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View Full Version : Melted Trans to Fender liner ground strap



Hiko
07-11-2013, 07:10 PM
Cliffs and the main question to start with. Would a small nick in insulation on this wire enable it to arc to metal and melt the wire, or is there something else potentially wrong?

What happened: I was making a left turn onto another street when in the middle of it, my car starts sputtering and I get a check engine light flickering. As I got straightened out, the symptoms went away. I decided that ends todays journey and in the process of getting back, I end up in a parking lot making a left handed u turn. Decided to turn hard to see if I could get the symptoms to return, and they *really* did. Car started sputtering badly for about 3 seconds, then died, followed by smoke pouring out of the left side of the engine bay. As I was waiting for the tow truck, I found I melted the ground wire from the transmission (but read on for more detail) to the fender liner.

There were a couple (now) known issues with that wire before hand. First, it was grounded with the negative battery cable onto the cylinder head (whoops). Second, I noticed during the rebuild that the wire had a nick in the insulation revealing copper. I was going to wrap it with electrical tape, but being that it was a very small nick, and I apparently have ADD, I forgot to.

I have replaced that ground wire, and the car starts and runs just fine again (thankfully), but it did so for ~30 miles before this incident, so I'm curious if there is something I should be on the lookout for?

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: 6/9/14
Just to update without bumping. The problem seems to have turned out to be my battery was shorting to the tie-down generally, but would make better contact while turning. When the charge went to the chassis, it seems to have grounded to the engine through that tiny little strap, straight up burning it out.

TL;DR, if you have a melted chassis-transmission strap, check the positive battery terminal for arc damage/ fix accordingly.

MrWOT
07-11-2013, 10:08 PM
Check the starter cable.

Hiko
07-11-2013, 10:36 PM
Check the starter cable.

Sooo, maybe a stupid question, but what for? I did just check it, the relay is plugged in and the positive cable is tight, am I missing anything?

Also, should add that I drove it around for ~30 more miles today mostly flawlessly (starter needed a whack to get to work, first time for this starter. But only 1 start in ~6). I'm thinking it was just the nick in the wire, but still open to hearing any other potentials.

MrWOT
07-12-2013, 05:13 PM
Sooo, maybe a stupid question, but what for? I did just check it, the relay is plugged in and the positive cable is tight, am I missing anything?

For a short.

If you smoke a ground strap, you put a LOT of amps through it. Starter cable isn't fused, so it's a likely candidate.

alltracman78
07-15-2013, 12:00 PM
Where is the negative battery cable grounded too now?

Hiko
07-15-2013, 06:36 PM
Back to being grounded on the transmission along with the strap to the fender.

MrWOT
07-16-2013, 05:31 AM
Back to being grounded on the transmission along with the strap to the fender.

Add one to the engine block somewhere.

underscore
07-16-2013, 05:09 PM
Damaged insulation on a ground wire shouldn't really risk anything, as it is ground afterall (unless it's hanging near a power wire).