Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
July 26, 2014, 12:25:26 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If you had an E-Mag Subscription:  It will not get lost in the mail.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: 1 2 [All]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Battery Cables  (Read 3415 times)
DavidInWilmNC
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 594


1978 MC-8 as I bought it May 2005




Ignore
« on: October 26, 2006, 05:55:31 AM »

Soon, I'll be starting on my DC system.  Part of this involves relocating my 2 8D starting batteries to the front bay with my house batteries.  I'm wondering where most folks get their battery cables.  Do people crimp and solder the connections themselves or do they purchase pre-made cables?  I'd much rather be able to make the exact length I need when I need it instead of having to wait after I've ordered it.  Also, what's a good source for battery cables, terminals, stud terminal blocks, fuses, etc? 

After I move my starting batteries and disconnect switch from the original battery compartment, my 20 gallon gas tank (for my generator) will fit perfectly.  It'll be a good place for the gas tank, as it's separated from all the other bays, vented, and in a location where it'll be easy to fill.  Thanks.

David
Logged
Jerry Liebler
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1320




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2006, 06:11:47 AM »

David,
      I got the supplies to make my DC cables from Wrangler NW.  But that was when I lived in Portland Or and they were local.  I bought a crimping tool from them.  The crimping tool I got is one that is used with a hammer.   I also soldered all my cables by dipping the ends into a solder pot.  This technique also tins the 'lug'.    The last step is shrink tubing over the last inch or so of the cable and the lug.
Regards
Jerry 4107 1120
Logged
gumpy
Some Assembly Required
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3173


Slightly modified 1982 MC9


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2006, 06:13:32 AM »

Here's some of what I did...
http://www.gumpydog.com/bus/MC9_WIP/Electrical/Batteries/batteries.htm

Waytekwire.com for all electrical. Good prices. Good service.

craig
Logged

Craig Shepard
Located in Minnesquito

http://bus.gumpydog.com - "Some Assembly Required"
DavidInWilmNC
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 594


1978 MC-8 as I bought it May 2005




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2006, 06:14:21 AM »

Thanks guys.  Also, what size are the factory MCI battery cables?
Logged
DrivingMissLazy
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2634




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2006, 06:15:12 AM »

David, a good place to start is Waytek.

http://www.waytekwire.com/

Richard
Logged

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
gumpy
Some Assembly Required
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3173


Slightly modified 1982 MC9


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2006, 06:18:22 AM »

I think they are 4/0, but not completely sure. I don't think I'd use anything smaller.

I chose welding cable. Not going to engage in a discussion about why it may be wrong to use.
Suffice it to say it was relatively easy to work with, and has been working great for a few years now.

craig
Logged

Craig Shepard
Located in Minnesquito

http://bus.gumpydog.com - "Some Assembly Required"
Jeremy
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1858


1987 Bedford Plaxton


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2006, 06:23:06 AM »

I suggest you look at this website, which will probably answer all your questions regarding specifying and buying battery cables: http://www.vehicle-wiring-products.co.uk/

This is obviously a British company, but there will doubtless be US equivalents. As it happens VHP are located quite close to me, so I ordered what I wanted by email and went to collect in person, which also enabled me to take in the main starter cable from my coach to have a new end crimped on it (incidentally, I was once told that you should never solder wiring on a vehicle as, theoretically, heavy DC currents can generate temperatures high enough to melt solder). The crimps on the big cables are done with a large hydraulic press, so is unlikely to be something you can do at home.

I re-located and re-wired the four 6v bus starter batteries, and added three 12v house batteries, which meant 14 new insulated terminals and a fair bit of cable. I also added marine-type isolation switches to both sets of batteries (very useful), and added big junction boxes into both circuits so extra cables could be connected later if required. The parts cost in the region of £150 (around $280), but I know I did a 'good job' which will serve as a solid foundation for all the other coach wiring that is to come.

Jeremy
Logged

A shameless plug for my business - visit www.magazineexchange.co.uk for back issue magazines - thousands of titles covering cars, motorbikes, aircraft, railways, boats, modelling etc. You'll find lots of interest, although not much covering American buses sadly.
Stan
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 973




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2006, 07:20:11 AM »

I used welding cable and got high quality terminals from a United Delco dealer. I soldered all cable terminals and used different color of heat shrink to identify  12, 24 and ground,  Notr that some terminals can only be soldered and some can only be crimped. Some can be either or both.

