Alan's Battery Cable Crimpers

BIG terminal crimpers on the cheap -

I wanted a set of crimpers for battery cable terminals but was never willing to pony up the cost of them for the little I would use them. Then I had a flash of inspiration (flash of something anyhow, maybe it was just seeing stars from bumping my head). Battery crimpers are just bolt cutters with different jaws. I was in a Harbor Freight store in Madison, WI last September and they had 24" bolt cutters for $9.99. I figured it was worth gambling twenty bucks so I brought two sets home for experimenting with.

I used a die grinder with a carbide burr, clamped one cutter handle in the vise and slowly closed the jaws on the cutter. Once I had the jaws closed it worked the cutter around to make a (roughly) circular cutout in the jaws. I did two cutouts in this set, one is sized for #6 terminals and the other is for #1 & 2. It works fine for #2 as it is, for #1 I have to rap the jaws with a deadblow hammer while I've got pressure on the handles to get the crimp to really snug down.

I got to use them for the first time this afternoon when I was installing a second battery in my K3500. The batteries are paralleled with #1 cables. + cable runs through a 200 amp isolator relay so they are electrically separated when the engine is off. I also put in an override switch which draws power from the second battery to fire the relay. In the event that the primary battery should go flat and not have voltage enough available to close the relay that gives me a way to "self boost" from inside the cab.

 

 

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All photos and text 2003 Alan Nadeau, All rights reserved. Used with Permission.

 

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