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Old 18-01-2013   #1
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Battery Cables

Does anyone know which is the +ve and which is the negative of these 2 part numbers (I got them off of eper and the diagram is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard):

51729420
51731630

Shop4parts gave me a price of 33.74 and 36.66 respectively. Gulp . I only need the -ve one.

The gearbox to body earth cable (part number 51729422) is 23.59. All prices included VAT.
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Old 19-01-2013   #2
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Re: Battery Cables

Have noticed u have been waiting for a reply I can't find anything to do with these give a independent garage a call and query it if not its a game of trial and error
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Old 20-01-2013   #3
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Re: Battery Cables

I get my auto electrician to make up new leads (various cars). They're no cheaper, but he fits them & they're works of art...
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Old 21-01-2013   #4
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Re: Battery Cables

I might just try to find someone that can do the same in my area. 90 for 3 short cables is a bill I could do without. As you say though, it'll probably end up costing the same, and it will take more time for me to sort out.

I did about 1200 miles in the Multipla last week (for my work). Drove up to Aberdeen, stopped off on the way back in Durham and Rotherham. I had a breakdown after an overnight stop in Durham . It was a very cold morning and my turning of the ignition key was greeted by nothing more than a quiet 'clunk' from the starter solenoid. Bollards thought I, not another duff battery (replaced a defective Bosch one only a few weeks ago as you'll know from my other posts).

Had no option but to call out a local garage. However, I have to say the guy was worth every penny of the 50 charge. He quickly cleared the battery of any blame, saying it was in perfect health (and fully charged). Jump started the car, tested the alternator. That too was in rude health. Pulled a 2 foot length of fairly chunky automotive cable out of the back of his van, stripped the ends and formed loops at each end. 'I reckon it's a dodgy earth' he said, then connected the cable to the battery -ve and a bolt on the cylinder head. Started first prod.

He said it's quite common that earth leads can corrode internally, gradually breaking down connection one strand at a time whilst all looks perfect from the outside. When you need a real current draw on the lead (such as a cold start), the remaining strands can't cope, so you get what appears to be a flat battery (but isn't). His fix got me home and is still working, so replacement isn't urgent but I'd like to get it sorted.

So that's why I need to replace the earth cable. Thought I'd do the one from gearbox to body at the same time as that's famous for giving problems anyway.

One side note from all this: I had flagged an engine control fault ('Contact garage...' etc) on the drive up to Aberdeen - probably due to me driving like a granny and getting the MAP clogged or similar. Drove it like I stole it for a while, but still couldn't clear it up. However, as soon as the mechanic replaced the earth cable, the fault cleared. I thought this may be of interest to someone else on here who was getting the Contact Garage thing a week or two back.
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Old 21-01-2013   #5
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Re: Battery Cables

Hi WMF. Sorry to bump your thread, I was going to post a separate thread, but yours seems to follow the ilk of mine, so it made sense to put mine with yours.

I've posted to help and ask in the past couple of years, and now it's time to ask again!

I have had a similar experience. I took my daughter to A&E last Monday, the night of the snow, and it struggled to start ( two turns to catch) though I thought nothing of it as it was minus 4. We got to the hospital no probs, heater full blast, all lights usual for conditions.

I set off from the hospital, went over a speed bump and BEEEP! Alternator fault and EBD System failure contact garage (SH*T!) I knew that if I stopped the engine, I would be doomed in the car park, so carried on home. After not long, the fan motor stopped working, the lights went dim and odd things like when I put the indicators on, they ticked really slowly, and the dash lights flashed in time with this. When I cancelled the indicator, the dash lights carried on reacting in the same way. By the end of the short journey, the dash display kept stating Check in Progress, then going blank, and repeating this, over and over.

Now, just after I got the car two years ago, I had to have a new alternator fitted, so although not likely, I cannot rule it out, however, when it went then, I got the same warning, but also the battery symbol on the dash came on too, yet it didn't this time. Also the car ran fine with no alternator for a good while on the battery alone, yet this time it clearly wasn't the case.

I don't know how old the battery is, but had the battery gone with the cold weather, the car run still run fine on the alternator, so unless I've been really unlucky and both the alternator and battery have gone, OR I have a bad earth, or positive connection somewhere, which has fractured with the bump from the destructively evil lump of tarmac called a speed bump.

With a multi meter I've checked and the voltage at the battery terminals is 8v, and when turning the key on the ignition, I get the repetitive click of the various relays, as it still flickers from off to Check in Progress, and off and so on. I think that the fan on full has drained the battery quickly and that it'll be fine once I fix the fault.

I have tried to check continuity along the earth cables, but am I correct in thinking that my cheap multimeter, would be unable to check continuity along something as thick as the earth cable?

I've had the air box off to check the physical condition of the cables, and they seem okay, but I know that they fracture internally.

Any suggestions, experiences etc would be welcome seeing as though you've been through something similar.

