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ebinmaine

How do you build battery cables?

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@Achto, @WHX20,

 

I'm starting a thread here in the appropriate section and you were the ones who inspired me to figure this out so I'm calling you in.

 

 

So everyone... How do you build your battery cables?

 

Do you solder them?

 

Do you crimp them?

 

Do you do both?

 

What do you use for a tool to crimp lugs that are that big?

 

Thank you in advance for your answers and advice.

 

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typically buy a made up battery cable, but always add a wire lug https://www.google.com/search?q=electrical+lugs&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=wecwGOPIDW4eWM%3A%2CRFvGliPtUrHykM%2C_&usg=AFrqEzcMswovRQE9E_JqIzFsv6xf8TnDyg&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjiisu587LdAhXKT98KHaMDAF4Q9QEwBXoECAYQDA#imgrc=wecwGOPIDW4eWM  at the battery post bolt on point, that way I always have a safe and solid go to point if I ever need it. pete

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My local Battery Warehouse will make cables for me, any gauge, and length, any lug size. Usually around $5.00 each or less. 

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I have the luxury of working at a place that deals with heavy electrical cables. I can purchase material from work or bring in my own materials and use their crimper to make custom fit cables.

 

This Panduit crimper produces 6tons of pressure.

IMG_20180911_060040538.jpg.7cbdd9900fe76e88cd0b26f107969ce3.jpg

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Several types of crimpers. I go to my local Mennonite auto electric shop and tell them " Make this cable with these ends but go up a size on the gauge." They mount this tool in a vise and wail on it with a big hammer. Then shrink wrap the ends.download.jpg.8261487356ada0ba6b4ebc97d5e55345.jpg

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i buy locally too. Cheaper than buying the proper tool. There are some good places on line to get battery cables made too if you don't have anyone locally that can do it for you. 

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@peter lena

@jabelman

@Mike'sHorseBarn

 

 

I've been buying the pre-made ones at Napa and I have no problem with the quality of them. Cost and selection however has not been good.

They are typically anywhere between 8 and $15 each and they always seem to be 1 inch too short or 5 inches too long.

 

it isn't like I'm building show tractor's or anything. Mine are all workers. But I really do like a nice tight clean wiring harness setup. I've built 3 of my own complete harnesses so far.

 

@rmaynard thanks for the tip on that. I'll check my local store and see if they are more reasonable than the parts stores.

 

 

@squonk that's one of the tools I was thinking about purchasing. I already have the big vice and the big hammer.

 

 

I saw a guy on YouTube that does not use a crimper. He puts the cable lug  Cup Side Up in a vise and melts several small pieces of solder which turns into about a quarter inch of solder in it. Then he just pushes the bare end of the cable into the lug cup and lets it cool then puts shrink wrap over it.

 

I may very well try that but I would really rather use the crimping method.

 

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This gauge is big enough to handle and horse and reasonably priced with free shipping and many different length options. I've bought from here several times.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/6-AWG-Copper-Battery-Cable-Power-Wire-Car-Marine-Inverter-RV-Solar/302709048923?hash=item467add865b:m:mKiFPRowYHYO7DTy8MfYwRg:sc:USPSFirstClass!17059!US!-1

 

Mike

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20 minutes ago, ebinmaine said:

@peter lena

@jabelman

@Mike'sHorseBarn

 

 

I've been buying the pre-made ones at Napa and I have no problem with the quality of them. Cost and selection however has not been good.

They are typically anywhere between 8 and $15 each and they always seem to be 1 inch too short or 5 inches too long.

 

it isn't like I'm building show tractor's or anything. Mine are all workers. But I really do like a nice tight clean wiring harness setup. I've built 3 of my own complete harnesses so far.

 

@rmaynard thanks for the tip on that. I'll check my local store and see if they are more reasonable than the parts stores.

 

 

@squonk that's one of the tools I was thinking about purchasing. I already have the big vice and the big hammer.

 

 

I saw a guy on YouTube that does not use a crimper. He puts the cable lug  Cup Side Up in a vise and melts several small pieces of solder which turns into about a quarter inch of solder in it. Then he just pushes the bare end of the cable into the lug cup and lets it cool then puts shrink wrap over it.

 

I may very well try that but I would really rather use the crimping method.

 

Napa sells the ends with the solder already in them. 

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Have been making my own for a few years now.

I buy good quality mig ground cable from princess auto, the stuff with high silicone content in the jacket.

Then clean the inside of the lug with a little wire brush and flux it.

Strip the cable end so about 1/16 will stick out and flux the cable too.

Set up in the vise with a 5/32 drill shank and the lug and squish it down with the wire in it.

Heat and solder fill till it comes to the top.

Then clean with alcohol and heat shrink.

I've done them without solder and never had one come loose even though it's not a true toothed crimp.

Works for me

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I use my ACCEL spark plug wire crimper (vise and hammer style) on those bigger lugs, I don't use solder and so far for 30+ years nothing has failed me yet.

Screenshot_20180911-193926.png

Screenshot_20180911-193958.png

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I use the caveman lug crimper with a hammer like so many - but solder the connection first. After it's crimped, I prefer the heavier dual wall shrink boot w/adhesive and then dip the end of the connection that will make the mechanical contact in NO-OX-id electrical grease. Solder will help prevent rotting of the copper if any oxygen gets inside due to the cable's sheath - the No-Ox-id will keep it off the mechanical end of the connection and help it last a lot longer without corrosion. I've never had to repair any connection that was coated in No-Ox-id. I prefer to dip the connector into the stuff while it's still good and hot so it can wick into any voids. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/NO-OX-ID-Special-Electrical-Contact-Corrosion/dp/B00HDF9EXE/ref=pd_sim_263_3/136-6783487-5198756?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00HDF9EXE&pd_rd_r=c3ec1bb2-b68b-11e8-b560-8d045d38d0f1&pd_rd_w=EyFrC&pd_rd_wg=9IuBq&pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=56838e6b-66d4-41e0-a762-743f1a1a628a&pf_rd_r=Y7V8YN8P931WZNYEH2AY&pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_t=40701&psc=1&refRID=Y7V8YN8P931WZNYEH2AY

 

Sarge

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