Crimping a Bundle of Wires
For the Sunbeam Tiger Dash Project I needed to crimp a bundle of #10 wires into a large connector for the master battery switch.
Hydraulic Hand Crimp
This was the basic tool. It came with a number of dies (in the case below the tool) as well as a pump rebuild kit. The tool is pretty simple to uses, load die, pump handle, relase pressure. The pressure release the knob you see on the device.
To load up a die, simply pull the top pin out and slide in a new set. The tricky part is guessing which size to use, but generally not a problematic task. The dies are hex and leave a nice crimp as you will see.
As you can see the head has a '70' die in it to crimp the battery terminal that is in it.
Back Side of the Hydraulic Hand Crimper
Just another shot with a different connector and Die, the '35'.
Completed Wire Crimp
I stuff all the wires into the connector and closed the pressure valve and pumped it up. It leave a nice clean hex crimp on the connector. However it seems that it's just a bit shorter the I would have liked it to be. It doesnt show here but I added a second crimp on this connector.
Hydraulic Wire Crimper Kit - Tool Review
This is a super quick check out of the 'imported' style Hydraulic Wire (or Hydraulic Terminal) crimper. I have used this a few times for battery cables and other LARGER connectors. Before I had this I used a home made crimper made out of and larger old bolt cutter. I made the bolt cutter into a crimper by grinding out some half circles in the blades. It worked OK. After that I picked up one of the low cost smasher types where you wail on the tool to make a peen mark on the connector. Again, worked OK, and was inexpensive. After all that I decided to step it up with a Hydraulic style crimp.
I checked around on eBay for some nice USA made versions (eg, Greenlee) , but they were too much $$$ for how often I would use it. What then? Imported. Yeah, not proud but like the giant Hydraulic Hole punch the price was not crazy. Are they as good as the premium well made versions? Hell no, but acceptable for many uses that I may have.
They have these on eBay and on Amazon for in the $60 range depending on style and 'Tonnage'.
They have them in 8, 10, 12 and 16 ton range and each with a bit different style. I picked up the 12 ton model and I think when I got it ended up being about $75 shipped. I think the rating is about as good a guess as how many jelly beans in the jar as I have seen 12 ton and 16 ton that look identical, but who knows.
The one I picked up came in a blow molded yellow case with a number of dies. The dies were marked with some number that seemed like something that might make sense, but likely metric or something odd. It also came with an O-Ring repair kit for the hand pump.
Battery Cable Crimping
I needed a short piece of cable from the master switch to the Anderson Power Pole connector on the Tiger's Dash. So I figured I would use the nice Hydraulic Crimping tool again. I'm using #2 Welding/Battery cable here as well as the connectors for the Power Pole connector and a lug for the battery switch.
Cable Crimping - Anderson Power Pole Connector
Again the hex crimp looks great, but since the die is thin it will get a second hit of the tool. The hydraulic crimper does a good job, cable could not be pulled out with a lot of force. Successful crimp!
Completed Cable Crimp
This is the cable prior to getting the heat shrink to cover the ends of the connector. The lug side of the cable only needed one crimp but as you can see the longer Anderson power pole cable gets a second crimp. I gave these cable the wiggle and tug test (think about it) and they do not budge.
The hydraulic tool does an excellent job at providing a solid crimp. The tool replaces the low cost smasher style tool as well as my home made bolt cutter crimpers (which I used a lot). The tool quality is actually pretty good, it does not have a lot of parts, but the parts that exist fit nice and it feels soild. I think this is a 'Yes, it's worth it tool' seal of approval.