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Lets talk automotive wire connectors, pin types and tools


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#1 BlKtRe

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 06:37 AM

Latest project was a pak rat got into the engine bay of the wife's car and did some wire damage. Luckily it was 6 joints in between a fuel temp sensor connector where I had to cut out and solder in new wire. This project brought to light what would happen if I needed to remove and replace pins at the connector. Plus I have various LED light bar projects for my truck that I want to use water proof connectors with. Im also getting ready to build a wire harness for adding features for tow mirrors on my truck and will be adding wires/pins to the stock connectors. So here are some questions Im looking at.

 

1. Connector pin removal tool. I've found some cheap universal tools that can remove pins from connectors. What do you use?

 

2. Connector pin types. When working on different types of connectors from various manufacturers, how do you tell what type of pin is used? Is there a chart that shows which type of pin you will need for a certain type of connector/manufacturer? I don't know the names of the various pins.

 

3. Tools. Is there a special tool to crimp pins onto wires? What type of crimper for normal types of connectors?  What wire strippers do you prefer to use and what type? Im looking for something decent for the budget minded DIY. I don't need high end professional tools either. 

 

Hopefully this will help others here too.

 

Cheers. 


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#2 BlKtRe

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 03:20 PM

I figured their would be some wiring gurus around here.
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#3 matt6150

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 06:38 PM

This is pretty much what I do all day.

1. Cheap universal tools are just fine and really all you need. Although some connectors may require a special tool. But as far as basic automotive stuff not likely.

2. No chart that I know of. Google image search is your friend here. Assuming you can find a number on the connector or at least a manufacturer. If you have a specific connector in mind post a pic and I probably know what it is or can figure it out.

3. There are hundreds if not thousands of different crimpers out there for the many types of connectors. For most common types of automotive connectors that are open barrel or "B" style the Mac TCT1028 crimper should work. A company called Tool Aid also makes a decent copy of it. There are probably many others as well. As far as strippers I use various Ideal Stripmaster's depending on the wire and insulation. But again Mac makes some decent ones (TCT7E and TCT15E depending on gauge) that work great and I still use those every day.

We stock hundreds of different pins and sockets because there are just so many different connectors out there. But if you had those three tools I listed and some various extraction tools you could handle the most common automotive stuff out there.
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#4 BlKtRe

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 08:52 PM

Thanks Matt for taking the time to answer these questions. I plan on using some of my bonus pay for this stuff. I wont use it much but when I do I’m always bitching at myself for not having better tools.
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#5 thool

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 04:59 AM

"Bonus pay?" What is that?  B)

 

I used a Home Depot branded hand tool to crimp. I've also in the past used an electrical terminal grease and then installed shrink tubing to keep the joints free of oxidation.


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#6 BlKtRe

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 07:22 AM

"Bonus pay?" What is that?  B)

 

I used a Home Depot branded hand tool to crimp. I've also in the past used an electrical terminal grease and then installed shrink tubing to keep the joints free of oxidation.

 

Longevity thru work. Its a union thing. :)

 

Thanks for the terminal grease idea. I've used silicone in the past but the grease is probably a better solution. 


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#7 matt6150

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 08:15 AM

The best thing for splicing wires is a butt splice with built on shrink tube with glue inside. Soldering two wires together will create a brittle connection unless you insulate it with a rigid shrink tube beyond the solder joint.

Edited by matt6150, 04 December 2019 - 08:15 AM.

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#8 HVB

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 08:27 AM

The best thing for splicing wires is a butt splice with built on shrink tube with glue inside. Soldering two wires together will create a brittle connection unless you insulate it with a rigid shrink tube beyond the solder joint.

  What kind of glue?


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#9 BlKtRe

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 08:38 AM

The best thing for splicing wires is a butt splice with built on shrink tube with glue inside. Soldering two wires together will create a brittle connection unless you insulate it with a rigid shrink tube beyond the solder joint.

 

A butt splice huh? What kind of glue? I always thought those type of connections were not good at all vs a soldered connection. I see that the glue could make that kind of splice better than without it.  I can see how a soldered connection can get brittle but using proper heat, solder and technique I'd think that would keep it from getting brittle. I always use a good heat shrink beyond the connections. 


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#10 BlKtRe

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 10:03 AM

Not having much luck finding Mac on Amazon. Anyways, this is what I've found so far. What are your thoughts?

