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Thread: Battery Cable Upgrade Kit

  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.
    2004 R1150RT
    BMW MOA 181289

  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
    Registered User mikeyork5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmylee View Post
    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!
    Seems like a lot of work when new cables can be had for $20 at Euro motocelectrics, just sayin -

  8. #8
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Just a few comments to add...

    Brass is copper plus tin; copper conducts better than tin, so copper conducts better than brass.

    Larger cable (smaller gauge number) will carry more current with less voltage loss; as current goes up, voltage drop goes up as the square of the current - NOT a one-to-one ratio.

    The absolute number of strands has no real effect; it's the size of the strands plus the size of the overall cable that affects loss (see previous statement). (At DC, there is no such thing as "skin effect", that's just for higher AC frequencies.) Mechanically, though, more strands may be more resistant to vibration, and may flex more easily without damage.

    When I was designing, assembling, and testing waveguide (copper pipe) transmission lines for use in military and spacecraft communications systems, at 20 GHz, 45 GHz, and 65 GHz, Oxygen-Free copper was ALL we used. It still corrodes a bit over time, but long-term it worked better for us. Brass waveguide is physically stronger but substantially lossier.

    Regarding the "Monster" and similar cables: My own experience there is only with the cable between my bass guitars and my amp. I will happily vouch that the instant I put in the more expensive cable, the guitar sound was dramatically improved, richer and fuller with smoother bottom end. This is instantly repeatable; you can try it at your local Guitar Center, Ash Music, etc.

    Corrosion can also be cleaned off with baking soda and water and a toothbrush; a nylon scrub (Scotch) pad also works well.

    If you have access to crimp lugs and cable, and a good crimper, you can probably make your own for less than what any vendor wants for them. I also apply a tiny bit of solder after crimping, but don't over-heat the joint there: it will become brittle and may crack over time.

  9. #9
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    I don't dispute that corroded cables and connections will cause problems and should be replaced and/or cleaned. Or that bigger wire will carry more current and hence lower voltage loss. Or that more, smaller strands in stranded wire will certainly increase the actual cross section of the wire and thereby increase the current capacity (but the effect for this application will be very marginal). However, I do take issue in this application with the claims for 'oxygen free' wire (what does that really mean, anyway? Where would the oxygen be?). Or that brass vs copper connectors will make any noticeable difference. Certainly, if your wiring is old & corroded or too small, replacing it will make things work better. But any decent quality wire and connectors will work just as well as this over-hyped, over priced stuff. And I'm very skeptical of the monster cable effect. Try a blind comparison and see if you can really tell any difference.
    2004 R1150RT
    BMW MOA 181289

  10. #10
    Registered User kwb210's Avatar
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    40 year old cable vs new starter cable

    40 years of aging. I dropped the $18 bucks for a new starter cable from Euro Moto Electrics. Seems like one more area to lessen a future failure and give the battery a little edge. No magic, just replacing a 40 year old cable with a new one.
    kurt
    1977 R100/7 1971.1972.1972.1973 R75/5
    1974 R90/6 multiple boxes
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  11. #11
    dirtyduck
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    You Could Test It

    Just take a voltage drop across the cable (batt + to starter, and/or batt - to ground) while cranking (w/ clean terminals & connections). Then try a new magic cable to see if you loose some voltage drop. It will probably be less than 0.3V total for both pos and neg OE cables.
    Vern

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmylee View Post
    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!
    Sometimes using acid to clean is needed. As an FYI, phosphoric acid (e.g. etch n prep) will do a good job and is less hazardous than Muratic. Muratic acid is diluted hydrochloric acid. Phosphoric acid will clean and passivate rust on steel and clean corrosion from brass, lead, copper, aluminum and other alloys.
    Stan

    AH# 13238

  13. #13
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    My 2 cents

    I agree that simply plopping down the bucks can make a quick job of the repair, but I think something is missing if that is the first response to situations like this.

    I have noticed (early on, working at a BMW dealer when I hated BMW's, and then later after getting a couple and loving them), that BMW owners are a different breed than other riders/owners.

    We (well, most of us, anyway) like to "bond" with our steeds.

    Much of the pleasure of riding is the knowledge that you and your bike are one with another. This can only happen when you spend quality time together fixing her up with tender loving care.

    I admit, that new always seems better, but after doing stuff like this (tinkering can be rewarding mentally and psychologically) you develop a sense of mutual respect. Anyway, that is much better than having new. Besides, after doing a wonderful job, you still can get 99.9% of the reliability of new - many times.

    Besides, your bike will appreciate YOU more -and that's worth a lot when you two are enjoying the scenery of the road TOGETHER!!!

    I'm just sayin.....

  14. #14
    '92 R100GS '81 R100/t brittrunyon's Avatar
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    After 20 years I replaced both battery cables, sliced open the positive cable and found corrosion that could not be seen without opening it up. YMMV....................
    1992 R100 GS, 1981 R100/t, 2007 F 650 GS

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  15. #15
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    New cables?

    Quote Originally Posted by brittrunyon View Post
    After 20 years I replaced both battery cables, sliced open the positive cable and found corrosion that could not be seen without opening it up. YMMV....................
    So . . . what did you do to make sure that the new cables wouldn't also become corroded like your old ones?

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