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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally found a front clip for my 67 122. Super happy, I remove my hood and start the 100 mile drive from the Bay Area to Granite Bay, close to Sacramento. The drive there is uneventful, I make it to the seller's house and buy the hood and fenders. He helps me install the hood and I turn around to go back home. Before getting on the freeway, I stop at the grocery store to stock up on some cold drinks, cause it's like 90 degrees out there (it was mid 60's at home when I left).
I'm JDA on the freeway, playing the radio, and all of a sudden the radio starts to cut out. Oh no, the battery's dieing. So smart me checks the horn, and all that does is makes the radio die all together. No directional, no headlights, no radio, no nothing.
Fast forward to closer to home, where the temps are back at around mid 60's again, and lo! Radio comes back on, the horn works, and so do the headlights. When I get home, I take a look under the car, at the ground strap (frame to engine block) and it's covered with oil, and it's frayed, and it's right next to the exhaust. Could that be the culprit? It got so hot that it lost conductivity, and wasn't allowing the battery to recharge?
I want to replace it, but remember reading here that the proper way to run the ground is to run a cable directly from the neg to the engine block.
What should I do? Earth straps from Swedish Treasures are not expensive, but are 3 business days away and this is my wife's DD. I think I can get my hands on a neg battery cable from the O'Reilly tomorrow for a song.
Sorry about the wall o' words, and thanks in advance for all the advice.
 

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Covering the earth strap with oil wouldn't necessarily reduce its conductivity, I don't think, but if you're worried about the fraying you can probably get a new one at O'Reilly's. You don't need a Volvo-specific part. Where does your bat - cable connect now? You can tie it to the same bolt that holds down the earth strap. Remember also that the bat - cable should be the same gauge (usually 4 ga.) as the bat +.

My guess is it's not the heat that was the culprit - more likely a loose connection or broken wire. Since the engine didn't die but all the instruments went out my guess is there's a fault in the main dash power lead. Check the solenoid on the starter to be sure that the nut is still there, and that the connection is clean and tight. If that all checks out then either the wire's gotten loose at the dash or it's broken somewhere (either one is potentially a PITA).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Phil. My bat- strap is bolted to the back of the battery box, and then there's the other strap that connects the frame to the engine block. I'm wondering if I should just go ahead and do away with the straps and install a 4GA neg cable directly from the bat to the engine block. Now the dash instruments light up and work. And this is a new battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Phil I didn't think that covering the strap with oil reduced its conductivity but that the oil caused the strap to get really hot. And that, coupled with the fraying is what did the battery in. Anyway, I went to o'reilly and picked up a 32 in 4GA neg wire and got rid of the straps and connected the bat- directly to the engine block. And got the bat charged. Every thing works, but now I get little shocks when I get out of the car. Is that beCause of the new configurAtion?
I will get into the PITA job of checking the wiring under the dash, just to make sure.
 

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If the relative humidity is really low, the fan belt generates a static charge that will give you a mild zap when you touch the door handle after getting out. The solution is to put your feet on the ground while holding onto the interior door handle, which will dissipate the charge without you noticing.
 

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Relative humidity in the SF Bay Area (where Bikeymikey and I live) has been pretty high these last few days (WeatherBug says it's 96% right now), so I doubt that's it. What else could be causing the zaps? It's a little spooky to think the whole car is carrying a charge strong enough to feel.
 

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It's great that you added the 4ga. wire from the bat - to the block, but you still want to keep the strap from the block to the frame. Want to be sure that everything grounds to everything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's great that you added the 4ga. wire from the bat - to the block, but you still want to keep the strap from the block to the frame. Want to be sure that everything grounds to everything else.
Should I hook up the accessory ground on the cable to the frame? Right now it's just hanging loose.
 

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That's what I did exactly, the accessory wire goes to the stock battery box ground, the 4ga goes to the block. I did leave the factory ground strap from block to body as well, the holes are there so may as well use 'em.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Why not? At least it won't be banging on stuff!
well 'cause to do that i have to install a fork terminal onto the accessory ground. and i'm LAZY!

That's what I did exactly, the accessory wire goes to the stock battery box ground, the 4ga goes to the block. I did leave the factory ground strap from block to body as well, the holes are there so may as well use 'em.
did you reuse the same bolt or did you get a longer one to account for the extra strap? does it even matter?
 

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Whatever bolt was there was long enough for both the ground strap and the new 4GA wire. With grounds, it doesn't matter much. Just make good solid contact and grind the paint or corrosion off the grounding points, then corrosion proof it with either battery terminal spray or dilectric grease, or just do what I do and garage the car 24/7 while only driving it about 500 miles a year.

Hehe I know, I know, I need to drive it more. I'm not afraid of driving it I just have too much other stuff going on.
 

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Mikey, you want a ring terminal, not a fork. I have a ton of 'em lying around and could help you install it in half a minute if you want to bring the car over to Berkeley this weekend.
 

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PM me and we'll figure it out: pstevens3307 AT yahoo DOT com
 
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