Starter Cable

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  #1  
Old 01-16-12, 07:14 AM
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Starter Cable

We've had a nagging occasional "no start" condition with our 1988 Isuzu Trooper. The battery is good but the cable was an aftermarket with a "temporary" end clamp at the battery. It had a smaller wire on the hot end that was secured to one of the bolts that clamped the copper wire to the end. Knowing this was not an optimal tight connection, I got a proper new 4 ga cable with a molded in small wire with a crimp connector. It's now more reliable but not perfect. On to the other end at the starter. At this end, I noticed the original lock washer is totally flat so I want to replace it to get a tighter connection. I'm thinking I need to use a copper lock washer for max current flow but can't find one anywhere. Does it need to be copper and if so where can I get one? Thanks in advance for any help.
 
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Old 01-16-12, 07:23 AM
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I seem to remember they have those in the misc parts aisle at the chain auto parts stores...and a REAL auto parts store should have them in the drawers full of hardware.

I know our local old timey True Value has a good selection of copper washers and I think they had lock washers too.
 
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Old 01-17-12, 06:29 AM
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Lock washers rely on being springy,copper would not have this quality. Many cables operate without any washers at all. I think you need to look elsware.
 
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Old 01-17-12, 06:25 PM
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use normal locking washer (RW is right, no such thing exist as locking washer made out of soft copper), but make sure to clean cable seat real well, then lubricate all connections and nuts with dielectric grease, then spray over with electrical sealant. this connection will last you for years and years.
any bolted or crimped connection, as it is not a true electrical connection, will oxydize eventually. what you see as a tight crimp, in reality, is a loose connection with multiple gaps, you just need to take a bigger glass to see it. the only way to have solid connection, is to solder or braze everything together. same, btw, goes for jumper cables, which they used to make soldered, then went cheap, and now simply crimp. with failure to conduct electricity in few years.
 
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Old 01-18-12, 07:34 AM
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Well, maybe ones I have seen are copper clad or bronze? I'm sure I've see them somewhere.
 
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Old 01-18-12, 06:50 PM
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probably anodized. You can't make a spring out of copper.
 
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