 

Irwin wire stripper 2078317 10-24 AWG

https://www.irwin.co...-crimper-cutter

 

Iwiss  SN-28B  pin crimper 28-18 AWG

https://iwiss.com/pr...atchet-crimper/

 

Titan 11477 crimper for crimped connectors.

https://www.titan-us...age=item detail


Edited by BlKtRe, 04 December 2019 - 10:03 AM.

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#11 thool

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 04:53 PM

Longevity thru work. Its a union thing. :)

 

Thanks for the terminal grease idea. I've used silicone in the past but the grease is probably a better solution. 

I have this: https://www.amazon.c...e/dp/B000AL8VD2


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#12 BlKtRe

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 05:22 PM

 

I need some dielectric for my trailer light connections anyways. 


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#13 matt6150

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 05:37 PM

  What kind of glue?

 

 

A butt splice huh? What kind of glue? I always thought those type of connections were not good at all vs a soldered connection. I see that the glue could make that kind of splice better than without it.  I can see how a soldered connection can get brittle but using proper heat, solder and technique I'd think that would keep it from getting brittle. I always use a good heat shrink beyond the connections. 

 

Yes. Something like this. They have the glue built inside. Also referred as "dual wall". They have blue, red and yellow for different gauge wire. They make dual wall heatshrink as well that would work for your solder joints and would keep them rigid. The issue with solder joints is that the solder wicks up the wire and vibration can cause them to break at that point. But now that I'm thinking about it a street car has no where near the vibration a race car does. But I've seen many solder joints like that fail on a race car.

 

Not having much luck finding Mac on Amazon. Anyways, this is what I've found so far. What are your thoughts?

 

Irwin wire stripper 2078317 10-24 AWG

https://www.irwin.co...-crimper-cutter

 

Iwiss  SN-28B  pin crimper 28-18 AWG

https://iwiss.com/pr...atchet-crimper/

 

Titan 11477 crimper for crimped connectors.

https://www.titan-us...age=item detail

That first stripper would probably work fine. Just a little bulkier than I'm used to. But since you are not going to strip wire all day it should be fine.

 

That second crimper would work for some things but isn't universal enough to be your only tool. It crimps in two locations at once so depending on the shape and size of the contact it may not work. This one is a clone of the Mac one and is very universal. I use this tool almost everyday.

 

That last crimper I'm not even sure what it is. Hard to tell from the pic but doesn't look like anything you would need. Is it a splice crimper and that's why it has the three different colors? Not sure.


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#14 Kremer

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 06:50 PM

Glue-lined heat shrink is awesome stuff. I have a big assorted box of it.
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#15 HVB

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 07:05 PM

Thanks. Going to pick up some glue lined heat shrink.
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#16 BlKtRe

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 08:25 AM

Thanks Matt. 

 

I found a Greenlee SS Pro stripper that is less bulky and has decent reviews.

 

https://www.greenlee...1955-ss-1955-ss

 

I added the Toolaid crimper to my list. I think the other crimper with 3 colors from what I can tell crimps the cheap wire connectors only. Im guessing the Toolaid will crimp various pins and other types of connectors? 


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#17 matt6150

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 08:45 AM

Thanks Matt. 

 

I found a Greenlee SS Pro stripper that is less bulky and has decent reviews.

 

https://www.greenlee...1955-ss-1955-ss

 

I added the Toolaid crimper to my list. I think the other crimper with 3 colors from what I can tell crimps the cheap wire connectors only. Im guessing the Toolaid will crimp various pins and other types of connectors? 

That stripper looks good. Keep in mind it only goes down to 20awg. Yes the Toolaid will do any open barrel "B" style contact.


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#18 BlKtRe

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 08:57 AM

That stripper looks good. Keep in mind it only goes down to 20awg. Yes the Toolaid will do any open barrel "B" style contact.

 

They have other AWG stripper too. Thanks again! 


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#19 BlKtRe

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Posted Yesterday, 08:51 AM

Ordered the Tool Aid crimper, Greenlee stripper and the Knipex 8" diagonal cutters.

 

These will work great for DIY projects.

 

Thanks again Matt. 


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#20 matt6150

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Posted Yesterday, 12:11 PM

Awesome, no problem. If you ever need to identify a connector or terminal let me know or post a pic.
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