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Old 08-15-2017, 04:08 PM   #1
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Battery Cable Crimping Tool Help

In the middle of replacing interstate batteries with AGM's and would like to replace the standard automotive battery connector with a copper eyelet. From what I gather, mostly from reading Lewster's posts (thank you), the proper procedure is to crimp not solder.

So, I guess that means ordering the appropriate sized eyelet connector and crimping tool. Feels like the tool, if of proper quality, is a one time use tool that maybe expensive.

So, does anyone have one that I can borrow either in the Salt Lake City area or the Idaho Falls area or is there an alternative recommendation for this procedure?

I will be ordering the parallel cables from Lewster, so no need to use the tool but this once on the battery cables.

Thanks in advance for the Advice.

Ted
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Old 08-15-2017, 04:17 PM   #2
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Hi

Copper eyelet? Are we talking about a lug connector or something else?

The reason I ask - un-plated copper is not a real good thing inside a battery box. Connectors are plated to reduce that problem.

The tools involved are specialized but not rare. A local electrician should have what you need. You probably will have to use the connector (lug) that matches up with his tool. That's just the way this stuff works.

Bob
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Old 08-15-2017, 04:21 PM   #3
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Yes, a lug connector, sorry for the confusion.
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Old 08-15-2017, 04:25 PM   #4
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I purchased a hydraulic cable/lug press from Harbor Freight crimp all the cables when I installed the AM Solar system in/on my AS. Was inexpensive and worked great. It's a hand held, hand pump unit.
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Old 08-15-2017, 05:17 PM   #5
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When ordering cables from Lewster just have him crimp on as he will have every thing proper to do plus eyelets, if don't no length of cables needed simple job to measure yourself. Some auto parts store have loaner tools also, only cost is deposit returned when tool returned.
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:23 PM   #6
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When I made some changes I just went to the local battery store that does batteries and nothing more. They cut the cables and put the ends on while I waited.

Dave
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:39 PM   #7
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also, use plated terminals, not plain copper, and use marine-grade heat shrink with the sealant inside to keep moisture and other nastiness out of the crimp area...
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:46 PM   #8
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Might try a local machine shop or tractor/equipment repair shop. Our local NAPA has a small machine shop in the back and they will crimp the connectors for free if you buy the cable from them.
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:06 PM   #9
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I use lugs and cable from a marine supply store as they are rated for severe environmental conditions. I use lugs that are plated and a crimper that the store will loan me, especially if I need to do the crimping on a cable that is already captive to the trailer. Most importantly I feel that a small length of adhesive coated shrink tubing seals the whole crimp job and keeps nasty stuff from getting and corroding the joint.

Good luck
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noleander View Post
In the middle of replacing interstate batteries with AGM's and would like to replace the standard automotive battery connector with a copper eyelet. From what I gather, mostly from reading Lewster's posts (thank you), the proper procedure is to crimp not solder.

So, I guess that means ordering the appropriate sized eyelet connector and crimping tool. Feels like the tool, if of proper quality, is a one time use tool that maybe expensive.

So, does anyone have one that I can borrow either in the Salt Lake City area or the Idaho Falls area or is there an alternative recommendation for this procedure?

I will be ordering the parallel cables from Lewster, so no need to use the tool but this once on the battery cables.

Thanks in advance for the Advice.

Ted
What's the matter with soldering?
I do it frequently, and to my mind, It's the best way to ensure connection.
Heat shrink tube over after.
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Old 08-16-2017, 11:15 PM   #11
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As has been pointed out a whole bunch of times, solder crystallizes from vibration and the joint fails. A good gas-tight crimp is what is used on aircraft, spacecraft, and anything that has to survive vibration, like a typical Airstream trailer. As a Boeing retiree, and a still-practicing engineer, crimp is the only way to go, assuming appropriate tools and parts.
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Old 08-16-2017, 11:28 PM   #12
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I'll add to that. A month ago the local power company had to shorten the low-hanging power lines between two poles (about 200 feet apart) on my property. While working from elevated buckets, they cut the power, cut and then crimped the newly-shortened wires. I asked about it, and they said it's much stronger than any other connection. And, yes, those wires dance every now and then during wind storms.

I, too, bought the wire crimper at Harbor Freight. Works fine.
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:31 AM   #13
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I've satisfactorily-crimped large cables by using a tubing-flaring tool in a bench-vise. The eyelet can be placed in the tubing holder, the cable inserted, and the holder tightly-closed within the jaws of a bench vise.

Soldering hardens the conductor at the edge of the soldered joint and sets up a stress-riser which may eventually fail from vibration. After crimping, good quality RTV can be smeared on the joint and then heat-shrink will make a nice, clean, final to protect it.

"Tinning" is sometimes used to belay corrosion. Tinning is the use of high tin-content plating on the individual strands of a cable before the cable is wound. This is commonly done by mfr's of aircraft and marine wire/cable and is why it costs more than the common household/automotive stuff. However, soldering the cable after it's wound is not a good idea for the already mentioned reasons.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:43 AM   #14
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{barge}

do you think I'd need that kind of crimper (the Harbor Freight one) to crimp a lug onto a #6 wire? Or would a typical hand crimper/pliers work?

(I ran some #6 as a solar pre-wire for possible future solar panels; had the walls open for a full monty, so I took the opportunity to put wiring in while I had the chance. )
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