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Old 02-25-2014, 07:22 PM
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Best way to extend battery cables

Does anyone have any advice for extending battery cables? I need to gain about 6" on the positive lead and cant find a cable stretcher anywhere. Is it best to just use a butt connector and solder or are there quicker/easier methods that are as effective?

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Old 02-25-2014, 08:16 PM   #2
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Cabling, because it is stranded, is designed to transfer voltage/amperage more efficiently, on the exterior portion of the strands.
When you use a connector, you will reduce the flow capability somewhat, but I think that you will still be O.K. You will know, once you hit the starter!
But you are correct, if you use a connector, then make sure that you soldier it, so that it doesn't corrode.

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Old 02-25-2014, 09:15 PM   #3
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I needed to do this when I re-located my winch control box. I went to my favorite auto parts store and they sell cables in many lengths.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:42 PM
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I needed to do this when I re-located my winch control box. I went to my favorite auto parts store and they sell cables in many lengths.
How do they attach? Any pics of how you did it? Im not sure I have confidence in my soldering ability on large gauge wire.
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:05 PM   #5
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No soldering (sorry, no pics) I just un bolted the old cables and bolted the new ones on.
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Old 02-26-2014, 03:28 AM   #6
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Connecting two pieces of cable together to gain length should be done ONLY as a last resort. In an emergency or similar.

DC Current travels down the CENTER of ANY conductor. Stranding is for flexibility and resistance to vibration/breakage NOT for current carrying capability.

The BEST solution is to purchase the correct length, gauge, AND color of cable you need and have the correct ends CRIMPED ON or purchase it with ends pre-crimped on.

The type of soldering that is being recommended in this post will only cause a weak link AT that solder joint which WILL fail at the most inopportune time. Soldering is NOT for mobile applications on large gauge cable.

If you feel you MUST connect two pieces of cable together, buy the APPROPRIATE (similar to this) Burndy Bisr 1 0 Insulated Unitap Inline Splice Kit 14AWG 1 0 New Free Shipping | eBay connector and tape it shut with self vulcanizing tape or QUALITY electrical tape (Scotch 33+) and make sure you wrap it enough to prevent abrasions from getting through.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:01 AM
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Thanks for the replies guys! Sounds like I need to look into rerunning a longer wire end to end if I want it done right.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:07 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies guys! Sounds like I need to look into rerunning a longer wire end to end if I want it done right.
That's what I'd do.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:50 AM   #9
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Yes, I helped a friend of mine re-wire his large Motor Home. He is a Electrical Engineer.
We completely re-wired all of the A/C and D/C complete. All of this cabling #2 for Batteries, and 2/0 for heavy use long leads is available in bulk, from the electrical supply houses.
We used all stranded wire, (his preference), because of flexibility, less likely to break, plus better flow, because on the A/C portion the current runs on the exterior of the wire, and on the D/C it runs through the complete wire, so there is more area for it to flow, verses a solid wire.

If you can purchase the cable from a automotive center, with the ends already attached, then that would be the best way to go!

All of his wiring was from a bulk spool, so we silver soldered all of the ends. He did all of the soldering himself. This will give you the best continuity, with less chance for corrosion, because of a loose connection.

It took us about a month to complete the re-wiring, by just working on it on weekends.
That was about 8 years ago, and far as I know, he has never had any electrical issues, since the re-wire. Because of his Engineering background , we were very meticulous during this project.

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