Professionally made cables - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-14-2009, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Professionally made cables

Going to relocate the winch soleniod to the engine compartment and need a couple longer battery type cables.

Anyone know someone who makes these professional like?

Guess I really need one black long for sure and possible a second black and a red.

Thanks

2007 Silver Unlimited 4 door 1/2 door option
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OME lift
Teraflex adjustable track bar
315-75-16 Hankook MT
OR-FAB front bumper / winch
Lockable Fuel Door
8" KC Slim lights
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-14-2009, 01:09 PM
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i made my own. i used quality 4 awg power wire from a stereo place, make sure its a good quality cable, the cheap stuff at wal-mart may say its 4awg but when you look at the actual wire inside its smaller, i also got some crimp on ends from the same place, im goin to re-do it tonite for my new bumper, ill take pics

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'13 WK2
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-16-2009, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Guess this is the route I am going to take.

2007 Silver Unlimited 4 door 1/2 door option
--------------------------------------------
OME lift
Teraflex adjustable track bar
315-75-16 Hankook MT
OR-FAB front bumper / winch
Lockable Fuel Door
8" KC Slim lights
Line-X Extra Lined
Dirty Dog 4X4 Net
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-16-2009, 07:36 AM
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i've also made my own cables before
I went to the local Hardware store and picked up the same size cable that winch came along with some termial ends and shrink wrap.
i then stuck the termial ends into a vise, heated it up with a torch, filled it with solder, added a little solder on the end of the cable too and stuck it into the hot termial. add some shrink wrap around it and done!
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-16-2009, 10:12 AM
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Here's the specs you need for top-notch cables:

For winching go with #2 AWG Type SGX cable. It has the abrasion and heat resistance you need for engine compartments. It's the type that OEMs use. #2 AWG will provide a higher voltage at the winch than #4 AWG wire.

Use closed end silver plated (not bare copper) terminals. Plating reduces corrosion down the line. These are on the right side in the picture below. If you have to use open end connectors (left side in the pic below) solder the end closed after you crimp them. Do not use solder only without a crimp. The solder can heat up and melt and the cable can fall out of the lug. If the solder melts on a crimped terminal, it will refreeze when the lug cools down because the crimp will still hold it into place.



Terminals this large also take special crimpers that can cost several hundred dollars. There is, however, a cheaper version that does a good job for home use. It sits on a solid surface and you whack it with a hammer. Here is a link to see what I mean.

Finally, you need to seal the terminal after you crimp and maybe solder it. Don't use regular heat shrink tubing for connections that will be getting wet. Use that for dry conditions only. For wet locations, they make special shrink tubing with adhesive inside. You slip it on the terminal, heat it up, and it melts the adhesive to the tubing and terminal, sealing out water. Regular shrink tubing will just trap the water inside.

These cables should last the life of your vehicle.

KD8NHC
08 4 Door Rubicon
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Last edited by Alter Ego; 08-16-2009 at 10:16 AM.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-16-2009, 05:46 PM
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Harbour Freight has a hydraulic crimper for about 55 dollars. ( I did buy this and it seems to do the job well, handles from 00 to 12 gauge or something close to that) Every other crimper I found was well over 150 bucks.

Could you post a pic of a proper crimp? I have searched and haven't been able to find one.

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post #7 of 12 Old 08-17-2009, 04:42 AM
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Use Silver solder and the Cup type terminal. You'll need a propane or MAP Gas torch to heat the large area without jacking up the wire. This will be better then a crimp joint only and you won't need as much heat shrink protection.
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-17-2009, 11:11 AM
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I use the crimp and solder method. I believe there should be a solid mechanical connection in addition to soldering to make a solid electrical connection. I use the open connectors shown on the left in the picture posted above. My local ACE Hardware carries the larger sizes needed for this size wire.

I crimp them using a vise and a small drill bit. I'll try to describe the process. Put the connector in the vise with the opening for the wire facing up along with a small drill bit (like 3/32 or so). Put the shank part of the drill bit into the groove you see on the top of the connector. Then put the wire into the connector and tighten the vise. It takes a LOT of force. I usually use a hammer to tighten the vise sufficiently. The drill bit shank will case the center of the connector to bend inwards into the wire. Overall the connector will remain mostly round but with a "M" shape where it is pushed into the wire. This makes a very tight connection.

Then I turn the wire/connector around so the lug is facing upwards and solder the connection using a propane plumber's torch. You can then shrink wrap as desired.

