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Technical wiring tips, tricks?

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

  1. Go to a gardening center and get one of those spools of green twist ties. It comes with its own cutter and can be very handy to hold things as you go. Same exact thing as bread ties.
  2. this thread along with the link to the other one posted earlier will be a lot of help me me and hopefully many more people. keep the info comimg please.
  3. There is no mention that when crimping it is important to have the correct orientation of the connector to the crimp tool. The spade part of the crimp should never be on the split side of the connector, it should always go to the solid round side.
    saltflats likes this.
  4. I totally agree. The main problem with insulated connectors is you'll never get a 100% crimp, even with an 'approved' crimper. At best, you'll get maybe 80%. In most cases it won't make a difference, but have a problem and they'll fail much quicker, which is why these have a generally poor reputation. They also don't offer strain relief as-is, and that more than anything is the main reason they fail.

    Solder-only can also be a poor choice, for besides running the risk of work-hardening the wire, in a high current fault or overheated connection the solder can melt and the connection can come apart. Soldered connections have been illegal except in a UL-approved 'assembly' or in current-limited devices (and automotive wiring is not current limited) in the electrical industry for 50+ years, and have been phased out in aircraft and marine uses also or only allowed with specific installation specs (generally expensive cannon plugs or specialty connectors).

    Best single tip? Make sure the wire for each circuit is large enough, and going oversize is a very good thing. These are only 12V systems, and voltage drop can quickly make a wire small if the wire length is too long....

  5. How many late model soldered OEM factory harness do you want me to show you? Chrysler, ford, GM and Asian. If they , the soldered joints, are illegal they, wouldn't be there right ?

    I called BS on the same statement of yours the last time you said it. If I come up with just one to show you, you are either FOS or you and I are going to make a lot of money suing these assholes and force a major recall. Where's your proof?
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  6. tcbigblock
    Joined: Aug 18, 2014
    Posts: 24


    When I was building my car trailer I had to run a lot of wire I found my stud welder to be handy to hang the harness on the side of the frame quick and easy .
    saltflats likes this.
  7. AKCJ
    Joined: Jan 9, 2014
    Posts: 16


    Rather than spending the time to remove the red/blue/yellow plastic from crimp connectors I just buy the uninsulated connectors. Use good crimpers and one or two layers of heat shrink. I use a heat gun on the heat shrink instead of flame. Painless wiring stuff is expensive but looking at it can give you ideas for your project.
  8. Like I said earlier, crimps connections are fast and easy, we ship tons of mil-spec products at work that are crimped and it is actually preferred by some customers over soldered connections.

    Every crimp tool is calibrated on a regular basis. Any electrical connection should have sufficient strain relief and the provision to be reconnected at least once via what's known as a service loop. So for what I do with it, crimps are the way to go.
  9. Bill Rinaldi
    Joined: Mar 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,800

    Bill Rinaldi

    I've seen couple of under dashes painted white or silver (from the fuse box level on up) Any kind of light really makes a LOT easier to see every thing in that normally dark, shadowy area. RINALDI
    i.rant likes this.
  10. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,416


    Uhh........that's not my car.
  11. That's a great tip there !
    Swaped the engine in my buddies van, painted the block safety yellow and what a difference :)
  12. I never said they were illegal in automotive uses... but in virtually every US-regulated electrical system i.e. falling under an authority that has jurisdiction over that application, soldered connections are not allowed except in specific instances. They are considered as fire hazards among other things.

    OEM automotive electrical is not regulated, the manufacturers are free to do whatever they want, and that includes cutting corners if it's judged that it will work well enough (how many electrical recalls have there been lately? They don't always get it right..). There's tons of engineering data in the 'regulated' electrical industry proving that soldered connections don't work as safely as mechanical connections; that's why they were banned.....

    And while you will find soldered connections in OEM harnesses, the vast majority of them are crimped. I'm excluding electronic board connections, as the voltages/currents generally used there don't present a serious danger.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  13. Perhaps there's a typo in here ?

    Soldered connections have been illegal except in a UL-approved 'assembly' or in current-limited devices (and automotive wiring is not current limited) in the electrical industry for 50+ years, and have been phased out in aircraft and marine uses also or only allowed with specific installation specs (generally expensive cannon plugs or specialty connectors).

    allow me to rephrase your post so I can clear my confusion as its one big statement.

    Soldered connections have been illegal in the electric industry for 50+ years and phased out of aircraft and marine use also...

