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858surveyor

Battery disconnect electrical issue..... Help

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Last trip after taking a duning break my car wouldn't start. No power at all. Messed with the wires to battery disconnect and then power came on and off, then got it to stay on.  Didnt do it again for the rest of trip. Got home put it in the garage and still no issue.  Pulled out of the garage on Sunday to clean my garage out. When I went to put it back in I had same issue. This time it came on and off a couple off times and now is off permanently. When I flip the ignition switch it has very little power where you can see it barely move volt gauge. I bought this car last year and have not touched the wiring to  battery disconnect. I test the switch (no wires hooked up) with continuity and it works like it should. When everything is hooked up like it was originally the continuity tester goes off no matter what way switch is flipped. This disconnect used to work like its supposed to. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.

 

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The battery disconnect switch is wired wrong. You’re not disconnecting your battery. You’re only disconnecting the three items connected to the other terminal, fuel pump, fuse, and ignition. 

The large cable going to the tranny should be connected to the other terminal on the battery disconnect switch. You should also have another large cable going from the tranny/motor to the frame. 

The ground wires for the other three items should be connected to the frame as close as possible to the item. 

In addition to the disconnect switch being wired wrong it could be bad as mentioned above. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Flip-Flop said:

The battery disconnect switch is wired wrong. You’re not disconnecting your battery. You’re only disconnecting the three items connected to the other terminal, fuel pump, fuse, and ignition. 

The large cable going to the tranny should be connected to the other terminal on the battery disconnect switch. You should also have another large cable going from the tranny/motor to the frame. 

The ground wires for the other three items should be connected to the frame as close as possible to the item. 

In addition to the disconnect switch being wired wrong it could be bad as mentioned above. 

That's what's weird to me. It's wrong but it was working........ yikes.  When I get home I plan on tackling it. I'll try what you mentioned and let you know. I tested the switch with no wires hooked up and it works like its supposed to. Thanks flip flop

 

Edited by 858surveyor

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It is wired a component ground switch, just not a battery disconnect. I have never seen one like that. 

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the other part is that Grounds on car are sensitive, the battery cut off switch should never be hooked to the ground, the positive sided should always be on the disconnect switch

I learned this on my last car it would just die when I would hit a bump, moved it to the positive and the issue went away,

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21 hours ago, Flip-Flop said:

The battery disconnect switch is wired wrong. You’re not disconnecting your battery. You’re only disconnecting the three items connected to the other terminal, fuel pump, fuse, and ignition. 

The large cable going to the tranny should be connected to the other terminal on the battery disconnect switch. You should also have another large cable going from the tranny/motor to the frame. 

The ground wires for the other three items should be connected to the frame as close as possible to the item. 

In addition to the disconnect switch being wired wrong it could be bad as mentioned above. 

It's wired for safety, not as a storage switch.  This switch will shut all of those components down in the event of an accident so you don't give yourself a fuel shower and so the engine shuts off.  Some guys make it so the alternator and battery positive leads go through the switch to accomplish the same thing AND the switch acts as an isolation device for storage.  The biggest thing with the switch is to make sure it's rated for the loads it's seeing before re-wiring it so all the "little pixies" travel through it.  

My guess is the terminals inside have corroded.  This will pass a continuity check, but won't allow much amperage to pass through before voltage drops to nothing.  

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4 hours ago, Rockwood said:

It's wired for safety, not as a storage switch.  This switch will shut all of those components down in the event of an accident so you don't give yourself a fuel shower and so the engine shuts off.  Some guys make it so the alternator and battery positive leads go through the switch to accomplish the same thing AND the switch acts as an isolation device for storage.  The biggest thing with the switch is to make sure it's rated for the loads it's seeing before re-wiring it so all the "little pixies" travel through it.  

My guess is the terminals inside have corroded.  This will pass a continuity check, but won't allow much amperage to pass through before voltage drops to nothing.  

As Rockwood said we had an issue with a disconnect for a toy hauler.  It was passing voltage, but the second you needed to draw any amps it would crap out.  Bypassed the disconnect and everything worked fine.

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7 hours ago, J Alper said:

the other part is that Grounds on car are sensitive, the battery cut off switch should never be hooked to the ground, the positive sided should always be on the disconnect switch

I learned this on my last car it would just die when I would hit a bump, moved it to the positive and the issue went away,

I disagree and here are the reasons why. 

First is a safety issue. If the disconnect switch is on the positive side and turned off (open) it gives a false sense of security. If one goes to remove the battery and accidentally touches the positive terminal or cable  to the frame or a ground the arcing could cause considerable injury or death. The ground terminal should always be disconnected first and having the disconnect switch on the negative side of the battery will accomplish this. 

The other reason is that I see so many cars with additional wires directly to the positive terminal post of the battery.  A disconnect switch on the positive side of the battery would not disconnect these wires and the associated components connected to them allowing a battery discharge through these components. 

As far as the problem with your car, electricley there is no difference between the positive and negative side. I think your problem was solved due to a bad connection that got resolved when you rewired. 

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10 hours ago, Rockwood said:

It's wired for safety, not as a storage switch.  This switch will shut all of those components down in the event of an accident so you don't give yourself a fuel shower and so the engine shuts off.  Some guys make it so the alternator and battery positive leads go through the switch to accomplish the same thing AND the switch acts as an isolation device for storage.  The biggest thing with the switch is to make sure it's rated for the loads it's seeing before re-wiring it so all the "little pixies" travel through it.  

My guess is the terminals inside have corroded.  This will pass a continuity check, but won't allow much amperage to pass through before voltage drops to nothing.  

