Vehical Battery Terminals

I've never understood how to "do" the positive side of the battery on cars. Can I make one? I've been using marine type clamps with alot of
wires wing nutted on. Are they lead? What would be the optimal metal to use? I Have solid wires and braided that add up to about 5/8's of an inch. What do you put on them to make them last longer. What will SS or Aluminum do? I can't seem to find what I need to buy.
I was making a trammel out of those clamps that hold string line for curbs the other day and was thinking something like that would work better. Kinda like an electrical buss bar or something. One , two set screw kinda set up.
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This is an old auction, but it might help you.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item069460454&categoryP549

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wrote:

Yeap, something like that.

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Sunworshiper wrote:

Make a buss bar. Substantial chunk of brass or copper, say 1" wide by 4" long by 1/2" thick. Mount this on piece of insulating material e.g phenolic block 1.5" wide by 5" long by 1/2" thick. Drill two mounting holes in the ends of the phenolic such that the screws won't touch the brass. Drill and tap holes along the length of the brass bar for substantial contact screws. Say 3/8" screws to secure leads and one 1/2" to secure the feeder cable. Fasten the brass bar to the phenolic from the back with two screws threaded into the brass and counter bored into the phenolic (don't want any chance of them touching grounded metal. One heavy lead goes from a regular automotive replacement battery terminal to the big center screw. Other leads go to the remaining screws, one heavy or two lighter wires per screw. Do NOT just clamp wire under those screws! Use AMP crimp conectors PROPERLY crimped with good crimpers.
This sort of setup will stand up to serious power for decades. I could send or post a drawing and photo if the above isn't clear. I no longer have the one I made for handling 500Amps on a 12Volt system with millivolts of loss but I do have a smaller one around.

Alluminum is awful and SS not much better for high current electrical work. Brass and copper are the metals of choice. Copper is the better conductor but brass is much easier to work and will be quite adequate if heavy enough.
Ted
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Aluminum is out because a) you cannot solder to it, and b) it forms a tough oxide on the surface, so crimps or screw-downs don't make reliable long-term contact.
Stainless is out because it has a relatively high resistivity.
Jim
================================================= please reply to: JRR(zero) at yktvmv (dot) vnet (dot) ibm (dot) com =================================================
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wrote:

Funny you should mention that. Aluminum was used in massive quantities for the bus bar on a very large electrolytic cell I worked on. The main bus was several runs of 2" thick X 12-18" wide aluminum, cut with a chainsaw and bolted together. There may have been some type of compound to deal with the oxide, don't know. We used about 20 500MCM copper jumper cables with big honkin' swaged tabs to connect from the bus bars to the anodes and cathodes. The cell operated at 200 vdc, 18,000 amps. It was a bipolar or stacked design, used 300,000 lb. of molten salt at 700 deg C. Carrying a 2" exhaust pipe (used for pumping metal) down the stairs past the anodes was like wrestling alligators due to the magnetic fields. We didn't wear wrist watches in there.
Pete Keillor
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On Wed, 05 May 2004 17:02:56 GMT, Ted Edwards

Thanks , its an idea , but I don't want to mount it on the body. Copper , hmmm I might be able to find a chunk of that around or at the recycling place and the copper set screws should be easy. Why not tin the ends of the wires and set screw them in? The regular clamps are lead right? Will the copper be better than the regular ones as for cleaning the corrosion problem all the time? If this works good I should make another one for the wive's car cause her alarm is a pain when problems arise. Did you have it set up for welding from the alternator(s)?
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Sunworshiper wrote:

You could mount it on a bracket mounted to any convenient bolt.

Not nearly as good.

Nope. Lead plated.

That's why the lead plating. Much better to mount the buss arrangement off the battery with one heavy lead going to the battery.

No. I have a small portable O/A setup.
Ted
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Sunworshiper wrote:

They're lead-plated copper.
--




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I've melted them myself, probably wheel weight alloy. Maybe a little softer (less antimony).
Tim
-- "I have misplaced my pants." - Homer Simpson | Electronics, - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --+ Metalcasting and Games: http://webpages.charter.net/dawill/tmoranwms
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You seem to have gotten some pretty good answers so far although an anti oxidant coating hasn't been addressed. No-Ox-Id <http://www.sanchem.com/ox.html is what we generally use in the Telephone power arena. When I have done work for Pac Bell/SBC they required NoCo <http://www.batteryservice.com/NNOCO.htm it is a mess since it is sticky. Use inside all connections(not too much, that's bad too) and coat the busbar all over so that any future connections will need little or no cleaning. You can rub in both types onto the busbar until it is just a very thin coat. FWIW I prefer No-Ox-Id.
--
Dave W a.a.#1967

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On Sat, 08 May 2004 20:26:14 GMT, Dr Dave W

Thanks I never get a good answer from an auto parts place. Any reason lead would be a problem for close proximity?
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of
metal
buy.
anti

Close proximity to what?
--
Dave W a.a.#1967

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On Tue, 11 May 2004 21:09:15 GMT, Dr Dave W

To the battery post. The plates are lead and the posts right? It would be easier to cast lead than a couple of trips to the recycling place for the right sized copper to machine.
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Sunworshiper wrote:

You know the old saying about do it right or do it twice? Threads in lead won't hold worth a damn. Take the time and a few $$$ and make something that will stand up.
Ted
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