Jump to content
idosubaru

What gauge wire does Subaru use for battery cables - so i can have some crimp on terminals on hand?

Recommended Posts

Between #2 and #4, depending on year and model.

I use the hammer-type crimp tool, which will do a great job on most any size battery cables and ends.

They are also very compact to carry with you since the other half of the tool, a BFH, is usually in your tool kit already.

Will crimp a #2 end on #4 wire quite nicely as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Great, thanks. By “#2 on a #4” do you mean using a larger end on a smaller wire?

11 minutes ago, Subaru Scott said:

Between #2 and #4, depending on year and model.

Will crimp a #2 end on #4 wire quite nicely as well.

I have crimping pliers, I’ll keep those hammer jobs in mind. 

#2 and #4 is a standard measurement ?  Why have I seen confusion between AWG and nonAWG gauges before?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, idosubaru said:

 

Great, thanks. By “#2 on a #4” do you mean using a larger end on a smaller wire?

I have crimping pliers, I’ll keep those hammer jobs in mind. 

#2 and #4 is a standard measurement ?  Why have I seen confusion between AWG and nonAWG gauges before?

Yes, so if you only had the larger #2 terminal on hand, for example, using the hammer crimper.

Crimping pliers are not big enough for any cable this size.

AWG = American wire gauge. There are also British and European metric sizes. Subarus are technically a metric size, but you really can't find metric terminals here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i use copper lines from airconditioning to make my own crimps and ring terminals when giant wires are involved since i have a spool laying around in my garage.

i cut about 2 inches of tubing off, flatten half of it down, drill a hole, there's your ring terminal if needed, the other side where the wire is gonna go i fill it with solder, then heat it with a torch until the solder is liquid, then i put the giant wire in there and let the solder cool, sometimes i smash it some more but that's not really needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Subaru Scott said:

Yes, so if you only had the larger #2 terminal on hand, for example, using the hammer crimper.

Crimping pliers are not big enough for any cable this size.

AWG = American wire gauge. There are also British and European metric sizes. Subarus are technically a metric size, but you really can't find metric terminals here.

Great, thanks! 

The tool i have is not like my small crimper for stereo wires - but large, beefy and "geared" or levered, and made for crimping fittings on up to 0 gauge wire and I'm told they work really well for this size wire. 

22 minutes ago, Subasaurus said:

i use copper lines from airconditioning to make my own crimps and ring terminals when giant wires are involved since i have a spool laying around in my garage.

i cut about 2 inches of tubing off, flatten half of it down, drill a hole, there's your ring terminal if needed, the other side where the wire is gonna go i fill it with solder, then heat it with a torch until the solder is liquid, then i put the giant wire in there and let the solder cool, sometimes i smash it some more but that's not really needed.

That's awesome!  My torch is large, not very portable, and i haven't dialed it in and learned how to use it properly yet, but I'd like to be able to do that.  Oddly I have a roll of about 10 feet of that A/C copper line from years ago.  It's a long coil - like 10 feet probably and seems like it's 2" in diameter, clearly I have no use for something like that!  

Why isn't copper used for the actual clamps that bolt to the battery terminal - is it too soft?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, idosubaru said:

Great, thanks! 

The tool i have is not like my small crimper for stereo wires - but large, beefy and "geared" or levered, and made for crimping fittings on up to 0 gauge wire and I'm told they work really well for this size wire. 

That's awesome!  My torch is large, not very portable, and i haven't dialed it in and learned how to use it properly yet, but I'd like to be able to do that.  Oddly I have a roll of about 10 feet of that A/C copper line from years ago.  It's a long coil - like 10 feet probably and seems like it's 2" in diameter, clearly I have no use for something like that!  

Why isn't copper used for the actual clamps that bolt to the battery terminal - is it too soft?

isn't Lead softer than copper? yet they were using it as terminals for decades? good question.

 

also if you're not that good with the torch, just melt some solder with a soldering gun in the homemade ring terminal while the wire is already in the hole, probably not as good to fuse with the copper iself though.

i just use a Walmart torch, it's $5 for 2 propane cans, and you'll need the tip also to ignite the propane which is i think around $12.

i was just tired of buying big ring terminals for like $4 a piece.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this is currently my biggest crimping tool i have, anything bigger than this, and i just go the homemade copper tubing way.

2im45tu.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Subasaurus said:

i just use a Walmart torch, it's $5 for 2 propane cans, and you'll need the tip also to ignite the propane which is i think around $12.

oh good grief i have a small propane torch....that would have saved some effort soldering in the past over my small soldering iron. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, idosubaru said:

oh good grief i have a small propane torch....that would have saved some effort soldering in the past over my small soldering iron. 

i can't stand electric soldering irons, they irritate me so much and i just throw the damn thing against the wall and when it fell on the floor, it burned a hole in the carpet (true story)

i bought a butane soldering gun, they're $27 at Lowes, compared to the $20 for the crappy electric soldering gun leaving you to wait for 20minutes just to loose all the heat in 5 seconds of touching a wire, only thing is it needs a refill of butane about every 15min of use, but i've had the same little $4 bottle of Butane refill for a year now, it's running low now but still refilling.

i've tried everything, and this is the only soldering gun that has never let me down, gets up to temperature in about 10seconds, and the pilot spark is still going. it also has a cool feature to shrink wrap with that shield it comes with.

 

here it is.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/BernzOmatic-Lead-Free-Soldering-Kit/1000170991

v81li8.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

great, nice hit.  i've never been impressed with my soldering iron, i'm sure some of it is my skill and experience but i'll definitely check out something like that in the future.  thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, Subasaurus, great idea using the copper tube for terminals!!

That's probably the base for commercially made terminals anyway, they just "tin" it to keep it from turning green. 

I too love the butane soldering irons. They work great and are completely portable. 

I do love soldered connections, but you have to keep a couple of things in mind:

Connections subjected to high vibration, could potentially fracture because all the "give" in the wire was taken away with soldering. I personally have never seen an example of this, and don't believe it is as critical as some claim. Especially if the wire is supported with the vibrating component, well past the wicking point.

An additional mechanical connection is preferred, (and required by the NEC in most cases, even though not relevant to automotive systems) because given enough current and resistance, solder will melt.

Those ratchet crimpers do a great job up to a #8 wire. Especially the ones with the dies that actually stuff the open ends of the terminals down into the center of the wire like OEM. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Subaru Scott said:

I do love soldered connections, but you have to keep a couple of things in mind:

Connections subjected to high vibration, could potentially fracture because all the "give" in the wire was taken away with soldering. I personally have never seen an example of this, and don't believe it is as critical as some claim. Especially if the wire is supported with the vibrating component, well past the wicking point.

An additional mechanical connection is preferred, (and required by the NEC in most cases, even though not relevant to automotive systems) because given enough current and resistance, solder will melt.

Those ratchet crimpers do a great job up to a #8 wire. Especially the ones with the dies that actually stuff the open ends of the terminals down into the center of the wire like OEM. 

i completely agree, but got a few things to say,

i've never had solder break apart on me before, or noticed it i suppose, perhaps it's the mixture of solder im using? it's happened to me before where solder actually melts since so much current was moving past it, but that was a weak connection with very little solder on it.

i would crimp the giant 2 gauge wire but i don't have crimpers that big, plus doing a hybrid of both worlds i think is best, a soldered connection for as little resistance as possible through the circuit, but incase of melting which takes ALOT of amps, smashing the crimp with a hammer/flathead and hammer would guarantee that the wire never comes out incase of melting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×