I see what you’re saying but I think you’re making some assumptions calling it a safety switch. To me it’s a secondary ignition switch with the fuel pump tied to it as most ignition switches are. 

A safety switch would be located and labeled as such so it could be turned off by anyone. Of course that’s also an assumption that anyone would have the knowledge to turn off the switch. Most people in Glamis don’t have the training required to recognize and turn off a safety switch even if it’s labeled and located properly.  IMHO just because it’s wired like a safety switch doesn’t automatically make it one.  In this case it just makes it a secondary ignition switch .

As far as the fuel shower in an accident, I think that the driver and most people would turn off the ignition switch that is usually in plain sight before they go looking for an unlabeled safety switch buried somewhere in the car.  

 I also stated in my first post that the switch might be bad.  The wires and connections to the ignition and fuel pump might also be corroded and/or highly resistant.   Other components may be on discharging the battery giving a low voltage indication as the OP stated even though the disconnect switch is off.  Hard to troubleshoot this situation without being there with a meter.

 

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2 hours ago, Flip-Flop said:

I see what you’re saying but I think you’re making some assumptions calling it a safety switch. To me it’s a secondary ignition switch with the fuel pump tied to it as most ignition switches are. 

A safety switch would be located and labeled as such so it could be turned off by anyone. Of course that’s also an assumption that anyone would have the knowledge to turn off the switch. Most people in Glamis don’t have the training required to recognize and turn off a safety switch even if it’s labeled and located properly.  IMHO just because it’s wired like a safety switch doesn’t automatically make it one.  In this case it just makes it a secondary ignition switch .

As far as the fuel shower in an accident, I think that the driver and most people would turn off the ignition switch that is usually in plain sight before they go looking for an unlabeled safety switch buried somewhere in the car.  

 I also stated in my first post that the switch might be bad.  The wires and connections to the ignition and fuel pump might also be corroded and/or highly resistant.   Other components may be on discharging the battery giving a low voltage indication as the OP stated even though the disconnect switch is off.  Hard to troubleshoot this situation without being there with a meter.

 

Depends. Every racecar I’ve ever seen is required to have one that shuts down the ignition and fuel pump at minimum. NHRA for a while wanted it on the back corner (might still be the case). Previous owner could’ve been of this mindset. 

Fuel shower: ignition switches can fail or break in an accident, which is why sanctioning bodies require a secondary cut off switch. Ignition switches are also often inside the vehicle and may/may not be labeled. Mine isn’t, and the same goes to a lot of the buggies in my camp. Cut off switch is obvious to me though.

That, or someone is stupid and just didn’t understand how it works. :bigrin  

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21 hours ago, Rockwood said:

Depends. Every racecar I’ve ever seen is required to have one that shuts down the ignition and fuel pump at minimum. NHRA for a while wanted it on the back corner (might still be the case). Previous owner could’ve been of this mindset. 

Fuel shower: ignition switches can fail or break in an accident, which is why sanctioning bodies require a secondary cut off switch. Ignition switches are also often inside the vehicle and may/may not be labeled. Mine isn’t, and the same goes to a lot of the buggies in my camp. Cut off switch is obvious to me though.

That, or someone is stupid and just didn’t understand how it works. :bigrin  

You make some good points regarding the cut off switch, it’s location, and sanctioning bodies for race cars. I’ve also seen the same with various races I have attended over the past several years. 

My ignition switch is labeled and I put a red rubber boot on the toggle. I thought that was a good idea so I gave the red rubber boots to others in my group. 

I think our discussion on this subject has brought up a good safety awareness topic for others to read and ponder. 

BTW, posting up a picture of the cut off switch on your sand rail showing the location and labeling would be very beneficial to others. 

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5 minutes ago, Flip-Flop said:

You make some good points regarding the cut off switch, it’s location, and sanctioning bodies for race cars. I’ve also seen the same with various races I have attended over the past several years. 

My ignition switch is labeled and I put a red rubber boot on the toggle. I thought that was a good idea so I gave the red rubber boots to others in my group. 

I think our discussion on this subject has brought up a good safety awareness topic for others to read and ponder. 

BTW, posting up a picture of the cut off switch on your sand rail showing the location and labeling would be very beneficial to others. 

Definitely going to do that on my next build. 

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Thanks everyone. Turns out I had a shorted out battery. Went thru all the wiring, replaced switch, and cleaned it up while I had it all open. After this season I will break the car down all the way to get new powder coat, new wiring, and rebuild motor. The batteries that were in the car were power sonic ps-12350 nb. Not a great battery.  So I replaced them with the full throttle ft410s and see how it goes.

 

I appreciate how much everyone helps one another on here.

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14 minutes ago, 858surveyor said:

Thanks everyone. Turns out I had a shorted out battery. Went thru all the wiring, replaced switch, and cleaned it up while I had it all open. After this season I will break the car down all the way to get new powder coat, new wiring, and rebuild motor. The batteries that were in the car were power sonic ps-12350 nb. Not a great battery.  So I replaced them with the full throttle ft410s and see how it goes.

 

I appreciate how much everyone helps one another on here.

I had an electrical gremlin like that once.  I bought a brand new PC925 odyssey and then the first trip it started to act funny as soon as you tried to start it.  Showed full charge, but had a bad cell.

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15 hours ago, r3meyer said:

I had an electrical gremlin like that once.  I bought a brand new PC925 odyssey and then the first trip it started to act funny as soon as you tried to start it.  Showed full charge, but had a bad cell.

Ya. I bought the battery before Thanksgiving trip. Wanted to upgrade them then but they didnt have em and I couldn't wait due to trip. Now I was able to wait and got the better batteries

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