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 Post subject: Scotch-Locks, wire joints and crimp connects
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 7:06 pm
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Location: Queens, NYC
Never use Scotch-Locks. Unlike most 3M products, these are bad news. If you get them with a component, throw them in the nearest garbage container. These little "add-ons" will do more to damage your electrical system than anything else you could do. They are inherently bad. They cause shorts, faulty signals on the wire they damage by attaching them and poor connections to the wires added by them. If they do hold well, they almost immediately begin to corrode, causing a future problem that will be hard to diagnose.

Do yourself a favor and splice in the added wire in a more permanent way. Here is how I do it (I will add pictures later):

1. Strip about 1/2" of just the insulation from the wire you need to attach your new wire into (this is unless you are splitting the wire to add in a switch or relay). You do this by using your wire strippers to cut into the insulation at both ends of the 1/2" gap you will be making.
2. Peel out the 1/2" of plastic insulation you just separated from the rest of the wire, being careful not to separate the copper as well.
3. Using a probe, icepick or similar tool, make a hole in the copper strands large enough to pass your new wire through.
4. Strip about an inch off the end of the added wire, do not twist the strands.
5. Pass your wire through, untwisted, close the gap in the wire and wrap the added wire end tightly around the splice.
6. Either solder the connection and tape it or just tape it tightly. The connection is nearly impossible to pull apart if done correctly, but soldering certainly wouldn't hurt. Heat shring would be better, but unless you can slip it over the wire, it can't be used. They do also make heat shrink tape.

Crimp connects:
There is nothing wrong with using them, if you do it properly. Do not use one of those crimping tools that has separate slots for the different colored crimp connects. Use one that has one slot with a dimple maker. Try to buy seamless crimp connects, but if you can't make sure you align the dimple maker on the opposite side of the seam in the barrel inside the connector. For spade connecters or any that attach via screws, etc., that would be toward the back side of the connector. For butt connectors, you need to look inside to see the seam.

Strip about 3/8" off the end of your wire (1/4" for butt connectors), twist the strands for better grip inside the barrel. Crimp solidly. If you must, use both hands on the crimper. For added weather protection, use heat shrink tubing or electrical tape over the connector after crimping. Pull on the wire to test the crimp, you should not be able to move it. Some people say to solder the wire, but that is not necessary unless it cannot be crimped, or you are using one of those color-coded crimpers that do not crimp adequately enough to hold the wire on their own.

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 Post subject: Re: Scotch-Locks, wire joints and crimp connects
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:25 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:19 am
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Great idea on the wire splicing! Would like to see some actual photos of that being done and maybe a link to one of those dimple crimpers to be sure what you are referring to. I think I know what you mean... I use the crimper in my lineman's plier handle that is used to crimp ferrules, but the tab seems rather large to use on electrical connectors.

Also, I wonder how much of a bulge the splicing idea will leave in the wire for heat-shrink to fit over multiple wire scenarios. Those butt connectors and the like can be a pita to get wire protector sleeves (including heat-shrink) over when there are more than one wire being fed through them.


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 Post subject: Re: Scotch-Locks, wire joints and crimp connects
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:07 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 7:06 pm
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Location: Queens, NYC
Butt connectors do cause a size issue if using more than one in the same spot. I always try to stagger them so they are not all in the same spot. I've seen huge taped bulges that look like a snake that just swallowed an elephant.

I will take some pictures the next time I splice wires. I just did it the other day, but I have more wiring coming up. My van has about 3 miles of wire in it, running everywhere..... Some is mine, some was there when I got it. I have been removing things that don't look right and fixing things that did, but weren't....

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 Post subject: Re: Scotch-Locks, wire joints and crimp connects
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:07 pm
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Pictures, please


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 Post subject: Re: Scotch-Locks, wire joints and crimp connects
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 7:06 pm
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Location: Queens, NYC
I know, I know.... I've been bad... My camera is loaded with about 300 pictures that I've just been too busy/lazy to upload..... I will get to it soon, I promise....

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 Post subject: Re: Scotch-Locks, wire joints and crimp connects
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 7:06 pm
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Location: Queens, NYC
Unfortunately, my camera was lost to Hurricane Sandy, along with the 300 plus photos in there.....

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