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Old 02-02-2009, 04:18 PM
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*help* hopefully i didnt fry everything

ok. so ummmm. i have an 85' silverado with a carbd' 350 in it. stock hei . my positive is black and negative terminal is red. i was getting a jump start and i hadnt started her in about a year and forgot the colors were switched. i hooked the jumpers up wrong, and went to fire her up. smoke came from the driverside opf the fire wall and now nothing at all works. i know the battery is fried and probally alot of other things. is there maybe somthing chevy did incase someone did this so it wont fry everything. or would anyone know where i should start fixing the problem. please i have a decent amount of money in this truck and i hate parting ways with anything. wiring just isnt my thing so i dont know where to start.
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:37 PM
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Your experience is why I can't preach enough about being absolutely meticulous in everything you do to a car. Or a house. You set yourself up for failure. You should fix that while you are repairing all the other stuff from the smoke test.

You should see something obvious from the smoke on the drivers side. If not, start by gently pulling wires to see if one parted from overcurrent. I think all the fuse link wires are by the starter but I could be wrong. Been a long time since I worked on wiring on that era truck.

I assume that all the amps went into the alternator and you fried a #10 or larger wire. IIRC, there is a terminal block on the firewall that has some fairly large wires going to it but if nothing turns up, get a wiring diagram and start checking things with a voltmeter.

With the truck having set for a year the battery was prolly sulfated anyway but you will prolly need a new alt and maybe a diode or two on relay coils.
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:55 PM
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Yeah what blueman said.. Start with finding those fusible links. They look like big wire going into small wire and are normally all taped up. When you fix that you should have some power back and can start checking all the other crap.
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:14 PM
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You are very lucky you did not explode either battery! & take a battery acid shower!

These trucks are pretty straight forward .

85 there is no ECM .

You are going to have to get a new battery & the correct color wires & unless you are broke down on the side of hell{or murderville(whereverthatis)} never use the wrong colors & never trust the colors unless you know for 100% that its correct.

Your going to have to visually inspect the wires starting from the battery~ to the starter {big wire that you will replace with the right color code} RED

Then there are wires coming from the starter up to the fire wall & over to a Power block there should be fusible links @ the starter & @ the power block.

Then it goes around to the alternator & back to the fuse block up over the master cylinder.

At the fuse block there is a 10mm head bolt that is in the center of the fuse block under hood side this will unbolt the 1/2 of the block under the hood & let it split into 3 parts the engine~Front lights & Rear lights.

If you seperate this becarefull to pull straight off& back so not to bend the connections.

{somewhere I have pictures}

You will need to inspect all this for where you let the magic smoke out & replace .

1st find the damage & then we will see how bad it is & how to repair the damage .

If you have a digital camera it will be very helpfull now .




Rob
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Old 02-02-2009, 06:09 PM
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One thing not mentioned, until you locate what burned DO NOT CONNECT a new battery, you could cause further damage. A small 12 volt lantern battery or something like that can help you track things down and wont have enough current to do further damage if there is something shorted. Most likely the damage is in the feed to the alternator or some other electronic device. Lights do really care about polarity.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:32 AM
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Definatly fried some fusible links there on the firewall. I believe i had that problem once also. Also I had to replace the starter solenoid since it broke when i removed the battery cable on my old 78 454 suburban several years ago. The positive battery cable rubbed on a piece of metal that a previous owner had made a battery tray out of and it grounded out and actually melted the whole battery cable in half. Once the cable severed, the truck died since it had blown out the alternator. I would count on replacing it, both battery cables, the battery, and the fuse links on the firewall. Everything else is probably OK, i doubt any damage was done inside the cab.
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:59 PM
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I found this I forgot I had it.





Quote:
Your cables Should be as Short as possible , from 4 to 0/0 Cable depending on how long they are..

You Should have a Fusible Link (s) on the wire going from the fuse-buss/Ignition switch/Alternator to the solenoid to prevent fires.

Your ground should be run from the battery to any handy bolt at or near the starter, an Cable should be purchased that has 2 ~ 3/8 ring terminals on it and run from that same bolt to the frame, In addition to that, you need to ADD 2 ~ 10 gauge wires from that same bolt, run one to the firewall, one to the Alternator mount.

Get some ground strap (radio shack) and run strap from the radiator mount to the frame, one each from the fender-wells to the frame, one from the hood to the firewall, one each from the door-posts to the doors, one from the gas flap to the body, and one from the trunk to the body.

Use proper Star washers, Locks, Sheetmetal and/or Tech screws, Burnish off all paint and grease from each ground point. Tighten Properly.

This is "Generic" Basics to get you started, give us the specific Information asked above and we can help you further..

From Doc Vette




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Old 02-06-2009, 08:39 PM
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That happened to me on a '95 GM P Chassis 454 motorhome, so bad it melted the battery end right off the cable. I took the alternator for testing, replaced it, that was the only damage, the diode trio's one way attribute protected other parts or something. But perhaps I was just lucky.
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:57 PM
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I thought about this last night but didn't say anything, I had to think about it some more. Lets think for minute, he put the positive cable on the negative post right? Ok were does the negative cable go when it leaves the battery? I think it goes to the front of the engine. He might have got lucky and only burned the ground strap from the engine to fire wall and or engine to the frame. That might be the smoke that he saw. I'd say first thing check all of the ground straps and you guys that know these trucks are gonna have to help me here. But if I remember correctly there is a little fuse strap in a plastic holder kinda like a little box about two inches in size on the fire wall up around the brake booster area. It consist of two wires going to it and a flat strip of metal between the two post that the two wires connect to. It acts like a fusible link and burns in two when something catastrophic happens to the wiring system. If it hasn't ever been tampered with it should have a removable cover over it. I know for sure that it was on the earlier models but I don't know about this model.
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Old 02-07-2009, 12:41 AM
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When I was in college a security guard was convinced that my friend's Chrysler was Japanese and thus use the Japanese standard of black-positive / red-negative (I think this standard exists only in that particular guard's imagination).

He hooked up his red to my friend's black terminal, and his black to our red, and fried a lot of stuff. That car DID have an ECU and the repair bill was pretty hefty.

Ever since then I've been really paranoid about jump starts and ALWAYS look for the + on the battery, even on my own cars that I know are colored correctly. Seeing the puff of smoke float out of the hood and hearing about the repair bill the college had to pay really put the fear in me about jump starting!
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:32 AM
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This truck has the same basic wiring as my '75 truck, and in most cases a backward connection will only burn the fusible link that is on the firewall junction (don't ask how I know). It might not have damaged the battery.

Its a 14 gauge fusible link in the wire running straight down from that firewall junction just to the passenger side of the brake booster. You can buy the link from the Help! parts or Dorman parts at just about any auto parts store. Its listed as a GM fusible link.

By the way, the stock GM wiring color for both battery cables on my truck is black, but you can buy a replacement red positive cable to reduce the confusion.

Bruce
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