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Homemade Quick Connect Jumper Cables

Author: qadhafi

To start off, I already have the Warn Quick Connect Plug setup that came with my winch. It's just a set of cables that connect to the battery with a quick connect plug on the end. If you don't have one of these they can be easily made. More on that later.

Jumper cable connectquick connect

Materials you will need:
Tools needed for this projectconnector
Let's start on the plug side. Use the wire cutter to trim back about an inch and a half of the insulation. This needs to be long enough to fit all the way down in the terminal.
Trim the insulationtrim the insulationTrimmed cable

After You have trimmed down the insulation, insert the end of the cable into the terminal. Place it in the crimping tool and beat the heck out of it.
insert the cable into the terminalinsert the terminal into the crimping toolThis is what your crimp should look like

I then cut off about five inches of heat shrink tubing and sleeved it over the terminal end. I used a MAPP torch to shrink it, but a hair dryer will work. Remember, we're only trying to heat the tubing, not burn it.
heat shrink tubinguse a torch to shrink the tubing

After you have repeated on the other piece of cable, simply slide the terminals into the plug. I don't know if you can make it out in the picture but the plug has plus (+) and minus (-) symbols on it to represent positive and ground. This is very cool, because it is impossible to insert the plug the wrong way. Positive will always line up with positive and ground will always line up with ground. Pretty sweet, huh?
insert the crimped cable into the plugcable and plug

Note: If you don't have the battery end cables that I mentioned at the beginning of this write up you will need to repeat all the steps above to make a second plug. You will have to get battery lugs to attach to the ends if you make a set of these.

Now, on to the business end of the jumper cables. The first thing that I did was trim down about an inch of the insulation. In hindsight I should have waited until I was ready to attach them to the clamps. I had a lot of heat shrink tubing so I took a 9' section and melted it around the plug end of the cables. This isn't necessary, but I just wanted to burn something else.

MAKE SURE YOU ARE WORKING WITH THE POSITIVE CABLE COMING FROM THE PLUG! Thread the cable through the clamp after removing half of the clamp (the end should have a screw holding it into place.) Cut some heat shrink and thread it down the cable BEFORE you clamp down on the brass end from the jumper cable clamp. Now, before you clamp down make sure that the heat shrink is in place and MAKE SURE YOU ARE WORKING WITH THE POSITIVE CABLE COMING FROM THE PLUG! Crimp the clamp into place and heat the tubing around the end of the cable.
Connect the cable to the clampconnect the cable to the clampConnect the cable to the clampThe connected clamp

Now repeat with the negative side. After you are done triple check the positive and negative connections.

Finished product. I used a piece of cable wrap to tie up the cables and zip-tied the dust cover onto the cable so I wouldn't lose it.
Finshed product!Finished product!Finished product

There, all done. Here are some links regarding quick connect cables. I paid about $30 total for mine (Jumper Cable end ONLY). If you had to fab up the battery end I would guess it would run you another $20 or so. Still way cheaper than the Warn ($109.95) or Painless ($220) systems. The Painless system comes with PARTS ONLY. So you have to pay about $220 AND put it together yourself. Or you can spend about $50 and do it my way.

Here's a link to Pirate4x4 on a write up that inspired me to make my own.

And in closing, NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER attach the negative clamp to the terminal on the battery of the vehicle that you are jumping off. Batteries can expel dangerous fumes that can be ignited by the spark that jumper cables create when attached to a battery. Attach the negative end to a good ground surface like the engine block or the frame rail.

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