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battery cable failure on F150

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Old 09-22-2010, 04:55 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 14
battery cable failure on F150

I thought I should share my experience re: the above. I had a "no start" situation a few days ago. When I turned the key to start, I only got a click from the starter relay located on the passenger side firewall. Battery was good. So I went to remove the starter thinking it had failed. When I began to unscrew the nut on the starter solenoid where the positive battery cable attaches, I discovered the copper lug on the end of the battery cable had corroded away to nothing. The cable basically fell off leaving half the lug attached to the starter.
So, I removed the positive cable completely. It is part of an "assembly". The assembly includes the negative battery cables and a fusible link, basically a maze of cables about 3 feet long. The dealer wanted 315 bucks for a new assembly. They don't sell the positive cable separately.
Instead, I performed surgery on my positive cable end that had corroded off. I ground the remaining half of the lug down to totally copper in appearance. I cut it a bit shorter to remove the green corrosion on the very tip of the cable wires. With a nice copper end (leaving the factory crimped part still on), I bought a new copper lug from my auto parts store. I believe I used a lug for 2/0 cable and a 5\16 hole. My cable end would not fit inside without cutting one side of the lug open a bit, but with that slit, I pushed the cable inside the new lug. Got out the propane torch and filled the lug with new solder and around the end and where I made the slit. Worked real nice. Then I stretched some 1\2 inch heat shrink tubing over the entire lug and cable and heated it. Better than factory. Truck started fine after this. Total cost, 2.50 for a lug and 4.50 for a lifetime supply of big heat shrink tubing.
Moral of the story, check your positive cable ends. A ford mechanic at the dealer told me he has seen this cable failure often on F150's.
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Old 09-22-2010, 05:28 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Utah
Vehicle: 1999 Ford F-150 5.4
Posts: 5,431
Just an FYI Rock auto sells the motor craft cable for $76 at least for my 99 they do.. I'm thinking about replacing mine..

1999 F-150 xlt 5.4 4x4
1971 Mach 351c 5 speed TKO600 Tremac-sold!
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