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How to make Battery Cables

For Auto, Marine & Solar

Alright, today on Repairs101 I’m going to show you how to make battery cables for your boat, car, truck, motorcycle, snowmobile, ATV, lawn mower, generator or hovercraft (or solar collector).

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I find a lot of people are prepared to blame their battery when their machines won’t start but often it’s just another symptom of a much bigger problem. If you see mismatched cables, broken and / or corroded connections, temporary terminal clamps used permanently, wrong size terminal connections or wire cut down to fit. Yeah, it’s time to make new cables.

Collect all the gear you’ll need to change everything that is at all questionable. If you use battery terminal clamps you can get this type that comes pre-loaded with solder and flux. I find them difficult to crimp neatly and I prefer battery terminals to be crimped and soldered. These adapters are used when your cables don’t match your battery.

Make sure you have both a positive and a negative. This style of clamp should be looked at as a temporary solution only. If you need to parallel a ground, this is the fitting you want. Make sure you have the same gauge of terminals and cable.

Marine grade

Tinned boat cable can last up to ten times longer than ordinary welding cable. It’s normal to cut through a few strands of wire, just pluck them out before you add the flux paste. Chewing through the cable like this makes the end a mess that’s difficult to work with. The solder and flux used for copper pipes and / or sheet metal work is much too corrosive for wire. Be sure and put some paste in the fitting and some shrink tube on the cable before you crimp it.

Crimping techniques

Use a crimping tool or a swager if you can get your hands on one – otherwise a flat nail-punch and an angle iron or an aluminium ninety will do the trick nicely. Normally you would use your vise to hold this while applying heat but my vise is in the wood-shop where I don’t use torches.



I should warn you about the mess this can create. Be sure and set up somewhere where it won’t matter.

Alright thanks for watching and don’t forget to subscribe!

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