Electrical Connectors - Randy’s Electrical Corner

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    Pete TrasborgPhotographer, Writer

    I spend a lot of time here talking about how to solder or soldering. But let’s face it, like Catalina’s bounce dance, some things just work. I’m sure that a lot of you don’t solder every connection in your Jeeps. If I’m going to be honest, I don’t solder every connection I make in every Jeep the Jp guys have me working on, but don’t tell them that. It’s important with what you guys do to pick the right kind of connector and crimper when you’re at the store and looking to cut corners.

    There are lots of connectors out there, but for you guys, you should always get the heat-shrink or “waterproof” style of connectors. I’m not going to talk about spade connectors, bullet connectors, or anything else here. This is just about joining two wires together and how to pick the right tool for the job. That is, if you aren’t going solder it. Or, of course, if you can’t solder it.

    I carry most of these with me whenever they make me go on a Jeep run, because when something goes bad, they always say, “Get Randy; he can fix it.” But they hardly ever have the stuff to do it with, or they have the wrong stuff, and I’m forced to play MacGyver in the middle of nowhere just so I can get back home. It’s just easier to take along some of the stuff that I usually end up needing. I hate stripping wires with my teeth, but that’s a whole ’nother story.

    The important thing for you guys to remember is that you want something that keeps dirt out, at the very least. Something that keeps water out would be great, too. I’ll show you a few of them here. My whole solder thing is because it’s less likely to have problems with vibration than many of these connections, but I know that we can’t all carry a soldering iron in our back pocket. They are called butt connectors (please no big butt jokes), and here’s a few different ones, as well as what to look for in a crimping tool.

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