smoking negative battery cable

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Curtice

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Jun 15, 2010
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Richmond, TX
Quick backstory: newly rebuilt carb a couple months back. Engine was running great, fired right up and after about 10-20 seconds of warm up, would idle great. Took it to the body shop for the last month, didn't start the engine at all in that time . Got it back home and connected everything back up (electric fuel pump, bolted the coil in, etc.). Two problems now:

1) Fired it up and it started with full choke, but was rough running. As soon as I closed the choke, it would studder, backfire (in the carb) and die. Went through this same thing a couple of times, then...

2) All of a sudden the engine would not turn over. Just fast clicking sounds (from the starter I think) and then I noticed the negative battery cable was smoking right where it connects to the battery terminal. Tried this a couple more times with same results - clicks and smoking battery cable.

I wanted to get some ideas on troubleshooting. Mud research has led me to the following steps that I will take. Is there anything else I should look for?

1) for the rough start problem, I was getting fuel to the carb, and looks good in the sight glass from my inexperienced eye. Might be a bad idle solenoid? Any other possibilities or tests I can do?

2) for the click and smoke problem. Sounds like I may have bad ground connections. I will check my battery ground, and ground strap under the starter. My battery cable connections to the battery look pretty clean to me, but I will clean and tighten those as well. Any other ideas? Could my starter be shot?

The engine got a bit wet in the rain while at the shop, could that have led to problems?

Thanks.
 
2) for the click and smoke problem. Sounds like I may have bad ground connections. I will check my battery ground, and ground strap under the starter. My battery cable connections to the battery look pretty clean to me, but I will clean and tighten those as well. Any other ideas? Could my starter be shot?

The engine got a bit wet in the rain while at the shop, could that have led to problems?

Thanks.

You hear the start relay (which is on the starter motor) clicking.
So far so good that works, but you have a short to ground which causing your cable(s) to smoke. I bet the positive cable is getting hot too. Either it's the relay or the starter motor.

Good luck.

Rudi
 
Last edited:
Ground engine to frame and battery, clean connections and use dielectric grease. The start/run/idle problem sounds like a vacuum leak, but I don't use an electric fuel pump, so that may be related to the electrical problems..... jus' sayin';)
 

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