HELP! Alternator wire!
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This is a discussion on HELP! Alternator wire! within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; This wire keeps getting really hot and fries the wires inside. When it does this it kills my battery so ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Jerembo47's Avatar
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    HELP! Alternator wire!

    This wire keeps getting really hot and fries the wires inside. When it does this it kills my battery so I need to cut off the fried wires, reconnect it, and get a jump start. Then it runs good for a few days until the wire gets fried again. then I have to shorten the wire and do it all over again.












    What is this wire called? Is it the ground wire for the alternator? and can it be easily replaced? Any info would be appreciated!!!

    Thanks!

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    Registered User irvin787878's Avatar
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    is that not the main wire that runs from the alternator to the starter then to the battery. or does it just run from the alt to the battery. not real sure because i never did it but shouldnt be anything that couldnt be done with some basic tools and a few hours.
    Last edited by irvin787878; 11-06-2010 at 05:50 PM.
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    Registered User Jerembo47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irvin787878 View Post
    is that not the main wire that runs from the alternator to the starter then to the battery. or does it just run from the alt to the battery. not real sure because i never did it but shouldnt be anything that couldnt be done with some basic tools and a few hours.
    The wire does not connect to the battery. It goes into the driver side wheel well, THen from there im not sure. But do U think a grounding kit might help?

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    Registered User irvin787878's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerembo47 View Post
    The wire does not connect to the battery. It goes into the driver side wheel well, THen from there im not sure. But do U think a grounding kit might help?
    i am probly wrong on where the wire goes then sorry. it just might be quite a bit of work to replace. i dont think a grounding kit will help that. why its probly getting hot and burning is that something is causing it to short out somewhere. could be the insulation is cracked and rubbing on metal. some older domestic systems had the heavy battery cable that went to the starter and some wires that came off it and one of them went to the alt and the other wnet to the ingnition switch. if i remember right and thats why i said what i said. i should have checked my info first.
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    Registered User irvin787878's Avatar
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    look at ur 3rd pic closly it kinda looks like the terminal may be grounding on the alt make sure thats not happening. theres a washer between the terminal and alt but it looks really close and maybe hitting it and grounding out. idk just a suggestion
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    Registered User irvin787878's Avatar
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    i know i have any 07 but i would think it would look something close to mine thats why i am ? it. to me it looks like yours is metal to metal. the photos is blurry cause my camera fogged up cause its chilly out but if you look under the terminal on mine its got that black piece under it. when this problem started did u change or do anything to the car electrical.

    [IMG] http://s1116.photobucket.com/albums/...rrent=0094.jpg [/IMG]
    Last edited by irvin787878; 07-30-2011 at 10:42 AM.
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    Registered User Jerembo47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irvin787878 View Post
    i know i have any 07 but i would think it would look something close to mine thats why i am ? it. to me it looks like yours is metal to metal. the photos is blurry cause my camera fogged up cause its chilly out but if you look under the terminal on mine its got that black piece under it. when this problem started did u change or do anything to the car electrical.
    No I did not do anything to it electrically. It has a lot of problems & needs a lot of TLC! But I took ur advise about it being too close to the Alt. So I took the washer that was on top and put it on the bottom. gives it a little more clearance. Hopefully thats it!

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    Registered User d_Ziggy_2000's Avatar
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    If i'm not mistaken, that should be going to the positive terminal on the battery.. not the fenderwall. I'm pretty sure mine is attached to my battery and the grounding of the alternator is going through the metal of it to the rest of the engine. I'm not 100% positive though so i may be wrong
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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    It is called the front harness. It is going to be expensive and a PITA to replace - you have to sort this out before it gets any shorter. I'd recommend having an expert diagnose it ASAP. It runs a bunch of places but not straight to the battery - fuse box, headlight relays etc. and joins several other harnesses in the process.

    If you want to muck around, check to see that no fuses or relays have been bypassed, all grounds are good, battery and connections there are good, is there some aftermarket HID kit or something, any issues with the stereo install, what V is the alternator producing etc. etc. etc.



    Last edited by mycologist; 11-07-2010 at 07:18 AM.
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    Registered User 2:43AM's Avatar
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    That is the main power output from the alternator, not a grounding wire!

    When you cut the bad section out and reconnect, how are you doing that? If the ring terminal is corroded and scorched by heat damage, it now has increased resistance, which in turn will generate more heat. You'll be stuck in an endless cycle!

    Replacing the ENTIRE harness would not be logical. If anything a good, hearty splice would take care of it. You'll just have to do it right or risk the same thing happening again somewhere deeper in the wiring.

    Either you have a high resistance fault (short) somewhere that's causing excessive amp draw on your alternator or you just have oxidized cable which is generating heat at that connection.

    Also, when the wire is burning, what accessories are on? A/C? Heater? Window defroster?

    How old is your battery? It may be that the plates inside are shorting to one another (positive to negative). When the alternator is rotating, it charges the battery. If you have one or more dead cells with a short, that could cause excessive heat.
    Last edited by 2:43AM; 11-07-2010 at 10:25 AM.

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    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2:43AM View Post
    That is the main power output from the alternator, not a grounding wire!

    When you cut the bad section out and reconnect, how are you doing that? If the ring terminal is corroded and scorched by heat damage, it now has increased resistance, which in turn will generate more heat. You'll be stuck in an endless cycle!

    Replacing the ENTIRE harness would not be logical. If anything a good, hearty splice would take care of it. You'll just have to do it right or risk the same thing happening again somewhere deeper in the wiring.

    Either you have a high resistance fault (short) somewhere that's causing excessive amp draw on your alternator or you just have oxidized cable which is generating heat at that connection.

    Also, when the wire is burning, what accessories are on? A/C? Heater? Window defroster?

    How old is your battery? It may be that the plates inside are shorting to one another (positive to negative). When the alternator is rotating, it charges the battery. If you have one or more dead cells with a short, that could cause excessive heat.
    /\ This. The wire itself can just be replaced,preferably with something thicker. I woud have the alternator and battery tested to verify they are in correct working order.
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  13. #12
    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Just to be clear, I was answering what was involved with "replacing the wire" with an OEM part, not saying it couldn't be spliced.

    Looking at it again, the insulation is probably shot well back in there and it will need to be spliced already.
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    Registered User irvin787878's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerembo47 View Post
    No I did not do anything to it electrically. It has a lot of problems & needs a lot of TLC! But I took ur advise about it being too close to the Alt. So I took the washer that was on top and put it on the bottom. gives it a little more clearance. Hopefully thats it!
    just make sure the washers are not touching any part of the metal of the alt. i never gave it a thought about the battery possibly shorting or how much the alt's output is. i hope thats all thats wrong also cause anything else is going to cost you some money and time.
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    Registered User ProRallyWannabe's Avatar
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    can anyone tell me were the battery ground wire goes? i have the positive on the starter and the ground is right there with it i just cant figure out where it goes
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    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    Battery ground wire is like six inches long and attaches to the chassis on the inside of the fender right next to the battery. If that's the one you're talking about..

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