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Old 11-13-2010, 08:15 PM
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Battery Installed Backwards! Now Need Help!

Ok, I'm a dummy. But I could have sworn I had the positive's and negative's matched up. But it was night time.

So anyways, I had my battery cables hooked up wrong when installing my battery in my 1978 Chevy Scottsdale. I didn't start it, or have the keys in the ignation. But after I hooked up the cables, the wires started smoking. Not sure which wires, but they were near the fuse box, and the smoke looked like it came from behind the distributar. Now with my Battery hooked up correctly, I get nothing. No Turn, no lights, no car alarm, no electrical response what so ever. Obviously I blown some fuses.

The problem is, I am new to this, and this still has all the origial wires from the looks of it. Nothing is labled. I did not find a blown fuse in the fuse box. I'm going to double check tomorrow. My pops said to start with the Starter, remove it and make sure those wires didn't melt. I want to avoid that.

Any ideas.

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Old 11-13-2010, 08:26 PM
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check the fusible links from the starter power stud. they feed power to the rest of the vehicle, and if your smoke was coming from below distributor...thats whats down there. good luck.

also, i had happen on my 86, there should be a black box with 2 studs on it on the firewall, towards the driver side. Seen that feed burn off as well

Last edited by 86GMC; 11-13-2010 at 08:29 PM. Reason: idea #2
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:44 PM
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Probably smoked the alternator diodes as well.After you fix the fuse links that burnt and replace the now notworking soundsystem (sorry) check the alternator for a draw and for a no/low charge rate as the diodes are probably fried. If they pass A/C current as a result it will take out your new battery as well.Give it a good checkover when you get r done. Dont mean to be a wiseguy, just dont want you to be suprised when youfind all this out through a long and arduous process as I have seen people do.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:52 PM
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Check the alternator, It's most likely damaged. Check all the electronics, digital clock, ignition module, radio, computer and car alarm system. I would not worry the on starter.
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:09 PM
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forgot to add, if you do end up finding the links have burned, replace them with fusible links. do NOT splice in ordinary wire, if something goes wrong in the future, you will be kicking yourself as you watch your truck burn and think back to this!
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Old 11-14-2010, 05:15 AM
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Or you can replace the fusible links with a "maxi fuse" you can get these from painlesss wiring/summit or jegs have them in stock and do away with the antiquated fusible link, and have a much easier repair of the system should another electric "issue" arise!
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:22 AM
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I will be checking all the fuses again in a few hours as well as the fusable links. Switching to Maxi Fuse may be an option. You should see these old wires, clearly Stock Wires, and they look like they took a beating. Project in the future; ReWire entire vehicle. I will return if I have any more questions, or I will start a new thread.

Thank you all for your suggestions and help.
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86GMC
check the fusible links from the starter power stud. they feed power to the rest of the vehicle, and if your smoke was coming from below distributor...thats whats down there. good luck.

also, i had happen on my 86, there should be a black box with 2 studs on it on the firewall, towards the driver side. Seen that feed burn off as well
X2 You have smoked the wires fusible link coming from the starter and no telling what else . But i have seen just the wires from the starter burn and everything be ok but not in every case , I just hope you got that lucky let us know what you find.


Cole
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:06 PM
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When I made a similar mistake on my '75 it burned the fusible link that comes off the junction on the firewall next to the brake booster.

Bruce
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Old 11-14-2010, 05:25 PM
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As others have noted, replace the fusible links. I seriously doubt you've done anything to the alternator. In any case, get it running first THEN determine if the alternator is damaged or not.
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Old 11-15-2010, 02:46 AM
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Ditto on the links and going with maxi-fuse
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:57 AM
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battery post location

Back in the old days when the Battery posts were on the top on one side of the battery. you would face the battery and know which one was Pos. Now I get out the red spray can and spray the Pos end of the battery , There are two may vehicles on the farm to try to remember. Summer car has AC, Winter car has engine block heater, wife's sports car(good weather car), . 6 trucks, two forklifts, Tractors, Backhoe, etc..
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:28 AM
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I had a similar problem a few years ago while working on my 71' camaro. I had repainted my engine block and replaced a few gaskets. What i didn't know was after a week of work, I had got it all back together. On the first crank I saw a spark from the battery. I got up looked at it wiggled the wires and it looked on. Battery was connected properly. What I didn't see was a wire behind the battery leading to the parking lamp. odd as it seems the power wire leading into it had been exposed and on the second crank it arched out on the chassis. the entire harness went up in smoke starting from the battery and in a mater of seconds, it fried the alternator and and every wire under the hood. I almost a 24 hour period splicing each wire with a razor blade and replacing each one. To include replacing the alternator and starter. The battery was still good. But everything else was toast. Hopefully you lucked out with just a fusible link.
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Old 11-25-2010, 04:46 PM
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Maxi fuse is a good idea, never thought of that. any wiring has to be sealed perfect around here with the salt and calcium they dump on our roads lol
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