I am in the RAC and am considering towing more than 1/4 mile from home and phoning them for the diagnostic check if nothing else, but it would be great if I could fix it without doing so.

Heres hoping...
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Old 21-01-2013   #6
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Re: Battery Cables

Yours sounds a little different form mine in that all of my electricals (lights, fans, instruments etc) are working fine. The only problem I've had is with starting.

Judging by things like the instrument lights flickering in time with the indicators, I'd say you've got an earthing problem. A cheapo multimeter should still be fine for checking continuity of cables, even the fat ones from the battery. The first thing I'd do is charge your battery fully so that a) you can see if the battery itself is borked and b) help with testing all the other electricals. Fully charged, you should be measuring at least 12.5V across the terminals when the car isn't running. When the auto electrician I called out a few weeks ago tested my alternator. that was giving 14-14.5V and was deemed to be in very good health at that. Current drain between the battery +ve and body with everything switched off was something less than 0.1A - again, the auto electrician said that was acceptable for a car of the Multiplas' age.

A cheap multimeter won't be able to test how well a cable holds up under load; perhaps someone else can advise on that.
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Old 22-01-2013   #7
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Re: Battery Cables

Widemouthfrog.

Was it a Bosch S5 battery?

Cos this is what I have, and 2 months old, every day it behaves differently. Think it lacks cranking power below 0 degree's, despite the S4 it replaced.
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Old 22-01-2013   #8
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Re: Battery Cables

Yes, an S5005. When I sent the first one back to SAF, they called me to say that it had checked out ok and would be sending it back. Because I'd paid good money to have an auto electrician come and have a look at the car, I knew that the fault lay with the battery so said I didn't want it back. They subsequently came back to me about 30 minutes later and said they had retested it and the results were 'inconclusive', so would send me a new one. Make of that what you will.

The chap that came to fix things when I was in Durham spoke very highly of Bosch batteries. He's put them in both of his own cars. Enough said.

The extra cranking power of the S5 series can come in useful, especially for a diesel. However, I've come to realise that the 5 year guarantee is something of a red herring, when purchasing on the internet at least, as the cost of having someone verify that the battery is faulty and then sending it back to the seller on an overnight delivery is pretty much the same as the cost of the battery.

Ho hum.
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Old 22-01-2013   #9
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Re: Battery Cables

I've done a bit of digging on the battery cable part numbers. Should anyone want to make a note for future reference, for the Multipla JTD's:

51729420 (superseded 46737655 in July 2003) is the battery -ve cable. S4P price as above.
51731630 (superseded 46511196 in July 2003) is the battery +ve cable. S4P price as above.

51729422 (superseded 46737657 in July 2003) is the ground cable between the gearbox and body. S4P price as above.

The petrol engined versions use different cables.
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Old 23-01-2013   #10
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Re: Battery Cables

Quote Originally Posted by widemouthfrog View Post
Yes, an S5005. When I sent the first one back to SAF, they called me to say that it had checked out ok and would be sending it back. Because I'd paid good money to have an auto electrician come and have a look at the car, I knew that the fault lay with the battery so said I didn't want it back. They subsequently came back to me about 30 minutes later and said they had retested it and the results were 'inconclusive', so would send me a new one. Make of that what you will.

The chap that came to fix things when I was in Durham spoke very highly of Bosch batteries. He's put them in both of his own cars. Enough said.

The extra cranking power of the S5 series can come in useful, especially for a diesel. However, I've come to realise that the 5 year guarantee is something of a red herring, when purchasing on the internet at least, as the cost of having someone verify that the battery is faulty and then sending it back to the seller on an overnight delivery is pretty much the same as the cost of the battery.

Ho hum.
Totally true about batteries bought over the tinternet.

Mine like yours was bought from SAF and is the S5005. Previous battery was the S4005, but had been in the engine bay for 4 years, so original battery from factory did not last very long.
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Old 24-01-2013   #11
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Re: Battery Cables

Hi

Just to update on my problem, I had the RAC man out today, and after telling him what happened he was convinced that the alternator was goosed, right up until the point that he was about to leave. It was only when I asked about the possibility of the cable from the alt to the battery being cracked, that he waggled the cable while he had his multimeter on the battery terminals.

Luckily for me the voltage shot back upto 14.5 volts, so I have removed said cable to get a replacement made tomorrow at my local auto electrical shop. I am well happy about A) Not having to buy a new alternator, and B) Not having to fit the bloody thing in -2 conditions!

Cheers for the help WMF.
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Old 25-01-2013   #12
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Re: Battery Cables

Good to hear that you've got a (cheap and simple) solution. Let us know how much it costs to have a cable made!
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Old 25-01-2013   #13
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Re: Battery Cables

It was the princely sum of 5, which in my book is great, although it took me 5 different shops and about 15miles to sort out, but better than Fiat prices!

I'm fitting it tomorrow in the snow, and the battery is on charge as we speak. Fingers crossed!
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