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R_J_ 03-08-2018 05:14 AM

Battery Disconect
 
1) I park my cars for long amounts of time.
I have found that my batteries keep a charge longer if I install a battery disconnect.
One end of these devices attach to the negative battery terminal then attache the removed ground cable to the other end of the device.
There is a ‘hand-screw’ in the middle of the device that disconnects the battery connection when unscrewed a bit.
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2) have installed these on my 1960's & 1970's full sized V-8 automobiles, both with top posts and side posts.
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3) I purchased a disconnect unit to install on the 1995 SC-2 Saturn which I recently acquired.
Actually I paid double, about $20, for a Moroso brand to get something first class.
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4) Now the size of the Saturn battery seems smaller I an used to.
I tried to screw in the unit. I managed to get both ends started, but I had trouble tightening things down. It just didn’t seem right.
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5) Is it possible that the screw sizes are different for the Saturn battery.
Perhaps they are metric, and different from the batteries form the for the 50 year old V-8 cars that I am used to.
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6) Do the screws for the Saturn battery terminals somehow have a different thread?
I abandoned my attempt to tighten down the disconnect device and returned it to its original condition.
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7) Any suggestions about a battery disconnect device would be appreciated.
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RJ

toggenburg 03-08-2018 05:49 AM

Re: Battery Disconect
 
Moroso has a tech help # 203-458-542 or -546. 830-5 Eastern time.

fetchitfido 03-08-2018 07:47 AM

Re: Battery Disconect
 
Side post batteries are crap. The starting/charging ability is fine, it's getting power from and to the battery with the idiotic side posts that's the issue, as you're finding out.

Either the bolts are stripped and you can replace them for cheap or the side posts are stripped out and you have to replace the battery to fix it (unlike top posts where if the clamp stretch's or something you can stick anything metallic in there as a shim and fix it for nearly free).

As I found out with my dads '98 K1500 there's a 3rd option too...you're just simply not tightening the screw(s) enough.

2NDSOUT 03-08-2018 07:47 AM

Re: Battery Disconect
 
The Saturn Battery post bolt is, iirc- 8mm or 5/16.

Not sure if that helps you out in figuring from a connection standpoint as compared to your other vehicles

OldNuc 03-08-2018 08:44 AM

Re: Battery Disconect
 
[QUOTE=R_J_;2267480]1) I park my cars for long amounts of time.
I have found that my batteries keep a charge longer if I install a battery disconnect.
One end of these devices attach to the negative battery terminal then attache the removed ground cable to the other end of the device.
There is a ‘hand-screw’ in the middle of the device that disconnects the battery connection when unscrewed a bit.
-
2) have installed these on my 1960's & 1970's full sized V-8 automobiles, both with top posts and side posts.
-
3) I purchased a disconnect unit to install on the 1995 SC-2 Saturn which I recently acquired.
Actually I paid double, about $20, for a Moroso brand to get something first class.
-
4) Now the size of the Saturn battery seems smaller I an used to.
I tried to screw in the unit. I managed to get both ends started, but I had trouble tightening things down. It just didn’t seem right.
-
5) Is it possible that the screw sizes are different for the Saturn battery.
Perhaps they are metric, and different from the batteries form the for the 50 year old V-8 cars that I am used to.
-
6) Do the screws for the Saturn battery terminals somehow have a different thread?
I abandoned my attempt to tighten down the disconnect device and returned it to its original condition.
-
7) Any suggestions about a battery disconnect device would be appreciated.
-
RJ[/QUOTE]

All side post batteries are 3/8 NC thread with a 5/16" head. A disconnect is fine for long term storage but just using a good maintainer has advantages over just leaving a battery set. Computer controlled cars do not take well to being powered down for long periods and then repowered multiple times.

RobertGary1 03-08-2018 11:09 AM

Re: Battery Disconect
 
Putting a float charger on the battery will cause it to last much longer than sitting. Even with the disconnect the internal resistance drains the battery and decreases life.

