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Thread: Crimping lug on welding lead

  1. #26
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    Quote Originally Posted by BNF View Post
    I was always told not to solder the ends on, due to added resistance in the solder. Hence i use the beater method. Any truth to the solder story, or just repeated garbage?
    That's interesting. In some connections, the solder helps decrease overall resistance because it flows through all the air gaps. Don't know why it would be different here.

    That said, I don't solder these large crimped lugs, and don't KNOW if it's good, bad, or indifferent, just that it works fine when properly done without solder. Something to research later...

  2. #27
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    Not all off the shelf solder is designed for extended high current and high heat applications. It will break down over long periods if repeatedly subjected to heavy loads. Then there are situations that may be subjected to lightning and VA exceeding 10,000 in which case solders and even brazes completely break down and fail.

    A properly fit and crimped lug doesn't "need" anything. Solder provides no benefit but may introduce a negative effect in certain situations, so they recommend to not do it. And, of course, soldering a type of wire before crimping a lug changes the characteristics of the wire that the lug was designed to be used on. I can see where soldering a poor fit or poorly done connection may make up for some deficiencies in contact. Hopefully on critical applications you would just redo that joint.

    A manufacturer of a crimped lug doesn't know whether you are going to use their lug for tow rope eyelet, an auto battery cable, a ground field for power plant, or a main power feed for a bank of iron lungs so they make recs based on zero failure tolerance. For a multi-million dollar switch you'd better follow manufacturers recs, for a welder--------tie a knot in it and tape it.

  3. #28
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    Funny this should come up, I was going to post a thread about a lazy balmy day and some cable ends. But then I thawt... That's stewpid, who gives a rip about installing a cable lug; besides I didn't get a decent pic of the finished product, and I didn't want to hear about flames and batteries. Anyway, maybe there is enough interest to warrant uploading the pics, from the post that never was.

    Attachment 29081

    Decisions, decisions
    Attachment 29085
    Decided to go with solder-on.

    Amputate
    Attachment 29082
    And battery test fit.

    Some good 'ol Oldiron2 Flux.
    Attachment 29083

    I think this was the tinning stage:
    Attachment 29084
    It's not like it looks.
    Never work near a battery with open flame!

    Sorry, I didn't get a pic of the finished end.
    Last edited by denrep; 08-26-2009 at 09:58 AM.

  4. #29
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    Quote Originally Posted by denrep View Post
    ...It's not like it looks...
    That's a tough sell!

  5. #30
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    I worked at a forklift dealer and we were also the crown battery dealer. We changed cells in the industrial batteries regularly. I have seen the caps ALL blown off a battery and stick INTO the wood ceiling.

    Gotta be more careful than that. I have blown up too many batteries in my life to have a torch that close with out taking precautions first.

    Another way to blow up a battery is jump start a truck with the welder. Done that.......

    Was Alfred operating that manual snow plow?

    David

    Edit: Cadweld is what they use to weld the copper ground wire to the steel tower base. They use a mold and light the powder. It does work well. After a while, I learned how to just weld them. MIG is easiest, it can be done with 7018 too. The wire is solid copper, maybe 6 gauge and the tower base is 1.5". Yes copper to steel.
    Last edited by David R; 02-25-2009 at 06:05 AM.
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  6. #31
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    [QUOTE=David R;256703] . . .We changed cells in the industrial batteries regularly. I have seen the caps ALL blown off a battery and stick INTO the wood ceiling....

    ...Another way to blow up a battery is jump start a truck with the welder. Done that...

    Was Alfred operating that manual snow plow?
    [QUOTE]

    Right - Batteries will explode. Not just blow the caps off, as David R mentioned, but sometimes EXPLODE!
    So never work near a battery with open flame - regardless of what you may know about a particular battery and its likelihood to explode. For that matter a very small spark, -such as from making a booster clamp connection- is enough to set-off a gassing battery.

    and...

    That's no manual snow plow! It's a battery sled. Although this was about a snow plow.

