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Technical Crimping Tutorial

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Crazy Steve, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 3,409

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    Thanks Crazy Steve. I`ve been crimping terminals on the wrong side for my whole life. But I am left handed so I do everything backwards.
     
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  2. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 4,989

    OahuEli
    Member
    from Hawaii

    Great tutorial and spot on. Sta-Kons were the only acceptable crimpers in shipyards back in the day for wire up to 10 awg, still have two or three pair in my main toolbox. The pair in my toolbag are older than most of my grandchildren. Klein makes tools that are right up there too.
    I agree with you on the 'mash it flat" type, especially with the insulators on them, seen plenty fail. I hate 'em.
    One point I'd like to make about strain relief for those who don't know; proper bend radius of the wire/harness and support at each end of the radius will go a long way towards taking strain off the crimp/wire connection point. I've seen pictures of wiring on here that make me cringe. Taking the time to do it correctly goes a long way towards preventing the smoke from getting out of the wire.
     
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  3. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 3,409

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    Please do.
     
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  4. I chased a short for two weeks in my Dodge. Damn shrink wrap was split on the side of the wire against the frame. I cut it out and used a crimp fitting. I have been an electrical inspector for years and you can use aluminum and copper in a crimp type fitting but you cannot put them together. The electrical industry makes several types of connectors for this purpose. Aluminum house wiring cannot be used with any device but those listed as AL. There has been alot of fires caused by aluminum wiring in homes due to the loosening of the terminals from aluminum shrinkage. If I had to pick the perfect connector for my Hot Rod it would be a terminal block but that is not really the answer.
     
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  5. Halfdozen
    Joined: Mar 8, 2008
    Posts: 568

    Halfdozen
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    So what crimp connector should we use to splice a 12 gauge fusible link to an 8 gauge wire?
     
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  6. H380
    Joined: Sep 20, 2015
    Posts: 398

    H380
    Member
    from Louisiana

  7. Hyvolt
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 222

    Hyvolt
    Member

    I work in the electric utility business, and reliability to the customers has come down to correctly crimping terminals, and just as important are quality terminals. Brazed terminals are a must at work. Also, we use a inhibitor call "No-ox-ide special a"
    Awesome stuff. I warm it and it turns liquid, then dip lugs in it. Attached are some of our hand crimps. We only allow rachet style on 10 guage and smaller.

    Larger crimpers are good from #8 to #2 awg 20181212_121949.jpeg 20181212_122009.jpeg

    Sent from my LG-LS993 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  8. You have basically two choices; use a short crimp with the same circular mil area as the two wires combined and insert the wires so they overlap each other, or use one for the larger size and use 'filler' (short strands) to fill in the excess space on the side with the smaller wire. I'd recommend the latter method. You could also crimp a short sleeve onto the smaller wire of the correct size if it will fit into the larger crimp, then crimp it again. I wouldn't recommend trying to 'over crimp' the larger connector down to the smaller size.
     
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  9. Clik
    Joined: Jul 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,764

    Clik
    Member

    I always learn something from Crazy Steve. Thanks Steve.
     
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  10. tom in nh
    Joined: Oct 16, 2011
    Posts: 61

    tom in nh
    Member

    Very nice post.
    Which crimper do you reccomend for doing early automotive flag terminals?
    This type of crimp is done at the end of the tool.
    I am unable to find a modern day equivalent.
    Thanks,
    Tom
     
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  11. bschwoeble
    Joined: Oct 20, 2008
    Posts: 379

    bschwoeble
    Member

    I hope more people take the time to read your info. Invaluable. Thanks again.
     
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  12. Halfdozen
    Joined: Mar 8, 2008
    Posts: 568

    Halfdozen
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks Steve. This thread has been a tremendous source of great info, thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience.
    I feel like a bit of a bozo, I've just discovered that one of my fave sources for electrical bits-
    http://www.ferrulesdirect.com/electrical/terminals.htm - has uninsulated step down crimp butt splices, up to #6 awg. They don't sell in tiny quantities, but who among us is liable to wire only one car? Nice to have personal stock...
     
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  13. The 90 degree flag terminals as used inside distributors present their own issues. These require a specialty crimper which I'm sure exists but the cost will no doubt be prohibitive; I'd be surprised if you can find one for less than $300, probably more. The handful of times I've done them I've 'worked' them with pliers, with barely satisfactory results (and usually a few failures before getting one I like). One of the few instances when I'll solder a connection after crimping. If you're doing a lot of them, I'd suggest finding a crimper that will do that type of crimp then cutting/grinding the end down until it 'fits'.

    Actually, I'm a bit surprised those exist. It's not a good idea to reduce wire size in a circuit except under very specific conditions, so these certainly wouldn't be 'commonly' used. But useful for those rare occasional times. The quantities shown would be a lifetime supply for most guys, even if you wired a lot of cars...
     
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  14. I needed to crimp some flag terminals and I found a crimper with a wire cutter on the very end. After cutting the cutter tip off and grinding it to shape it did a pretty good job of crimping those terminals. If I need to crimp a larger size flag terminal I'd need to either buy another crimper and do the same thing but grind away the smaller size jaw to expose the next size up, or reshape the one I already have, but then it wouldn't do the size it used to. No need for that today thiough.
     
