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Author Topic: The battery cable saga takes a twist  (Read 1599 times)

shamelin

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The battery cable saga takes a twist
« on: March 08, 2013, 01:50:54 AM »
Battery cable lug fracture are a known problem on the UCEs- many of us, including myself, have experienced this first-hand.  I chalked it up to a bad batch of lugs, but today I've seen the error of my ways.

I put a new gel battery and Battery Tender cable on my B5 about 3 months ago.  Today, I tried hooking up my Battery Tender to my previously installed cable, but I wasn't getting a charge.

I took off my battery cover and what do I see?  A broken negative battery cable lug, off of the Battery Tender cable.  I hit my friendly NAPA autoparts, bought some new lugs, replaced the old ones, reinstalled everything, and now it works perfectly.

After today, I'm going with metal stress from motorcycle vibration, as opposed to manufacturing defect.  RE, you have been absolved.

Royalista

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2013, 02:53:32 AM »
Battery cable lug fracture are a known problem on the UCEs- many of us, including myself, have experienced this first-hand.  I chalked it up to a bad batch of lugs, but today I've seen the error of my ways.

I put a new gel battery and Battery Tender cable on my B5 about 3 months ago.  Today, I tried hooking up my Battery Tender to my previously installed cable, but I wasn't getting a charge.

I took off my battery cover and what do I see?  A broken negative battery cable lug, off of the Battery Tender cable.  I hit my friendly NAPA autoparts, bought some new lugs, replaced the old ones, reinstalled everything, and now it works perfectly.

After today, I'm going with metal stress from motorcycle vibration, as opposed to manufacturing defect.  RE, you have been absolved.

So far I've been spared from this kind of trouble; a little over 11,000 miles. Very few of them are highway miles though, rarely going over 4000rpm (65mph).

Can you provide some data regarding miles done and riding conditions (as in fe how many highway miles)?
Were you able to rule out other factors such as rubbing and the like? Very little room inside the cover, packed as sardines.
Just curious why some lugs would opt for the fast way out. ;)
moriunt omnes pauci vivunt

Arizoni

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2013, 05:12:48 AM »
My bike is coming up on 9,300 miles with no problem with the negative battery connector yet.

After reading all of the fun some guys are having I just went out and dropped two new connectors into my saddle bags.  Usually when I have a new part with me I never need it. (fingers crossed). :)
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

mattsz

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2013, 11:16:38 AM »
Shamelin - you're more generous than I am... I'm not ready to forgive them just yet.  I never assumed a defect, but instead a choice of a part that isn't up to the task.

Do you expect your NAPA replacements to last?  If there's an aftermarket lug that can handle the stress, they should be using one at the factory.  Really, guys, I bought a package of 8 or 10 of them for a couple of bucks!  And I assume they're easy to install (haven't done it yet), so I'm not terribly concerned about the time, money or effort to do the job, but it's the getting stuck out on the road that bugs me...

shamelin

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2013, 11:31:50 PM »
I ride the Enfield fast and hard, typically hitting 70+mph nearly every time I'm on the bike.  Usually I ride about 40 miles a day, and up to 300 on the weekend.

My (-) battery cable lug snapped at about 2,000 miles.
My (+) battery cable lug snapped at about 4,000 miles.

I installed my Battery Tender charger about 1,000 miles ago, but this is the first time I've used it, so who knows when it snapped.  I'm at about 6,000 miles now.

I don't think the damage was due to rubbing, since the first breaks occurred on factory installed cables and battery.  It is pretty tight in the battery box, so to speak, so when I installed the Battery Tender I made extra effort to try to minimize stress on the cable and lugs.

I think the NAPA lugs should do the trick.  The connectors are made of much thicker copper, and I saw no evidence of metal fatigue on the previously replaced lugs when I was reinstalling my Battery Tender.

Royalista

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2013, 01:04:14 AM »
As said mine is ridden not that fast but gets bounced about quite a bit.
While all still looks sound and strong I'll take the hint and make precautions. Prepping doesn't hurt.
moriunt omnes pauci vivunt

motorat

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2013, 05:32:14 AM »
i won't be kind at all!
this happened to my positive terminal in friday commute traffic.
the bike started missing as it did when the injector failed so i figures it was the same, but when i rolled on the gas it cut out and almost died.
 i got the bike to the shoulder before it died completely then went about checking it. i found the positive battery terminal had broken at the bend.
i was able to cut back the insulation and wrap the wire around the battery terminal and get home.
i checked these in January and they were fine, i guess i should have replaced them at that time.
nothing like putting myself in danger because they are trying to save $2 in manufacturing in india.
Joe
08 dl650abs
 c5 military

wildbill

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2013, 09:48:14 AM »
What's wrong with the importer fixing up these minor problem areas prior to the sale of the bike.
My negative lead broke off about a week ago and unlike my USA bothers - Here in Oz I had to pay $9450 for my C5.
I think all this should be fixed right from the very start. It's not hard for the importer/dealer to see the problems - all he has to do is read these threads.