 I also relocated the engine  batteries to the engine compartment. The only high current draw on the engine batteries is the starter so I put the cables (both positive and negative) direct to the starter. From the starter ground go to the engine cradle and then to bus chassis. From starter positive go to the original cable terminal on the rear bulkhead. If you are replacing the front to rear cable it is 0000. If you are not using original bus heat and have the batteries in the rear then #2 is adequate.
Logged
Buffalo SpaceShip
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 591





Ignore
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2006, 07:49:39 AM »

I relocated the start batts on my old 4106. We were on a trip and I had to replace the cables then because of continued starting issues... and I siezed the moment to also make my runs much shorter by moving the batts. A local electrical supply house made up the cables and connections out of welding cable. It worked out great, and she always turned over after that.

Here's some pics and details of the process.

HTH,
Brian B.
Logged

Brian Brown
4108-216 w/ V730
Longmont, CO
JackConrad
Orange Blossom Special II
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4446


73' MC-8 8V71/HT740 Southwest Florida


WWW
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2006, 10:02:37 AM »

I always use 4/0 welding cable for all battery cables.  Might be overkill in some cases, but when it comes to battery calbles, I feel that bigger is better. I purchased the cable, terminals, and a crimping tool for WayTek Wire.  7 Years, 30,000 miles and no problems. Just
"my way" YMMV.  Jack
Logged

Growing Older Is Mandatory, Growing Up Is Optional
Arcadia, Florida, When we are home
http://s682.photobucket.com/albums/vv186/OBS-JC/
Dale MC8
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 81





Ignore
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2006, 10:03:30 AM »

David, I took measurments, samples, etc. to the nearest battery distributer (here in Stockton CA it was Nor-Cal Battery Co) and had them make up the cables. They had the cable, ends, heat-shrink, etc. and the right tools for the job. Look in your local Yellow Pages under "Batteries". HTH
Dale MC8
Logged

Dale MC8

In Theory, theory and practice are the same.
In Practice, they aren't.
TomCat
It's 4:20 somewhere...
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 411



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2006, 11:01:25 AM »

I used welding cable and got high quality terminals from a United Delco dealer. I soldered all cable terminals and used different color of heat shrink to identify  12, 24 and ground,  Notr that some terminals can only be soldered and some can only be crimped. Some can be either or both.

 I also relocated the engine  batteries to the engine compartment. The only high current draw on the engine batteries is the starter so I put the cables (both positive and negative) direct to the starter. From the starter ground go to the engine cradle and then to bus chassis. From starter positive go to the original cable terminal on the rear bulkhead. If you are replacing the front to rear cable it is 0000. If you are not using original bus heat and have the batteries in the rear then #2 is adequate.

When making high ampreage load DC cables, it is important to have a mechanical bond (The crimp), as well as an electrical bond (The solder). Done correctly, home made cables are easily as good as any from another source.

Jay
87 SaftLiner
Logged

On The High Plains of Colorado
gus
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3487





Ignore
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2006, 08:03:41 PM »

David,

As already posted. those starting batteries need to be as close to the starter as possible since that is the primary use for them.

You probably have a good reason to move them to the front but electrically it makes no sense.
Logged

PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
DavidInWilmNC
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 594


1978 MC-8 as I bought it May 2005




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2006, 08:33:05 PM »

David,

As already posted. those starting batteries need to be as close to the starter as possible since that is the primary use for them.

You probably have a good reason to move them to the front but electrically it makes no sense.
They're already in the front, like all the MC-7,8, & 9's.  I'm actually moving them back to the first bay basically to keep all the batteries together and to give up the battery compartment for the gas tank.

