EV Tools/Supplies FAQ

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NOTE: This guide mostly covers tools, and some supplies. Please see EV Components FAQ for a more complete discussion on necessary components.

NOTE: This FAQ is a work in progress.

Q: What is the most basic EV tool?

A: A digital multimeter. They can be found at hardware stores, electronics stores, and home improvement stores. Harbor Freight carries a good one for almost nothing.


Q: I want to do low-power wiring. What do I need?

*Note: The following can be sourced from hardware stores, electronic suppliers, and RadioShack*
A: You will need:
● Wire
● Wire Cutters
● Wire Strippers
● Wire Terminal Crimping Tool
● Terminal Connectors of appropriate type/size
● Splice Terminal Connectors of appropriate size


Q: I want to do high-power wiring. What do I need?
*Note: The following are best sourced from an EV Conversion supplier*
A: You will need:
● Appropriately sized thin-stranded wire
○ See EV Component FAQ for wire sizing guide
● Battery Terminals and/or "Heavy" sized Lugs which are thicker than standard
● Hammer Crimper & Sledgehammer
● Large Cable Cutters/Shears
● Heat-shrink Tubing, Adhesive lined if possible
● Electric Heat Gun
● Cable Sheathing Stripper
● Permanent marker for indicating connection points on the wires/lugs themselves

A: And if necessary:
*Note: Again best sourced from an EV Conversion supplier*
● Terminal Standoffs
● Anderson Connectors


Q: What are some tools to do soldering of low-power wiring?
*Note: These can be sourced from electronic suppliers and RadioShack*
A: You may need:
● Soldering Iron
● Solder
● Soldering Iron Stand
● Soldering clamps
● Solder Wick
● Heat-shrink tubing
● Heat gun to shrink tubing


Q: Is soldering better than crimping for high-power wiring with good quality lugs?

A: Not necessarily. Test your crimp connections by pulling on the wire. If it doesn't come loose, that it will work as good as soldering. Additionally, the heat from soldering can be troublesome, especially when soldering large wire.


Q: What do I use to load test batteries?

A: A battery load tester. These can be found at auto parts stores.


Q: I don't have a load tester. What do I need?

*Note: Be aware of the manufacturer specs for your batteries and don't exceed their peak current rating*
A: You will need a digital multi meter, and something to put a load on a battery. The following will work:
● 12v RV accessories
● 12v DC - 120v AC inverter w/hair dryer or other 120v device
● 12v car defroster
● Jumper Cables & Car nearby (Disconnect the stock car battery first!)
○ Can be used to either run lights/accessories, or start car


[Updated Feb. 20, 2008. Please add any questions or questions & answers below and I will link to them in here]

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