I'm installing a remote starter in my car and have a problem...
Many of the wires are heavy gauge and stranded. Joining them is very
For example, I have to splice in a 14 gauge wire onto an existing wire. So I
cut the existing wire, strip it back about 1/2 inch and then try and twist
these two ends and a third 14 gauge wire together... all under the dashboard
of my car with little slack. Needless to say, it doesn't work very well.
I do know of connectors that just splice into the existing wiring, but they
are not very reliable.
I'm hoping that I might be able to find a crimp that will bind the three
wire ends together so I can solder them, but I'm not sure what I'm looking
What make and model? On some, a good deal of the dash will come off
and that makes it a lot easier. Also picking the best place on a
wire to make the splice can help quite a bit. But you probably know
all this, and much of what I have below.
I just did a fairly complicated car burglar alarm last summer.
I don't know if they are reliable or not, but I used about 4 for
non-critical splices, and when I had to take one apart, I saw that it
had cut all but 6 of the strands in the wire. It was listed as suited
for 3 gauges, and iirc this was the 2 or 3rd thickest, and 6 strands
is plenty to make it work, but I don't like strands being cut. I
won't be using those things again, except maybe for the thinnest wire
it is rated for.
I know you are asking about crimping things, but the car gets hot and
cold and parts of it are dirty or hard to reach, so I like connections
that won't give any problems until the car is in the crusher. So...
Why can't you just solder the connection you describe in your second
paragraph? If you're really short of slack, you can solder something
to lengthen one half, although normally I don't cut wires that don't
have to be cut. I strip off the insulation all around, scrape it
shiny with the edge of a knife, wrap the new wire around it and solder
it. For car work I have a Wen gun that looks like a real gun, a
revolver, but they don't sell these anymore, or even the tips. But
you can get other quick heating guns. I only recommend that because
in a car it can be easier to put down if you can wait until it is
cool. But if you're organized, you can splice a lot of things and do
all the soldering in a row, and then you can put the iron down
carefully or unplug it.
If you scrape both wires, get the wires hot so the solder flows by
itself into all the spaces, there won't be cold solder joints that
will fail later.
I use heat shrink tubing for all splices in a car, except for the T
connection I describe above, where I use this stuff I call shink tape.
I forget the other name. It's 6 or 8 dollars a roll and I think
I've only seen it mail order, but it's well worth the price and the
effort. It stretches (you stretch it as you wrap it on) so it
doesn't take much to do a job and when you let go it shrinks back a
little and in doing so sort of merges to the layer underneath, so the
edges sort of disappear. I think they disappear even more over the
nexrt few months. It becomes almost like a one piece cover.
There was a thread about this here in the last year or two, where the
proper name for this stuff was given, and where it can be bought.
(When the next door neighbor's contractor cut my phone line, I
repaired it and called the phone company to repair it permanently. A
guy came out and said the underground guy had to do this, even though
the cut part was above ground. He told me they used regular black
plastic electric tape and some little round crimping things. I had
soldered it and used better tape, both of which I think are better, so
I never called the underground guy.)
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let
me know if you have posted also.
Be careful soldering on your back under the dash. Go to a shop where
they install after market audio/alarm systems. Offer to buy some
connectors, they'll just give you a handful.
(HI Tony) Yep, You need a big iron for outdoor work.
A helicopter crash was investigated here recently, cause of crash was
blamed on soldered connections, which were corroded, should have been
crimped the inspector said, believe it or not.
The top hat connectors I mentioned. You remove the insulation, wrap the
wires together, then crimp the connector over everything, it insulates
and holds everything together,
basically a realtive of a wire nut, I have used those too
That's right. In aerospace we always used crimp connectors vs
soldered because of reliability. Soldered connections weaken the wire
causing it to break under vibration. For most of us, soldered
connections are fine. Also, in order to get a good crimped
connection, the crimp tools are very expensive and require
calibration. Generally what I do is crimp a terminal on a wire, then
solder it because I don't have aerospace quality crimpers.
Stranded wire is used in a car and airplanes for a reason, it can take
the vibrations without breaking as would solid wire. As wing nuts are
best for solid wire, butt connectors are best for stranded. They make
special butt connectors used in airplanes that has a gel to retard
corrosion. Actually in an airplane you have to replace the entire wire
usually if there is a problem. In the car you can attach two wires on
the same side of the butt connector and one or two on the other. As for
soldering, the connection would be tight and good but it's the
insulation you would have to worry about. Just imagine electrical tape
over a sharp soldered joint moving back and forth over time from
You need to use heat shrink tubing for these kinds of joints. I am not
sure exactly what vinyl electrical tape is useful for, I see a lot of it
for very cheap, but I have found when using it that over time it's glue
disintegrates and the tape comes off.
Thanks for all the input folks!
I ended up using a butt splice for the wire I had cut. Once spliced together
it soldered up nicely.
For the rest, I just carefully removed the insulation and wrapped the new
wire around the exposed wire. It was a lot simpler to do than I though it
Starter is in and working great. Now I just need to add a trunk solenoid and
door lock actuator and it's all done.
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