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Old 10-29-2009, 11:13 AM   post #1 of 6
JayC
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Default Brass battery terminals?

I just changed the battery terminals on my big tractor this past weekend. I put on brass terminals, simply because I found them before I found the lead ones in the store. It's kind of moot now, since they are already bolted on, but is brass supposed to be better than lead, or worse? Are there pros/cons vs. lead? I never saw them before, but thought they looked nice (being all shiny and stuff).

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Old 10-29-2009, 11:33 AM   post #2 of 6
engine2quarters
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Default Re: Brass battery terminals?

They won't stay shiny too long.
Lead is softer than brass and will form to the mating item, ie battery post.
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:46 AM   post #3 of 6
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Default Re: Brass battery terminals?

I've used some I got cheap at a swap meet,they were "Marine" battery terminals,they seemed to conduct well and didn't fuzz up as quickly as lead ones did..they will turn greenish like copper pretty quickly but it doesn't seem to affect their conductivity...I liked the marine style,they had a lug with a wingnut that makes adding additional "hot" wires easy for accessories..
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:00 PM   post #4 of 6
Loremaster72
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Default Re: Brass battery terminals?

One thing that you may want to avoid is the use of "repair ends" at the battery. These are the ones that clamp to the wire, instead of the hard crimped on type. I designed heavy equipment and these create a high resistance at the connection. They work OK for a while, but the connection tends to corrode faster, and they can hinder a hard starting engine by limiting the current getting to the starter. The degradation of the connection (corrosion) often is not visible, unlike a corroded battery terminal post. Use them as they say, as a quick "repair" to tide you over until you get a crimped / soldered terminal.
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:10 PM   post #5 of 6
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Default Re: Brass battery terminals?

On GM side terminal batteries I use the "lugs" they sell at welding stores instead of those cheap "quickie" repair ends..their made of copper and I use a propane torch to solder then to the cable (well away from the battery of course!)after stripping it back to clean copper ,and rarely have a problem with them corroding..it also makes using jumper cables much easier,I hate those stupid OEM post bolts with the 5/16" heads,jumpers slip off every time..I have put brass studs in my side post batteries on my diesel pickup and use brass nuts on them to attach the cables..
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:04 PM   post #6 of 6
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Default Re: Brass battery terminals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loremaster72 View Post
One thing that you may want to avoid is the use of "repair ends" at the battery. These are the ones that clamp to the wire, instead of the hard crimped on type. I designed heavy equipment and these create a high resistance at the connection. They work OK for a while, but the connection tends to corrode faster, and they can hinder a hard starting engine by limiting the current getting to the starter. The degradation of the connection (corrosion) often is not visible, unlike a corroded battery terminal post. Use them as they say, as a quick "repair" to tide you over until you get a crimped / soldered terminal.
Interesting point - thanks. I did put on the 'repair' terminals, and have used them on my cars/trucks in the past without ever having a problem. I do, however, coat the wires with conductive grease before squashing them into the terminal. I'll keep an eye on them - if have any issues, I'll break out the torch.

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