Ford van battery cable

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  #1  
Old 08-23-05, 03:41 PM
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Ford van battery cable

Ford Econoline 1983 van.

My friend and I would like to replace the battery and two cables on her van. We learned to jump it (thanks to this forum!) but now need to learn how to replace the cable.

The battery has a 'wiggly' lead terminal that can go up and down a little. so we assume the battery is broken?

The battery doesn't seem a mystery (just heavy!). The cables came off the top okay but both are frayed, etc. We see where the short one attaches to the side wall. BUT...where does the other cable go to and can this be replaced or do we have to take it to a mechanic. Our arms aren't long enough to follow the cable. Is it attached to a nut on the other end (like the short cable) or is there more to it?

One more question, please. In the automotive section there were these gizmos that are just the terminal on the cable. Could we cut the terminal off the cable and just stick a new terminal on? There were two types: one with a hole and tightening screw and one with a small little plate that is tightened over the cable end. Do these work okay if we can't find where the long cable goes to?

We can get the battery and cables at Walmart for under 100 dollars so would like to do this ourselves and not only save money but learn something.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-23-05, 04:40 PM
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I am not sure how complex you are trying to make this job but if you have the cables follow the cables on the car back to where they connect, unbolt them and run the new one down and bolt that one where the other was. your just swapping them.

I would just use the new gizmo cable end instead of replacing all the wire and you are correct on how to put them on
 
  #3  
Old 08-23-05, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by shottys
I am not sure how complex you are trying to make this job but if you have the cables follow the cables on the car back to where they connect, unbolt them and run the new one down and bolt that one where the other was. your just swapping them.

I would just use the new gizmo cable end instead of replacing all the wire and you are correct on how to put them on
Thanks. Do you have any experience as to which of those 2 types terminal ends is the easist to use? I can't trace the longer cable down as there's a squarish air line or 'thing' that presses over top of where the cable disappears into the engine.
 
  #4  
Old 08-23-05, 07:08 PM
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they are both easy to do and i have used so many different types. the cable that disappears to the engine is either a ground to block or power to the starter look what terminal it is coming from. i usually see novices using the ones that clamp down on the wire. whether you need the one that is for a top post battery or side post battery depends on what you have now. there really is no big advantage to either design.

just don't mix up the cables when reconnecting to the battery if you are replacing the ends
 
  #5  
Old 08-24-05, 03:18 AM
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it should have a top post type terminal on it to fit the battery for your ford van, while they do sell universal batteries with both top and side post, you would be better off sticking with the factory style top post so you do not have to use the universal battery.
 
  #6  
Old 08-24-05, 09:50 AM
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Thank you for all the help. I now feel we have the confidence to try to tackle this project.

Back in high school I didn't realize that all the boys who tinkered with cars were actually using their brains and not just getting dirty hands. I have a new respect for them to think through a problem.
 
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