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Old 10-07-2012, 12:46 PM   #1
lenny6753 OP
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Dielectric Grease?

Is it advisable to place dielectric grease in the electrical connections on the main relay where the adapters connect together? I am troubleshooting the electrics from when the bike died earlier in the week on the way to work. I haven't found anything yet but I really don't know what I am looking for other than loose connections or worn through wires.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:26 PM   #2
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Dielectric grease is an insulator and should only be used on the housing / sealing areas of connectors. Although it is usually pushed aside by the pressure of the contactors and will still conduct electricity, that is not its purpose (and can interfere with current flow if used on the contacts).

If you want a conductive grease to protect, lubricate and insure current flow use a conductive grease like "NO-OX-ID". Be careful though since this grease is conductive, too much can cause shorts.

Ideally use a conductive grease (very sparingly) on the contacts and a dielectric grease on the housing.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:38 PM   #3
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Groundhog,

Thanks for the info. I am new to this whole troubleshooting the electrical system thing.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:49 PM   #4
Scott Baja
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Please help me understand... I just bought replacement plug wires for my Toyota 4-Runner, and it came with a packet of dielectric grease to be used at every plug end connection. Sorry, but I might not get it.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Baja View Post
Please help me understand... I just bought replacement plug wires for my Toyota 4-Runner, and it came with a packet of dielectric grease to be used at every plug end connection. Sorry, but I might not get it.
As the grease gets pushed aside it forms a waterproof barier

I use Lanolin grease for this, with good results. It dose conduct.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:13 AM   #6
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Please help me understand... I just bought replacement plug wires for my Toyota 4-Runner, and it came with a packet of dielectric grease to be used at every plug end connection. Sorry, but I might not get it
I think this is a very popular misconception.

The instructions probably say to apply to the spark plug boot. It helps seal, insulate, prevent sticking, etc. It does not promote electrical current flow.
For more info go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicone_grease and scroll down to dielectric. Pay particular attention to the third paragraph, "It is not recommended to be applied to the actual electrical conductive contacts of the connector".

Go to http://http://www.sanchem.com/aSpecialE.html for their description of electrical contact grease.
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Groundhog screwed with this post 10-08-2012 at 01:22 AM
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:12 AM   #7
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Groundhog is right.

As a side note, we use a specially designed dielectric grease at work on our aircraft. It is also good for a variety of other uses being silicon based. I personally prefer this type to others as its usage is a little broader.

This is what we use (Dow Corning 4 Electrical Insulating Compound) and a tube for home use will last quite a while...
http://www.dowcorning.com/applicatio...3128&type=prod. A 5.3 oz tube (about large toothpaste tube amount) will run you about $15.00 from various on-line retailers. Look for "Dow Corning DC-4".

The above specific compound of "DC-4"
could be used on the connections as it is designed for that, but only use a thin film of it.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:12 AM   #8
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Some Thoughts

I like Permatex's product #81153 Dialectric Grease that comes in a pressurized can with a handy nozzle applicator that puts you in mind of "Cheese Whiz". It costs less than $10 and I've been keeping a fleet of vehicles happy for some time now with the same can. I got it at the local auto store, they can order it for you if they don't have any in stock. I like it to inject the female ends of mulit-connectors.

Before that it was black molybdenum grease for ALL bolts & electrical connections!



Keep in mind several connectors on our bikes have a weatherseal gasket in them (such as main relay/master fuse). If you put too much in you'll have problems getting the connectors pushed together enough to click-lock them in place- in extreme cases the gasket will push out of place & you'll have to remove some grease, which is a messy procedure... DAMHIK!

Using an aluminum-based "Never Seez" product will conduct electricity & prevent corrosion but as mentioned above it can make some un-wanted connections for you! I use a toothpick to apply it sparingly and it works well. I've rescued many corroded turn/tail/brake light sockets over the decades...

Also keep in mind dialectric grease is silicone-based and is poison- as well as messy to clean off
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:25 AM   #9
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I like this stuff... it's dielectric and goes on a lot cleaner.

http://www.corrosionx.com/corrosionx.html
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:47 AM   #10
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Old Dog, New Tricks...?

You guys are proof indeed that an old dog can learn new tricks...

I have for years used liberal amounts of dielectric grease on all my off-road bike electrical connectors, but I never realized that it should NOT be used on the contacts themselves.

With that said, I usually ride the dirt bikes during the winter months in wet, muddy conditions and the resulting corrosion associated with having nothing on the contacts has historically been much worse than having dielectric grease liberally applied. I can't remember any connector on which I used dielectric grease failing, but I have had failures with connectors on which nothing was used.

I'm going to get me some of that NO-OX-ID or DC-4 stuff.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
I can't remember any connector on which I used dielectric grease failing, but I have had failures with connectors on which nothing was used.]
Before I learned the difference I had several failures on the ski lifts that I work on. Having 300 pissed off, frozen people yelling at you because they were suspended 50' in a blizzard while you try to find a bad connection makes you do some research!
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenny6753 View Post
Is it advisable to place dielectric grease in the electrical connections on the main relay where the adapters connect together? I am troubleshooting the electrics from when the bike died earlier in the week on the way to work. I haven't found anything yet but I really don't know what I am looking for other than loose connections or worn through wires.
Which fuses if any are blown? Start there. That can tell you which way to look. If it's like mine you are looking for the wrong source. So far I had a shorted cooling fan manifested by blown fuses on power relay and cooling fan and a second power relay blown fuse due to a somewhat mysterious source.I suspect the fuel pump strained due to a kinked fuel tank breather hose which created vacuum in the tanks. This latter one is a bit of a stretch but it's so far the only explanation I could come up with. No wire and connections issue that I could find but maybe your's is different.
If you suspect a device is blown open or shorted try to figure out how to take it out of the circuit. In the fan's case, it was as simple as unplugging it and replacing the fuse to get the bike running. Of course I later replaced the fan.
Yes, the use of dielectric grease on electrical connections is good practice.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geometrician View Post
... I like it to inject the female ends of mulit-connectors...
Me too!
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:03 PM   #14
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+1. Had good results using NO OX ID on my Aprilia and it's charismatic electrical system...




Quote:
Originally Posted by Groundhog View Post
Dielectric grease is an insulator and should only be used on the housing / sealing areas of connectors. Although it is usually pushed aside by the pressure of the contactors and will still conduct electricity, that is not its purpose (and can interfere with current flow if used on the contacts).

If you want a conductive grease to protect, lubricate and insure current flow use a conductive grease like "NO-OX-ID". Be careful though since this grease is conductive, too much can cause shorts.

Ideally use a conductive grease (very sparingly) on the contacts and a dielectric grease on the housing.


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Old 10-11-2012, 09:23 PM   #15
BillyD
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Well, to my point about connections without any dielectric grease...here's one that I missed on my 640.

The 640 developed a miss and, ultimately, I traced it to where the ignition wire connects with the plug boot.

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