Unable to Tighten GM Side Mount Battery Terminal

The car is a 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass with the 3.4L DOHC engine. The
negative battery cable terminal will not get very tight when attached
to the battery.
I can snug it up to where it just begins to get tight, but that is as
much as I can get out of it. It feels as though there is not enough
depth to the terminal threads going in to the battery. The other
terminal tightens up normally and has no problems. The threads in the
battery are fine. I have tried other batteries and have the same
problem with the negative battery terminal..
Has anyone else ran across this issue before, and if so how did you
fix the problem?. I am planning on replacing the whole cable, but
would like to know if there is anything else I should try first.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Reply to
KC
OK - I found that you can purchase terminal bolts in both standard and extended lengths (see links below). How do you remove the old terminal bolt from the cable? What holds it in place?
Standard bolt:
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Extended bolt:
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Supplier's website:
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Reply to
KC
I've bought the replacement terminal bolts at auto parts stores, like Autozone. The old bolt will pull out of the terminal with a little elbow grease. Clean the innards of the cable well before putting it back together. GM side terminals can be a PITA when they get corroded
Reply to
HLS
Would a battery terminal puller (like the one shown in the link below) be of any use in extracting the terminal bolt from the battery cable?
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Reply to
KC
No, the bolt just muscles out past the rubber boot that is holding it in place. Not that hard to do. Maybe a pair of vise grips on the head might give you more leverage to pop it out or you could put a slit in the rubber with a razor blade to make it easier.
Mike 86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG Muds, 'glass nose to tail in '00 'New' frame in the works for '08. Some Canadian Bush Trip and Build Photos:
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Reply to
Mike Romain
"HLS" wrote in news:W8u5k.5666$89.5244 @nlpi069.nbdc.sbc.com:
What's the point of side-mount terminals?
Reply to
Tegger
Was able to replace it. Thanks for the suggestions everyone.
I'd like to know the answer to Tegger's question, too. I've heard opinions about side terminals ranging from it was purely a money grab by GM to side mount connections seal the battery-to-cable connection better than top post connections.
Reply to
KC
With over 30 years in the car repair business, I've probably had less than 5 cars that wouldn't start because of a problem with a side terminal.
In contrast, conventional top terminals have made me a good chunk of money over the years.
Top Side terminals can be a pain to jump but they are much more reliable.
Larry
Reply to
Larry W
Larry W wrote in news:4857bf5f$0$31741$ snipped-for-privacy@roadrunner.com:
Now, why would this be so? What would be the specific technical reason side terminals would be more reliable than top terminals?
I'm not being snarky here, I'm genuinely curious. I cannot think of a reason one would be a better electrical connection than the other.
Reply to
Tegger
GM is going away from side terminals. Too many leaky batteries. Mopar is using more and more side terminals.
Reply to
Steve Austin
He didn't say one made a better electrical connection. He said one is more reliable. I don't know for sure why but I would agree the observation is correct. Assuming a battery lives long enough eventually the connection will fail on any battery due to corrosion. The side mount probably are better at keeping out the moisture and battery fumes that cause corrosion.
-jim
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Reply to
jim
One would think the side mounts would actually be more likely to leak, being below the level of the acid.
nate
Reply to
Nate Nagel
"Nate Nagel" wrote in message
IMO, the side terminals are no more likely to leak than the top terminals. BUT GM often combines three cables into that side terminals...And if the terminal corrodes (which they do), one or more of these cables may suffer.
Been there, done that. It is not a conjecture...it is a real problem.
Reply to
HLS

Well yes. I suppose if the battery casing starts to leak out its contents your screwed either way. But the issue of maintaining a good connection for the life of the battery is usually about keeping stuff from the environment around the connection from getting in. If a side mount is properly installed it has an air tight seal which is more effective than the top post variety.
-jim
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Reply to
jim
I use Vaseline on mine, and it works well. Doesnt melt and run away as one might expect.
I dont find any particular advantage for one type of terminal over the other. Neither lasts forever; either with reasonable maintenance works fine.
Reply to
HLS
I usually grease my top posts (when the crap box I'm driving has them) up with trans gel or spray high tack gasket cement on them.
Reply to
Steve Austin
Lasting forever is not the question. I have taken apart side mounted terminals that have been installed for 3-5 years and found the sealed inner metal parts to be still like new. That doesn't happen with top posts. It doesn't matter if the top posts are sealed with a rubber boot or with vaseline or lacquer or whatever - Taking them apart after 3-5 years of service they never look like new. The simple fact that you feel the need to add sealant of some kind is an indication of the problem with top posts. Not that there aren't advantages to top post batteries, but they do on average require more maintenance.
-jim
either with reasonable maintenance works fine.
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Reply to
jim
I've heard that it reduces corrosion, and I believe it.
I also like the fact that you can't short the battery out on the hood if it's too tall.
That said, jumping cars with sideposts is a PITA on a good day. Some cars it's like they go out of their way to bury the damn things so you can't get a jumper cable in there.
Ray
Reply to
ray

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