Battery Hook up ? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 03-31-2004, 08:03 PM   #1
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Default Battery Hook up ?

Hey everybody - wife went out to start LSS this morning and dead battery. Put charger on it all morning and sure enough it was only good for 3 starts before it was low again. So I bought new battery.

Anyhow when I hook up new battery I get a little more spark on first contact of terminal than I'm used to. Just wondering if this is common because theres more automatic electrical stuff on the car or do I have a problem ? . It definantly drew more spark than I would expect just from a clock. Seemed funny that the battery was great all winter in deep cold and gave up overnight without any early indication of weakness.

Anyone else get a pretty good arc when placing new battery ? Not like jumper cables more like charger set at 2 amp trickle.

Its a 97 L67 with nearly all things electric and automatic, including lights up when you touch door handles.
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Old 03-31-2004, 08:21 PM   #2
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You may be experiencing some parasitic drain on the battery. You shouldn't get any significant arcing when making the final connection of the battery there. Do you have a voltmeter? If so, how much is voltage dropping after you connect battery? You need to connect an ammeter between Batt post (-) & chassis (series lash up) to check for parasitic drain, then selectively begin to isolate loads by removing fuses while monitoring ammeter.
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Old 03-31-2004, 08:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markwb
You may be experiencing some parasitic drain on the battery. You shouldn't get any significant arcing when making the final connection of the battery there. Do you have a voltmeter? If so, how much is voltage dropping after you connect battery? You need to connect an ammeter between Batt post (-) & chassis (series lash up) to check for parasitic drain, then selectively begin to isolate loads by removing fuses while monitoring ammeter.
Sorry Im dense. Ammeter goes between negitive and ground ? With or without negitive terminal hooked to battery. (series lash up ) means nothing to me. I have volt meter but no ammeter laying around.
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Old 03-31-2004, 08:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve LS
Sorry Im dense. Ammeter goes between negitive and ground ? With or without negitive terminal hooked to battery. (series lash up ) means nothing to me. I have volt meter but no ammeter laying around.
To measure current, you break the circuit and then use the ammeter to complete the circuit again. An ammeter presents a low resistance -- it'* basically a short circuit. So if you disconnected the negative terminal, you'd simply put the red (positive) lead of the ammeter on the disconnected (black) lead, and the black (negative) lead on the negative battery terminal. If you get the leads reversed, the meter will just read a negative current instead of a positive one.

This kind of connection is called "series," so named because all the current flowing through the lead you disconnected will now flow through the ammeter as well. It'* kind of like adding a train car to a train -- in essence, you're decoupling the train in the middle, dropping a car in the hole you just made, and reconnecting them together.

The other kind of connection is known as "parallel." This is how you'd measure battery voltage -- just place the red lead of the voltmeter on the positive terminal of the battery, and the black lead of the voltmeter on the negative terminal of the battery. No circuit breaks necessary.

So in general, you measure current in series and voltage in parallel. Be careful not to attempt to measure current in parallel, though, since an ammeter is a low resistance device -- and we know shorting out battery terminals is a bad thing. (If you attempt to measure voltage in series, nothing bad will happen, as voltmeters are high-resistance devices -- but you probably won't get the result you're looking for.)

-b
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Old 03-31-2004, 09:12 PM   #5
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Steve how is your power antenna? The guys here say that if the antenna doesn't go all the way down it will drain the battery right down...
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Old 03-31-2004, 09:26 PM   #6
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Thanks on ammeter, thats what I was thinking. I put one on my "machine" years ago but that would be a little different hook up, most likey a link in between alt and battery ? Long time ago.

Power antennna is still good. Only funny thing has been the fuel gage. Goes to empty at fill up and goes to full when low. Works great otherwise. Has been funny since last summer.
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Old 03-31-2004, 09:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve LS
Quote:
Originally Posted by markwb
You may be experiencing some parasitic drain on the battery. You shouldn't get any significant arcing when making the final connection of the battery there. Do you have a voltmeter? If so, how much is voltage dropping after you connect battery? You need to connect an ammeter between Batt post (-) & chassis (series lash up) to check for parasitic drain, then selectively begin to isolate loads by removing fuses while monitoring ammeter.
Sorry Im dense. Ammeter goes between negitive and ground ? With or without negitive terminal hooked to battery. (series lash up ) means nothing to me. I have volt meter but no ammeter laying around.
Sorry Steve, I should have provided more detail. Yes, disconnect the neg. lead from battery. Connect the ammeter in series between batt neg post & lead that you previously lifted from batt neg. post. Usually a Digital Multi Meter will suffice. Just be sure you have the DMM configured to measure DC current. Most DMM'* are only rated for a max 10 amp limit. Do not attempt to run any accessories, or start the car while in this configuration. Like the other guys said,check the power antenna (remove fuse), also check the ELC air compresser (remove fuse) while monitoring the ammeter until you see minimum current flow. You should be looking at current flow in the milliamp range. Good Luck.
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Old 03-31-2004, 11:10 PM   #8
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Thanks alot guys - You're allright !
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