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Old 28-08-2013, 04:17   #1
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Stalok Slippage

Hi everyone, thereīs sthg worrying me and I wanted to share, to see if someone can shed some light...

The thing is that I installed a couple of stalok terminals in my sailboat a few months ago. In this time I have sailed the boat a lot in wind up to ,say,25 knots. And the other day I inspected these terminals and in one,maybe two of them, I found that the wire may have slipped a tiny fraction out of the terminal, but very little, less than half a milimeter.

At the time when I fitted this one, I applied sika-flex in the inside of the terminal and also a little ribbon of it on the rim where the wire exits the terminal.

Now what I noticed the other day as I went up the mast was that this ribbon of sika seemed to have "moved forward" a tiny bit, so that the ribbon was not in contact with the rim of the terminal anymore, but half a milimeter ahead of it, as if the wire had slipped this half of milimeter.

Then again I am not sure this tiny separation of sika and rim of terminal is actually the result os the sika retracting due to effect of sun, etc. As a matter of fact, this little separation I found also on another terminal but this time it is a mere hairīs breath, a little crack.

I believe the terminals were properly installed , and that it is only normal that after the first installation and as the wire came under load while sailing it should have slipped this tiny fraction, as a normal part of the process of final accomodation of wire and terminal.

Is that so? Can I have peace of mind? what do you guys think or have observed in your own terminals? you could help me a lot wih this one!!

Thanks a lot!

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Old 28-08-2013, 05:03   #2
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Re: Stalok slippage

Sikaflex 291/292 shrinks about 5-6%.

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Old 28-08-2013, 05:25   #3
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Re: Stalok slippage

I would guess it is just the sealant shrinkage as suggested, but I have seen a lot of improperly installed DIY stalocs as well........
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Old 28-08-2013, 09:03   #4
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Re: Stalok slippage

If they were installed on new wire, perhaps it is wire stretch that you are seeing. We always used RTV on our Sta-loks.
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Old 28-08-2013, 09:21   #5
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Re: Stalok slippage

I have Sta-Loks on all of my upward facing wire. I have not seen any sign of wire slipping. A couple of months ago while heading out upwind my wife driving the boat, with main up I unfurled the head sail. The back stay let go and fell into the water. Luft the boat furled the head sail dropped the main. Retrieved the back stay and motored back to the slip. The back stay terminal at the insulator had un-screwed. I have a hydraulic back stay ram, I think the tension and release of tension caused it to unscrew. I had a rigger check all of the Sta-Loks and they where all to easy to uncrew. So we removed them all one by one, cleaned and used a superior loktite. The original installer used loktite with dolfinite, not sure if this combination was the problem or if the grade of loktite was. I am now checking my mechanical fittings as a annual schedule item and also prior to heading offshore.
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Old 28-08-2013, 09:37   #6
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Re: Stalok slippage

It would be interesting to compare experience between sta-lok installations with different size wire.

Standing rigging on my boat is 7/32". I did the installation myself in about 2002 using no sealant. Seems to me the manufacturer recommended no sealant.

After at least 10 years and 50,000 sea miles later only the back stay has had to be replaced, and this had nothing to do with the sta-lok. One broken strand.

Taking them apart to replace wire is a chore, but worth the investment in terms of savings not having to pay a rigger.

Maybe heavier wire presents problems than mine.
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Old 28-08-2013, 10:06   #7
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Re: Stalok slippage

Almost imposible, never see a stalock terminal pulling apart from the wire if is properly installed, probably what you see is wire stretching after tension the wires and sail for a while, is quite normal see in stalock terminals or other kind of mechanical terminals the caulking moving up ..And yes we use Loctite ..
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Old 28-08-2013, 14:54   #8
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Re: Stalok Slippage

Thanks a lot to all of you for the answers. I hadnīt thought of the possibility of the wire streching , and the wires were new indeed, so this may well be what happened....

As for what you say of the two parts of the terminal coming unscrewed, I myself have two marks ,one in each part, which were perfectly aligned at the time of installation, and which are thus a fast way to check later on if the two parts are still duly tightly screwed together.

Again, thanks a lot!
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Old 30-10-2013, 13:26   #9
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Re: Stalok Slippage

BTW one is not expected to apply any external ribbons of sika. Just apply some inside, it with ooze out, wipe it, and that's that. So perhaps what you have found is because of the ribbon you applied.

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Old 01-11-2013, 19:26   #10
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Re: Stalok Slippage

I applied a dab of life calk to each terminal and hand tightened. Every spring I check with a wrench to ensure each terminal is still tight. Two full years and no issues so far.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:28   #11
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Re: Stalok Slippage

Thanks for your answers.

Now that some time has past ,and more sailing has been done on the boat, I can provide more info on this matter:

basically, all is well! Before I went on a 15 day cruise I made marks on the wire to check for further slippage:

I painted a 1 cm wide section with paint on the wire,to the very rim of the terminal, so that if some more slippage should occur, on posterior inspections some slit or band of non painted wire would show.... and no,sir, thereīs paint up to the terminal and no clean wire shows :-)

And like I said on a previous post I have little painted marks on the two parts of the terminal which ,if still duly aligned, tell me the terminal is still well tightened.

As for the original cause of this crack or separation between the outer rim of sika and the terminal,which led me to think that it was the wire that had slipped....I now tend to think that that has rather to do with the sika contracting or shrinking and detaching itself from the rim of the metal of the terminal, than with the wire slipping....

Thanks again for the help. Happy sailing

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