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Technical wiring tips, tricks?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by scotty t, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. elba
    Joined: Feb 9, 2013
    Posts: 615


    forgot pics. here they are terminal 001.JPG terminal 001.JPG crimpers 003.JPG crimpers 003.JPG crimpers 003.JPG crimpers 003.JPG crimpers 003.JPG crimpers 003.JPG crimpers 002.JPG crimpers 002.JPG crimpers 005.JPG crimpers 005.JPG
  2. jack orchard
    Joined: Aug 20, 2011
    Posts: 238

    jack orchard

    I use 1/2"x 2" strips (approx) cut from an old oil bottle to make support straps to hold my wiring runs. Wrap them around the finished bundle and poke a hole in them for a bolt or screw to secure them. Strong enough to hold them, but soft enough so as to not to damage the bundle. (and they are free) You can use many different colors, but i prefer black. ...jack
  3. i've read about the crimp vs solder debate, seems to me, use whatever you're comfortable with and use shrink tube to support the connection.
  4. Crimp vs solder again ???
    Both are ok when done properly.

    Here's the thing, you need some experience to solder properly. It's an art and the skill needs to be honed.

    Crimps are basically and almost idiot proof with a quality crimper. That means most people who've never seen a crimp connector or pliers can produce a quality joint the first time they use it. You'll not get the same with solder.

    The connectors are a specified size and thickness for the correct wire and the tool is made to work with those in mind. Controlled input and expected output.
  5. I had a buddy in high school who used braided fish line instead of ties or tape. The loops were all equidistant from each other and it looked really trick, plus he was able to access separate wires from the harness. Wish I had a photo of the 51 ford he wired back in '64.
  6. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,458


  7. And while you're at it you might google "Western Union Splice".
    Lots of good photos and etc. May be helpful and definitely interesting...
  8. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,200

    from Missouri

    I have been using some expandable sleeving that I got from Del City. Didn't like the eyelet with a nut for the sending units so I went for the push on style connector. Then made some harness clamps. I used a coil wire boot for the alt wire. P1010007.JPG P1010008.JPG P1010009.JPG
    scotty t likes this.
  9. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    I agree that you will never get a winner in the crimp vs solder debate, both sides have firm believers in their method and will never change. But that is ok, do what feels best to you.

    I crimp, and I use only Ancor waterproof terminal ends and butt connectors, the ones with heat shrink built in. After you crimp you heat them with a heat gun and the tubing shrinks up, creating a waterproof seal. For pliers, I use these:

    They are simple to use because the same pair will cut the wire and also crimp the end on. To pull the insulation off to put into the terminal end, I use a pair that strip the ends off in one squeeze (can't find a picture of those).

  10. 160 splices - here. All soldered. Can you imagine how big a knot 160 butt connectors would make?

    There's a lot to love about these old hotrods, Like 126 less wires is one of them.

  11. jseery
    Joined: Sep 4, 2013
    Posts: 743

    from Wichita KS

    Don't have any comments on solder vs crimp, I use both. But, not sure about the butt connector comment, aircraft have thousands of wire and they are crimped (not sure I have ever seen a butt connector in aircraft wiring though). A proper butt connector should not be any larger in diameter than the original wire.
    P.S. I would have soldered them also!
  12. xpletiv
    Joined: Jul 9, 2008
    Posts: 938

