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Author Topic:   Replacing Battery Cables
Alex15 posted 08-09-2005 08:32 AM ET (US)   Profile for Alex15   Send Email to Alex15  
The battery cables on my 97' Johnson 48hp SPL 2 cycle motor are completely corroded through at the "fork" where the cable separates into positive and negative leads. This is an OMC part, must be original to the engine. It goes up under the cowel, hard to see where it connects, but my shop manual wiring diagram shows the positive going to the (voltage regulator?)and negative going to ground. Is ground just bolted to the engine block? The manual says to use #6 wire for 1-10' runs, mine is about 5' from motor to battery, including twists and turns. Can I use off-the shelf marine grade #6 cable and waterproof lugs, or stick with the OMC assembly (which failed)?
Chuck Tribolet posted 08-09-2005 10:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Positive will go to the starter.

I'd be wondering WHY it failed.


Jerry Townsend posted 08-09-2005 11:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Alex15 - As Chuck, I wonder why your cable failed this early - unless it got wet in a salt environment and perhaps was not marine grade cable.

Consider using #3 or #4 marine grade cable (well something larger than #6) - a bit more expensive - but less resistance, hence better performance.

The positive (hot) lead will go to the starter, and a smaller lead will go to the ignition switch. ---- Jerry/Idaho

bsmotril posted 08-10-2005 11:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Usually an early cable failure is the result of a high resistance connection to the battery. The voltage drop causes excessive current flow through the cable when cranking the motor, which overheats and melts the insulation. That in turn lets water into the cable and corrosion takes over. Physically nicking or cutting the insulation will also lead to the same type of failure. BillS
Alex15 posted 08-10-2005 03:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alex15  Send Email to Alex15     
Well, I went out and got the OMC part, $45.00 for a 5' section of cable with lugs well shrink-tube waterproofed. I took a look at the old cable, which seems to have rotted from the inside out. Don't know if insulation was melted or just knicked. Hope it solves my startup problems. Thanks for advice.

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