    The exception(s) is (are) UL approved assemblies or in current-limited devises ... or only allowed with specific installation specs ( generally expensive cannon plugs)

    Automotive wiring is not current limited (therefore does not fall within the exception of current limited and considered illegal.)

    oddly enough, the most troublesome and problematic connections causing drivability issues, ses lights & tow trucks are the crimped ones. Yet to have one of those soldered connections be the culprit.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  14. Automotive wiring
    Guess again... read 'em and weep.
  15. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,261


    If you really do deside to crimp terminals what are the BEST crimpers out there, and WHY? Bob
  16. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,236

    from Missouri

    I think the best would be the one designed for the terminal and wire size that when used it will not open tell completed.
  17. jamesgr81
    Joined: Feb 3, 2008
    Posts: 265


    As far as the electrical industry...I can assure you that except for certain specific code items, soldering is still permitted for use in electrical construction. You can still twist wires together, solder, and then tape them up. Was done for years, I still have the tools, and is still legal.
  18. I've had some mil-spec types for years (eBay find) that do crimp lugs, Daniels (DMC) makes great ones, expensive though. You want something that repeats, can locate the item to be crimped easily, 1 handed operation, positive stop, etc. I have a crappy one for barrel splices, I need something better though.
  19. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,625

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    A good example of what not to do. If you have a problem with any wire in a circuit or in a bundle of wires, you can't see them or find one to troubleshoot it.

    And if you do have to tear into any part of the system you will be left with a terrible job of trying to strip off miles of tape and in some cases be left with a sticky gooey mess from all the tape.

    Glue residue all over the wires that will make it so much fun to work on the system. :rolleyes:
  20. They do have special harness wrap tape. About 1.125" wide and no glue. Nice stuff to work with. Black tape the ends to keep from unwrapping and you can even reuse it.
  21. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,625

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    Much better than the regular black sticky tape some guys use on everything.
  22. I worked in the telecom industry for a while, and some of the old-timers there were adamant about not using zip-ties to bundle wires, turns out certain companies still require lacing the wires. I thought it would look trick to lace up a harness in something instead of tape or zip ties...anyone done this?[​IMG]
  23. cptn60
    Joined: Jul 18, 2006
    Posts: 97

    from Joke City

    ^^^^^^that there is the friggin berries!
  24. I am going to preface this with saying (as a couple people have said earlier in the thread) There really is no winner in the solder vs. crimp argument.

    With that being said, I worked at a dodge dealer for about four years. Speaking from my experience on those electrical recalls you mention, the manufacturer (at least the Chrysler Group anyway) states that those recalls, and any other wiring repair be done with a crimp solder combination, which they have a kit with p/n that supplies all crimps, heat shrink, and zip ties.

    On a different point, I saw some where in this thread where someone said all electrical connections on space shuttles are crimped. I can not speak for certain on that. But i do know that I had an instructor while I worked for Chrysler (who was one of the smartest men I ever met, and a true car guy to boot) that had worked at nasa, or gone through a nasa electrical program at some time. I could have swore I remember him talking at one point about soldering connections for them.

    In my opinion it all boils down to if you know what you are doing. Crimp a connector on to you wire that is the wrong size, or crimp a connector with the wrong tool its not going to last. Soldering connections when you don't know what your doing, its probably going to fail down the line. Just have to take your time, and no matter which way you do it,make sure you do it right.

    On a final note, for the guys on here that do solder. The same instructor mentioned above told us about 2 years ago, due to government regulations 80/20 solder is being fazed out. So I recommend stocking up.
  25. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,565


    I use these to label my spark plug wires
  26. Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  27. I like to solder any joints/terminals that I can. I also use crimped ends so this is not anything against crimped terminals.
    I like heat shrink tubing and always use the smallest size that will fit over whatever I am covering.

    I don't care for convoluted tubing, I tape my wire looms as much as is plausible, I also use wire ties on bundles that are going to need attention in the future.

    I have been known to use junction blocks, a lot of guys don't but I do. I also use fuse blocks as much as possible, sometimes it doesn't work out and I use an inline fuse but a fuse block is a good thing.

    I number circuits. Wire numbers are cheap and I use them maybe it doesn't not o look professional to some but it makes it easy for me in the future to isolate circuits.
  28. ...couple of tips:...use bread wrapper or garbage bag twist ties to temp. hold you wires in bundles, then tiewraps or tape when done.
    When you run wires to the front or rear of your car,(for headlites, tailites, brake lites) use a drop cord that is 14/3 or 16/3 (gauge wire & count), that way your wires are double protected whether inside the car or run along the frame.

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