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Informative Video on Making Electrical Crimps
#774672 April 15th 2021 10:51 pm
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kursed Offline OP
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I'm about to buy a new quality wire crimping tool, and while I was researching brands, I came across this video. It is a good simple to the point video, but touches on some very helpful information.

I've been frustrated with crimp connectors for years. They fall apart frequently, and I always seem to under crimp or over crimp them. Well apparently that's because I've always used the cheap a@# garbage crimp tools. I didn't even know they made nicer crimp tools until recently, so now I'm excited. I've been soldering my connections every chance I can for years now, because I can solder well enough and make nice connections, but it's a lot more time consuming and unproductive than just being able to crimp and move on to the next connection.

Anyway, enough of my ramble. Hope someone out there gets a little use out of this video, as I sure did.



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Re: Informative Video on Making Electrical Crimps
kursed #774765 April 18th 2021 12:40 pm
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I believe you are aware I ran a Car Stereo Shop for years. There is a BIGtime difference in the bargain connectors as well as power; ground. RCA cables and speaker wire. You can look at the same gauge wire and there are far less cooper strands inside on the "bargain" price. We used Monster Cable for our wire and I can't remember where we bought our connectors and of course a good quality tool is a given.

Last edited by SDMickey; April 18th 2021 12:41 pm.
Re: Informative Video on Making Electrical Crimps
kursed #774799 April 19th 2021 4:46 am
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While going full on ABYC, or Mil spec connectors and tools can be considered several degrees of overkill for a Van, it is good to see/know, just how far one can take 'ideal'.

Solder vs crimp is always a good argument with no end, and few arguer minds ever get changed.

Both can be done well, or very poorly.

The true test is asking the connection to pass the wire's amperage rating, and see just how hot the termination or buttsplice gets.

While a good crimp tool and crimps themselves can be quick and efficient, and remain so over time, there is a lot of junk out there which will be barely adequate and be the root cause of cascading failures, or a van melting fire at worst.

I'll use either crimp or solder depending on the specific task, and sometimes I will even crimp then solder fully realizing a good crimp requires no solder.

I Just bought 80$ worth of uninsulated connectors as I prefer to use adhesive lined heatshrink, as I've seen too many nylon crimps grow cauliflower and brocolli.

To see how far the Marine guys take wire termination/joinery, check out these links and some of the ridiculously expensive tools they use to far exceed ABYC standards.

https://marinehowto.com/making-your-own-battery-cables/


https://marinehowto.com/marine-wire-termination/

https://marinehowto.com/solder-and-poor-trouble-shooting/

I got the FTZ crimpers listed in the first link for making the 2/0 cables for this Lifeline AGM gpl-4CT 1400$ battery bank, and this Monster 320 amp LEECE Neville Alternator.

The tiny alternator on the right is the "120 amp" NipponDenso alternator for my Van.
120 is in quotes as it maxes out at 109 amps.

It is now mounted , and almost perfectly aligned, where My AC compressor once resided, but I have not yet run the 2 AWG cable or the wiring for the external regulator.

2 of the Used, but still healthy Deka GC-2 AGMs I removed from the boat, onto which I installed the 8 new Lifeline AGMS and monster L/N 320 amp alternator, will soon be in my Van.

I will be able to run a~ 1600 watt table saw from my Van and at hot idle 1000 watts will be from the alternator's and 600 watts from both Lead acid AGM battery banks, which can be properly charged fully, by multiple charging sources, often, so they can live a good long life and perform well during that life.

I'll be having to upgrade all my cabling to accomplish this safely.
Glad I have the right tools and skills to do it properly.

Attached Files 20201003_210146.jpg20201001_132819.jpg
Re: Informative Video on Making Electrical Crimps
kursed #774806 April 19th 2021 9:06 am
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Wow. No doubt you have the skills. My shop Manager was on your level. I ran the Front, What part of San Diego are you from and what type of Van do you have ?

Re: Informative Video on Making Electrical Crimps
wrcsixeight #774809 April 19th 2021 10:29 am
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Originally Posted by wrcsixeight
While going full on ABYC, or Mil spec connectors and tools can be considered several degrees of overkill for a Van, it is good to see/know, just how far one can take 'ideal'.

Thank you for sharing all that info. I love learning new things all the time and if I can pick up a bit of new knowledge first thing in the morning, it really makes my day.

So for new crimping pliers, I'm going to try the Klein Tools 1005 for starters. HERE

I'm undecided on these three pair for multi-crimps. I know Knipex makes really good stuff, but is it really triple the quality, because it's almost triple the price when you add in the dies you need.
Astro Pneumatic 9477 for $65 - HERE
JB Tools 18980 for $90 - HERE
Knipex 97-43-200 for $230 without dies - HERE

I'm also looking at some of these crimp connectors, and still looking for a quality set of uninsulated with some adhesive shrink wrap like you were talking about.

