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Stephen Tashiro
08-25-2012, 4:46 AM
I want to lengthen the wire from the starter to the battery on my '90 Corolla so replacing starters won't be such a pain. The wire is the same gauge as battery terminal wire and packages of that are marked "4 ga." What's the best way to splice such wire?

I went to an electrical supply company and they had splices. The splce marked for #4 was too small, so I got one for listed for #2-#4.

The splice is a metal cylinder. It has no insulation, How is the splice supposed to be insulated? Ordinary shrink wrap looks too flimsy for the job. I wouldn't trust electrical tape for automotive use.

How can such a splice be crimped? The cylinder is thick. It looks like it would take a tool with compound leverage to do a good job.

If I make the wire longer, it will need to be tied away from the CV joint that's below the starter. What is used to tie thick wire? I wouldn't trust ordinary cable ties for this job.

Chris Damm
08-25-2012, 7:57 AM
Don't splice. But a new longer cable.

Jerome Stanek
08-25-2012, 9:10 AM
If you splice it there is a good chance that it will fail.

Myk Rian
08-25-2012, 10:24 AM
You don't splice those cables.
Go to an auto store and buy a longer one.

Stephen Tashiro
08-25-2012, 11:40 AM
Umm,, is the original post unclear?


I want to lengthen the wire from the starter to the battery

I'm not talking about the positive battery cable. I'm talking about one of the several wires in the harness that is connected to positive battery cable (and thence to the battery). I"m aware that introducing a splice makes the splice a possilbe point of failure. However, I think I'll have many more more failed starters than failed splices.

So, anyone know about splicing thick wire?

Bill Huber
08-25-2012, 11:59 AM
I am not sure what wire you are splicing but for me if I was splicing heavy wire I would solder it and then use good heavy shrink tubing 2 to 3 inches each side of the splice. Put 2 layers of shrink tubing, one on the joint and then one that covers the joint and goes 2 to 3 inches each side.
Put the shrink tubing on before you do the soldering, don't ask how I know this.

Myk Rian
08-25-2012, 12:01 PM
Do it like this.

239914

Greg Peterson
08-25-2012, 12:27 PM
I'm curious as to why a 22 year old vehicle requires easy starter removal/install.

Might be less expensive to buy a quality reman starter. Denso and Bosch both produce a quality rebuild for that application. Bosch has completely retooled the rotating electrical department and is putting out high quality rebuilt units.

Either that or go to a shop that does automotive electrical work and have them fabricate a cable.

Matt Meiser
08-25-2012, 12:28 PM
I've spliced them before with a short piece of copper tubing. Strip the ends, slip them into the copper tubing, crimp with pliers to hold it together temporarily, then solder the joint and put heat shrink over the whole area. I've even made terminals from copper tubing by crushing the end in a vise to flatten, drilling a hole, grinding the end to a nice shape and then soldering the cable in and soldering where the two halves meet each other on the flat part. Obviously its a good idea to clean the copper tubing thoroughly inside and out before starting.

Tim Morton
08-25-2012, 12:36 PM
You can purchase 4 ga barrel connectors that should work fine. Just be sure to make a good solid connection and heat shrink over it to protect if from the elements. That being said, i am in the replace with longer connection if possible. Got a car audio store in your area? They should be happy to help you out.

something like this..

http://www.autotoys.com/x/product.php?productid=8651

David G Baker
08-25-2012, 12:44 PM
Ace Hardware sells a splicing kit for different size wires. I broke my #2 wire from my main to my pole barn with my front end loader and had to re-fasten it together or dig a trench and run about 150 feet of wire. The splicing kit comes with a brass fitting that the wire ends fit into. The fitting has two screws that tighten down on the inserted wire. There is a shrink tubing that comes with the kit that has a substance inside of it that seals the splice making it watter proof after it is heated. I used a propane torch to heat my splices. I did this two years or more ago and it is still working fine. The kit isn't cheap. If it was mine and not going under ground I would do what Matt M. suggested and use copper tubing and solder.

