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Old 30-04-2013, 06:52   #31
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Re: How do you crimp #8 AWG terminals?

I would add that the best tutorials I've ever seen (and from which I link in my crimping article) are those written by Maine Sail of Compass Marine, who posts here on occasion:

Compass Marine "How To" Articles Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com

Incredible experience and mastery of techniques is found therein.
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Old 30-04-2013, 07:08   #32
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Re: How do you crimp #8 AWG terminals?

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
Interesting. Just last night I posted an entry on my blog outlining my crimping tools and my plans to purchase one of those hydraulic lug crimpers:

The world encompassed: Crimping and saving

I figured that with the number of 8 AWG to 2/0 AWG crimps I'll be doing this summer, the thing would pay for itself in about a dozen crimps. When the lug and wire are large, I really think it's important to seal all voids and to cold-form the wire. A hammer and die are not ideal for this, in my view.

At the same time, I've done 8 AWG crimps of sufficient soundness with a 10 AWG ratcheting crimper, but it left scratches.
I have used/owned the HFT hydraulic crimp tools and the dies are improperly sized and either over or under crimp. On some sizes you can get pretty close but not all.

KL Jack here in Portland Maine 207-878-3600 sells the FTZ lug crimping tool for $159.99 and it works flawlessly on both flared starter lugs and the heavy duty lugs.

It is a great value in a lug crimp tool. I own a couple of them (bench and hand held versions) and have done literally thousands of lug crimps with them and not yet needed to replace a die. It is a decent copy of the AMP Roto-Crimp 600850 tool for about 1/12th the price...

I bought the HFT tool for its compactness, and for tight spaces, but I wound up giving it away. It simply was not worth putting my name on those "crimps". Sure, I could have had custom dies made but it would have exceeded the cost of the tool by about four times.... The price is right, and the hydraulic part is not too bad, but if the shoe does not fit.......
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Old 30-04-2013, 07:43   #33
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Re: How do you crimp #8 AWG terminals?

A lot of bad advice has been presented here. If you want to do it right and have it last, do it right. Electrical failures on a boat that's away from the dock are no fun.

A hammer and screwdriver does not make a proper crimp connection. It will corrode and it will fail. Same for other half a$$ makeshift tools. Soldering is inappropriate for a boat. Solder will wick up the wire/cable and create a stress point where it will eventually fail. Solder is not better than a proper crimp.

#8 crimping tools are indeed hard to find. Quality ones are available but at a cost of a couple hundred dollars. Renting is a possibility. Harbor Freight sells a crimper that will handle #8 wire. It is a POS, but it will get the job done.

An Internet search will reveal the theory behind proper electrical crimps and why makeshift methods won't get the job done.

It might be easier and more cost effective to use #6 cable instead of #8 in some cases. #6 crimping tools are pretty common.

A "trick" is to use a #6 terminal with #8 cable but cut some extra wire strands to fill the extra space in the #6 terminal opening. Use a #6 crimping die. This is something you should probably practice a couple times before doing it on your boat.
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Old 30-04-2013, 08:52   #34
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Re: How do you crimp #8 AWG terminals?

FWIW,

A fellow who demonstrated to me his Harbor Freight hydraulic crimper was the catalyst to launch my exploration of properly crimping larger AWG 4/0 stranded copper wire. Along the way, I lurked in too many discussion groups and read too many technical papers about crimping.

That said, IMO Maine Sail presents the best "what you need to know" about crimping.

One of the discussion groups focused on the importance of proper die size and used the HF hydraulic crimper as an example that was not suitable for AWG Stranded wire (solid copper wire, SAE, aluminum, etc. is sized differently), and that was my observation: It created odd wing-like crimps. Perhaps that model's dies have been updated since then or the user didn't select the correct size.

At any rate, that discussion group (folks building electric cars/equipment) determined that a Chinese product's (YQK) dies actually met acceptable specs for crimping AWG stranded wire (AWG/mm2) at a reasonable price. Using AWG wire data, die sizes, and discussions with wire techs, the YKQ seemed adequate for the job, and much better than a vise grip. The tool is simple and sturdy. I just want it to get me through my project and I believe it will do that.

