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Old 04-26-2021, 11:06 AM   #1
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Battery Cable Conundrum

Ok, folks. I'm a bit stumped, so here goes. I have a 2001 International 3000IC, with a 3 battery system. It looks to be stock. There are 1 red cable, one black cable, and 1 black cable with the connector painted red. Is there a chance someone bozorigged the cables with whatever they had, and I have been trying to wire hot to ground all this time? I'm only asking because I managed to MELT the lead casing around the terminal on the far right battery while attempting to start this beast up!

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Old 04-26-2021, 01:25 PM   #2
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The battery posts should be clearly marked + or -.
Post a pic of it.
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Old 04-26-2021, 02:10 PM   #3
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It's not the posts so much, it's the cable.
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Old 04-26-2021, 03:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel Hawk View Post
Ok, folks. I'm a bit stumped, so here goes. I have a 2001 International 3000IC, with a 3 battery system. It looks to be stock. There are 1 red cable, one black cable, and 1 black cable with the connector painted red. Is there a chance someone bozorigged the cables with whatever they had, and I have been trying to wire hot to ground all this time? I'm only asking because I managed to MELT the lead casing around the terminal on the far right battery while attempting to start this beast up!
It's possible that you may have some snufflemuffemess. Your batteries should be wired in parallel. That means + to + and - to -. I realize you may have more than two cables coming into your battery box and, they may all be black. that is not unusual. The trick is to trace them back manually to where they go. Negative cables will go to the frame or chassis or both. Positive cables will go to power distribution blocks and also the alternator and sometime starter solenoid.

You can test negative to frame and chassis ground with an ohm meter.
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Old 04-26-2021, 08:37 PM   #5
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A suggestion:
Obtain a digital multimeter at a store like Harbor Freight or an auto parts store. They have sufficient accuracy range for anything one would measure in a bus. They are hard to damage by hooking up backwards, or too high a voltage. A reasonable one can be had for less than $10.00, maybe less than $20.00 at a parts store. Places like Home Depot have them also.


The digital meter is your friend. Connecting it to a circuit where you don't yet know what voltage is present can let you know what your next step is going to be. (ie: is the voltage present, is it the positive side or negative. Batteries found in a skoolie have sufficient current capability to melt metal, cause fires and make big flashes of light.



Another tip:
Almost any vehicle in the U.S. has negative ground. If working to disconnect a battery, disconnect the negative terminal FIRST, and if other batteries are connected in parallel, disconnect negative first on all batteries in parallel.

If you are connecting up a battery, connect negative LAST.
If you are connecting one or more batteries in parallel, when connecting the negative terminal on the second, third, etc. just barely touch the negative terminal of the cable to the battery terminal. There should not be a big flash or spark. If there is figure why before attempting a second time. The same thinking applies when jumping a vehicle or connecting up a battery charger.


If you follow these rules of thumb you decrease your rick of catastrophe.
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