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Discussion Starter #1
Since I own quite a few trucks and other engine driven equipment,:idea: I thought I should get set up to build my own battery cables using much heavier cable then the OE cables and much better lugs and terminals.
I had a set of just the positive cables made a few years back:rolleyes: when my 91 K2500 with a 6.2 was having very serious:bawl: cranking speed problems. I had replaced both batteries with the biggest that would fit and had replaced the starter and still had very slow cranking speed:wtf::wtf:. The conclusion was that my OE cables that looked good on the outside were not so good on the inside. The NAPA store didn't have any heavier than OE pre-made cables but told me they could get me anything I wanted custom made. I just needed to tell them lengths and type of ends. I order just the positive cables in 2-0 size. The price then[15 years ago], was pretty high. I think the 2 cables cost me close to $100:eek::eek:. They were worth it because my cranking speed was at least 3 times what it had been and the truck was starting great!
That leads me up to now, when I have so many of the diesels and most have the original marginal battery cables that more than likely are very corroded inside:thumbsdow. Another member here [JC Diesel] had posted a link of a hydraulic crimper for battery cables that was very reasonably priced.:thumb: Other crimpers I had seen were much more expensive and didn't have near as many sizes of crimping dies. So I ordered the crimper and started shopping for cable and lugs/terminals. I bought red and black 2-0 welding cable, red and black 8 gauge wire for body grounds and charging leads from several ebay sellers. My idea was to get set up to make 5 sets of cables for 6.5 trucks with side post batteries. I also bought a large roll of double wall adhesive lined 3/4" heat shrink tubing , a assortment size package and a package of 1/2" double wall adhesive lined heat shrink tubing. It was much cheaper per foot to buy the larger quantities. The 3/4" on the 50ft roll was under $1/ft:thumb: Most of the above materials were slow getting to me because of "Free" shipping.
I had to shop a bit to find battery lugs for side post that I liked and that were reasonably priced. These are cast copper with tin plating and are "Stackable". I ended up ordering from a company named Waytek that just happens to be only 45 miles away. Their shipping was very fast! I had my order next day.
I also bought a cutter for the large cable.
Here are some pics of all the supplies and tools other than the cutter. I'll be getting started making cables yet today and should be posting again tonight or tomorrow with more pics.
 

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I like those old army file cabinets. :) A few years ago I made some cables to split apart the 2 12 volts batteries on my Fuso truck. I soldered the lugs to the wire. What's the advantage/disadvantage of soldering vs. crimping?
 

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kerrye, in most auto applications the connections for batteries are usually only crimped. Smaller connections the manufacturerers want mechanical crimps, and solder, then heat shrink.When I worked on trains any and all connections had to be mechanically crimped, then soldered, then heat shrunk, then protected. I personally drill small holes in my connectors for battery lugs, crimp, then heat and feed solder in the holes...
 

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I've made cables before by hammering the crimp shut with a sledge hammer and then soldering it as well. Makes a very good connection that way
 

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My 6.5 scared a prius
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drilling the little holes and crimping, soldering then tubing always worked great, solder seals and stabilizes the wire in the crimp, and the tube weatherproofs and corrosion proofs the joint. never had a problem with them that way
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here goes, as promised.:bounce::coffee:
1st pic is of the cable cutter. It cuts the 2-0 cable very easily. It is made to cut as big as 4-0.
I started by cutting the black ground cable and 8 gauge body grounds. The hydraulic crimper didn't have small enough dies to crimp the 8 gauge lugs:thumbsdow. I was able to crimp those well with a hand crimper for small gauge terminals:thumb:. There was enough room to get the 8 gauge wire inside the battery lug with the 2-0 cable. It took 1 size smaller die to crimp the battery lugs than I first thought. I had to be sure to get the heat shrink tube on before crimping in case it wouldn't slip over the lug. Everything crimped together good on both ground cables , so I finished by heating the heat shrink with a electric heat gun.I added a body ground to the driver's side ground. I'm not sure:confuzeld why they didn't have one from the factory.

I didn't have the OE crossover positive battery cable to use for a measurement , so I took the roll of red 2-0 cable to the truck and strung it close to where it will be when installed to get a good length. Marked, cut stripped and crimped the ends on and heat shrink-ed. This truck already has a custom battery to starter cable , so I won't need to make one for it.

After looking at the OE battery charging wire, I wouldn't be gaining anything with only 8 gauge wire. I'll be ordering some 6 gauge next time I order and some type of fuse or link protection.

The hunting down and price shopping took much longer than making the cables. Looking back, I will be ordering battery cable next time. I really don't need the flexability of the welding cable. I will be ordering that from Waytek, the same place I got the terminals and lugs from. Their battery cable price is only slightly more per foot than the welding cable on ebay.
I don't have a exact total for the tools and supplies, but I believe it is near $500. Again, this should be enough cable and lugs to make more than 5 sets of cables for 6.5 trucks. I'll have enough 3/4 heat shrink to last for a lifetime.:rolleyes:
 

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My 6.5 scared a prius
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Looks awesome man :thumb:
 

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Excellent product!!! Looks much better than what the store have.
 

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Super Moderator Eco-Logistical
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What's the cost on the ends and cable for each truck total up to?
 

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How much was that crimper, and where did you get it from?
 

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Discussion Starter #13

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Discussion Starter #14
Here is where the lugs came from: Stackable: Battery Lugs | Electrical Terminal Lugs | Waytek Wire
Cable cutter from here: Temco Heavy Duty 12” 4 0 GA Wire Cable Cutter Electrical Tool 120MM2 New | eBay
Heat shrink assortment: Temco Heavy Duty 12” 4 0 GA Wire Cable Cutter Electrical Tool 120MM2 New | eBay

Large roll of 3/4" heat shrink: 3 4" Black 50 ft Adhesive 3 1 Polyolefin Heat Shrink Tubing | eBay

Red 2-0 cable: 50' 2 0 Excelene Welding Cable Red USA New Battery | eBay

Black 2-0 cable: 25' 2 0 Excelene Welding Cable Black USA New Battery | eBay

Red 8 gauge wire: SXL 8 AWG Gauge Red Stranded Automotive Wire 50' Feet Made in USA | eBay

Black 8 gauge wire: GXL 8 AWG Gauge Black Stranded Automotive Wire 50' Feet Made in USA | eBay

Today I ordered rubber covered stainless steel hold down clamps and a tool for stripping the insulation on the welding and battery cable from Waytek[same place the lugs came from] I also ordered 50 ft of 6 gauge wire for charging wire from alt to battery. I also ordered heavy duty lugs for the 6 gauge wire, both from ebay sellers
Red 6 AWG GA Gauge 50 ft Foot Feet Stranded Copper Battery Power Wire Cable | eBay
Heavy Wall Copper Cable Lugs Ring Terminals Various AWG Sizes Welding Battery | eBay
 

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Discussion Starter #16

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I found some 8 ton crimpers that go from 12 AWG to 2/0 AWG for around $36.

bk95td, since you have used your 16 ton crimper do you think that 8 tons would be enough?
 

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Super Moderator Eco-Logistical
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The problem with the 8 and 10 ton crimpers are the dies suck. Often pinches the connectors leaving flash and damages them.

I LIKE the 16 ton dies!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I found some 8 ton crimpers that go from 12 AWG to 2/0 AWG for around $36.

bk95td, since you have used your 16 ton crimper do you think that 8 tons would be enough?
I can't really say because I've never used a less powerful crimper.
The one I bought is working pretty hard. For the couple bucks difference in price, I'd sooner have too much power and more dies.
 
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