I bought a YQK-240A for $89; the YQK-120A (the A models are the latest) would have been a better choice for better wire sizing range in a bit smaller tool. I believe it is an awesome tool for not much more money than an Ancor double-crimper! Actually, I need them both to cover the wire sizes.

The seller was on E-Bay DBA as Amonstar Trading. I had a series of quirky problems on my end about receiving the shipment, but the vendor provided excellent personal service and prompt contact working that issue with me. (To be clear, the problem was mine, and had nothing to do with the vendor.)

I did discover a variety of Chinese knock-offs of the YQK. The discussion group cautioned that the YQK-labeled version is best and has "silver" color dies, which indicate a preferred die metal.

My original links to this product don't function; I had to do considerable searching before I found a vendor who had product and accepted paypal. I bought mine in December 2012. The link I just found today provides specs on the YQK crimpers:

16-240mm2 Hydraulic Wire Crimper ( YQK-240)

I add the usual disclaimer about personal interests ... perhaps somebody will benefit from the info.

Roger
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Old 30-04-2013, 09:43   #35
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Re: How do you crimp #8 AWG terminals?

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Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
You don't deserve a CF Advisory title,
nor
A McGiver title.
I realize that tool ownership is something of a religion for folks who make a living with tools, but some of our commercial members here have once again lost the perspective of the boat owner.

I've owned five sailboats and two dive boats over the course of the past several decades. In all that time, I've only had to crimp a #8 AWG terminal once. It's unlikely that I'll run into another opportunity to work with that gauge anytime in the future.

I own a ratcheting crimper and have access to a lug crimper, neither of a which accommodates #8 AWG. The advice to run out and purchase such a tool is a complete non-starter for the normal boat owner, especially if it costs $162. I keep my tools on the boat, not in a workshop, and I haven't got room for such an extravagance even if I had the money.

One of the reason this forum asked me to become an advisor is that I've been willing to stand up to commercial members when they decide from time to time to time to bully regular members. Indeed, I proposed changes to our forum rules that disallow commercial members from trashing each others' products and/or services. It might be a good idea for commercial members to consult with those rules, because this forum has in the past invited commercial members who can't play nice to play somewhere else.

For the record, the CF Board of Advisors exists to advise the forum management, not its members. Regardless, every once in a while CF Advisors post something in public forums that's useful to our membership as well. Last time I checked, I had more than 600 thank-you PMs from members for helping them with a issues related to cruising. Let's hope my advice continues to be a bit more common-sense than were I telling sailboat owners that they shouldn't go to sea without a hydraulic crimper in case they need to deal with #8 AWG.
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Old 30-04-2013, 09:49   #36
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Re: How do you crimp #8 AWG terminals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svtrio View Post
FWIW,

A fellow who demonstrated to me his Harbor Freight hydraulic crimper was the catalyst to launch my exploration of properly crimping larger AWG 4/0 stranded copper wire. Along the way, I lurked in too many discussion groups and read too many technical papers about crimping....
SVTRIO

Good post, but it begs the question: why not for $70 more go for the FTZ, rather than "taking a chance" on the YQK?
Just asking.
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Old 30-04-2013, 10:52   #37
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Re: How do you crimp #8 AWG terminals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
I realize that tool ownership is something of a religion for folks who make a living with tools,
[snip]
I own a ratcheting crimper and have access to a lug crimper, neither of a which accommodates #8 AWG. The advice to run out and purchase such a tool is a complete non-starter for the normal boat owner, especially if it costs $162.
Exactly! Yes, I know a Proper Tool for the job would be best, but this is the real world, and I'm cruising on a budget. There is no way I could justify that kind of cost (or even $50 for a Harbor Freight special) for something to be used once -- especially since I can "make do" with a pair of vise grips.

Because checking the batteries is a once per month item and every connection comes off at that time, routine maintenance means I look for and see potential issues before they are critical. Anyway, thanks Bash for standing up for those of us without unlimited budgets and space for specialty tools. Simply because something is best doesn't mean that good enough isn't just that. IMO.
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Old 30-04-2013, 11:00   #38
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Re: How do you crimp #8 AWG terminals?

