Electrical Repair Soldered vs. Solderless

Michael Mobile Technician Clinton, Utah Posted   Latest   Edited  

On Linked In I often spar with others on electrical issues. One issue that has come up several times is the soldered vs. solderless repair. I have thrown down the gauntlet on this debate in offering a scientific experiment to prove my contention that a non-insulated solderless connector with heat shrink can do an adequate repair. Most of the time we go the rounds in what we hold to be true. Science is best way to calm these debates. I have offered, on Linked-in some basic supplies in order to do this experiment at home. The first five to respond on Linked In will get the wire, heat shrink and solderless connectors for the experiment. If interested, hop on Linked In and respond to my post. Soldering wires is a very good way to do electrical repairs. Solderless can do a good job too if you have the right materials. I will report back as the experiment moves forward.

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James Diagnostician
Bishop, Georgia
James
 

Following . I’m intrigued

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Rudy Technician
Montebello, California
Rudy
 

Only stubborn, old doddards think soldering is the best way to go. One can argue that both have their places,but for general repair, a solder-less repair,when using good practices,is more than adequate. youtu​.​be/faLn-SjVfwY

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Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris
 

Did anyone notice the crimp connector is upside down in the pliers?

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Marlin Technician
Estacada, Oregon
Marlin
 

No, because it is not.

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Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris
 

I must have been taught wrong, I was always shown to keep the seam of the crimp inline with the convex side of the crimp pliers. Is this not correct?

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

The spiked side needs to crimp without spreading out the seam. If the seam is not brazed, then it makes a mess of your crimp. Some connectors use a crimper that folds the sides into the wire. Maybe that is the confusion. I loaded a picture. Sorry it is so blurry. It actually looks better without blowing it up. I have also taken a picture of the crimper for open crimp type terminals. A finished

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Marlin Technician
Estacada, Oregon
Marlin
 

For this type connector, what he showed in the video is correct. Doing it the other way on a brazed connector can crack the seam open, and on a non-brazed connector can spread it open and let strands loose. For terminals with open tangs, a different crimp tool must be used and the open side of the connector faces opposite the smooth concave.

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

Hi Marlin, The crimper die pictured in my comment above is for open type terminal. In fact, I made the completed crimp pictured with it.

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Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris
 

Thanks for the insight, its the smal things that make all the difference

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Marlin Technician
Estacada, Oregon
Marlin
 

Yes, I know. You must have mistook what I was replying about. The formatting on this site makes it easy to mistake who is replying about what.

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

I use the solderless method on a regular basis. I spare no expense on heatshrink and connectors. Pictured below are the connectors and heatshrink I use. IMO, the repair looks very professional. We will let science figure this one out.

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Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris
 

This is similar to the Ford OEM repair kits we used for most repairs. We did not typically use these on SRS, Vref sensors, or network wiring.

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

It would be interesting to try some different splice techniques and test them with a scope. Most vehicles have splice packs on the network. It may not be so different of a connection with a solderless connector. I suppose it would mess with the twist some. SRS would be a different story. Whether it is a repair that disrupted the airbag system or not, ignoring the vehicle manufacturer standard

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Geoff Diagnostician
Lahaina, Hawaii
Geoff
 

we have good 3M heat-shrink but yours has goo in it. Got a part number for each size, or kit number?

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

Here is what I currently use. It seems the company makes one similar that has been tested with Diesel contamination. I may switch to it if I can find it. waytekwire​.​com/item/22204/DSG… waytekwire​.​com/item/22203/DSG… I also use Tin coated Copper connectors with brazed barrel. They do not have the split in them so they can be crimped anywhere on the

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Geoff Diagnostician
Lahaina, Hawaii
Geoff
 

Great links! Thanks M.C.

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Geoff Diagnostician
Lahaina, Hawaii
Geoff
 

well, crap, another STUPID company that won't MAIL things. UPS and FedEX charge more than the items cost.

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

I may be able to help. I am not sure how to make contact with each other on this forum. You can message me on linked in.

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Geoff Diagnostician
Lahaina, Hawaii
Geoff
 

Wow, that is very generous of you! I already used the product description to find something similar on Mouser​.​com though. I am not sure how we contact each other either. Maybe that is not set-up yet. (ahem, Scott?) I'm not on Linked-in either. I do see two "Michael Christopherson" on iATN, and one is in Clinton, Utah. Any chance that's you?

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

Yes, that is me

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Geoff Diagnostician
Lahaina, Hawaii
Geoff
 

sent you a message that way,

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Nick Manager
Culver City, California
Nick
 

I recently saw a connector that contained solder and water tight heat shrink all in one. when the heat shrink is melted the the solder is supposed to melt and bond. I've never tried them but they looked intriguing.

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

These have been around for a while. Car Products had them back in the day. In theory, they are awesome. I tried them and was not happy with the result. Others may have had better success.

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Marlin Technician
Estacada, Oregon
Marlin
 

I consider them to be one of the stupidest ideas for electrical connections ever. They rank similarly to using wire nuts for automotive wiring. The problems (not a conclusive list): The joint can only be cold-solder, and is almost certain to be a poor one at that. By the time the solder is liquid, the tubing will already be hindering wire insertion. If both wires cannot be inserted at the

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Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris
 

Mazda's wiring repair kit had those in them. I never had an issue using them, but I preferred the Ford crimp kit with hot melt wax shrink tube in the picture above.

