What could have caused this?! - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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What could have caused this?!

Hey All-

After about 2 months today I started up my Vulcan..

Let it run for a couple of minutes and drove it up the driveway...

In that amount of time.. Smoke came from under the seat..

When I looked I found that the negative battery terminal completely burned off..

How does this happen?

PS.. Battery fairly new. Picture attached.

Thanks all
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Accomplishments;

Changed Final Drive Fluid
Iridium Plugs

NGK Spark Plug Wires
Bridgestone Spitfire Tires
Maintenance Free Battery
Lubed the Spline
Shaved and Coastered
Under Tank Air Filter
Re-Jetted
Vn900 Seat Mod w/ Honda 1100 Backrest
Rebuilt Petcock
Custom Mirrors
Custom SaddleBags
LED Taillight
Heads Up Voltage Monitor

Upcoming: Change front fork Seals & Oil, install highway pegs & floorboards
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 10:28 PM
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Looks as though that terminal got hot enough to melt then break. More than likely something shorted and caused that terminal to melt. I would look at the wiring to see if any have been rubbed through making contact to the frame or other wiring. Only a short would cause this.

Good luck.

I only understand what I don't understand.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaDeInSin View Post
Hey All-

After about 2 months today I started up my Vulcan..

Let it run for a couple of minutes and drove it up the driveway...

In that amount of time.. Smoke came from under the seat..

When I looked I found that the negative battery terminal completely burned off..

How does this happen?

PS.. Battery fairly new. Picture attached.

Thanks all
It appears to me, that the Battery terminal (on the battery) became cracked (possibly during cable attachment, torqued down the bolt), and the current drawn finished the job.

WilliamTech

'86 VN750 13,700 mi -Stock
-Purchased 2008 w/8800mi
Replaced ALL Cables . Kuryakyn LED Voltmeter
SilverStar Ultra 9003/HB2 H4 Headlamp, Jardine Fwd Controls,
Iridiums DPR7EIX-9 & Wires, Tuxedo Mod, Coil Mod, P/U Sensor Mod, Fork Seals,
Splines Lubed - 11/4/2012 - MF AGM Battery
Additional Flashing LED Brake Light on Trunk
Dampers went out @ 13+K !
After TOC MCCT's..... so amazingly quiet I discovered a rattling heat shield on my stock exhaust !
...have a vulcan good day!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 10:42 PM
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It would take a dead short to completely melt a battery terminal. Check the wiring from front to back and look for melted wires and terminals. Check your junction box and fuse box for shorts and melted wires.
There wouldn't be enough of an electrical draw to melt the terminal just by starting even if it was cracked. I have had cracked terminals on cars that went for weeks and not melt.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Ok... Sooo upon closer investigation I think I found my issue.

I had installed a power relay a while back with slims guide...

http://www.scribd.com/doc/8931489/Di...ck-Power-Relay

apparently I did not reconnect the negative side of the relay back to the battery when I recently reinstalled it... It was resting on the battery/batter holder when I started the bike up.

That would have caused this issue.. yes?

Thanks Guys

Accomplishments;

Changed Final Drive Fluid
Iridium Plugs

NGK Spark Plug Wires
Bridgestone Spitfire Tires
Maintenance Free Battery
Lubed the Spline
Shaved and Coastered
Under Tank Air Filter
Re-Jetted
Vn900 Seat Mod w/ Honda 1100 Backrest
Rebuilt Petcock
Custom Mirrors
Custom SaddleBags
LED Taillight
Heads Up Voltage Monitor

Upcoming: Change front fork Seals & Oil, install highway pegs & floorboards
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 12:21 PM
Crap, I WAS in 5th gear.
 
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A high resistance (corroded, dirty, or cracked) connection can get red-hot in no time; a direct short is not required.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 03:44 PM
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Jay, it sounds to me like any small wire that would have shorted out would burn out long before the negative battery terminal. I would look for a stuck solenoid or a short in the starter. Either one of these draw enough current to have caused this kind of damage. I may be wrong but that's my logic.

2003 Wine/Gray VN750 bought in 2005 w/2000 Miles
LED Tail/Brakelight & License Plate Light;Chrome Inspection Sticker Plate ;Battery Charging Quick Plug;Kuryakyn LED Battery Voltmeter;Throttle Rocker Palm Rest;Optronics Driving Lamps;KnifeMaker Floor Boards;Halogen Headlamp Bulb;OEM Engine Guard;Iridium Spark Plugs;OEM Luggage rack;Stebel Air Horn;Handlebar Clock; Handlebar Thermometer; Sealed Battery; Marbled; Leather Grip Covers; Rectangular Mirrors

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 09:52 PM
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I have had smoke from my negative lead before but killed the engine to inspect before anything bad happened. All it was- the lead was on loose. This means the same amount of current is coming through a smaller contact (since it isn't fully connected). That will kill a wire real quick. Once your electrics you mentioned above are checked out- just toss on a new ground. Or, you may be able to salvage it.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 09:22 AM
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I think two broken arms caused this. But really no clue, except that there was a lot of amps running thru there. Volts alone wouldn't really melt things, something is shorting, could have been cracked or loose. If nothing else is fried, this would be my guess.

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Bought 09/10 12.2k miles - 04/12 33.4k miles
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 11:40 AM
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think of the negative terminal on the battery as the "bottleneck" for the current flowing through out the system.

all the branches eventually lead to the ground terminal and this is the point for ALL the current to flow to the battery.

corrosion, dirty contact, hairline fracture in the battery casing, or even a defect in the cast lead connection could have overheated and self destructed.

It does not necessarily mean there was a short, but it is possible....but I would expect a short in the system to at least blow a fuse somewhere.

When you get a new battery in, check to see if there is any current flow when the ignition is off...maybe the cooling fan was drawing current if it were stuck somehow???

I am not sure if anything else would be drawing current with the keys out and the ignition off....other than one of the 2 accessory leads possibly shorting out (assuming nothing is connected to them).
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