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Old 09-02-2006, 10:03 PM
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Solder...When and Why?

Just wondering about solder, when to use it...advantages, disadvantages. Also solderless terminals, are there such a thing as terminals that need solder? Should they be used instead? Any help would be great.

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Old 09-02-2006, 10:14 PM
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As a rule... I solder every connection I make. Theres no down side to soldering just takes a few seconds more to do it. I work in a Shop that specializes in auto electrical repair. I have made a ton of money on cars that someone has installed those little blue and red crimp connectors. They come lose,corrode and lose contact over time. In some cases there ok, like on a small wire thats inside the car that carries a small electrical load.Most cars from the factory don't have soldered connections but they do use superior crimping techniques and weather packs and connectors not readily available or practical for the average Joe. But like I said as a rule I solder all connections,and use a good heat shrink where I can. I sleep better at night.
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Old 09-02-2006, 10:38 PM
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Solder

The only downside is the average Joe not having the right equipement and the training.

Other than that, I totally agree with Duece. There is no substitution for me for solder.

Have you ever seen super expensive rods at Boyd's show with crimp on wire connectors? I have! I can't imagine why...

Can you imagine driving your rod across country, through miles and miles of deserts, in rain and humidity, in places where there are no towns for many miles ... with crimped connections on all of your wiring?

As Duece said ...that's just plain wrong and asking for trouble on so many levels. Yeah, Yeah, I know there are pro crimpers out there, but that still doesn't create a metal bonding with no chance of moisture getting between connections or eleviate possible reaction from dissimilar metals touching. When you solder, you eliminate a lot of troubles down the road.

But do it wrong and you aren't much better off. Do your homework!

Steve
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Old 09-03-2006, 02:49 AM
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Doc here,

EVERY Connection I Make is soldered..My advise is if you don't know hoe to solder a proper joint, ..learn..you'll be much better off for it!

Even on crimp terminals, I solder AND crimp..a ritual that has served me well for many years.

Some things you'll need and good addition to your tool box..

A good Controlled output soldering station, De-solder / soldering tools & Braid, about a pound of 60/40 solder, (I use 24 gauge for harness making, and it works well for circuit board assembly also, a good mid~Sized gauge) Some resin, A Pin vise, hemostats, small Brass (about the size of a toothbrush) Acid brush, a Dental pick is also handy, Heat gun, and a A GOOD set of automatic strippers with a depth gauge, Various sizes and COLOR heat shrink tubing (cheaper in bulk..) a GOOD tie Wrap gun , Various Tie wraps.

I Buy Bulk (5000 at a time) Ring terminals in the 3 popular sizes, that are NOT insulated..The procedure I use is :
  • Strip the wire to fit the terminal sleeve, with about a 1/4 in showing,
  • Without twisting the stripped end, Tin it until a good silver coat appears.
  • Then, Tin the terminal, with just enough solder to flow and leave a silver coat INSIDE the sleeve.
  • Next, I get two pieces of shrink tubing, Black for the first insulator, and a selected color for the top to slide over the black, about a 1/4 inch SHORTER than the bottom..cut and slide them on the wire.
  • Next I solder the wire to the ring terminal, "Wicking " the solder up into the terminal sleeve, until it is filled, smooth, and shiny silver.
  • Next I crimp the terminal
  • Finally, I slide the black (longer tubing) flush with the end of the terminal sleeve on the ring end, and shrink it (keeping the wire straight until it cools, unless a pre ~bent angle is required) When cool, I slide the colored tubing (lets say, red) over the first, and flush with the ring end..and shrink it down. Net result is you have a terminal with a red marker and about a 1/4 trailer behind it.Looks totally pro...lasts FOREVER..(Never had any fail YET.. )

To extend a wire , just strip a good length from both wires, make a good Mechanical connection by placing the stripped ends parallel to each other, wrap one clockwise and the other counterclockwise..Solder until you have a good flow and coverage and silver (not gray) appearance, then install shrink tubing.

