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Somewhere along the way, trying to avoid being screwed by shoddy farkling, I picked up the (wrong?) idea that it was super reliable to crimp and then solder a wire end connector (ring, spade, fork, bullet). Now I'm finding that it is not only not good but downright bad, because the solder makes the connection more brittle and subject to failure. A good crimp by itself is better for all stranded wire crimp ons. Maybe solder solid core wire; better, don't use it.

I'm going to stop soldering just about everything, since I don't do a whole lot of joining to circuit boards or such where you really need it. I may even start using butt connectors instead of soldering splices. But I still draw the line at T-taps.

Opinions?
 

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Im with you. When I made my accessorie harness I used the double crimps. Found the crimpers at a computer store under tools for a very reasonable price and the connectors online. I only solder when joining wires. Ill never use the taps on wires heard and saw too many nightmares with them.
 

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Somewhere along the way, trying to avoid being screwed by shoddy farkling, I picked up the (wrong?) idea that it was super reliable to crimp and then solder a wire end connector (ring, spade, fork, bullet). Now I'm finding that it is not only not good but downright bad, because the solder makes the connection more brittle and subject to failure. A good crimp by itself is better for all stranded wire crimp ons. Maybe solder solid core wire; better, don't use it.

I'm going to stop soldering just about everything, since I don't do a whole lot of joining to circuit boards or such where you really need it. I may even start using butt connectors instead of soldering splices. But I still draw the line at T-taps.

Opinions?
Solder makes any connection more brittle if you allow the solder to wick up under the insulation past any strain relief.
Never heard of anyone soldering a spade connection or terminal connection once crimped.....that is not good practice...... because it's very hard not to have the solder wick up under the insulation making a stiff connection.

Crimping is fine and makes a good reliable connection........IF........the crimp is done properly with proper crimping tools.
Using a pliers or cheap crimper that just squeezes the connection does not make for a good electrical connection.

....and as stated in another thread, some sort of strain relief should be provided using a double crimp or other means that secures the insulation.

I never use T-taps, wire nuts, or other quick-n-dirty methods to make electrical connections, especially on a motorcycle subject to a lot of vibration and wide temperature swings.
 

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I picked up one of these crimpers last year and it is fantastic for crimps. I had been using one of those basic electrical crimpers that were hit or miss and many times would have to recrimp to get it to hold. These ones I picked up on Amazon have a wide "blade" on front and are ratcheting crimpers. Just use the right connector and this makes a perfect solid crimp everytime. No wasted connectors and saves time because you only have to do it once. It also gave me way more confidence on using crimpers and doing wiring projects...


https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0069TRKJ0?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title
 

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Did not know that about solder, good advice.

Agree that a good crimper makes all the difference. The cheap / thin crimpers just make a tedious job that much more miserable.
 

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Somewhere along the way, trying to avoid being screwed by shoddy farkling, I picked up the (wrong?) idea that it was super reliable to crimp and then solder a wire end connector (ring, spade, fork, bullet). Now I'm finding that it is not only not good but downright bad, because the solder makes the connection more brittle and subject to failure. A good crimp by itself is better for all stranded wire crimp ons. Maybe solder solid core wire; better, don't use it.

I'm going to stop soldering just about everything, since I don't do a whole lot of joining to circuit boards or such where you really need it. I may even start using butt connectors instead of soldering splices. But I still draw the line at T-taps.

Opinions?
It can depends on the application. In the automotive/truck world, which is similar to the m/c world, since they all travel the same roads, and travel and live in the same climate, double crimps have been used at least since the 60s. I'm not sure what the boating world uses, and although I used to assemble 747s, I don't recall what is required for aircraft. I'm sure military and space travel can be totally different.

In the automotive world, larger gage wires, like one that comes from the alternator, are often crimped and soldered.

At my shop, I rarely solder anything. If 2 wires come together, I have crimps for that too, and usually put heat shrink tubing over the crimp for outer support and protection. The big problem for most DIYr is gonna be the cost of good crimping tools. Some of mine are over $200.00, only to find out that crimping tool was a bad choice. Most recently I invested in micro connectors that are often used for bling lighting. With the tool, connectors, 1', 2', 3' extensions, and 100' of cord, I know that was well over $400.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Been soldering for over 40 years and never had a failure in the field. Sorry, poor technique by some doesn't mean that the people that do it right should not. I've went behind to many hacks and corrected their crimping failures.
I hear you, @Crabballs. That's how I wound up doing all the soldering I've done for the past dozen years. I wound up in my new spot because I was hunting for info about how to not be a goon and make bad crimps, since I'm getting ready for some farkling.

I think we can all agree that a bad crimp is a bad thing. And not uncommon.

The new-to-me angle is that a good crimp + solder seems to be less good than a good crimp alone. Perhaps not for every fringe application, but for general automotive usage and such. And a bad crimp + solder, no matter how the good solder is, is still a bad crimp that is unacceptable.

I sort of suck at both. But my new commitment is now to becoming a real good crimper, rather than solid at both.

It's not that I think the stuff that I crimped + soldered is going to fail and that I'm going to go all OCD and re-do it. But I am now of the opinion that the extra effort to solder is both wasted and negative. How about that? Laziness pays off!!
 

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I'm with Crabballs, I never rely on crimps, I always solder and frequently solder a crimp to be sure it's good for the life of the joint.

Solder does not make the cable brittle but if a cable is flexing right at the point where the solder has reached within the cable, then that point will be subject to concentrated stress and will fatigue over time. Stress relieve that point and tie off cable to prevent flexing and all will be well with the soldered joint.

