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Old 16-10-2008, 19:35   #16
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I own both...

I own both the Anchor hammer crimper and a beautiful set of bolt cutter like battery lug crimper's. I paid about $160.00 for the real crimper's and they are worth every single penny. They paid for themselves in ONE job. Considering custom terminated battery cables charge about $10.00 - $15.00 per crimp they are well worth it.

I bought the large crimper's after using my Ancor hammer crimper once. Those crimps, in my opinion, are NOT a quality crimp. The point loading Gord talks about is real! Battery lugs are no place for a "dimple crimp"..

There is NO COMPARISON between the two crimps. Again the big crimper's will pay for themselves quickly!!
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Old 16-10-2008, 19:41   #17
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I never disagree with having the right tool for the job. However in the case where the job is so infrequent as to make purchase of the right tool less than cost effective I try to rent/borrow the tool. However as a licensed mechanic I hate to lend my tools so conversely I hate to borrow tools.

For our batteries - I rewired all three last year - I bought marine grade lugs and a butane powered torch.

After properly stripping the wire and slipping the shrink tube on the cable I inserted the wire and used a center punch to make two "dimple" crimps on the lug. I then applied plenty of heat and potted the terminals with solder. Finally sliding the shrink tube and shrinking it. The lugs are closed at the ring end (like a socket) so with the shrink tube they are as watertight as I could make them.

Would have preferred a proper crimper? Yes. Am I satisfied with what I have? Also yes.
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Old 16-10-2008, 20:03   #18
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when i used to do large cables in cars ( very large cb and ham amps and stereo amps up to 2/0 cables ) what i did and never had one fail was to heat the lug up and fill it with solder, then plunge the cable covered in flux into the hot solder and take the heat away a second or two later. this basicly allowed some solder to wick into the cable but not run up it too far. one guy i did some work for worked for a power company and swore it was a bad connection, so he tested one, the hole in the lug broke before the joint.

another thought is to get a cheap set of bolt cutters and dremel out the jaws till you get a correctly sized opening. the opening can be researched and this would cost 30 bucks plus an hours worth of time. an added bonus is i would bet there would be enough jaw left to be used to cut rigging
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Old 16-10-2008, 20:15   #19
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Seriously...

Seriously you have how many amps running though battery cables during start up? Lots! And you would rather save $60.00 - $80.00, the price difference between the hammer crimper and a good quality crimper? Those Ancor lug crimpers are worth about $9-10 yet they sell for $79.99!! They make a set of $160.00 crimpers look like steal...

I think this photo really hits home. I just took it a few minutes ago. I own both so I can actually speak with some actual knowledge on the subject. Please DO NOT waste your money on the Ancor hammer crimper!

In one battery re-wire a good set of crimpers is nearly paid for yet you'll own them for life and many more future boats will benefit... I have done over 300 crimps thus far with those crimpers on my own boats, friends boats and a few paying customers. If I was paying 10.00-15.00 per crimp...well...

Good tools are always free when you DIY!!!

GBanker you have an HR-53 treat her right and buy some good lug crimpers!!

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Old 17-10-2008, 08:32   #20
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"Seriously you have how many amps running though battery cables during start up?"
Tongue only halfway in cheek, I ask "So what's that got to do with it?" For most of us a starter motor is pulling, what? A kilowatt? 80-100A for three seconds on a #4-#2 cable?
Bearing in mind that the starter motor itself will be heat damaged from as little as 15 seconds of continuous use, how much more do you expect the cable to deal with, in normal use?

Given the right gauge cable, the starter motor should be drawing current for only 2-5 seconds, and the cable won't heat up and the solder won't be an issue. In fact, some elevator motors use cables very much the same (and larger) that battery cables, and those are also solder-filled!

I prefer to use Solder-It soldering paste, sparingly injected into the cable before crimping, then applying heat until the water-white flux runs out.

I fully agree, a $160 tool that will need to be used for an hour every ten years is a Real Nice Thing To Have...but awfully hard to justify. Especially when it ISN'T all that different from a $30 lopping shears or bolt cutter. I've been tempted to have some slots machined in a bolt cutter, I just can't seem to find any "No, really, these are the correct and official sizes for crimps, no matter who makes them" specs. Apparently every vendor has their own dimensions for their own lugs--and their own tools?!
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Old 17-10-2008, 08:51   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
Always used a big heap of heat and solder as well.

Dave
I have some very high capacity batteries (100 AH) wired in parallel and connected to a charging system that consists of either an AC charger and regulator, or a solar system I use in the house.

(I use it to operate several radios for emergency power when required)

I SOLDER all connections, regardless of crimps. The more current you're running, the better the mechanical connection MUST be (that's your crimp) and the better the electrical connection needs to be as well (that's the soldering).

I'd recommend both (along with the insulation, and other methods to prevent corrosion)
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Old 17-10-2008, 09:04   #22
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"For most of us a starter motor is pulling, what? A kilowatt? 80-100A for three seconds on a #4-#2 cable?"

The typical starter motor on a marine diesel will draw a lot more than that when cranking an engine....upwards of 250 amps is more like it.

IMHO, #2 or #4 wire is much too small. Due to rigors of the marine environment which, over time, will cause less than optimum transfer of energy through the battery cables to the starter motor, and to the desirability of having a minimum voltage drop under load (heavy load...250A), I think that 1/0 cable is appropriate even for very short runs. For runs longer than about 10' total (there and back), even larger battery cable is better.

Bill
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Old 17-10-2008, 09:14   #23
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Bill, what do you call "typical" ?

The 12-20hp engine that's on MOST recreational sailboats, or the 40+ hp engine that's probably found on less than 10% of the rec sailboats? Last time I heard numbers, something like 50% of the entire recreational sailing "fleet" was under 30'OAL and 90% under 36 or 38' OAL.

To me, "typical" is the small stuff. Not the 40+ footers, not the commercial stuff, but the typical (bul of the market/fleet) recreational sailing vessel.

Rigors of the marine environment? Tinned cable stops that pretty nicely. To me, if it isn't tinned cable, it shouldn't have been on the water, that's a mistake worse than crimping with a sledge hammer and blunt chisel.
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Old 17-10-2008, 09:29   #24
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Guys...

He has a Hallberg-Rassy 53! He's probably got an electric thruster, perhaps winches and many other high load devices. I've been on board an HR-53 (Bernie & Kates old boat - Rogue Wave Yacht Sales) and they are LOADED with big draw items..

A good set of crimpers, in the scheme of an HR-53, is like most of us reaching in our pockets for gumball change.

As I said I own the hammer crimper and I did not find it satisfactory enough for my sub 100k value boat let alone a seven figure vessel... I'm sure the extra $80.00 for the right tool won't send GBanker to the poor house..

P.S. Once every ten years? I've used it three times on my old boat just this season tweaking layouts and adding equipment. As I said it has paid for its self many times over..
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Old 17-10-2008, 09:33   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
To me, if it isn't tinned cable, it shouldn't have been on the water, that's a mistake worse than crimping with a sledge hammer and blunt chisel.
It's funny that the Ancor hammer crimper is nothing more than a tweaked version of the hammer and blunt chisel...
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Old 18-10-2008, 10:27   #26
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While installing 2/0 Cable for our windlass, we came up with an effective method for adding lugs to heavy duty cable. See post #20 at
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...es-3456-2.html

The Swage-It tool (SWAGE-IT TOOLS ) is available at Defender, West Marine etc. and makes a very effective attachment for the lugs.

s/v HyLyte
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