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Discussion Starter #1
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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Prowling Tiger
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2,048 Posts
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.
 

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..have a vulcan good day!
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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 :smiley_th
 

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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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Discussion Starter #5
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/Distribution-Block-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
 

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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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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.
 

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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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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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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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