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Thread: Battery Cable Upgrade Kit

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  1. #1
    Registered User kentuvman's Avatar
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    Battery Cable Upgrade Kit

    While watching a You Tube video featuring Chris Harris - in it he's replacing stock BMW battery cables with these:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/150436554508...84.m1438.l2649

    If you watch the video link to the listing on Ebay the seller claims reduced battery wear because a better contact will "cause" the bike to start faster.

    Do you buy in to this logic?
    Ken Tuvman
    Excelsior, MN
    K75s, R65LS, R60/5

  2. #2
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    I call bulls**t on most of the claims in the ad. Unless your cables are horribly corroded or too small already, you'll probably gain more by just cleaning the connections. It sounds a lot like the monster cable BS for video & audio. All that oxygen free stuff is a bunch of hooey. So is the stuff about brass vs copper. They're probably decent cables but not anything miraculous.
    1983 R100RS (Sold)
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  3. #3
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    Battery Cables

    I wouldn't be too swift to dismiss this as a scam. Old airheads typically have old cables. You can service the cable ends and miss the build up of corrosion under the cable insulation farther down the cable. Can it hurt to replace a cable that may be 30+ years old?
    Having said that, I think the ebay offer cited above is quite high, but I have happily purchased new cables from www.euromotoelectrics.com. His site also gives a more detailed explanation as to why they are a reasonable proposition.

  4. #4
    Registered User kentuvman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walt3022 View Post
    I wouldn't be too swift to dismiss this as a scam. Old airheads typically have old cables. You can service the cable ends and miss the build up of corrosion under the cable insulation farther down the cable. Can it hurt to replace a cable that may be 30+ years old?
    Having said that, I think the ebay offer cited above is quite high, but I have happily purchased new cables from www.euromotoelectrics.com. His site also gives a more detailed explanation as to why they are a reasonable proposition.
    +1 - big price difference, specific cables by BMW model & food explanation - thanks!
    Ken Tuvman
    Excelsior, MN
    K75s, R65LS, R60/5

  5. #5
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    I agree with Walt. Old cables can fail within the crimped joint where the clamp is fastened to the cable. Usually, the quality of the clamp/cable joint is hidden and can't be seen; even when it's visible, long-term corrosion damage is not always apparent.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  6. #6
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    Just a thought!

    Long term corrosion on brass, copper, lead, can be cleaned by (carefully - OFF the bike!) using Muratic acid, and then cleaning out very carefully, and flushing. Since the liquid can penetrate into all those "nooks and crannies" it can get to where you can't see, and even down the rubber jacket of the wire.

    Be careful, however, because Muratic acid is VERY dangerous to skin, eyes, and breathing - use lots of open area and protection). Then, when totally cleaned, you can use rozin core solder and re-solder the connection where wire connects to connecter. Also, the connecter can be "tin-coated" to get a better battery contact, and then you need to use coating of anti-corrosion electrical grease (made by Permatex, I think) to re-connect.

    An old-timer showed me that Muratic Acid can be used to clean lots of stuff, and will dissolve mineral deposits in places where water/moisture flows - saved me lots of money!

  7. #7
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    euromotoelectrics

    Quote Originally Posted by walt3022 View Post
    I wouldn't be too swift to dismiss this as a scam. Old airheads typically have old cables. You can service the cable ends and miss the build up of corrosion under the cable insulation farther down the cable. Can it hurt to replace a cable that may be 30+ years old?
    Having said that, I think the ebay offer cited above is quite high, but I have happily purchased new cables from www.euromotoelectrics.com. His site also gives a more detailed explanation as to why they are a reasonable proposition.
    I went to euro's web site. Can't find their hours posted anywhere!! Called them on Saturday - guess what??

  8. #8
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    Cables

    It is true, that corrosion is primarily caused by oxygen. So...preventing oxygen contact is the way to stop it! On new wires, using dielectric grease is the way to seal out the air and oxygen. On stranded wires, that have jacketing, one can get dielectric grease to "suck" in by using a hot air gun.

