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BigJ402 08-22-2009 03:22 PM

Trouble with my 1981 c10 6cly.
Well bought a new battery and went to hook up the ground and it sparked like it was grounded traced back to starter but cant find any signs of the positive being grounded we even took a tester and the wires leading to the alternator is fine no problem im stumped and help please.

M&M CUSTOM 08-22-2009 03:35 PM

Was the old battery disconnect for any good length of time, maybe a capacitor had discharged and was taking all it could once you applied power to the cable.

Something that old will certainly have a capacitor or 2 not in the best of condition and they will self discharge over time, but since you didn't specify the length of time the battery was disconnected, I am just guessing at this point.

BigJ402 08-22-2009 03:51 PM

The battery was hooked up and the truck supposedly had been sitting for a lil over a year and went to jump start the cables started smoking so I knew it was either just a bad battery or it was grounded somewhere.Then thats when I went to buy a new battery and it did the same thing as soon as I touched that ground to the battery.

eloc431962 08-22-2009 05:40 PM

Are the cables hooked up right at the battery? You know check the cables make sure they are correct . red to hot black to ground or does it have two black or two red cables , Trace them you could be hooking the charger up wrong. When i bought my vette and was restoring it i didn't pay attention to the cables it had a red and a black took the battery out no concerns put it back later and smoked some stuff i had red to hot black to ground but after all the bull, i traced my so called hot cable and sure enough it was the ground and they had a black to the hot so i check when i don't know, JMO. Just trying to help. Cole

Bryan59EC 08-22-2009 06:33 PM

Check for shorts between the starter and battery---starter and junction post up on the firewall.

Check for a cigar lighter with some metal stuck in the recepticle.

For sport and amusement-----diconnect the harness at the bulkhead disconnect and see if it still happens.

This way you can narrow your search.

If it still happens----will be under the hood
if not---problem is in the cab or possibly and accessory lead to a trailer or winch.

I once bought a 78 4x4 with only 50k on it 'cause the owner could not find a short-----after a new starter and battery he gave up. $400.00
Turned out to be the battery lead to his trailer harness shorted and blew a fusable link. The wire burned inside the insulation and did not leave a mark on the link itself--------I DROVE the truck out of his driveway

BigJ402 08-22-2009 07:15 PM

Yeah cause I cant find any signs of wear from the battery to the starter now im thinking it might be somthing small like trailer hookup being grounded or something stupid the guy says his employee parked it and quit.He said it ran when he parked it so who knows.looks like a long process of find the needle in the hay stack.

M&M CUSTOM 08-22-2009 08:33 PM

Did it spark like it was just sucking a little power to charge a rogue capacitor, or did it spark like there was a short circuit? BIG difference between the two.

A capacitor spark will be a small short over and done with, not to happen again because the offending capacitor is now charged again, or possibly like a slightly newer radio was installed and the memory capacitor is sucking power, or maybe even a newer vehicle with all kinds of electronics trying to grab a little part of that spark, but just for a part of a second?


Is it like a spark like touching the wrong two wires together when hooking up a new trailer wire harness? Nice, long, and heat your fingertips right up.

75gmck25 08-22-2009 09:12 PM

There is a main junction mounted on the firewall, just to the passenger side of the brake booster. If you disconnect the wiring at that point you can separate the engine/starter wiring from the wiring running to the rest of the truck, and then start to troubleshoot.
- If you find a short to ground in the wiring running from that junction back to the starter and battery, the short may be inside the metal tube that is used to protect the wiring from the exhaust heat.
- If you find a short to ground from that junction going forward to the rest of the truck, you have a lot of areas to start troubleshooting. I think I'd start out by pulling all the fuses and see if that isolates the problem. If pulling fuses won't fix it, then you have to look at one of the main feeds that have a fusible link or a separate fuse (high speed blower is the only one I know of with its own fuse).


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