-Robert

R_J_ 03-08-2018 03:56 PM

Re: Battery Disconect
 
I did call that Moroso technical assistance number: 203-458-5042 [ in Connecticut ].
I had to tell them the part number: 74104
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I was impressed how quickly they answered the phone and talked to me.
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They said that the same sized bolts fit all side mount batteries, big & small, old & new.
So my problem is not having the wrong size.
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I have my share of battery chargers and trickle chargers.
The problem is that I must park some of our cars on the street, hundreds of yards away, or in the basement garage of a large condo.
In either case, there is no access to electricity.
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Three of my vintage cars are constantly connected to a three museum grade Battery Minders.
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Unfortunate, because of way the battery tie downs are on our Saturn, it is very inconvenient for snapping batteries in and out.
I have thought about remounting the battery in the trunk to be able to snap it in and out easier.
I would have no problem with maintaining a bank of spare fresh batteries.
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In fact, I deliberately use the same sized battery in five of my other vintage cars, so that they can be interchanged with freshly charged batteries.
It make no difference which battery belongs to which car, they just rotate.
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I have purchased, but not yet installed, marine terminal conversions so that these batteries can be snapped in an out like they do with boats.
I often contemplate putting marine grade, Coast Guard approved, stuff in cars.
You could go to jail, for endangering peoples lives, by for putting automotive grade electrical stuff in a boat [LOL].
Am I getting off the subject?
-
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It looks, unfortunately, like I should put in a much higher grade battery disconnect built for race cars.
I did not want to get into that much trouble.
These bar device battery cutoffs are [usually] so easy to install.
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Some of these race car cutoffs have kits, so they can be operated by cable from within the car.
I do not look forward to messing with mounting brackets and perhaps needing to involve a welder person.
I will need to purchase a couple of new ground cables to make it work.
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Why is everything so hard [LOL]?
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Thanks for jumping in with you suggestions.
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I am impressed with this Saturn billboard.
You guys make being a new Saturn owner unexpectedly exciting.
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Thank you.
-
RJ

OldNuc 03-08-2018 05:39 PM

Re: Battery Disconect
 
Go buy one of the large solar maintainers and plug i into the cigarette lighter socket. They will maintain those remote parked cars much better than stripping out the battery bolt holes due to repeated connect-disconnect cycles. They are only slightly hard lead and just about any 8 year old can easily over torque one to the point of thread failure. Solar panel on either the dash or rear shelf. Be sure you get one with the maintainer function or you will cook the battery.

fdryer 03-08-2018 05:43 PM

Re: Battery Disconect
 
R_J_, with more details on your collection of vehicles and already using battery maintainers, leaving running vehicles on the street with a power disconnect shouldn't be difficult. Perhaps the new disconnect isn't just right. One way to tell would be examining the bolts and seeing if they match other disconnects. Like gears, bolts should mesh together otherwise two different thread sizes won't mesh at all. If necessary, try a simple bolt mesh using two known bolts you're familiar with. Just mesh them together with heads facing away from each other. Once you see how easy to check thread matches, take a different bolt thread and try meshing - you'll see how quickly they won't mesh. This is without knowing thread size. For side terminal batteries and knowing all side terminal batteries use the same thread size, take a bolt off either the battery positive or negative cable and use it for reference.

Its too easy to state 5/16-32 or 1/4-20 or 6-32. Much easier to work with known bolts on battery cables fitting perfectly into side terminal batteries without knowing thread size. Taking the battery cable bolt for reference, you can determine thread size and length. With a battery disconnect, I don't know if it comes with bolts or if you supply bolts. The main issue is using the correct length bolt(s) to prevent stripping the soft leaded side terminals on batteries if a too long bolt bottoms before the adapter is pulled into place, risking destroying soft leaded threads. Since side terminals are shallow and threaded into lead, this presents two major problems when not using existing battery cables and bolts - all made to fit precisely without thinking when replacing batteries but may cause problems if not aware of these things. Conventional top post terminals are always tapered lead requiring a matching tapered battery clamp to 'strangle' the top posts without causing any problems. Side terminals with shallow threads can create headaches when not aware of soft lead threads easily stripped with just a little too much force, ruining a perfectly good battery.

Have you considered using an adapter that turns one side post to a top post? This would allow attaching the disconnect switch on top of a (presumed) brass top post adapter connected to the side terminal with a battery bolt. You'd have to ensure this adapter will fit with clearance under the hood and not short circuit on the underside of the hood. You must consider the stress this adapter may create as it becomes a lever if the battery cable isn't long enough and strains this adapter to pull on the side terminal attachment point. On the other hand, if the battery cable pulls in the opposite direction then it may not strain the side terminal. With any mod, consider all the mechanical issues involved.

Some members here, in the past, custom made battery terminals from brass stock - bent, drilled and tapped to connect auxiliary power cables to feed their multi megawatt amps. Pictures are posted but you'll have to search for these threads. Brass stock is easy to work with and corrosion free if you want to make a right angle adapter for a top mount power disconnect. Or any angle if space is tight. Either drill and tap threads for the disconnect switch for side terminal setup or buy a top post terminal and simply bolt it onto the brass stock. Anything is possible when a little imagination is used. Google for images from those adding amps and needing power taps.

RobertGary1 03-08-2018 06:56 PM

Re: Battery Disconect
 
[QUOTE=OldNuc;2267503]Go buy one of the large solar maintainers and plug i into the cigarette lighter socket. They will maintain those remote parked cars much better than stripping out the battery bolt holes due to repeated connect-disconnect cycles. They are only slightly hard lead and just about any 8 year old can easily over torque one to the point of thread failure. Solar panel on either the dash or rear shelf. Be sure you get one with the maintainer function or you will cook the battery.[/QUOTE]

These are becoming increasingly popular with small aircraft where many use a standard sized 12 volt battery that costs $400 with an FAA PMA stamp on it.

