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Battery & Cables - 1991 D4H Series II

Discussion in 'Dozers' started by texaspro, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. texaspro

    texaspro New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
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    Location:
    TX
    Got a rusty connection on one of the batteries that melted down the terminal (found out after it wouldn't crank so I cut the cable insulation back and discovered the rust). So, new battery and new cables. My questions are:

    - how long are the cables? Am I going to have to get a cable that runs all the way from the battery box to the engine compartment? If not, does it connect somewhere under the seat? How do I access that area?

    - where can I get new cables w/o giving away my first born child? In other words, besides Asco or Cat, can I use automotive cables? I may be able to cut it short where the rust stops and splice a new connector...going to check tomorrow.

    - how do I prevent this from happening again (other than parking it under an awning)? The reason I believe it happened was from the exposed portion of the cable that was bolted to the connector.
     
  2. Scrub Puller

    Scrub Puller Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,481
    Location:
    Gladstone Queensland Australia
    Yair . . .

    texaspro. I only ever used welder cable soldered into standard 1/2" or 5/8" copper pipe. The pipe is flattened in the vice or with a hammer and the correct sized hole drilled in the flat it is then set up in the vise fluxed and tinned on the inside and three parts filled with solder.

    The cable is prepared by cutting back the insulation and heating slightly and coating well with flux. Make sure the solder is hot and flowable in the pipe and dip the cable in and out until it comes up to heat and tins. Once tinned fill the pipe end with solder and heat until it bubbles and then insert the tinned end of the cable and hold in place until the solder sets and then quench in water or wrap with wet rag to stop the heat migrating and damaging the insulation . . . you can finish with shrink wrap or tape.

    You can also use standard welder cable ends but, because of the way they are made, they leak and won't hold solder. It is possible to do a reasonable solder job with the torch . . . you some times have to fill the oversize holes with bronze, grind them flat and re drill . . . or you can braze on a washer.

    It goes without saying the battery terminal ends should be soldered in the same fashion . . . its no place for clamps or crimps on marine or heavy equipment.

    Just read my post and it sounds complicated but in fact is pretty simple if you are a bit handy with a torch.

    Cheers,
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
  3. fast_st

    fast_st Senior Member

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    Okay, its not a huge dozer so you don't need to go nuts, the copper pipe works sometimes but it'll crack now and again and isn't as tough as a regular terminal. I do my own cables up to 4/0. I buy the rubber jacketed welding cable, wrap that in either the corrugated plastic chafe guard or use 1/2-3/4 kevlar overbraid for hydraulic hoses as a sleeve. I'll solder and crimp the cables using what looks like a big pair of bolt cutters with crimping jaws on them. Plain soldering would likely be just fine when using the solid forged copper ends that don't leak. After soldering and crimping, connect the cable jacket to the terminal with 'dual wall' heat shrink, it has a hot glue that seals battery acid and water out of the cable forever.

    for your size machine, 1/0 cable will be fine, heavy terminal ends and solder slugs from napa and cable from a welding supply store, Dual wall heat shrink is harder to find. Napa might be able to source some. Don't splice the middle of the cable, just replace the run. The terminals you want have crimp die sizing marks on them, will have colored bands marked pink,black, blue etc between the stripes.


    I've bought some stuff from this place, they seem decent so far as my other source went out of business.
    http://www.delcity.net/store/Heavy!Duty-Copper-Lugs/p_1012
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
  4. HD21A

    HD21A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
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    50
    Occupation:
    Manage and operate family farm
    Location:
    Chillicothe, Ohio
    50 years of battery and cable problems on farm tractors, combines, trucks, and my dozer equipment. I attach the ground lug directly to the starter case. I remove a starter mounting bolt to engine case frame, clean everything, ground lug at that point, and tighten down good. This gives me the shortest ground path to starter motor. Any trace of resistance in the ground circuit,
    a .10th of a ohm or more, can lower the cranking voltage at the starter when its drawing high amperage cranking. I once had a battery cable that looked excellent, but the lead lug was not crimped tight on the cable, internal resistance between wire and lug. Totally agree with the previous post, about building and soldering battery cables. Resistance in a cable, is an electrical enemy.

    Bob Ohio, ACHD21A
     
  5. fast_st

    fast_st Senior Member

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    Indeed, low resistance is a good thing, good point and something I usually do, main ground to the starter and branched off from there. Solder has a bit more resistance than a crimped copper connection, its small for a couple hundred amps, but a good compression fit reduces that quite a bit.
     
  6. kenworth

    kenworth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
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    Occupation:
    Machine Tool Repair Mechanic
    Location:
    Washington State, USA
    fast st procedure and parts are right on the money for your project. I completely replaced all the battery terminals and cables on the same machine about 5 years ago that you have just the way he described and it worked out perfectly. It's almost like he was watching me do it by the way he described how he would do it.
    Take off as much of the sheet metal as you can to access everything which will make things a lot easier.
    I also replaced a lot of the cable clamps and bolts while I was at it.
     
  7. Multiracer

    Multiracer Senior Member

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    Occupation:
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    Location:
    Northern,Ohio
    Solder and crimp. High amp draws creating high heat will often melt solder and your day will turn from bad to worse.
    Shrink wrap with the heavy wall that contains a glue on inside.
    Good luck.
     
  8. Willie B

    Willie B Senior Member

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    Jan 2, 2016
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    Occupation:
    Electrician
    Location:
    Mount Tabor VT
    Starter wiring follows simple rules of physics; to power at 12 volts, amperage is ten times as high as it would be at 120 volts. To perform this feat successfully, you need big cable, and good connections. Losing voltage at the starter is exponentially worse than at an industrial motor. The interfaces between battery terminal, and cable terminal are the obvious problem areas. n the crimped connection is overlooked. Coating wires with Noalox before crimping will make a world of difference.Each place in the circuit where one conductive metal object touches another is a high resistance connection.

    Willie
     
  9. texaspro

    texaspro New Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
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    Location:
    TX
    Thanks guys. I was able to clean the cable contacts quite a bit, which saves me from having to replace them altogether. I put some dielectric gel on them to prevent future rusting. Crimped, bolted, and everything is good to go. Starts like a champ.