Here’s another Quick Tech Tip From the Garage of Tom Zuloaga. If you have ever installed a trunk mounted battery box, or a master cut off switch, you know doubt had to buy battery cables to make the proper connections. This tip will show the best way to make high quality soldered connections on battery or starter cables. You might have to cut a cable you already have or you might be using welding cable that you have bought in bulk.
You can buy different size copper terminal ends at welding supply houses or even home improvement stores such as Lowes or Home Depot. Choose the terminal that best fits the cable you are using.
The next step is to strip off 1/2″ of the cable insulation.
A terminal end in then clamped into a vise.
Next, a 2 1/2″ piece of solder is slipped into the open end of the terminal and heat from a small propane torch is applied to melt the solder in the terminal.
While the solder is still molten, the stripped end of the cable is inserted into the terminal and the torch is removed. Hold the cable in place for a few seconds and the connection will harden.
A piece of heat shrink tubing placed over the connection will keep it weather proof. If you can only find black cable, red heat shrink tubing on the positive (+) cables will help identify them. The small propane torch can be bought at any hardware store and is very inexpensive. It can be used for soldering cable terminals, heating up parts for assembly or sweating a broken water pipe. Good luck.
For more information or questions about this Quick Tech Tip please contact Tom Zuloaga.