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Old 08-13-2014, 07:47 AM   #1
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Soldering battery terminals

Here's something that may interest a few...from Trojan Batteries.

And before any tech wannabee's start talking hard points, etc....the life of a battery cable in m Ford F250 lives a much harder life than my trawler batteries.

The infrared shots really tell the story...well maybe not...would love to see many different crimps and terminal ends before I made any final judgements.

So have at it...another hornet's nest to dive into....

http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/WP_...Guide_0512.pdf

"It is therefore highly recommended that connectors not only be

mechanically crimped but also soldered to the cable’s end."
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:56 AM   #2
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You sure like the hornets nest.
It is interesting that they are recommending the crimped and soldered terminals. Not one but both. I think that is the key here, both crimped and soldered. Trojan has been doing this along time so I would hope they know what they are doing. Also, even though it is not mentioned, using the correct crimper should be key also. Seems that most of the cables that I have seen that have failed at the crimp, it was because they were done with the wrong tool. Wonder if this conflicts with ABYC?
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:57 AM   #3
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It would have been nice to show a hi res photo of that crimped connection.
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:17 AM   #4
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I know Trojan has been pushing the correct torque values but this is the first for using solder. Thanks.

Here are a few pictures of just crimped and crimped/soldered lugs.
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:26 AM   #5
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Only four it's so far- oh , I see. It started 36 minutes ago, so we have plenty of time left to have a full blown debate. Didn't we answer this question already !!


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Old 08-13-2014, 08:31 AM   #6
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OK I am lost, in making a crimped and soldered cable, do you crimp first and then solder, or solder then crimp? I am thinking that if you solder then crimp the crimp will crack the solder.
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:34 AM   #7
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OK I am lost, in making a crimped and soldered cable, do you crimp first and then solder, or solder then crimp? I am thinking that if you solder then crimp the crimp will crack the solder.
My preference would be to first crimp, then solder.
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:36 AM   #8
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Definitely Crimp first and then solder. After crimping then heat the connection to allow the solder to flow, don't heat the solder.
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:44 AM   #9
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My preference would be to first crimp, then solder.
Yes. We crimped, drilled a small hole and then filled with solder. You can see the hole in pic 1. It's amazing how much solder goes into the lug.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:25 AM   #10
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Good thing the internet didn't exist when tubeless tires came out.

And good for you PS, keeps the hits coming.
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:46 AM   #11
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OK I am lost, in making a crimped and soldered cable, do you crimp first and then solder, or solder then crimp? I am thinking that if you solder then crimp the crimp will crack the solder.
Of course you will but some people do it that way. It's going to fail at some point but if the engine starts, they think they've done good.
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Old 08-13-2014, 01:37 PM   #12
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It maybe better but crimping is good enough IMO . Their or shots showed temps well below the melting point of solder and way below that of lead.
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Old 08-13-2014, 03:13 PM   #13
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The method for soldering battery lugs (which by the way is specifically allowed for by AByC) is to use solder slugs. See links within this link for the how-to's. I really don't see how one could effectively crimp the solder a proper battery lug. Or the need to.

Terminal Solder Slugs

Here's the ABYC section:

11.16.3.7. Solder shall not be the sole means of mechanical connection in any circuit. If soldered, the connection shall be so located or supported as to minimize flexing of the conductor where the solder changes the flexible conductor into a solid conductor.
EXCEPTION: Battery lugs with a solder contact length of not less than 1.5 times the diameter of the conductor.
NOTE: When a stranded conductor is soldered, the soldered portion of the conductor becomes a solid strand conductor, and flexing can cause the conductor to break at the end of the solder joint unless adequate additional support is provided.

I used a slug once when rewiring a windlass cable. I didn't have the right crimper and didn't want to buy one just for that one connector. Worked out OK, had the cable really tied down.
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Old 08-13-2014, 04:58 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
The method for soldering battery lugs (which by the way is specifically allowed for by AByC) is to use solder slugs. See links within this link for the how-to's. I really don't see how one could effectively crimp the solder a proper battery lug. Or the need to.

Terminal Solder Slugs
Neat! Never had heard of solder slugs before, but watched the installation video at the link, and it looks easy enough to do.

Thanks!
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:47 PM   #15
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Crimping (with the correct tool and lugs) is a task easily learned. Soldering is an art. I used to solder nearly every day, sometimes hundreds of connections in a day. When I read some people's suggestions on how they do it, I cringe.

If you plan on soldering your battery cables, study hard, get the right tools, and practice over and over until you get it right. And don't set your boat on fire with the torch.
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Old 08-13-2014, 06:13 PM   #16
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The point of the OP was to learn to do both correctly for the best joint possible...if you want to debate that feel free to contact Trojan....
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:33 PM   #17
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Never had heard of solder slugs before, but watched the installation video at the link, and it looks easy enough to do.
Although, if I used the solder slug method, I would still want to crimp the lug in addition, just as a precaution. Shouldn't be a big deal, though. Do it their way, then crimp, then reheat the lug again to let the solder flow anew.
.
So far as the danger of burning the boat up (or down, depending on your orientation I suppose) don't know about other people but I always make battery cables at home, where I have a good workshop with a heavy-duty vise on the workbench, hacksaw handy, etc, etc.
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:01 PM   #18
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......... Shouldn't be a big deal, though. Do it their way, then crimp, then reheat the lug again to let the solder flow anew.
That's an example of how not to solder. If you think you need to do both, crimp, then solder.

We sometimes find we need to attach the lugs after the cables have been run. They may be running through a bulkhead or in a conduit and won't fit with the lugs attached.
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:02 PM   #19
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Suggest going back and reading the Compass Marine article on battery cables. It's those 1/2azzed crimps done with stuff like hammer crimps that Trojan is rightly worried about.
A proper crimp creates a completely solid bond.

Making Your Own Battery Cables Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:04 PM   #20
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.......... A proper crimp creates a completely solid bond.
Yes it does with no place for solder to flow.
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