Scotchlok's no good???

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by NYCBIKER, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. NYCBIKER

    NYCBIKER NYCBIKER

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    I have been told by two parties now NOT to use Scotchloks when wiring devices to my 04 GSA. Any suggestions on alternatives?
    #1
  2. Kaumajet

    Kaumajet H.I.D. Positive

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    I don't use them at all.

    Several things you can do:

    1. Find a circuit where you can replace a connector (like the little mini daytime running light in the high beam of your GS) Snip the old female spade connector off, and replace it with a new one while crimping or soldering in your extra wire.

    2. If you're tapping into a high beam circuit, remove the plug from the bulb, and remove the high beam connector by unlocking the lock tab with a tiny screwdriver and pushing it out. Solder your new wire to the connector and re-install it in the plug.

    3. Skin about 1/2" of insulation from the wire you're tapping from, and solder your new wire to it. Cover the area with self-amalgamating tape.

    4. Cut the wire you're tapping from in two, and reconnect it with the new wire inserted into the connector. Don't forget to slip some heat-shrink tubing on one end first to cover it when you're finished.
    #2
  3. BigDave

    BigDave Adventure Drummer

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    Obviously, soldering is best, but what is the problem with Scotchlocks? I have used them in many motorcycle/auto/rv applications for years with no problems. :dunno
    #3
  4. Renazco

    Renazco Formerly AKA Boejangles

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    While Scotchlocks may work half of the time they're really not well engineered. The problem is that sometimes the wire doesn't splice well and other times the wire separates itself inside that little splice thingy, so contact is hit and miss. Scothlocks also have a tendancy to attract moisture depending on application and as a result corrosion problems and endless hours of troubleshooting.
    I used to operate a car stereo and alarm business and when a vehicle came in with electrical problems and mega Scotchlocks, I would just rewire it to avoid the hours of troubleshooting.
    Yes soldering is best but time consuming and not every applicatin needs it.
    Buy yourself a nice set of Klein crimpers and good electrical connectors and your good to go.
    #4
  5. Stephen

    Stephen Long timer Supporter

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    Let's see, I could just leave it at that. :wink:

    Aw hell, here's another reason to add to BoeJay's list: I've seen'em cut the source wire pritnear through. Just a few strands left. Hey, they're clever, but they suck. Building new subharnesses that leave the factory harness intact is not really that hard, if you can find the parts; Scotchloks are just evil laziness.

    Mushman's suggestions are good. Another way is to use a piggyback connector. I've seen many styles; one is just flat metal, a male on one side and two males side-by-side on the other. Another is female on one end, with two males on the other. Everybody has a good time. Be sure and use protection; lots of exposure with these.
    #5
  6. Waco

    Waco Renegade Sickle Hound

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    What's a scotch lock? Maybe I've used them but didn't know the name.
    #6
  7. roadrage

    roadrage Long timer Supporter

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    These evil things.

    later,
    bobc

    Attached Files:

    #7
  8. NJ_Bob

    NJ_Bob Occasional Adventurer

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    I've been using them for about 25 years on various projects and they work fine. The problem you can have is when you use a connector that is not sized properly for the wires involved. Some of them allow you to connect 2 different size wires together.

    If there's a lot of water they may come in contact with, you might want to load them up with some silicone grease, or wrap them well with electrical tape.

    Sure, soldering is probably best, but these things sure make the job a lot easier.
    #8
  9. Poolside

    Poolside Syndicated

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    Scotchlok and other 'Insulation Displacement Connectors' have their problems. And those problems are traceable to application error. Error through improper part selection, error through improper wire tap gauge selection, error through use of improper applicator tool, error through misuse of applicator tool, error through improper or insufficient strain relief of the 'run' wire or 'tap' wire, etc.

    These connectors must be applied with a 'parallel' clamping force. Pliers do not provide this parallel clamping force. And instead misalign the wire guide, wire contact, and deform the wire contact guide within the insulator body. Using pliers to apply IDC connectors represents one of the potential errors that can be made. Selection or application errors result in broken strands, open or intermittent connections, or complete severing of the conductor.

    A properly selected and applied 'IDC' connector is gas tight and maintains the integrity of stranded conductors.

    Folks mentioned using a Klein crimp tool and good quality connectors, or solder and insulation. These are as good a solution as any other properly applied method. And are in no way free from pilot error.

    If the seam in a butt or parallel barrel-type splice contact is incorrectly oriented, a Klein crimp tool will not save the day. Seamless type (really a brazed seam) limits the need for exact orientation, but this is the pilot's choice. Also, the typical vinyl or nylon insulated screw terminals do not have the 'insulation grip' feature. These 'ungripped' insulators are a risk when used in non-stationary applications.

    Solder is useful and requires definite procedures. Following are two significant application considerations of solder.

    Solder wicks between the strands of stranded conductors. The conductor will require strain relief at the point where the wicking stopped. A stranded wire can easily wick solder an inch or more upstream from the solder iron contact point.

    And, the surfaces of soldered connections are not often smooth. Edges and 'points' are formed from the tips of the conductor strands and from 'icicle-ing' of the solder when the iron is removed. These edged or pointed surfaces are not adequately insulated with typical polyolefin heat shrink tubing. The tubing becomes stretched very thin across the irregular surfaces, and diminishes or removes the insulating and wear properties of the heat shrink tubing. Such tubing has poor performance over 'pointed' solder joints.

    All methods can be flown into terrain. And no way of doing it inherently better that any other.

    - Jim
    #9
  10. markgsnw

    markgsnw WTF?

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    Thanks, I've wanted to come up with a suitable reply to the "why don't you solder it?" crowd, this is great. ANY time you break into a wire you can cause problems.

    In general, it may be safest to install a fuse block and run discrete wires from it to each device (including ground wires).
    #10
  11. Arch

    Arch Incurable Gearhead

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  12. Renazco

    Renazco Formerly AKA Boejangles

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    Now those work great!
    #12
  13. Random

    Random Quiet Adventurer

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    I knew there was a reason I logged on to the site other than Toxic what's her face. Thanks for the Posi-Lock info.
    #13
  14. cgr

    cgr Been here awhile

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  15. dypen

    dypen "curious to know"

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    This was good alternatives to scotch lock! I have used the traditional blue scotch lock for many years and where I have felt this has been too bad, I have soldered the cables.
    #15
  16. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

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    I think it's a bad idea, and unnecessary to cut into the stock harness in any way.
    #16