battery cables

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spindown
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battery cables

Post by spindown » Thu Sep 04, 2003 7:16 pm

I recently purchased a 1970 Ford truck. The ends of the cables going to the battery had been removed and replacement ends clamped on the 2/0 copper conductors.
Individualwires in conductors are dull and I suspect would offer a high resistance to current flow.
Is there a way of cleaning the conductors so they would be shiny,clean, and hopefully facilitate current flow and new ends could be soldered on? thanks Paul

sundancer87
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Re: battery cables

Post by sundancer87 » Thu Sep 04, 2003 7:49 pm

You can always clean those battery parts with baking soda and water.<p>Dampen the parts you want cleaned and then sprinkle a little baking soda on them and let them sit for awhile. Rinse with clean water.
Next, you can scrape them nice and shiney with your pocket knife.<p>BEFORE you mess around with the battery and its cables be sure to wear old clothes and EYE protection. Nothing hurts worse than battery acid in the eyes, especially when it's in the form of the green stuff. <p>ADDITIONALLY, don't smoke around the battery, especially when it is off-gassing, as in when it is being charged.<p>Be sure and check the cable insulation, the battery acid can and does creep down the wires and under the insulation. You will see that by the cable seeming to be swelled up. If this is the case, you would be better off buying new cables.<p>Or you could sell me the Ford, that's one of my favorite trucks.

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Chris Smith
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Re: battery cables

Post by Chris Smith » Thu Sep 04, 2003 8:48 pm

Baking soda and Boiling water.<p>Chemicals react stronger, better, and faster, as the temperature rises.

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Externet
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Re: battery cables

Post by Externet » Fri Sep 05, 2003 9:22 am

Hi.
After the wire has been cleaned with warm baking powder solution as explained above, take it to a radiator shop to tin and solder any connector you want on it.
Miguel
- Abolish the deciBel ! -

Chris Foley
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Re: battery cables

Post by Chris Foley » Fri Sep 05, 2003 9:30 am

By the way, be sure to rinse well if you use any baking soda or other chemistry on the copper wires. Residues are definitely non-conductive, and can combine with crud in the air to increase oxidation rates. After you're done, there's nothing like the good ol' wire brush to finish the job.

spindown
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Re: battery cables

Post by spindown » Sun Sep 07, 2003 5:48 pm

Thanks for the responses. I will take your advice and try the ideas suggested. Paul

desterline
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Re: battery cables

Post by desterline » Sun Sep 07, 2003 8:01 pm

New battery cables should be less than $10 ea. At that price do you realy want to fuss with them?<p>-Denny

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haklesup
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Re: battery cables

Post by haklesup » Mon Sep 08, 2003 3:42 pm

Cleaning the Lead oxide (white stuff)off the terminals is a good idea but cleaning the copper oxide off the surface of the wires will do you no good at all.<p>-- here comes another science class :) --
Consider one strand of wire that is oxidized. A cross section of this wire should reveal clean copper in the middle and a thin layer of copper oxide on the outer surface. While this oxide coating is less conductive than the copper, removing it is a bad idea. The layer of copper is called a patina and actually protects the inner metal from further oxidation. Unlike Iron, oxidation slows to nearly a standstill once the patina forms.<p>When polishing copper, you are not changing the copper oxide back to copper, you would be actually abrasively or chemically removing it. In the process you would reduce the cross sectional area and expose fresh new copper that will eventually oxidize anyway repeating the cycle. Only electroplating would reverse the damage.<p>If you don't like the way it looks or if you can measure a voltage drop across it when current is flowing through it (indicating that it is resistive), replace it, otherwise wash the greese off and cover with tape (mostly to prevent an accidental short circuit). New wire will also eventually oxidize so keep the insulation trimmed close and coat any exposed copper with something like liquid electrical tape, varnish or a paste contact preservative. (all that is overkill though)<p>One reason Lead is used in battery terminals is that when crimped or clamped the soft metal flows to form a gas tight connection that resists oxidation at the point of contact.

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