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Battery connect backwards! :-(
#1379959 Thu Oct 08 2020 03:02 AM
Joined: Oct 2020
Posts: 3
L
Moderated
My sons did me a "favor" today and got to replacing the battery in our old truck before I did. Turns out they placed the battery in backwards before hooking it up and well... It took them just a few seconds to disconnect, but there was smoke and some clearly melted casings on nearby wires.

Question is, how much damage was likely done, and what would be a methedology to follow to thoroughly determine what - wires and equipment - did and did not get fried?

Thanks for your advice.


'65 C20
Re: Battery connect backwards! :-(
lewisbrown #1380042 Thu Oct 08 2020 10:35 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 21,021
H
Boltergeist
What kind of truck, and what year? 6 or 12 volts? If it's equipped with an alternator, that's probably trashed for sure, as the rectifier diodes will be running battery current straight to ground and it only takes a few seconds to destroy them. Any wiring that has melted insulation will need to be replaced. If you've got a radio with a "keep alive" wire for pre-set memory, it might be damaged. Some sound systems have a very low-amperage fuse in that circuit to minimize the damage in case of a reverse polarity connection. It's usually on the back of the radio case.

A "positive smoke check" is never a good thing!
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: Battery connect backwards! :-(
lewisbrown #1380433 Mon Oct 12 2020 02:39 PM
Joined: Oct 2020
Posts: 3
L
Moderated
Thanks for the reply, Jerry.

Sorry to not have been explicit on the vehicle (it's in my signature): 1965 C20.

Yes, it does have an alternator. I was thinking the diodes would be toast. Wondering about the voltage regulator as well.

Interestingly, none of the fuses in the cab blew. It does have a newer radio. I'll check for that keep-alive wire.

I've confirmed that my starter still works. Still have to check if the HEI distributor will spark.

It may have always needed a completely new wire harness, but almost for sure now. Still, I just want to get it up and running again. Will save such a big project for a bit later.

Anybody have any other thoughts?

Cheers,

Lewis


'65 C20
Re: Battery connect backwards! :-(
lewisbrown #1380523 Tue Oct 13 2020 01:36 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 21,021
H
Boltergeist
The external regulated alternator on a 65 probably needed to be smoked anyway- - - -it was a poor excuse for a charging system when it was new, and 50-something years haven't inproved things at all. A swap to the internal-regulated 10-SI altewrnator is simple and effective, and you can just about double the charging amperage capacity for less money than replacing the original alternator. The external regulator can be eliminated altogether if you do that. With just a little rewiring, the original idiot light can evn be reused.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: Battery connect backwards! :-(
lewisbrown #1380640 Tue Oct 13 2020 07:51 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 746
B
Shop Shark
Lewis, what part of Oregon you in?


BC
1960 Chevy C10 driver 235 T5 3.73 dana 44
1949 GMC 250 project in waiting
1960 C60 pasture art
G.M dealer tech since 1980 & counting
Re: Battery connect backwards! :-(
lewisbrown #1381185 Sat Oct 17 2020 05:39 PM
Joined: Oct 2020
Posts: 3
L
Moderated
I'm in McMinnville.

Alternator works, but the VR died, so new one installed and I'm up and running. Interior functionality up next.

Thanks for your additional advice, Jerry.


'65 C20

Moderated by  Rusty Rod 

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