Fat Cable and Terminals

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 09:57
ThreadID: 32697 Views:1682 Replies:11 FollowUps:14
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What's the best way to connect the big heavy lugs to the big fat welding cable when one doesn't have a big fat crimping tool.

I've been smashing mine with a hammer makes a nice tight conection but maybe a vice would be better ? And what about solder, should I flow some into the lug ?
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Reply By: ro-dah-o (WA) - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 10:02

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 10:02
place lug standing in vice and melt enough solder into the terminal to roughly half fill it. Allow to cool and then get your cable, insert into lug and slowly heat solder from outside of lug to melt the solder, while pushing cable slowly into lug. Once cable inserted fully, allow to cool and finish off with some heat shrink.

be careful not to heat the cable too quick or the solder will disapate through the cable and hence, no solder left in the lug

I have the same plan for today. (although did get the shop to crimp some of my terminals)

good luck
AnswerID: 165916

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 10:26

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 10:26
Sounds like a nice neat method. Good luck to you also.
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FollowupID: 420835

Reply By: Geoff M (Newcastle, NSW) - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 10:02

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 10:02
Ray,
If you don't have access to the correct crimping tool then solder them. But don't butcher the lug first.
I'd love a $ for every boilermaker I've seen hammer a crimp lug flat then get all confused when the joint smokes and melts.

Geoff.
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AnswerID: 165917

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 10:25

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 10:25
hmm, no smoke yet, I'm not welding but perhaps I'd better change my method.
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FollowupID: 420834

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 10:41

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 10:41
I might put the temperature gun from work on a hammered terminal when it's been pumping some heavy amps to see how it compares to the rest of the cable. The aux battery is in the back so there's no heat from the engine.
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FollowupID: 420837

Reply By: Old Scalyback & denny - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 10:05

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 10:05
goodday m/d
a vice is not to bad a hammer doesnt do it properly i have seen it done with a coal chisel as you need to pull the sides of the lug in and tight on the cables
if you use the coal chisel just use a small 1 as it can become messy and maybe after a bit of heat shrink

what size lug are you using ???

steve
AnswerID: 165919

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 10:24

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 10:24
Not sure on the exact size but 35mm² cable fit in easily. Thanks Steve
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FollowupID: 420833

Reply By: Member No 1- Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 10:57

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 10:57
heavy gauge copper like that which is not tinned may be a problem, even with resin cored solder

try brown tip brazing.....
AnswerID: 165923

Reply By: Star Bug - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 11:05

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 11:05
Crimping is the prefered method, but as you say, you dont have access to one. Soldering is the next best, and as mentioned before, dont apply to much heat to the cable or the solder will 'wick" up the cable.
Finish the joint with some heat shrink, or some amalgamating tape like scotch 23.
AnswerID: 165924

Reply By: Willem - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 11:08

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 11:08
Yeah mate

Some bush thoughts

Strip end of cable. Cut suitable length of copper pipe. Fit cable into pipe. Squash in vice. Smack end with with 4 pound hammer. Drill suitable hole in flattened end.

Have never had a problem (but then again...I drive an uncomplicated truck...lol)

Cheers

Oh yes, and keep your thumbs out of the way of hammer...LOL
AnswerID: 165925

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 12:05

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 12:05
oh, so you recommend a vice AND the hammer, interesting terminal also.
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FollowupID: 420856

Follow Up By: Willem - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 12:22

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 12:22
Yeah mate............................And keep your thumbs outta da way...lol
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FollowupID: 420857

Reply By: Member - Crazy Dog (QLD) - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 11:36

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 11:36
Yo Bowser,

No, No, No - that's the wrong way. The solder actually causes a week spot for cracking-breaking. Being and electrician I would advise you to go to a large electrical contactor - talk nicely and ask the lads if they will crimp it for you. THAT IS WHAT I DID 'CAUSE I DON'T HAVE A BIG CRIMPER. Also put a bit of heatshrink over the joint as well.

Now I suppose the whole forum will get into me for that but that is the correct way to do it....

Good luck...