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Brady Owner/Technician
Yakima, Washington
Brady
 

I've tried those and have not had good luck with them.

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Jeff Diagnostician
Yakima, Washington
Jeff
 

I use these, I get them from Del city, I have tried other brands but The heat shrink splits, the Del city are my favorite. Works great and i feel that the repair is To my standards which is set pretty high.

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Sean Owner
Cornville, Arizona
Sean
 

I just got some of these from Amazon yesterday, and tried them on two different repairs. They work really well, but since they don't have the sealant all the way to the end of the heat shrink, they look funny, and the ends can peel up. On the second one yesterday, I ran dual wall heat shrink over it after the repair, and it looks great. Much easier, and higher quality connection than the butt

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Andres Diagnostician
North Lauderdale, Florida
Andres
 

This is great! I’ll be watching this post. Thanks

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Luke Instructor
Buellton, California
Luke
 

I am a big fan of the BMW crimping butt connectors. They are approved for all repair, including CAN and SRS.

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Rudy Technician
Montebello, California
Rudy
 

Those are nice. Is there a special tool to crimp with or just regular crimping pliers?

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

I have started experimenting to see how long it takes for copper to start oxidizing. I have put two stripped and twisted wires in a salt bath of warm water. 1 cup tap water with 1 tablespoon table salt. Water at 110F. If it does not turn in the water, I will take it out in the morning and see what it does during the day. Inserted into the water at 6PM Mountain Time.

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Bruce Technician
Spring Hill, Tennessee
Bruce
 

Mike Becker has some videos where he tested different splice techniques. It's on the Wells tech YouTube channel

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Bruce Technician
Spring Hill, Tennessee
Bruce
 

Here's part 1, there is 3 parts youtu​.​be/IXT1h-qDcY0

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

I watched this series. It was interesting. It kind of threw a ringer into what we all believe.

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Sean Technician
Cincinnati, Ohio
Sean
 

I personally use both methods, I was under the impression if the wire harness repair is a spot where the wire is very secure, then soldering is good to use but if the harness moves then solder shouldn't be used since the solder actually makes a stiff spot in the wire actually causing issues later on

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Shane Technician
Summerville, South Carolina
Shane
 

I use the solder method every time. I may just be set in my ways, but I will follow this thread to see what others thoughts are on this.

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Steve Instructor
Irvine, California
Steve
 

Mike, Depending on the manufacturer and time of writing, crimping with the proper connectors are some manufacturer's procedures. I have read where soldering is not permitted during warranty repairs due to the potential breaking of the solder, welding or crimping only. Proper crimping tools are needed to crimp the wires so that wire fatigue and weakening of the tensile strength does not occur.

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

Thank you for that. If you run across some printed material that can be shared it would be good to get the facts from the OEMs.

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Martin Instructor
Burnaby, British Columbia
Martin
   

Michael. Some useful information regarding GM procedures for terminal replacement, splice clip, soldering etc, is located in pages 9-14 of the J…H Terminal Repair Kit Instruction Manual. If you do not have the -620H version of the manual, the older version can be found in a Google search for "J38125". The pages are not numbered the same, but the info is still around that range. I have

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

Thank you for the information Martin.

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Steve Instructor
Irvine, California
Steve
 

There is, I am trying to figure out how not to break contract agreements and get you the printed information.

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Steve Instructor
Irvine, California
Steve
 

Mike Please check this out

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

Thank you Steve

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

Wow, VW really does not like solder do they? "Splices may be welded or crimped – never soldered!"

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Steve Instructor
Irvine, California
Steve
 

This is standard across the three lines. I believe based on the brands, it is a preference. As long as you perform a proper crimp and sealing , you should be better than before the repair.

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Ward Technician
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Ward
 

Hello: I live in Saskatchewan, Canada. In winter we have roads graveled and salted, though not to the extent of Ontario and the rust belt states as salt is only effective at temperatures of -18C or so and we are usually colder than that. Over the years I have found crimp connectors, even the better heat shrink ones will get moisture inside them and corrode internally. I always crimp with a

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Michael Diagnostician
Holt, Michigan
Michael
 

The main thing I see in crimp connections is they are miscrimped or sized incorrectly for the wire guage. Unfortunately alot of shops dont buy the proper supplies to make this a adequate repair. Most of the time I like to solder the wire but I am not against a good crimped connection either but it needs to be done properly. I have seen far to many with wires that are loose or easily fall out of

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

Hi Michael, I hear you loud and clear. A few years ago I researched the best terminals and heat-shrink and put together some comprehensive kits. I set up in 3 kits comprising of the popular splice sizes. Each kit had every variety of terminal I could find. Where possible I bought seamless (brazed) terminals. The kits even have butt connectors in dissimilar sizes for downsizing or upsizing a

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Scott Manager
Warrnambool, Australia
Scott
 

Kits sound awesome Michael.

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Tom Owner/Technician
Santaquin, Utah
Tom
 

Following

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