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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sleeve Bumper Gas Wood Motor vehicle

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Hello everybody,

For some weeks, I have noticed that when my RSX has been sitting for a week or so, it struggles in a slow manner to crank the engine. Once it fires, if i shut it off, its easy to crank it again.

However, when it is cold and i try to fire it up, I see smoke coming from the battery cables. They get very hot to the point they might burn your skin but so far the cable insulation is still intact. Tried cleaning battery cables and lead terminals on the battery but that didnt work. Had the battery checked and the battery is supposed to be in good shape. Also bought a multimeter and the voltage seems fine and it charges OK according to specs.

The cables that get hot are the ground (black one) and the positive one but not the main red one. Just the smaller gauge red wire that is somehow connected to the positive side.
 

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They are getting hot because of too much resistance.

Do a voltage drop test when trying to start at each electrical interface and you’ll find the culprit.

Put one lead on the battery post and one on the terminal. Then from the terminal to the wire connect. Then wire connector to wire strands.

There are some very good videos on how to test the starting circuit using a voltage drop test. Ideally there should be no drop across these interfaces.

or save the time and go buy new cables for both positive and negative cables. They look to be in rough shape.

general rule of thumb is the voltage drop from battery post (not the clamp, but the actual battery post) to the starter stud should be 0.5 volts or less while starting. Personally I think this is a bit high and investigate when over 0.25 volts.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I thought they look rough also. The weird part is that if I measure the ground cable resistance, it's zero. That is where the most of the smoke comes from. Cable is also tightly fastened against the frame, it is clean and the paint was scraped off.

Does it make sense? Could it be that the resistance is somewhere else and the smoke still comes from the ground cable?
 

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Only one strand of the copper wire bundle is need to read 0 ohms, but try pushing a hundred amps through it and there will be problems.

This is why I recommended the voltage drop test while trying to start. It’s a proven test procedure, but it is your right to ignore the suggestion.
Hope it all works out for you as I’d hate to see your Gator go up in flames
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dont get me wrong, I am not trying to ignore your suggestion. In fact I will do it a soon as I get to the farm.. I am just trying to grasp the basic concepts.

For a moment I thought the battery was too big for the cables but it is pretty close to the stock one.

My question is this: Can i start measuring the resistance between the battery positive post and the starter? Could resistance here end up in heat in the ground cable?
 

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Too big is never a problem.

it’s best to test each wire independently. The total drop should not be over 0.5 volts and I will investigate if above 0.25. Ideally 0 is the goal. Zero indicates full voltage (and amps) is reaching starter and no resistance along the wire assembly.

put meter lead on battery post and othe to the starter. If ok, proceed to ground cable. Lead on battery post and other at ground fastener on frame.

if one is above the threshold move the probe along the wire until the suspect Wire termination is identified.

if all is ok the starter could be staying on but would anticipate this would be obvious.

Hopefully the above makes sense. The videos can be helpful how to do this test.
 

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200mph has provided excellent guidance. You mentioned that it is the smaller red wire on the battery getting hot not the red wire going to the starter, my assumption is that wire is powering the winch. After following 200mph tests, if the wire in question is powering the winch disconnect it from the battery and try starting to see if the problem goes away, if so you have a short in the winch circuit and can narrow your troubleshooting process.
 

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What did the OP find and what was the resolution?
 

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Congratulations!
 
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