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Need opinion, 94 6Cyl Ranger, electrical


JohnC94

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Sigh I was a dumbass and kept trying to finish a job outside as sun went down... long story short battery got connected backward. Was supposed to be the right battery but cables would only reach one way and I thought I'd checked polarity properly... when I pushed the last battery clamp on and heard the hiss, saw the steam/smoke (from under the edge of the body where the wiring runs) and then a loud pop from the general vicinity of the fuse box)... well, not so much happiness.

No familiarity with Ford electrics so I'm not sure what I'm facing here and hoped to get some idea of what I'm looking at...

The truck was cheap, it's a beater, rusty but has served well, easy starter with good engine and drive train. I've got a meter so I can trace circuits but to be honest given it's worth I don't want to spend a huge amount of time, or money for parts if I've fried components. And no way the cables are going to reach this battery right way around so first thing I'd have to do is buy a new battery for it that will fit properly. So I guess questions -

1. I know this is a hard question to answer from afar but is it likely to be worth it or should I just sell it for parts and be done with it?

2. Are there some straightforward checks I can do to assess the damage and likely time/cost for me to do repairs?

Thanks for any advice!

Yes, I know, I was a dumbass.
 


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RonD

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Welcome to TRS :)

Not really a Ford or Ranger question, its a 12volt DC question

You may have had another wiring issue prior to reversing the + and -
Car makers used a Positive Ground for many years, people just got a small shocked with wet feet when they grabbed the metal door handle, lol

I doubt you damaged anything except for some wires, maybe a fuse or three

Hook up the battery the correct way and see what doesn't work, if you see smoke again unhook battery and start pulling apart wiring harness
 

JohnC94

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Thanks Ron.

Yeah I thought Ranger because I have no idea what the wiring paths are like so I don't know what may or may not have been live when the battery got connected. It wasn't a short circuit in the normal sense and the ignition was off and key out so I wouldn't have thought there'd be that many circuits energized but it was substantial smoke/steam and a heckuva "pop"... only other time I heard a noise quite like that was many years ago standing near a friend's linear power supply with a fairly large capacitor in it that literally exploded.

So I thought there may have been some kind of electronic control module in the path that got fried. Seems to me it was something that was polarity sensitive - maybe causing a relay to get energized when it shouldn't have been or something because otherwise there shouldn't have been current of that size flowing at all anywhere...

I've never heard a big automotive fuse go so maybe that was the sound... fingers crossed.

You're right of course I should just hook it up right and see what happens... thanks again.
 

ericbphoto

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By the way. We’re Ranger fans. So we will almost always tell you it’s worth fixing.
 

JohnC94

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By the way. We’re Ranger fans. So we will almost always tell you it’s worth fixing.
:D yeah I figured there was some danger of that before I posted. Decided to take the chance ;)
 


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