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need wiring technique input from wiring guru's...

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I've done small wiring jobs on my cars and bikes for many years. Adding accessories, fixing shorts, troubleshooting, etc. As i have become older my wiring skills have improved, but im still no pro.

I really have a problem with a simple wiring extension and the cleanest/easiest way to add a length of wire to an existing section, and I would like to try and get better at it.

As of now, after cutting the desired wires and measuring the length i need, I would either twist the wires together with my fingers and lay the wiring flat along the outside of the insulation and then put heat shrink over top...

Or, I would use a butt connector and heat shrink on top of that if needed.

The problem is this. If I do not use a butt-connector then i feel like my wire is not strong enough and wont withstand any sort of tension if im pushing/pulling on wires for whatever reason. But if i do use a butt-connector then the area is bulky and has a big, obtrusive, knot looking wire connector in it..which i dont want.

I'm looking for a way to CLEANLY, and hopefully quickly, add length to a section of wire. The butt-connectors that i have always used are the ones that come with heat shrinking or some sort of rubber shielding around it...so i'm not sure if there might be a really slim butt-connector that I could use that im not aware of or if there is another method i could use to go about it.

Thanks

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How about taking the stripped ends of the wires you want to join, twist together, apply flux and solder. A proper solder job is a very thin "tinned" joint that should hold up to some tugging.

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Where is this wiring being located? Housing, or bike/car?

bike/car...i dont really do much, if any, house wiring.

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How about taking the stripped ends of the wires you want to join, twist together, apply flux and solder. A proper solder job is a very thin "tinned" joint that should hold up to some tugging.

soldering would probably be the most proper way to do it, but im not a pro at it, so my solders usually end up pretty big and ugly looking. Plus, im trying to find a quick way, and breaking out the solder wire and gun definitely isnt going to be the quickest way.

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Just tip from a tech, a soldering GUN is a lousy way for a beginner to do any soldering. I use them as little as possible. They seem to be not melting anything , then too hot, then RED hot which forms more slag on the tip. Soldering irons are cheap and if you're doing wiring which includes 12 ga. stranded wire, a 37 watt should do, otherwise 25 watt will work. As is true so often, the correct tool makes a job easier. Also, long wiring runs should be supported adequately so the shock of bouncing around, as on a bike won't pull the wire loose. Auto parts stores sell a split flexible plastic "conduit" that works good for long runs with several versions of hold-down parts.

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I used to always solder and heat shrink, but lately I've been using something like these with excellent luck so far..... http://www.nutsandbolts.com/electrical-heat-shrink-solder-butt-connectors-c-32_466.html

You just slide them on, and hit it with a heat gun.

Those look pretty sweet. Not cheap,but definitely sweet.

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Those look pretty sweet. Not cheap,but definitely sweet.

I just referenced that website for the picture, you can find them much cheaper than that.

They are still not exactly cheap though, compared to a dab of solder. I just use them because my work "donates" them to me.

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Without reading every post, back in my car audio competing days....lol...cut it, put on at LEAST 1.5" of shrink tube, more if u can afford to spare some. Then, id strip the wire, and if it was a smaller gauge like I am assuming you are using, like 16+, id strip the wire about 1/2", put the opposing ends next to each other all the way down their bare lengths (1/2") then fold them both into a "hook" so as they hook each other basically. Then i'd twist them together very tightly with my fingers. Now i never used flux, I mean if you get the solder for electronics, like you can find at a radioshack, you dont need flux. Now, I just apply a thin even coat over the entire connection i just made, and by keeping it thin but well covered, the shrink tube slides right over and nicely blends (if same color as insulation).

IMO this would destroy a butt connector in strength any day...id say even puttin the opposing wires bare 1/2" side by side and twisting them together with a nice coat of solder would also destroy the butt end.

Edited by J_WR2fitty

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The proper way to solder the connection is to get the iron hot enough to melt solder, then place the iron on the stripped wires that are twisted together. Next take your solder and melt a dab from the iron to the wire as to make a connection to each other thannwait a few seconds, then touch the solder to the wire not the iron and if done right the solder should be "sucked" into the wire. This makes a connection that will not come apart.

