Old tractor and battery terminals

Speaking of old tractors, I can't get a good contact to the battery terminal on my old Ferguson. I cleaned the post and connector off with
a (3M) green scrubbie, but when I clamp it together and push the starter button I get a puff of smoke from the terminal as I vaporize some small section of lead where the terminal connector meet. Is there some goo or other tricks I can use?
George H.
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On Mon, 1 May 2017 05:21:51 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The puff is at the battery, between the terminal and post, right? The smoke indicates vaporized lead from a whole bunch of current trying to go through a small area of post/terminal. It indicates that you either didn't clean it properly or the connection is loose. Are you -sure- the terminal is tightening properly on the battery post?
Sometimes the post is worn down by cleaning and the terminal doesn't tighten onto it. If that's the case, remove the terminal, remove the clamping bolt, and run a hacksaw between the ends to remove material. Reinstall the clamping bolt and try again. There should be a gap at the terminal end where the clamping bolt goes through. If not, saw some more.
I have used several methods over the years to reduce corrosion between the two, but I have always used round brush (or blade-type) terminal end cleaners to get bright lead for the contact surfaces. The oiled felt pads under the terminals can reduce corrosion, but I used to use wheel bearing grease to cover both the terminal and post. Now I use the spray terminal protector. It's usually red, so I'm sure you've seen it. I clean and tighten the two, then spray with protectant.
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On Monday, May 1, 2017 at 9:18:20 AM UTC-4, Larry Jaques wrote:

Right, The dang thing is as tight as I can make it. The terminal is pretty old... weak/"distressed" on the edges maybe. I was think of just buying a new terminal/

Yeah I've done that... not the problem in this case.

Right, (thanks) I'll stop at Napa or some place and let them sell me some gunk.
George H.

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On Monday, May 1, 2017 at 9:30:22 AM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Have not had this probem for some time. Larry had a lot of good advice, but he forgot one thing. put some downward force on the clamp and rotate it back and forth. And then tighten the clamp. Dan
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On Mon, 1 May 2017 06:30:20 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

That was one of my points. You can tighten the bolt 'til the cows come home but if it isn't squeezing the post, it won't work. But if you have frayed wire at the terminal to cable connection, you're losing current there and the terminal should be replaced.
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If you can apply a load away from the battery, such as from the frame to the starter or its relay, a voltmeter will reveal any voltage drops across poor terminal connections. Several amps of charging current may be enough, too.
A headlight bulb draws around 5 Amps. -jsw
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On Tue, 2 May 2017 07:07:02 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"

Yeah, headlights were an easy test for a charging system, too. Start it up, remove a battery cable, then turn on the brights. The engine will die if the charging system isn't working properly.
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wrote:

I built a fault simulator for GM that created the types of voltage transients that a car's electrical system can suffer. The energy levels exceeded what they could do with their lab test equipment. http://www.electronicdesign.com/power/eliminate-those-automotive-load-dump-circuit-protection-headaches
A "load dump" occurs when the battery disconnects while the alternator field is energized, their example was a rough road jostling the cables. The stored field energy can raise the normal 12-14V to 100V or more (I can't quote specifics), and the surge suppressors they install to protect the electronics have limited dissipation capacity.
The engineers tried out my new tester on a fuel injection computer and blew it up when the protection Zener overheated and failed after a few load dump cycles. I think that's why they went to side terminal batteries.
-jsw
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Jim Wilkins wrote:

The Chevy Vega had side terminals in 1976. There was DARN little electronics in that car. There was a module to shut off the air cond when the alternator was not producing, a timer on the rear window defroster, probably a VERY simple electronic ignition (I don't remember points on that one) and the radio. I don't think it even had intermittent wipers. That was it, and it was all analog stuff.
Jon
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On Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 2:54:16 PM UTC-4, Jon Elson wrote:

Well, having the battery in the trunk seemed to solve a lot of problems in my 1958 Alfa Romeo. <g> It was nice and clean back there, and cool. However, the cable that ran forward used a lot of copper.
As for electronics, I did have to replace a couple of vacuum tubes in the Blaupunkt radio...
There is a lot of virtue in simplicity.
--
Ed Huntress

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I've closely examined a disassembled 1910-ish Maxwell in a private collection. Mechanically it's like a 4-wheel bicycle. That stuff is fun to play with as long as you don't have to depend on it.
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On Tue, 2 May 2017 16:02:13 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"

