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How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

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How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

Old 07-17-2008, 10:22 AM
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Default How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

I'm sick of wasting expensive Ancor shrink-butt connectors. Could someone please tell me the right way to crimp and heat shrink them? I don't see any directions on the package. I am using a good pair of Anchor Crimpers.
Thanks
Old 07-17-2008, 10:32 AM
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Default Re: How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

get a pair of delcity crimpers - they will shut until you are crimped right and will only let go when you get to that point - alsos the delcity hi-perf butt connectors have solder in them so when you heat shrink them, they auto-solder together...great system and a cheap heat gun works much better than a bic lighter


http://www.delcity.net
Old 07-17-2008, 11:09 AM
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Default Re: How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

I use a propane torch to shrink stuff, and for crimps I use a Calcutta crimp tool. The crimp tool is really for fishing leaders, but it works for anything.

The trick to the propane torch is to use the right attachment. The standard torch tip that produces an inner blue flame that comes to a point is very hot. Too hot really. You want a "diffused" torch tip. You also sweep the flame fairly rapidly along the heat shrink stuff. You do not need much heat to do the job. Too much and you set things on fire. Usually the wire insulation is that burns.

The cheap garbage tool that comes with crimp connectors is GARBAGE no matter who makes it. I would rather use a set of locking pliers than the garbage tool supplies with crimps! I would rather use my teeth really. And what is this "garbage tool"? Anything that looks like this - regardless of brand name.

Old 07-17-2008, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

If you look at the connector carefully, you will see the beginning of the metal part of the insert and a crimp in the inline connectors or the end of the ring or spade connectors. Crimp in the middle between these spots. That is to say, in the center of the part that's going to contact the wire. Strip the wire the same length as the contact part of the connector. It should go without saying that you need the right sized connector for the wire you are using. Also, use the correct notch in the crimping tool.

BTW: Although there are far better tools on the market, I spent over twenty years as an electronic technician working for a large public school system. They issued me one of the "garbage tools" above and that's what I used the entire time. I wore out a couple during my time. Never a problem or call back on a crimp. I still use one, just not as often. A less experienced user would fare better with the better tool.

I use a heat gun to shrink the tubing. Move it around and don't melt the tubing. It helps to practice a few times before you try this on your boat. A torch will work also if you are carefull.
Old 07-17-2008, 11:48 AM
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Default Re: How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

i have been using the anchor double crimpers as well. They are good for the yellow butt connecters, but the blue ones, not so much. I end up crimping it again with one of the cheaper type single crimps too. I use a heat gun to shrink the tube.
Old 07-17-2008, 12:10 PM
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Default Re: How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

If you're only heat shrinking occaisionly, one of the long bar-b-que windproof lighters or a golf course cigar lighter works great...
Old 07-17-2008, 04:11 PM
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Default RE: How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

As stated above, use correct terminal for the wire size. What I do is cut a piece of shrink tubing longer than the terminal. Slide the tubing down the wire,crimp the terminal with a good quality crimper and slide the shrink tubing back over the crimped term. I use a cheap heat gun.
Another thing I do is before you slide the shrink tubing over the terminal, goop the terminal up with silicon seal, then slide it over the gooped terminal and heat. The squeezing down of the tubing forces the silicon into the terminal and out the shrink tubing ends. This is good for bilge pump connections.
Old 07-17-2008, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

I don't crimp at all. I found the solder seal connectors to be much more reliable and you can see thru the plastic to the connection. When you heat the connector the solder and glue melts and the tube shrinks. The perfect connection.
Old 07-18-2008, 06:17 AM
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Default Re: How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

The solder seal connectors are very nice. In fact, the use of a solder slug and a triple wall shrink-tube will make you a lifetime battery lug connection. The ABYC standard says some crap about Solder not being the sole mechanical connector. Solder + an Adhesive Heat Shrink will yield two.
Old 07-18-2008, 06:31 AM
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Default Re: How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

where do you guys get this type of "solder seal shrink connector"???? It seems a really cool idea and I have to redo my electrical installation....

I looked at go2marine but I couldn't find them.....

Thanks in advance...
Old 07-18-2008, 06:46 AM
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Default Re: How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

emudryj - 7/18/2008 9:31 AM

where do you guys get this type of "solder seal shrink connector"???? It seems a really cool idea and I have to redo my electrical installation....

I looked at go2marine but I couldn't find them.....

Thanks in advance...
2nd post
Old 07-18-2008, 08:09 AM
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Default Re: How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

dowop - 7/18/2008 6:17 AM The solder seal connectors are very nice. In fact, the use of a solder slug and a triple wall shrink-tube will make you a lifetime battery lug connection. The ABYC standard says some crap about Solder not being the sole mechanical connector. Solder + an Adhesive Heat Shrink will yield two.
Not! What kind of soldier melts at that low temp? Soldering with a heat gun?If the connection gets hot the both the soldier and heat shrink can easily fail. #1 cause of boat fires is electrical issues. You may get away with those connectors on small wire with light loads but on battery cables your asking for trouble. I WILL pick you up out of the water and then we can watch your boat burn to the waterline. From a safe distance of course!.
Old 07-18-2008, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

What kind of low temp - you mean a map gas torch - not hot enough for you there? Please, I've been in the electronics industry my whole life and I will take one of my soldered battery connectors to your crimped any day of the week, month, year or century!

