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Old 09-10-2014, 07:19 AM   #1
Tim Graichen OP
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splicing wires / best practices

There was recently a nice post in the GS forum regarding best practices for splicing two pieces of stranded wires end to end. This involved twisting them together in a way that the wires form a straight line, and not a V shape, then soldering and shrink tubing them.

Now I'm wondering what the best practice is when having to tap into the middle of an existing wire with a new wire. I.E. tapping into a brake light wire. I just don't have much faith in Posi-tap type connectors that simply pierce the insulation.
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:00 AM   #2
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I like this method. Separate using a pick, integrate, solder, and while some may use electrical tape in a pinch, I like to use liquid electrical tape. With enough LET it can really give the area some protection.



The problem with LET is that once opened it doesn't seem to store well. Mine usually dries up in the jar before I can use much of it. But it's still a good product. I may buy a jar for this Jeep since it's an ongoing project.

--------

I'm not sure that splicing into a wire is the 'best' practice as opposed to actually making a "Y" from the source wire to the two splits though. A soldered splice should be strong enough for most things, but I'm willing to consider Y's.
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:05 AM   #3
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For what it's worth, I have had great luck with the positap connectors. I just cover them with electrical tape out of paranoia to waterproof & reduce the chance of vibration issues. I have been using them for over 3 years now with zero failures.

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Old 09-10-2014, 01:41 PM   #4
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I usually skin the wire like the pic above for tapping into a taillight wire to run a relay etc. But I twist the new wire around the bare one and solder.
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Old 09-10-2014, 02:40 PM   #5
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This stuff also works well in place of heat shrink in those situations: http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3...5430967&rt=rud
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Old 09-10-2014, 03:43 PM   #6
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Will you ever need to separate this wire in the future? If yes or maybe, get yourself some good quality motorcycle bullet connectors. If splicing three lines together you can get a Y type bullet connector.. All of them come with rubber sheaths that provide some water resistance. Bullet connectors aren't great for lower on the bike if you expect to cross much water, but are golden up high around the headlight & tailight areas.



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Old 09-12-2014, 05:01 PM   #7
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http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...light=splicing
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Old 09-12-2014, 05:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Queen of Spades View Post
Will you ever need to separate this wire in the future? If yes or maybe, get yourself some good quality motorcycle bullet connectors. If splicing three lines together you can get a Y type bullet connector.. All of them come with rubber sheaths that provide some water resistance. Bullet connectors aren't great for lower on the bike if you expect to cross much water, but are golden up high around the headlight & tailight areas.




I have used these connectors on trailer chassises, using water proof grease during assembly and they have been trouble free..........10's of thousand year round use in the Midwest.
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Old 09-13-2014, 06:59 AM   #9
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When I replaced the stator on my 03 Strom I soldered the wires after wrapping them together using the western union type splice. I then used shrink wrap followed by liquid tape then finished off with electrical tape and some more liquid tape .No problems since I did the repair.
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:39 PM   #10
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I always start like this:





But I will grab the "frayed" ends and twist it like you are opening one of the peppermint hand-candy wrappers. And solder and that's it. Oh yeah, don't forget to put one or two pieces of heat-shrink on the wire before soldering This provides a very strong joint that you will not see failure with.



EDIT: Reading......I need to do more of it!

The second post is a good practice but I find that it leaves a lumpy looking union, for me anyways. Depending on the size of the 3(or more) wires being joined, I use the same method as my about picture but with two of the wires on one side of the joint.
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Old 09-15-2014, 07:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Queen of Spades View Post
Will you ever need to separate this wire in the future? If yes or maybe, get yourself some good quality motorcycle bullet connectors. If splicing three lines together you can get a Y type bullet connector.. All of them come with rubber sheaths that provide some water resistance. Bullet connectors aren't great for lower on the bike if you expect to cross much water, but are golden up high around the headlight & tailight areas.



+1
Always my 1st choice, adding a Y adaptor to an existing connection.
That way you are not cutting/molesting the stock wiring, and what you are adding can be removed/unplugged quickly should it fail.
Sometimes I feed the new wire thru the center hole in the male bullet connector, fold it over, and pinch it between the male and female bullet connection
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Old 09-15-2014, 07:26 PM   #12
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Coming from the marine world, I am a big fan of having crimping and soldering. I never really quite trusted only solder connections and I make as few as possible. That and a good quality shrink tube and you should be golden. A Bullet connector like Queen of spades recommended is also a good idea, add some type of dielectric grease and you should be good. I even put shrink tube over them when they are just two sided and not a y.
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Old 09-17-2014, 07:35 AM   #13
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They're not as inexpensive as bullet or spade connectors, but I'm a fan of Posi-Lock connectors http://www.posi-lock.com/index.html. I like how they're reusable and only require stripping the jacket to make your connections. They come in water-tight models as well as all kinds of connection options.

I've been using them for years and have not had any failures yet.

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Old 09-17-2014, 10:03 PM   #14
BossMaverick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtwin View Post
It turns out after a few years of almost-perfecting trial and error with wire splicing and soldering, I'm doing pretty much the exact same thing. I was surprised by that thread. My thought while scrolling down was, "Well he splices and solders like I do, but I bet he don't double layer the heat shr......well I guess I'm doing nothing special".

IMHO, proper soldered splices with heat shrink tubing can't be beat for durability, longevity, and cost. I've had to repair countless boat trailer light wires when previous owners or repair shops used crimp connectors or worse, or they properly solder but wrap it in standard electrical tape which unravels with time. Sure, you can buy expensive weatherproof connectors, but the cost quickly adds up.
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