cool and cheap large gauge terminal crimper...

ldivinag

Adventurer
http://www.harborfreight.com/hydraulic-wire-crimping-tool-66150.html#pr-header-66150

yeah, i know... it's some cheap chinese knock off.

but i'm gonna be doing a project soon and someone pointed me towards HF. i have used a large pliers like crimpers before that cost like $150+...

with the 20% off (and a free set of screwdrivers) coupon, it was kinda too tempting to not try it.

crimped about 5 terminals now. and the terminals crimped looks really good.

i have a ratcheting crimper that does 10-22 gauge terminals that cost more than this.

i'm thinking of getting a shop to get the 10 gauge dies to reshaped to handle 1/0 or even 2/0 terminals.
 

daveyd

Observer
Sodder those big connections with lead and a plumbers torch - if done properly it will hold much stronger than any crimping device. Thus you will not have to worry about the connection coming loose from vibration etc.
 

off-roader

Expedition Leader
Thus you will not have to worry about the connection coming loose from vibration etc.
Actually used to think the same thing until a literal rocket scientist (worked on the 80's Star Wars missile defense system) suggested that properly crimped connectors last just as long because solder cracks under vehicle stresses although you should make a good crimp using a quality crimper. He also noted that you don't find any soldered connectors in cars... All are crimped & tied down... even your big battery cables.

Just a thought...:smiley_drive:
 

FordGuy1

Adventurer
Actually used to think the same thing until a literal rocket scientist (worked on the 80's Star Wars missile defense system) suggested that properly crimped connectors last just as long because solder cracks under vehicle stresses although you should make a good crimp using a quality crimper. He also noted that you don't find any soldered connectors in cars... All are crimped & tied down... even your big battery cables.

Just a thought...:smiley_drive:
Totally true. Soldered connections cannot handle flexing and vibration as well as crimped. that is why in most off-road race applications there will be very little done with solder.
 

wrcsixeight

Adventurer
I have the HF crimper as well.

The Dies are too small, especially with thick walled lugs.

My best looking crimps start out with the oversize dies, if available, and turned 90 degrees in the jaw often for more compression, otherwise the 'ears' form.

It is too easy to use all 30 tons of clamping force. I did a test crimp on 8 awg wire, and crimped it so tight, the copper sheared off at the end of the connector with a light tug.

The crimper is a little awkward to use. Sometimes one handed use is necessary to hold the die in place on the connector. The dies do not align perfectly on their own. The head rotates which is nice, and not so obvious on the first few test crimps, but then again who has time to read the directions when one acquires a new toy?
 

Rbertalotto

Explorer
Solder is not allowed on most connections subject to extremes in military and aerospace applications. A properly crimped connection with a calibrated crimper is the only connection allowed.
 

daveyd

Observer
On military tactical vehicles we don't crimp large connections. They are first soddered then a small length of heavy shrink tubing is applied afterwards.


mil-spec connection.JPG

On smaller wires we use an assortment of cannon plug connectors; all of the wires are soddered internally then sheathed. I've not seen a single wire work loose at the soddered joint in my 20 years of troubleshooting military trucks.


However, crimping is a great alternative on large connections. When done properly with a hydraulic press, akin to the way industrial hydraulic hoses are made. Again, they still manage to work themselves loose over time.

If you can't bend your soddered connection closer to the bond, consider using micro-core copper stranded wire like you see on expensive welding setups, they bend a lot easier than thicker stranded copper core.
 

off-roader

Expedition Leader
I should add that in my USN years as a data systems tech frequently troubleshooting to component level much less assembly level, I don't recall ever seeing a soldered connector. All wire connectors were crimped (usually using expensive crimpers). The only soldering I recall seing were for wires that were attached directly onto a circuit board.

HTH.
 

daveyd

Observer
There are multiple ways to skin a cat, the end result is often the same, whether you used a razor blade or a fillet knife. Continue to use what works best for you.
 

ldivinag

Adventurer
That's cool.

I don't know about longetivity (yet to be determined) but I have one of these

http://www.solar-electric.com/hacrtoforlal.html?gclid=CMbWrbXbjbUCFVSTPAodexQA5w

which I used in setting up the electrical system in my Kamparoo. Your tool looks easier to use and is much cheaper than the $300 equivalents that I found at the time. Still, I loved the elegant simplicity of the hammer crimper and there was something strangely satisfying about using it.

i HAVE this same hammer down tool. i used it to crimp connectors for my thomas air compressor. sure enough, either i didnt hold it down correctly or i didnt hammer down correctly, but the crimps failed within a couple uses.

i did use the HFT crimper and re-did the crimps...
 

kevint

Adventurer
i HAVE this same hammer down tool. i used it to crimp connectors for my thomas air compressor. sure enough, either i didnt hold it down correctly or i didnt hammer down correctly, but the crimps failed within a couple uses.

i did use the HFT crimper and re-did the crimps...
So far so good for mine. I wham it hard from both sides with a big hammer. Crimps seemed solid and the wire not damaged. I've got my fingers crossed.
 

Wyowanderer

Explorer
Still, I loved the elegant simplicity of the hammer crimper and there was something strangely satisfying about using it.
Your use of elegant and hammer made me smile.
I have one as well, but I solder everything that I install permanently now.
 

dieselcruiserhead

16 Years on ExPo. Whoa!!
for large diameter crimps I just use a hammer to pound it down, then I use a punch with the hammer for a decent indentation in the middle. Then shrink wrap. Works great/permanent solution, and cheap of course.
 

4x4junkie

Explorer
Actually used to think the same thing until a literal rocket scientist (worked on the 80's Star Wars missile defense system) suggested that properly crimped connectors last just as long because solder cracks under vehicle stresses although you should make a good crimp using a quality crimper. He also noted that you don't find any soldered connectors in cars... All are crimped & tied down... even your big battery cables.

Just a thought...:smiley_drive:
I've experienced a number of failures with crimped connections (especially on high-current stuff such as winch wiring). 9 out of 10 times it's been with connections exposed to both vibration and weather. OTOH I can't say I've ever once had a properly-soldered connection fail.
Take it for that it's worth... but I'll always continue to solder my terminals (even running some solder down into any pre-crimped ends that will be exposed to weather).


Wiring in cars is crimped because its much faster and cheaper to manufacture it that way.
 

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