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post #9 of 12 Old 09-11-2009, 07:16 PM
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Designing and specifying parts for cable assemblies is what I do for a living. In my case, for military vehicles, military and commercial jet aircraft, space applications (satellite, shuttle and Orion) and Navy shipboard. I also teach basic crimp theory to the manufacturing and engineering teams at my customers.

Much of what is noted above is dead on. Without going into a great deal of technical mish mash, if you want a connection that will last the life of your vehicle, use a proper crimp tool. You must crimp. Your mechanical strength comes from the crimp. Gather together all your goodies then find someone who has a crimp tool already and borrow it. The cheapest one we sell is about $ 600, and it is only an occasional use tool. The cheapest really good one we sell is about $ 4K. The Harbor Freight tool sounds like a good idea, though I haven't seen the crimp profile.

A vise will work, for a while. However, a good crimp creates what is called a gas-tight cold weld, and there is a very specific profile for the crimp barrel in order to obtain this, and you can't get that without a contained die set. With a vise you run the risk of over crimping. Copper wire is soft and will flow. Imagine grabbing a banana in the middle and squeezing. If you overcrimp with the vise, you will start out with 4 awg wire and squeeze it down to 6 or 8 awg. That will create excessive heat and premature failure.

Worse case, the local golf cart store will have the hammer kind. Maybe you can work a deal with them. It's a pretty sad crimp, but better than nothing.

Terminals: AlterEgo knows his stuff. Definitely silver plated if you can find them. Very expensive compared to nickel or tin. We manufacture them and even I can't get them. Nickel is second best, tin is third.

Open ended crimp versus the closed end tube style: open ended is fine if properly crimped. Closed end absolutely must be properly crimped. If you just solder, you have little mechanical strength and a possible path for fluids, then corrosion. If it's properly crimped it should not wick solder underneath into the barrel. If you are using bare copper wire, solder it anyway.

My aircraft and satellite manufacturers I work with will only allow crimp. Solder-only is not dependable long term.

SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) drives a lot of the specs, and even they don't require solder. They like it as a backup though. Most heavy truck manufacturers will solder dip the terminal after crimping for an extra layer of protection, so heat that sucker up and flow solder over the exposed wire. For battery applications, always add the adhesive lined heat shrink as a backup. It needs to be adhesive lined. Just regular tubing will let in contaminated water then trap it, accelerating the rate of failure.

Do not get any insulation inside the crimp barrel. Insulation, when crimped, can be ridiculously strong. It will cut through strands, turning your 4 awg into 8 awg.

Finally, head down to the marine store and spend a few extra bucks on tin coated wire. Not bare copper, but pre-tinned. It has far better corrosion resistance than using plain copper. Get something rated to at least 105C, not 85C.

Upsize the wire to the next larger gauge, as suggested above. Minimal cost increase, great insurance, better voltage characteristics.

If you can find it and afford it, use a cross-linked mil spec jacket, not just PVC. That will take anything you can throw at it. I've no idea where you can buy that. We manufacture it, and I picked some up from the factory in 4 awg recently. Rewired my golf cart with it so I never have to replace the cables again.

PM me with questions. Might be able to get you some samples on a limited basis. We also mfg the heat shrink, the terminals and the tooling.

Last edited by GunnersJK; 01-04-2010 at 03:29 PM.
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-12-2009, 03:47 PM
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I've made a number of custom cables for people. Only top quality components. Let me know if I can help.

Thanks,

John @ Benchmark

Badass Bumpers, Dual Battery Systems, Rockcrawler Oil Pans and More!
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post #11 of 12 Old 09-23-2009, 04:36 PM
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Having been an industrial electrician since the 70's, I can only say that 'Gunners JK' (and Alter Ego) are right on. Vises, hammers, and other home made crimping devices are time bombs, they might last a long time or NOT. The only thing I can add is that soldering CAN (not always and not on if done right) create a heat stress point. This means don't allow a soldered joint to flex due to vibration (support it). Over time this can lead to failure, mostly in small wire sizes. I learned this from building my own airplane. Also I have bought pre made cables from John @ Benchmark , Inc. and they look great.
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post #12 of 12 Old 09-26-2009, 11:27 AM
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Hey John,

What kind of plane did you build? I was the operations manager at Dynon Avionics for quite a while and got to be around a bunch of different experimentals. Cool sport!

By the way, you're cables should show up any day (if not already). What was your question about batteries?

John

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