SVTatia,

I have a long-handled manual (non-hydraulic) crimper, which is popular among boat wholesale suppliers in this area. It produces a passable "single-bite" crimp, but it is unwieldy, especially if I have to crimp in-place in the boat. Its crimp adjustment isn't very accurate. Despite the leverage afforded by the long handles, I have to work too hard for the crimp.

The hydraulic advantage means I don't have to exert so much effort, and the shorter handles mean I can crimp in-place, if necessary. Morever, the size-specific hexagonal crimps are much better than the single-bite of my long-handled crimper.

Compare the YQK to other hydraulic crimpers, which I could never justify in terms of cost.

I hadn't realized that Maine Sail had posted again on this topic while I was preparing my first post, and I see that his assessment of the HF crimper was similar to my own.

Roger
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Old 30-04-2013, 11:05   #39
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I have found that my economy Nicopress tool can be used to crimp a variety of large gauge terminals ... probably not suitable for everyday use ... but for the occasional crimp it works well.
http://www.aircraft-spruce.com/catal...no2swageit.php
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Old 30-04-2013, 11:16   #40
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Re: How do you crimp #8 AWG terminals?

There is an enormous gap between ideal best practice and what is seen on cruising boats.
While some practices can be considered completely unsatisfactory such as the professional marine electronics technician in an Italian marina that commonly joined wires by twisting them together with a roll of insulation tape over the join, others such as many of methods presented here, are quite serviceable and will be an improvement over much of the existing wiring.

I would encourage everyone to make the best electrical joints possible, but keep some perspective.

A useful technique with large cables is to crimp with any of the techniques suggested here and then solder the joint. Ideally some glue lined heat shrink waterproofs the joint and provides some strain relief) This removes one of the major concern with soldered joints that overheating could allow the wire to pull out. The solder will provide a good electrical connection, the crimp even if crude will provide mechanical connection. This can be done with minimal equipment, non standard crimps etc. With some caution over joints subject to vibration (which is a concern no matter how the joint is made) the results are more than adequate.

Techniques like this are needed for the cruising sailor.

The first yacht I owned had large connections done like this. They are still satisfactory 25 years later.
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Old 30-04-2013, 13:00   #41
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Re: How do you crimp #8 AWG terminals?

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
................A useful technique with large cables is to crimp with any of the techniques suggested here and then solder the joint.............. .
Again, soldering is a poor way of making marine electrical connections. A poor way. If soldering were acceptable, boat builders would do it. They don't and there's a reason.

Do it right or don't do it at all. Pay someone who knows how to do it right and sleep well at night. Or do it half a$$ed and break down or worse at sea.
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Old 30-04-2013, 13:08   #42
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Re: How do you crimp #8 AWG terminals?

Bash,

I certainly hope this was not aimed at me as in "some of our commercial members here have once again lost the perspective of the boat owner" . I am a boat owner, who actually works on boats. Being that I am no longer a highly paid white collar guy I need to watch my boat bucks more carefully than I once used to.

I try my hardest to bring as much "value" to fellow boaters as possible and save them money when ever I can. The FTZ crimper I recommended to Alchemy, over the HFT tool, is a very good knock off of a tool that a costs about 1.5k - 2k.... For the up charge over the HFT it does a great job and makes a crimp very comparable to a four figure tool. In a lug crimper that price, along with the durability of the tool, is very tough to beat.

Personally I use a $1200.00 crimp tool for red & blue insulated terminals and a $600.00 tool for yellow terminals and I have never once advised anyone buy these tools for DIY level work. I never would either.

Instead I usually offer up significantly less expensive alternatives that perform exceptionally well for the money. I search out these tools because I am often the guy fixing the boat and handing the owner a bill because he did not want to spend the money on the right tool, and instead I have to hand him a bill for $300.00.. From my perspective, tools are always free in the long haul, even good ones. I also do my own testing of any tool I recommend to be sure it is a "good value'......

