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Old 05-14-2018, 02:45 PM   #1
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
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Battery Box Help

Hello fellow AS owners. I am a long time passive member, and we finally pulled the trigger on purchasing a new to us AS. I was trying to do some preventative maintenance yesterday by checking the fluid levels in the batteries, and found that two of the wires are a little lose in the copper connectors. The previous owner self installed solar, and it seems the wires were not properly crimped. Furthermore, he added a Shunt, but I don't like how everything is laid out. Any suggestions on cleaning up the wires, and the best way to get the two wires in the picture fixed? Hire an electrician? Many Thanks!
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:26 PM   #2
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Wow. I’d pull it all out and start over.
You have 2 6V batteries, so they need to be in series. They are, but he did it the hard way.
Put the shunt on the lower right terminal, the red wire on the upper left, and use the short jumper to connect the two batteries using the terminals closest to the hold down wing nut.
Connect the shunt directly to the negative terminal, then, as your last step in all of this, connect all the ground wires to the ‘far’ end of the shunt. The only thing connected to the terminal end of the shunt should be the terminal.
Doing all the negative (ground) stuff last prevents sparks from flying if your wrench touches something metal.
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:42 PM   #3
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Oh, and when you go to disconnect that tangle, remove all the ground wires first, to avoid the aforementioned sparks.
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Old 05-15-2018, 05:47 AM   #4
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Sounds like I have some work cut out for me. Do you recommend buying a wire crimping tool, and cutting the wires to start fresh? I was also thinking about heat shrinking the joints? Thanks for the quick reply.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:01 AM   #5
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You will want tight crimps. Heat shrink tubing is never a bad thing. Get the kind with adhesive inside, it seals against water much better.
Crimping tools can be expensive, so it might be cheaper to have it done by someone who already has the tool. Some people get creative with vises, hammers, and punches, etc. It’s easy to ruin your crimp doing that.
Make it neat and tidy, and don’t allow your wires to rub on anything, because eventually it will rub through and short out.
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:22 PM   #6
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I have had really good results with a hammer crimp tool (Amazon around $20).
Also some marine stores have crimping stations.

You can do it!
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:12 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice!
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:51 AM   #8
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You can buy a hydraulic crimp tool at Amazon or Harbor Freight for about $55. Serious professional crimpers cost in the thousands. Even $55 is tough to justify if you know you'll only do a couple of jobs. However, I got the Amazon version. Neither is perfect, both have dies that either are not perfectly aligned or not sized for AWG wire code. (The Amazon's dies are marked in MM sq., the standard outside the US, but you can easily find the conversion) The result is "Bunny ears" a flare where the two dies meet. By rotating the work and doing it twice it's minimized. The goal is to get a solid mass of copper. No air inside.
BTW, Airstream uses cables that were "Hammer Crimped", smashed in a device that pushes one side into the center. Usually with a vice or wrench.
Yes, cover the finished product with adhesive heat shrink, proper color, of course. That helps seal the joint, and covers any boo-boo's.
Terminals can be purchased at lots of places, I suggest Crimp Supply or Amazon. Get them sized for your wire gauge and the stud size of the battery 5/16" on the Interstates. Also get the tinned ones for less corrosion.

NOTE: The Amazon sold crimper has the SMALLEST dies 50 mm2, or 6AWG. The largest is for 4/0. So if you want to do crimps smaller than 6 AWG, don't get the Amazon. The smallest on my Airstream was the inverter at 6 AWG.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:55 AM   #9
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Hi

I believe that shunt is designed for "out of the weather" use ( = it will be damaged by moisture ). Having it sit out on top of the batteries is not doing it any good. Standard solutions involve moving it indoors (via a long ground cable) or putting it in a waterproof box inside the battery box.

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Old 05-16-2018, 01:42 PM   #10
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The battery to battery wires should be much larger gauge
I would go with 2ga or larger
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