Reliable Crimp Connections
How-to do-it-yourself instructional on creating superior crimp connections for 6, 12, 24 and 32 volt systems. Alright, so today on Repairs101: I thought I'd take you through the process of making reliable and weather-proof crimp connections for six, twelve, twenty-four and thirty-two volt electrical systems. OK well I think pretty much everyone's had a kit like this one where you get a multi-pack full of all kinds of different terminal connections and butt connectors and bullet connectors and even some fuses thrown in for good measure. And, you know, it will come with a crimping tool / wire stripper that looks like this one here and it's going to be a reasonably good connection and serve you fairly well. But I don't use these anymore and I don't use this crimp tool anymore. I find the style of insulated terminals to be inferior to un-insulated. So I much prefer to use un-insulated terminals like these ones here and a pair of terminal pliers like this one and a piece of shrink-tubing over the end. If I can't find un-insulated terminals I'll take the insulated type, just grab the end of it with my terminal pliers and just pull it off like that and then it's un-insulated. OK so I'm going to take a piece of ten gauge wire -- you can see it's marked there. OK so I'm just going to take a piece of shrink tubing and cut it down to size and before we do anything we're going to shrink a little piece of shrink-tubing over the end. Remember to do it first because you'll find you can't do it last. I'll grab these wire-strippers and take the end off real quick. There we go. I strongly recommend a pair of strippers like these to anybody who intends to do a lot of wiring -- they'll save you an awful lot of time. You squeeze the handle and the jaw closes to hold the insulated part of the wire. Then you squeeze some more and the cutter comes up and grabs the wire and then you pull it apart with leverage. Put it in the slot marked for ten gauge wire and it's stripped. Just like that. So at this point to dip it in some dielectric grease is always a good idea -- so you just want to take the end of that and there you go. OK now that's been dipped. So there we have it marked twelve and ten gauge and we know we're using a ten gauge wire because it says right there. Now I've dipped this end and it wouldn't hurt to dip this end. Just put a little shot of grease up in the middle of that. There it is. As you can see there's a seam in the construction of the terminal, where the saddle sits for the wire you can see there's a seam. So it's very important to put the seam in the semi-circle part so that you're pushing the male aspect of the pliers into the back of it. So you want to load your terminals so that the seam -- that seam right there loads into the semi-circle side of the terminal crimp pliers. OK so you just load that in there like that and you can see the male aspect is going to push up through the back side and do the crimping from the back side. So we're going to load the wire then -- which we've already dipped. I'm going to give a little squeeze and basically it's done. And this is a very reliable crimp connection and that's what it should look like when you're finished. The impression from the male aspect of the crimp tool will be in the back like that, nice and neat. So all that's left to do is shrink on the tube. I'm just going to slip this shrink-tubing up over the connection. Now you can use a butane torch like this one, or you could use a heat-gun and you can use a propane torch as well but the propane torch -- you're going to find - is throwing too much heat. You want to start at one end and then work your way to the other. It doesn't really matter which end you start at and work towards but you don't want to start in the middle and you don't want to trap any air inside of it at all. You just slide on your piece of shrink tubing, and then just go around real light and easy. You want to start at one end and work your way down to the other and it will melt right on there sweet as you please. And there you have it -- I may have even overdone it a little bit. Whoops. You can see I've overdone it a little bit. A little bit of charring but I'll just wipe that off. It's quite hot. There we have a very reliable crimp connection.