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Discussion Starter #1
About did myself in this afternoon. Hooking up a new battery when all **** broke loose, sparks flying and one big pop and no more sparks. The car then won't start. I CAREFULLY un-hook everything and start over. This time no sparks and the car starts right up. Help me live longer...what did I do wrong??? The battery went on a 1970 240 if that helps.
 

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By the sounds of it, when you installed the battery you made contact with the battery and the body. Easy to do . You have to be especially careful not to hit the top of the fender when inserting the battery on its tray. Also when using a spanner to tighten the connectors the tool you use musn't touch either.

I hate to admit it but this is a flaw of the original designers. Anyone else agree?
 

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Polarity?

Did this thing go pop when you were physically installing the battery, or when you attached the cables.?
Installing it, then it was a dead short across your terminals and you're lucky the thing didn't explode acid aallover you and the car (theyll do that!)
When you connected the battery? VERY VERY common! Check the polarity of the cables and the battery posts. The one that goes to the block or transmission is the ground wire. It needs to go to the NEGATIVE (-) side of the battery. The one connected to the positive (+) post goes directly to the big stud on the back of the starter solenoid. The batteries don't always have the terminals in the same location, positive and negative can be swapped! I did this friday afternoon swapping batteries into my 66 corvair! Pop Pop POP! Couldn't ifgure out where the big amp draw was when the key was off, then I realized I had the connections reversed---battery was setup differently. Dosen't help when the cables are both black, either...
Possibly you could have fried the voltage regulator and fusible link, but you won't know until you get it hooked up and running to check it out.
Good Luck!
 

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I agree with 24OZ, although it's also possible that you had a loose wire that contacted the other terminal.

Check the underside of your fender for a scorch mark. That will be your evidence of the contact.

By the way, go ahead and clean and repaint the scorch mark to avoid rust.

It is also IMPERATIVE that you install and use a battery hold down bracket. If you don't at the first bump, ZZZZAAAAAPPPPP!!!

As far as a design flaw, technically yes, although in my book they were anticipating side terminals on the battery, except they wanted the terminals on the short side.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The car is running now. The problems started when I hooked up the cables. Maybe I'm stupid but the negative cable is the one with the extra ground wire that attaches to the car near the battery, right?
 

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Trace the wires back to their source.

And don't wear any rings when you working on a battery.You would be amazed at how fast a gold ring will get red hot if you run some juice through it! I have the scar to prove it!
 

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Oooh! Ooooh! Sounds like polarity.

No, you're not stupid! Easily done, especially if switching between different number series of batteries! Always verify the polarity like you said: the one that grounds to the body is NEGATIVE (-)!
Happens more than you think, don't sweat it!
 

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Re: Belts either!

We had to wear our belts backwards while doing battery service in the Air Force, because if your sweat-laden uniform contacted your metal belt buckle, and that belt buckle touched ground, and you sweat-soaked forearm was resting on the positive cable ZZZZZZZZZZAPPPPP!

Don't laugh, sweat killed a good technician working over a frequency converter when his uniform touched a capacitor in a 600V circuit. Very sad occurence. 12V hurts a bunch, but shouldn't kill you. That's why they use 12 and 28VDC for torture...
 

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Oooh! Ooooh! Sounds like polarity.

hey at least you didn't switch the polarity when the battary was in the car like me. I tried to jump the car with the wires reversed, and i am still working on the electrics on that one. ouch! and it scared the **** out of me
 

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Bad design for us, but not a flaw

From what I have read, the reason our positive terminal is on the body side is that they use the same battery for RHD and LHD cars. In Japan on the RHD cars it would be the proper way. They did not want to have two different batteries in the plant. Therefore, the RHD cars have the battery on the left with the negative terminal next to the body, and we get to see sparks from time to time.

Jeff
 

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Re: Bad design for us, but not a flaw

I just swapped the cables for ones that would reach, and turned the battery so the positive was on the engine side... yep, it's a poor design flaw, but it's a pretty easy fix...
 

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Not True!

The battery used for the RHD cars was totally different than those used in the North American market. As a matter of fact, the terminals from a JDM Fairlady will not fit on anything available here in the USA for automotive use AT ALL!
You CAN get the stock JDM terminals to fit a Garden Tractor battery, but not any of the available automotive batteries. I know, I have two Fairlady Z's, and have to replace the cables if I want to use the proper battery for something like a show.
Oh, and on the JDM cars, the positive IS below the lift-up wing...
 

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Not a flaw if you use...

The same size battery that came with the car in the first place! The terminal is nowhere near anything when you use that battery. If you use a goober special from wal-mart like we all do, you gotta be really careful installing it, OR
get a battery from a Ford.
Seriously, take good look at the group 24 batteries available: 24 has the positive and negative one way, a 24F has the polarity reversed. You just gotta know what to look for...
 
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