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Unread 04-08-2012, 07:39 PM   #1
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Default Making battery cables

This may be a dumb question, but here goes:

I am wanting to upgrade my battery cables to either 2 or 4 gauge. I will make them myself. Are there particular type wires that I should be using or is 2 gauge, 2 gauge and it doesn't matter (i.e. home grade vs. automotive grade???)

Also I saw someone talking about cables with soldered post clamps were better than those simply just clamped on. Does that make a difference?

Just seems that I can make these a lot cheaper than they're being sold for. I might be surprised however.

Thanks in advance for your input.
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Unread 04-08-2012, 07:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Making batter cables

it's all about strand count, Welding cable is the way to go!
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Unread 04-08-2012, 07:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Making batter cables

Is that something that can be bought at a Lowes or Home Depot or an Auto Parts Store?
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Unread 04-08-2012, 09:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: Making batter cables

No. You need to buy it at a welding store. It also requires a high temperature torch and all kinds of other goodies to make it work right. Such as good quality heatshrink and solder. Your best bet in the long run is to buy some already made believe me. It's a pain in the butt. ScottyB makes an awesome set of cables. He's here on the forum. Send him a PM.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 02:34 AM   #5
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Default Re: Making batter cables

I've had a lot of luck using marine grade tin plated power cable and a big crimper. Soldering is a good idea as well, but I wouldn't solder without a good crimp connection first. If for any reason that solder joint gets too hot, the wire could pull out of the fitting and cause a much bigger problem like shorting out batteries.

I prefer making my own because I can just cut to fit perfect on the spot and clock the fittings exactly the way they fit best. Then a quick crimp, heatshrink and install. Done!

This is the marine cable I usually use. I found it to be just about a flexible welding cable, but the insulation seems to last a lot longer.

google genuinedealz boat cable
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Unread 04-09-2012, 03:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: Making batter cables

tyson42 your lead post is going to melt off before the silver solder melts


Lead is a soft, bendable metal, that is also one of the heaviest known metals. Lead is actually silver in color until it comes in contact with air. Lead has a melting point of 621.43 degrees fahrenheit.

"Hard" silver solder melts at 773 degrees Fahrenheit, "medium" at 747 degrees,

Quote:
Originally Posted by tyson42 View Post
I've had a lot of luck using marine grade tin plated power cable and a big crimper. Soldering is a good idea as well, but I wouldn't solder without a good crimp connection first. If for any reason that solder joint gets too hot, the wire could pull out of the fitting and cause a much bigger problem like shorting out batteries.

I prefer making my own because I can just cut to fit perfect on the spot and clock the fittings exactly the way they fit best. Then a quick crimp, heatshrink and install. Done!

This is the marine cable I usually use. I found it to be just about a flexible welding cable, but the insulation seems to last a lot longer.

google genuinedealz boat cable
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Unread 04-09-2012, 10:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: Making batter cables

Very true, but the batteries are not the only place the cables connect to. Problems can happen anywhere in the circuit. The motor, the motor controller, or any other solenoids and switches in the circuit. Copper, brass and steel all have a melting point 2 to 3 times that of silver solder. I'm not trying to say that soldering your cable ends are a bad idea, just that crimping them first is good insurance to make sure everything stays put.

I've had this problem before. It can make a big mess and repairs a lot more expensive.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 02:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Making batter cables

I plan on with mine is soldering the wire 1st, then crimping the joint, and finally reheating the joint so that the solder bonds with the crimped joint better. Once that is done I will use heat shrink onver it.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 03:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Making batter cables

Soldering first will make a crimp totally ineffective. If you crimp first, the solder will wick in and fill all empty space in the joint. This will give you the strongest connection and longest lasting connection.
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