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Old 02-24-2014
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buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)

Yup, another new idea I've had in mind for a while but didn't have the materials nor tools until now. Although I don't have a proper milling machine, I have been putting together a "mini" setup that should work quite well.

What the heck is it?

CUSTOM built solid aluminum battery terminals, ground blocks, power distribution blocks, wafer fuse holders... pretty much anything to do with vehicle wiring for power & ground wires.

Pics will come once I'm finished with my prototype for my truck, but these will be unlike ANY other battery terminal, etc you can find anywhere.
What makes them so special you ask??? They're custom built to YOUR specifications, not what some genius in (insert name of funny sounding foreign country here) who has no idea what you need or want.

I'm not even sure exactly what all I can do right now, my imagination hasn't caught up with my tools & materials yet. But, so far I'm working on positive & ground battery terminals for my Ranger to handle all of the wiring I currently have connected to my gold battery terminals along with a distribution block under the hood... all in one neat package.

My current setup:


Not bad, but I'm always looking for ways to improve on things.

Up next will be power & ground distribution blocks for use when running multiple amps. This will allow you to have a single ground point and have each of your amps ground wires running to a common ground that should help eliminate ground loop noises... plus I think it looks nicer to have all the wires bundled together. You can also run a single large gauge wire fused at the battery through the firewall to your amps where you can connect each amps power wires to a common power source.

Next in line will be my version of the super heavy wafer fuse holders. These are mostly used with large amplifier wiring or between the alternator & battery. I have a couple ideas in mind based on some pre-made fuse blocks I have now as well as my own ideas thrown in.

At some point I'd like to do some custom heavy duty ring terminals with my own twist... stay tuned for details.

I have a few ideas as to wire mounting options, but for now I'm going to be using holes with recesses and bolt type set screws and NO annoying clamping style attachment to the actual battery posts, rather carefully placed set screw bolts that will make a super secure connection that can easily be removed... if you have the proper wrench.
You'll want to make sure you inform the guy at your service place if you need to have the battery replaced as he'll have a heck of a time figuring out how to get the terminals off HA!

I also have ideas on mounting ring terminals to the blocks in various configurations... some configurations that I've never seen on any other terminals before.

I should be able to do these for wires as small as 12ga all the way up to 1/0ga wire. Smaller wires can be used and multiple small wires can be installed into the same location if you have several smaller wires that are too small for a single connection... for instance if you have two 18ga power wires for LED's, you can connect them both into the same connection.

Once again, these will be Custom Made to fit your needs.
If you need to attach one 1/0ga wire, two 4ga wires & five 8ga wires to a positive battery terminal, we'll come up with a design that incorporates them into the design.

If you need two 1/0ga wires attached to the ground terminal, we'll design something that works!

If you need a power or ground distribution block with 1/0ga input and seven 8ga outputs, we'll design something that works!

If you need to connect 2 pieces of 1/0ga wire together end to end (butt connector style) we can probably come up with something that will work too.

I say WE because we will need to work together to find dimensions that will accommodate your wiring needs yet is still something that can physically be done.

I'll be coming up with a chart of sorts with standard wire dimensions & the size openings they require so we can better determine how to layout your project. Once I know how many wires you have & the size of those wires, we can begin designing something to fit your needs. You will need to do some measuring for me as not every battery post location is exactly the same & I want to make sure we don't run into any interference with any of the hold downs, fill hole covers, etc.

The battery terminals will be designed around a standard battery type such as a Group 34 or 65 commonly used in Rangers. I'm using a Group 65 battery myself so that's what I'm building now.... but I should be able to accommodate the "high end" car audio style batteries that use attachment bolts rather than top posts. I should also be able to have options for side mount battery posts too.

The post mounting holes (Positive & Ground) on the batteries tend to be different sizes (Pos is usually larger than the Gnd) that are also tapered. I'm taking this into account when designing & machining them to have the best fit possible. I prefer to have the terminals to have a tight fit on the battery posts so you will be able to "adjust" the size of the posts to best fit the terminals using sandpaper, a file or a battery post cleaning tool.

As each will be custom, I'll have to do them on a "pre-paid" basis as the material is rather expensive, time consuming & truly one-of-a-kind.

The final finish of these projects will likely be either a machined finish or a hand finished "brushed aluminum" look. You could even paint them (just be sure to cover the areas where the wiring/terminals attach so you will have good electrical connections)
I may even try my hand at polishing them to a mirror shine... this will be a super high end option due to the extreme amount of time & effort polishing will require.
I'm also looking into ideas to add a little extra safety to them too.

Pricing is TBD per each individual need, but per forum rules I have to have a price listed so..... I'll price them at $2,000,000.00 per terminal Or Best Offer.

I hope this idea is something everyone will benefit from... from the regular guy who just wants "a better mousetrap" to the guy looking for that extra special custom touch for an award winning system.

