[T3] Battery cables

Jim Adney jadney at VWType3.org
Wed Dec 2 14:31:41 PST 2015

On 2 Dec 2015 at 15:34, liverbeat71 wrote:

> Has anyone ever had hard starts or non starts due to a bad battery
> ground strap or pos. battery cable? I've been unable to start my 69
> Fastback for two weeks. Yesterday I hop in, turn the key, runs like a
> a new car.Will swap out the  o.g.  worn strap/ cables. What the??? 

Nothing you can buy today even comes close to the quality of the 
original battery cables. Unless there's something obviously wrong 
with one of them, don't replace it. Or at least hang on to the OG 
ones until, a year from now, the new ones fail. OG battery cables are 
one thing I'm always careful to salvage from a junk Type 3.

Instead of replacing cables, check the connections: loosen, wiggle, 
and retighten. Get a battery post and connector cleaner and figure 
out how to use it. I've seen cases where there was enough corrosion 
between the cable and the starter solenoid to prevent good contact. 
Just loosen, wiggle, and retighten. For a longer lasting connection, 
loosen, wiggle, grease, and retighten.

Finally, learn how to attach your battery cables to the posts. The 
posts are tapered, so it's common for the clamps to not get installed 
all the way down on the posts. DO NOT HAMMER them down. This will 
permanently damage the battery. Clean the post and clamp, then use a 
couple of screwdrivers to spread the clamp so that it will go all the 
way down on the post. When correctly installed, the post will stick 
up slightly above the top of the clamp.  

Jim Adney, jadney at vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

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