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DIY - Battery/Motor Cables

29275 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  hitchhikinemike
Just wanted to show how I'm making my own cables for interconnecting the batteries, motor & controller. I use welding cable from a local welders supply (Usually get short scraps very cheap), and then buy copper couplings (used to solder copper pipe together) from the local hardware store @ 35cents each.

1. Cut cable to length needed and strip both ends just enough that the copper couplings slip over the wires.

2. Hammer the copper coupling flat onto the exposed wire, which spreads out the copper wires evenly throughout the copper coupling.

3. Solder the coupling/wires

4. Drill the copper coupling with the proper hole that is needed per application it is being used in after soldering.

5. Grind the ends round if preferred, apply heatshrink tubing to dress them up, buff the ends nice and shiny.

Below is a photo, just before heatshrinking, drilling holes, grinding the ends round, and finally buffing them out.

The other photo was my inspiration to making my own cable ends, these silverplated copper straps were included with my Hawker batteries.

NOTE: Excuse the sloppy soldering, I was low on butane in my little torch.


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I did a similar route, but made the end of a length of copper pipe flat, drilled the hole, ground them round on the edge and then soldered them to the cable.

I thought about crimping but didn't do it.

So far it has worked well.
Nice, we should make a how-to part of the wiki and put this page on it. Wanna take a stab at it?
I'm finally about to make cables for mine.
Why did you go this route vs. using ready-made lugs?
Would welding instead of soldering work?
I was about to just crimp some lugs on , but if there is a benefit to this, I'm all for it....
Ready made lugs are expensive, and I needed a lot of them. The soldering isn't bad, just latherup the exposed wire with solder paste, then beat the copper coupling flat. Once that is done, heat the copper with a small propane torch, and the solder will wick into the copper wire strands throughout the entire coupling. Drill it out to the size of your terminal bolts. This saved myself a lot of money, and they are heftier connections than just crimped on connectors. I didn't want to use lead terminal post connectors, as they added to many connection points to get loose, or corrode, and the prefabricated terminals were just to expensive even at a welding supplier for my budget.
hi im thinking following this way for cables .. ive seen somewhere while googling where guy used flat pieces of copper instead of cables wire ?? better ?? lonnie
Cables allow for some movement between the batteries, that might otherwise cause post damage.

Also, the cables are already covered, so fumes/spills won't get to the copper and start corrosion.

I only used two small buss bar type connections, as the distance to go was under 6"....hard to make a cable that short X 2.

I made my own ends, also because of costs.
hi thx , never thought of that but your right , vibrations etc could loosen conections .. now im wandering what would be best transmission to use in this i removed the a904 chrsler automatic and going with a clutchless 3 or 4 speed manual trans .. plus will need to fabricate drive shaft if using different tranny ..yipes lonnie
Interesting, I once order about 6 compression lugs for 2AWG wire and it cost over $80. Ever since I've always been thinking of ways to make my own lugs.

I've always thought about milling out a mold to press small sections of copper pipe to make compressible copper lugs. I've never gotten around to doing it though.
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