Marine Electronics Forum - How do I crimp lugs onto large Battery cable??

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Birdman
03-26-2010, 08:46 AM
I installed a new battery cable which is a 2/0 cable. I ordered the cable a bit too long, and am shortening it by a couple feet.

I just bought a "Hammer" style lug crimp tool. You place the lug with wire inserted into it, and hit it with a hammer to crimp it. So the question is, how hard do I hit with the hammer, and do I hit it more than once..... ??

In other words, how does a rookie crimp 2/0 cable with a hammer style crimper?

Thanks for the help!!

Here is the crimper I have: http://shop.genuinedealz.com/Items/gim-94840?&caSKU=gim-94840&caTitle=Cable%20Lug%20Crimper%20-%20Heavy%20Duty%20Hammer%20Style%20Crimp%20Tool

http://images.channeladvisor.com/Sell/SSProfiles/12001114/thumbs/20/tn4_2350271.jpg


And here is the Lug I'm installing(3/8" ring 2/0 lug): http://shop.genuinedealz.com/Items/gim-91767?&caSKU=gim-91767&caTitle=2/0%20AWG%20Tinned%20Heavy%20Wall%20Lug%203/8%20in

http://images.channeladvisor.com/Sell/SSProfiles/12001114/thumbs/1/tn4_1134445.jpg


MOCEAN CONTROL
03-26-2010, 09:07 AM
use a hydraulic press.

rwidman
03-26-2010, 09:11 AM
Hit it pretty hard. Wiggle it. If it moves, hit it again. ;)

It's better to use a heavy hammer if you have one. If you're on the boat, you will need something other than the boat's floor to put under the tool. The bigger, the better. A couple of short pieces of 2X6 lumber should do the trick.


Birdman
03-26-2010, 09:23 AM
Hit it pretty hard. Wiggle it. If it moves, hit it again. ;)


Now that sounds VERY familiar!!! To ensure I have this correct, please post some example pics in the Sandbar. :grin:

Thanks... I thought about the under support already. I should mention I will be heat shrinking it, so obviosuly I'll slide the shrink tube up the wire first. Just need recommendation on the "hit it part. Do I put the ring terminal into the cimp tool upside down or right side up, does it matter?

Wish I had a hydrolic press.... don't.

rwidman
03-26-2010, 09:49 AM
Now that sounds VERY familiar!!! To ensure I have this correct, please post some example pics in the Sandbar. :grin:

Thanks... I thought about the under support already. I should mention I will be heat shrinking it, so obviosuly I'll slide the shrink tube up the wire first. Just need recommendation on the "hit it part. Do I put the ring terminal into the cimp tool upside down or right side up, does it matter?

Wish I had a hydrolic press.... don't.

Put the flat side down.

robschonk
03-26-2010, 09:50 AM
I once used a swaging tool that I had used for sailboat rigging. Made the prettiest connection youj can imagine.

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/producte/10001/-1/10001/5657?&cid=chanintel&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=5657

DarthBaiter
03-26-2010, 09:52 AM
Have a friend hold the crimper while you go at it with a sledgehamer. One good shot will do. :grin::grin:

rwidman
03-26-2010, 09:54 AM
I once used a swaging tool that I had used for sailboat rigging. Made the prettiest connection youj can imagine.

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/producte/10001/-1/10001/5657?&cid=chanintel&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=5657

If you're really into this sort of thing, electricians use a hydraulic tool with dies for each size lug. That's the best way, but one would have to be doing this a lot to make up for the cost.

http://www.msspower.com.au/shop/img/d51.gif

CMEBoston
03-26-2010, 09:54 AM
I will add, it does not hurt to add solder to the connection to promote good contact when using an Impact swaging tool. dip the cable in flux, slide on the connector, swage it, heat with a plumbers torch and add solder.
solder can be an issue with starting cables if the connector gets hot, it could melt the solder.
best way is with a Hex crimp tool though.

offshore3144
03-26-2010, 09:55 AM
Come on Birdman!! Use your teeth!! :grin:

Birdman
03-26-2010, 10:16 AM
Thanks guys.

