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Old 02-19-2011, 06:41 PM
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Soldering Cable Lugs

I've got a new earth clamp for my mig welder

In order to connect it, I need to attach a cable lug to the end of my earth cable


I've got.......
a blow torch, flux, soldering wire, a vice, cable lug, and earth wire


What's the best way to solder the lug in place?

Do I just fill the lug to the top with the solder then dip the wire in?
How do I know how much solder to use?

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Old 02-19-2011, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Do I just fill the lug to the top with the solder then dip the wire in?
Nope,... That won't work......

Brush out the lug with a wirebrush,....
Make a Fresh cut, 'n trim on the ground lead wire...
Slather both pieces real good with yer Flux,...
Assemble 'em, 'n heat the Lug....
As the Flux boils out, hit it with the solder,...
As it melts, 'n fills the lug, cut the heat, 'n let cool...
When the solder runs outa the lug, it Full, 'n that's enough.....
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:02 PM
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Nuff said

Vince
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:35 AM
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Sorry, I'm still new to all of this, and therefore a little bit daft

I've read your post a few times but don't completely understand it

I know it's important to get a really good connection in order to get a good earth

Can you spell it out for me please - I don't mind it being dumbed down

Thanks
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bondo
Nope,... That won't work......

Brush out the lug with a wirebrush,....

read: clean the inside of the new lug with wire brush or sandpaper to remove scale or dirt

Make a Fresh cut, 'n trim on the ground lead wire...

read: cut the old end off the ground wire, peel off enough insulation to expose new wire to fit into new lug

Slather both pieces real good with yer Flux,...

read: apply flux to inside of lug and freshly exposed wire

Assemble 'em, 'n heat the Lug....

read: if possible clamp flat part of lug in a vise, open end up, then insert new wire in the lug


As the Flux boils out, hit it with the solder,...

read: apply even heat to lug with a propane torch until flux starts to flow, apply solder


As it melts, 'n fills the lug, cut the heat, 'n let cool...

read: as solder starts to flow remove heat, keep melting solder into the joint until full to the top


When the solder runs outa the lug, it Full, 'n that's enough.....

read: when it's full, you are done


I'll add: cover new joint with shrink tube or electrical tape
Hope my translation from 'Merican to English helps. Good Luck
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:39 AM
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And suddenly it all becomes clear

Thanks all
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:13 AM
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soldering cable lugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by evolvo
Hope my translation from 'Merican to English helps. Good Luck
You should have a third hand, as it is pretty hard to hold the fire, hold the cable, and hold the solder, all at the same time, also to keep from getting a cold joint, hold the cable still until the solder cools some. If the solder turns dull, you have a cold joint, it should stay shiny.

I have done many battery cables by filling the lug with solder, with no trouble . First you have to tint the cable, or heat it and put solder on it, you do want a new end, I just cut enough cover off the wire to fit in the lug. Put shrink tape on cable so you can slide it down later. Put flux in lug then fill with solder, once full heat cable again a little and put into lug, hold cable straight up and down until cool where the solder is hard. I have made a lot of cables that way, right or wrong, I never had any trouble with one.

Bob
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:46 AM
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Drill a small hole in the lug or cable end first then assemble cable to lug, well fluxed.
Heat it and feed solder into the hole, that way you get you solder in there,it feeds better than from the cable end.
Before soldering you can also crimp the assembly, I use a simple punch to dimple the cable end, also stops it all falling apart while you solder.

See quick sketch.
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:53 PM
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You will need to be real careful trying to do electrical soldering with a torch, it can spatter real bad and you can easily overheat the connectors. This makes them brittle and makes it hard to get solder to adhere to. The key to a good solder joint is to start with a good mechanical connection, You want the solder to enhance and strengthen the mechanical connection. Solder should never be the only thing holding an electrical connection together.
A good mechanical connection allows everything to be heated at the same time, this eliminates cold and weak solder joints. Unfortunately like a lot of other things, these issues don't always show up right away.
A good quality soldering iron will do a much better job than a torch.
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Old 02-20-2011, 01:28 PM
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Ok, job done!

How do I test the quality of my connection?

Believe it or not, it took me four attempts to get it sorted

I have no talent at all......can't wait until the welding begins!
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:13 PM
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Here's my $0.02 worth.

1.) Make sure it's all clean.
2.) Shove a piece of HD heat-shrink (with mastic) up the cable
3.) Attach the lug and crimp mechanically. They make HD crimping pliers about the same size a bolt-cutters that are designed specifically for this purpose. Your neighborhood parts store SHOULD have a set of these that you can buy, rent, or borrow. They may even just crimp it for you if you take the cable in with you.


4.) Apply the flux.
5.)Apply heat to the tip of the lug. Solder will run TOWARDS the heat source.
After the flux boils, apply the solder. Make sure that you are using ROSIN -core ... NOT acid-core solder.
6.) Allow the lug to cool.
7.) Now slide the heat-shink tubing down over the wire and the barrel of the lug.
8.) You can heat the heat-shink with a torch if you keep the flame way back, and keep the torch moving up and down AND around to shrink the tubing uniformly. I actually prefer to use a heat gun.

The heat-shrink (especiall the stuff with the mastic) is a vital step, IMO, as it seals water and debris out of your connection. It's moisture that turns the copper green and eventually leads to failure.

Here is QuickCable's instruction sheet

Last edited by 66GMC; 02-20-2011 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:08 PM
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Job is done, but I would like to add an extra step that works great for me. I use steel wool and a small screw driver to super clean the lug. I then "tin" the cable and allow to cool. Then I heat the fluxed lug from the outside and insert the cable and apply solder much like sweating copper tubing joints. I have never used a final crimping, but that is a good ideal and I'll add it to my bag of tricks.

Trees
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:44 PM
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I have never used a final crimping, but that is a good ideal and I'll add it to my bag of tricks.

Crimp before soldering.
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