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Old 11-28-2018, 03:35 AM   #1
StrnWolf
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Default Solder or crimp?

I need to replace my ECTS connector, and redo the joints for my ICM connectors to make them water tight, and repair or replace some other connectors as well. My question is, would it be better to solder the joints or crimp them? For solder it would be a 60/40 of tin/lead. Either way there will be heat shrink tubing over the joints to seal them. For me, either way would be same amount of work, I just want the best connections so will do what is best.

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Old 11-28-2018, 07:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Solder or crimp?

I soldered mine.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...=234273&page=7

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Old 11-28-2018, 08:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: Solder or crimp?

Done right I prefer solder but crimping with a proper crimping tool is pretty fool proof and as you said you can get crimps with heat shrink ends.

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Old 11-28-2018, 09:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Solder or crimp?

Solder for sure. Especially the ETCS connector because it carries a very low power signal and crimp connections have proven to be a failure point time and time again.

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Old 11-28-2018, 09:34 AM   #5
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Default Re: Solder or crimp?

For the soldering challenged this is an almost fool proof solution. The ECTS uses the white splice as the red one is a bit too large. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

You will need a functional heat gun, not a Harbor Fright special either. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Temperature control is a requirement with this type of connector so the Master Appliance 751 is not what you want to use unless you have a great deal of experience with heat guns.

A proper crimping tool is going to be more expensive that these pieces.

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Old 11-28-2018, 09:54 AM   #6
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Default Re: Solder or crimp?

Solder is always going to give you a better electrical connection.

I would only crimp, if the area that you are in, on the vehicle, allows for decent movement and reach ability to get to the wiring.

Solder is always going to win.

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Old 11-28-2018, 03:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Solder or crimp?

Ha, I can't resist getting into this fray! Crimp is actually more reliable, but only if you have a quality tool and terminals. As pointed out, that can get more expensive than most DIYers will put up with, so they use inadequate tools/terms and have poor results.

For an in-line application like this, "stiffened" with the heat-shrink, I would probably go with solder. But at a connector housing, crimp terms are less likely to result in broken wires. Look at OEM wiring harnesses, how many crimps do you see vs, soldering?

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Old 11-28-2018, 03:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: Solder or crimp?

At the helicopter factory where I used to work it was all crimp for reliability. No radio shack or AutoZone parts there though. If you follow my link above, the reason I folded the wires on themselves was to support the solder joints with unsoldered copper.

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Old 11-28-2018, 03:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: Solder or crimp?

Yeah, I was going to throw that out, but wasn't sure it still applied. When I worked in aircraft over-haul many years ago they were transitioning from solder to crimp for connectors because of wire fatigue. Had banned Teflon tape on pipe threads too, because of contamination in servo-valves.

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Old 11-28-2018, 04:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: Solder or crimp?

Same here. Soldering only allowed for avionics. Everything is crimped with approved parts and tools.
Thinking is that aircraft vibration could fail a solder.


-Robert

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Old 11-28-2018, 05:05 PM   #11
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Default Re: Solder or crimp?

If done correctly either way will work well. The key is "done correctly" bad soldering technique or cheap crimpers is usually the flaw with bad connections.

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Old 11-28-2018, 07:22 PM   #12
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Default Re: Solder or crimp?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
At the helicopter factory where I used to work it was all crimp for reliability. No radio shack or AutoZone parts there though. If you follow my link above, the reason I folded the wires on themselves was to support the solder joints with unsoldered copper.
Proper soldering REQUIRES a strong mechanical joint before soldering. Proper crimping REQUIRES a gas tight crimp which requires either ratcheting or hydraulic crimpers using specific wire size dies.

The 3 size fits all crimper and open barrel insulated splices from Harbor Freight or FLAPS do not meet the minimum standard.

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Old 11-28-2018, 08:15 PM   #13
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Default Re: Solder or crimp?

Solder them. The only reason factories crimp is it is faster to do, regardless of the industry or sector. With solder, the connection is less prone to corrosion. Wires are never crimped to a circuit board, they are soldered. Think about it.

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Old 11-28-2018, 08:44 PM   #14
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Default Re: Solder or crimp?

I always try to solder. I use Rosin-core electronic safe solder and follow it up with a watertight electrical tape wrap. Soldering is less likely to fail and I just feel better knowing that the wires are fused together with metal and not just held on by friction/crushed.

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Old 11-28-2018, 08:44 PM   #15
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Default Re: Solder or crimp?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gveinot View Post
Solder them. The only reason factories crimp is it is faster to do, regardless of the industry or sector. With solder, the connection is less prone to corrosion. Wires are never crimped to a circuit board, they are soldered. Think about it.
Except as pointed out above the FAA prohibits solder because a professional crimper is more reliable and less prone to breaking from vibration.