    Alfred thought that an old loader that was just going to plow a little snow, and then go back into retirement, should have new batteries. I mentioned that a certain wrecked truck had a buzzer and light going for about three weeks, yet the batteries still cranked the engine; those batteries would be good enough to sit around and rot away in a snow plow.

    I forgot to mention, visible in #2 pic:
    The new battery disconnect - upper left, picture #3.
    Also, some of the hammer-connect terminals that David R mentioned in post #12.

    Good Luck
    Last edited by denrep; 02-25-2009 at 09:11 AM.

  7. #32
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    Quote Originally Posted by BNF View Post
    I was always told not to solder the ends on, due to added resistance in the solder. Hence i use the beater method. Any truth to the solder story, or just repeated garbage?
    Hey! Somebody finally mentioned it!!!

    You're absolutely correct BNF. Check the voltage loss across a soldered connection and a properly done crimp connection and you'd be surprised what you'd see.

    Open up your welders. See any soldered eyelet type connections? No doubt units like buzzboxes have soldered terminations at places like the current selector switch tabs but transformer leads and such... mechanical crimp only is the norm.

    Now I'm not questioning the validity of all those soldered connections that have been made out there as I've done the same in the past when a proper mechanical crimp isn't possible or the tools available. I'm just saying check the difference.
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  8. #33
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    Quote Originally Posted by duaneb55 View Post
    I'm just saying check the difference.
    OK I will as soon as I finish this

    David
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  9. #34
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    When I've replaced terminals on battery cables, I used a tool I made from a block of aluminum. I drilled a hole about 7/16" (to suit the terminal diameter), then cut the block in half, so I had a cradle for the terminal. I sized the block so it would fit into the screw clamp section of a tube flaring tool. Next, put the stripped cable end into the terminal, put the terminal in the aluminum block, screw down on the flaring tool, and you have a nice dimple that goes into the cable.







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  10. #35
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    ... I sized the block so it would fit into the screw clamp section of a tube flaring tool. Next, put the stripped cable end into the terminal, put the terminal in the aluminum block, screw down on the flaring tool, and you have a nice dimple that goes into the cable...
    Steve45 - That's slick!

    You ought to delete your post, and consult a patent attorney!

    Happy retirement!
    Last edited by denrep; 02-25-2009 at 07:06 PM.

  11. #36
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    steve45, delete as much as you want. I saw the pics and have committed them to memory.

  12. #37
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    Glad you liked the idea! I've used it on cables from 6 to 00.
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  13. #38
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    I cheat. Guy up the street rewinds starters and atlernators for trucks and heavy equipment and sells batteries to most of the local quaries. I just head up there and let them crimp on the connectors in their machine. Couple of bucks plus the cost of the lugs. ( I seriously doubt that they make anything on the labor, but it keeps me coming back for starters, alternators and batteries from them.) They have all the lugs and dies as well as the cable if I need it. I do keep a few of the set screw types around "just in case" I need something done in a hurry.

  14. #39
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    I hesitate to get into this snowstorm of ideas and practices, but, like all of you, I have strong opinions on crimped connections.

    I have also used solder on terminals in emergencies when I don't have proper terminals and/or crimpers at hand. However, to the best of my recollection from my days as an army helicopter repairman in the '50s, solder is absolutely prohibited in a terminal that is supposed to be crimped. For aircraft wiring, the reason is that a soldered wire termination is far more subject to fatigue failure than a wire properly crimped in a proper terminal. That's a vital consideration in an aircraft where vibration is severe and an electrical failure can be disastrous. ("Proper Terminal" being one that meets specs for the application and wire type and applied with the specified crimper - not a cheap no-name import with thin plated steel ferrule.) Now, before you jump on this statement, I am fully aware that most applications we are involved with are not subject to severe vibration and the implications of failure are usually inconvenience rather than death. But the principle is there.