Check back often as I'll be posting pics & videos as well as new ideas as they come to me.
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buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)-img_1426.jpg  
  #2  
Old 02-24-2014
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As promised, here's a few pics of the Positive terminal... it's about 75% finished right now.
The set screw bolts still need to be trimmed to length & the edges need to be finished.





















I have a couple more pics if you follow the links to my photobucket albums.

As you might be able to see, the battery post looks tiny inside the terminal opening. These are made of full 1" thick material.

You'll notice how each opening is recessed so the wire insulation slides into the terminal a little, this makes a cleaner look.
My 1/0ga blue wire wasn't tightened down so you can kinda see some of the wire in there.

I went with the round allen head bolts for set screws because I like the way they look & if one of the allen/hex wrenches or screw heads strips out I can easily grab onto the screw head with pliers to remove them or even use a dremel cutoff disc to cut a slot for a flat screwdriver until I can replace the bolt.

The front side has (from left to right) 4x 8ga openings, 1x 4ga opening & 2x 1/0ga openings.
The right side has 2x 8ga openings which I've added for future additions.

As noted before there is NO post clamping thingie, rather a set screw that tightens right into the battery post so it holds in place & prevents the terminal from spinning around or being pulled off.

I lightly tightened the set screw & I was able to lift the battery off the floor by the terminal.

I think this one came out pretty well with a nice & clean look... now I just have to make a terminal for the ground side.

(c)buggman 2014
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buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)-top.jpg   buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)-front2.jpg   buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)-frontlabel.jpg   buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)-rightside.jpg   buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)-back.jpg  

  #3  
Old 02-26-2014
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Wow almost 2 days and not even a "that sucks" or "that's pretty cool"??
You guys are slackin'
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Old 02-26-2014
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I'd defiantly be interested in some once I get some extra funds. I currently have the same setup that I purchased from you a while back in your first pic. And like you said they just don't offer enough slots for all the wiring I have installed. Maybe you can come up with some type of way of insulating the blocks since they are much bigger just to keep from accidentally grounding the positive block?
  #5  
Old 02-26-2014
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So... in typical buggman fashion I couldn't leave well enough alone...

and after finishing the negative terminal I decided I wanted to try polishing them to a mirror finish...

here's the results:



























The pics really don't do them justice. These are nearly as reflective & clear as a mirror. The swirls are from the paper towel I used to wipe them down with.

These are almost finished now, just need to trim the set screws to proper length & they'll be ready to install.
Attached Thumbnails
buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)-frontbattery.jpg   buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)-posrighttop.jpg   buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)-neglefttop.jpg   buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)-fultop.jpg   buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)-right.jpg  

buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)-negrighttop.jpg   buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)-neg.jpg   buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)-negfront.jpg   buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)-posfront.jpg   buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)-posfronttop.jpg  

buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)-pos.jpg   buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)-posright.jpg   buggman project Custom Battery Terminals & Connectors (ky)-front-1.jpg  
  #6  
Old 02-26-2014
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Id be interested in some but instead of the 4x8ga id rather have another 1/0GA since i have everything small running to a fuse box
  #7  
Old 02-26-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris98 View Post
I'd defiantly be interested in some once I get some extra funds. I currently have the same setup that I purchased from you a while back in your first pic. And like you said they just don't offer enough slots for all the wiring I have installed. Maybe you can come up with some type of way of insulating the blocks since they are much bigger just to keep from accidentally grounding the positive block?

Cool man!
I have a couple ideas in mind for some protection against dropping a wrench on them or something crazy like that.

Luckily when designing these I made sure to keep the blocks within the confines of the battery perimeter so they don't overhang any, so that should help a little, but I would like to add something on top for protection, but now I don't want to cover them up... they're so purdy

I've been thinking of more & more ideas & configurations for terminals & stuff. My next test will be some terminals that overhang one side of the battery so that the wires come up from the bottom (side of the battery) into the terminals for an even cleaner look. I'll probably have to do some prototypes out of mdf or something disposable as the aluminum is way to expensive to play around with
  #8  
Old 02-26-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boyd_835 View Post
Id be interested in some but instead of the 4x8ga id rather have another 1/0GA since i have everything small running to a fuse box
That shouldn't be a problem.

I can do pretty much any configuration you can think of.
The only limit is our imagination.
  #9  
Old 02-26-2014
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keep us posted id order some depending on the price
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Old 02-26-2014
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Holy terminals Batman.

I'm interested, but I need to remap my electrical crap before I order some
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Old 03-01-2014
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How is the aluminum going to hold up against the corrosion ?

They look good, a lot of thought went into these.
Great idea.
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Old 03-02-2014
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They should hold up pretty well.
Since aluminum won't rust like other metals, even the brushed finish style should be good for several years before they'd need a touch-up with a scotch brite pad or some fine sandpaper to remove any dirt or gunk that finds it's way to them.