TICONN 250PCS Heat Shrink Wire Connectors for $20 - HERE

If you have any suggestions or advice, I'm all ears. I had pretty much given up on crimp connectors as I was having such horrible luck with them over the years, and instead decided to hone my soldering skills, but I now see the benefits of both.


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Re: Informative Video on Making Electrical Crimps
kursed #774813 April 19th 2021 3:37 pm
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The crimp connectors with the built in heatshrink, I am not in love with, as the heatshrink gets so distorted under the dies, and I don't really trust that a good low resistance connection is formed when there is the soft heatshrink inbetween the dies.

I'd really want the tool that is listed on the marine how to site specifically for heatshrink crimp connectors as it looks precise and crimps a wider footprint which is less likely to split the heatshrink.

That said I have crimped them and shrunk them and was not able to pull them apart, but they are also on well protected low amperage non mission critical circuits. I much prefer, even though it takes 10x as long, to slide precut adhesive lined heatshrink up the wire, then use a razor to strip the insulation off of a crimp connector and dimple crimp.

All online instructions say the dimple must be opposite the seam. I have had much better luck aligning the seam with the dimple and folding the seam into the stranding, then compressing the sides to close the dimple, but a few degrees off and one gets to start over with a new connector.

I have no experience with the 3 kits you link and don't offer opinions on products when I have no experience with them.

Since the 12v ciggy plug/ receptacles 12v powerports were some of the first wiring issues I came across long ago, as they are such a s#itty connection, I moved onto Anderson Powerpoles, and foolishly I avoided buying their special crimp tool. While the contacts for 15 and 30 amps are done easily with the dimple crimp, the 45 amp contacts have these ears which must be folded over and bent into the wire, and doing this without their special crimping tool dies, well, it is not easy to get a solid crimp, and I had several failures with nothing to blame but my own cheapass.

That said I still cant seem to stop adding a bit of solder to cover the exposed stranding, even though it is unnecessary and could screw up the mating surfaces.


The special ratcheting crimpers for anderson powerpoles, also take different dies and I am pretty sure the sizes of the jaws are standard. I bought some Ebay dies for doing insulated crimps ,and for doing red and blue flag terminals, and both easily fit into the anderson crimpers, but switching dies takes a while and a second set of ratcheting crimpers would be useful if I trusted the Ebay dies

But the cheap Ebay dies are not trusted, and I basically have given up on them. The flag terminals I can rip off the wire as there is so little actually grasping the wire, and they don't do 10-12 size.

The Anderson crimpers have a plastic portion designed to hold the contact in a specific manner, which is removable, and then the anderson dies work well to make the 'buttcheek' crimps on terminations or buttsplices.

The Anderson Crimpers with the plastic removed and the Klein dimple crimpers basically cover almost all my wire joinery from 8 to 20 awg plus, but I don't make my living doing wire joinery and time to complete a joint is not my concern.

If time were a consideration then I would buy good/best crimp tools with specific dies for the specific high quality connectors, but this can be incredibly expensive.

The battery cable how to link, at the end, he goes over the Harbor freight hydraulic crimper. I own this tool and it is as bad as he says, on som many levels, but it still has its uses, but 8 tons of clamping force allows one to easily overcrimp and the connector can then just fall off the broken wire strands. There is a ton of 'ignorance equals bliss' regarding wire joinery and improper tools used. The IR temp gun aimed at a circuit termintion or buttsplice or solder joint loaded at 50% of its rating or more often shatters that bliss.

The FTZ leverage crimpers I got for big cables, has specific dies for specific gauges and either the flared starter lugs or the thick walled lugs. Takes a good amount of strength to crimp the 2/0 thick walled lugs and after years likely overcrimping smaller gauge wire with the hf hydraulic crimpers, the FTZ crimps looked to be undercrimped in comparison, but they don't get hot passing 280 amps.

The marine how to articles linked above, well the Author is on almost all the marine based forums and is highly respected by all.

If I were to make a living doing DC wiring, instead of just here and there, I'd be all over the specific tools he recommends for the heatshrink connectors even though look a likes on Amazon or Ebay are a fraction of the price.

I've owned my b250 for 20 years now and have come across all sorts of wiring that I did in way back when, before I knew better, and most of it has been problem free, just Unideal, and would not pass an ABYC inspection and I would be embarrassed to have it looked over by a pro

A lot of what i will soon be replacing in my Van, was made with poor quality components bought on Amazon. I should never have employed it, but rationalized it as it was still overkill for the amperage I expected it to pass at that time. But now/soon I can double or triple that amperage, and it is quite inadequate.

Beware of good prices on what appears to be copper, it can be copper clad aluminum or just outright aluminum, which is only about 65% as conductive as copper. Likewise good prices on crimps, they can be aluminum instead of tinned copper. Also cheap heatshrink. The HF shrink The red in the long thin packaging has reexpanded on me. Avoid!

The cheap crimping tools are likely for metric wire sizes and while they will do AWG or SAE gauge wires, they do not compress it to the standards a professional tool designed for AWg or SAe gauge would.

