Earthing Problem

Discussion in 'Swift Motorhomes' started by lesley47, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. lesley47

    lesley47 Read Only Funster

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    Please can anyone advise me. I had to call the AA out yesterday as my Swift Sundance 500, Fiat Ducato 1.9 was dead. I went to the supermarket, then when I came out the coil light would not come on, only the handbrake light. When I turned the ignition off the oil light stayed on. It sounded like a flat battery, but the battery is new. And the panel lights worried me. The AA man said, after half an hour of fiddling including lots of hammering the starter motor, that the earth strap from the body, under the battery, that goes to the coil, has worn out. We started it by connectiing my negative jump lead to the battery and the starter motor bracket. As soon as it was disconected it stopped. I wasn't able to get it fixed at a garage so drove it home, where it is stuck, as it won't start at all now.
    Is it possible to do this job myself, or does it have to be a garage?
    Any help would be much appreciated.:Sad:
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    hi lesley and welcome.

    its a simple job to replace the earth strap if you know which end of a spanner is which.
    as long as its fitted between the engine, usually engine to gearbox bolts do the job, and the vehicle body then any location will do as long as its cleaned (shiney) first with wire wool or a wire brush then smear with a little grease when its fitted to stop any rust forming.

    if you arent too practical, its not an expensive job but avoid main dealers....hourly rate is far too high.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2010
  3. SandJ

    SandJ Read Only Funster

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    All of the above is excellent advice, just like to add use star washers if not already fitted to bolts as it will keep a sound contact :thumb:
     
  4. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Also assd legnths of Earth straps are available with ready made ends, so not complicated at all 10 mins at the most
    Halfords can supply
     
  5. kaspian

    kaspian Read Only Funster

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    Hi Lesley, good advice as usual from the above. If you are going to attempt replacement ,and it is easy -usually only a bolt securing the strap or cable either end to the engine/gearbox and the chassis/frame as stated , try a local motor factors or Halfords to supply new strap/cable, as I know I have seen various lengths of cable on sale with lugs already crimped on to attach bolts sold locally. Avoids the need for fairly large crimping pliers to crimp the lugs on if making one up . Dont forget to state if engine is diesel as the larger current drawn by starter to turn over a diesel engine means these normally have thicker leads to cope with the current required . Best of luck!:thumb:
     
  6. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    just re-reading the OP and wondered why the AA guy didnt have an earth strap onboard.

    we always carried a couple just in case and a long one will fit a vehicle needing a short one so no excuse there saying its too short.

    maybe he spent too much time whacking the starter (sticking brush's, dirty commutator) and not enough time investigating other causes.
     
  7. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    The OBD11 Scanner couldnt tell him which one and where it was, John :Doh::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    that may well be true Geo...:Rofl1:


    when a peugeot dealer wont sell you a sump bung washer for a ducato 'cos his computer cant recognise the fiat reg number i'll believe anything. :Doh:
     
  9. trio

    trio Read Only Funster

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    earthing?

    Hi when replacing the earth strap it would be a good idea to fit two one from the negative terminal of the battery to the engine a heavy one ideally of the braided type to allow flexing and vibration from the engine and the same size or a lighter one again from the negative terminal to the chassis as the lights earth back to the chassis this will make sure that the engine does not try to earth back to the battery through the wiring loom which may cause it to melt.
     
  10. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    hi trio and welcome to the fun. good point .......

    if one has rotted then theres the possibility the other may be on its way but the battery to chassis is usually a round, sheathed type so wont be as vulnerable to rot as the flat, braided one to the engine.
     
  11. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    A very valid point.:thumb:

    Seen this happen to a friends vehicle.
     
  12. lesley47

    lesley47 Read Only Funster

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    Hi to all who very kindly replied. Thank you very much for all the help, it is much appreciated. I had a quote from a garage, who said it would be £70 + VAT, and he is not a dealer. He gave me the impression that he didn't want the job. Maybe being a woman, he thought I wouldn't realise that it was an easy job. My son is going to do it for me, now that I know it doesn't have to go to a garage.
    Thanks again.
    Lesley:Smile:
     

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