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@3337 avatar
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LX 150
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@3337 avatar
LX 150
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UTC quote
Some of the battery cable wire (both positive and negative) is exposed. While I was trying to start it (in a very hot and humid garage) a little puff sound comes from the exposed wire sometimes with a spark and/or a wisp of smoke. I taped up the exposed wire so I could get it started. I took it to the dealer and he said that when he took the tape off, he did not have that reaction. He said it was impossible for electricity to behave that way without two pieces of metal touching. He just retaped the the exposed wires.

Now I can hear the "puffing" noise but can no longer see the spark/smoke when it is taped. The scooter does eventually start (new battery and spark plug). The dealer said that taping the cables is sufficient. I am a little concern that taping is not really a remedy. I should mention that the dealer damaged the cables when he was installing the new battery, so that might be why he doesn't see a problem.

I hope someone can help with this confusing situation. What, if anything, needs to be done.
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UTC quote
What you have described can ONLY happen if a positive wire touches ground. The break will be obvious where you see the puff of smoke along the path of your positive battery cable that is touching ground or any metal that the cable could be touching where it terminates at the battery. Inspect the cable carefully and you will find it if it's still making the arcing sound or you're seeing the puff of smoke.
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GTS250
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UTC quote
XLR8 wrote:
What you have described can ONLY happen if a positive wire touches ground. The break will be obvious where you see the puff of smoke along the path of your positive battery cable that is touching ground or any metal that the cable could be touching where it terminates at the battery. Inspect the cable carefully and you will find it if it's still making the arcing sound or you're seeing the puff of smoke.
You can look where it grounded, the paint should be blasted clean off.
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Molto Verboso
Nazgul
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
Re: Little puffs coming from battery cable
3337 wrote:
I should mention that the dealer damaged the cables when he was installing the new battery, so that might be why he doesn't see a problem.
What kind of damage did the dealer do to the cables when he installed the battery? How did you know that the cables were damaged?
OP
@3337 avatar
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UTC quote
The cables got damaged because the replacement battery is bigger than the orignal battery. The dealer just streched the cables to extreeme limits to make it work. Then the cover went on. A few weeks later there are several spots where the rubber coating has worn off the cables exposing the copper wire. It is where the rubber coating came off that was getting the spark/smoke. When I brought it back, the dealer called the manufacture and they told them how to run the battery cables so they do not have so much stress on them. It is better, but still it is the same basic problem. The cables are stressed and twisted to make it fit.

The cables have eletrical tape on them now to cover the exposed copper wire. I went out and looked again and do not see any metal on metal contact. I did not hear of puff this time.
⚠️ Last edited by 3337 on UTC; edited 1 time
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
Now I get it. That's not great, not great at all. So, the dealer damaged the insulation on the main hot wire while they were shoehorning the battery into the scooter. Now there is electrical tape on the wire to prevent it from shorting to ground and doing any (further) harm. IMHO, the dealer owes you a new hot wire (at least) for your scooter. They damaged it through their incompetence. Putting a little electrical tape on it just isn't good enough. If that wiring is really pinched in there, the eletrical tape may tear or unravel the next time somebody works on it. This is all IMHO, of course, but I think they owe you a new hot wire. It won't be terribly expensive and it's the right (only) thing for them to do.

There's a guy on this board, Cinncinatti John, who knows his stuff about electrics. I suggest you PM him and see if he agrees with my opinion on this just so you'll have some confidence about being in the right before you approach your dealer.

EDIT: P.S. Thinking more about the wiring harness, it may not be trivial for them to replace just the main hot wire. If so, definitely make sure that somebody who knows what they are doing does a professional quality job of wrapping that wire and make sure they properly dress the ends of the tape wrapping at both ends to keep it from unraveling. Again, I would want to hear Cinci's opinion on this before doing anything.
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Hey 3337, got your PM. Hi John, good to cross paths with you again buddy. Thought I'd chime in here.

I'm with John, it sounds like the shop did not make a good job of dressing the battery leads. I'd be interested to know why they replaced the battery with a physically bigger one; sounds like that's the root cause of it all.

I am not at all comfortable with damaged insulation on battery leads, especially upstream of the main fuse. I'm even less comfortable knowing the damage is caused by chafing against grounded chassis. That wire is unprotected, and a solid short to chassis could cause a fire, no exaggeration. (It has happened; see GTS 250 ie electrical problem - smoke but no flames.) Electrical tape is absolutely not enough insulation; it will handle the voltage as long as it remains undamaged, but it's not physically robust or tough enough for that class of service.

I'm not familiar with the LX, but if it's like the GTS, we're not talking about just a single battery wire, but a harness, as John also mentioned. That's an expensive part, long lead time, and a lot of work to replace. Skilled work, and I'm not getting a good feeling about the shop you went to.

Here's a couple of suggestions: First thing I'd do is put the right sized battery in, to take the tension off of the wires. I'm going to assume that only the insulation is damaged - the wire conductor and terminals aren't damaged by excessive tension. You may be able to get by, by running the damaged length of wire inside a plastic "boa" tube, something like this: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103809
Once the wire is in, tuck one side of the "split" under the other side, and then put wire ties around the tube at intervals to pull the tube in tight. That ought to protect the wire from further chaffing. And spare yourself the pain of replacing the harness.

Hope this helps...
@jimc avatar
UTC

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The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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@jimc avatar
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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UTC quote
+1

Put the right sized battery in, and use heat-shrink cable to cover the dodgy damaged insulation.

Oh, and find a better bodger dealer.
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UTC quote
Heat-shrink tubing would be a very good solution.

Jim, what are you doing up at this hour? It's 12:30 AM over there, isn't it?
@jimc avatar
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The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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@jimc avatar
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UTC quote
Yep, don't normally go to bed until 02:00 at the earliest. Night-owl, me.
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UTC quote
I'll be retired one day...
@steven_d avatar
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@steven_d avatar
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UTC quote
You can also get a puff of smoke from a high resistance open in your battery cables. I started a diesel engine one time with the clamps not sized right on the battery post so they looked tight but not tight enough. The current arced
from the strap to the battery post--a flash bang and the battery cable and post were melted to smithereens. ( Is that a word?) Scared the heck out of me! I agree with the other peeps, I would get that looked at.

Retired, Hmmm, sounds Good! One day!
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UTC quote
Sounds to me like they loosened the lugs on the cables by stretching the cables. I would tell them to replace the cables, on their dime.

Wayne B
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'07 GTS-250ie - sold and gone
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UTC quote
Steven D wrote:
You can also get a puff of smoke from a high resistance open in your battery cables. I started a diesel engine one time with the clamps not sized right on the battery post so they looked tight but not tight enough. The current arced from the strap to the battery post--a flash bang and the battery cable and post were melted to smithereens. ( Is that a word?) Scared the heck out of me! I agree with the other peeps, I would get that looked at.

Retired, Hmmm, sounds Good! One day!
I've seen that sort of thing.
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