    from chiburbs

    Well, been doing low voltage stuff for over 20 years...electrical tape gets very sticky if you ever have to get back into it, crimp then solder then heat shrink!, the connectors with the heatshrink already on them=sometimes the shrink splits because the crimpers thinned the area, always leave a little slack at or near the terminations= easier to re-do a poor connection if you have something left over, only use black wire ties=they are UV protected and withstand heat better, equally space the ties, start them all in the same direction('heads' all up/down),cut them flush at the ends(they can be mighty sharp if not!), and rotate them(after cutting) so the 'heads' are not seen(they will rotate easier one direction of the other). That's it for now.
  13. I like to pull the plastic off the connector, crimp, solder and heat-shrink. I do that for the battery lugs too. I bought a ratcheting crimper @ Harbor Freight, works great. I use a lot of Molex connectors at work so I have a good crimper for those.
    The best suggestion I have is on connections that are exposed to the elements, like if you are running a brake light switch under the floor, you need to seal water out. I have soldered on the connectors and used the heat shrink that has sealer inside then ran the wires up to a dry area to add a removable connector.
    Second suggestion is GROUNDS, ground the batt to the motor and the frame, frame to the motor and body, clean the area you are grounding to and use star washers. I like to put a little dab of sealent around the spot to keep out the moist.
    And don't run a 14 gauge wire from the alt to the battery, I have a 100 amp alt and run a 6 gauge wire. there is chart that shows the size wire needed to run certain amps at different distances.
    I would practice crimping and soldering, and heat shrinking.
    cptn60 likes this.
  14. .........another trick is when using those whiz-bang 21 circuit wiring kits, don't cut off the unused wiring to stuff you'll never use. Just run the unused wires to terminal strips strategically located in the car. You may find a use for a circuit or 2 later on or at the least, the next owner will appreciate the option and it's cleaner than just chopping off the unneeded wires.
    saltflats likes this.
  15. I like the shrink tube with the hot melt glue, better strain relief in my opinion. If you solder your connections be careful not to get too much heat onto female spade connectors, they will loose their spring temper and fall off the male. (This isn't funny when you are driving down the interstate at 75 mph in the middle of the night and all your lights go out) You can buy rolls of adhesive backed numbers and letters to mark wires. These will fall off over time, but not if overlayed with clear shrink tube.
    I have wired a vehicle with the industrial technique of all wiring done in black and each wire coded to a matching a code on the schematic diagram. This works OK until you have a problem and don't have the schematic with you. One thing to remember is it is very seldom that the wire causes a problem, it is almost always the connection or component that is the problem, so tracing a wire never seems to do much for me. If a circuit isn't working, unless there is obvious wire damage, check the fuse, check connections, check components, and lastly check the wire for breaks.
    Good luck with your wiring.
  16. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,420


    Are you wiring the Space Shuttle or a '48 Plymouth?
  17. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,420


    I always crimp, never solder and never have any problems with the connections. I will not ever, under any circumstances, use anything but uninsulated terminals with shrink tubing. I hate the yellow/blue/red crimp on terminals, they scream "I don't care what my car looks like".
    squirrel likes this.
  18. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,945


    Nicely done! One photo or four, still impressive.
    GeezersP15 likes this.
  19. ago
    Joined: Oct 12, 2005
    Posts: 2,200

    from pgh. pa.

    Wow, looks like the space shuttle, nice job. Everything in your car electronic?

    GeezersP15 likes this.
  20. GeezersP15
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 538

    from N.E. PA

    Actually, not very much. I just wanted as much of the circuitry as possible in the trunk for easy access. The panel is mainly fuses, relays, and terminal strips. And I included a number of spare circuits for possible future use. I just made no attempt to try to miniaturize it. And I'm a retired electrician that always enjoyed panel work.:D
  21. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    from Noo Yawk

    I've soldered every connector on every project, have never had a lick of a problem. I like the asphalt impregnated wiring looms, hate that corrugated plastic crap. The key is route the wiring well and securing it often and neatly. For exposed wire, I dig the cloth covered wire. Exposed plastic wire looks cheesy to me.
  22. Looks like a machine control panel or a test panel. Its very nice clean work but its a Good think the truck is so huge.
    That much and 3 times more will all fits into a space smaller than a foot ball.
    GeezersP15 likes this.
  23. Nothing wrong with a crimped connection. They're used in the military, commerical aircraft, everywhere. Great if they're done right and fast. I'm getting ready to wire my Ford up maybe in October. I have a bunch of crimpers and strippers on hand, some terminals too. Dorman has some nice crimpers and terminal assortments, definitely worth a look.
  24. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    Member Emeritus

    I always crimp, never solder and never have any problems with the connections. I will not ever, under any circumstances, use anything but uninsulated terminals with shrink tubing. I hate the yellow/blue/red crimp on terminals, they scream "I don't care what my car looks like".

    I do cut the plastic off of the terminals before adding the shrink tube. I do believe in the KISS system and don't add a bunch of unnecessary relays and switches. I did add a horn relay to my starting system so that I could use a Ford starter button to activate my Chevrolet starter motor. I bet the new owner is scratching his head but I got the look that I wanted.
  25. That's an idea and most tubing will slip over the terminal after its crimped on. And you really can see how good the crimp is.
  26. 911 steve
    Joined: Nov 29, 2012
    Posts: 601

    911 steve
    from nebraska

    here's a tip I got on use bread ties for preliminary stuff then come back with wire ties when you have everything where you want it. I'm just finishing up a 40 Ford sedan with the fuse box in the trunk, power windows, Vintage Air a/c heat, 2 elec fans, cruise control, & heated seats. ITS BEEN A HUGE JOB, much worse than I anticipated.
  27. 911 steve
    Joined: Nov 29, 2012
    Posts: 601

    911 steve
    from nebraska

    wire bread ties that you can un-twist
  28. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,458


    I use zip ties for preliminary stuff, then go back over it with harness tape and cut off all the zip ties as I go.

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