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Electrical Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's electrical system.

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  #11  
Old 10-01-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rselin View Post
Most battery terminal crimpers are ****. They can't develop enough pressure on the lug and don't contact enough of the circumference. If you want to do it right you need a hydraulic crimper like the Ilsco ILC-12-N that can develop 12 tons and crimps the entire circumference of the lug. It ain't cheap though.

http://www.ilsco.ca/ProductsDetail.a...ZrGEM24oyjg%3D

Here's a Burndy that is similar. $1700.

http://www.jharlen.com/fcibury35.html
Okay Richard you've raised the bar so tell me more. Are there common facilities that provide such service?
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  #12  
Old 10-01-2011
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This is what the circular crimp dies look like:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Burndy-hydra...#ht_1904wt_956
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Last edited by rselin; 10-01-2011 at 03:10 AM.
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  #13  
Old 10-01-2011
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Originally Posted by Rob Robinson View Post
Okay Richard you've raised the bar so tell me more. Are there common facilities that provide such service?
Unfortunately not that I'm aware of. The tools and dies I have shown are used by journeymen electricians on heavy industrial projects that I engineer. Your best bet is a journeyman electrician friend that can borrow or owns the tools. Burndy used to rent them through their distributors, but I suspect rentals were restricted to licensed electricians. The crimps are incredible though. A Burndy rep showed me a crimp done with a 12-ton crimper that was cut in half and the lug was indistinguishable from the cable strands for almost the entire circumference. It was just a homogenous piece of copper, lug and conductor strands fused together. No way that would pull apart in a thousand years on a bus.
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  #14  
Old 10-01-2011
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I Googled "Burndy crimper for rent" and got some hits. Here is a rental place in Portland, OR. As I suspect, rental is to licensed professionals only.

http://www.tradetoolsupply.com/rental.html

However, I suspect one could start by phoning the rental place and seeing if they would do the crimping for you.

Here's another one with locations in Austin, Dallas, and Fort Worth.

http://www.fwbrental.com/mapfwt.html
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  #15  
Old 10-01-2011
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Originally Posted by davidmbrady View Post
I wonder if part of the reason for terminal crimp failure might be cause there's no strain relief. By strain relief I mean slack in the wire between adjacent batteries. Without slack, or a bend, any movement in the batteries tugs at the crimp.

david brady, 02 lxi, nc
Hi David,

It doesn’t show well in my pictures but each section of cable is slightly longer than the distance between the battery terminals - this forces a slight curve in each section of the cable which gives enough slack and is also the amount necessary to clear the battery caps to allow room to remove the caps for service. My battery trays are sized so close that there is virtually no room for the batteries to shift so there is no tugging on the connections from battery movement. The cables I made were pretty much identical to the ones the factory installed. It's my opinion that the crimp terminals failed only because they weren't installed properly - it could have been a faulty or worn crimping tool or just sloppy workmanship.

I won't comment about other crimping methods or battery terminal connectors but the battery terminal connectors I used are designed to meet the UL Std 486A pull strength of 300 pounds for 2/0 cable when crimped with the proper Hex type Crimping tool - I think they should be plenty good enough for battery terminal connectors.
 
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  #16  
Old 10-01-2011
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Poor installation could certainly be part of it John. I would want to use the best tools available to maximize the chances of success. For people who want to do their own ends I would recommend something like this for $210:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Burndy-MRC84...#ht_720wt_1189
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  #17  
Old 10-01-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donn B View Post
Pretty much true Woody. What I used was a $20.00 crimper that required a hammer to drive a chisel looking wedge into the terminal. It is called an indent, or punchdown crimper. After a bit of practice I determined that three hammer blows were required to make a solid crimp. I was using 4/0 cable. Smaller gauge cable might take less.
Don, I have used this type of crimper and it worked very well,using a small hand held sledge hammer.
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  #18  
Old 10-01-2011
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Hi John,

Yes, I see what you're saying about your installation. You do have a tight tie-down mechanism and your tray appears to be sized to not allow much battery movement, and I do see a slight slack in the cable which is good, cause there's always movement.

In general however, such as is the case for my LXi house battery tray , the tray is large, the tie down is only moderately tight, and the cables had no slack. In my case, I didn't detect any connector failure but I had one battery that was cracked at the top adjacent to a post, and leaking acid. So not only can non-stress-relieved cables tug at connectors, but they can put stresses on battery casings too.

It seems that a good sized loop in the cable between battery posts would help mitigate these stresses, but on a case by case basis there are certainly exceptions, for example yours. Just my $0.02.

Another advantage of using the mil-spec battery post connectors is that if you have a problem with a cable, you can replace just one short section and don't have to toss the whole thing, plus the mil-spec connector is reusable and the cable has much cheaper copper lug ends. Hey, they're good enough for the US Army!

Last edited by davidmbrady; 10-01-2011 at 08:52 AM. Reason: Spaelling.
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  #19  
Old 10-01-2011
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Hi All,

We are bringing our hex-crimp cable-making station and some supplies to RATS. If someone else brings one of the punch crimpers and/or a portable hydraulic one, maybe we can do some pullout tests?

I am sure most of you already do a periodic inspection of your battery compartments. If you don't, and take it for what its worth, this seasoned newbie strongly recommends you start. I was a bit shocked (pun intended) at what we have found.

MnM
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  #20  
Old 10-01-2011
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I used a commercial grade 2/0 Burndy Hand crimper to install a new terminal. If I had been at my shop when I discovered it, I would have soldered the connections using copper terminals and solder slugs. Then cover/protect the connections with heat shrink.
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