schumithecat
schumithecat Reader
3/30/20 5:09 p.m.

the easiest way to connect wires is strip wires and use crimp-on connectors, while the professional way is to strip and twist wires then solder and cover with heat shrink tubing. i've almost always done it the easy way but recently tried solder seal connectors (amazon or many other places), they worked like a charm, you basically strip and twist the wires (like you're going to solder), then slide the connector (a piece of heat shrink tubing with solder built into it) over the exposed wire, and use a heat gun to melt the solder into the wire and shrink the tubing. it is as fast and easy as crimping but provides a more solid connection and is waterproof. 

 

 

JoeyM
JoeyM Mod Squad
3/30/20 5:25 p.m.

In reply to schumithecat :

I used a few of those towards the end of wiring up the Datsun street rod, and yes, they seem to work well. I would not have minded using those throughout the wiring

java230
java230 UberDork
3/30/20 5:27 p.m.

Keep in mind solder creates a stiff point in the wire that is susceptible to vibration damage over time. Stranded wire in a crimp is much less so. Ever See soldered connections in factory wire harnesses?

 

But they do work well! I like the heat shrink crimp connectors too

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
3/30/20 6:29 p.m.

I would not characterize soldered joints as "professional". That's for things that don't move.

A crimp done with a heat-shrink connector and a ratcheting crimper is stronger than the wire. Waterproofing comes from the heatshrink sleeve. 

engiekev
engiekev Reader
5/28/20 8:39 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I would not characterize soldered joints as "professional". That's for things that don't move.

A crimp done with a heat-shrink connector and a ratcheting crimper is stronger than the wire. Waterproofing comes from the heatshrink sleeve. 

Do you have any reccomendations on a decent "hobbyist" crimping tool? Is it worth getting a quality ratcheting crimping tool with swappable dies?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/28/20 8:51 a.m.

There are a whole bunch of ones that look exactly like this and that sell for about $20. I've been using one like it for years. I forget the brand name of mine, it's more Western and less Chinese - I'll check later today.  Mine has swappable dies but almost all my crimps are done on the same type of connector so I rarely take advantage of that feature.

ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
5/28/20 9:49 a.m.

So do you guys use one of the plier-style automatic wire strippers? Seems like they'd be hard to get into tight spaces when working ON the car.

I did just buy a big box of crimp connectors with the built in heat shrink. Diggin on those.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/28/20 10:38 a.m.

I use one of these on most of my car work. It needs about the same space and uses the same approach angle as the crimpers - so if you can't strip a wire with it, you're not going to be able to crimp it!

This is a similar style, but it doesn't auto-adjust for wire gauge so it's possible to accidentally turn a big wire into a little wire especially in tight situations. I think they're a little more reliable, the adjusting ones need regular lubrication to get just the right tension.

I use these for electronics work and I'm pretty happy with them. Different sort of access is needed and I haven't tested them with fatter wires.

 

ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
5/28/20 11:44 a.m.

You guys are a bad influence. Crimper and stripper ordered.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/28/20 4:16 p.m.

BTW, my crimper is a Tool Aid like this one. I can vouch for long term quality although I think there's a New And Improved version.

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