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  • Multi-size wire crimpers

    Everytime we experience battery problems it's during the coldest days of the year, so years ago I bought these crimpers and an assortment of big cable eyelets to make fast work of replacing battery cables and clamps, and now I only use military style battery clamps.

    I crimp on and then solder a eyelet to a battery cable, or crimp a new piece of good cable onto a bad section of cable, and it's Miller Electric time.

  • #2
    My big wire crimper is the kind you put in your vise, stick the connector in it, shove your wire into the connector and smash it with a hammer.

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    • #3
      Lots of experience here with battery cables having owned a fleet of class 8 trucks..........and more so now , with all the electronics in them. Obviously corrosion from forms of electrolysis is the killer of the battery cables and ends once the corrosion creeps up the copper cable.....where putting a new end on it may proof worthless when the cable will continue to eat itself from the inside out over time.............we build our own cables solder them and then seal the ends with a rigid heat shrink product that seals the ends of the copper strands........we also use the RED Permatex grease product to further seal all the connections & even the starter cable ends...........and if you think that is a one and done procedure will your wrong as we do it every 90 days on each truck , disassemble and clean the contacts with a standard battery wire bore brush.........and put them back together with more RED grease........messy yes.....but pretty well eliminates those cold won't crank mornings!

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      • #4
        Is that the same as the red spray on schmoo?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tarry99 View Post
          Lots of experience here with battery cables having owned a fleet of class 8 trucks..........and more so now , with all the electronics in them. Obviously corrosion from forms of electrolysis is the killer of the battery cables and ends once the corrosion creeps up the copper cable.....where putting a new end on it may proof worthless when the cable will continue to eat itself from the inside out over time.............we build our own cables solder them and then seal the ends with a rigid heat shrink product that seals the ends of the copper strands........we also use the RED Permatex grease product to further seal all the connections & even the starter cable ends...........and if you think that is a one and done procedure will your wrong as we do it every 90 days on each truck , disassemble and clean the contacts with a standard battery wire bore brush.........and put them back together with more RED grease........messy yes.....but pretty well eliminates those cold won't crank mornings!
          I use the heat shrink tubing too and put regular grease on the clamps, I've cleaned the clamps using Coke too. Good joints and good clamps are must in cold weather environments. I hate those junky clamps they sell at auto stores with the strap that is supposed to push the bared wire down into the clamp. What kind do you uses when making up your cables?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
            My big wire crimper is the kind you put in your vise, stick the connector in it, shove your wire into the connector and smash it with a hammer.
            When it's below zero and a car or truck wont start because of bad battery connections, it's easier and faster to take the crimper to the vehicles, than to take the vise off the bench and bring it to a vehicle to crimp an eyelet on the cable end..
            Last edited by tackit; 07-15-2019, 09:22 AM.

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            • #7
              That’s for sure and it definitely is a problem when you can’t take the cable off and to the shop. I almost bought one of those ratcheting crimpers, but I don’t generally have the freezing problem here. We also don’t have the extreme corrosion problem like you guys up there have. We certainly have our share, but nothing like the road salt problem.

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              • #8
                Don't forget the hydraulic versions - sometimes easier to get into tight spaces

                https://www.google.com/search?q=hydr...hrome&ie=UTF-8

                Using a good 4:1 adhesive lined heat shrink on both ends of the cable to seal it up works wonders. I'm always hesitant of soldering these connections due to the corrosion from the flux/rosin used in the process and the inability to really clean it out from stranded connectors. I've had good luck with a good crimp and thick wall adhesive lined shrink tube.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                  That’s for sure and it definitely is a problem when you can’t take the cable off and to the shop. I almost bought one of those ratcheting crimpers, but I don’t generally have the freezing problem here. We also don’t have the extreme corrosion problem like you guys up there have. We certainly have our share, but nothing like the road salt problem.
                  The first thing I do when spring gets here is go to a car wash and get the undercarriage washed. Salt makes mechanics, body and fender men and car crushers wealthy around these parts.

                  Then there is the fun of having door locks frozen and being frozen out of your vehicle, and the window becoming stuck and when you hit the down button he window stays put but the retractable window linkage goes to the bottom of the door..... and it's off the body shop one more time. I don't lower the window anymore when the snows and ice come.

