitely put tinned wire in when I move my battery in the next 2 weeks.


JDog posted 06-28-2002 06:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for JDog  Send Email to JDog     
Well, the boat is definitly in saltwater. Anyone have thoughts on affordable places to get battery cable? $6.99 a foot seems steep to me, but if that's what it cost to get good cable that will not corrode I will gladly pay it.
JDH posted 06-28-2002 07:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for JDH  Send Email to JDH     
Well I have used before - they have tons of great wiring products so you can do it right, but they are not a marine place.

I just checked and they have marine 2 conductor 10 AWG for $0.32 ft. I was planning on using 6 AWG tinned wire, so I will find a good source or I will order through distribution and get more than I need.

BTW - their battery cable in single 6AWG conductor is $0.248 ft but its not marine. 4 AWG is around $0.36 ft. Good reality check.



JohnAz posted 06-28-2002 08:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnAz  Send Email to JohnAz     
We have "Scrap Metal yard" here and cable is $1.00 a pound,,no mater what size,,lots of it is New, great buy.
acseatsri posted 06-28-2002 09:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
I used 2 gauge, it looks like you used 2/0 gauge, WAY overkill.

jmp posted 06-28-2002 10:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for jmp  Send Email to jmp     
Try a place called C&H surplus in Pasadena, CA they sell all kinds of milspec cables cheap. The wire has a teflon jacket and is fully tinned.


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