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I've never used them, but the idea is sound.

One concern I have is using an alloy that will flow well enough to not cause a brittle/cold joint at a temperature low enough to not damage the heat shrink tubing. Low temp alloys are useful, but are prone to brittleness over time/stress/temp. Still, this type of joint should experience very little mechanical stress.

I would also be very careful as to the wire's condition before inserting it in the connector. Brand new wire usually shows bright copper conductors when stripped back - clean enough to easily "wet" when the solder melts. Older wire often acquires a patina on the copper, even under the insulation. Such oxidation will prevent the flux from wetting the wires for perfect solder connections unless extra flux and sustained heat is used to boil off the oxidation layer.

On new wire, this shouldn't be an issue.

I would use this over a crimp connection in any automotive application.

John
 

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I havent used that particular type, but I always use heat shrink tubing when making wiring harnesses...have yet to have any of my heat shrink over solder joints fail...whereas every time I try to use crimp connectors its nothing but issues and ugliness.
 

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Gonna have to remember this next time I need to do something with wires. Gotta be better than using electrical tape. I hope heat guns are cheap, cuz I'd have to buy one of those as well.
 

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Neat idea, probably works fine, but I'd rather roll my own with being able to inspect the solder joint prior to heat shrinking.

I havent used that particular type, but I always use heat shrink tubing when making wiring harnesses...have yet to have any of my heat shrink over solder joints fail...whereas every time I try to use crimp connectors its nothing but issues and ugliness.
Most times I'll strip the plastic off the connectors, put a good crimp on it, solder the connector and then use heat shrink. Looks much better than a xmas tree variety of colors under the hood or dash.
 

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Up front I have to say I've never actually used those. I prefer a soldered lineman's splice instead. Mainly because with careful work and the right shrink tubing a repair can be made that is next to invisible. Or at least a lot easier to hide. I can't abide wire splice connections that jump out at you.

Often the knee jerk reaction to these heat gun connectors is fear of a cold solder joint. Apparently it isn't an issue. At some point I might get around to acquiring some of these and testing them. (Think I mentioned doing that before. I am slacking.) One of the tests would be for resistance/voltage drop. Any time you make a connection, you add some resistance, because it's an imperfect world. How much is the issue. Along such lines, GM now has some solder/crimp connectors meant specifically for repair of airbag system wiring. Such systems are extraordinarily sensitive to any added resistance and these new connectors are designed accordingly. I want some but currently you only get them from GM and one other place and they are NOT cheap. I seem to have misplaced the part number but I did already buy a pair of the specified crimping pliers for them.

All that said, in it's proper place, I will use about any type of wire connection. I'm not stuck on any one. Where it will work effectively I will crimp a regular cheap butt connector in a skinny minute.
 

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Neat idea, probably works fine, but I'd rather roll my own with being able to inspect the solder joint prior to heat shrinking.



Most times I'll strip the plastic off the connectors, put a good crimp on it, solder the connector and then use heat shrink. Looks much better than a xmas tree variety of colors under the hood or dash.
The other problem with crimp connectors is that they are big and ugly, whereas done correctly when soldered and heat shrunk you are hard pressed to find the splice...they also fit far easier into a loom if you have several at the same location(if using a loom)
 

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Not saying those are bad, there have been a few good points made above, but the last thing I need on a car, especially my old classics that I never have enough time to do the work on the first time, is a problem later on.

For me, if I have to splice a wire, old fashioned solder, good flow, not too hot, followed by quality heat shrink.
 

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Cheap Heat Gun

Gonna have to remember this next time I need to do something with wires. Gotta be better than using electrical tape. I hope heat guns are cheap, cuz I'd have to buy one of those as well.
Heat guns made for electronics work are expensive. However, a dual range heat gun for paint removal is dirt cheap at Harbor Freight. With a 20% off coupon from your favorite car mag, $12.

https://www.harborfreight.com/1500-watt-dual-temperature-heat-gun-572-1112-96289.html?_br_psugg_q=heat+gun
 

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Discussion Starter #11
,,,,,,,,
I would also be very careful as to the wire's condition before inserting it in the connector. Brand new wire usually shows bright copper conductors when stripped back - clean enough to easily "wet" when the solder melts. Older wire often acquires a patina on the copper, even under the insulation. Such oxidation will prevent the flux from wetting the wires for perfect solder connections unless extra flux and sustained heat is used to boil off the oxidation layer.

