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Old 03-04-2006, 18:19   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation 97 Grand Marquis losing electrical power ?

Hello All,

I'm new here, 1st time poster.

About a month ago, I took my 97 Mercury Marquis to get the emissions test done. They drove my car into the shop area, and turned the ignition off. About 10 minutes later when they proceeded to test my car, it would not start, dead as a door nail. No power at all, no lights, interior or exterior. They came and asked me why it would not start, wanted to know if maybe I had some kind of security sytem, I told them I did not. I opened the hood and asked the serviceman to try starting the car while I "wiggled a few wires", it finally started, I had wiggled the two positive cables coming from the plus side of the battery, one of those wires goes to the power distribution box, and I'm guessing the other goes to the starter, it's hard to see where that one actually goes though.

Those two positive cables appear to be crimped together into a terminal connector with heat shrink insulation around the outside of the connector.

I'm no doctor when it comes to electrical problems with automotive wiring, so my question is:
Has anyone here had the same problem happen to them, and would you think the problem is in the crimp of the positive cable connector where it connects to the positive post of the battery, or maybe the screw post on the power distribution box where one of those positve cables connects. I did notice when I unscrewed the nut off the post on the power distribution box, the post is "loose" when the nut is not screwed on tight, is that "normal"???
Thanks for any help you can offer, I can't get my car to pass emissions test because everytime the power gets interrupted, it clears the onboard computer memory, then I have to try and drive for about two weeks to build the memory back up.
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Old 03-05-2006, 04:30   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 97 Grand Marquis losing electrical power ?

Just tighten the connections after you clean them. Also check the connections to the starter and make sure that they are clean and tight also. I had to eventually replace my positive cable completely and have had no problems since.
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Old 03-05-2006, 07:40   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 97 Grand Marquis losing electrical power ?

Thanks Ryoder,

I had already cleaned all the connections except the cable connection going to the starter, but I don't think that one would make the whole electrical system "dead" if it wasn't a good connection, I think it would just keep the starter from working...yes?

I was thinking though...that I will replace the "short" cable from the battery to the power distribution block and also the battery connectors on the ends of the cables, I did notice that when I disconnect the short cable to the power distribution box only, and leave the other long positive cable connected, that I assume goes to the starter, that everything is dead, no dash lights, radio, headlights, etc.

P.S. Also, is it normal when you unscrew the nut on the screw post of the power distribution box (where that short positive cable connects to the box) for the screw post to be loose, wobbley, it feels tight / secure when I tighten the nut down on the post. Thanks again!!!
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Old 03-05-2006, 17:21   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 97 Grand Marquis losing electrical power ?

Yeah ,thats normal.I took mine completely apart when I replaced the pos cable and lightly sanded it to make sure that it was clean. Put a good anti- corrosive on it when you get it good and clean. Some of that spray stuff that you get from the local parts store. That should correct your problem,and while your at it you might as well do the same cleaning on the neg cable,just to be safe.
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Old 03-05-2006, 19:57   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 97 Grand Marquis losing electrical power ?

Thanks...I went and bought new battery post connectors and installed them, and cleaned all the cables going to each connector, hope this does the trick, I have to get about 2 weeks of driving in without a power interuption, so the computer will build up it's memory and then I should pass the emissions test.
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