The polished finish should hold up even longer except for the occasional wipe down or a light rub with wheel aluminum polish to keep them shining bright. I've found they attract fingerprints like a magnet.

I'd say it would be a good idea to install a set of those little red/green foam "corrosion preventer" rings under them for a little added protection. I've been using those for years now & they actually work really well.

I have an order of more aluminum stock in several thicknesses on the way, so I'll be able to make the super thick 1" terminals like these or if you don't need the capability for 1/0ga wires, I can use thinner material... not to mention if you prefer crimping ring terminals on your wires (or if you already have ring terminals & don't want to cut them off) I can use a little thinner material to keep the costs down.
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Old 03-03-2014
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Copper and aluminum are dissimilar metals. You should probably use some de/ox on your wire connections. I would still be worried about oxidation and corrosion with it being outside. They do look good though.
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Old 03-03-2014
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Definitely need a corrosion preventive paste and those pads will help.
My concern is with the corrosion on the aluminum, as green99 stated dissimilar metals, and then there is the battery level of corrosion with lead vs aluminum. If the connections are clean then there is no problem but left alone as most of us do… !

I have no experience with aluminum battery terminals so I am talking off the top of my head or out my @ss but just wondering.

How much would these cost in copper ?
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Old 03-03-2014
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Yeah, any type of corrosion prevention is always a plus.
Since 90% of my wiring is CCA I'm not that worried about the dissimilar metals, but most of the gold or platinum plated terminals are aluminum underneath.
I've read where you can mix up some baking soda & water to make a paste to apply to help prevent corrosion, even wipe on vaseline.
I had a little spray container of this stuff that works really well too:

I bet solid copper would be pretty sweet looking too, but the material alone would probably be $40+ for enough to do one set. I'll search around to see if I can find a copper stock supplier just to see what it would cost.

I look at them kinda like the aluminum wheels I sanded & polished a while back. They're outside & get hit with all the elements including the nasty road salt & whatever else they throw on the roads & I haven't had any issue with them turning or oxidizing yet.
I use the same basic process for polishing the terminals so I'd say they should hold up as well or better considering they're under the hood away from most of those nasty elements.
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Old 03-03-2014
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Just did some checking on 1" thick copper flat stock... nearly $80 for just enough to make ONE set of terminals! OUCH!!!
Doesn't look like I'll be doing any in copper unless somebody wins the lottery & can afford that material.
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Old 03-03-2014
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Thanks for the info and ya too expensive.
I will keep you in mind when I need the extra hookup.
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Old 03-03-2014
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No problem man
I'll keep an eye out, hopefully I'll find something more affordable.

I got my new order of aluminum today & I now have enough 1" thick stock to make a few sets of terminals as well as some 3/4" thick stock to make a couple sets too.
It will be a few days before I can ship anything (darn snow & ice) but I can at least get started designing & drilling/tapping some
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Old 03-04-2014
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* Little Update *

Just got some dielectric grease to keep the wires happy & hopefully free from nasty stuff... just need to find a way to make some mini packaging to send some along with each set of terminals.

Also grabbed a tube of antisieze grease for the set screws to help prevent them from getting stuck after long term usage without moving them.

Also +1, just remembered an old wive's tale about gluing a penny (1985 or older due to them being all copper) to the battery to attract corrosion. Haven't tried it myself, but for a penny it's worth a shot
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Old 03-04-2014
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I'm going to have to get one of these before I put my 5 new switches to use this spring. Nice work!
  #21  
Old 03-04-2014
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Cool man!
I got in my new order of stock so I have enough to make a few sets of 3/4" and 1" thick terminals.
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Old 03-04-2014
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Those are pretty awesome. I don't need any but they look pretty professional.
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Old 03-05-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Ak_Ranger View Post
Those are pretty awesome. I don't need any but they look pretty professional.
Thanks man!
Tell your friends, maybe they can use a set

I'm wanting to do a set for a side post battery one of these days too.
  #24  
Old 03-12-2014
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What would the price be for a set of 3/4" thick terminals? I don't have any 1/0 wires so 3/4 should be fine. By the way, they look awesome!
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Old 03-13-2014
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Originally Posted by albi1cnobi1 View Post
What would the price be for a set of 3/4" thick terminals? I don't have any 1/0 wires so 3/4 should be fine. By the way, they look awesome!
Thanks!

It really depends on how many connections you need... the more holes to drill & tap the more they'll run

For a set similar to mine, polished finish (minus the 1/0 openings) in a 3/4" thick version, with the largest opening being for a 4ga wire or smaller... somewhere in the $40.00 range plus shipping.

With the 3/4" material I will probably only be able to do the wire holes in a single row instead of the 2 over 2 like my 8ga wire holes are. The 3/4" material doesn't leave a lot of extra material when doing them stacked like that.

Sizing the material, locating the holes, drilling & tapping are the easy parts... the sanding & polishing to a near mirror finish is the hard & super nasty part. There's probably only a day in making the terminals, but a few days in polishing them.
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