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After The Repair
SOLUTIONS
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Operation: Chemicals, corrosion, vibration and heat can all have negative effects on wiring and electrical components. Advice: Wiring repairs can vary from the simple taping up of a wire with a rubbed or chafed spot in the insulation, to replacing large chunks of wiring harness after an engine fire. On vehicles that sit in the driveway for long periods of time, it is not uncommon for mice or other rodents to set up home under the hood and chew through wiring while building their nest. Sometimes connectors are broken or ripped from the wiring harness accidentally during a hasty repair of something else.
Operation: There are several choices when it comes to repair methods. They range from a simple taped up wire splice to crimp connectors to a permanent soldered joint. Advice: The best way to repair wiring is with a soldered joint protected with heat shrink tubing. That being said, the reality is that soldering is not always practical. You may not have an electrical outlet at the time of repair. Crimp connectors have been around for a long time, and when used properly provide a tight connection. The problem with crimp connectors is that the ends of the connector are open to the atmosphere which promotes corrosion over time. Some crimp connector manufacturers have solved this problem by incorporating heat shrink tubing on the ends of the connector. If the repair is being made to a wire that is part of the engine management system, it should be soldered and sealed with heat shrink tubing. If you must use a crimp connector on engine management system wiring, consider it to be a temporary fix and go back and repair it properly as soon as possible. Recommendations: Soldering gun Rosin core solder Heat shrink tubing
Operation: As with most things in life, the right tool can make all the difference in the world. Advice: Wire Stripper: When working with wiring, a good wire stripper is worth it's weight in gold. Your basic wire stripper requires both hands to operate it. One to hold the wire, and the other to cut and strip the insulation with the tool. When working in tight quarters such as under the dash, this becomes awkward. There are a couple varieties of one handed wire strippers available that will hold the wire and cut and strip off the insulation with one squeeze on the tool's handle. Crimping Pliers: If you must use crimp connectors, a good crimping tool can mean the difference between a good or sloppy job. Soldering Iron: A very good tool to have is a butane powered soldering iron. There is no need for an electrical outlet and they are generally small in size which makes them perfect for working in tight quarters. Rosin Core Solder: Always use a rosin core solder when making electrical repairs. Acid core solder will cause corrosion in electrical connections. Heat Shrink Tubing: Heat shrink tubing is far superior to electrical tape. Helping Hands: Something else that is very handy is a set of helping hands. It consists of a heavy metal base with movable alligator clips to hold the wires in position while you solder them. Terminal Block Tool: A terminal block tool has a variety of small blades and pokers designed to release the metal tangs that hold the terminal end in place in the plastic terminal block. This tool is an absolute necessity when working with terminal blocks. Recommendations: One Handed Wire Stripper Crimping Pliers Soldering Iron Rosin Core Solder Heat Shrink Tubing Helping Hands Terminal Block Tool
Advice: After repairing the wiring if you are experiencing any problems, remember that prior to your fixing the wiring problem there may have been some arcing or shorting of wires while they were exposed. Check the fuses and fusible links. Although the fuses and fusible links are designed to prevent this, depending on the severity of the wiring problem there may also be damage at the component level.
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