Stephen Tashiro
08-25-2012, 12:58 PM
I'm curious as to why a 22 year old vehicle requires easy starter removal/install.

In my opinion, every vehicle should have easy starter removal!



Might be less expensive to buy a quality reman starter. Denso and Bosch both produce a quality rebuild for that application.


Is your theory of starter replacment that you avoid replacing them? Not a bad idea, but even if I only have to replace the starter one more time, I want it to be easy.

I've had both Denso and Bosch starters. Perhaps something about the design of '90 Corolla is hard on starters. I had one rebuild starter where the inside of the magnetic switch got corroded within a year. I had another rebuild, which turned out to have a blob of soldier on one of the terminals of the magnetic switch that every now and then would jam the piston. ( In the '90, the starter and its wires are going to get splashed with water when the car goes through a big puddle. I don't know why there is no gasket on the cover of the magnetic switch on starters. I don' know why there isn't a provision to keep water out of the vent hole in the magnetic switch. -- and I don't know why Denso starters seem to pound one of the contacts in the magnetic switch down to be paper thinness while the other one stays as thick as new.)

David G Baker
08-25-2012, 2:48 PM
I don't remember the year of a Corolla that I had but it had serious issues with the starter as well as three different rebuilt and installed by Pep Boys. I ended up taking it to a local foreign car repair shop and they put in a Bosch starter and it worked for years. The problem mine had was that the starter was too close to the exhaust manifold and the internal voltage regulator was damaged by the manifold heat according to the foreign car repairman.

ray hampton
08-25-2012, 5:22 PM
were there a recall by the factory concerning this car/problem

Scott T Smith
08-25-2012, 11:08 PM
I've spliced them before with a short piece of copper tubing. Strip the ends, slip them into the copper tubing, crimp with pliers to hold it together temporarily, then solder the joint and put heat shrink over the whole area. I've even made terminals from copper tubing by crushing the end in a vise to flatten, drilling a hole, grinding the end to a nice shape and then soldering the cable in and soldering where the two halves meet each other on the flat part. Obviously its a good idea to clean the copper tubing thoroughly inside and out before starting.

+1. This method will work well. Be sure to use rosin core solder. Also, the cable that you use to splice in should be a fine wire cable, such as welding lead.

If you use heat shrink tubing, it's best to put on two or three layers so that you have a good thickness of insulation over the joint. Another option is to tape it first, and then heat shrink over the electrical tape.

Brian Elfert
08-25-2012, 11:11 PM
The connector you bought is probably for use with high voltage AC wire that is sometimes not the same diameter as automotive wire. Automotive wire in a large size like #4 usually has more strands than wire used for high voltage. I doubt the splice you bought would work well in a car. You really need a butt connector designed for automotive use. The problem is the tool to crimp them is expensive. Some auto parts stores will custom crimp cable, but I don't know if they would do it at your car.

Stephen Tashiro
08-26-2012, 2:43 PM
Another option is to tape it first, and then heat shrink over the electrical tape.

I like that idea and I like the idea of using copper tubing because I understand how to crimp it. I look at the tough metal splice that I got at the electrical supply place and wonder what kind of tool they use for crimping it. I think it requires a crimper with compound leverage!

Chuck Wintle
08-26-2012, 3:33 PM
I like that idea and I like the idea of using copper tubing because I understand how to crimp it. I look at the tough metal splice that I got at the electrical supply place and wonder what kind of tool they use for crimping it. I think it requires a crimper with compound leverage!
yes a heavy duty crimper is needed to do what you want. also the idea of wrapping with tape and then with heat shrink is a good idea...just make the heat shrink long to cover the wire and use several layers of it.

Stephen Tashiro
08-26-2012, 4:59 PM
yes a heavy duty crimper is needed to do what you want

I went to Lowes Hardware this morning. An employee showed me a heavy duty crimper they have for in-store use. It looks like a bolt cutter. Istead of cutting jaws, it has jaws with various sized circular profiles. The tool was made by Black Hawk and not sold in the store. He offered to crimp the connector for me if I brought it in, but I'm going to go the copper pipe route.