On new wire, this shouldn't be an issue.

I would use this over a crimp connection in any automotive application.

John

Nice tip. I didn't know this. Thanks.
 

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I bought them and tried them out. They seem to work pretty well. I covered them with regular black heat shrink after words because I prefer the look of the heat shrink.
 

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Often the knee jerk reaction to these heat gun connectors is fear of a cold solder joint. Apparently it isn't an issue.
I think it depends on a lot of factors, two important ones being the condition of the wire (or it's prep) and the user's technique.

I've been soldering electronic components and wires every working day for almost 50 years now, and I've dealt with all kinds of issues with solder adhesion.

These days, I don't solder **anything** without using liquid flux. The new lead free solders are finicky for both flow out and adhesion, and I don't think the manufacturers can get enough flux in the solder itself. Using liquid flux means I can use less heat (important on soldering surface mounted devices on delicate printed circuits) ,less contact time, and far less chance of solder bridging on closely spaced IC pins.

In the case of these connectors, it's critical to either use brand new wire or make sure the older wire is bright and shiny. I've hand soldered wires on older wiring harnesses where it took considerable heat and flux to finally get a wire to "wet", particularly wires that are exposed to high heat. When teaching new techs to solder, I always taught a student to "tin" the wires first before attempting to solder them. If not, it's possible to get a blob of solder around the connection but not have the solder electrically bond with the wires, or it may bond to one wire and not the other.

If an older solder-resistant wire is inserted into these connectors, I'm sure it will make a pretty good mechanical connection as the melted solder flows around the wire, but it will have issues down the road as the wire oxidizes under the solder. Now, it's possible these connectors use a blob of paste flux inside which will greatly improve the prospects of the solder wetting the wires, but I don't know for sure.

I think these connectors are useful for a guy who needs to make a couple of splices and doesn't want to buy a soldering iron, solder, and heat shrink tubing, but it should be limited to new wiring or wiring that shows no sign of oxidation. My advice for anyone who intends to do a lot of wire splicing is to pre-tin the wires with a 40W min iron and quality solder, solder them directly to each other, then heat shrink them. They look better and will *never* fail.

This style "solder sleeve" is approved and used in aerospace wiring harnesses. Imo if the design is good enough for aircraft, it's good enough for my auto.
I wonder if there isn't industrial quality connectors. I have no issues with using them in a car, but there is NO way I'd use them in an airplane!


John

EDIT: I just checked Amazon reviews for these, and while the overall score is pretty good, 10% of the reviews gave them 2 stars or less. Most of the reasons were incomplete solder melting, bad connections, and the outer insulation burning before the solder completely melted, even with trying several heat settings.

So I guess there might be a learning curve involved. If so, you can pick up a cheap iron on ebay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/110V-60W-Iron-Soldering-Gun-Electric-Welding-Heat-Pencil-Solder-Tool-Tip-K0M2/223501393205?hash=item3409b89d35:g:X3wAAOSwkm9cybi2

I keep a couple of these around the shop and in my road kit. They are very durable and adjustable and have far more wattage than you would need for soldering just about anything in a car except for the radiator..



.
 

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One of my newest toys. I really like it so far. I've only used it for on-vehicle wiring repairs so far. It takes the slim M12 battery or if you need more run time the more obnoxious bigger M12 fits too. The bigger battery also helps it stand on its tail better, which is almost worth the trade off in weight. No clue on the wattage, didn't care. Saw it on sale on Home Depot's website and bought it pretty much on sight. Gets hot enough to work in a claimed 18 seconds. Has a little light in it, a warning light to tell you it's not yet ready and another tell you it's cooling after shutoff but still too hot to touch. Swivels so it can be pencil or pistol style. I don't know what pro's who solder stuff all the time every day think about it but it's my favorite iron ever.
 

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I got these from Amazon. I first saw them on instagram and immediately thought, sketchy crap. But did a little digging decided to try them out.
I saw them in my Instagram feed too, and the big question I had was, 'if they have some kinda super low temperature solder that melts with only a heat gun (prolly mixed with some form of liquid mercury?!), wouldn't it also re-melt at a low temp, if say, that wire got a little heat from current, heat from the engine, it's not gonna stay stuck...?'

That's what I want to know! Otherwise, I buy that shrink tube with the weatherproof sealer inside and solder them the old-fashioned way.
 
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