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Old 06-05-2016, 11:03   #1
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To Grease Or Not To Grease?

I'm wiring my new windlass today. Main leads from battery's to windlass are 4 AWG marine grade. I'm using copper crimp connectors and using a hammer type crimper. The question, do you guys use die-electric grease in the connector before crimping or leave em dry?
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Old 06-05-2016, 17:50   #2
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Re: to grease or not to grease?

Boy am I gonna get a load of grief for this one
Myself I do not trust, and do not use straight crimp connections for high current connections such as starter or windless circuits. It has been my observation and experience that crimp only connections in a marine environment degrade quickly due to internal oxidation, leading to high resistance and the associated increase in temperature.

My standard method for making up a high current terminal is to tin the wire (if not already tinned), tin the interior of the crimp on connector, coat both components with a light covering of rosin based flux. Slide a 3-4" piece of heat shrink over the wire (well back from the joint) and lightly crimp the connector in place making sure you have a half inch or so of bare wire between the connector and the wire insulation. Lightly clamp a pair of vice-grips on the exposed wire to act as a heat sink.

Get out the propane torch and a spool of 60/40 rosin core solder. Heat the connector until the solder melts when you touch the exposed wire in front of your heat sink (not when you touch it to the connector). Flood the connector cavity with solder till full. When it cools, slide the heat shrink down over the insulation and connector cavity and shrink into place.

Takes a few minutes, but no air, no water, and in 40 years of doing it this way, no failed connections.

Let the rants begin

Oh, and a bit of Lanocoat smeared on the connections after you make them up to the windless solenoid will keep them from "greening up" as well.

Your mileage may vary
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Old 06-05-2016, 20:14   #3
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Re: to grease or not to grease?

Quote:
Originally Posted by capt-couillon View Post
Boy am I gonna get a load of grief for this one
Myself I do not trust, and do not use straight crimp connections for high current connections such as starter or windless circuits. It has been my observation and experience that crimp only connections in a marine environment degrade quickly due to internal oxidation, leading to high resistance and the associated increase in temperature.

My standard method for making up a high current terminal is to tin the wire (if not already tinned), tin the interior of the crimp on connector, coat both components with a light covering of rosin based flux. Slide a 3-4" piece of heat shrink over the wire (well back from the joint) and lightly crimp the connector in place making sure you have a half inch or so of bare wire between the connector and the wire insulation. Lightly clamp a pair of vice-grips on the exposed wire to act as a heat sink.

Get out the propane torch and a spool of 60/40 rosin core solder. Heat the connector until the solder melts when you touch the exposed wire in front of your heat sink (not when you touch it to the connector). Flood the connector cavity with solder till full. When it cools, slide the heat shrink down over the insulation and connector cavity and shrink into place.

Takes a few minutes, but no air, no water, and in 40 years of doing it this way, no failed connections.

Let the rants begin

Oh, and a bit of Lanocoat smeared on the connections after you make them up to the windless solenoid will keep them from "greening up" as well.

Your mileage may vary
I like it. Sounds like a good strong connection.
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Old 06-05-2016, 22:11   #4
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Re: to grease or not to grease?

Quote:
Originally Posted by capt-couillon View Post
Boy am I gonna get a load of grief for this one
Myself I do not trust, and do not use straight crimp connections for high current connections such as starter or windless circuits. It has been my observation and experience that crimp only connections in a marine environment degrade quickly due to internal oxidation, leading to high resistance and the associated increase in temperature.

My standard method for making up a high current terminal is to tin the wire (if not already tinned), tin the interior of the crimp on connector, coat both components with a light covering of rosin based flux. Slide a 3-4" piece of heat shrink over the wire (well back from the joint) and lightly crimp the connector in place making sure you have a half inch or so of bare wire between the connector and the wire insulation. Lightly clamp a pair of vice-grips on the exposed wire to act as a heat sink.

Get out the propane torch and a spool of 60/40 rosin core solder. Heat the connector until the solder melts when you touch the exposed wire in front of your heat sink (not when you touch it to the connector). Flood the connector cavity with solder till full. When it cools, slide the heat shrink down over the insulation and connector cavity and shrink into place.

Takes a few minutes, but no air, no water, and in 40 years of doing it this way, no failed connections.

Let the rants begin

Oh, and a bit of Lanocoat smeared on the connections after you make them up to the windless solenoid will keep them from "greening up" as well.

Your mileage may vary
Yeah.... did pretty much the same aboard Mariane.

One difference: I coated the connection area with liquid rubber before sliding heat shrink over the entire thing. Being way over-cautious? So what.... Life is too short to go back and re-do stuff, you know?

James
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:17   #5
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Re: To Grease Or Not To Grease?

Practical Sailor years ago did bench tests on different connectors and found the crimp was actually better when also wrapped in waterproofing.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:23   #6
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Re: To Grease Or Not To Grease?