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I'm an electrician and not trying to step on anyones toes but you guys are over thinking the hell out of this. If it was my bike I would get an uninsulated but splice to cut down on the bulk and cover with heatshrink. If you make a good crimp it won't come loose. Thats how I would do it but to each his own.

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Proper way to do it is like this

http://www.aaroncake...nics/solder.htm

Scroll down to

Soldering A Wire Joint or Splice

Wire turns out just about the same size as before and is strong.

These things are somewhat expensive, but seem to be just what im looking for. Do you have to use a soldering tool at all on them? Or does the heat gun heat the solder up enough to melt the solder and activate the shrink wrap at the same time?

Without reading every post, back in my car audio competing days....lol...cut it, put on at LEAST 1.5" of shrink tube, more if u can afford to spare some. Then, id strip the wire, and if it was a smaller gauge like I am assuming you are using, like 16+, id strip the wire about 1/2", put the opposing ends next to each other all the way down their bare lengths (1/2") then fold them both into a "hook" so as they hook each other basically. Then i'd twist them together very tightly with my fingers. Now i never used flux, I mean if you get the solder for electronics, like you can find at a radioshack, you dont need flux. Now, I just apply a thin even coat over the entire connection i just made, and by keeping it thin but well covered, the shrink tube slides right over and nicely blends (if same color as insulation).

IMO this would destroy a butt connector in strength any day...id say even puttin the opposing wires bare 1/2" side by side and twisting them together with a nice coat of solder would also destroy the butt end.

The proper way to solder the connection is to get the iron hot enough to melt solder, then place the iron on the stripped wires that are twisted together. Next take your solder and melt a dab from the iron to the wire as to make a connection to each other thannwait a few seconds, then touch the solder to the wire not the iron and if done right the solder should be "sucked" into the wire. This makes a connection that will not come apart.

I think a combination of these posts is something i am going to end up doing if i dont find the but connectors shown above at a decent price. I've never thought of combining the wires in a "J" manner, that would reduce the bulkiness of the connection. Also, when i solder i always try to put the solder gun directly to the solder, i've never used it to heat the wire up which apparently is the correct way to do it (and makes much more sense, actually). I would like to find a way to do it so that I only need one tool..just a solder gun, or just a heat gun, or just a crimp..but im starting to think thats not going to happen anyway.

I'm an electrician and not trying to step on anyones toes but you guys are over thinking the hell out of this. If it was my bike I would get an uninsulated but splice to cut down on the bulk and cover with heatshrink. If you make a good crimp it won't come loose. Thats how I would do it but to each his own.

I'm actually looking at uninsulated butt connectors. I didnt even know that they existed until about two days ago. WAAAYYYY smaller. I think if i can get the smallest ones possible for the gage wire im dealing with that using these for crimping and some heat shrink over top would be a pretty quick and efficient way of what im trying to do. It will still look professional, as well.

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To solder it you just need a soldering iron a gun is not needed also you could just use a lighter for the heat shrink just be careful with it. Or you could just buy a butane torch that comes with a soldering attachment and use it for both. They usually have them in the plumbing dept. At home depot or lowes.

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I'm an electrician and not trying to step on anyones toes but you guys are over thinking the hell out of this. If it was my bike I would get an uninsulated but splice to cut down on the bulk and cover with heatshrink. If you make a good crimp it won't come loose. Thats how I would do it but to each his own.

Exactly how I do it. You can make a much better crimp with uninsulated butt splices.

Edited by ncrider450

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Yea what he said, dont need a heat gun for shrink tube, i never did...i just hold the lighter "on" and pass it back and forth over the tube quickly so i dont melt holes in it.

And yea, i also shoulda mentioned that...heat the wire....unroll 4-5" of solder so its stickin out...and just touch ti to the connection to coat it. Also be careful of the insulation, you may not think it'd get hot, but near the connection it definitely does...use gloves, or have the wires hangin freely so you dont have to touch them at all in the process. Or pliers to hold the connection sturdy while u solder...either way....just know it will get hot.

speaking of hot...i would def use a soldering iron, i hate the guns....but when u set it down be aware of where you are setting it and if the tip is going to "teeter totter" down onto something....before you know it...you will melt a hole in something if it can melt, haha

Edited by J_WR2fitty

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