As an aside; there's plenty of evidence on this site of Honda crimps failing inside the wiring harness.
 

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There are 2 things involved when make a connection whether it be a crimp connector or a solder connection. One is a good mechanical connection and the other is a good electrical connection. While a crimp on connector can make a good mechanical connection it may not make a good electrical connection, this is where soldering comes in at. Soldering, done right, provides both a good mechanical connection and electrical connection when used with a crimp connector. Stranded wire, while allowing flexibility, makes a poor electrical connection in a crimp connector if not soldered, this is due to the strands spreading out as they are crimped.

I never use insulated crimp connectors, the reason for this, I "tin" the ends of the wires, crimp them in the connector, apply a small amount of solder and use shrink tubing, this gives me the best mechanical connection along with the best electrical connection.
 

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Has anyone seen or used the new-fangled low-temp-solder-heat-shrink combo connectors? I have a box of them in the garage, but I haven't had the opportunity to try them.
 

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I solder, just the way I was taught. I keep the solder in the joint and heat shrink well beyond. Now we can get those heat shrink units with the solder already in the mid section. I have some, but have not used them yet. That will need some experimenting. I also have the really good crimpers and strippers. We have it made in the shade these days.

prs
 

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Bottom line......

If an electrical crimp connection is done properly with proper tools it will last the life of the bike.
If a electrical solder connection is done correctly with proper equipment and technique it will last the life of the bike.

But, if you don't have the proper crimper, don't strain relief your connection, don't apply proper heat to the solder joint, allow wicking of solder under insulation, etc..........either method can fail.

Pick your method/poison, but learn and practice the proper procedures to achieve a good solid electrical connection that will last.
I've seen some doozies over the years on Goldwings and other bikes.......that is one (of many) reasons I never purchase a used motorcycle.

JMHO.....
 

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Solder and heat shrink for me.
Proper soldering technique is critical.
One needs to know what a correctly done solder joint looks like.
I have seen way too many cold solder joints done by untrained DIY'ers.
 

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I picked up one of these crimpers last year and it is fantastic for crimps. I had been using one of those basic electrical crimpers that were hit or miss and many times would have to recrimp to get it to hold. These ones I picked up on Amazon have a wide "blade" on front and are ratcheting crimpers. Just use the right connector and this makes a perfect solid crimp everytime. No wasted connectors and saves time because you only have to do it once. It also gave me way more confidence on using crimpers and doing wiring projects...


Titan 11477 Ratcheting Wire Terminal Crimper Tool for Insulated Terminals - - Amazon.com
This is an interesting discussion, for sure. Plenty of times I thought I was "doing it by the book" with crimpers, only to have the wire pull right out after doing it properly on a properly selected AWG wire:connector combo. So I went to soldering after crimping, and then using a heat shrink over that. Can't say how many times I did the soldering only to THEN remember the heat shrink needed to have been slid on first. [email protected]#$%

On another recent thread here on the forum, the double crimp connector was shown. I think it was in GoldWingerGreg's posting IIRC. I went online with Amazon and could never find that animal...the one with 1 crimp for electrical connection, and 1 crimp for strain control. So my question is, given a pair of nice crimpers as shown in this link, does anyone have a source for the dual crimp type connectors?
 

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This is an interesting discussion, for sure. Plenty of times I thought I was "doing it by the book" with crimpers, only to have the wire pull right out after doing it properly on a properly selected AWG wire:connector combo. So I went to soldering after crimping, and then using a heat shrink over that. Can't say how many times I did the soldering only to THEN remember the heat shrink needed to have been slid on first. [email protected]#$%

On another recent thread here on the forum, the double crimp connector was shown. I think it was in GoldWingerGreg's posting IIRC. I went online with Amazon and could never find that animal...the one with 1 crimp for electrical connection, and 1 crimp for strain control. So my question is, given a pair of nice crimpers as shown in this link, does anyone have a source for the dual crimp type connectors?
This is a place I have been using for connectors with the ratcheting crimpers I posted above. I picked them up last year as I had to completely rewire a 14ft power boat and dash. Boats require crimped connectors and tinned strand wiring. IMHO, the prices are pretty reasonable for the connectors which they advertise are double crimps and have strain relief. And after crimping, you just apply some heat and shrink the connection. I would imagine this would work very well to protect the connectors on a bike from the weather too. The wiring from this place would also work out very well for motorcycle applications and is reasonably priced...

Heat Shrink Terminals Adhesive Lined Wire Connectors
 

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Discussion Starter #17
+1 to a theme here of "whatever you do, don't do it poorly." ;)

It seems that it's easy to trip over lousy crimpers, but you can find good ones if you look. And pay.

Finding good connectors is hard. So much junk out there.

I'm laughing a bit because I knew I wasn't great at soldering, but I can make do. I was researching how to get less bad at crimping. Again, it proves nothing is idiot proof to a talented idiot.
 

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Are you guys talking about an $80 Ancor Double Tool or a good old $40 Klein crimping tool?
 

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Search for this one on Amazon. It should work just fine.
Titan 11477 Ratcheting Wire Terminal Crimper Tool for Insulated Terminals
 

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I get a lot of my connections and crimpers from The place for all your motorcycle electric needs.. The crimping tools I use the most are Hero FRH-07, and Hero BL-255. Although his web page is cumbersome, his service is excellent. He also shares what his crimpers are best at doing.
 
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