Connectors - do it right first time

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Diesel Dave
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Connectors - do it right first time

Post by Diesel Dave » Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:57 am

I'm not the greatest at electrics, my first replacement loom for old Sluggy was made from computer power leads (much like a kettle flex), brown was live and blue was earth and green/yellow was ......anything else needed.

This was strapped together with various connectors usually the chocolate block screw types from the local DIY store. this lasted about 2 years before I decided to do something better.

Keeping things simple I used good old fashioned 4.8mm brass bullets on everything (no difficult choices about what to put on the end of each wire = easy), I diligently soldered them in place melting a good amount of plastic sleeve along the way.

This worked very well for a while, then the flux left behind on the raw copper rotted through and I was left with many perfect connections that were completely isolated from the cable it was connected to.

I've finally moved on to the OEM style non-insulated crinp connectors. These have a crimp section for the cable and a seperate crimp area for the insulator. They work really well so long as you remember to put the insulator sleeve onto the cable end first :? :oops:

So the moral of this sad story of electrical woes is to do things properly in the first place and save yourself a host of problems, I get supplies of connections from:

http://www.vehicle-wiring-products.eu/V ... mepage.php

(no connection with the firm other than being a satisfied customer)

They also sell motorcycle bowden cable and outer along with nipples and ferrules. If you want to make up multiple block connections then they can supply the parts.


Lesson for today - don't solder stuff! (unless you have a way of washing off the flux afterwards)

Cheers
Dave

TedV
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Re: Connectors - do it right first time

Post by TedV » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:06 pm

what kind of flux/solder did you use? I hope it wasn't acid core. I've used rosin core solder in wiring for 20 years on VW's with no problems. course the VW wire just falls apart. :roll: Bosch is German for Lucas. :lol:

tappy
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Re: Connectors - do it right first time

Post by tappy » Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:45 pm

I've been buying stuff from them for years and can confirm that they're reliable, quick, and very cheap compared to Maplin / Halfraud.

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Re: Connectors - do it right first time

Post by smokyjoe » Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:40 am

As for wiring, I like to crimp AND solder the connections. Use only ROSIN CORE (electronic solder) and not too much because if you really saturate the wire beyond the connector it will become too stiff and can break as there is nothing to flex when soaked with solder. What I like to do is slip a piece of the right size heat shrink tubing over the wire and well away from the end to be soldered. Then crimp on an uninsulated connector, solder it on and while still hot rub a bit of HOT MELT glue/sealant all around on the connector barrel and wire/insulation and QUICKLY slide the heat shrink over the connector barrel and glue. Then use a heat gun (or lighter) to further shrink the tubing. Voila! You now have a watertight connection that will last forever (unless using Bosch or Lucas wire or connectors as in an earlier post. Remember Lucas=The Prince Of Darkness!) I've done all the connections on dozens of cars, boats and motorcycles like this and never had a failure even in wet areas.

I used this method when I re-wired the entire engine compartment of my daughter's '87 Volvo which formerly had earth-friendly Bosch biodegradable wiring. :mrgreen: No joking. Yup, when I cut apart the loom most of the wires had ABSOLUTELY NO INSULATION! I'd turn on the headlights, the engine would stall. Put on the turn signal, the windshield wipers would go on, etc. Not to mention blowing fuses and real bad radio noise! It is all good now and was worth the work but what a pain in the a$$!

When soldering apply heat to the connector/wire (with a clean well-tinned iron) and then add the solder to the barrel of the connector and it should wick right in to the wire. A damp rag or damp sponge makes a handy thing to wipe the excess solder off on when tinning the iron and keeps the tip nice and shiney. It helps to use tinned wire but beware of the "solid tinned" and solid wire, only use stranded for flexibility. Also some wire is not ultraviolet or heat resistant or oil and fuel proof. Best for all around use and rather inexpensive is irradiated PVC. A very good source is old wire looms from your local auto breakers especially the section usually running under the rug going back to the taillights and stuff in the back of the car. Usually this is nice and clean being inside the car and comes in pretty colors. Just check the wire strands with a magnet to make sure it is not steel wire as some car manufacturers cheaped out and didn't want to spend their money on real copper. And don't use wire from 80's Volvos or VWs! I find it is easiest (at least for me) to only use connectors on things that may need to be replaced (relays, etc) and directly solder most connections. If I have to disassemble the bike for some reason I find it just as easy to cut the wire and splice it back together later than to deal with connectors failing. I used to work for a company who was a major supplier for electronics to GM. At the time GM claimed that 85% of all their warranty electronic/electrical failures were due to connector failures!

