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Thread: Sorting battery cable terminals?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Sorting battery cable terminals?

    I got a bunch of battery cable terminals on a recent haul. Should I sort them by themselves or is it ok to put them on my stick-on wheel weight bucket and consider it all the same?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    merlin101's Avatar
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    I'd just drop them in with your soft lead, it wouldn't hurt to dunk them first in a solution of baking soda to neutralize any acid.
    It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years (Abe Lincoln)

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    check it too, found a few zinc terminals in a big batch I got from a scrap yard. luckily I was smelting at a low temp because I had other unknown stuff I was melting, out of 30 terminals about 5 would not melt and I threw them out.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Don like the others have said, the ones I've had were predominantly soft lead.
    an easy test is to nip them with a pair of side cutters and if they cut easily they are lead.
    merlin101 is right about safety, make sure you don't breathe the fumes while smelting.
    If the terminals are still connected to the copper, you can swap that for lead at your scrap yard (sell and buy)
    Last edited by Grmps; 11-13-2017 at 04:55 PM.

  5. #5
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    A few years back, I bought 3 pails (five gallon pails) of Battery terminals from a Automobile recycler.

    First hint, try to remove as much of the plastic before you smelt them, I had stinky mess.

    Second hint, depending how much you have? Don't mix them, they are hard like COWW. My battery terminal lead measures the same hardness as COWW, 12 BHN.

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    OK, so John says that they are hard as clip-ons, the others that they are soft as stick-ons...

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    lwknight's Avatar
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    Battery posts are dead soft. The cable ends can be hard or soft. The large factory terminals like you find on a diesel pickup are soft and the cheaper terminals like you find at the O'reilys can be either way.
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  8. #8
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don1357 View Post
    OK, so John says that they are hard as clip-ons, the others that they are soft as stick-ons...
    Quote Originally Posted by lwknight View Post
    Battery posts are dead soft. The cable ends can be hard or soft. The large factory terminals like you find on a diesel pickup are soft and the cheaper terminals like you find at the O'reilys can be either way.
    Just to clarify a bit more, that 255 lb batch that I did was ALL scrap cable ends pulled off recent model junk cars, 99% of them were factory ends, and this recycler is processing mostly passenger cars, but also some SUVs and light trucks. There were no battery posts in the batch. I don't know about "aftermarket" cable ends, There were only a couple in that batch.

    Every time I cast a batch of boolits from that Batch of Battery term alloy, I measure hardness and it has always been in the range of COWW. I am quite confident in my readings.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    swheeler's Avatar
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    I just recently bought new battery cable ends for the boat, choice of zinc or lead terminals, zinc were about a dollar more.
    Hell, I was there!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master vzerone's Avatar
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    S % Conductivity
    Silver 105
    Copper 100
    Gold 70
    Aluminum 61
    Nickel 22
    Zinc 27
    Brass 28
    Iron 17
    Tin 15
    Phosphor Bronze 15
    Lead 7
    Nickel Aluminum Bronze 7
    Steel 3 to 15

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    I've got about a gallon can of mixed cable ends. They are a real mix, everything from heavy equipment to the cheap after market replacement ends. I plan to test each one with acid and then smelt them together. Then I'll drop an ingot or two into each batch of wheelweights.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check