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large wires give me skull cramps

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Forum Name: Marine Electronics
Forum Discription: Boat Stereos, Security, Navigation, Lights, Switches, Gauges, etc.
Printed Date: July 28, 2021 at 11:38 AM

Topic: large wires give me skull cramps

Posted By: bigoledude
Subject: large wires give me skull cramps
Date Posted: September 06, 2013 at 3:45 AM

Please allow me to ask for advice that does not pertain directly to a sound system per se.  Several years ago I had to replace my alternator in my pickup.  The thing wouldn't charge the battery reliably.  After the third alternator in two weeks, the parts store wouldn't swap it out. 

I brought the truck to the dealership and they charged me over $100.00 to make a good SOLID connection with large wire connectors.  The method I was using wasn't good enough for a good connection. 

I am gonna be doing some re-wiring on a boat that I've just bought.  What is the best way of connecting wires, battery terminals etc. for marine applications?  Every boat I've ever owned regularly suffered from poor connections.  I'd have to take my pocket-knife and start scraping connections untiI I hit upon the one causing the problem.   

"I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers."


Posted By: oldspark
Date Posted: September 06, 2013 at 4:13 AM
Preferably using good crimp joints that are then soldered.
Contact cleaner else a good rub with thinners etc (maybe after steel wooling) before bolting connectors.
Then a spray with some corrosion resistance spray, or maybe grease etc.

And of course marine grade components (batteries, terminals, connectors).
And adequately rated cables to reduce heat (grease melting etc).

Posted By: davep.
Date Posted: October 02, 2013 at 1:23 PM
This is an older post, but I'd like to be able to post pics, so i need to up my count.

My vocation is in the water, dockside boat and yacht maintenance and repairs. I specialize in electrical / battery / charging systems. I frequently deal with cable sizes #2 AWG and larger. I use a set of old-school AMP crimpers for AWG #6 through 1/0. And a set of Thomas and Betts Long handle crimpers for 2/0 through 4/0. The T&B will do smaller wire sizes as well, but the short handle AMP crimpers are easier to deal with in confined spaces.

Marine applications should utilize tinned cable. Tinned cable resists corrosion. Terminals should be tinned-copper. Bare copper corrodes rapidly in marine environments. Soldering is not practical on large cable because the amount of heat required will damage the insulation in the vicinity of the terminal. Use of heat-shrink tubing with the 'glue' inside it will seal the wire-side of the crimp. Use of grease, or "liquid tape" type coatings on the connection side of the crimp will help.

Tinned components, correct size crimpers, and seal the crimps to limit moisture intrusion, and you'll have connections that out-last the equipment they power.

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