Dielectric Grease?

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by lenny6753, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. lenny6753

    lenny6753 Adventurer

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    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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  2. Groundhog

    Groundhog Been here awhile

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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.
    #2
  3. lenny6753

    lenny6753 Adventurer

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    Groundhog,

    Thanks for the info. I am new to this whole troubleshooting the electrical system thing.
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  4. Scott Baja

    Scott Baja el semental negro

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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. :ear
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  5. K2m

    K2m ....58....

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    As the grease gets pushed aside it forms a waterproof barier

    I use Lanolin grease for this, with good results. It dose conduct.
    #5
  6. Groundhog

    Groundhog Been here awhile

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    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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  7. Wy'east

    Wy'east Dust in the wind...

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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/applications/search/products/details.aspx?prod=01903128&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.
    #7
  8. geometrician

    geometrician let's keep going...

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    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!

    [​IMG]

    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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  9. sonoran

    sonoran you already know

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  10. BillyD

    BillyD Been here awhile

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    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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  11. Groundhog

    Groundhog Been here awhile

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    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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  12. knobie

    knobie Adventurer

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    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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  13. Wy'east

    Wy'east Dust in the wind...

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    Me too! :evil
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  14. skopiec

    skopiec Adventurer

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    +1. Had good results using NO OX ID on my Aprilia and it's charismatic electrical system...






    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
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  15. BillyD

    BillyD Been here awhile

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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.

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. K2m

    K2m ....58....

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    I don't think that is corrosion billy. Their has been a gap develop between those contacts and the spark has had to jump between them. This is the result of that. It does look like water damage but it is not. I'm sure someone could explain this, and the process that causes that result.
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  17. BillyD

    BillyD Been here awhile

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    Very possible indeed.

    I should also note, however, that there was a very slight amount of condensation underneath the rubber cap. Not much, but it was there nonetheless.

    BTW, I don't wash this bike very often (i.e., maybe 5 times since 2008)...
    #17
  18. K2m

    K2m ....58....

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    Like you I don't wash often:lol3. These bikes seem to look almost clean all the time.

    I'll follow through on this to ad to the knowledge base

    I just recently had a miss in my car. It has a RS Liberty motor, the old Colin McRae WRC winner (The original WRX but with the benifit of a closed deck) and is a great motor to boost, and thrash. It is great fun like a bike only on 4 wheels:lol3 ....... I put it in in 2000. This is my first and only car (22 years) My first 20 years were only on bikes

    1975 the 750/4 K2

    [​IMG]

    It had this annoying miss. With the programmable engine management system I tried richening it, leaning it..... it went on for weeks. I decided to wash the silicon leads and one had slipped out of the coil pack and had been arking...... that was the miss..... :1drink I cleaned it up, it looks just like yours. Arking where it should not be arking. It leaves a sort of green deposit.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. mtnflow

    mtnflow LFC, more pie please

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    My bike died once and the problem was the wires coming from the ignition switch to where the wires go past the frame. There is a certain amount of play in the wires so you can turn the handle bars and after 50k miles the wires broke inside the insulation. After I started digging around it turns out that several of the wires were broken to the point of only one or two strands being connected. I have pictures somewhere, I'll see if I can dig them up.
    #19
  20. skibootdog

    skibootdog Been here awhile

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    take a tralier hitch wire harness driven on salted roads, it will turn green and fail. covered with dielectric inside and out on pins it will last forever.
    #20