Moderated Discussion Areas
ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Battery Cable Connection
|Author||Topic: Battery Cable Connection|
posted 04-05-2007 12:34 PM ET (US)
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?
posted 04-05-2007 02:27 PM ET (US)
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.
posted 04-05-2007 02:31 PM ET (US)
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.
posted 04-05-2007 03:04 PM ET (US)
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.
posted 04-05-2007 03:33 PM ET (US)
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.
posted 04-05-2007 04:40 PM ET (US)
My west marine store has a workbench with all those type tools available for public use. I would check yours as well.
posted 04-05-2007 08:12 PM ET (US)
Never gave that a thought. I didn't know it was available.
posted 04-06-2007 09:04 PM ET (US)
thanks for the input, I will swing by West and see if they are as nice as yours.
posted 04-12-2007 09:21 AM ET (US)
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.
posted 04-12-2007 12:57 PM ET (US)
Electric connections, crimp, solder, heat shrink, grease = no problems
posted 04-14-2007 06:02 AM ET (US)
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.
posted 04-14-2007 09:03 PM ET (US)
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.
posted 04-15-2007 03:11 PM ET (US)
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.
posted 04-16-2007 02:32 PM ET (US)
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.
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.