    Ironically, all the talk about electric flow is somewhat nullified simply because in the completed circuit, the electric flow goes through aluminum! Remember, the negative ground cable actually connects to the transmission case. Aluminum is a notoriously poor conductor. I am not sure how much this affects the starting circuit, but it, at least, affects the conductivity of electric at the locations were wires are "grounded" to the engine/transmission case. This is why, there are problems with housing that still has some of the aluminum wiring that they used during wartime to save on copper/brass. All of those connections are now getting terribly corroded and actually causing house fires.

    My very humble opinion, is to clean the wiring, re-solder when necessary, then thoroughly clean all connections where electric flow is crucial (like diode board/starting circuits, points/coil groundings, and then be sure to use dielectric grease at every point possible!

    Expensive gimmicks are usually not needed, and only have a small percentage of improved performance, if any. Usually nothing noticeable!

    Don't waste your money, but use your usually wasted free time, and put it to good use!

    Your BMW will love you for it!

  9. #9
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Thanks for the correction, Paladin, guess I was too quick to jump in on this...
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  10. #10
    Registered User Paladinwest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmylee View Post
    Aluminum is a notoriously poor conductor.
    Actually Aluminum is a pretty good conductor (fourth best metal after silver, copper and gold) but corrodes very easily which drastically affects the conductivity of any mechanical joint in the circuit. If the connection points are kept clean and protected from contact with the air (in power wiring they use a substance called Penetrox) it will function almost as well as copper. Cleaning and protecting all grounding points on any vehicle that uses the chassis as the common for it's electrical circuits would be part of good maintenance practice especially if you live in a warm, humid environment (particularly near the ocean).
    2008 HP2 Sport 10,000, 2008 R1200GSA 100,000, 1990 R100GSPD 100,000, 1986 K100RS 152,000

  11. #11
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kentuvman View Post
    Do you buy in to this logic?
    I can't tell you because I didn't bother reading all of that. And I certainly would not spend $50 for cable I can make better for a fraction of that.

    You want zero voltage drop across any cable. That means zero resistance, which isn't realistic.

    So you take an acceptable voltage drop of 0.1V and divide it by 100A for a resistance of 1 milliohm for the length you need.

    You can look up wire specs on any manufacturers site. Resistance is usually given for 1000 feet, so do some simple math to get it for 1 foot and go from there.

    I made a ground cable for a local. Crimped the terminals and then flash soldered the ends where the cable stuck out. Resistance for a 13" cable was 0.000714 ohms (measured with an Agilent 33420A 4-wire meter).

    Specs of the wire used:

    Number: M22759/16-8
    Gauge: 8 AWG
    Stranding: 133/29
    Diameter: 0.199 inch
    Resistance @ 20??C per 1000 feet: 0.701 Ohms. (looks like that confirms my measurement at 1 foot = 0.0007 Ohms

    Standard wall ethylene-tetrafluoroehtylene (ETFE) insulation ( also known as Tefzel ) designed for aerospace applications where weight, dimensional tolerance, and mechanical durability are required. This wire exhibits high chemical and radiation resistance.

  12. #12
    edbmw
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    Don't know the quality, but this looks like a good source for all kinds of wire and fittings.

    http://www.riwire.com/
    1978 R100 Jacked up for off road fun and urban adventures.

  13. #13
    Registered User donbmw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edbmw View Post
    Don't know the quality, but this looks like a good source for all kinds of wire and fittings.

    http://www.riwire.com/
    This is a source for the classic car folks. Have not heard any thing bad about them.
    1975 R90/6, 1980 and 1982 R65, !959 TR3A Triumph Car

  14. #14
    Rally Rat
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    Wow! .... I had no idea they were around, and I live in RI.... thanks for the link and the tip!!


  15. #15
    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    Yesterday I spoke with a knowledgeable friend of mine. He had just fabricated new battery cables for his dump truck using "0" cable. He showed me a hand held hydraulic crimper (with various dies) that he bought at Harbor Freight. He was pleased with the crimping that he did with it. Having marine experience with cables in a salt water environment, he highly recommended working grease as far into the strands as possible.

    Although the cable from www.euromotoelectrics.com. would seem to be the best choice.

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