Grrr!!!
AnswerID: 165932

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 11:58

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 11:58
Thanks Crazy, what say I you lived on the moon and there were no electrical contactors (sic) available coz they were all over on the dark side trying to get the lights going. How would you do it then ?
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FollowupID: 420855

Follow Up By: Willem - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 12:25

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 12:25
U'r right Crazy Pup

There's a bush way or an expensive way...NO Right Way......LOLOL
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FollowupID: 420858

Reply By: Member - Crazy Dog (QLD) - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 12:33

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 12:33
Then I would go here and avva squizz mate!

www.matson.com.au/terminals.html

Grrr!!!
AnswerID: 165934

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 12:58

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 12:58
I'm using these ones Crazy, didn't know there were so many different kinds.



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FollowupID: 420860

Reply By: Member - Crazy Dog (QLD) - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 13:08

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 13:08
Ray,

IMHO you are better waiting until the new week and get the correct thing for the job. You won't be sorry....

Grrr!!!
AnswerID: 165942

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 13:37

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 13:37
Geez do you like making things difficult or what, my job is done but I do others and I'm not changing it as it works well... in fact very bluddy well, since changing to the heavy cable the battery has never charged so quickly and fully, besides that I don't have a free supply of those terminals.

Crazy why start a new reply instead of a followup...

woof woof
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FollowupID: 420868

Follow Up By: Member - Crazy Dog (QLD) - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 15:44

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 15:44
Sorry mate. Ankle biters around. No that's fine as long as you are aware and you're right thay can be not so cheap and if it works....what can I say...:)))

Grrr!!!
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FollowupID: 420883

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 13:53

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 13:53
MD,

I'm a long way from any sparkie, and what I do is use one of those crimping tools that have a point on one jaw, and a hollow on the other. If the lug is too big, use a centre punch in 3 or 4 different places. This should grip the cable, then solder at the eye end, to provide a less resistant path.

They look s'house if flattened in vice or hammered.

Willem's method is a great way for busted welding cable ends.

Hooroo...
Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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AnswerID: 165945

Reply By: Member - 'Lucy' - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 14:27

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 14:27
G'day 'Madster'

Those big old fat lugs usually have a leetle hole in them at the end of the tube bit, on the down slope as it flattens out.

Method:

Select appropriate lug to fit cable snugly.

Push cable to the end of lug tube.

Ignite a nice big fat electric soldering iron.

Whilst waiting for it warm up, cut about 200-300mm (8-12 inches for us 'good old days boys) of 1.5 - 2mm resin core solder off the roll.

Apply flat part of lug to the flat surface of the soldering iron.

Feed the the resin core solder into the aforementioned leetle hole so that it rests on the copper cable just inside of same.

As the heat transfers along the flat part of the lug it will start to melt the resin cored solder.

When this happens just feed the resin core solder in until you see the solder appear in the cable at the other end.

Immediately stop feeding it in and apply it(resin core solder) to the cable end of the lug for a second or three and then remove lug from soldering iron and let cool.

Finish off with a heavy duty piece of shrink tube.

If you are troubled by, fazed or sleeping badly at night worrying there being a weak point that might/may/could crack, then cable tie the sucker to a stable point within 6-12 inches to stabilised it.

I have never ever ever had a problem with this method.

Otherwise, the - Peterborough Kid's - and your current method is as good as any.
AnswerID: 165948

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 15:20

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 15:20
Yes my lugs have that lettle hole, I'll try both soldering methods explained and see how I go, not sure if I have an iron large enough as I use them for electronics, might have to try the little gas torch, thanks Ken
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FollowupID: 420881

Follow Up By: roger baker - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 22:36

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 22:36
If lug doesn't have little hole "Make one"

This method works well

Roger
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FollowupID: 420995

Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 05:43

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 05:43
Using a gas torch will often burn of the resin in the resin cored solder. This usually results in poor quality "dry" joints.

Using a V block (or a proper hammer type crimper for these big terminals) sit the body of the crimp in the V block to contain the sides and prevent spread. Belt the centre of the tube with a dulled cold chisel or a big centre punch. Result is similar to using the big crimper.

You can make a V block to suit if you have a bit of scrap steel around by drilling a hole close to the edge of it to suit the outside diameter of the crimp body, then cut the side of the hole out closest to the edge of the block with the angle grinder. Lay crimp in the slot and hammer away.

Dave
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FollowupID: 421010

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