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Old 11-18-2007
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Crimping battery lugs

Thanks for slogging thru all that battery system upgrade stuff. Now, I just read that Practical Sailor says that the hammer crimper (which I just bought) makes totally ineffective crimps as there is still air in there and hence future corrosion. Seems like a hammer crimp, followed by a good solder job, followed by adhesive shrink tubing should be great. I know soldering is just an adjunct cause it could melt under heat and that it may make the connection brittle if flexed alot. Do you guys have continuing issues with hammer crimps and what about my suggestions? Alternatives, rent a big honking crimper? And whats this about a hex vs dimple crimp?
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I like the industrial hex crimpers.. but they're a bit expensive.
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Old 11-18-2007
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Everything I've heard and read says not to hammer-crimp battery terminals.
Many chandleries will crimp them for you, or let you use their big crimpers to do it. Alternatively, you can buy pre-made battery cables of varying lengths.
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thanks for the hex crimper link. Not too much more than that darn hammer crimper. Do you need to by a die for each lug size?
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Glad to help. Don't believe so, as I don't believe it uses dies. If it required separate dies, it would have them listed as accessories.
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In a pinch....ouch--sorry for the pun :-) ...

I've found that a Nicopress tool works quite well. It makes very secure crimps and may even be an acceptable substitute for a proper hex crimp tool.

Bill
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Bad Bill...bad, bad Bill... not punny... not punny at all. A Nicopress tool is probably only good for the larger battery cables. The hex crimper I posted a link to above will do 8-4/0 AWG. Since my ratchet crimping tool does down to 10 AWG... that would cover most of the wiring needs for my boat.
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Personally, I would buy the pre-made cables unless you plan on doing it for other folks as well. As far as soldering goes, the connection is supposed to be just as strong with or without solder so the crimp has to be just as good. This is a place where you can't make a mistake...
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OK, hammer crimper = bad for lugs, Hex crimper= good and no solder needed.
Am redoing batteries and adding new combiner switch, acr, link 20 so Im guessing itll pay for itself rather than buying premade cables. Certainly be more convenient than 20 trips to the store.
As you guys said, sooner or later we end up with one of everything.
Thanks.
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Genuinedealz.com has these premeasured plugs of solder/flux. place into the lug, heat until melted , then just stick the bare end of the cable into the molten solder, wait until solid. They also have really great prices for tinned wire and cable
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