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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This thread is for the DIY crowd. If you want a commercial product try

http://innovativewiring.com

https://web.archive.org/web/20141120204715/http://innovativewiring.com/?page_id=175

or your favorite parts supplier.

First a short message. If you do not understand any repair or modification on this forum do not start it. You are responsible for your actions and the results.

This is more for the economical repair of one end where the copper is still in good condition.

In the ideal world a cable would have a hydraulically crimped end with double walled heat shrink. But there are times when DIY may be the way to go. In my case I wanted cables installed a certain way and did not want to assemble and mount the cables then remove them for a two hour round trip ride to an installer that would charge me a arm and a leg for each crimp.

One of ways is to crimp it without purpose built tools. Not the best but I know several truck up-fitters or truck body builders that waste their employes time with this crude method.

The ends can be found at parts places, truck supplies, industrial supplies, welding supplies, and industrial electronics supplies. Brands differ by region. Prices can be very far apart so shop around. Copper ends with tin plating are good for crimping. There are ends that are only for soldering so read about the product you are looking at. If you live in the middle of nowhere you may want to stock some copper pipe. If you do not have the end you need you can make a end yourself from the copper pipe and get a custom part with the correct bolt hole.
CoppeerPipe.JPG


Depending on the project you may be able to just hammer the crimp over the wire. A punch or chisel may also work.

The finished crimp should survive a 100 Lb pull or more. The result of a crimp should be maximum compression of the fitting around the wire. This means there is very little air space in the crimp and maximum wire contact with the crimp collar.


So for a vice crimp I place a bolt on one side of the collar of the crimp. This puts maximum pressure on the middle and forms a “valley”. When you have compressed things as much as possible remove the bolt and check the two “ridges “are also at maximum compression.

ViceCripBolt.JPG


ViceCrimpBolt2.JPG


ViceCrimpFinish.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The next step is debated by some. The end can be heated and solder can be flowed into the remaining gapes around the wire. Solder should be thought of as a crack filler. Good electrical connection should be metal to metal contact. Solder will not make bad connections better. What it will do is prevent moisture from wicking into the crimp and corroding the copper wire. The other side of the debate is that it stiffens the wire and creates a stress point that when flexed may cause the cable strands to break. So some solder may be good but if it starts to go up the copper wire it is too much.
SolderedLug.JPG


The next step will reduce flexing at the end/cable junction. What you want is Double Wall heat shrink. Like the ends shop wisely. What you want is a engine rated high temperature product. 220 degF or 105 degC. It is useless if it melts or burns off. The double wall heat shrink has a glue on the inside which is key to getting a good moisture seal between the cable insulation and end connector.
DoubleWallShrink.JPG

This is a lot of finicky work that needs to be done correctly. If it is it should last longer than a cheap factory one. On that note I add Double Wall heat shrink over cheap cables when it does not have them. Another tip is wires should not hang in the air. The more mount points the less a wire flexes and the longer it will survive.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I took these pictures when I did the B4U's battery cables. I wanted to be able to change out any one cable without having to change all of them. I also wanted to route my starter cable “my way”.
CaddyTerminal2.JPG


The junction box is one I see in 1970-1980 Cadillac, GM trucks, and some other applications.
CaddyTerminal.JPG
 

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These are quite cheap but do a pretty good job.

https://www.amazon.com/TEMCo-Hammer-Crimper-Tool-Warranty/dp/B00E1UUVT0/ref=pd_cp_469_1/146-6524196-8480947?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00E1UUVT0&pd_rd_r=a056b540-25e4-48a0-bc75-634243265f9c&pd_rd_w=ptI1A&pd_rd_wg=okrBc&pf_rd_p=0e5324e1-c848-4872-bbd5-5be6baedf80e&pf_rd_r=N7CR2ZMMHK8D8JN2M1GY&psc=1&refRID=N7CR2ZMMHK8D8JN2M1GY

While they are to be used with a hammer, I usually put it in the vise.

If in a pinch, a ball bearing taped in the jaws of a big pair of vise grips works pretty good.

Soldering.
My go to is melt solder in terminal while in vise, then plunge the cable.
Seems to fill the voids well without traveling too far up the cable.
Also no melting the the jacket.
 

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A Hex crimp is a much better connection. This is a good set of tools at a bargain price. Not Panduit but good for the occasional user:


Or this:

 

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ZO has a good idea here and I might have gone that route if I had seen this before. Being a tool slut, I went a different way with a tool. The price has gone up since I bought mine. https://www.harborfreight.com/electrical/electrician-s-tools/hydraulic-wire-crimping-tool-66150.html Say what you may about HF, I have found their tools to be a pretty good deal. I have tools from tool trucks = Big $$$ and I have lots from HF. Since the store is only 2 miles from my house it's very convenient to me. It's easy to find a 20% coupon and it sweetens the deal.

Best to all this morning.

Mark:Snowman-33
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I should have been clearer. I was trying to encourage the daily driver crowd to replace a low cost end if their cable was otherwise in good condition.

95Wagons's tool recommendation I got for under $10 CD and as a hammer tool I thought it sucked. I think fewer and fewer people have a vice it would fit in. The big vice-grips with a ball bearing or bolt do a fair job. Off brand products may not make the job easy. As he and I both mentioned there are solder only fittings.

grandpas wagon has a good tool For the record with shipping, boarder taxes, sales taxes, and the US dollar I would pay over $65 CD.

Mark:Snowman-33 the tool you have should be showcased in it's own thread. For the record with shipping, boarder taxes, sales taxes, and the US dollar I would pay over $100 CD. A good price for my complete cable replacement but a bad economy for one end.
 

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While i have made A LOT of cables with my methods and not had issues in years of operation, I will concede that grampaswagons and gbhs72s submissions are superior and vastly superior.
Added to my list of things to buy
The only other thing I might add in my highjack, if soldering ,sometimes drilling a 1/16 hole at the other end and backfilling is a good route if you can't plunge the wire.
 

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Z0B4U I wasn't trying to hijack your thread. I do agree that for a once in awhile job your idea is great. Since there was the other comment about an alternate solution to something that is an occasional maintenance problem with our aging cars. I just thought I would offer my thought. I apologize for upsetting you with what I thought may be helpful input. I also had forgotten about the cost to our northern Friends. Maybe we should have we should a thread to post about tools pros & cons instead of Misc.

Mark: Snowman-33
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Mark: Snowman-33 I am starting to think you might be part Canadian or have hung around us too long at some point.:) No apology required, I should repost all suggestions under battery tools. For that mater my version of the Big three does not belong here. With return and warranty issues in Canada I would not go with HF on a complicated tool. The bolt cutter style one would be nice. I have a linesman set but never get around to machining a smaller die set for common automotive work. Buying extra dies would cost more than the tools you suggest.

I am serious about you posting some pictures of how you use the tool and the results. I have had access to some high dollar tools but they were restricted to work with one company's parts to meet certification.
 
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