Is it possible to replace battery cable with welding cable, soldering into terminals?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Lansing, MI
    Posts
    4

    Is it possible to replace battery cable with welding cable, soldering into terminals?

    I love the VW terminals, with the extra screws and the stainless hardware. Plus, they are inexpensive at the junkyard.
    I hate the rotten terminals in my Jeep though.
    So, off I went to the junkyard, and pulled a negative and a positive from two different VW's. I used a propane torch to remove the cable from the positive terminal, and then tried to reverse the process with welding cable. Once stripped, it fit into the hole like a glove. But that's where the good times ended. Because after ten minutes of propane torch, it still wasn't hot enough to flow solder. Wouldn't even melt it.




    Do I need to use MAPP gas? Or is the welding cable such a good heat sink that nothing will work?
    I am using ordinary 60/40 electrical solder, like I have used for years on lots of electrical projects.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Lansing, MI
    Posts
    4

    Re: Is it possible to replace battery cable with welding cable, soldering into termin

    The only thing I did differently is that I unsoldered the OEM cable outdoors, where it's cold and snowing, and I was holding the terminal with Channel Locks.

    You can see that once I realized it was foolish to do this outdoors, I brought in and clamped it. Could it be that the vise is acting as a huge heat sink too?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    251

    Re: Is it possible to replace battery cable with welding cable, soldering into termin

    I can remember in the 7th grade my mom said "people will offer you drugs" by the 10th grade I was like, "where the hell are these people?"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    B.C. Canada
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    2,347

    Re: Is it possible to replace battery cable with welding cable, soldering into termin

    Tin the cable strands before inserting. Then you might have better luck. I used welding cable on my boat. It was more flexible and heavier in gauge so no voltage drop.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    new york
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    1,274

    Re: Is it possible to replace battery cable with welding cable, soldering into termin

    use 50/50 solder much lower melting point and hold cable end between 2 pieces of wood as vice acks like heat sink and it works great, I have soldered lots of terminals, tinning the cable is a good idea and put a little flux into the terminal end, heat terminal so you dont melt the insulation off the cable.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    2,170

    Re: Is it possible to replace battery cable with welding cable, soldering into termin

    You need flux. Without flux, you can get it glowing, and the solder still might not want to melt.
    Get a tube of ROSIN flux at RadioShack, and smear it all around like you would apply dielectric grease.
    DON'T use an acid (plumber's) flux. It will eat through your wires in no time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Sacramento CA
    Posts
    21

    Re: Is it possible to replace battery cable with welding cable, soldering into termin

    I load the cable up good with solder then drop some solder into the terminal. Put the terminal on the cable hold it by the cable so the terminal is higher and heat the terminal. Once the solder runs down you should be good.
    Allen

    SA-250
    LN-25
    Smith heavy duty OA
    Bobcat 250 at work
    Miller 210 at work

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Springfield, Ma
    Posts
    368

    Re: Is it possible to replace battery cable with welding cable, soldering into termin

    my son does this all the time, but uses an acetylene torch. you need more heat! Yes the vice will act as a heat sink so clamp as far away from where you are heating as possible. I would use a bit of the proper flux while heating also.

    you are using solder with a rosin type flux or solid?? do you have a hotter torch or a second torch?? did you check to see if you picked up a piece of something other than solder -- silly but it has happened to me
    -- fred

    Lincoln 180C MIG

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Lansing, MI
    Posts
    4

    Re: Is it possible to replace battery cable with welding cable, soldering into termin

    I will try isolating the terminal from the vice. Vise?

    I will pick up some appropriate flux paste at RS, that's a good idea.
    I am also going to pick up a MAPP gas canister, I hear they burn a lot hotter. I don't have access to an oxy/acetylene setup.

    I tried to tin the copper, but the solder wouldn't flow into it either. Which is why I suspected that it is an excellent heat sink.

    It was definitely solder, it's still on the roll. It's the same solder I use on electrical connections, I purchased it two years ago at an electronics supply house.

    If you think I am going to crimp this connection, you should look at the picture again. This isn't a thin piece of metal here.

    I will keep trying, and hopefully I will get it eventually.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    5,718

    Re: Is it possible to replace battery cable with welding cable, soldering into termin

    Lots of good pointers have been posted.

    I know that reply #1 may show a posed photo, but otherwise, be sure to work with the torch further away from the target. Adjust for a long inner flame and you'll find that maximum temperature is at its tip; plenty of heat for soldering such terminals.

    Good Luck

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Springfield, Ma
    Posts
    368

    Re: Is it possible to replace battery cable with welding cable, soldering into termin

    Very good point denrep, I missed that. Did alfred point it out to you??
    -- fred

    Lincoln 180C MIG

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