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Old 10-18-2017, 11:23 PM   #11
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As a general rule If sparks/flames are under 5 feet I wouldn’t worry much.
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:29 PM   #12
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Just kiddin bud,however as helpful as everyone has been With you I would stop and get an auto electric tech which van verify all wires quickly with a multimeter as mountain bike roamer/arctic traveler mentioned earlier!have it towed for free if you have that service or just call a mobile tech,test everything while they are there so if there is damage to other components like relays/fuses etc it can all be addressed at once,it’s money well spent/move forward.
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Old 10-19-2017, 06:50 AM   #13
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..a few comments....

The "black is positive, white is neutral" color convention is for AC not DC.......for DC red is positive and black is negative. What you found online regarding this is for AC (115V) circuits in RV's.

Your picture is not a tight enough shot to tell much....I'm assuming that the positive battery terminal is on the left.......if this is the case, then things don't look out of place to me.

Do you have a multimeter or can you get your hands on an ammeter?
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Old 10-19-2017, 06:58 AM   #14
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A multimeter is easiest but sometimes overly complex for the uneducated. I'd get a test light and start testing powers and grounds. It's simple, you have a power source right there.

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Old 10-19-2017, 07:03 AM   #15
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Since we are doubling down on dumbness....I was going to ask if the replacement battery has the + and - terminals in the same orientation.....but I can see in the pic that the + terminal is on the left, where it should be. Connecting a battery backwards can certainly result in bad things happening, but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

FYI....you can pick up a cheap multimeter for $4.99 at harbor freight....
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:44 AM   #16
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I would expect, that if all the wires are where they were originally that you have the battery reversed from what the other one was. While I would also tend to think that the red wire was positive, it would not be the first SMB that I have seen using a red wire on negative.

In general you should have at one of the wires that goes to ground terminal ohm out to the frame, the others may be the ground side of equipment that needs to be grounded. Also I would expect that at least one of the positive wires is coming from the isolator. There should be a circuit breaker between the isolator to the house battery. (just be aware that it might have reset)

This would enable you to find out what bundles are positive or ground.( assuming that the bundles are as you remember them)

Other than that you just have to start following the wires and find out where they go. The first one I would track down is that red one.

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Old 10-19-2017, 08:46 AM   #17
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[QUOTE=boywonder;214385]..a few comments....

The "black is positive, white is neutral" color convention is for AC not DC.......for DC red is positive and black is negative. What you found online regarding this is for AC (115V) circuits in RV's.QUOTE]


If your van was wired conventionally, this may be true, but you never know what a prevous owner might have done, I've seen all kinds of color codes used. If you did accidently reverse a couple wires, it's possible there is some damage to things with semi conductors (electronics). I stand by my recomendation that you have someone with more experience have a look before you connect any more wires. If you have never used an ohm meter, you will find it a bit confusing in the beginning, but watching somone experienced will shorten the learning curve by a lot. Since this is your house battery, you should be able to tape off the wires, and then drive to a shop.

Edit: I was unable to see your photo before, but now that I can see it I have one more thought. If your new battery is the same as the old, IE, the positive and Neg terminals are in the same location, it looks like all but the white wires would be too short to mis-connect. Thats to say, they won't reach to the opposite side. As for the white wires, they could go either way. That looks to be something added after the fact. You shoud be able to follow that one pair of wires to what ever they go to, and determing which one is ground. I'd bet you could hook up all the others with no problem. And clean up those terminals first. Baking soda and water, with a wire brush will do nicely.
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Old 10-19-2017, 03:11 PM   #18
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Thank you to everybody that weighed in. Crawled around this afternoon and that red wire goes out the hole to left of pic and right onto frame of van. The white wire, the one I could trace at least, ground. So there ya go. Damn, pretty stupid not to save myself a few hours of headache and electricity by just taking a picture. Lesson learned...till the next time.

So with that mystery solved I'm wondering if anybody has any general advice.

1) I think I totally blew a fuse (reverse polarity), but it isn't obvious where this is in the van. Attached two pics, but the fuses there are all small-time (lights, C02, etc). Any idea if a van this old has this item or best place to go looking.

The top 2 30A fuses are for Lights and AC and both in tact.

2) Any general advice on hooking this bad boy back up now that I know where the wires go. I'd assume turn everything off and pull all fuses, but anything else. I'd prefer to make this my last interaction with the battery/electricity this week.

Thanks again. Much appreciated!
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Old 10-19-2017, 04:39 PM   #19
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Unfortunately, fuses don't really deal in polarity, in fact many DC items might not care, (incandescent light bulbs would not, LED would). You will have to track all of the black wires and make sure you know where they go. You have identified one, going to the fuse panel. It would be nice if the circuit breaker protected everything downstream from it. If you find any fuses blown, then hopefully they protected the circuit. You have three other positive wires that you need to run down. I expect that one still goes to the isolator, and one goes to the converter, I expect that might have a fuse or breaker on it also.

What other 12 volt accessories do you have? Also I will have to warn you that you might have caused problems with some of the devices. I would very methodically add one positive wire at a time. I would ohm out the positive wires to ground before attaching them. If any ohm shorted to ground you can expect something down stream is damaged

happy hunting.

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Old 10-19-2017, 05:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperG View Post
Thank you to everybody that weighed in. Crawled around this afternoon and that red wire goes out the hole to left of pic and right onto frame of van. The white wire, the one I could trace at least, ground.
Wow.....So the red is ground, the blacks are (hopefully) positive, and at least one white is ground????


Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperG View Post
2) Any general advice on hooking this bad boy back up now that I know where the wires go. I'd assume turn everything off and pull all fuses, but anything else. I'd prefer to make this my last interaction with the battery/electricity this week.
Yes. If you are certain the red cable goes to the frame wrap black electrical tape around the cable...preferably over it's entire length. Same for the black cables if they are positive...wrap them in red tape.

That workmanship is just crazy......
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