OK, so what’s wrong with the radios? It was the beginning of a flying season, and we wanted to get some flying done before the major work of rewiring would take place sometime in the future, very likely during the next annual. I decided to get the radios working first, and do some minimal “cleanup” of the wiring mess. As I was going through all the connections and cleaning them up, something didn’t quite feel right. The starter cable looked like the original factory installed cable.
When I was going over the airworthiness directives for the aircraft I recalled seeing something about the starter cable. Sure enough, the original cable was an aluminum cable, and the AD was requiring replacing it with a copper cable, to eliminate a potential fire hazard. This was supposed to be done decades ago!
Aircraft Spruce sells a nice PMA’d and STC’d cable set by Bogert. I am one of those people who has a hard time fixing just the immediate problem at hand. If there is anything associated with it that is not right, it will be fixed. In my mind, not doing it right is like painting over rotten wood. I installed new set of fantastic copper cables, and a new battery box. The new cable system connects directly to the battery terminals, and the new battery box facilitates this very nicely. Besides, cleaning up and refinishing the old box didn’t appeal to me very much.
Replacing the starter and grounding cables also fixed the radio problems – they now worked great just on the battery juice. OK, let’s go flying – or not.