Have a Happy & Safe Labor Day!

Doc
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Old 09-03-2006, 04:29 AM
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It should be tin the terminal and wire, crimp, then heat to solder both together.
Soldering first then crimping is next to impossible as the solder prevents the terminal from closing tight over the wire.
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Old 09-03-2006, 05:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malc
It should be tin the terminal and wire, crimp, then heat to solder both together.
Soldering first then crimping is next to impossible as the solder prevents the terminal from closing tight over the wire.

Doc here,

Not with a ratcheting Crimp tool...never had a prob.

Although the other way works fine too if you don't, as well as no crimp at all.

Point is, the solder will make all the connection and strain relief, the Crimp is insurance.


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Old 09-03-2006, 07:13 AM
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I say crimp then flow the solder through the connector. One of the "rules of soldering" that I have been taught is to always have a solid mechanical connection, then use the solder to ensure it stays that way.

Be sure you are using non-corrosive flux. If you aren't or aren't sure what kind it is, wash it off. Water & a little rubbing alcohol will strip most types of flux right off. Otherwise your nicely soldered wires will corrode and break off just like they were exposed to battery acid.
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Old 09-03-2006, 01:57 PM
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I used Packard 56 terminals throughout, these are open barrel, these have to be crimped (w/special crimper) and then soldered.

Bryan
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Old 09-03-2006, 03:06 PM
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This one is pretty much a "no-brainer" for anyone with any electrical experience ... but I'll mention it for the newbies.

Use RESIN CORE solder for electrical soldering...
Use ACID CORE solder for copper plumbing.

"Scotch Locks" are evil things!!!

You'll NEVER find any of these on anything I own.
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Old 09-03-2006, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66GMC
This one is pretty much a "no-brainer" for anyone with any electrical experience ... but I'll mention it for the newbies.

Use RESIN CORE solder for electrical soldering...
Use ACID CORE solder for copper plumbing.

"Scotch Locks" are evil things!!!

You'll NEVER find any of these on anything I own.
i use them somtimes, they are junk. i would only use them on my own car. sometimes when i am working on my own stuff, i dont have the ambition do to things right... i just want to get them done. never on someone else's car, comebacks suck.
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Old 09-03-2006, 04:23 PM
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Doc here,

Hey, I have REPAIRED systems for service trucks that were held together with RED, BLUE and YELLOW wire nuts!!! (and the guy wondered why it would lose electrical power on a turn? )

The guy's may have been good at installing an "Extra Outlet " in your home..but should have never raised a hood!

Scotch Locks were invented to promote the inventor's other two products.."The self inflicted Dead short" and "The intermittent connection"..(as well as the "no Trailer light blues")....

you'd probably get a better connection (which isn't saying much..by striping the insulation with a razor and putting one wrap of wire around it and one wrap of tape..

Doc
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Old 09-03-2006, 04:27 PM
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So there is a wrong way to solder?
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Old 09-03-2006, 04:34 PM
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Doc here,

Yup..

Cold joints, poor mechanical joints, residual resin, Wrong solder, Too Hot for the work, damaging the device / Wire, unclean work surface to start with, Wrong tip, Not keeping tip CLEAN, Not "Wicking" Solder, Not heating surfaces together at the same Time / temp, Just for starters..

I suggest you get a Book on the Basics of soldering At the library or online and do some study..It doesn't take long to learn..will serve you well for a lifetime.

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Old 09-03-2006, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hallamwillis
So there is a wrong way to solder?
yeah, like doc vette said get a book. i started soldering when i was 13 and was rewiring a guitar. what a sloppy mess that was. but since then i have soldered countless things. practice makes perfect. the hardest thing is soldering to a flat surface. like soldering a ground to the case on a potentiomiter. make sure everything is clean and you should be ok.
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:39 PM
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What do you mean by wicking?
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