Word to the Wise: Don't Solder Your Crimps - Page 2 - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Minitwins
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Wire-wheels, I agree with you: if you are a genuine expert at soldering, then there are plenty of instances where soldering expertly (i.e. the right amount of heat, the right amount of solder, etc.) helps rather than hurts. And part of being an expert is knowing which instances those are. I'm good at getting a nice clean soldering joint, but I'm not that kind of expert at all. Too much heat is my middle name.

In my case, I packed almost all the electricals for my custom into a tiny cubby under my Bonneville's seat, which means the M-unit is mounted above the battery, the Igniter and ground terminal are mounted above that, and a few dozen wires, connectors, fuses and diodes are layered on top of that. It was all done carefully, but the fact is, I need to move stuff around in there, e.g. move wires aside to get to the m-unit. My conclusion is that having soldered so many connections, the act of pulling the wires here and there weakened the joints, and then vibration and bumps did the rest.

If I had done only robust crimping to all my connections, the wires and terminals would have been more tolerant of the movement, I believe.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 07:11 AM
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NYC: I don't think any of us become an expert at soldering. It just comes up too occasionally to get THAT good at it. I have done a lot of it, and a lot of different types of soldering (flame, iron, solder gun, etc.) . Example is I am currently renovating a mountain cabin. It has copper plumbing that needs a lot of help. I cannot afford to pay someone. You just do it and move on. The same with soldering electrical. It is just a small part of a bigger project. I would like.to see pictures of your Bonnie too. ...J.D.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Minitwins
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WW, here are a couple pictures of the bike.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCBonneville View Post
Wire-wheels, I agree with you: if you are a genuine expert at soldering, then there are plenty of instances where soldering expertly (i.e. the right amount of heat, the right amount of solder, etc.) helps rather than hurts. And part of being an expert is knowing which instances those are. I'm good at getting a nice clean soldering joint, but I'm not that kind of expert at all. Too much heat is my middle name.
I do a lot of soldering, I wouldn't say on a daily basis but its not an occasional thing with me. Your problem has nothing to do with heat but rather the change from rigid to flexible. Crimp connections are not intended to be soldered but electrically it does no harm and can be done. On any soldered joint the weak part is right at the edge of the soldered part and this is always where the wire will snap off. The same would happen to a crimp joint, except that the crimp has an advantage - it has a secondary crimp that clamps onto the wire's insulating sleeve and it is that which prevents the break. On a straight solder joint, the same effect is had by slipping a hard cover, such as a piece of plastic drinking straw for example, over the joint and covering the wire insulation by about a half inch either side of the joint. An alternative would be to use heat shrink tubing with some kind of splint inside, like a length of wooden or plastic cocktail stick. Do one of those things and your solder joints will never break, no matter how much you move them around. The key thing here is extending the stiff part over the wire insulation. On a crimp connector, restrict the soldered area to the wire crimp, leaving the secondary crimp free to clamp down on the wire insulation and the problem is solved.
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