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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
In-line Connection to Ring Terminal
|Author||Topic: In-line Connection to Ring Terminal|
posted 06-14-2008 10:41 PM ET (US)
In refurbishing the wiring under my console, I came across a wire that I need to extend which terminates in a ring terminal. Though I could clip off the ring terminal and substitute a butt splice to extend the wire, I'd like to leave the ring terminal on for the time being. I'd also prefer not to solder to the ring terminal.
I'm therefore thinking through what would be the best and tidiest way to create an inline connection to the ring terminal. About the best idea that has occurred to me so far is the following: Install a ring terminal on the new piece of wire I will use as the extension. Screw the two ring terminals together with a small screw and nut. Cover the joint with heatshrink tubing or electrical tape.
Are there any other slick ways to accomplish this? I also thought of using a small terminal strip, but I can't see it offering any advantages over the above approach.
posted 06-14-2008 11:11 PM ET (US)
Actually, a very easy fix, but you will need some parts, and these are parts that should be part of a "tool" kit you keep on board. First, get an ample length of premium "Marine Grade" stranded copper 14 Gauge wire. Then pick up some uninsulated butt connectors and some 3/16" shrink sleeving. You should get both red and black wire that, even though they aren't exactly color coded to what marine wire charts say they should be, at least you can use red for "hot" and black for "ground", and you won't hurt anybody!
Splice an appropriate length of wire to your old wire, route to your power source, crimp on a new ring terminal (you didn't state what size, wire gauge or stud), and secure. When stripping back the old wire, take note of any black discoloration on the strands. This is corrosion, and indicates the wiring may need to be replaced.
If you would like, I'll send you all the materials you need, except for the crimper and stripper. I think you need to gather an onboard tool kit, and that's a good way to start. Let me know. No charge.
posted 06-14-2008 11:26 PM ET (US)
Hi Bob, thanks for the reply. Actually I do have a lot of marine-grade wire, connectors, heatshrink tubing, etc -- but I appreciate the offer.
It sounds, though, as if I might not have explained my question clearly enough. I don't want to splice into or make any permanent modification to the existing wire, the one that terminates in the ring terminal. Rather, in order to extend the wire overall, I want to connect a new wire to the ring terminal in a nonpermanent and nondestructive way (for example, by screwing a second ring terminal onto the existing one). I'm therefore wondering about any alternative ways to accomplish this (but again, without cutting the existing wire to splice onto it).
The ring terminal is a relatively small one of the type used on older-style console gauges -- not a big one that you might find, say, on a battery.
posted 06-15-2008 12:13 AM ET (US)
That's cool. Take a 3/4" #10 machine screw, crimp on another #10 ring terminal to the new length of wire, attach the two with the screw and a #10 locknut, shrink sleeve it, and you're good to go. Then terminate appropriately at the other end.
posted 06-15-2008 09:25 AM ET (US)
That is the best idea.
posted 06-15-2008 09:39 PM ET (US)
What seabob4 said, but make sure you have the right size
SS machine screw (biggest that will go through the existing
eye), additional eye, and additional wire. None the less,
it's still a kluge, and I can't understand why anybody would
want to do this kluge.
posted 06-16-2008 12:14 AM ET (US)
Thanks, Chuck. I didn't know if it was relevant to get into the whole backstory, but for what it's worth: The connections to the mid-1990s Mercury console gauges on my boat used wires with ring terminals. I recently bought a new gauge I'm in the process of installing that takes push-on connectors. I'm putting the new gauge in a spot on the console previously occupied by a gauge I seldom use and which appeared to be non-functional. I don't want to make any wiring changes permanent just yet because I might later decide to move the new gauge to a different position on the console. So for the time being I just want to put "extension wires" on the existing ring-terminal-tipped wires to accommodate the new gauge at least for a while.
posted 06-22-2008 04:17 PM ET (US)
Another solution has struck me:
A 1/4" flat quick disconnect will probably slip over the
posted 06-23-2008 10:37 AM ET (US)
Be sure to use a heavy wall heat shrink or two layers of the cheaper thin wall. Sharp edges can penetrate the heat shrink.
I recommend you use a proper butt splice with adhesive lined heat shrink and just extend the cable as needed. This is the simplest solution. You can always simply cut the wire to the final length or put in a service loop if you change the gauge position.
Making a temporary kludge fix assumes that once it is working you will actually redo it before it fails :-)) Do it right the first time every time.
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