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Discussion Starter #1
Winter weather is officially here and my battery decided it was time to retire. So I replaced it with another OEM from the dealer this morning. When I put the new battery in, the positive terminal seems loose on the post, even when tightened to the max. Negative terminal was fine.

I've searched the forums and most threads are about corrosion on this terminal. The terminal does not appear corroded, and it was nice and tight on the old battery this morning. I called the parts dept back and the guy told me that all Odys use the exact same battery and it had to be exactly like the old one. He suggested I replace the positive cable ($90).

Anyone experience this before? Any idea if I have other options rather than a new positive cable?

Thanks.
 

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This has been written uo in the forum many times. First make sure you are holding the clamp down tight on the battery. The Honda clamy is a terrible clamp and bends when you overtighten it causing it to be loose. If you can't get it to tighten that way get a thin brass shim and wrap around the post. Auto parts stores have new clamps that can be put on the cable. Talk to ypur local auto parts store expert.
 

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I used couple of shiny pennies. Bend them a little using locking pliers. Put them as packing between the clamp and the post.

- Vikas
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I called an auto parts store and they have new clamps for $3.99. Seems like the obvious way to go. My only concern is getting all of that wire attached to the new clamp. It looks like there are two thick cables that attach to the positive terminal. Not sure why there are two? And there is a ground there. I am not sure what that is for since it is not a positive ground vehicle? I guess as long as I use a new clamp with a ground bolt on it, I'm fine.

The penny and brass shim ideas sound pretty easy too, except that I doubt there is enough room to get a shim in, unless I really back off the nut on the clamp. Currently there is no gap, the clamp just isn't as tight as I want it. I can wiggle it off, so that worries me.

A friend suggested putting a piece of copper wire (standard household electrical) between the post and the clamp. He figures that will be enough to keep it from coming loose. My only concern with this (and shims) is damaging the battery posts when I tighten the clamps. They are lead, therefore very soft. Should I worry about damaging them?
 

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It won't damage the post. You need to back off the bolt. The reason it isn't tight is because you have bent the clips the bolt is through so they are touching before the clamp is tight on the post. You could also take the bolt out and try reforming the clamp where the bolys go through. Stranded copper wire would work. Just take several pieces and spread out the strands then just tighten to where you cannot move the clamp.
 

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I could take my cable off the post by hand. I used a ziptie to secure the cable to the battery holddown. How's that for a cheap and easy fix? :stupid:
 

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One other possibility (mainly posted for others who may have this same issue) that makes this situation happen is the use of those felt terminal protector washers underneath the terminal around the battery posts.

The battery posts are tapered, so anything like the washers that prevents the terminal from going down further onto the post can cause this same issue.

I would avoid the "universal" bolt-on replacement terminals that the auto parts stores carry - I do use them, but only for temporary use. The area where the wire gets clamped into the universal terminal tends to get dirty and corroded over time, resulting in a poor-quality connection.

One other option if you do want to use the universal type of terminal is to coat the entire wire clamping area on the terminal with silicone RTV AFTER tightly clamping the wire(s) into it. This will provide some additional protection of your connection from the environment and result in better long-term reliability.
 

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RTV? That should be fun in a couple years. The post and connection should be coated with silicon electrical grease. Usually if you are getting corrosion around the post it means the battery is leaking acitic gasses and should be replaced. Holding down with a cable tie is not good for long term. Because the connection is not tight it will build up resistance and the current flow will generate heat which will errode the post and clamp. The connection needs to be tight.
 

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I had the same issue. The circle on the terminal just slightly too big for the battery terminal. Hence all I did was use a clamp to clamp / bent the 'circle' of the terminal hence making it like an oval. Then u can tighten down to the battery w/out any problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I finally got back to the battery in my Ody today. I went the easiest way first. I clipped a two-inch piece of copper wire off an old wall plug that I had sitting on my work bench. Then I bent it into a "U" shape. I loosened off the bolt on the battery clamp, jammed the wire in there as a shim, re-tightened, and voila, all is well again.

I was pretty amazed at how soft and flexible the clamps are. No wonder they can get out of shape so easily.

Hopefully this quick-fix will keep it going!
 

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Vanguard,

The only way to make you approach of a shim more permanent is to use a small piece of lead flashing instead of the copper(I have used this approach twice with permanent results). The copper will work, the lead would match exactly the battery post material. Lots of luck, Russ.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the advice Russ. How does the lead flashing make it more permanent? Is the copper going to give me problems down the road?

Where do you find lead flashing?
 

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Check with your autoparts store. I did a google search on 'lead shims for battery post' and it shows many. Anywhere that sells roofing. Plumbing supply. Copper is fine also and won't cause a problem.
 

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Vanguard,

While I agree that copper will work the reason to use lead is more about not introducing additional different metallic interfaces between the battery post and the battery wire clamp end. The battery post is lead, using lead flashing keeps the flashing to post metal the same. Using copper now adds an additional different metal interface. A second reason for lead instead of copper is that lead will not react with the battery acid but copper will. The acid will attack and cause oxidation of the copper where the lead is resistant to the effect of the acid (that is one reason why the plates are lead inside the batter and not copper). Either way the approach of using a simple shim between the battery post and stretched battery post clamp is a good one, one that if done properly should outlast the battery and or the clamp. As William Wiles suggests either roofing supplier or plumbing supply are good places to find lead. Again, lots of luck, Russ.
 

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2006 Ody with 44,849 miles. Positive battery terminal clamp is partially disintegrated. Not much left to reattach. Did I understand from the above posts that there is a replacement from auto parts store, or is there a problem attaching a new clamp to the cables?
 

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Best way to solve the problem is just to replace the positive terminal with a new Honda part. My '02 has (had?) a loose battery terminal that a previous owner "fixed" by putting a self-tapping screw in between the terminal and the battery post. Yeah, not so much....

I ordered a new positive terminal cable from Majestic Honda. It's the terminal and the wiring going to the fuse block and to the starter. Just a hair over $50, part number 32410-S0X-A02. It's going on this weekend.

Big trick here is to not overtighten that terminal. Make sure it's all the way at the bottom of the battery post, then snug up, don't crank down on it. It should be firm and you shouldn't be able to move the terminal. Treat it right and it will last you damn near forever.

I think a lot of the problems come from crappy stores doing slap-dash jobs installing batteries. That's the reason for a LOT of problems I've seen - battery hold-down hardware missing, terminals all jacked up, etc.

Get a 10mm wrench, get the right battery, do it yourself. The Oddy battery is ridiculously easy to change.

Oh, if you need the negative terminal/cable, part number is 32600-S0X-A02 and it's about $22 from Majestic Honda. Don't have the part numbers handy for the battery hold-down bracket and J-bolts but they're cheap, like $2-3 each. The bracket is a nice part, rubber coated.

Dale
 
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