SAE gauge has a 6 to 12% thinner cross section than American Wire gauge, and can lead to imperfect crimps that could pull out.

geniunedealz.com has great prices onhigh quality components and I've always received them within 5 business days or less free shipping.
They also make custom battery cables for those who don't have the proper tools, or skills, to make them and often one will pay less for a much better thicker cable made by them compared to what they can find at their AP store.

Do not buy battery cables in the auto parts stores unless it is a time related emergency. Not only are they using SAE gauge wire, the ring terminals are stamped steel with a hole drilled through it. If copper scores a 100 on the conductivity scale, steel is about a 3 to 4, and that is before it rusts and becomes even more resistive.

Also beware of 'some' of the components marketed to the stereo boom boom crowd. They really seem to love the aluminum wire and terminals which just compress wire stranding under a set screw. This type of connection is incredibly prone to failure and high resistance before then. Much seems to be appearance rather than actual performance. Stranded wire crushed under a screw is a junk mechanical and electrical connection, and with some products, unavoidable.

Using a large dimple hammer crimper on large battery sized cable is also to be avoided, even though it is often touted as 'just fine'

The cabling I removed from the boat was indeed 'just fine' and dimple crimped, but just fine meant it was never pushed close to its ampacity rating , much less inspected for heat build up the few times it was.

I have become a bit of a voltage drop snob. Each and every connection adds voltage dropping resistance to a circuit and is a potential failure point. I tend to oversize the wire gauge used, and the terminations can no longer be 'just fine', but have to be be quality and fit my crimping tool as intended.

Voltage is electrical pressure and almost everything in a 12vDC system works better when it gets higher voltage.

SDM, I am not a Native Californian, leaving the NE in the mid 90's and being coastal NCSD since, when not travelling around the country or overseas.

Re: Informative Video on Making Electrical Crimps
kursed #774940 April 21st 2021 5:35 pm
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Coming from a military and commercial aircraft avionics career, I've had to figure out how to get results I'm happy with while dealing with the affordability and accessibility that I'm stuck with.

Here's what works for me...

I never use a wire stripper that pulls the insulation off.
Those things are sloppy.
I cut the insulation with a stripper, then pull the insulation off with my fingers.

I don't use insulated butt splices for anything. A-n-y-t-h-i-n-g.
They belong in the trash with those blue quick-splice connectors.
Their proper name should be "failure points".

I solder almost everything and heatshrink it.
I use simple, side by side inline splices.
No twisting them together, no complicated fishing knots... none of that.
I just tin both wires (cleanly with the strands still showing), solder them together laid side by side, then heatshrink.
If you don't think it's strong enough... It is (well, mine are anyway, LOL).
You shouldn't be hanging things from your solder work anyway. lol
I've been doing it that way for almost 30 years with great success.

If I'm having to crimp something, I use a hydraulic crimp tool that I bought at Harbor Freight.
It does lugs between 14 AWG and 0 AWG.
That thing has paid for itself over and over again.
If it had some dies that were a little smaller it would be worth it's weight in gold (I may have to check into that).

When I use ring or spade terminals I buy whatever is near me for a good price.
I pull the crappy nylon "insulator" off (most of them can be twisted off), crimp the terminal on, then heat shrink that.
Sometimes, depending on the application (like on our boat), I'll solder it too.
(I once made an LED cup holder wiring harness for my '06 Jeep Rubicon and had a dealer call me a liar when I said I made it. LOL)

If I'm in a pinch (and I mean really in a pinch), my last resort method is those crimp cap things and a Channel-Lock crimp tool (one that's very much the same as the Klein one that Kursed posted).
As much as I hate "insulated" crimp connectors, these are the ones I like the best.
When they're crimped correctly, I can't pull them apart, so they've got that going for them.

My heat gun is an $8 Drill Master from Harbor Freight.
It provides heat, very much like the hoity-toity $300 heat guns did that I used to work with.
lol

Granted, if one of my connections fail, it's probably just going to interrupt James Taylor saying how he's a handyman or whatever and is no longer going to make fighter planes or commercial airliners fall out of the sky, so you can take all of this with a grain of salt.


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Re: Informative Video on Making Electrical Crimps
kursed #774956 April 22nd 2021 7:55 am
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kursed Offline OP
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All very good info guys and thank you for pitching in. Luckily I haven't had any wiring to fix lately to try out my new crimp pliers, but I'll be re-doing the trailer plug on the Astro soon, so they'll get a bit of use then.


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Re: Informative Video on Making Electrical Crimps
kursed #775017 April 23rd 2021 9:57 am
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Lots of good info here. Thank you.


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Re: Informative Video on Making Electrical Crimps
kursed #776833 May 28th 2021 4:13 pm
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There is a lot of great information on here. I am preparing to tackle some internal wiring for interior lights, speakers, and some actuators in the next few weeks. One of the things I love about the van is a lot of it has taken me out of my comfort zone in terms of things I would learn and everyone here is always full of tips, tricks, and great advice.

Last edited by Charlie99909; May 28th 2021 4:13 pm.

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