Crimping wire

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by a1fa, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    I am trying to practice crimping two wires. I have purchased uninsulated 16 gauge butt splice and i just happen to have this tool lying around.

    [​IMG]

    Is there anything wrong with using this tool to crimp? There are some nice crimp tools on ebay, but I need this for a project, so ordering something additional may set me back a bit. I may be getting these tomorrow, because they may work better...

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Yamarocket630

    Yamarocket630 Honey Badger

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    That's pretty much what you want for occasional use.
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  3. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

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    Yea, I have a similar tool. That's what you use. Although, much like yourself, I think something 'beefier' is in order. Plus, I just don't like the crimp - prefer to solder. But, most bike/auto electrical connectors are made for crimping and not so easy to solder (which, btw, only aggravates me when I solder them). Good luck!
    #3
  4. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

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    The first crimper is *adequate*, crimpers of that type tend to deflect before they make a good crimp. They're good in a pinch, but I wouldn't use one if I didn't have to.

    The second type is a far better version of the first, the frame is stout enough that it isn't going to bend and twist before the connection is made. If you're on a budget and need a crimper for the shop, get that type.

    If you have the $$ to spend, a ratcheting type crimper is the way to go. Expect to spend ~$60 on the tool and another $40 for each set of dies. In return, it will create a connection that is stronger than the wire itself.


    As far as soldering crimped connections goes, it is an allowed practice in ANSI J-STD 001, the guideline most industries use for controlling soldered connections. If you feel you must back up a crimped connection with solder, the correct sequence is to crimp first and then solder. Going the other way around can damage the crimping dies.
    #4
  5. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    Practice makes perfect...

    The first 3 where made with the first tool. The first one was a disaster, and then I got much better at using it... but then I went to Lowes and picked up the second tool... and its amazing!

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    Amazing what the right tool for the job will do!!

    That first tool is a wire stripper and that's about it.
    #6
  7. buickid

    buickid Lets ride!

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    Poor wire stripper at that... Harbor Freight's ratcheting crimper (SKU 97420) is pretty good, as is their wire stripper (SKU 98410).
    #7
  8. GordonH

    GordonH Adventurer

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    I agree. No one should crimp anything with the first one. They're probably the reason dry crimps got a bad name. When they're done with the second one, and then heat shrink is applied,(remember to put the tubing over the wire before you crimp) It's almost as good as a soldered connection.

    Gordon
    #8
  9. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    I was just about the say -- it sucks at stripping as much as it sucks at cutting and crimping. I'll be doing a lot of crimping over at the "Great Damn Van" thread. Click Here!
    #9
  10. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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  11. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    the crimper has to match the connector

    the first tool looks like an Amp Superchamp knock off. the real Amp tool used on Amp PIDG terminals works fine. other combinations... mebby not.

    the second tool is a Stakon type. maybe more forgiving. it wil also work better with the parts it was designed to be used with

    PS with the wrong tool you can be loose, or over crimp the wire and make the connection brittle
    #11
  12. Bad Daddy

    Bad Daddy Been here awhile

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    I have some tools from Ancor Wire, and FTZ. They have excellent connectors as well as tinned AWG wire.

    Double crimp connectors, Cool-Seal anaerobic crimps, etc. some are even s/s, and made for marine environment.

    Been using them for years. I use fine stranded pre-tinned wire, and tinned connectors. Combined with shrink tubing, it is a very durable connection.
    #12
  13. machinebuilder

    machinebuilder Long timer

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    the difference is the part of the first tool you are using.

    if you had used the part for NON insulated (below the hinge) it would worked better.
    I crimp a lot of uninsulated fork lugs and I use the second type,

    But match the lug to the wire size,

    IF you have to make do with a larger lug, fold the wire in 2 before puting the lug on and crimping. (I also work with 24-26awg at times)
    #13
  14. GreaseMonkey

    GreaseMonkey Preshrunk & Cottony

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    A1FA,

    I hate to sound like a buzzkill, but both these guys are pretty much spot on and it would benefit you to understand what they are saying.

    If someone were to post that they have a full set of SAE wrenches so they did not need buy a metric set because they could find something to fit most of the time, it would be obvious to most that there is a bit of improperness in that.

    It is the same with electrical connectors and wiring. You have both insulated and uninsulated and they are two different animals, about the only thing common with them is they need to be sized properly to the wire.

    As you have found out, if you use an uninsulated butt splice connector that is too large for the wire, and then try to crimp it about the only thing that happens is the connector smashes flat and then the wire slips out. Had the connector been sized properly, or even if the wire had been made bigger by folding it back on itself once or twice, you could have then crimped it with the tool and it would have held. The main issue in doing it like you did IMHO is that you have to squeeze it pretty firmly and as Beezer points out, it smashes the wires and they get work hardened and brittle and will often break right there at some inconvenient point in the future).

    Additionally, if you use the "non insulated" crimp position with insulated terminals, it will cut the plastic with a firm squeeze, and if it is a heat shrink sealable connector it will cut the insulation as soon as it looks at it, then when you apply heat to seal it the little cut opens up wide and you have to re-do the entire connector.

    Anyway, it sounds like you now have both styles so good on you and that should keep you going for many years. Ratcheting ones are great but if you use them improperly they won't give you a good crimp either.

    I suspect if you went to a website for tools such as Klein or Greenlee, they would probably have instructions on how to use their version of the tools you have and it would be helpful for you to read those.

    Apologies if this sounds like criticism, because it is not intended as such but it is attention to details such as these that enables one to eventually become a master of his craft, otherwise one never really moves past just being a hack.

    Best wishes,

    GM
    #14
  15. t6pilot

    t6pilot Been here awhile

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    When ever possible solder connection, then double heat shrink tubing. If you going to crimp fitting get a high quality crimper
    #15
  16. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    The folding wire trick works, but fold a wire only once, and fold only one wire. If you need to take up more space than that, cut 6" of insulated wire of a gauge that two of which will fit into your connector with your other lead(s), strip both ends to fit the connector, and put both ends in the same end of the splice to take up the extra room. After crimping, secure the filler loop to the rest of the harness.
    #16
  17. KeithinSC

    KeithinSC Long timer

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    I was told long ago not to solder anything subjected to vibration, (auto/aircraft) crimp only.

    Anyone else learn it this way?



    :pot
    #17
  18. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    Boeing taught me how to solder aircraft wire bundle connectors, so I'm going to say "it depends."
    #18
  19. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

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    Yup.

    From a production standpoint, crimped connections are superior - they're quicker to make, easier to inspect, and just as strong. A proper soldered connection is much more labor intensive, for not a lot of benefit.

    One place where soldering *is* better is where the crimping operation breaks the tin or silver plate of the joint, exposing copper to the atmosphere. A soldered joint leaves that protective surface intact.
    #19
  20. the_gr8t_waldo

    the_gr8t_waldo Long timer

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    nothing wrong about using #two- i ALWAYS use 'em along with non insulated crimps ( the "insulated type are the cutise plastic jacked ones) this for work mostly ..as hobby i usually solder. with the longer handles these make the very best connection..simple and cost effective. i wouldn't even consider the ones in pic #1 that being said, they do very well at cutting small screws- right tool for the right job
    #20