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Battery cable ends

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by mmacsek, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. mmacsek

    mmacsek Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    I'm sure the title is wrong but when I had the plow mounted the 12volt positive cable that goes from the battery to the solenoid is corroded at the battery. The installer put a new battery cable terminal on and clamped the cable to the solenoid on the new battery terminal. I was thinking of using the correct size copper lug for the solenoid cable and attach it to the battery clamp bolt. My question, How do you fasten the cable to the copper lug? I can't find a crimp tool large enough. Is solder the better choice? I hope this made sense. Thanks Matt
     
  2. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    You could use a vise or Vise Grips, but for the best electrical connection they need to be soldered. You can also get new cables at most any auto store pretty cheap.
     
  3. forbidden

    forbidden Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    Go to a car audio specialty store and see if they have the proper connectors instock for you and if they will crimp them on. I stocked terminals up to 0 gauge at all times in my old store. I always soldered my connections after I crimped them to ensure that the wire would never come loose from the fitting.
     
  4. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    For any battery cable the lug should match the cable size.
    If you don't have a good crimper (and the average person doesn't) the best is to buy a pre made cable.
    Using a swedge, vise grips, or pliers will not give you the proper crimp. A crimp that has not been made right will potentially give you problems. Using penetrox or an equivalent is always a good idea when crimping your own cables.
     
  5. mmacsek

    mmacsek Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    I have the correct size lug and I'm going to solder and then use shrink tubing. Thanks for the quick replies. Matt
     
  6. 94chevy2500

    94chevy2500 Senior Member
    Messages: 102

    you should just get a new wire they are pritty cheap and when ur done just spray everything with termanl protector and you shouldnt have any more crotion
     
  7. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Have fun soldering- going to take a BIG soldering iron or a torch to do that large cable- battery terminals are almost never soldered for that reason- factory ends are molded on - replacement are crimped and are more than good enough if the cable is sized correctly.

    As said car audio shop can crimp it on or a truck repair place- I have a class 8 truck repair company in town who made me new cables for 2 of the 4 on my truck last year - crimped and added an extra tap in the crimp for me too - and cheap. Brass terminals like the big rigs use- no more lead deformation!

    If you want, there is a tool for doing them that is affordible for home use- search eBay for "electrical lug crimper tool" and you'll see them under $25. Put terminal on wire, place in unit and hit anvil with hammer. Just bought one for emergency repairs.
     
  8. mmacsek

    mmacsek Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    I'm glad I didn't jump the gun and start this project because I will have the size I need made. There are enough truck repair shops around. Thanks again. Matt
     
  9. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,172

    They actually make a special solder-on connector now that is extremely fast, reliable & easy to use. A small propane torch is all you need. I'll try to remember where I got them from.
     
  10. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    This is what I was refering to as the swedge in post # 4 of this thread.
    I don't recommend using this method it is not a good way.
     
  11. 94chevy2500

    94chevy2500 Senior Member
    Messages: 102

    i have a crimping tool from mac tools its not made for big wire but i use it all the time and works great after i crimp anything i pull on it to make sure it wont lose connection
     
  12. forbidden

    forbidden Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    I can crimp up to 4 gauge with my Klein crimpers before I solder. Anything larger is a solder job. I use a Snap-On butane torch for this task. New butane refills are rather cheap as well. Clamp the wire into the vise with the stripped end about 4" away from the top of the vise (perpendicular). Put on my end, heat the tip of the end. You can watch the end change color top to bottom (rather quick so watch close) when it has heated itself to the point that solder will melt on contact with it. Flow the solder down into the top of the wire until it comes out the bottom. DO NOT put the heat around the base of the terminal as it is too near the insulation on the wiring and it will catch fire, then you are back to square 1. Once the solder has filled the cavity (it will take quite a bit of solder to do so), spray some water on it or wait for it to set. Expect the heat to carry down the wire about 6" so do not grab it too close to the end. Once it has cooled enough, apply some heat shrink to it and you are good to go.
     
  13. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    My bad- I just reread the original post- I was thinking he was talking about battery cable sizes- #2, #1, #0, #00...I bought the tool I listed above for emergency (roadsize - midstorm type) repairs for bigger cables.

    You can crimp up to 4 awg or so, and you can solder with a good iron that size - watch the insulation with a torch.