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Old 02-08-2010, 13:47   #1
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Crimping 0/2 Cable

I need to make a number of new battery cables for my primary DC side. I intend to use 0/2 wire and need to intall good ring terminals and heatshrink. I have seen these tools that one uses a hammer on but am thinking thats not the way to go. OTOH if the proper tool is rediculously expensive I guess I could get all the lengths together and give them to a pro.
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Old 02-08-2010, 13:52   #2
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If youve only got a few to do, I guess just take them to a shop cos the crimpers are expensive
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Old 02-08-2010, 13:59   #3
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Use a proper crimp tool. These ARE expensive, but well worth it.

For professional crimps, you need three things:

(1) good lugs of the proper size for the wire AND for the stud;
(2) a proper crimper; and
(3) heavy-wall adhesive heat shrink tubing.

I see your boat's in Annapolis. I live in Arlington, just west of National Airport. If you're down this way I'd be happy to do the crimps for you for just the cost of materials and, maybe, a Mt. Gay & Coke :-)

PM me or email me bill at wdsg dot com

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Old 02-08-2010, 14:01   #4
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Many West Marine locations have the crimpers available for customers to use, mounted to a shelf at the store.
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Old 02-08-2010, 14:32   #5
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I thought crew were easy to come by these days...you don't need crimps any more.
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Old 02-08-2010, 14:32   #6
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I have quite a few cables to do as I am making all new primary wiring. Im using 2 alternators. I have an inverter, and will be installing 8 six volt agms that i need to make all the sereis cables for. Also have the shunts and busses to do too.

I have seen the big cable cutter looking tools at west marine and the one in Annapolis specifically says not for battery cables. Plus I would be there all day and making a mess of the store. I'm pretty sure thats not the right tool anyway.

btrayfors maybe you want to rent the tool for a handle or two of Sailor Jerry, Mount Gay, Krakken, Goslings what ever your pleasure?

Will be a few weeks until I have it all diagramed out and know exactly what the lenghts and stud sizes all are anyway. Headed over to Oxford to race dinghies for a few days.
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Old 02-08-2010, 14:56   #7
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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
Cleaning Corrosion from High Tension Electrical Cables

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

FWIW...
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Old 02-08-2010, 15:05   #8
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I am installing an inverter now a pretty big project! The shop (they make lots of cables for comm. fishermen and work boats) where I had the cables crimped used the hammer type crimper. Cables I have had made there on for a previous boat held up fine.
Whatever method you use remember the carpenters adage "Measure twice cut once" It is best to measure by running the cable in place pull it out then measuring and cutting the cable, remember to add for the terminals, a tape measure unless you are very experienced at this will not work out well. didn't for me anyway
Good luck!
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Old 02-08-2010, 15:10   #9
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A member of the forum has a good how to article here......Making Your Own Battery Cables Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com
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Old 02-08-2010, 15:13   #10
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Im thinking this is the tool to use, $229 though, have to think about it. Maybe I can find a used one on E-bay?

Marine-Grade System Wiring
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Old 02-08-2010, 15:41   #11
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Anybody used a hammer crimper?
FTZ Industries: Solderless Terminals, Heat Shrink Tubing, Battery Terminals, Wire, Tools, Industrial Connectors, and more

For $30 seems like a good alternative.
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Old 02-08-2010, 16:43   #12
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I took and old large pair of vice grips and ground a radius between the jaws with a carbide burr and stone to make a pair for 1/0 cables. It worked great. Except I did have to put in a longer adjust stud to make up for the missing jaw gap. And it was a bit hard to squeeze but I did it in steps.

I'll post a picture later.

Cable crimpers for 5/8" or 3/4" wire would work too if they'd be available.

Or an old pair of bolt cutters with bad jaws that could be ground to the proper radius.
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Old 02-08-2010, 16:49   #13
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I am sure that Bill would also advise you to get good quality, seamless, tinned lugs with the flared entry for the cable Also a good sharp set of proper sickle type cable cutters. Good, square, compressed strand cuts make a world of difference in the finished product. Don't be tempted to cut this cable with a hacksaw, it will give you a 1/2ass finish, I guaratee you.
My favourite crimpers, which I don't lend out , have the rotating die wheels in the jaws for different gauge sizes, and make a hexagonal crimp, which the heatshrink forms nicely to.
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Old 02-08-2010, 17:18   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
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
Cleaning Corrosion from High Tension Electrical Cables

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

FWIW...
That's what I use. Squeeze at two separate points. Gives a good looking connection, and I can't help thinking that being compressed all the way around is better than just one point with the hammer tools.
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Old 02-08-2010, 17:24   #15
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Right tool eh?

Having converted my 30 foot Nonsuch to electric propulsion two years ago. I went with a heavy racheting crimper. I have had no problems with any of the connections on my 48 volt battery bank. THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: GOING ELECTRIC PART 18: Tools of the electric sailor.
My feeling was the right tool for the right job. I also bought a ratcheting cable cutter. Another good investment. Shop around online and you can get decent prices. You battery connections are pretty important. Why mess around? You do want that diesel to start when you need it right? Besides you'll have them onboard aready when the diesel finally dies and you want to convert to electric propulsion.

Capt. Mike
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