Splicing Wires

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by trscott, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. angtlalaska

    angtlalaska Been here awhile

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    I own a boat and I can't think of a worse environment for corrosion and stress on wire. For years I have used tinned copper wire made by Ancor for ALL of my wiring projects on the boat, the motorcycle and car. I don't think you can go wrong with this wire.
    http://www.marinco.com/brand/ancor

    This is a great thread to read through to go back to the basics. When I crimp I use a ratcheting crimping tool to make sure I get the correct amount of pressure on my connectors and as originally suggested I try to solder my joints/connections and follow with shrink wrap. I also will add at times
    certoplast 525 SE tape (the tape BMW uses to wrap its wire looms) although it is a pain and if running a few wires from say a fuse / power box like a FZ-1 or PDM60 I will run the wires in a braided sleeving http://www.cabletiesandmore.com/BraidedSleeving.php for added protection.
  2. jsalman93

    jsalman93 Been here awhile

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    BUMP

    Love this thread, very informative. Just picked up a harbor freight soldering gun, anyone else have one? How do you like it?
  3. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Jockey

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    I've done wiring in one form or another for about 20 years, I've also attended a few soldering classes down to micro miniature repair level. Your splice connection was done exactly correct, the only thing I'd add is heat sink clips on both sides of the splice to reduce wicking of the solder up the wires. The industry has gone to crimp type joints for a couple reasons, one as you said it's quick. Another big reason is consistency, hold the iron on too long and you wick the solder too far up the wires making a stiff section of wire in the area of the splice, too little and the joint is weak. Another is the crimp technology has advanced to a point where it makes sense to do it that way, the materials aren't your average autoparts store colored crimps, some have a jell inside a shrinkable casing that prevents corrosion. Also where the wire is subjected to flex a crimp is preferred and almost always specified. Obviously a crimper with the correct bite & force is needed but when done correctly they are flexable, don't stress the wire and last indefinitely. I buy the bare crimps, they are a little less than 1/4" long, the wires parallel each other inside the crimp. I follow it up with 2 layers of HS tubing. My connections don't fail and take a few seconds to do.

    Obviously most of us are doing this for small repairs and not professionally, the soldered joint done correctly works well. I just wanted to point out an alternative that also works very well. Soldering correctly isn't real easy and done incorrectly isn't a great method of splicing wire. Practice is key to getting it right.
  4. jsalman93

    jsalman93 Been here awhile

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    I have heard that a good set of crimpers can do the job just as well if not better. Would anyone have a recommendation for a set of crimpers.
  5. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Jockey

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  6. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus Supporter

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    Depends what type of wiring and connectors you want to use. There's no one good answer. I have a drawer full of different crimpers.
  7. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Jockey

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    We're just talking small (14~18ga) closed barrel crimps in this application. The channel lock type shown above work very well for that application.

    Here's some info in crimp types if you're bored :D
  8. GSJon

    GSJon Long timer

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    Reading the above post I remembered this document that is put out by our Tooling group - Crimp Quality Handbook.
  9. Gildus

    Gildus Been here awhile

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  10. jsalman93

    jsalman93 Been here awhile

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    Looked through it, really helpful stuff. I learned a good bit about terminals and what to look for.
  11. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

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    This thread was pretty useful, but be careful when soldering underneath a vehicle. Hot dripping solder hurts when it hits the skin.:eek1
  12. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus Supporter

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    Wait 'til you hafta do overhead welding..........:rofl
  13. jsalman93

    jsalman93 Been here awhile

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    I was recently talking with a friend about soldering vs crimping and she (an ASE certified engine and transmission master tech) mentioned that she doesn't like to solder because the heat from the soldering gun can affect the conductivity of the wires and that she prefers crimping. Any info or thoughts on that?
  14. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    :huh
  15. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    Look up gold embrittlement. Another reason to crimp instead of solder.
  16. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus Supporter

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    So, you work with gold plated connectors? Most of us don't. Nothing wrong with soldering AS LONG AS IT'S DONE CORRECTLY.
  17. the_gr8t_waldo

    the_gr8t_waldo Long timer

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    Heat effecting the conductivity of copper wire? Does she let it cool down?
  18. jsalman93

    jsalman93 Been here awhile

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    I have no idea, that's why I was wondering if any of you guys might be able to make sense of it.
    I wouldn't imagine raising the temperature of the wires to melt the solder would affect the conductivity of the wires after. Basically her thought is that when you heat the wires up to a high temperature, their electrical conductivity would be lowered after the wires cool down, probably because of heat-treating or something with the wire.
  19. the_gr8t_waldo

    the_gr8t_waldo Long timer

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    Soldering in effect changes stranded into solid, and at an increased dia. Too! That decreases resistance.. Not for the entire length of the wire, of course...it's not a major change,but a change for the better,just the same. I have never hear anyone claim that heat degrades the current carrying capacity of copper wire. But I live to learn
  20. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    It has been 33 years since tech school, so I could be wrong, but stranded wire caries more electrons with less resistance. Maybe I am misremembering. :dunno