    Almost any distortion of a terminal ferrule can serve for a while - maybe a long while - but that does not mean it will be a reliable connection. Smashing a terminal with a vise or a hammer (in the absence of dies) is the worst possible way to make a termination for two main reasons: (1) you will never get the gas and liquid-tight seal between all surfaces of the wires and the interior surface of the ferrule that a proper crimp provides making the termination higher in resistance than it was designed for and leaving it susceptible to corrosion (especially around batteries), and (2) you are relying on simple bending of the ferrule metal rather than on actual compression of the metal into a smaller diameter, thicker body. Look at the thickness of the wall of a terminal crimped without wire. In order to compress the ferrule into a smaller diameter, the metal is compressed into a thicker wall (assuming that you haven't over-crimped and extruded the ferrule metal out the open ends of the die). The difference is that loosening of the smashed ferrule merely requires more bending of the already weakened ferrule metal whereas loosening of the crimped terminal requires stretching of the now thickened and strengthened ferrule metal. Big difference in resistance to loosening.

    awright

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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    Well I appreciate your dilligent work on helicopters even tho I've never rode in one you worked on since I wasn't born yet, but my Dad likely did

    But, your comparing apples to tortillas. I don't think there are any common methods in use to attach leads to ground clamps, stingers, machines or other leads that would suffice in any type of aircraft.
    Imagine using tweco quick connects in a helicopter, not appropriate but totaly appropriate to make a welding lead connection.
    I haven't seen any lately but the slickest and coolest running welding lead to welding lead connection I've ever used are the little brass looking connections with the two knobs that you hammer down.

    Kinda like the (lots) of guys who on the internet try to apply lessons they have observed in scuba tanks to welding gas cylinders. Maybe interesting within that field but not very applicable in mine.

    JTMcC.

  16. #41
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    Today I was thinking about testing the soldered connection against the crimped connection. Its gonna be hard, but I did charge up the Fluke 98 batteries. Getting a good connection to the lug and cable to measure less than an ohm is going to be hard too. What do I do solder the wire?

    I DO have some factory crimped 2/0 cable with lugs and some cables I soldered the lugs on that have been around for many years. I would have to hook em up and weld to make a current draw through them to measure voltage drop across the terminal. Not exactly perfect. I am asking for suggestions I can use in my real world. My meter will record min and max down to less than 1mv. Maybe even .0001 v. I don't remember right now.

    Open to suggestions, work has slowed down a little so I have time to do this. I have soldered lugs on for ever.

    David
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  17. #42
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    David, many crimped battery cables I have used have also contained solder.

    So I would suggest Ohming a 1 foot cable cut and soldered, from one end to the other and the same lug and cable length used for a crimping test. Put a bolt through the lug and "clamp" your probe to the lug and stick the other probe to the cut end of the cable. Then do one soldered and crimped while hot.

    The amperage measurement would be fine, but it would need to be at the same temperature.
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  18. #43
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    Denrep, why hot? It would skew the results.

    I want to check voltage drop at a couple hundred amps. It would be more accurate than ohms I think.

    OK, I will do both voltage drop and Ohms but at the same temp.

    David
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  19. #44
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    I would say I solder them, but I just heat em' up and fill em' with lead
    Disclaimer; "I am just an a$$hole welder, don't take it personally ."

  20. #45
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    Another way I have crimped welding cable into the lugs is to find a nut where the threaded bore size is an approximately the same size as the lug diameter,cut the nut in half and use one half to support the back side of the lug put it in the vise with a 3/8" or so steel ball from an old bearing on the opposite side of the lug and give it a good nip with the jaws, Good contact job, total cost nothing.

    P.S. A good old auto electrician once told me you should never solder muli-strand cable, particularly on vehicles as multi-strand cable is made to be flexible and deal with vibration, and you get far more trouble from a soldered conections breaking
    than a well crimped one.
    Regards Gordon.

  21. #46
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    David R, you are describing a "Kelvin Connection," a method of measuring resistance with higher precision than can be attained with a two-lead ohmmeter (developed, surprise, surprise, by Lord Kelvin). It virtually eliminates the negative influence on the resistance measurement of the resistance of the connections to the object being measured. The contact resistance of the power connections is unimportant because you either adjust your power supploy to provide the current you want or you measure the current through the test object externally (or both). The contact resistance of the voltage measuring probes is not important because negligible current flows through them. As we have all seen, it is very difficult to get repeatable measurements of very low resistances using a two-lead ohmmeter.

