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I have always had problems with my GM batteries. the real problem is getting a good tight connection and not wringing off the (little) stud bolts - which has happened after time. especially where the two battery leads come together on the passenger side battery - those two things have always been a huge pain in the rear. Once you strip out that battery, you are really outta luck!

- basically I'm sick of screwing around with battery connections and top post batteries have always been more of a no brainer - which leads me to wonder why GM is about the only company that uses them??? when you tighten up a top post, you can bet it's tight!

I need to replace some cables that have a splice which I think might be leading to some of my glow plug problems - so I was going to re-do the whole system.

Any comments or insight here?

And yes - I posted my garage -!!!

Thanks
Wayne
 

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I use the group 78dt batteries in my truck with top post and side post and i hooked the main cables to the top post and my accessories to the side post and havn't had any problem with since i did this before the positive cable on the passenger side was always giving me fits and not staying tight
 

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wayne grauel;1580243; said:
- basically I'm sick of screwing around with battery connections and top post batteries have always been more of a no brainer - which leads me to wonder why GM is about the only company that uses them??? when you tighten up a top post, you can bet it's tight!
I don't know if GM is the only company using them, nor do I know why they chose them other than space savings. Top post batteries require more vertical space and that is a premium with wind swept hoods.

Top post batteries do have tight connections. They also rot the terminals constantly due to out gassing of the battery. It's not as big a problem as it used to be...but one need only think back a few years to the all too common "battery terminal cleaners" (essentially a small can with wire brushes inside) they used to sell just for the top post crowd.

The fix for the rotting top post batteries was usually a non-corrosive grease and...brass connectors. Ironically...that's the same fix that helps cure the GM connection problem.

Here's what I do once the connection goes bad:

Replace the terminals (at least the positive terminal) with brass side post connectors.

Ditch the factor battery bolts.

Get a long brass or stainless bolt (1" to 1-1/2" long depending on what you need. Replace the factory bolts with these and two or three brass/stainless nuts.

Put a nut on the bolt and run it all the way up. Put on the first battery terminal and another nut. If you have a second terminal, put it on and add another nut (thus if you have 1 terminal you have 2 nuts, 2 terminals will need 3 nuts).

With everything loose, screw the bolt into the battery until it stops (snug...not TIGHT!). Now tighten the nut closest to the battery so that the nut tightens against the battery.

Now go to the next nut back and tighten, then the next if there is one.

You end up with connectors/bolts that won't rot (brass/stainless), and any tightening you do will be nut to nut...not constantly running the bolt in and out of the battery, wearing it out. You also have a very nice post to connect jumper cables too.

The only thing better would be a brass/stainless stud that never has to come out of the battery.

End of book. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks

Thanks .. my problem exactly, those two GM Battery cable terminals that come together on the positive post (one to the Driver side, other to the starter) is about the worst thing I've ever seen, always coming loose.

Along with someone at GM's infinite wisdom that it's a great idea to have your headlights come on the minute you turn on the key... (thus immediately putting a load on your battery while your glow plugs are sucking down juice also.


Speaking of Batteries and the potential for a problem with those GM terminals...

Word to the wise here...

I actually tried to tighten those two connections down one time while a friend was holding down the key so we could get contact and get the thing started...

Turns out - the entire battery terminal was rotating inside the battery and when that happened it shorted inside the case blew up --- and I'm not talking about a leak... it was night and all I was was a huge flash and a deafening explosion... It was only because of the position of my arm on the battery nut that blocked the full force of the explosion from hitting me in the face. Immediate flushing there and at the emergency room which was 1 mile away (talk about God looking out for stupid people)... 1 liter of saline and some really nice pain medication was required. No eye damage other than a slight surface burn. (thanks to my arm out in front of my face holding those vice grips and a heavy denim jacket to take the blow (which quickly disintegrated after gong through the wash!

The explosion actually blew me back away from the truck. The next day, after assessing the situation, the entire back corner of the batter blew off.

