Side-attach battery terminals: just another bad idea?

So far, I've had two episodes of the battery connectors on the hot side failing intermittantly.
Everything stops: no brakes to speak of, no power steering, no brake lights, no
signal lights.
So far I've survived each one and been able to pull over, raise the hood, and wiggle the connectors until the system came back up.
But, IMHO, this could be quite a dangerous situation should it happen doing 70 mph around a curve in the middle lane something like I-95 in heavy traffic....likewise it could be really bad news if it happened when pulled out and passing on a two-lane road....fatal, even.
Three of the mechanics I've spoken to about this have volunteered that the problem is endemic to side-attached connectors. Certainly I've never experienced it on any one of the dozens of other cars (top-mounted connectors) I've owned.
Prevention? Cures? Causes?....I note that the red plastic covering the stack of three connectors is somewhat discolored... ----------------------- PeteCresswell
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I've heard that there were some that came from the factory with the bolt too long and it would break the connector on the battery loose. I've had a lot better luck with side terminal than top terminal. I used to have to coat the top terminal batteries with dielectric grease to keep them from coroding. The side terminals in my old 88 s-10 I have never had to touch in 170,000 miles.

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Had this happen on my Deville ('96) and also a customer's Yukon. Called the Parts Manager at local GMC Dealer who is quietly replacing the defective batteries with new AC/Delco units for 69.00.
Have a great one!
Bush

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RE/

That was my kneejerk reaction. Mine is a '98 burb - two guys opined that there isn't enough room under there. OTOH, the batteries that I'm using already have both top and side terminals and they fit fine....
What appeals to me about top terminals is that it's all out there where it can be seen. With the side terminals, those plastic boots hide the parts and I can't see if there's corrosion or not. ----------------------- PeteCresswell
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jumping w/ a top post is a hell of alot easier than sideposts too... if you've already got a combo battery, just pick up some new cables, the thicker the better.
-Bret

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Strange, I think these connectors are a lot better than the top ones and I never had any problem with them. Now in the 91 jimmy I just bought, the previous owner had the wonderful Idea (yeah right) of replacing the battery for one with top connectors and of course, he changed the cable ends too... (why make things easy when you can complicate your life hey?) I can not curse enough about these stupid top connectors, they get loose and they are too exposed. It's easy to make a short circuit and blow the battery (and your eyes) to kingdom come when you work under the hood.
(Pete Cresswell) wrote:

--
Eaulive,


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I forgot to mention, Loose connectors can cause whats known as 'Load Dumping' on the Alternator. usual effects of this is diode failure. That's because the 'avalanche diodes' cannot tolerate it.
Cheers

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RE/

Bingo!..... My alternator's failure coincided with that situation. ----------------------- PeteCresswell
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Change the small head bolts over to regular size head and use a back up nut, mine are stainless bolts. Now you can put booster cables on at anytime
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