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                  • #10
                    Hints from the corrosion capitol of America where wires on new cars turn green in a month, inside the insulation.

                    Save those little flower watering capsules florists use on stems. They're ideal for filling with white vinegar and soaking the corrosion off a wire you want to reconnect. Then stick the wire in Lanolin before inserting it into the connector.
                    Do NOT use RTV silicone calk to cover wires or connections. The outgassing as it cures is acidic and speeds up corrosion.
                    There are specific nonacidic outgassing silicones made for this job.

                    If you insist on soldering, use the ground solder paste, it saturates the copper conductors better. Personally I don't solder, it yields a different problem by annealing the copper leading to earlier breaking of individual strands probably from vibration.

                    NEVER attempt to run any vehicle 3M speedsplices have been applied to without removing those contraptions and repairing the wires.

                    When you need to fix the battery cables go over the brake lines with a microscope. The wonderful clips holding those lines to the frame and the corrosomatic flare nuts yield far nastier problems than battery cables do.

                    Don't get exasperated, Canbus gonna save us all from vehicle wiring problems. Replacement harnesses are in stock at the Dealer precorroding on the shelf.

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                    • #11
                      At least with CAN, there are only 4 wires - power, ground, CAN High and CAN Low - typically in twisted pairs and bundled into one cable with 4 conductors. MUCH easier for troubleshooting and diagnosis than bundles of wires the diameter of your wrist running to/from every sensor, input, output and switch.

                      Also - SOME RTV's (not all) can cause copper corrosion due to their outgassing. All of the ones I've used have NOT had that issue, in fact, never had one yet do that, but am aware that it has happened. Maybe all the typical automotive sensor safe sealants don't have this issue and your typical window and door sealants do? I've taken too many of these (Cheese whiz automotive RTV filled butt connectors) apart to find nice shiny copper inside for it to be a common problem.

                      Annealing copper makes is very soft and ductile (likely less prone to work harden and break under fatigue cycles?) but you'd have to get it much hotter than soldering temperatures (400-500F) to anneal it.

                      With regards to soldering, the solder itself wicks up/down the wire at least 10 diameters (more if you keep pumping it in) which effectively makes a solid wire and then all the bending takes place right where the solder stops instead of being distributed along the length of the wire. This is particularly true on short wires or lots of vibration/movement of the wires. A good crimp has the same constraining effect as solder, but over a much shorter length so therefore less stress concentrated in one place as well as a bit of strain relief along the connector compared to a soldered joint.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Fix Until Broke View Post
                        Don't forget the hydraulic versions - sometimes easier to get into tight spaces

                        https://www.google.com/search?q=hydr...hrome&ie=UTF-8

                        Using a good 4:1 adhesive lined heat shrink on both ends of the cable to seal it up works wonders. I'm always hesitant of soldering these connections due to the corrosion from the flux/rosin used in the process and the inability to really clean it out from stranded connectors. I've had good luck with a good crimp and thick wall adhesive lined shrink tube.
                        I believe they make an electrical flux that doesn't need to washed off for electronics, I'll try some the next time I solder my connections.

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                        • #13
                          check this video out at 1:03:56 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rNU...dex=4&t=8s

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tackit View Post
                            check this video out at 1:03:56 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rNU...dex=4&t=8s
                            The hammer crimp was a nice touch! I'll give him credit for using adhesive lined heat shrink tube though.

                            Those connectors at 1:03:58 are the same as what I tested with. Take a foot long piece of wire, do the heat shrink/solder process shown in this video, end to end (make a loop). Cut the wire at the opposite of the connector so you have 6" on each side of the connector and then cut all the insulation off both the wire and connector. See how far the solder and flux wicks away from the connector (it's a couple inches!). Put this in a flexing situation (like a trailer...) and it will fatigue/break next to the connector. In the heat gun where there is basically zero motion/flexibility required - it is a great solution.

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                            • #15
                              I only tin the end of the cable so that it makes a firm sealed electrical connection to the battery fitting......crimped connections without the proper tools leaves the connection loose and prone to further corrosion...........all the good stuff is in the service truck at the shop but here is some of the heat shrink that melts a sealing glue from inside and the red spray goop we use on top to seal the connections from corrosion...............done hundreds of cables over the years in my business.......and have pretty well fixed that dirty little job............but still requires attention every 90 days.



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