Since then, I have taken car batteries extremely seriously!

Since that setup works for you, I'm going to make the switch and re-cable this thing.

Thanks for your help.
Wayne
 

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How-to and pics in Reference and FAQ's.......................
 

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Buying battery brands that are known to not leak will solve (AKA prevention) the problem in most cases. First job I had was as a part time LotBoy in Illinois. So cold was an enemy & just as bad was leaking post terminals. There were no side posts then so same manufacturing process as todays top post design. Delco & Optima batteries have been my recommendation for years as AC Delco commisioned a study of battery failures. Delco was pretty sure they would come out well as they had some knowledge of other MFR's warranty failure rate. Bottom line is their batteries have less terminal leak failures in relation to other MFR's. The study determined Delco has 35 percent longer life determined by date codes of all cores tested. I do think installing a center nut stud on the Pos side terminal would be a good thing as it protects(prevention ) the internal threads.
 

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Battery feedback

wayne grauel;1580243; said:
I have always had problems with my GM batteries. the real problem is getting a good tight connection and not wringing off the (little) stud bolts - which has happened after time. especially where the two battery leads come together on the passenger side battery - those two things have always been a huge pain in the rear. Once you strip out that battery, you are really outta luck!

- basically I'm sick of screwing around with battery connections and top post batteries have always been more of a no brainer - which leads me to wonder why GM is about the only company that uses them??? when you tighten up a top post, you can bet it's tight!


From one Wayne to another...

I use a Dual Terminal (factory size & rating) battery in my daily driver Astro...many that own vans will know that it is very hard to access the side terminals, especially when providing (or getting ) a boost start.

A dual terminal provides the best of both worlds, and a great battery upgrade.

As a note in regards to terminal problems, leaking, performance...battery quality varies a lot, so I would recommend that you use a quality battery manufacturer...such as East -Penn , they make batteries for GM, Toyota, & Napa. And stay away from others like the Walmart brands.

As a rule of thumb...if their battery shelf life is 1 year from date code...should be a good product/manufacturer...if it is 6 - 3 months or less I would be hesitant to purchase.

Hope this info helps...
 

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I run my KC Lights off of the top posts and everything else off of the screw in's like normal. Seems to work fine.

Jacob
 

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Most experiences I remember with top post batteries it seems that they suck.
Also the side post batteries suck too.

Might as well invest five dollars and modify what you have and be done with it.
 

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I've got side and top post ac delco's. I use a bolt with a nut threaded onto it to keep all my side connections tight. I put top and side post in cuz its alot easier to boost with top posts. I take power from one top post for my manual glows.
 

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Typically having 30 batteries floating around in the Gulf of Mexico with salt water splashing on them, floats upside down with battery under water you tend to get a good idea about how the posts work.

Put together clean and covered with a sealant a battery with a sound electrical connection seems to fair pretty well. Salt waterproof grease worked great but may not be needed under the hood of your truck.
 

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I could only find replacement batteries with both top and side posts. It turned out to be a blessing when I upgraded my battery cables. I now use the top posts for all of my connections, except on the right side positive side post (instead of running the problematic double positive connection). All the connections are tight and clean. The larger diameter cables really help starting.

Jake
 

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It all seems like a hard way to make a point. I have an F350 and a K10. All I have used for years is Group 31's. I also have some Freightliner's and Pete's. The Group 31 is a 12 volt top stud commercial battery. The stud is 3/8's coarse. With heavy trucks we use 3 or 4 batteries in parallel which requires that we stack the cables. It works fine. It's simple and clean.

I put a GRP 31 in my young nephews Volvo diesel and made up a set of 2/0 cables. Plenty of amperage, no problems.

You might get the best of both. These studs are on top of the battery and are permanently mounted. You can use a stacking nut or any 3/8's coarse of your choice.
 

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That's what I got for my CrewCab. I have to modify the battery box to fit them, but it will be well worth it.

Bill
 
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