How To: Proper wire crimps

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How To: Proper wire crimps

Post by mad-ass on Tue Nov 24, 2015 4:21 am

As we modify our cars to fit our needs, we eventually get around adding new wires to our vehicles to either repair or add new accessories.  This could be new gauges, fuel pump, electric fans etc.  No one likes doing same work twice, especially wiring.  (If you already know how, add in inputs. I only know enough to do what I need to do.)

The main focus here is using the correct tool the right way.  And before someone adds in to say "soldering is better then crimps 100% of times, I will challenge you to find a single solder joint on any factory wiring harness, automotive manufactures often use splices to join wires within the harness, not to mention all the plugs/pins on the harness are crimped.  This is due to time saving and it's resistance to vibration over time, soldered joints can crack under heat and vibration causing bad connections.  Not to say never solder any wires on a car, I have plenty of soldered wire connections on my car, but you aren't going to solder on a wire terminal now are you?

Lets talk about the tools, you'll want to invest in a decent pair of crimpers as it can last you a life time of use if you don't abuse the crap out of it.  I am sure most of us with tool collection have this thing laying around somewhere...


The tools you'll be looking to buy will be designed to do a specific job, in this case crimping.  There are two major different types of crimpers, and they are insulated and non-insulated.  I use the Klein crimper(Link here) for both types crimps as specified on the tool and it has been serving me well.  The main reason to ditch the old stamped metal pliers is because of the surface area the clamping is done at.  I do own a ratcheting type crimper for insulated terminals, but you'll need to buy good terminals to go with it.



Here's a short video I found on YouTube that pretty much sums up the tools and materials I use and the process.


Main purpose of this post is to get everyone interested in doing things the right way the first time, and to discover new things we didn't know before. Things can go wrong, bad electrical connection can lead to frustrations, or fire.  I will end it here granted there are ton of more information that can be added, but it's up to you to be interested in this. so here are some links for anyone interested in reading more.

http://blog.boattrader.com/2013/12/boat-wiring-use-good-terminals-and-tools.html
http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/wire_termination
http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/terminating_small_wires
http://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvisor/Marine-Wire-Terminal-Tech-Specs
http://www.boatus.com/boattech/casey/electrical-connections.asp
http://www.lsxtv.com/tech-stories/the-5-dos-and-donts-of-wiring-a-racecar/
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mad-ass

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Re: How To: Proper wire crimps

Post by Riley on Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:39 am

The Klein crimper is the best for both types in my opinion. The ratcheting crimpers tend to pinch and rip appart the insulation half the time. And thats with weidmueller crimpers and good terminals.

Buying a set of kleins (or comparible) is worth it. They function as dikes too, so you dont have to go hunting for two tools.

Also, if youre into wiring shit, pick up a pair of Phoenix 1212150, they save hella time, and you can adjust the strip length and tension. Plus, you can get them down into places where no butterfly or whatever the other style is called can go.
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Re: How To: Proper wire crimps

Post by travisroush on Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:24 am

I just started to realize wiring isn't so hard it's just a matter of taking my time to do it proper the first time, I will definitely take some of these tips for the next time I've got to wire stuff up. At some point I would like to pull my motor and all harness out to clean it all up and re-do connections.
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