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Crimping tool for 50mm lugs


dantastic
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I need to get a crimping tool for larger lugs, battery cable size.

Most of the ones I have come across are just a hex compression and no indentation as I would expect from a well crimped lug.

So am I wrong here, the hex crimpers are fine or where can I get a proper one?

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I have a hydraulic crimper from ebay it was £40 I know a few others on here also brought one and everyone seems happy, I use it for Anderson connectors and it works really well but I did use solder in mine just in case.

Jason.

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Another vote for the ebay-special hydraulic crimp tool.

Mike,

I too used to solder large cables - 35mm2 and up onto Anderson connector lugs – but this required liquid flux, a seriously heavy duty soldering iron/blowtorch and large diameter (electrical!) solder – all of which is expensive and with a £35 crimper producing good, repeatable results that, as has been stated, crimps properly. So the OP is probably better off buying/borrowing one of those than getting tooled up for soldering.

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Why crimp

As a mechanic, when working, fitting new lugs to battery cables was a normal simple job

All battery clamps and lugs were soldered, nothing else.

Do you mean car/ Land Rover size cable or truck size ?

Most of us on here are dealing with Landrover starter motor cables, and upto larger sizes required for winch power cables.

IMO, crimping is quicker and cleaner than soldering, and possibly a less skilled task to achieve. It is also the OEM method employed these days.

Also there is the benefit of being able to re-terminate a cable with minimal slack without removing it from the car.

Few people today have the huge old-fashioned chunk-of-copper-on-a-stick type soldering irons that would cope well with this job, which leaves heavy soldering down to a blow torch of some kind. I prefer not to have to use a blow torch unless I can hold things securely in a vice.

I am not knocking the mechanical strength of a soldered joint!

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I don't use a soldering irn for those type of jobs. A simple Gaz blowtorch does the job.....

Yes I do have "proper" soldering irons but I wouldn't think of using them for a job like lugs.

Just looked. Camping Gaz blowlamp £17.50 on fleabay AND it can do other jobs...

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Another happy customer of the ebay crimper here.

I keep the soldering for electronics jobs these days.

Have a certified rathet crimper for the red blue yellow terminals but the hydraulic crimper does an ace job on the heavy cables.

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Another happy customer of the ebay crimper here.

I keep the soldering for electronics jobs these days.

Have a certified rathet crimper for the red blue yellow terminals but the hydraulic crimper does an ace job on the heavy cables.

It's a huge ammount of money for me to buy to use once in a blue moon. I haven't done battery lugs for ten years.... Maybe because I still work on the bonus payment ...Do the job once. Do it right.

I'm not saying that the crimper is wrong. Just a waste of money for me when I think there's a better way.

Don't think soldering and crimping work. I remember seeing Tony Pond towed into a service area with a very dead TR7. After the car was repaired I spoke to the mechanic asking about the broken joint. Crimped and soldered.

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Crimping and soldering doesn't work if you do it the wrong way around. Solder is soft and can migrate so if you solder first and then crimp the joint will eventually come loose as the solder migrates.

If you crimp first then solder afterwards then the solder simply improves the electrical connection and provides resistance to corrosion in the joint. The crimp has already compressed the conductors so even if all the solder somehow fell out it would still maintain it's mechanical integrity.

If you're making up winch cables I'd always crimp then solder the joint as you need the absolute minimum resistance, especially on 12v. Remember that to get 300 Amps through your winch motor you need a maximum of 0.04 ohms in the whole circuit. Normally a minimum of 10 connections, 12 if you have a winch cut off switch. To get the maximum out of an XP motor you need up to 500A and the only way you can get close to that is if your total resistance is less than 0.024 ohms.

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Fairly certain that a soldered joint has a higher resistance to a properly crimped joint.

A properly soldered joint is always lower resistance than a purely mechanical joint assuming they are both done properly. The vast majority of modern electronics use SMT which has no mechanical joint, relying solely on solder to provide electrical and mechanical joints.

Crimping then soldering gives you mechanical security and the solder improves the electrical conductivity. best of both worlds.

Either way, adding solder to a crimped joint is NOT going to increase the resistance of the joint !

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I never said adding solder to a crimped joint increased the resistance, that would be silly :) . I was referring to a soldered joint versus a crimped joint not a combination of the two

Solder has a higher resistance than copper so a soldered joint (not crimped and soldered) will have a higher resistance than a properly crimped joint as the electricity will have to flow through the solder surely.

Granted that the vast majority of modern electronics use SMT which has no mechanical joint, however the resistance differences we are talking about will really only be of interest in high current applications which are rarely going to be seen in SMT applications.

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<sigh> Not the crimp versus solder debate again. Fact remains a £15 pair of ebay crimpers will, in non-expert hands, produce a more reliable joint than the same non-expert will with a £15 soldering iron. And I thinks it’s fair to say that the majority of posters in this thread take the view that this also applies when you go up the scale, size-wise.

Mike, I agree that for £40 it seems like an extravagance – but I took the view that I only wanted to do it once, too. Given I have to do quite a substantial re-wire, plus I seem to have become the one amongst my circle of friends (both of them) who ‘knows about car electrics’, it seemed like a decent investment. Far better than waving a blowlamp near mine (or someone else’s) pride and joy. I have a grinder for setting fire to things.

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For most users, crimping with a suitable tool (let’s not resurrect the I just crimp it in a vice method!) will enable you to produce a consistent, reliable joint with no risk of collateral damage- melted insulation etc.

I wrote a fairly comprehensive instructable on this relatively recently, from which the following is the relevant extracts regarding soldering;

“Crimp systems are designed to compact the wire strands together to a set level so that no interstitial spaces (gaps) are left between the strands. This stops both moisture and oxygen entering the crimp and therefore prevents corrosion from occurring. If this is correctly carried out, soldering the rear of a crimp (as some people will recommend) will have no effect on the corrosion resistance of the joint as there will be no space for the solder to enter. Ultimately the crimp process aims to deform the wire and crimp to a preset level, to eliminate the spaces as well as cold work the wire to a pre-determined level.”

“Soldering- you may see recommendations to solder crimps elsewhere. There is absolutely no need to solder any crimp. In fact you may reduce the reliability of the crimp by doing so. Crimps are designed to control the flexure of cable at the entry point. Soldering can stiffen the joint and result in premature failure.”

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-A-Quality-Crimped-Joint/

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I brought the £40 crimper from eBay and have to say that it's been great, I had a fair bit of wiring to do on the trailer and rear storage unit, but have used it for so many jobs since.

It starts at 4mm and goes up to 70mm and is a tool I'm glad I brought it, it has been £40 well spent in my opinion, I even used the tool to crimp some steel cable, it gets used at least once a month if not more. Any tool that allows me to do a good job and do it once is great in my book.

Jason.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I use two lumps of angle iron. One has a pair of small weld spots on the inside faces, the other is cut to a point at one end. Put the lug in one, and hit the other with a gurt hammer. Flawless over the 100-odd connections for our 2000Ah solar rig. If you're doing lots, weld a tag on the apex of the bottom of the bottom one (if that's not gibberish), and clamp it up in a vice.

Additionally, if I'm wearing the belt along with the braces, then I tin the end of the cable, and the socket of the lug, and use the gas axe to lightly warm the whole shebang when I've given it a good crimping. If you're really nifty, you can get the heatshrink to tighten up at the same time!

It's surprising how many tools you can substitute with a gas axe and a big hammer...

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