How to Crimp a Battery Terminal

April 19, 2022 5:49 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Electrical installations of cabling and associated devices such as batteries, switches, distribution boards, and sockets need connections to link the elements into a circuit. Safe connections can be made in two ways, by crimping or soldering the conducting wire onto a terminal.

Crimping involves compressing a terminal wire onto a conductor cable by creating a mechanically sound connection that is corrosion, gas, and moisture resistant. Soldering uses heated metal to join the connections, which can degrade over time, and therefore crimping is the preferred method of connecting conducting wire to battery terminals.

How To Crimp a Battery Cable

When preparing to crimp a terminal onto a copper cable, make sure the copper cable is the correct size by inserting the stripped copper cable inside the barrel of the terminal. It should be a snug fit. There should not be extra strands outside the terminal barrel. Before inserting the cable into the barrel, try to smooth the cable strands together.

Once the copper is inserted into the barrel, but before crimping, make sure there is no slack space around the copper when inside the barrel. The crimp tool should have a chart on the handle which shows the correct die to use when crimping die-cast terminals, thick lugs, and standard lugs.

Why did my cable pull out after I crimped it?

A good crimper will make a cold weld between the wire and the barrel of the connector. When you cut the barrel at the crimp level, you will see a solid piece of metal.

Bad crimps happen sometimes. If the cable pulls out, the crimp is not well made. That is why it is necessary to test the crimp after it is done to ensure that the cable and the terminal are firmly attached.

The main reason for bad crimp is the poor quality of tools used. The market is flooded with different crimping tools, and some are just better quality than others. Ensure your crimping tool comes from a reliable manufacturer to do the job correctly.

If you inadvertently cut some of the wires while stripping the plastic coating, the cable will no longer fit snuggly into the barrel. The smaller diameter will produce some dead space, resulting in a loose crimp.

Once you fit the cable into the barrel, you need to use the crimping tool to apply sufficient pressure to make the cold weld. If you do not apply adequate manual pressure to execute a secure crimp, the result will be a loose crimp.

Make sure that you use the correct number die on the crimping tool when making the crimp. Using the incorrect die for the size of the terminal and the wire will produce a weak joint. The sizes are written on the handle of the crimping tool to guide you in choosing the correct settings.

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