Long battery cables with soldered ends: Trailers  -- Trucks/Trailers Discussion Forum and Review Long battery cables with soldered ends: Trailers -- Trucks/Trailers Discussion Forum

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 05-27-2009, 09:21 Post: 162987
kwschumm



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 Long battery cables with soldered ends

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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 05-27-2009, 09:55 Post: 162991
greg_g



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 Long battery cables with soldered ends

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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 05-27-2009, 09:58 Post: 162992
Murf

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 Long battery cables with soldered ends

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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 05-27-2009, 10:01 Post: 162993
kwschumm



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 Long battery cables with soldered ends

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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 05-27-2009, 10:18 Post: 162997
auerbach



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 Long battery cables with soldered ends

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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 05-27-2009, 10:59 Post: 162999
kwschumm



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 Long battery cables with soldered ends

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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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 05-27-2009, 12:38 Post: 163002
candoarms



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 Long battery cables with soldered ends

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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 05-27-2009, 14:17 Post: 163004
Murf

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 Long battery cables with soldered ends

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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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 05-27-2009, 18:04 Post: 163010
earthwrks

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 Long battery cables with soldered ends

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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 05-27-2009, 20:46 Post: 163015
JD-855-in-WI



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 Long battery cables with soldered ends

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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