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Crimping winch cables


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it is about reducing the circumference of the metal tube part of the connector; I'll bet my method will reduce it more than your pliers thus producing the tighter crimp.

We can have a tug of war if you want to see which method is stronger :P

The original crimp on Tony's "pukka" supplied leads don't look particularly good and i'm not a fan of the crush it with pliers and a hammer method.

I would use the correct tool (which incidentally I have access to) This will ensure that the correct amount of force has been applied to the lug as to not overcrimp (weekening the construction of the crimp) or undercrimping (resulting in a loose connection). As O2 has stated the idea is to pull the outsides of the crimp in tight uniformally so that it grips evenly around the outside of the cable strands. I suspect that the pliers method will flatten the crimp leaving space at either side which will eventually become occupied by strands that work loose by vibration. Once the gaps are filled by these loose strands there is less pressure on the main bunch which will eventually work loose out of the crimp.

I would suspect that motor factors which supply adequate cable and crimps may have access to a set of crimpers.

Just my two penneth woth of course! :P

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  • 1 year later...

As part of my job I regularly make heavy current, low voltage DC connections. They are DC feeds to cinema arc lamps, and have to carry anything from 50 amps upwards. They must do that all day, every day. 100% duty cycle.

I use a hydraulic crimping tool, as described above it's calibrated and leaves identifying marks on the connection.

Speaking from a professional standpoint, I'm horrified at the idea of using pliers+hammer, pliers+vice etc. Several problems:- There is no way you're getting an evenly crimped connection so the current carrying capacity is reduced and resistance is increased, at low voltages resistance is your enemy, the connection will heat up quickly, wasting power which should be transferred to your winch motor, the conneciton then oxidises and the joint gets worse with every heat/cool cycle. My worst fear, especially as these are being used on a vehicle and prone to vibration, is that they'll simply come apart in time. Solder is a sound approach, as long as you're doing it properly ie like welding you're getting full penetration, not just filling in the holes. Most crimp lug type connectors are plated/tinned and solder well, if you can get enough heat into them. I do solder them on anything above 100A and anything that is going to be used portable, using a plumbers propane blowlamp for heat.

If the lugs fitted by the pliers and hammer method haven't failed yet, I reckon it's just a matter of time, and the fact that they are not used regularly. I've seen a few bodged winch supply cables come adrift with fairly spectacular results. I've also connected a fair few winch supply cables for mates in my time, none of them have ever let go.

If you haven't access to a proper crimper and don't want to shell out for one, most electrical factors will crimp it for you for a small charge if you bring the cables to them, or you can hire the tool.

Low voltage, high current DC is not to be played with, whilst it won't electrocute you, it will easily set fire your motor!

The problem with the bolt on type lugs in a vehicular application would be them undoing themselves with vibration I'd imagine. We sometimes see them on European made cinema kit, but they are by no means the norm.

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I haven't got a suitable pic from the right angle, you need to find bits that match up, I was lucky in that I had a photo of the 90 at the same angle as the chair so I nicked the wheels off that, and the penguin was facing the right way, but I don't have one of the 90 with the Safari on at the right angle - maybe on the weekend.

Anyway I don't want to go wading in my armchair as the cushions will go all soggy and there's nowt worse than having a wet @r%e :lol:

Meanwhile I have amended it slightly :)

get the winch fitted

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I don't mess about with winch wiring as winches should be powered by Hydraulics! :D LOL!

But I do have numerous large cables on the 130 for jump start sockets when I started the project I looked at all the different methods then looked at all the kit in the garge that I'd spent thousands on and thought, Stop being a tight git go and buy the tool for the job, my crimpers were 75 quid and have been fantastic.

At the end of the day they'll always be different vews on the best way to do it, but if anyone is in or around Leicestershire and wants their cables crimping your more than welcome to come here.

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Funnily enough I too have done a fair few for mates and to date have not been responsible for any failures/fires or otherwise.

the hydraulic crimped one I had done left a very sharp edge and was a poor connection.

Fair enough if you recommend your methods and I'm happy to agree they are the correct ones but all the same mine have performed happily for years

without any issues re heating/letting go or oxidisation present at any of the crimps and no winch failures etc etc.

To add I now Have twin motors on the front using this bodgtastic method :)

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  • 6 months later...

Here in Malta as a bodge solution we just smash the middle of the crimp with a chisel and hammer...

i have done a couple and never let go till now..

of course the proper way is to use the proper tool...

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I've used Tony's pliers and club hammer method with a good measure of success and no problems to date :) Don't hold the pliers too tightly though as the shock from the hammer flippin' hurts :)


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