Same goes for a 1928 Chevy, an old "A-Bone" or "T-Bone" or a 1949 Beetle. A 1953 MG fits pretty well too - - -
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On Tue, 2 May 2017 12:07:51 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The battery in the trunk of my '61 Mini almost resulted in the destruction of the car - and the crappy "cap" type battery connector was a royal pain.
For thise who have never seen an early Mini up close, the battery was in the trunk opposite the fuel tank and was originally covered with a heany cardboard cover. The battery connection was a tapered cap that fit down over the battery post and was held down with basically a #8 sheet metal screw threaded into the top of the battery post. The connection tended to get "flakey" to the point that when one pressed on the rubber covered button on the gigh current switch between the seats, sometimes it would spark and the engine would not crank. Simplyb having someone swat the rear quarter panel, kick the rear tire, or slam the door with the button pressed usually caused the connection to re-establish itself, and the critter would crank and start.
By the time I aquired this particular car it was10 years old and had 196000 miles of rural mail delivery under it's belt - and that battery cover was long gone. It had also developed a prodigious appetete for engine oil, so there was generally a few quarts of Nugold SAE50 riding along in the trunk.One day with eigh of us young folks crammed in heading to the local stock car races 2 of those cans managed to short out across the battery, burning a hole in the cans and lighting the ensuing small stream of oil on fire. When we noticed the smoke curling up from around the back seat, I shut off the car and we were all out before it came to a full stop, and one of my friends had the trunk open and tossed the burning oil can onto the ground beside the car. when the fire was out and the smoke dissipated, we all jumped back in and went on our way.
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On Tue, 02 May 2017 17:35:03 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I had a VW bug, several actually, but one of the first had the back seat short against the battery terminals. I had no idea that this could be a problem until someone was sitting in the back seat and complained of a burning smell and then said the seat was getting hot. I pulled over and pulled the seat out. There was some sort of cover missing and the seat coils were making contact with the battery posts as the car bounced. Didn't affect the running of the car though. I think it was a magazine or some newspaper I put over the battery as a temporary fix. Then we piled back in, cracked another beer, and sped down the dirt road. That was an interesting day. Eric
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wrote:

The only thing (OK, 2 things) I ever thought were a good idea about the old VW bugs were 1) the ankle-straps in the back seat, which most silly people used as sissy handles. and 2) the front seats pivoted from the front.
That was so thoughtful of them, and gave us couples much more room.
Because the girl I dated (and I) were much lighter than yours, we never caught her seats on fire. Back then, though, I smoked after sex. (Yes, I checked.)
- The list of Obama administration disappointments would take three rolls of toilet paper to record. --BMF
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    [ ... ]

    Hmm ... my first MGA 1500 used two 6V batteries, behind the two seats on either side of the driveshaft. It was accessed under a removable panel behind the seats. Anyway -- it had four of those connector/screw combinations. One for the cable to the engine compartment, one for the ground cable to the chassis, and two on the vary short cable which looped over the driveshaft. I never had problems with the connectors there.
    My later MGA 1600 MK-II was similar, except that it had the normal clamp type connectors instead of the cap and screw types, though they might have been changed during the life of the vehicle before it passed into my hands.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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wrote:

My sister's 1973 BLMC MBG-GT (say that 3 times really fast) had the same twin 6v underseat config and had nothing but trouble with them for 35 years. I could never understand the draw of Prince of Darkness-equipped vehicles, myself. Nuttin' but trubble.
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On Wed, 03 May 2017 05:20:42 -0700, Larry Jaques

Chrome bumber Bs had the dual/split battery configuration. Rubber-bumper('74 and newer?) Bs had a single 12 volt battery.
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On Wed, 03 May 2017 10:16:03 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Enlightenment, at last!
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On Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 5:35:05 PM UTC-4, Clare wrote:

nd

ew

when

,

that

hat

in my 1958 Alfa Romeo. <g> It was nice and clean back there, and cool. Howe ver, the cable that ran forward used a lot of copper.

e Blaupunkt radio...

A product of Britain's Prince of Darkness, eh?
[Bumper sticker seen on Mini in the early '60s: "Why to the Brits drink war m beer? Because they have Lucas refrigerators."]

BMC owners always have fun tales to tell. I'll bet Don has some from his MG A experience.
Mine, with my MG Midget Mk III (1275 cc), came one night in December when I was driving from Michigan to NJ in freezing rain, and the left-side parkin g light cover filled with salt water because the gasket leaked; the wiring shorted out with no fuses at all in the system, burning the insulation off of the wiring harness under the dash and filling the cockpit with smoke; an d then I had to drive 20 miles down the Ohio Turnkike with a flashlight ins tead of headlights. d8-)
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