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Author Topic:   Battery Cable Connection
fuzzyb posted 04-05-2007 12:34 PM ET (US)   Profile for fuzzyb   Send Email to fuzzyb  
I am rerouting the battery cables on my 74 Outrage and of course, they are not long enough any more. The current cables have crimp on lugs and are attached to the the threaded posts of the battery. I have not had any problems with this setup, however, when I replace them, should I put on the lead post clamps instead of the smaller lug? Seems like it would provide better conductivity, but is it really any better?
Bella con23 posted 04-05-2007 02:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bella con23  Send Email to Bella con23     
In my opinion - yes and no. The lead battery connectors do offer more connecting surface to the battery post, BUT the two screw wire clamp on the top of the connector does not make a very solid connection.

I like to use the compression type lug. I make the connection by stripping the wire back about two inches, sleeve a piece of shrink tube over the cable, then using a heat source like a small torch, heat the lug with the stripped back portion inserted and feed rosin core solder into the lug until a good solid connection is established.

Finish by sliding the shrink tube over the cable to lug connection and heat with the torch.

Sorry if I over simplified the directions.

Bridgedeck posted 04-05-2007 02:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bridgedeck  Send Email to Bridgedeck     
The post style is for cars. And a marine electrician I know told me a proper crimp is better. I had always soldered them thinking it was stronger before that. And of course, use quality, tinned, marine rated wire and heat shrink the ends.
Bella con23 posted 04-05-2007 03:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bella con23  Send Email to Bella con23     
Dan - Your marine electrician buddy is absolutely correct. Unfortunately it's not economically feasible to buy the proper crimp tool and die. Even the cheap hammer type crimp is more than a new factory cable.
As an electrician I can tell you that I have never had a problem with a soldered battery connection.
Bridgedeck posted 04-05-2007 03:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bridgedeck  Send Email to Bridgedeck     
I have never had any problems with my soldered ends either. But the last set I bought, last year, I made right in the store at FISCO(Fisheries Supply Company) with their crimper. It was nice that when I got back to the boat, all I had to do was hook it up.
george nagy posted 04-05-2007 04:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for george nagy  Send Email to george nagy     
My west marine store has a workbench with all those type tools available for public use. I would check yours as well.
Bella con23 posted 04-05-2007 08:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bella con23  Send Email to Bella con23     
Never gave that a thought. I didn't know it was available.
Thanks guys.
fuzzyb posted 04-06-2007 09:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for fuzzyb  Send Email to fuzzyb     
thanks for the input, I will swing by West and see if they are as nice as yours.
aja posted 04-12-2007 09:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for aja  Send Email to aja     
We have run into problems through the years with soldered connections on electrical equipment we build at work, particularly during 3rd party inspections. The concern is what the solder is being used for. As a material to reduce resistance in a connection it is good. However as a mechanical connection it is not good since the solder will soften up as (a lot of) current flows through it and can come apart. If used along with something else to physically hold the connection together solder is fine but be careful on something like a battery cable that the solder is not the only thing actually supporting the joint.
contender posted 04-12-2007 12:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Electric connections, crimp, solder, heat shrink, grease = no problems
davej14 posted 04-14-2007 06:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
A proper crimp without solder is absolutely the best connection. Crimp tools are matched to the connector lug being used and they are expensive. If you have access to a proper set of tools that is the way to go. A cross section of a proper crimp will have no voids between the wire and lug or within the strands of the wire. If solder can flow into a crimped connection then it wasn't done properly and may not be mechanically sound.
contender posted 04-14-2007 09:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Davej14 I know a crimp is a better connection , for the simple reason more wire is in contact with the connection. however I cant not beleive that after crimping the conection solding would not flow into the wire thus making a stronger connection. I also beleive if you look closely at an electrical connection (just using a crimping tool)that has been use near salt water you can see the wires corroding. Wires that I have solder after crimping protect the connection and never come loose. i then heat shrik the connection and give it a coating of a grease or oil protection. Try it.
davej14 posted 04-15-2007 03:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
Contender, while it may be hard to believe, a properly made crimp will form a "gas tight" contact within the crimp area and not even air will be capable of entering the connection. To achieve this it is important that the crimp die and tool set be matched to the specific terminal lug and the lug also must be sized for the wire. A commercial crimp tool will have a means of insuring that proper pressure has been applied to the lug before it will open at the end the crimp stroke. The cross section of a well made crimp joint will have absolutely no voids and is for all practical purposes a solid conductor.
andygere posted 04-16-2007 02:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Here's a good discussion on this topic. As you will see, I like the Centerpin brand battery terminals, which fit over the lead posts. They are gold plated and have not succumbed to corrosion after a few years of service on my boat.

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