For you lucky Brits my favorite solder is Ersin Multicore made in the UK, the best there is but hard to find in the US and expensive if it can be found (I have a roll locked up in my workbench just for "special projects") Also use a good grade of PVC or olefin heat shrink tubing, there is some cheap vinyl stuff on the market that not only doesn't shrink as tight, but it splits if you get it too hot and is a pain to use. You get what you pay for. Here in the US, Amateur Radio flea markets (Hamfests) are good places to get all kinds of heat shrink, wire, connectors, etc. I am sure this is true elsewhere too. You might even find some good bike stuff at them, I have!) They usually have some very good military spec. or industrial heat shrink and wire at these things along with tie wraps (zip ties), etc.

Have fun, you WILL learn to enjoy wiring! Just keep repeating after me....

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Re: Connectors - do it right first time

Post by Crazymanneil » Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:35 am

Great thread, not least of all because I have a 38 wire loom to splice up very soon...

n
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Re: Connectors - do it right first time

Post by Stuart » Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:18 pm

If anyone needs them RS sell the kind of crimp pins and waterproof housings that are used on modern vehicles like the smart. They have waterproof gaters that slide up from the back and the housings have the 3 ring soft rubber rings that keep them dry.
I can get a number which should be good enough to aid a search come Monday if anyone wants it.

Stuart

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Re: Connectors - do it right first time

Post by smokyjoe » Sun Sep 27, 2009 3:13 pm

Too bad we don't have Radio Spares in the US- only Radio Shack (I think un-related) which stocks less and less parts every year- but we got Cell Phones. J&P Cycles http://www.jpcycles.com has the type of connectors you describe- they are very reliable, but expensive. They have the Delphi, Molex, Amp and Deutsch brands. Delphi and Deutsch are similar to the watertight ones you describe. The crimping tools are very expensive, but if you look around at the Amateur Radio flea markets they can be found cheap. Generally each brand of connector requires their own tool, but if you only have to do a few connections a pair of needle nose pliers and a good soldering job will do. If you're really industrious and have extra time on your hands and a small die grinder you can take an old pair of pliers and grind the jaws into a respectable crimping tool. If you check out an original tool of this type you'll get the idea.

JP Cycles is a good place to deal with, fast friendly service. And I think they ship internationally. Although their stock is geared mostly toward Harley-type bikes and Metric Cruisers, they have tons of generic and custom bike parts. I was fortunate enough to visit their showroom in Ormond Beach, Florida. The place is decorated with vintage bikes (including my favorite Vincent!) and has a friendly staff to help you find what you want.

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Re: Connectors - do it right first time

Post by Crazymanneil » Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:40 am

part number would be great stuart!

n
Smart engined 800cc turbo diesel triumph tiger. 100mpg (imp)
Belfast to Kathmandu overland, 2010/2011 - http://www.suckindiesel.com
Bangkok to Sydney ???

TedV
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Re: Connectors - do it right first time

Post by TedV » Mon Sep 28, 2009 4:15 pm

I've found bullet connectors come in various sizes. I just added a trail tech vapor dash to ny CB250 and wanted to plug into stock connectors. The Honda connector is 3.5mm or .140" diameter. All the connectors I could find at local parts stores, even eletronic stores was the 4mm or .156" diameter bullet connector. I was able to modify a 4mm connector or 2 to fit the stock Honda, but what a pain. For $30 for a small harness to the display lights, that would be easier.

In the USA electronics supply places on the web MUCH better than radio-shack
digikey.com
newark.com
alliedelec.com allied electronics
mcmaster.com Mc Master Carr has some electronic connectors
grainger.com has some electronic stuff and might have a store near you, can be pricy but they can get a lot of stuff real fast.

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Re: Connectors - do it right first time

Post by Stuart » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:43 am

Here you go, the 3 way version. I’m told that there are other sizes available.
Note how the waterproof feral on the cable is designed to be positioned so that it is actually attached to the pin when it is crimped on, it being secured at the back end of the pin that usually only crimps down on the wires insulation.

RS Part numbers:

Housing for Female pin: 314-1205 (3 way) (Qty 5)
Female pin itself: 314-1340 (wire 20 – 16awg) (Qty 100)
Waterproofing feral: 314-1160 (2.6 - 3.3mm) (Qty 100)

Housing for Male pin: 314 1261 (3 way) (Qty 5)
Male pin itself: 314-1328 (wire 20 – 16awg) (Qty 100)
Waterproofing feral: 314-1160 (2.6 - 3.3mm) (Qty 100) (same as above)

Neil, PM me if you need a crimp tool. I can do a lender by post no prob.
Attachments
Pin Crimped.jpg
Pin crimped using the smallest teeth of the crimp tool
Plug.jpg
How it goes together
Stuart. M1030M1, Honda NC700S, Grom!, Toyota Corolla 1.4 Turbo Diesel. Favouring MPG over MPH.

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Re: Connectors - do it right first time

Post by Crazymanneil » Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:57 pm

THanks Stuart, they look like the same style crimp as on the ECU plug :)

N
Smart engined 800cc turbo diesel triumph tiger. 100mpg (imp)
Belfast to Kathmandu overland, 2010/2011 - http://www.suckindiesel.com
Bangkok to Sydney ???

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