David
Logged
TomC
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6674





Ignore
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2006, 10:38:52 PM »

If you are moving the starting batteries, now is a good time to get rid of the 8D's and replace them with 31's.  Virtually all big rig trucks use the 31's now-anywhere from 2-4 batteries since trucks are 12v only.  I use two Trojan 1000cca 31's to start my 8V-71.  If I need more juice, I have a jumper solenoid that I can activate from the driver's seat to also use the two 8D Lifeling AGM deep cycles.  If you live in cold country, using 4-31's is a whole lot easier to handle than the two 8D's, and you'll have more cranking power.  The standard 8D starting battery has on average 1,200cca.  So with two at 24v, you'll have 1,200cca.  With using the 1000cca 31's, with four you'd have 2000cca at 24v.  Big difference.  There is no such thing as having too much battery for the starter, but it is for sure seriously hard on the starter with a too small battery bank-to the point that you can prematurely burn out the starter.  Good Luck, TomC
Logged

Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
Stan
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 973




Ignore
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2006, 05:24:35 AM »

TomCat: I would be interested in knowing the reason for having both a crimped and soldered  terminal. I think 100% of off-the-shelf cables are crimped only. Even DC transmission lines have crimped only splices. A proper crimp requires expensive tooling and the knowledge of how to to it right. A correctly done solder connection is done in a solder pot and the method can be taught in ten minuites.  A large propane torch or oxy/acetylene torch and a container for the solder is all the equipment you need. If you use 95/5 solder, your starter will melt before the solder melts on overload.

Both methods provide a strong mechanical joint with low resistance and I can not think of any reason to use both.
Logged
Jeremy
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1858


1987 Bedford Plaxton


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2006, 06:55:38 AM »

I think there is a belief that solder 'fills the gaps' inside a crimped connection, and it may be that it is not a bad idea on 'amateur' crimps (done with hammers etc). On a professionally-done crimp many hundreds of tons of force (in PSI terms) is used, and the metals of the cable and terminal actually fuse together (as can be seen if you cut a proper crimp in half).

The rigging of sailing yachts and dinghies relies on crimped terminals, and believe me you soon learn the value of a 'proper' crimp, as opposed to ones where the owner thought he could do his own with DIY tools (the the latter case your mast falls down, which isn't nice).

The point regarding high-melt solders is well made

Jeremy
Logged

A shameless plug for my business - visit www.magazineexchange.co.uk for back issue magazines - thousands of titles covering cars, motorbikes, aircraft, railways, boats, modelling etc. You'll find lots of interest, although not much covering American buses sadly.
Stan
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 973




Ignore
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2006, 08:36:36 AM »

Jeremy: Exactly the point I was making, so why waste your time with a mickey-mouse tool that you can't be sure it is doing the proper job.
Logged
DrivingMissLazy
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2634




Ignore
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2006, 10:33:15 AM »

When the proper crimping tool is utilized the copper in the conductor and the copper in the lug actually "flows" into one solid chunk of copper. The only benefit of soldering this connection would be, in my opinion, to prevent external corrosion of the copper. It can not penetrate the connection.
Richard

Jeremy: Exactly the point I was making, so why waste your time with a mickey-mouse tool that you can't be sure it is doing the proper job.
Logged

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
TomCat
It's 4:20 somewhere...
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 411



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2006, 01:15:01 PM »

Oops...Excuse me. I was thinking out loud, and my statement was only for my own uses and applications.

Jay
87 SaftLiner
« Last Edit: October 27, 2006, 01:18:29 PM by TomCat » Logged

On The High Plains of Colorado
kyle4501
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3122


PD4501 South Carolina




Ignore
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2006, 01:33:30 PM »

The reply 'you don't need to'  rings similar to the 'why not just stay in a hotel or buy a motorhome' responses from non-busnuts.  Huh

Is there a reason to NOT properly solder a properly crimped joint?

While it may not theoretically improve the joint, will it hurt it?

Seems to me it is 'insurance' that the joint will last longer than I need it to.

kyle4501

Logged

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. (R.M. Nixon)
Dallas
Guest

« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2006, 01:51:41 PM »

Here we go again with the crimp V solder debate.

Not quite as much fun as the proper oil debate, but interesting.

As I've stated before, and this is just a personal preference, I solder ALL connections.

I was taught to do this by an old Cubano that had been a mechanic for Batiste. (Whether or not that is true, is subject to debate, but he was a great mechanic and about the right age in 1977 when I knew him).