Secondly, the ONLY way for that connection to get hot enough to melt the solder and/or the heat shrink is if you under-rated the wire AWG. If that's the case then the fire you describe is accurate, otherwise it's just the typical internet scare BS about solder.

As far as the non battery connectors, an 1100 watt or so heat gun will easily melt the small amount of solder in a butt connector for 16 AWG wire.

Check your copper plumbing there chief, because that propane torch that they used to solder the connections w/55 PSI water pressure going through it is going to blow anytime now.
Old 07-18-2008, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

Crimp connectors, not soldering, is what the ABYC and USCG recommend for boat wiring. Solder will wick along the conductors and create a hard place where vibration can cause the conductors to fail. Also, (and this may not apply to "experts"), the average person does not know how to solder properly.
Old 07-18-2008, 10:56 AM
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Default Re: How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

Now wicking is a valid concern, but with strain-relief it is nothing to be concerned about. I contend a poor quality crimp will fail long before an average 'joe' solder connection. Just look at the number of crappy crimp tools out there - buy a crimp tool for $10 and a bag of connectors for $8 and think it will hold up to the shock and strain - NOT!

You want strain and shock... try an airframe. By the way the FAA and Mil-Spec both approve of of solder with proper strain relief.

Do whatever floats your boat, but for me it is solder and don't try to convince me that it is a poor connection.

For all you ABYC people, here is an snip of the Spring 2005 newsletter:

?? Battery lugs designed for soldering are the only place
where the standards allow solder to be used as the only
means to secure a terminal connection to a conductor (E-
11.16.3.7). When stranded conductors are soldered they
become, in effect, a solid conductor. This solid conductor is
then susceptible to cracking and breaking from vibration
and flexing, resulting in high resistance and heat build-up.
For this reason, solid conductors of any kind are not
allowed by ABYC. In the case of a battery lug, it can be
soldered if the solder contact length is at least 1 ½ times the
diameter of the conductor.
The battery lugs that I use are easily in length 1.5 x the size of the conductor.
Old 07-18-2008, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

dowop - 7/18/2008 9:47 AM What kind of low temp - you mean a map gas torch - not hot enough for you there? Please, I've been in the electronics industry my whole life and I will take one of my soldered battery connectors to your crimped any day of the week, month, year or century! Secondly, the ONLY way for that connection to get hot enough to melt the solder and/or the heat shrink is if you under-rated the wire AWG. If that's the case then the fire you describe is accurate, otherwise it's just the typical internet scare BS about solder. As far as the non battery connectors, an 1100 watt or so heat gun will easily melt the small amount of solder in a butt connector for 16 AWG wire. Check your copper plumbing there chief, because that propane torch that they used to solder the connections w/55 PSI water pressure going through it is going to blow anytime now.
Being in the electronics industry your whole life maybe you have heard of something called a "short". Even properly sized wire cable can fail. Is your stater circuit fused? Oh, no it is not. Never seen a starter run on? Guess not. Granted I have not used any of the soldered battery cable lugs you do. Dont plan to either. Spend anytime around boats?? Just guessing here but I suspect you have never seen one burn when a soldiered connection failed. I have. Good luck with yours.

BTW - My plumbing doesn't carry any current. Only heat source is hot water. I suppose a lightning strike would test it. I'll worry about thatwhen the time comes.
Old 07-18-2008, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

I'm with dowop on this one. Also been in electronics since a kid. I just had to deal with a bunch of crimp connectors that failed and the wires pulled out.

Simply put, crimp connections suck.
Old 07-18-2008, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

Montauk Local - 7/18/2008 7:16 PM

I'm with dowop on this one. Also been in electronics since a kid. I just had to deal with a bunch of crimp connectors that failed and the wires pulled out.

Simply put, crimp connections suck.
Just as simply, they the recommendations of the ABYC and USCG. They are also used by the factory on approved boats. If your crimp connections faild and the wires pulled out, they weren't properly done in the first place or someone put way too much stress on them.

I recently gave up my position as the connector police so do as you wish on your own boat. Recommending that others ignore the official recommendations is a disservice to other THT members who may not know any better.
Old 07-18-2008, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

Lots of mud flying. The whole point lost here is properly crimped.Take a battery cable that has been crimped, cut in half,what you should see is what appears to be a single solid copper tube no voids.I can take that cable and tow your truck anyplace you like,while you hold your torch to it.. By the way 60/40 solder is used on starter field coil connections,solidus temp 428 degrees, as opposed to ....your ......typical 40/60 solder 361 solidus degrees, and still fail due to melting connections.
Old 07-18-2008, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: How to crimp and shrink butt connectors?

I get my solder seal connections from Lawson Products. They have reps in most areas or you can order them on line. They also have connectors that crimp with the solder and heat shrink all together. So you can have a connection that is crimped,soldered,and covered with adhesive lined heat shrink tube.

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