TCM,
Vice!! I have a portable vice, hmmmm that's a good idea, I might try that out. I was smart enought to order a few extra lugs, so I can test this out on the wire I cut off, first. So I'll try a few techniques before the real deal.

robschonk,
Thanks... I'll look into that "swaging tool", looks cheap enough for only a few uses, and looks easy to use. I assume you just crank down the pressure using the bolts?

CME,
Thanks, yes, I intend to also do exactly that!! Have solder and my torch loaded in truck already. It's for my added house battery so should be no worries about the heat. ;) My 20' parallel add on length if you recall from other thread, actually ended up only being 15' (took a shorcut with cable route). So that's why the cable cut. As you know, shorter is better! ;)

DarthBaiter
03-26-2010, 10:18 AM
Put the crimper under your car, get out the car jack and put it between the crinmper and the car... :)

jetboat69
03-26-2010, 10:27 AM
Take it to someone who has the correct crimp-er. T&B, Greenly etc. Use No Ox in the connector and cable. Use adhesive heat shrink tubing over the connector.
The best shrink tubing is from a commercial electrical supply used for buried cable.

Cooper
03-26-2010, 10:43 AM
I have the same crimper. I whale on it with a 5lb sledge. Usually a couple good whacks.

jetboat69
03-26-2010, 10:45 AM
Soldered connections fail when a bad connection creates heat. I worked for the bell system for 30 years
We could only use Hydrolic or mechanical crimping tools designed for specific lugs and cable size.
Sizes ranges from 20Ga wire to 700cf Cable. Soldered connectors were used from the late 1800s to about 1965. Crimped connectors have been used since.
A bad connection will produce heat and arcing and you may not see it until too late. This is not a place to take a short cut.

yandina
03-26-2010, 10:47 AM
I did a large installation without crimping. 3 battery banks, twin engines, twin gensets. It has been running 20 years with no problems. See how at http://www.yandina.com/Soldering.htm

CMEBoston
03-26-2010, 11:02 AM
Soldered connections fail when a bad connection creates heat. I worked for the bell system for 30 years
We could only use Hydrolic or mechanical crimping tools designed for specific lugs and cable size.
Sizes ranges from 20Ga wire to 700cf Cable. Soldered connectors were used from the late 1800s to about 1965. Crimped connectors have been used since.
A bad connection will produce heat and arcing and you may not see it until too late. This is not a place to take a short cut.
Like I said,soldering is used as a secondary mesure to a Hammered crimp.......best is a Hex crimp. if you are creating enough heat in a house bank connector (or start bank for that matter) to melt solder you have a direct short and severely miswired your system.
a correct solder conection will not "create" heat or resistance in the amperages and voltages we are concerned with on pleasure boats.
480V 3 phase mabye but not in this forum
since the OP does not have a crimping tool IMHO solder and hammer crimp will outlast the boat.

jetboat69
03-26-2010, 11:15 AM
I should have added that I was referring to DC plants that ranged from 6v to 130V DC both Neg and Pos systems. The Bats ranged from small 6V cells to large single 2.5v cell submarine bats wired in series.
I have seen failures and hot connectors that looked ok. It does not take a direct short to create heat!.
A direct short will create an arc that will start a fire and melt insulation.

Jourdan718
03-26-2010, 11:38 AM
Hit it as hard as reasonable possible and reposition it to a uncrimped area and hit/crimp it again and again. The more crimping the better. The cable needs to be firmly grasped by the lug.

Birdman
03-26-2010, 12:03 PM
Take it to someone who has the correct crimp-er. T&B, Greenly etc. Use No Ox in the connector and cable. Use adhesive heat shrink tubing over the connector.
The best shrink tubing is from a commercial electrical supply used for buried cable.

I'd LOVE to "take it to someone..." BUT, the other end of this 20' cable is snaked down the interior of a 30' sportfish which would need to be dragged along with the cable down to the shop, cause this cable ain't EVER coming out! ;)

The commercial electrical heat shrink generally does not come lined, so the heavy duty lined heat shrink I find to be much better. The adhesive melts, coats the connection nice, and bonds nice, and then hardens the shrink nicely.

