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Since I'll be making my own cables to specific lengths I'll need a serious crimping tool.
Any recommendations?
I found this one at Harbor Freight, will it do?
http://www.harborfreight.com/hydraulic-wire-crimping-tool-66150.html

It's funny. We sat idle for a month but now the ac/solar/fan and windows are in we are going non-stop!
Finally progress :)
 

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$ 50 smacks might buy a lot of pre crimped cables. Like at the auto parts store. Or Wally Mart. If you have an Interstate battery shop close they may crimp for you, buy cable there ?
Now I would use that after my PM is done on other projects, thanks for the link !!!
 

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Since I'll be making my own cables to specific lengths I'll need a serious crimping tool.
Any recommendations?
I found this one at Harbor Freight, will it do?
http://www.harborfreight.com/hydraulic-wire-crimping-tool-66150.html

It's funny. We sat idle for a month but now the ac/solar/fan and windows are in we are going non-stop!
Finally progress :)
Hi,

I was lucky enough to borrow a Thomas and Betts crimper with various dies because I used several different sizes of connectors. I found one on Ebay like the one that I used;

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Thomas-Bett...050682?hash=item2a7acf943a:g:P30AAOSwA3dYm6tr

I found that the tool was really necessary for a good crimp, my process was;

1. I used welding wire, it's very flexible and easy to work with in larger sizes, first I would strip then apply flux
2. Make sure to use the right die for the connector size and give it a good crimp
3. Apply solder
4. Apply shrink tubing to the new crimp and about 2" down the wire

Harbor freight has become fairly good as a tool supply house. The tool that you have shown above looks ok but it takes lots of force to get a good crimp on large wire and I wonder if that tool could hack it.

Mike
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi,
I tried a hammer crimper similar to this one: https://www.amazon.com/NOCO-D800-Hammer-Indent-Crimping/dp/B006VU5WX8
and did not like the crimps it produced -- they were probably OK, but looked a bit questionable.

I ended up soldering most of the the larger cable connectors, which is actually pretty easy and cheap, and makes a nice connection.

The Harbor Freight one looks good -- I'm going to try one during the next 20% off event they seem to have quite often.

gary
 

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Del-City sells some nice solder supplies including solder terminals and solder "slugs" that are the are just the right amount of solder for a given terminal -- you just pop the slug in the terminal cavity, heat with propane torch, and push the cleaned wire into the molten solder in the terminal.

https://www.delcity.net/productsearch?search=solder slugs
 

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With the 20% off coupon the HF crimper is a good deal, beware any off-the-shelf crimper that is lying in a pool of oil new-in-the-box as it is probably leaking fluid already but otherwise should last you 10's of years. You can finds a similar style & price import crimper that will accept a larger wire AWG if you dig on the internet a bunch...
 

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Go with solder just make sure you use electrical type and flux not plumbing type and thoroughly clean the lug. Heat the lug up after you smear a lot of flux in it and fill it about halfway up with solder then take the bare end of your welding wire (preferred) that has also been covered in flux and stick it in the lug, take the heat way (a propane torch is perfect) and wait a few seconds till the solder solidifies and you are all done. Very simple, cheap and easy!
 

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I've seen plain copper lugs and nickel-plated marine-grade ($$). I'm guessing with AGMs there is little fear of corrosion, right? The Canadian equivalent of Harbor Freight, Princess Auto, has bulk welding wire and copper lugs.
 

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Since I'll be making my own cables to specific lengths I'll need a serious crimping tool.
Any recommendations?
I found this one at Harbor Freight, will it do?
http://www.harborfreight.com/hydraulic-wire-crimping-tool-66150.html

It's funny. We sat idle for a month but now the ac/solar/fan and windows are in we are going non-stop!
Finally progress :)
Picked the Harbor Freight crimper today and tried a couple crimps on some left over #2 wire and two kinds of lugs. Seems to work well. The crimps looked good, and I could not pull them apart with the lug in a vice and pulling on the other end of wire with vice grips.
No idea what the longevity will be, but they seem to be fairly well made.
$40 with the ever preset 20% off deal.

Gary
 

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solder vs crimp connections in electronic/"how much vibration will it see in automotive use" are like oil threads. Slightly more of a hot topic than your average Democrat vs Republican political knock down drag out thread.

In theory if there is vibration, the wire will work harden and fail at the solder joint eventually. In practice if you strain relief the cable with sturdy shrink wrap and tie it down where it wont flop around you will be fine for the most part.

I have access to Greenlee crimp tools with my day job. I will be taking any cables in to work and crimping them. Price the Greenlee tools and you will be at Harbor Fright so fast your head will spin. I will not be soldering my wires. I am certifiable in solder fabrication, rework and repair. Usually for the day job I solder looking through a microscope. I don't solder cable because see above about the vibration failure. My day job cables aren't in aircraft or vehicles, just radiation areas and must have high reliability. Always look at your wiring and ask " how could this fail, and what would happen if it does fail?" Shorting out a battery is SPECTACULAR!
 

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The safest bet is dielectric grease and a good crimp. the dielectric grease prevents oxidation/corrosion which is another term for increased resistance. Shrink wrap to prevent a casual short. Wrapped in electrical tape is just as effective but not as visually pleasing. A good solder joint is better than a bad crimp that pulls loose. A good crimp is better than a good solder joint. A bad solder joint just simply sucks because of increased resistance from oxidation and voltage drop. Is all that clear as mud?
 

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The safest bet is dielectric grease and a good crimp. the dielectric grease prevents oxidation/corrosion which is another term for increased resistance. Shrink wrap to prevent a casual short. Wrapped in electrical tape is just as effective but not as visually pleasing. A good solder joint is better than a bad crimp that pulls loose. A good crimp is better than a good solder joint. A bad solder joint just simply sucks because of increased resistance from oxidation and voltage drop. Is all that clear as mud?
I agree Ted but as you say, you have access to a professional crimp tool. Most of the "handyman' $50 specials out their do a crappy job of crimping and they usually require a few extra blows with a hammer or squeezing in a vice to do the job. If you don't know how to make a good electrical solder joint you shouldn't do it. Most automotive parts stores that sell battery cable and terminals will custom make it up for you for the cost of the parts alone or a few extra $ for the crimping and, hopefully, they will use a professional crimper. I've been making up my own cables by soldering for years with no problems of any kind but I also use the correct materials and procedures. Any battery cable, either crimped or soldered, should always be protected from corrosion and vibration and fused on both ends for safety.
 

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Ted I want to save SPECTACULAR for the yearly fireworks....but don't want them in the PM.
So basically crimp but don't bother solder.
Egad man, you must know someone (your sparky?) who will give you a lesson in soldering? It is a simple skill and the knowledge of materials for electrical soldering (different than plumbing materials) is basic. This is something we all should be able to do. The tools are cheap too.
 

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Hi,

I've been using soldered joints in my vehicles and RVs for decades and decades -- just don't buy the idea that solder joints will work harden and fail with the kind of vibration profile you get in these vehicles. As long as you take a bit of care in doing the solder joints they will last the life of the vehicle and more.

Gary
 

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I see you already bought it, but for others, that HF crimper is pretty great for a "one time use". If you're not in a hurry, they go on sale for $40 and you can still apply the 20% coupon.
 
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