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DIY: Build your own positive battery cable for the 850

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

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Re: DIY: Build your own positive battery cable for the 850

Post by erikv11 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:50 pm

If you remove the cover to the fuse box, you will see where the B+ wires enter the box, but then they disappear under the plastic fuse holders, as part of a large bundle. I don't know if you can get at the connection point down there. Perhaps you can just go to a terminal in the fuse box, to measure voltage?

So I went ahead and tried out the amazing and mysterious search button ;). It revealed that while B+ cable failures are very common on 98-00 cars, they are rare on 850s. So rare that I didn't find any examples at all; granted, I didn't look that hard. If the battery end of the B+ in your 850 is corroded then replace the connector there, e.g. http://matthewsvolvosite.com/forums/vie ... hp?t=60592. If the end at the battery looks fine, the cable is probably fine. I'd at least test it at the fuse box.
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'96 855 NA, 145k
'98 S70 NA, 220k (living out west)
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'06 S60 R, 160k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k

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Re: DIY: Build your own positive battery cable for the 850

Post by Redneck » Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:47 pm

I keep all my electrical connections in top shape. I have seen these pictures earlier and I searched this and other sites on this subject. This is what motivated me to check my own B+ cable and connectors. Lack of discussion about B+ connector problems on 850 is good news. Thank you for pointing that out.

This is a very important connection as it delivers power to all car's electronics. It would be worth to check it and clean it up preemptively to improve contact and prevent any intermittent unexplained malfunctions. Loose connections, failing crimps, minor surface oxidation due to age of the copper are my primary concern. I always cleaned every accessible electrical connector during any repair including inside of every relay.

It is off-topic in this thread, but I see my transmission splatters fluid around the wiring harness. That may lead to insulation failure. I need to examine that. That is my biggest problem that I will probably never fix. I think the transmission enclosure seal is failing somewhere. I know for sure it is transmission fluid. I've had that problem for many years, but now there is more leakage than before. I need to keep a board under the car to prevent drips on concrete.

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Re: DIY: Build your own positive battery cable for the 850

Post by abscate » Sat Aug 20, 2016 4:39 am

ATF is not going to hurt wire insulation. There are actually wires bathed in ATF in my VW transmission.
Get a shoe tray or water heater pan under the car so you don't have a big piece if ATF soaked wood to deal with.

Neil would just drain the leaked ATF through discarded panty hose and rebottle it for sale. Waste not, want not.
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Re: DIY: Build your own positive battery cable for the 850

Post by bugs11 » Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:02 pm

For anyone that's interested, I just ordered all the parts as in the OP and price was $28.63.

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Re: DIY: Build your own positive battery cable for the 850

Post by mrbrian200 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:38 pm

Put a bead of silicone/rtv sealant under the shrink tubing before you heat it. Same as black tape, shrink tubing often does not fully seal moisture out, and moisture that does work its way in gets trapped and eventually rots the copper.
Exterior circuits I generally seal up similar to NEC codes for submerged AC/high voltage wiring. On vehicles we're dealing with low voltage so we can 'fudge it' using alternate less expensive materials (such as shrink tubing and common silicone adhesive/sealant instead of a plastic can filled with high voltage epoxy. It would never get past a county/city inspector for residential/commercial high voltage wiring. But being low voltage it doesn't need to. It just needs a bonded seal.

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Re: DIY: Build your own positive battery cable for the 850

Post by bob850 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:25 am

Just another option for replacing a failed OE or Ramac cable:

My cable went bad on my 99 V70, so I found a Deka cable #00282 at the parts store that was exactly the same length and worked great with a little bending on the battery end eyelet to make it a 90 degree. At the starter end, no modification was needed. The Deka cable I got in the store is a 4 gauge "switch to starter cable", but I found later that they also make a 2 gauge version (model #00377) which is easily found on ebay or other sources.

What I did was put one of those universal marine terminals like this one: https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/BK_7511031

I had to drill out the hole on the B+ cable end so it would also fit on the terminal, but other than that, it was very easy and a clean looking install. Less than $15 in parts. Voltage at terminals is up over 14V now. Would be even better if I got the 2 gauge cable version.
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1996 850 Turbo Wagon - 175K miles, ARD Green ECU, Koni FSD, IPD sways, Snabb intake pipe, IPD HD TCV
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Re: DIY: Build your own positive battery cable for the 850

Post by jreed » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:31 am

Good work -- that looks nice and clean! Thanks for sharing this solution.
1997 855 GLT (Light Pressure Turbo) still going strong. Previous: 1986 240 GL rusted out in '06, 1985 Saab 900T rusted out in '95, 1975 Saab 99 rusted out in '95, 1973 Saab 99 rusted out in '94

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Re: DIY: Build your own positive battery cable for the 850

Post by theWIFES_S70 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:39 pm

Has anyone tried battery cables from BatteryCablesUSA?

The 30" version of this is coming in around $17...

https://www.batterycablesusa.com/0-gaug ... le-1-0-awg

I'm thinking this is the way to go...

Anyone have the lengths and the gauge of the other cables?
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Re: DIY: Build your own positive battery cable for the 850

Post by bmdubya1198 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:37 pm

I used bob850's method today on my V70R and it's probably the cheapest and easiest solution! My original cable was very corroded just below the lug on the battery and it was so bad that the cable didn't flex at all for that first inch.
I was able to get both the marine terminals as well as a 4 AWG 40" switch-to-starter cable at AutoZone, about $15 for both. The 40" cable is the perfect length, I ran it through the factory routing within the harness covering (yeah yeah, it's easier to zip tie it to the covering and not tear into it, but I'm a perfectionist and like a tidy engine bay). It's a black cable, I would have preferred a red being that it's the positive side, but I know I won't ever mix them up.

I'm going to double check voltage at idle tomorrow, but it seems to have solved my ECM-912A code for ETM/ECM communication.
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2007 XC90 V8 AWD Sport Titanium Grey/Black 162k
1993 944 Base Beige/Beige 221k
1991 944 Turbo Dark Green/Beige 172k
1992 245 Base White/Beige 249k
1998 V70 GLT Black/Beige 199k
1998 S90- Silver/Gray 207k
1995 850 GLT Tropic Green... crushed
2001 S60 2.4T Black/Black 230k
1988 744 Turbo M46 Beige Metallic/Beige 188k

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