As CME mentioned, the solder will only be to fill the "gaps" after the questionable rookie crimp job. ;)

Cooper
03-26-2010, 12:21 PM
You don't need to "fill the gaps" imo. I have used the exact same crimper to crimp roughly 50 lugs on my current boat (repowered once, changed batteries and switches another time) and maybe 15 or 20 on my previous boat in cables sizes of 2/0 through 6/0. Not one has failed or presented any sort of problem. Just whack the shit out of it and put on some good adhesive heat shrink.

CMEBoston
03-26-2010, 12:34 PM
All I would like to know is, why are some pepole against soldering and crimping? like I said, it would not hurt. A hex crimp is superior because of a 360 degree contact area, as oppossed to a single dimpled contact area, the solder would infact give more contact area.
there is a Bench mountable, hammer type Hex crimper avalible.(ancor I belive)
I use a greenlee crimper and do not bother with solder, but before I had a greenlee I would hammer swedge and solder,no call backs yet. Since I am in the buisness it behooved me to buy the proper tool. for a guy who needs to connect 1 crimp? i think the tool he has will suffice. since I know this person is a bit particular I still suspect the lug will be soldered.

Birdman
03-26-2010, 12:36 PM
You don't need to "fill the gaps" imo. I have used the exact same crimper to crimp roughly 50 lugs on my current boat (repowered once, changed batteries and switches another time) and maybe 15 or 20 on my previous boat in cables sizes of 2/0 through 6/0. Not one has failed or presented any sort of problem. Just whack the shit out of it and put on some good adhesive heat shrink.

Thanks. Will do, I'm from NY, I'm good at wacking people, ah, err um, I mean lugs!! :grin:

jethro1
03-26-2010, 02:35 PM
All I would like to know is, why are some pepole against soldering and crimping? like I said, it would not hurt.

Those that are against it probably don't know how to do it correctly. So, they screw up their own work and then like chicken littles cry to the world that it can't be done, should not be done, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Soldering done right cannot hurt and may help. Certainly it will lower the electrical resistance between the cable and the end terminal and quite possibly could improve the corrosion resistance by filling the voids between the cable and the end terminal.

Oh, I am against soldering and crimping. I am for crimping and then soldering.

rwidman
03-26-2010, 04:49 PM
Properly crimping the lug will create a "cold weld" where the lug and cable become essentially one piece. There will be no room for solder and no place for oxidation.

CMEBoston
03-26-2010, 05:33 PM
Those that are against it probably don't know how to do it correctly. So, they screw up their own work and then like chicken littles cry to the world that it can't be done, should not be done, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Soldering done right cannot hurt and may help. Certainly it will lower the electrical resistance between the cable and the end terminal and quite possibly could improve the corrosion resistance by filling the voids between the cable and the end terminal.

Oh, I am against soldering and crimping. I am for crimping and then soldering.
Bassically what I was trying to point out,You hold an A&P as well correct?

jethro1
03-26-2010, 05:53 PM
You hold an A&P as well correct?

That is correct.

Cooper
03-26-2010, 07:39 PM
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but here's my understanding:

Solder, done right, can help. Solder, done wrong, can hurt. Somebody with not a lot of experience is more likely to solder incorrectly.

Crimping alone is good enough. Somebody with not a lot of experience can make a good crimp.

Is that right?

grgrmouse
03-26-2010, 07:49 PM
Hit it pretty hard. Wiggle it. If it moves, hit it again. ;)

It's better to use a heavy hammer if you have one. If you're on the boat, you will need something other than the boat's floor to put under the tool. The bigger, the better. A couple of short pieces of 2X6 lumber should do the trick.


:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

Then heat shrink the connector right up to the flat portion. Use the adhesive lined heat shrink tube, heavy duty.

Curmudgeon
03-26-2010, 07:49 PM
how does a rookie crimp 2/0 cable with a hammer style crimper?