If you watch the news feeds that are about Cuba, those people are still running 40's, 50's and 60's vehicles. If that includes both crimping and soldering, Hey, it works for me!

Belt AND Suspenders
Logged
Chaz
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1508


4108, 8V71 w/auto .


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2006, 02:15:50 PM »

I thought I might weigh in on this one.
 I am with Dallas and Kyle. I buy solder-on ends for the battery connections and make the "eye" end. I use copper tubing and 1/8 copper strip and weld the two together to form whatever shape the end needs to be. Then I flux the end of the cable and tube, flow in the solder and while it's still hot hit the copper tube with a large center punch twice and then heat it a little more. I do believe I will have no problem with it. It takes very little time to solder and crimp them, so why not?
  Just my .02.
  Chaz
Logged

Pix of my bus here: http://s58.photobucket.com/albums/g279/Skulptor/Motor%20Coach/
What I create here:   www.amstudio.us
 
"Imagination is more important than knowledge". Albert Einstein
DrivingMissLazy
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2634




Ignore
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2006, 04:59:56 PM »

Chaz, but you are not really crimping them. With your method, then they should definitely be soldered. If a proper crimping tool is used, the solder just covers the outside surface for a nice looking connection that will not corrode. I guarantee it does not help the connection.
Richard
Logged

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
Stan
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 973




Ignore
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2006, 05:23:32 PM »

kyle4501:  As Richard so eloquently put it, you can't properly solder a properly crimped joint. If it is not a proper crimp then you will not have a proper solder joint either.  To get a proper solder joint, the properly fluxed cable must be inserted into the solder filled terminal while maintaining everything above the solder melting point. This is most easily done with the terminal immersed in a solder pot with enough volume to not lose its heat when the cable is inserted.
Logged
NJT5047
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1942





Ignore
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2006, 07:56:00 PM »

David, you may have already solved this issue, but if you use the 8Ds, don't forget to seal and vent your new battery compartment.  Lead acid batteries put off a good bit of noxious and explosive gasses when charging.  And it'll corrode ferrous steel and aluminum right now.   
This is moot if you use sealed batteries.  Not sure about mixing types of batts (should this be considered)....Richard can shed some light on that subject.
I moved my cranking batteries to the engine room where the OTR AC was located.  Two group 31s.  Been in there for over two years without an issue.  My 8Ds, which I use for house batteries, are almost 4 years old and there has never been any issues with them.   They seem very resilent.  I've heard that about 4 years is max...don't really know. 
Cheers, JR


 
Logged

JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.”

Ayn Rand
Ace
Guest

« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2006, 09:28:00 PM »

Here locally we have a trucks parts house and pretty well known in these parts and when i was buildingmy house bank, they were kind enough to loan me thier crimping too. A long handled pliers looking tool that actually crimpped the ends to the 0000 cable. They make up cables on site at thier business so it is used often. They never once advised me to solder them first so I didn't! After doing a few of them (on a budget and not being able to do all of them at this time) I had to return the tool before they closed. This tool appeared to only crimp a slot looking hole (not all the way thru of course) into the side of the end protruding the end into the stripped cable. Looked easy and was. A few days later, I borrowed the tool once again and finished up the job at hand so I could return thier tool on time. When I returned home I had found that I was NOT quite finished and without looking like the @$# that I am by going back and borrowing the crimper, I made my own, sort of! I took an old chisel and machined it down to fit the slot that was made by the tool. I then inserted the 0000 cable and commenced to hammer the chisel with a BFH into the side of the cable end. Trust me it worked! In fact, I had ONE cable that was done with the borrowed tool come apart (slightly loose) while re-configuring the set-up, but none with the hammer/chisel.
Is this right? in most professional eyes, probably not, and I know it's a little primitive but it worked for me and it's still working!  Wink

Ace
Logged
Len Silva
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4083


Angle Parked in a Parallel Universe


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2006, 06:34:08 AM »

I've made up hundreds of crimped connections in the telephone industry from #8 to 750MCM.

Some considerations:

The tool must be certified for the brand of connector used. A T&B crimper will not make the proper (certified) crimp on a Burndy lug.  In this business, the tool embosses a number on the connector to assure the inspector that the proper die was used.