    With a Kelvin Connection, it doesn't make any difference how long the cable is between the power connections. It can be from inches to hundreds of feet since you are making your voltage measurement right across the test connection, not across the length of cable.

    If you have a way to measure the current through the test object, fine. That will allow you to calculate actual resistance. If you don't then you can still make comparitive measurements. To minimize variations in test current, put both types of connections you want to evaluate in a single test section, set up the test current you want, and measure the voltage across both of your test connections repeatedly several times. Hopefully you will get the same voltages for each repetition.

    Your results should be interesting.

    awright

  22. #47
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    OK, I did it.

    First, to measure Ohms was a waste of time. I got Zero, nadda, nuttin honey. It needs to be under load to see any resistance. SO I cleaned up a crimped factory connection and one I soldered on a wire wheel. Nice and bright on the out side. Next I crammed a sharp probe through the cable. This is how we did it on fork lift batteries. The probe was clean and the wire almost has to be in the insulation. I cleaned up some terminals and put them on top of the test terminals for the alligator clip. Later I found this was not necessary. Probe into the cable was within 6" of the terminal being tested.

    Plate was 1/2", rod first 3/16 7018 Atom arc (junk!) then I got out some lincoln 3/16 8018. Power supply today was ranger 250. I turned the sonofabitch all the way up. Should have been 275 amps give or take.

    Soldered lug is and has been on the ranger + output side for a couple of years now.

    Crimped lug was on a 12' 2/0 cable I bought at the LWS a while back cheap. It had these crimp on lugs on both ends. A ground clamp was bolted to one end when I bought it. It must have been something taken off a new machine. I bolted this lug to my ground clamp along with a cleaned up extra terminal.

    Here are a few pics then more splain in next post.

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    This alligator clip was replaced with the bigger newer better one in the last pics for the test.
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    IN MY opinion, banging the lug with a hammer is the worst way to crimp, but if its the only way available......
    Last edited by David R; 03-13-2009 at 08:36 PM.
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  23. #48
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    Results

    OK, now we are getting some where. I had a lot of electrical noise on the meter while trying to measure the one on the machine. Once I started welding, it calmed down a little,but not near as clear as the one on the ground clamp. I switched from the wimpy alligator clip to the one seen on the ground clamp above for all the tests. This helped, but still did not eliminate the electrical noise on the + side (soldered end) engine was running, its making AC and DC power while sitting there.

    It didn't matter if I put the clip on the extra terminal or directly on the lug. Results were the same. I did each test on each lug 3 times with the same results.

    Crimped lug on ground clamp. AVERAGE voltage drop 52.9 millivolts. That would .0529 volts lost across the crimped connection at about 275 amps

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    This is the soldered connection on the machine with the electrical noise.

    It sez Average voltage drop 7.9 millivolts or
    .0079 Volts lost across the soldered connection at about 275 amps.
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    These are one screen shot of each test. I have 2 more screen shots of additional test that look about the same. No sense in posting them.

    SO YOU (I) CAN MEASURE the difference.

    I don't remember the formula for Ohms right now, if some one could figure it out for me I would appreciate it.
    Volts about 30, amps about 275, voltage drop .0079 and .0529

    This is ONLY ONE test by only one person on only one machine. Results could be different.

    David
    Last edited by David R; 03-13-2009 at 08:26 PM.
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  24. #49
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    And of course the welds

    I thought these looked pretty good.

    The meter also shows it takes just over a minute to burn up one 3/16 rod at about 275 amps


    Ignore the couplings, that was another experiment.
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    If some one would send me a properly crimped on lug with a foot of 1/0 or 2/0 cable I will gladly test it just like these.

    David
    Last edited by David R; 03-13-2009 at 08:19 PM.
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    Re: Crimping lug on welding lead

    Surprise surprise.

    We know the crimped assembly was 2/0.
    How about the soldered cable?

    Any sign of heating in the crimped connection or cable?

    Thanks for the test!

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