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  15. Sporty45
    Joined: Jun 1, 2015
    Posts: 654

    Sporty45
    Member
    from NH Boonies

    Tom, I found this place that lists several crimpers for flag terminals. Not sure if they are exactly what you are looking for.
    http://www.ferrulesdirect.com/electrical/FDT1005.htm
     
  16. brokedownbiker
    Joined: Jun 7, 2016
    Posts: 329

    brokedownbiker
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

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  17. brokedownbiker
    Joined: Jun 7, 2016
    Posts: 329

    brokedownbiker
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Crazy Steve, this is sort of still on topic, but I have a question for you.
    Can you point to a source for a good quality non-insulated terminal and connector kit? I've been searching for a couple of weeks and all I have found are crappy China-Mart/ Harbor Freight style kits. It seems that everybody in the retail world has settled on selling only kits that are insulated. I've been re-reading wiring-related threads here and following links, looking for sources with no luck. Ferrules Direct and Wire Care both have non-insulated stuff by the pkg. but not in kits; I'd like to start off with a full kit to work out of.
     
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  18. Here ya go … https://www.sherco-auto.com/non-insulated-terminals.html … and there's probably other suppliers too. But to be honest, I'm not a fan of 'em. The small 'basic' kits always seem to be lacking at least one type you need, plus the quantities of each you get may not be adequate for more than one job in some sizes, and the bigger kits will furnish you with lifetime amounts of some, and you still may have to restock some parts often. The 1200 piece kit is decent but there's at least 300 crimps in that kit you'll never use if doing just automotive.

    It really all depends on what you're doing; new-from-scratch, repairs, or working with vintage bits. The basics would be butt splices, 1/4" female flag terminals, and ring terminals for 6, 8, and 10 screws, all in 10/12 and 14/16 sizes. That should cover about 95% of what you'll need; if you go smaller than #16 wire, the HF crimps will be adequate. But you'll still run into specialty crimps or 'other' sizes once in a while that don't come in even the 'big' kits, I'll pick those up as needed. Doing much repair or working with old parts, go heavy on the butt splices.
     
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  19. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 9,358

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

  20. brokedownbiker
    Joined: Jun 7, 2016
    Posts: 329

    brokedownbiker
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks Steve, that is exactly what I've been looking for- a basic kit that I can add to as needed. Between the old cars and the Harley's I re-wire, it will cover 90% of what I'm needing. I'm really tired of cutting the plastic insulators off of terminals...
     
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  21. Mike Colemire
    Joined: May 18, 2013
    Posts: 927

    Mike Colemire
    Member

    A few years ago I ordered a bunch of stuff from Waytek. They had the good terminal ends, no plastic, and I also got a bunch of the heat shrink in various sizes with the glue in it. The prices were great at the time.
     
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  22. I wouldn't recommend them. Being made of steel, they're not as conductive and will be harder to crimp. Only needed if you're wiring a electric oven or furnace, and you'll want the special fiberglass-insulated (used to be asbestos) wire for those applications.
     
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  23. What's the right way to wire into the screw terminal posts on these BA15s bulbholders? Just twist the bare wires together, insert and tighten, maybe tin the wires first or fit crimped on bootlace ferrules? 132004a_large.jpeg

    Sent from my moto g(6) play using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
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  24. Go with bare wire, and wiggle the wire/re-tighten the screws a few times for the best connection. It wouldn't hurt to put some Loctite on the screw threads.
     
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  25. Thanks Steve. Much appreciated

    Sent from my moto g(6) play using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  26. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,094

    dirty old man
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Steve, far be it from me to disagree or argue with you, but sorta curious whyyouwouldn't sorta twist up,the wires and tin to a point of solid stem on those wires?
     
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  27. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,316

    Boneyard51
    Member

    That’s what I do! Or did, don’t do much anymore.


    Bones
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
    loudbang likes this.
  28. You could, but I really don't see much point to it. It would make it marginally easier to terminate, but that's about it.

    I really don't like solder connections, and that's from personal experience besides having it hammered into me from work rules. Over the years of repairing vehicle wiring on both my rigs and friends rigs, I've found that while poorly-done crimps can definitely be troublesome, they rarely fail outright; you'll usually get warning when the circuit gets 'flaky' before that point. Not so with solder; solder joints almost always fails outright with no warning. And solder doesn't like heat either; while the 'melting point' is generally given as about 650 degrees F (the temp required to get a good joint), it will start 'moving' at temps as low as 300 degrees. I found that out when I tried to use it as filler when powdercoating. At 400 degrees it will literally run off, just leaving a tinned surface. Mechanical connections (whether bolted or crimped) don't have that problem.
     
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  29. tomic
    Joined: Jan 8, 2008
    Posts: 114

    tomic
    Member

    those stamped steel/rivet hinge crimpers all suck. as do the old iron types. anything that relies on the user applying the correct force is not gonna do a good job.

    ratchet-type crimpers, that only release once they've reached some pre-set compression, are "best". there may e others but none of these are cheap.

    I use a Panduit crimper, compound action with ratchet and replaceable jaws. it was nearly 100 bucks. the Panduit type crimpers also apply pressure over a much larger area of the barrel too not just a 1/1" wide dent that mashes the barrel.

    as Crazy Steve says, you can't pull the wire out of a GOOD crimp. the wire will break first. also a sure=fire non-destructive test of (other peoples :) crimps is to wiggle the wire side to side; if you see strands move at the other end of the barrel is a crap crimp.

    in drop-dead critical applications especially there they might be exposed to water I'll solder after crimping, especially high-current, like alternator connections.
     
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  30. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 4,454

    jimmy six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I used ratchet crimpers and AMP products for years in our power plants. I still have a set of the crimpers but not too many lugs in my stash. My favorites are T&B crimpers and non insulated lugs. For years i would remove the AMP insulation sleeves to use the T&B's.
    When numbered and color heat shrink came out my "home" projects got way better and the company's that offered the printable sleeves really made for great looking work. I never did get one of those or a stash of the printable heat sleeving. Steve really helps all who read his suggestions, when you work in the field for over 40 years one doesn't think about how something is second nature to you is unknown to most.
     
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