Always coat the ends of the cable with an anti-oxident (NO-OX).  Some connectors will have NO-OX in the barrel, we always coated the cable end anyway.

Hand crimpers are good up to 0000.  Larger that that require a hydraulic crimper.  It takes a lot of muscle to crimp the larger sizes by hand.

When properly done, the cable and the lug are fused together as one solid unit ( a gas tight connection as defined in my business).

Another hint; if you are making a connection very close to a bend, make the bend first before crimping.  If you put the lug on a straight cable and then bend it, the insulation will be pulled away from the lug.  We were only allowed 1/16" from the end of the lug to the insulation.

If you are using a hammer type crimper or anything less than a matched tool and lug then soldering would be a good idea.

FWIW

Len
Logged


Hand Made Gifts

Ignorance is only bliss to the ignorant.
DrivingMissLazy
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2634




Ignore
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2006, 07:15:41 AM »

Ace, there is a tremendous difference between the action of the crimping tool and the brute action of a hammer and chisel.

The crimping tool completely surrounds the lug and puts tons of pressure around the circumference of the lug, squeezing the whole mass into a solid copper mass. There is enough pressure that the copper flows as if it has been heated in a furnace to melting temperature. The slot the tool makes is what exerts the tremendous amount of pressure on the rest of the lug being held by the crimping tool.

This is not to say that the hammer and chisel does not make an electrical connection, but it is nowhere as good as a proper crimp is.

The same for a soldered connection. It should be made with the connector and conductor fluxed with a non-acid flux and then soldered without crimping the lug with a hammer and chisel first. As Len so eloquently puts it, there is a right way and a wrong way. (and maybe a busnut way. LOL). Unless there is a tremendous overload put on the crimp, any way will work. It is the one time in a thousand where the extra capacity is needed that the connection will fail.

The NASA soldering school is probably the best school anywhere for teaching how to make proper connections that will never fail. I do not know if it is still in existance or not.
Richard




Here locally we have a trucks parts house and pretty well known in these parts and when i was buildingmy house bank, they were kind enough to loan me thier crimping too. A long handled pliers looking tool that actually crimpped the ends to the 0000 cable. They make up cables on site at thier business so it is used often. They never once advised me to solder them first so I didn't! After doing a few of them (on a budget and not being able to do all of them at this time) I had to return the tool before they closed. This tool appeared to only crimp a slot looking hole (not all the way thru of course) into the side of the end protruding the end into the stripped cable. Looked easy and was. A few days later, I borrowed the tool once again and finished up the job at hand so I could return thier tool on time. When I returned home I had found that I was NOT quite finished and without looking like the @$# that I am by going back and borrowing the crimper, I made my own, sort of! I took an old chisel and machined it down to fit the slot that was made by the tool. I then inserted the 0000 cable and commenced to hammer the chisel with a BFH into the side of the cable end. Trust me it worked! In fact, I had ONE cable that was done with the borrowed tool come apart (slightly loose) while re-configuring the set-up, but none with the hammer/chisel.
Is this right? in most professional eyes, probably not, and I know it's a little primitive but it worked for me and it's still working!  Wink

Ace
Logged

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
Ace
Guest

« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2006, 07:28:44 AM »

Richard I agree that the way that I did the two ends (one cable) by using ther hammer and chisel is not as good as using the crimping tool but keep in mind, I was trying to get a project done in time to leave and with time an essence because the loaner was always needed back at the business I borrowed it from, I felt I just couldn't go back and ask again after using it twice already. The one cable I made up by hand is still good and I always check IT and the rest of the cables that were crimped with the crimper after a round trip for looseness, fraying, corrosion, etc., and so far I'm still good to go! I even went one step further on my last outing and that was to check all the connections and cables with my digital temp gun to see if there was any heat build up and all were pretty equall. I would be alarmed if one or more were hotter than any others!

Yes I could correct it by going back NOW and asking to borrow the crimper but as always, if it isn't broke, don't F--- with it becuase just as soon as I start taking apart something to correct it, I usually end up with bigger problems! Happens all the time!  Undecided

Ace
Logged
Pages: 1 2 [All]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!