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Long battery cables with soldered ends

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2009-05-27          162987


I want to replace the battery cables on my Bandit tow-behind chipper. The guy before me used those cheesy clamp-on cable ends that don't fit the posts well and they corrode like crazy. But I haven't been able to find 80-84" long battery cables in stock anywhere.

That leaves two choices, either find somewhere to custom make the cables or build my own. I'd rather buy good quality cables with soldered ends but haven't found a place that makes them.

Anyone had any experience installing soldered ends on thick battery cables? Any tips?

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Long battery cables with soldered ends

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greg_g
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1816 Western Kentucky
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2009-05-27          162991


Can't help you with the soldering question, but one of my Mercedes has its main battery in the trunk. It's gotta be 7' or more to the starter. So perhaps you just need to be shopping for a different item. Besides those cars with OE trunk batteries, there are aftermarket "battery relocation" kits. The right "kit" might contain everything you need.

//greg// ....

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Long battery cables with soldered ends

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7142 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2009-05-27          162992


Ken, first off, any electrical supply place, possibly even Home Cheapo, etc. too, will sell 'welding' cable by the foot. It's the same stuff.

As for soldering, use plumbing solder and flux, dip the end of the wire in the flux, then slip it into the lug terminal. Use a propane torch on low to medium flame to heat it up and solder it same a copper pipe. Just watch you don't melt the insulation into the joint, it will make a bad connection.

Best of luck. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Long battery cables with soldered ends

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2009-05-27          162993


There may be a relocation kit out there that would work but the ones I've seen have really long ~200" positive cables and short ~36" negative cables. Usually the ground cable will just connect to a nearby chassis ground. ....

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Long battery cables with soldered ends

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2009-05-27          162997


There are various grades of cable for welding and such, and at that thickness, more flexibility slightly raises the cost. I don't know how much flex you'd need. QuickCable sells such wire, and will crimp the specified length to terminals, at least on commercial orders. Or buy a set of booster cables and replace the clamps with terminals.

It's easy to find terminals. They screw tight, so soldering isn't required but coat it well. I don't know if battery-terminal paint is any better than generic paint. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Long battery cables with soldered ends

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2009-05-27          162999


Quote:
Originally Posted by Murf | view 162992
Ken, first off, any electrical supply place, possibly even Home Cheapo, etc. too, will sell 'welding' cable by the foot. It's the same stuff.As for soldering, use plumbing solder and flux, dip the end of the wire in the flux, then slip it into the lug terminal. Use a propane torch on low to medium flame to heat it up and solder it same a copper pipe. Just watch you don't melt the insulation into the joint, it will make a bad connection.Best of luck.


Murf, I thought plumbing solder used acid core flux. Wouldn't that cause corrosion?
....

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Long battery cables with soldered ends

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candoarms
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1932 North Dakota
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2009-05-27          163002


Kwschumm,

I've included a link here to one of the slickest gadgets I've ever used. It's a pre-sized solder slug, designed specifically for soldering battery terminals to the wire.

These solder slugs are available on Ebay, from Del City, Waytek, and other companies. I happen to like Del City's catalog the best, and their prices aren't bad.

Go to your local electrical supplier warehouse, or even your local electrician to purchase 4 gauge wire in the length you need, then simply solder the terminal of your choice to the wire, using these pre-sized solder slugs.

A good solder flux, designed for electrical connections, is also required.

Hope that helps.

Joel ....


Link:   Del City Solder Slugs

 
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Long battery cables with soldered ends

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7142 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2009-05-27          163004


Quote:
Originally Posted by kwschumm | view 162999
Murf, I thought plumbing solder used acid core flux. Wouldn't that cause corrosion?


You can get it solid or acid flux core. Use the solid stuff and the jelly-like paste flux.

Best of luck. ....

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Long battery cables with soldered ends

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-05-27          163010


I've made both welding leads and battery cables. You can make battery cables (and jumper cables) from welding lead but I'd advise not vice versa. Battery cable per se is not designed to be flexed; welding lead is. Another use for battery cable stock is making snow plow end markers---they're stiff when they need to be but they can flex. In fact the ones we buy here have crimped-on battery terminal lugs as the mounting tab.

Going back to my Electronics 101 class in HS, we were taught to use only plumbing solder and flux for plumbing. Electronics/electrical use requires "60/40" which I think is the ratio of tin to lead. Plumbing solder has more lead in it I as I recall so you don't get the right conductivity using it for electrical, which is moot if you're just making a mechanical connection as in plumbing.

Also, I think plumbing solder melts much lower than electronic and so it follows that if you get a hot connection at the terminals, the solder will melt out. I had this happen once a few years back. Reflecting back, I used whatever solder I had lieing around--most likely it was plumbers. Since then, I crimp THEN solder just in case. ....

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Long battery cables with soldered ends

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JD-855-in-WI
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 36 Wisconsin
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2009-05-27          163015


Plumbing solder is acid core and you use an acid flux, it used to contain lead but not anymore. Electrical solder is rosin core and does not require a separate flux usually for small wire, 60/40 is the tin/lead ratio. Acid and copper not a good combination. I made soldered connections for those big flat battery connectors on battery fork trucks and chargers, using Kester flux core 60/40 core solder and rosin paste and a torch. With the big cable more flux and heat are important to avoid a cold joint. Older corvettes have the battery behind the driverís seat, you could check with Chevy for replacement parts. ....

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