Tips & Techniques: Harness work

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Tips & Techniques: Harness work

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
This post was updated on .
Anything related to the wiring of a vehicle.
Soldering and splicing.
Sockets and connectors.
Loads and ground paths.
Ect...
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with an Edelbrock 1826 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: Tips & Techniques: Harness work

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
The idea for this whole techniques section centered around a 3G conversion where Brian 'Schwabber' was asking "crimp or solder?"
Gary and I weighed in with our opinions and techniques
THIS is the legacy of that.

One thing I'd add is that when splicing a harness (or anywhere there are multiple wires) is to cut each wire a little offset, so you don't end up with a huge bulk of splices in one spot.

Also, try to be careful that all wires get taut at the same time.
Nothing worse than trying to pull through a bulkhead (or something) and one or two wires get hung up because they are slack and have nowhere to go.
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with an Edelbrock 1826 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: Tips & Techniques: Harness work

Gary Lewis
Administrator
And pretty much what I said in that thread was that a good crimp is best, but a good crimp can only be made with either a ratcheting or hydraulic crimper.  Not the garden-variety non-ratcheting crimpers that are so prevalent and which do not provide an acceptable crimp in my opinion.

I have a ratcheting crimper, but it only does something like #18 and 20 gauge wire.  And I have a 16-ton hydraulic crimper which does from #6 to 2-0 wire.  So for any wire size in between I use a cheap non-ratcheting crimper to get the terminal snug, which is all it can do, and then solder it.

However, it has been pointed out that you won't find soldered wires in aircraft, and that's because solder wicks up the wire and where it ends is a potential failure point as all movement is focused there.  In other words, any vibration tends to cause the wire to bend at the end of the wicked solder, and eventually the wire will fail there.

While that is true, I've never had a soldered joint fail, and I've been doing this for decades.  However, I always use a piece of heat-shrink tubing on the joint.  Always.  And I highly prefer the type that has a layer of adhesive inside.  That way the joint is sealed and extra support is given to the wire such that not all of the movement will be at the end of the solder.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Tips & Techniques: Harness work

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
Brian has pretty much condoned snipping and moving that part of his thread over here (now that HERE exists)

You don't need a $200 Japanese crimper.
You can get a perfectly serviceable one with multiple jaws on Amazon for under $20.
Not greatest if you do this all day, every day, but fine for weekenders.
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with an Edelbrock 1826 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: Introducing Myself/Need some more advice

Schwabber
Ok!  I think I have what I need to get this done now.  Thanks to both you Jim and Gary for helping me work thru all my confusion. Your assistance has been absolutely essential.  One final question and it is somewhat academic, but I am interested in your opinions nonetheless:  Crimp or Solder?   This debate seems to rage on without a clear winner.  I have been making my own lugs via solder connections, but still have several connections to make for the wiring harness and your opinions may have some impact on my how I proceed depending on your arguments.

Thanks Again for everything.  Will let you know how this goes.

Brian
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Re: Introducing Myself/Need some more advice

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
I think a GOOD crimp is better than solder on a truck or other vehicle.

That said, there are a dozen ways to make a bad crimp.

Solder is harder to screw up, as long as it isn't a cold joint.
A badly done solder joint is not likely to fall apart.

But you will never find a solder joint on a rocket or aircraft.
Solder (especially lead free solder) can make a joint brittle in the long term, if lots of solder wicks up into the wire.

I do solder BIG  lugs, because I don't have the proper tool to crimp
But little ones I use a proper lug, with crimps that hold both core and insulation.
And the right ratcheting crimpers, so I know it's just right.

We really ought to have a 'techniques' thread or page here on the garagemahal.
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with an Edelbrock 1826 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: Introducing Myself/Need some more advice

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Good idea, Jim.  Maybe a Techniques folder and then threads therein on each topic, one of which would be installing connectors?

As for me, I think a properly crimped connector is best.  But, it takes the right tools to create a proper crimp - and in my opinion one of the cheap crimpers is absolutely NOT the right tool.  I believe the only good crimp comes from ratcheting or hydraulic crimpers.

My tools only include one ratcheting crimper, which is for something like 18 or 20 gauge wire, and a 16-ton hydraulic crimper for anything from 6 gauge up to at least 2-0.  So I solder the smaller stuff and crimp the big stuff.  But I use adhesive-lined heat shrink tubing on all connections, which not only insulates & seals but also provides some support for the wire in case solder wicks up the wire.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Introducing Myself/Need some more advice

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
I do have a box assortment of tinned marine terminations from Amazon and my tool has changeable jaws for those blue, red, yellow crimps. (yes they are adhesive shrink insulated)

Red is 18 & up
Blue 14 - 18
and Yellow 10 & 12

I will use these because the insulation is transparent and I can SEE for sure that I have a good connection before shrinking the tube and melting the glue.
But they are not my best choice.


 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with an Edelbrock 1826 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: Introducing Myself/Need some more advice

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
Maybe a techniques sub-folder in the Garage/Shop &Tools?
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with an Edelbrock 1826 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: Introducing Myself/Need some more advice

Gary Lewis
Administrator
ArdWrknTrk wrote
Maybe a techniques sub-folder in the Garage/Shop &Tools?
That may be the best approach.  Check the Garage/Shop & Tools folder.  
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Introducing Myself/Need some more advice

Schwabber
In reply to this post by ArdWrknTrk
I have been using a solder joint and adhesive shrink tube on the 4 gauge charge wire connections because I do not have access to a good crimper.  But I do have a good ratcheting crimper for connections from 10 to 22 gauge, so that will be how I proceed with the rest of the upgrade.  Work Continues...

Brian
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Re: Tips & Techniques: Harness work

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
This post was updated on .
I'm going to snip and shift this to the Garage....
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with an Edelbrock 1826 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.