The smart rookie does not. Find someone who has a swaging tool (looks kinda like long handled wire cutters), borrow, rent, or hire the use of 'em. The die will be the correct one for the lug, not a 'one size fits all'. May take a little time and effort, but it's the proper way to assemble a permanent cable that supplies the life blood of the boat ... ;)

tarnold
03-26-2010, 09:00 PM
I have the same tool (bought from GenuineDealz) and have used it over the past 2 weekends. I had to shorten the existing cables from the engines so I had to do the crimping on the boat. I used a 2x10 with a piece of 8x8x12. I bought a couple of extra lugs just to practice on. I put the connector in the crimper then held the cable and gave it a good whack. The 1st blow needs to be like you are going to bust a brick. I then rapped it again but without changing the position of the lug. It was really much easier than I anticipated.

dward51
03-26-2010, 09:48 PM
I once used a swaging tool that I had used for sailboat rigging. Made the prettiest connection youj can imagine.

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/producte/10001/-1/10001/5657?&cid=chanintel&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=5657

I've got one of those compound leverage swaging tools that looks like a big set of bolt cutters. I've wondered if that would work for a terminal crimper as well as it crushes the hell out of those swages. I've never had one cable with a triple crimp come loose either so a battery cable with no pull on it should be fine I would think?

http://www.toolguys.com/files/products/220324_0.jpg

This is what the crimped swages look like on steel cable. It also swages stainless tubing onto steel cable. Since they make copper swages I would think it would work fine on the copper lugs as long as the lug fits your swaging tool.

http://www.clamp-products.co.nz:81/evolve_images/clamp.jpg

rwidman
03-27-2010, 05:18 AM
I've got one of those compound leverage swaging tools that looks like a big set of bolt cutters. I've wondered if that would work for a terminal crimper as well as it crushes the hell out of those swages. I've never had one cable with a triple crimp come loose either so a battery cable with no pull on it should be fine I would think?


http://www.toolguys.com/files/products/220324_0.jpg

This is what the crimped swages look like on steel cable. It also swages stainless tubing onto steel cable. Since they make copper swages I would think it would work fine on the copper lugs as long as the lug fits your swaging tool.

http://www.clamp-products.co.nz:81/evolve_images/clamp.jpg

You can get a tool like that for electrical terminals. The size and shape of the hole (die) is important. "Crushing the hell out of" the terminals is not what we want to do. We want to crush them to a specific size and shape depending on the size of the cable.

rwidman
03-27-2010, 05:21 AM
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but here's my understanding:

Solder, done right, can help. Solder, done wrong, can hurt. Somebody with not a lot of experience is more likely to solder incorrectly.

Crimping alone is good enough. Somebody with not a lot of experience can make a good crimp.

Is that right?

Solder will wick up the fine strands of the cable, converting that portion to esentially "solid" wire. With continued vibration, this can be a failure point.

A properly done crimp needs no "help".

I don't make this stuff up, it comes from recognized authorities such as the ABYC and USCG.

peterbo3
03-27-2010, 05:43 AM
You need one of these. Rotating dies to form a hex crimp.

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m31/peterbo3/IMG_0391Medium.jpg
They are not cheap but they work. The first time.:grin::grin::grin::grin:
Do NOT use a swaging tool

daddy0
03-27-2010, 06:44 AM
Get you money back on the crimpper and the eyes!!!! That was the first style I owned it's worthless unless you can rest it on something very solid rap it with at least a 2lb hammer. I own one that is similar to a set of bolt cutters,they are good but you need room to work

Go to a NAPA Auto parts Store and purchase Balkamp Compression terminals of the proper size and style , all you need to install it is the proper size wrenches and seal with shrink tube !! No quessing if you crimped tight enough or if your soldering skills are proficient . These Compression terminals are a very good product and leave nothing to chance. I use them every time I have Had an issue with access.
I have been using them for close to 20yrs now and never a failure .they are so easy to work with I keep an assortment in my road box.

Give me a PM if you care to

fairbank56
03-27-2010, 07:26 AM
ABYC is neither for nor against soldering. Their rule is;

11.14.5.7
Solder shall not be the sole means of mechanical connection in any circuit. If soldered, the connection shall be so located or supported as to minimize flexing of the conductor where the solder changes the flexible conductor into a solid conductor.