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Old 11-28-2018, 08:55 PM   #16
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Default Re: Solder or crimp?

The soldering process when not properly sealed or the use of incorrect flux does indeed lead to broken wiring. Due to this the probability of failure between the average soldering job and a proper crimp is large. This is why the FAA dictates crimps. The rest of the crimp requirements are several pages of rather expensive requirements. In the ground based world soldering has it over common crimps in spades. Aircraft is its own world.

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Old 11-28-2018, 10:50 PM   #17
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Default Re: Solder or crimp?

Well then... I do not have any crimping tools, and I know I will get crap with this but when I replaced the ICM connectors, I used Harbor Freight crimp tool, AND dumb me forgot to put the tubing on first and yet I had a roll with me FOR the job. Would Radioshack's 0.063" thick Rosin-Core 60/40 solder work for the job? If not, then what would be BEST?

I have never had to solder anything that is prone to vibrations and movement, so what would be the proper way to solder the joints so they do not fail?

Also, where can I get heat-shrink tubing that would survive being near the engine?

Last question for now is, I know in some circuits, length of wire can sometimes have some effect, so would having longer than original wire after jobs between PCM and ECTS and then PCM and ICM change anything? Currently there is about 3 inches more of ICM wire than OEM, but I could cut more wire to make it shorter. And I have yet to receive ECTS connector and will try to make it as short as possible but question remains.

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Old 11-28-2018, 11:25 PM   #18
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Default Re: Solder or crimp?

Most automotive shrink tubing will be able to withstand the temperatures of the engine area except for the exhaust manifold and associated exhaust pipe. As for adding 3 inches, do not worry about that, just use the same gauge of wire to ensure the current flow capabilities. Just don't buy craft store or dollar store low cost stuff. The wire should also be automotive type. I was a MTI certified Motorola two was radio tech, back in the day when cell phones cost $5000 and had a large RF Deck in the trunk. Motorola, the people who built the radios on the Lunar Rover, demanded and taught us to solder any joints. I understand the crimp issue on aircraft but that type of crimp is an industrial type device with an expansive tool and special crimps. Solder is the way to go under the hood of an 18 year old car.

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Old 11-29-2018, 12:01 AM   #19
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Default Re: Solder or crimp?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrnWolf View Post
Well then... I do not have any crimping tools, and I know I will get crap with this but when I replaced the ICM connectors, I used Harbor Freight crimp tool, AND dumb me forgot to put the tubing on first and yet I had a roll with me FOR the job. Would Radioshack's 0.063" thick Rosin-Core 60/40 solder work for the job? If not, then what would be BEST?

I have never had to solder anything that is prone to vibrations and movement, so what would be the proper way to solder the joints so they do not fail?

Also, where can I get heat-shrink tubing that would survive being near the engine?

Last question for now is, I know in some circuits, length of wire can sometimes have some effect, so would having longer than original wire after jobs between PCM and ECTS and then PCM and ICM change anything? Currently there is about 3 inches more of ICM wire than OEM, but I could cut more wire to make it shorter. And I have yet to receive ECTS connector and will try to make it as short as possible but question remains.
The radio shack solder will work if you have an iron that will produce sufficient heat. Out of the wind helps. To make the mechanical joint bend the stripped ends about 1/8"- 1/4" from the insulation at 90 degrees to form an "L", do this to both wires. Hold the wires so the bet "L"s overlap and then wrap each bent leg around the other wire. They will easily hook over each other once stripped and bent so the twisting part is easy. The wire is twisted into that little 1/8"-1/4" uninsulated area on each wire. Practice indoors with a couple of lengths of spare wire first. Once twisted together solder the wires together.

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Old 11-29-2018, 02:27 AM   #20
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Default Re: Solder or crimp?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
The radio shack solder will work if you have an iron that will produce sufficient heat. Out of the wind helps. To make the mechanical joint bend the stripped ends about 1/8"- 1/4" from the insulation at 90 degrees to form an "L", do this to both wires. Hold the wires so the bet "L"s overlap and then wrap each bent leg around the other wire. They will easily hook over each other once stripped and bent so the twisting part is easy. The wire is twisted into that little 1/8"-1/4" uninsulated area on each wire. Practice indoors with a couple of lengths of spare wire first. Once twisted together solder the wires together.
Weird, I have never done that before, but when I read the post about having to make sure it's a stronger joint, that is exactly what came to mind but I was not sure until this post.

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