The tool I was discussing with Alchemy does not even do #8. The best advice I can give on #8 is to jump to #6...... You can also use an uninsulated #8 in a crimp die made for insulated #10 but it is still not the "right fit" and you could damage your tool doing so....

That said Pro's Kit sells some inexpensive crimp handles and you can then pick and choose your dies. They are not "top shelf" but a darn good tool & value for the money. Dies run $15.00 - $25.00 (most are in the $15.00 range) and the crimp frames $25.00 - $40.00, for ratcheting frames. Rather than buy multiple tools you buy one or two frames and a bunch of dies. A pretty darn good value that takes up a lot less space.

Even I don't stock much #8. It is a rare instance when I really "need" to use #8 where a #6 would not serve me better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
I realize that tool ownership is something of a religion for folks who make a living with tools, but some of our commercial members here have once again lost the perspective of the boat owner.

I've owned five sailboats and two dive boats over the course of the past several decades. In all that time, I've only had to crimp a #8 AWG terminal once. It's unlikely that I'll run into another opportunity to work with that gauge anytime in the future.

I own a ratcheting crimper and have access to a lug crimper, neither of a which accommodates #8 AWG. The advice to run out and purchase such a tool is a complete non-starter for the normal boat owner, especially if it costs $162. I keep my tools on the boat, not in a workshop, and I haven't got room for such an extravagance even if I had the money.

One of the reason this forum asked me to become an advisor is that I've been willing to stand up to commercial members when they decide from time to time to time to bully regular members. Indeed, I proposed changes to our forum rules that disallow commercial members from trashing each others' products and/or services. It might be a good idea for commercial members to consult with those rules, because this forum has in the past invited commercial members who can't play nice to play somewhere else.

For the record, the CF Board of Advisors exists to advise the forum management, not its members. Regardless, every once in a while CF Advisors post something in public forums that's useful to our membership as well. Last time I checked, I had more than 600 thank-you PMs from members for helping them with a issues related to cruising. Let's hope my advice continues to be a bit more common-sense than were I telling sailboat owners that they shouldn't go to sea without a hydraulic crimper in case they need to deal with #8 AWG.
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Old 30-04-2013, 13:13   #43
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I think posts that recommend to make crimps on high power cables such as AWG8 and bigger with a tool that is suitable, even if it isn't optimal, like the hydraulic crimper or the nicro crimper, is okay.

But posts that advice to use screwdrivers, hammers, vice-grips etc., none of which can crimp a terminal, should be removed. Next time we hear about a couple of kids died in a boat fire because daddy used vice-grips to crimp the starter cable after reading that here. Completely unacceptable.

If you can't afford the tool, borrow one, rent one or ask somebody with the tool to do it for you. Anybody who looks like I can trust them with it can come to me and borrow it. For free.
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Old 30-04-2013, 13:30   #44
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Re: How do you crimp #8 AWG terminals?

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Again, soldering is a poor way of making marine electrical connections. A poor way. If soldering were acceptable, boat builders would do it. They don't and there's a reason.
I have nothing against crimping, but it does need the right tools the right crimp connection, and the correctly sized wire. If these components are not correct the results can be poor. In out of the way places, these conditions are unlikely to be met.

Conventional boat building practices are necessarily an indication of high standards. Look no further than brass seacocks, polyester resin etc etc.
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Old 30-04-2013, 14:30   #45
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Re: How do you Crimp #8 AWG Terminals?

When I started rewiring my boat I made a few crimps with the Ancor Hammer tool and decided that the crimps would be fine in a pinch - cruising make do till better could be made. But that they would not meet the quality I was looking in for a rewire.

Thus I bought a Greenlee K09-2GL. The tool has gotten a workout and now that I have it the number of boaters who want to be my friend has gone up...

I doubt that I would buy such a tool for just one #8 crimp. But then again who makes 1 crimp? Additionally, here in the moorage I could "loan" it out for $10 a day or some such and make the cost back soon enough.

I may end up selling it but I would replace it with a smaller hydraulic tool to stash aboard.

Of course I have a ratcheting tool for 10-22 gauge wire and would be lost without it.


And I do agree all the talk about vice grips and such for a non-emergency crimp is just bad, very bad.

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