Quote:
Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
Practical Sailor years ago did bench tests on different connectors and found the crimp was actually better when also wrapped in waterproofing.
Just because I love scientific observation and not because I have a spark of an opinion one way or the other on this subject. How did your bench test replicate 12 or 18 months of salt air exposure?
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:58   #7
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Re: to grease or not to grease?

Quote:
Originally Posted by capt-couillon View Post
Boy am I gonna get a load of grief for this one
Myself I do not trust, and do not use straight crimp connections for high current connections such as starter or windless circuits. It has been my observation and experience that crimp only connections in a marine environment degrade quickly due to internal oxidation, leading to high resistance and the associated increase in temperature.

My standard method for making up a high current terminal is to tin the wire (if not already tinned), tin the interior of the crimp on connector, coat both components with a light covering of rosin based flux. Slide a 3-4" piece of heat shrink over the wire (well back from the joint) and lightly crimp the connector in place making sure you have a half inch or so of bare wire between the connector and the wire insulation. Lightly clamp a pair of vice-grips on the exposed wire to act as a heat sink.

Get out the propane torch and a spool of 60/40 rosin core solder. Heat the connector until the solder melts when you touch the exposed wire in front of your heat sink (not when you touch it to the connector). Flood the connector cavity with solder till full. When it cools, slide the heat shrink down over the insulation and connector cavity and shrink into place.

Takes a few minutes, but no air, no water, and in 40 years of doing it this way, no failed connections.

Let the rants begin

Oh, and a bit of Lanocoat smeared on the connections after you make them up to the windless solenoid will keep them from "greening up" as well.

Your mileage may vary
Mileage defiantly doesn't vary. This is how to properly splice connections on a boat. But you're right.about catching flack. Some people just cant help but buy the BS that the companies selling these expensive crimping tools are selling!! I caught a lot of flack suggesting this same method in another thread.
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:36   #8
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Re: To Grease Or Not To Grease?

There are people that will say crimping is superior and will quote data from aircraft useage to support that. As an engineer and pilot I am familiar with the aircraft environment. It is a high vibration application and on aircraft good quality crimps are superior because the crimped connections stand up to vibration better. So how much vibration do you have on your sailboat?

Soldered connections are guaranteed sealed against corrosion. It is corrosion that causes most boat wiring failures, not vibration.

I've been making high grade crimped connections for industry for 30 years and call tell you for sure that there is a huge difference in quality (and cost) between the high end crimpers and the cheap ones that almost all non-commercial people have. Cheap crimped connections are inferior.

Solder is a very good connection on sailboats.
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:49   #9
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Re: To Grease Or Not To Grease?

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle stinkybob View Post
I'm wiring my new windlass today. Main leads from battery's to windlass are 4 AWG marine grade. I'm using copper crimp connectors and using a hammer type crimper. The question, do you guys use die-electric grease in the connector before crimping or leave em dry?
Isn't grease an insulator? Why would you want to do that?
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:34   #10
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Re: To Grease Or Not To Grease?

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Isn't grease an insulator? Why would you want to do that?

Dielectric grease is electrically insulating and does not break down when high voltage is applied. It is often applied to electrical connectors, particularly those containing rubber gaskets, as a means of lubricating and sealing rubber portions of the connector without arcing.
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:41   #11
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Re: To Grease Or Not To Grease?

No grief, no rant - just a loud BRAVO!

TrentePieds
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:54   #12
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Re: to grease or not to grease?

Quote:
Originally Posted by capt-couillon View Post
Boy am I gonna get a load of grief for this one
Myself I do not trust, and do not use straight crimp connections for high current connections such as starter or windless circuits. It has been my observation and experience that crimp only connections in a marine environment degrade quickly due to internal oxidation, leading to high resistance and the associated increase in temperature.
I guess the 30 year old, unsoldered crimps on the cables from my battery to the starter that haven't oxidized, overheated or as far as I can tell, produced high resistance at the connections must be one of a kind.

Oh wait, the cables to my windlass are also the same. Must be the boat.
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Old 07-05-2016, 11:09   #13
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Re: To Grease Or Not To Grease?

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Originally Posted by adlib2 View Post
Dielectric grease is electrically insulating and does not break down when high voltage is applied. It is often applied to electrical connectors, particularly those containing rubber gaskets, as a means of lubricating and sealing rubber portions of the connector without arcing.
The crimp is the contact, the grease does not prevent that, it only provides protection from corrosion by fill in the crooks and crannies. I've used the method for years with no failure. I'm just wondering what others do that might be better. I always heat shrink connections with enough die electric grease to ooze out as it shrinks.
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Old 07-05-2016, 11:39   #14
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Re: To Grease Or Not To Grease?

on that size wire I would use a crimp tool, but of coarse a correct solder would work as well, seen to many cold solder joints and improper crimps`and I dry crimp my connections using a correct crimp tool
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Old 07-05-2016, 11:49   #15
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Re: To Grease Or Not To Grease?

This subject always makes me smile. Just like the recent " invention " of soft shackles, which are thousands of years old.
Bluestocking has 51 yr old soldered battery cables, no corrosion.
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