Soldering wires, how to heat sink to protect wire insulation

Discussion in 'Tips 'n' Tricks Topic' started by grzewnicki, Oct 8, 2021.

  1. grzewnicki

    grzewnicki Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Soldering any crimp on connectors to car wires usually ends up with you softening/damaging the wire insulation if you overheat. Just came up with this idea while putting new radio in Harley, in past I've used small needle nose pliers clamped on wires right where insulation ends where wire goes into crimp connector (used rubber bands on handles). soldering wires.jpg
    Don't know what made me think of this, but wet down a small strip I cut off disposable blue shop towel and wet it down and wrapped around wire. You can do it dry also then use something like a small acid brush to dip in water and wet it down. Soldered 10 wires and worked like a charm. I kept my small tin of water nearby and after soldering dipped brush and cooled terminal off. Even worked on a bear of a 10 ga wire I was butt splicing to an inline fuse holder, I re-wet once or twice during soldering, I was having to apply a lot of heat to get the solder to flow into the butt splice.
     
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  2. biker

    biker Veteran Member

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    Nice work, good innovation. Helps to have a really good hot soldering iron too. Less time spent heating the hell out of the wire. Fine solder helps too. I like soldering, I will use your trick.

    What did u install for a radio? I have an 03 glide fairing on my 87 with a big radio hole and I have no idea what to put in it.
     
  3. tom3

    tom3 Veteran Member

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    Couple other tips for soldering that I've come up with over the years. Always use flux and 60/40 rosin solder quality solder. Get a blob of solder on the tip of the iron/gun melted, then put the tip on the connection. The melted blob will transfer the heat much faster and the solder will be drawn into the wires quick. Before actually soldering the connection flux and tin the wire ends first, again a faster and cleaner connection. And a heat gun works best for shrink tubing without turning it black with a lighter or match.
     
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  4. McCune

    McCune Veteran Member

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    A proper crimp don't need solder. And if you must solder,the trick to not have it wick up the wire is to clamp the wire with needle nose or hemostat.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2021
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  5. COPO

    COPO Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I read that crimping is better than solder cause solder will loosen with vibrations.
     
  6. SPG

    SPG Bumblebee Builder

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    If that happens, they did it wrong
     
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  7. biker

    biker Veteran Member

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    Yes. A cold solder joint is not bonded with the wire. A properly heated joint will not vibrate loose. I would say a crimped connection would fatigue and fail before a good solder joint.
     
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  8. kenny77

    kenny77 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Like ...... 100 % of wire connections in new cars, connectors and such are crimped.
    I've never had that much time on my hands that I would be soldering car stuff
     
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  9. tom3

    tom3 Veteran Member

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    I suspect the deal is that soldering turns a stranded wire into a solid for a short distance and would be more prone to breaking than the wire in the crimp. But I still like soldered connections - everywhere.
     
  10. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    Agree, nothing on my car is soldered. Crimp works just fine...even never car connections are crimp.
     

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