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Battery Cables

2001 Chevy Prizm, with seemingly non-replaceable battery cables. The negative cable has a custom ground strap connector, requiring exact-part replacement (or a replacement ground strap). It also has a crimped-on terminal so replacement requires cutting off wire and replacing some length. This isn’t too big of a problem.

The positive cable, however, is ridiculous. One side is connected directly to the fuse block. Replacement would require disassembling the fuse block. The other end has a custom connector to the starter, requiring exact-part replacement. The terminal connector is crimped, requiring cutting of the wire to replace. The worst part is that the starter cable is wound up with other wires, wrapped in electrical tape, in spaces so tight you’d nearly need to remove the engine to unwind it. Simple replacement would require an exact part, work inside the fuse block, and leaving the old cable in place because it’s impossible to remove.

The ground strap and starter each have a plug-in connection. I’ve never dealt with battery cables that had anything other than bolt-on connections. Are these actually custom connectors, or is there some generic type that are all the same? How would you replace a positive cable that goes straight into a slot for the main 100-amp fuse? Once I saw what would be involved in replacing the cables, I scraped the terminals with a file and hacksaw blade to get bare metal. It works now, but there’s still corrosion on the crimps and copper wires, so I may eventually need to replace them.