EXCEPTION: Battery lugs with a solder contact length of not less than 1.5 times the diameter of the conductor.

NOTE: When a stranded conductor is soldered, the soldered portion of the conductor becomes a solid strand conductor, and flexing can cause the conductor to break at the end of the solder joint unless adequate additional support is provided.

Notice the exception for battery lugs. It's ok with ABYC if you ONLY solder battery lugs. Lots of people do it that way. You use lugs that are only open on the cable end placed in a vice and partially filled with molten solder while you insert the stripped cable.

Eric

jethro1
03-27-2010, 09:43 AM
ABYC is neither for nor against soldering. Their rule is;

11.14.5.7
Solder shall not be the sole means of mechanical connection in any circuit. If soldered, the connection shall be so located or supported as to minimize flexing of the conductor where the solder changes the flexible conductor into a solid conductor.

EXCEPTION: Battery lugs with a solder contact length of not less than 1.5 times the diameter of the conductor.

NOTE: When a stranded conductor is soldered, the soldered portion of the conductor becomes a solid strand conductor, and flexing can cause the conductor to break at the end of the solder joint unless adequate additional support is provided.

Notice the exception for battery lugs. It's ok with ABYC if you ONLY solder battery lugs. Lots of people do it that way. You use lugs that are only open on the cable end placed in a vice and partially filled with molten solder while you insert the stripped cable.

Eric

Thank you Eric.

I do not see where the law says anything at all about the use of solder versus crimping. Can someone show me applicable language?

ABYC is purely advisory in nature. It is just a recommendation. As noted, they are not saying "don't do it". They merely provide a suggestion as to how it should be done if so.

yandina
03-28-2010, 12:02 AM
Solder will wick up the fine strands of the cable, converting that portion to esentially "solid" wire. With continued vibration, this can be a failure point.
NOTE: When a stranded conductor is soldered, the soldered portion of the conductor becomes a solid strand conductor, and flexing can cause the conductor to break at the end of the solder joint unless adequate additional support is provided.

I don't understand the meaning of these statements.

If the crimp is done correctly the wires are not at all flexible in the lug so you have a junction between solid conductor and stranded that is a possible fatigue point.

The solder, either on a crimped or non-crimped lug prevents flexing in the same way so you still have a junction between solid and stranded with just the same risk of fatigue. Even if it "wicks" up due to bad soldering, you still have a junction between solid and stranded.

What should be pointed out is NEVER solder the end of the cable and then crimp it. The crimping process relies on the wires "flowing" into all the crevices in a similar way to solder filling it. BUT if the wires are soldered before crimping they won't "flow" and you get many cavities between the lug and the wire which reduces conductivity and provides pockets for corrosion.

Gradyrod
03-28-2010, 05:31 AM
I have made up many battery cables using the bench and swaging tool available at any West Marine store! Just go down there with your cable and lugs and they have a table mounted large swaging tool that can be used to swage life line fittings(for sailboats), or any other crimp style fittings. This always worked great -- only hangup is when I ran anchor windlass 00 cable forward and then had to shorten cable at the windlass. Now I couildn't go back to West Marine since the cable was already in the boat( and 40 ft of that cable weighs a ton--not about to remove it to shorten! Had to borrow a pro's AMP crimper (about $200 tool) to do that last lug!

BTW, never had a battery cable made up at West fail me in over 20 years!

Good luck!

Gradyrod

lateagain
03-28-2010, 05:59 AM
You need one of these. Rotating dies to form a hex crimp.

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m31/peterbo3/IMG_0391Medium.jpg
They are not cheap but they work. The first time.:grin::grin::grin::grin:
Do NOT use a swaging tool

This is the best way, I do this for a living with the power company. The jar next to the press is probably an inhibitor of some sort. The inhibitor in the terminal "fills" any air voids left after the crimp is made, which takes out the oxidation factor. Not a cheap tool to own but you may be able to have someone come in and just do your terminations for you. Thats what the government does on new installs, works for them:thumbsup:



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