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Old 03-12-2012, 08:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Bus-Bar System

since every category needs a noob posting up some useless mods, i guess i'll start

this is my bus-bar setup. one for pos, one for neg. each bar is 1" x .5" x 9" aluminum, drilled and tapped. the large holes are the same as a side-post battery terminal (3/8-16), the small holes are 10-32. the cross-section equivalent at the most narrow point is 8/0. the white box was waterproof until i cut the gaping holes in the side. it protects the pos bar from water, dirt, or the retard who drops a tool.

why? because look at all the crap hooked up to the positive bar. now imagine all that hooked up to a single battery post. this way, if i want to add something later, it's not an issue.

















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Old 03-12-2012, 08:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Cool idea. Any reason using aluminum vs copper besides availability?
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I like the idea but I don't like the aluminum bar with stainless bolts. A copper bar with silicone-bronze hardware would be better.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Cool idea. Any reason using aluminum vs copper besides availability?
price. for the same price of 4 aluminum bars, i could get 1 copper bar
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I like the idea but I don't like the aluminum bar with stainless bolts. A copper bar with silicone-bronze hardware would be better.
i use di-electric grease on all connections. so far (almost a year now) there haven't been any problems.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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price. for the same price of 4 aluminum bars, i could get 1 copper bar

i use di-electric grease on all connections. so far (almost a year now) there haven't been any problems.
Just monitor it. Not really a good idea to use dissemilar metals when dealing with electricity. The grease will help.

Looks really great! I like it!
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The other thing I noticed is that it seems you crimped those lugs with pliers or in a vise. Those lugs are designed to be crimped with a special tool, Thomas and Betts TBM-25 or equivalent. In my experience the wires will eventually pull out of those lugs if they are not crimped properly, especially in high vibration situations.
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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but what everyone doesn't see is that all (100%) of my cable-lug connections are soldered. squeezed, crimped, or otherwise, they all have solder
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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http://www.cooperindustries.com/cont...5300_rtmr.html

http://www1.cooperbussmann.com/pdf/f...a4236a26bf.pdf

RTMR by bussmann. Waytek sells them.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i like it.....hell, most industrial panels i work in are aluminum....i dont see much copper until i get into 2300v and up....
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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uuuuummm... are you in the right thread?
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i like it.....hell, most industrial panels i work in are aluminum....i dont see much copper until i get into 2300v and up....
thank you
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I like the idea but I don't like the aluminum bar with stainless bolts. A copper bar with silicone-bronze hardware would be better.
A copper bar is not as bad as some would think:
http://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant...253&top_cat=87
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Just monitor it. Not really a good idea to use dissemilar metals when dealing with electricity. The grease will help.

Looks really great! I like it!
just use normal zinc coated bolts, less reactivity with aluminum.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:05 AM   #14 (permalink)
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uuuuummm... are you in the right thread?

thank you
Maybe not
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:48 AM   #15 (permalink)
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A copper bar is not as bad as some would think:
http://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant...253&top_cat=87
hmmm... might have to re-do my bars... i forgot about that site.
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just use normal zinc coated bolts, less reactivity with aluminum.
thanks for that
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:46 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Bt where do you get copper bolts from?
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:52 AM   #17 (permalink)
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don't know about copper, but brass/bronze can be had from mcmaster-carr:

http://www.mcmaster.com/#socket-head-cap-screws/=gnb5gt

http://www.mcmaster.com/#socket-head-cap-screws/=gnb5r3
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Last edited by irab88; 03-13-2012 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:51 PM   #18 (permalink)
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It looks great and all but couldn't you just use one of these?

Circular High-Amp Distribution Post 3/8" Stud Size, 8-32 Screw Size, 150 Amps, 48 VDC
9365T4 http://www.mcmaster.com/#power-distr...-posts/=gne1w4
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:19 PM   #19 (permalink)
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It looks great and all but couldn't you just use one of these?

Circular High-Amp Distribution Post 3/8" Stud Size, 8-32 Screw Size, 150 Amps, 48 VDC
9365T4 http://www.mcmaster.com/#power-distr...-posts/=gne1w4
no

i'm gonna pretend i didn't explain myself in the first post:

it has a single (one) 3/8" stud in the middle and a bunch of #8 terminals.

1) there are a lot more items than one 3/8" stud can handle:
--battery
--alternator
--starter
--main fuse box
--aux fuse box
--electric fan
--winch
--trailer wiring
--compressor

2) #8 screws are smaller than #10 screws (the ones i have). less choice of terminals to use

3) my setup can handle well over 150 amperes

4) where's the fun in buying something?

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Old 03-13-2012, 07:08 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Cool concept. Not much space for a setup like that in my engine bay. Thankfully being a diesel my Excursion has dual batteries, one on each side, so I have a couple extra connections on each battery on each side, without it being too cramped. Not much space on battery terminals for more though. Also, I have 2 gauge (100A fuse near battery) going from one of the positives to a covered distribution block under the middle seat, which is then split multiple ways for stereo amp, inverter, race radio body etc. Each of those outputs also has wire & fuses sized appropriately.

Last edited by xbox73; 03-13-2012 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:13 AM   #21 (permalink)
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4) where's the fun in buying something?
... for me its called time!
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:36 PM   #22 (permalink)
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How is the bar mounted inside the box?

This thread (shit this section) is perfect timing for me right now
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:45 PM   #23 (permalink)
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How is the bar mounted inside the box?

This thread (shit this section) is perfect timing for me right now
at the top and bottom of the bar you'll see plastic (nylon) screws:



they go through the bar, through holes in the box (sealed with black rtv), through the aluminum channel, and have matching plastic nuts/washers on the bottom. it's extremely sturdy

i will probably re-do the bracket in steel, but i'll be using the same technique to mount the box.


side note of things to upgrade:
-bracket: aluminum to steel
-bars: aluminum 1/2" to copper 1/4"
-bolts: ss to silicone bronze
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:29 PM   #24 (permalink)
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but what everyone doesn't see is that all (100%) of my cable-lug connections are soldered. squeezed, crimped, or otherwise, they all have solder
Solder isn't always the best solution, especially with lugs that are designed for a mechanical connection. I don't expect the average person to have a $300+ crimper but it is worth considering that an improperly crimped lug may fail.

Also, you should only bare enough of the wire so that it just fits inside the connector(all the way in), and with the insulation butted up against the lug. You do not want the bare wire sticking out of the connector. This increases the strength of the connection by providing strain relief and helping to protect the conductors from damage.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:25 AM   #25 (permalink)
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so i try and share some pics in a new thread, i learn some things, and plan to make a few changes. how about i make the changes before we start ripping on the "noob's" connections, eh?

i order parts only a few times a year. i'll build up an order so shipping doesn't kill me. "proper" terminals are on that list (notice the 6awg wire on the 2/0 lug?), along with copper bar, bronze/silicone bolts, more shrink-tubing, and a bunch of other stuff for other projects.

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