-Robert

OldNuc 03-08-2018 07:28 PM

Re: Battery Disconect
 
Ah yes, the $90 car battery with the 310$ FAA stamp on it. Those solar units work very well and are relatively low cost.

R_J_ 03-10-2018 04:14 AM

Re: Battery Disconect
 
Just sharing some experiences.
I said to myself, perhaps I cannot get the bar battery type cutoff installed because things are not threading or tightening properly.
-
Perhaps I should consider another type of Battery cutoff.
There are round types with a key that turns on top, there seems to be many variants of this, both in price and style.
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I spent hours Googling and searching U-Tube. I see pictures of hundreds of these devices.
Here is what is strange: I saw no examples of any of these devices actually being mounted.
Do you need a bracket? Do they sell brackets? Where, and how, do people mount these?
It is a bit amazing that I cannot see this stuff.
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Other than that, I could disconnect the ground cable from the engine.
Screw that disconcerted cable to a terminal at the bottom of the cutoff device.
Purchase another cable, and connect it between the second terminal of the disconnect device and the engine.
It seems so easy that perhaps even I could do it.
I could just leave those nasty side terminal connections alone.
-
-
Those nasty side terminal connections.
This type of battery is new to me.
I had assumed that they were somehow an advancement.
However, they are certainly problematic.
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First, people can sell you products to screw into your side terminal where the screw is too long.
No one warns you that this is something to be aware of.
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Second, you are threading steel into lead. Is that really true? It seems remarkably stupid.
Nobody tells you that you need to be very careful not to strip things.
It seems that some thread depths are incredibly shallow.
Some of you have alerted me these side mounted batteries can be difficult.
Thank you. I was almost ready to stop believing in myself.
-
Messing around exploring the new Saturn, I discovered a few surprises.
It actually has front disk brakes.
We also have a moon roof. Was that an option or standard?
I bring it up because one of you suggested that I should get a solar charger.
Mounting it in the moon roof cutout would be worth exploring.
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I also discovered that the steering wheel went up and down.
There are so many things to learn about this Saturn.
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Thank you all.
-
RJ

RobertGary1 03-10-2018 08:48 AM

Re: Battery Disconect
 
Front disc brakes became standard on passenger cars in the 70’s.

-Robert

DIYguy 03-10-2018 12:13 PM

Re: Battery Disconect
 
[QUOTE]Second, you are threading steel into lead. Is that really true? It seems remarkably stupid.
Nobody tells you that you need to be very careful not to strip things.[/QUOTE]
Yes, it is [I]true[/I], however if not cross-threaded or over-torqued they do survive.

I would add to the conversation that a good battery maintainer (such as one of the "Battery Tender" offerings) is an [I]excellent[/I] addition to any vehicle being stored or otherwise unused for long periods of time.

And I second OldNuc's assertion that modern computer-controlled cars often do not take kindly to being repeatedly or randomly disconnected from the battery.
There is calibration data that can be lost if doing that.
Better to keep the battery connected but provide some source of refresh power to keep the battery topped off.

I am running an LiFePO4 battery in my bike, but that is a different situation.
That type of battery has a very low self-discharge rate under those conditions, so it remains more or less fully charged even after sitting for quite a while.
The reason I mention this is that a lead-acid battery will self-discharge all by itself even if you pull the battery cables.
Faster than you may think.
And it will slowly become sulfated in the process.

So a disconnect really isn't the ideal way to deal with inactivity, although it may help.
A solar or plug-in maintainer is.

saturnsctwo 03-10-2018 07:11 PM

Re: Battery Disconect
 
[QUOTE=OldNuc;2267503]Go buy one of the large solar maintainers and plug i into the cigarette lighter socket. They will maintain those remote parked cars much better than stripping out the battery bolt holes due to repeated connect-disconnect cycles. They are only slightly hard lead and just about any 8 year old can easily over torque one to the point of thread failure. Solar panel on either the dash or rear shelf. Be sure you get one with the maintainer function or you will cook the battery.[/QUOTE] I got a 7 watt panel on my rear deck which is wired to the fuse panel. it's there all the time. when I had surgery the car sat outside for about 3 months. it fired right up the first time 3 months later like I have been driving it all along. these things work great & it was mostly cloudy when this was done.....

TomM96 03-18-2018 11:11 PM

Re: Battery Disconect
 
I just got a new AutoZone Duralast Gold . It and the 5-year old one feature steel thread inserts within the lead sidepost--so, hard to strip.

Also, note that RockAuto has just recently begun selling car batteries....


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