Battery Cable questions

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Randy Tuura
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Battery Cable questions

Postby Randy Tuura » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:15 pm

It's me again.
I have a 1949 Cub and I need to replace the battery to starter cable.
Looks like I have to find one pre made at Napa.

My tractor has been upgraded to 12V Negative Ground.

I think the OE length of a battery to starter cable is 87".
Battery end has to be for the positive battery terminal.

But what size wire? 2 ga. or 4?
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Re: Battery Cable questions

Postby ricky racer » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:30 pm

Bigger is always better.....
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Re: Battery Cable questions

Postby Dale Finch » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:39 pm

I just went to a welding shop and bought 1/0 welding cable (for a 12v system)...sells by the even foot, so for the 87" needed, I bought 8'. The cost was somewhere around $20. After measuring the proper length, I cut the cable with a mini angle grinder, getting nice clean cut. Welding cable is VERY flexible, with lots of fine strands. For the two ends, the easiest ones are pre-soldered terminals (available at NAPA). Make sure you get the correct one for the battery end (+ or -...they are marked P or N). Clamp the teminal in a vice and using a propane torch, you just heat the fitting until the solder/flux mixture bubbles, at which time you stick the stripped cable into the hole. I also put heat shrink tubing on to cover the gap between insulation and terminal.

The end that attaches to the starter is a copper lug...same procedure for attaching, but make sure it has the right sized hole for the starter stud. If it is not presoldered, melt some solder dipped in flux into the lug until it is about half full, then stick the wire into the liquid solder.

Don't move the cables until the solder has cooled...otherwise you will get a bad connection.

Have fun!

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Randy Tuura
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Re: Battery Cable questions

Postby Randy Tuura » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:48 pm

So, the smaller the number the bigger the cable?
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Re: Battery Cable questions

Postby Randy Tuura » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:52 pm

I'm looking for a pre-made cable. It is 17 degrees up here and I'd have to buy a Bunsen burner and solder. I just want to pick up a pre-made cable like at Napa and put it on so I can plow our 2 feet of white stuff. Snowblower works fine but tractor is much easier and a lot more fun.
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Re: Battery Cable questions

Postby tst » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:07 pm

I just had my napa cable book handy, they do not offer a pre made cable for top post longer that 72" so you can make one up or order one , TM tractor offers it

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Re: Battery Cable questions

Postby Barnyard » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:13 pm

Randy Tuura wrote:So, the smaller the number the bigger the cable?

Yes.
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Re: Battery Cable questions

Postby Dale Finch » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:14 pm

Randy Tuura wrote:So, the smaller the number the bigger the cable?

Yes. Make sure you specify that the cable is for the POSITIVE terminal (a larger diameter post), since you said your tractor is negative ground.

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Re: Battery Cable questions

Postby Dale Finch » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:30 pm

I was looking at TM Tractors battery cables, and I may be wrong, but I'm not sure any of the 3 they show would be correct. The 6v cable would have the smaller negative terminal end. And the 12v cables they show go from either the "battery to the switch", or "the switch to the starter". Neither goes from the "battery to the starter". :? They may be too short. Suggest you call to confirm first.

If you "need it now", you can probably find someone to make one up for you, or go ahead and buy a propane torch. Any hardware/big box store has them, along with solder.

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Re: Battery Cable questions

Postby Barnyard » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:38 pm

Or keep it 12v but with a positive ground. That way the negative cable wile fit the battery terminal.
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Re: Battery Cable questions

Postby Landreo » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:18 am

For 12 volt, either size is fine. Less voltage drop with a #2 but more loss of money out of your wallet.
For #4 the voltage drop will be about a volt, for #2 the drop will be about 2/3 of a volt. 1-0 less than half a volt.

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Re: Battery Cable questions

Postby Randy Tuura » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:23 am

Barnyard wrote:Or keep it 12v but with a positive ground. That way the negative cable wile fit the battery terminal.


It is already "Negative Ground".

Do you mean I could change it back by just reversing the battery terminals - or is there more to it than that?

TM and Steiner both sell an 87" battery to starter cable for the negative battery post.

What about using both a positive cable battery to switch and switch to starter cable bolted together? (probably not good).

I really like the idea of using welding cable and making my own, but that's a warm weather project. I like the idea of making the connections myself. If it is no big deal changing the polarity of the tractor I might just do that and order the cables from TM.

Barnyard, and everybody else, thanks for helping me think this through.
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Re: Battery Cable questions

Postby Barnyard » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:41 am

Making your own cable is the way to go. That is what I do. I think 84 inches is the correct length. That is an even 7 feet so you don't need to buy more than you need.

If you haven't already seen it, here is a link to a How To for making cables. viewtopic.php?f=140&t=47356
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Re: Battery Cable questions

Postby indy61 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:57 pm

I had mine custom made because I don't have the correct crimper. It was less than 40.00 + shipped free and was in my mailbox in 3 days.

http://www.genuinedealz.com/custom-cables

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Re: Battery Cable questions

Postby Dale Finch » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:15 pm

indy61 wrote:I had mine custom made because I don't have the correct crimper. It was less than 40.00 + shipped free and was in my mailbox in 3 days.

http://www.genuinedealz.com/custom-cables

To me, that would be the easiest way to go. Don't think I would mess with the electrical system changing the polarity as a temporary fix.


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