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Discussion Starter #1
So last night for the first time in 167,000 miles the trusty Clio let me down away from home. All dash lights and ancillaries working fine but engine not cranking when turning the key - Not even a click from the starter. I figured it was the battery despite the lights so I got my brother in laws car and jumped it with the leads and away it went. I had one more stop to make before heading home and the car started fine from there so I was still fairly confident that it was the battery. The battery was bought from Halfords 3 years past September and it has a 5 year warranty and I still have the receipt so I was relatively happy.
This morning of course it would not crank again but I measured 12.5v+ even when trying to crank the engine so I started to have another poke about. The battery terminals were all good, clean and tight. Starter relay fuse good and measured 12.5v+ in the engine bay fuse box. I even tried the second key in case of an immobiliser issue but the dash lights seemed ok. Of course it started raining but I persevered and found the engine ground wire had parted right at the crimp on the bell housing. I guess 167,000 miles of running had work hardened the wire strands and eventually they had enough. In the rain I removed the undertray with the car on the ground as I could not get it started to get it on to the ramps and the drive is gravel so could not safely jack it up either. Anyway I replaced the crimp and all is good. The crimp ring I fitted was the right size but I don't really have a large enough crimping tool so I ordered a clamp type ring terminal which I will swap out next time I am changing the oil. I checked the engine mounts just in case there was something going on there but the engine was secure.
The jump start was a red herring as the earth cable must have made an intermittent connection. I had noticed it was not quite spinning over as quickly as normal over the last couple of days when starting so that was obviously the last few cable strands.
 

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When you jumped it was the earth lead to the block by any chance?
Our V70 parted at the same spot a few years ago at a little above that mileage.
 

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Can I maybe caution you to be on the lookout for charging issues now .................. if the engine managed to actually run and that earth clamp/cable failed completely during that time (as it would seem it did) , its quite possible that the alternator took a beating - they dont like running with no earth connected to the battery. Suggest get a free charge (under heavy load) and battery test anyway for peace of mind
 

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Sexy at 70 super duper mod..
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So last night for the first time in 167,000 miles the trusty Clio let me down away from home. All dash lights and ancillaries working fine but engine not cranking when turning the key - Not even a click from the starter. I figured it was the battery despite the lights so I got my brother in laws car and jumped it with the leads and away it went. I had one more stop to make before heading home and the car started fine from there so I was still fairly confident that it was the battery. The battery was bought from Halfords 3 years past September and it has a 5 year warranty and I still have the receipt so I was relatively happy.
This morning of course it would not crank again but I measured 12.5v+ even when trying to crank the engine so I started to have another poke about. The battery terminals were all good, clean and tight. Starter relay fuse good and measured 12.5v+ in the engine bay fuse box. I even tried the second key in case of an immobiliser issue but the dash lights seemed ok. Of course it started raining but I persevered and found the engine ground wire had parted right at the crimp on the bell housing. I guess 167,000 miles of running had work hardened the wire strands and eventually they had enough. In the rain I removed the undertray with the car on the ground as I could not get it started to get it on to the ramps and the drive is gravel so could not safely jack it up either. Anyway I replaced the crimp and all is good. The crimp ring I fitted was the right size but I don't really have a large enough crimping tool so I ordered a clamp type ring terminal which I will swap out next time I am changing the oil. I checked the engine mounts just in case there was something going on there but the engine was secure.
The jump start was a red herring as the earth cable must have made an intermittent connection. I had noticed it was not quite spinning over as quickly as normal over the last couple of days when starting so that was obviously the last few cable strands.
It was common problem on the Mk2 clio and they failed a lot sooner than 167K..those are a braided earth straps so was yours also braided or a covered copper one..
 

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The V70 has quite a heavy copper cored cable. The break had no trace of corrosion and looked almost cut it was so clean. I imagine that braid is an attempt to cut down bending stresses but at the expense of corrosion ?
 

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Sexy at 70 super duper mod..
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Discussion Starter #9
LvR, yup, I was kind of surprised that nothing had been fried. I recall conventional alternators would kill the voltage regulator if run without a battery ballast fitted. I was more concerned with the ECU's.....Another red herring in my mind was that I had actually changed the alternator out the other week because the overrunning pulley had become noisy. I thought that the replacement alternator had maybe overcharged the battery.
Phil48, it is a pvc covered round conductor. Pictured is the failed crimp end. You can see by the green oxidised wires that only a small number of conductor strands were still good before it finally threw in its hand.
180882
 

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These were quite common years ago on some forums I went on so I wonder if they would be worth fitting..

Without fear of contradiction - it depends. I recall them falling from grace which was probably due to willy nilly overuse. There is definitely a good argument for the so called SPG single point ground strategy especially on older magnet generators vehicles with marginal charging capacity. Generators run say a 1980s bike like a power station. If the return currents are taking roundabout routes to battery through iffy frame/chassis earth posts then the regulator is not seeing the true battery voltage etc etc..... could write a book.
I imagine that the modern alternator has taken care of all that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The earth cable is about 16mm2 I think. Probably about 24" long so quite heavy. It is wrapped up in the loom below the front of the battery tray and a fairly short unsupported leg length to the bell housing earth point. Cables that are required to be flexible normally use very fine strands in great numbers with a soft sheath to maintain flexibility for a given load capacity. The cables used to in lifts (elevators) run over sheaves continually and are a perfect example of this design. The flip side is of course the cost. Much more expensive than cables designed for fixed vibration free installation. Think of the PVC twin + earth used in your house wiring....
Braided straps are usually made of pretty fine strands but I do have recollection of them parting somewhere in a hazy past memory (1964 Bedford CA I think).
This cable is a compromise. Probably good for most cars before they expire through other natural causes but definitely won't last forever.
 
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