How to Replace Battery Cables in an F150by Russell Wood
As vehicles age, parts tend to break down and start to have problems. One issue that some trucks can have are corroded battery cables, and that leads to power current flow in your charging system. Replacing these cables is fairly simple if you're systematic in your approach, and take your time to do it correctly. In this case, the project vehicle is a 1998 Ford F-150, but the process is similar for other vehicles as well.
Pop the hood. Unbolt the negative battery terminal from the battery using an open-end wrench.Pull the cable out of the way.
Follow the factory battery cable down to the frame of the vehicle, where it connects via a bolt. This may be bolted in a few different places. Unbolt the factory cable using the open-end wrench set, and then bolt the replacement cable in place. Run the replacement cable up to the battery, but do not connect it yet.
Unbolt the factory positive battery cable from the battery using the open-end wrench set. Follow the cable to find out what other else it's bolted to, which includes the fuse block, alternator and starter.
Lay out the replacement positive battery cable in the same pattern as the original cable, and replace each line, one at a time, using the open-end wrench set. So disconnect the starter connection using an open-end wrench, then bolt on the replacement cable. By doing this one at a time, you won't get the lines confused and crossed, and you can keep everything correct.
Secure the replacement battery cables to the positive terminal first, then the negative terminal, using the open-end wrench set. Pull out all of the factory cables and dispose of them.
Things You'll Need
- Open-end wrench set
- Factory replacement positive and negative battery cables
Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.