2011 C5 black/chrome
2012 C5 maroon/chrome 
2013 B5 black
2014 Continental gt
2014 C5 tan/cheery - upgrades and work in progress

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mattsz

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2013, 12:00:19 PM »
Wildbill - why not?

Here's a random current recall notice taken from NHTSA website:

Quote
SUMMARY:
Porsche is recalling certain model year 2012-2013 911 Carrera and Carrera 4 vehicles manufactured from March 7, 2012, through November 12, 2012, and equipped with a standard (not sport) exhaust system. The exhaust tail pipe may fracture and separate from the rear muffler.
CONSEQUENCE:
If the exhaust tail pipe separates from the muffler it may become a hazard for other vehicles on the road, increasing the risk of a crash.

 :o Huh?!?  A vehicle dropping parts onto the highway is a safety risk for other drivers?  Who knew?

Now imagine the copy for our problem:

"SUMMARY: Battery cable terminal ends may fracture and separate from the battery.
CONSEQUENCE: If the flimsy electrical connector breaks while the motorcycle is being ridden on, I don't know, let's say a public road with actual other vehicles in the vicinity (a statistical longshot, we know), the engine could sputter and die, increasing the risk of a crash."

Is it so unlikely?  Isn't this a safety issue?  Would anybody argue that having your motorcycle engine randomly quitting would never increase the risk of a crash?  If it's good enough for Porsche, and indeed every other vehicle manufacturer...

tooseevee

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2013, 03:09:00 PM »
Wildbill - why not?

Is it so unlikely?  Isn't this a safety issue?  Would anybody argue that having your motorcycle engine randomly quitting would never increase the risk of a crash?  If it's good enough for Porsche, and indeed every other vehicle manufacturer...

           Absolutely it's a safety thing. I've dropped a road bike twice in my whole life, both harleys  & that's over 60 years of riding. Both harleys. The first time was my fault (exhausted, midnight, wet grass); the second time I was turning left after leaving a stop sign. Very low speed, carb farted, wheel was turned, I was leaned over, instant lose of power, down I went. That was the 2nd time I found I could lift a harley back up on its feet by myself.
2008 ACE Head AVL Classic
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barenekd

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2013, 08:01:46 PM »
I'd like to see a consensus, but it seems like most of the cable end problems are on C5s. I don't see any G5 mentioned. Maybe the ground wires are set up differently. Any thoughts?
Any G5s with the problem?
As for the Porsche problem losing tailpipes, I haven't heard of too many cable ends being dropped in the road threatening other vehicles or drivers. The only bikes I've had much trouble quitting in traffic, particularly at high speeds, were Triumphs. (Bad Crankshaft Position Sensors). I've had 3 or 4 of those go bad, usually more than once. And when it happens in the carpool lanes at 80, it ain't fun!!
Bare
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TWinOKC

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2013, 10:28:15 PM »
I'd like to see a consensus, but it seems like most of the cable end problems are on C5s.
Bare

How do you know?  Wouldn't it be nice if people would put the model and year of their bike in their signature.  I can't remember sh_t.
2010  C5  Teal
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Royalista

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2013, 10:28:46 PM »
I'd like to see a consensus, but it seems like most of the cable end problems are on C5s. I don't see any G5 mentioned. Maybe the ground wires are set up differently. Any thoughts?
Any G5s with the problem?
As for the Porsche problem losing tailpipes, I haven't heard of too many cable ends being dropped in the road threatening other vehicles or drivers. The only bikes I've had much trouble quitting in traffic, particularly at high speeds, were Triumphs. (Bad Crankshaft Position Sensors). I've had 3 or 4 of those go bad, usually more than once. And when it happens in the carpool lanes at 80, it ain't fun!!
Bare
I think you're on to something. The cases of E5 and G5 differ from those on C5 and those on B5.
Talking about the casing my dealer told the other models having issues sprouting from the shape of the boxes, referring to C5 and B5. Never asked for details, but it's a clue.
Worth to investigate.
moriunt omnes pauci vivunt

mattsz

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2013, 12:03:12 AM »
Bare - I only used the Porsche item as an example of how obvious dangers beget recalls.  I didn't say or suggest that our cable problem was dropping anything on the highway causing a danger to other vehicles.  But I think you've made my point nicely - "bikes... quitting in traffic, particularly at high speeds..." are dangerous.  Enough to warrant a recall on the parts?

motorat

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Re: The battery cable saga takes a twist
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2013, 12:17:24 AM »
- "bikes... quitting in traffic, particularly at high speeds..." are dangerous.  Enough to warrant a recall on the parts?

i agree as i experienced it Friday.
ever try to maneuver an ill running motorcycle over 2 lanes of commute traffic
Joe
08 dl650abs
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