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Old 18-02-2012, 10:23   #1
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Maintenance - Tricks of the Trade

I've been doing a lot of maintenance lately. Trying to catch up on some of my neglect and correct some things that the PO did (or better didn't do). I've run across a few Questions and things I'd comment on. The title for the thread isn't really very descriptive, but.....

Somewhere in my dark past I was taught that when putting double hose clamps on you should run them in opposite directions if possible. Do others have the same opinion or is this just a weird superstition of mine?

I always try to use shrink wrap connectors and then cover them with shrink wrap tubing but sometimes that is not easy or not possible. I've seen comments on this board where people use vaseline to protect the connectors. I've thought that you should clean the wires and not use anything like that because vaseline is actually an insulator and can make for a poor crimp connection on the wire. But, I have some dielectric grease that is actually a conducting grease. (Remember dielectric grease from the olden days when cars had distributors?) I've put it on a couple of crimp connections where I was unhappy with the wiring. Anyone have any experience?

I'm amazed at the number of marine parts that have really bad quality (household) wires. My biggest surprise was a Davis light for my windex. That thing has to sit in one of the nastier places, at the top of the mast in all kinds of weather and UV light. The thing has some really el cheapo funky wire. And it's molded right into the plastic lamp holder. That's not the only one, most of the data cable for my electronics is pretty bad. Just a little rant!

What do the experts do when you have to use a butt connector to connect a fat wire to a skinny one? I'm trying to use fairly heavy gauge wire for all of my wire runs but some things come with little tiny gauge wire.

Anyone got a simple way to tell if the screw in a hose clamp is stainless or not? I've got a lot of non-stainless screws that are badly rusted. To the point where I've had to cut some clamps off.

I'm sure that I'll find more things to comment on in the next couple of weeks.

I love the "Study halls" for getting good information before starting in on some task.

Bill
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Old 18-02-2012, 10:30   #2
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Re: Maintenance - Tricks of the Trade

A magnet can tell you if the screw is stainless or not. If it doesn't stick then it is stainless. To forstall the critics, some low quality stainless can be attracted to a magnet, and other non - ferrous metals will not stick to a magnet. Some hose clamps are stamped all stainless. I try to use the kind that doesn't have the slots in the bands they tend not to damage the hose if over tightened.
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Old 18-02-2012, 10:39   #3
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Re: Maintenance - Tricks of the Trade

I've had some of those without slots that I didn't pay attention to and they got so rusty that I had to cut the nut part to get them off. (They were on the hoses when I purchased the boat.)

Another question, I knew I'd forget something. Usually I use ring lug terminals to connect wires to terminal blocks, etc. But I just had one that was so difficult to reach that I was tempted to use a spade lug. Is there a good reason why the only thing I see on most boats are ring lugs?
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Old 18-02-2012, 10:49   #4
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Re: Maintenance - Tricks of the Trade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill_E View Post
I've had some of those without slots that I didn't pay attention to and they got so rusty that I had to cut the nut part to get them off. (They were on the hoses when I purchased the boat.)

Another question, I knew I'd forget something. Usually I use ring lug terminals to connect wires to terminal blocks, etc. But I just had one that was so difficult to reach that I was tempted to use a spade lug. Is there a good reason why the only thing I see on most boats are ring lugs?
Yes, they're the only approved type under ABYC specs.

You can use "captive spade lugs", though. These have a slight turn up at the ends and are approved for marine use.

RE: other questions:

1. Yes, with two hose clamps run them in opposite directions.

2. You can use De-Oxit or other preps for lugs before crimping; use adhesive heat shrink tubing wherever possible. Or, use heat-shrink lugs (like the 3M) with the proper crimper which won't damage the heat shrink.

3. There are step-down butt connectors available. Or, you can use a small terminal strip or post with the proper size ring terminals for both wires.

4. +1 on use of a magnet to check stainless. However, a painless solution (except in the pocket book) is to use only genuine AWAB hose clamps.

Bill
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Old 18-02-2012, 11:04   #5
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Re: Maintenance - Tricks of the Trade

Many authorities recommend that you do reverse screw directions, but, since clamps are designed to impart even pressure on a hose, regardless of the position of the screw, I don’t believe it matters if you reverse orientation, or not. I generally do reverse direction, just to forestall that possible criticism.

Double hose clamps should be installed so that 1/4 inch of hose is visible between the band and the hose end, and approximately 1/4 inch between any two clamp’s bands. Unfortunately, you’ll not find many hose barbs long enough to accommodate two properly installed clamps.

See also ➥ Double Hose Clamps ?
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Old 18-02-2012, 11:16   #6
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Re: Maintenance - Tricks of the Trade

It has to do with the security of the terminal end. They do make a slotted terminal end the has upturned ends that seems more secure than the straight slots. The hose clamps I buy with out the slots are at the ship's chandlery and are all stainless, never had a problem with rusting.
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Old 18-02-2012, 11:53   #7
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Re: Maintenance - Tricks of the Trade

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain58sailin View Post
It has to do with the security of the terminal end. They do make a slotted terminal end the has upturned ends that seems more secure than the straight slots ...
ABYC 11.16.3.4
"Terminal connectors shall be the ring or captive spade types.”

Ring Terminals provide the most secure connection, since the terminal screw must be completely removed in order to disconnect the wire.
Straight Spade or Fork Terminals are inferior to ring terminals since the connections can pull off the screw if it becomes loose.
Captive Spade terminals are available with either a Horizontal or Vertical retaining Flange, as per Captain58, and pictured below.
Attached Images
  
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Old 18-02-2012, 13:56   #8
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Re: Maintenance - Tricks of the Trade

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain58sailin View Post
A magnet can tell you if the screw is stainless or not. If it doesn't stick then it is stainless. To forstall the critics, some low quality stainless can be attracted to a magnet, and other non - ferrous metals will not stick to a magnet. Some hose clamps are stamped all stainless. I try to use the kind that doesn't have the slots in the bands they tend not to damage the hose if over tightened.
Actually this is not true. SS is often magnetic if it has been "Work Hardened".. ie: bent, formed, rolled and even machined. The screws on clamps often seem to be magnetic even if the calmp says "all stainless". Also, FYI: once SS is work hardened, it is more prone to rusting.... unless the surface is polished or passivated....
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Old 18-02-2012, 14:01   #9
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Re: Maintenance - Tricks of the Trade

I would not buy a hose clamp that has magnetic screws. They are probably steel. Use a magnet to check and buy the ones that dont stick to the magnet.
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Old 18-02-2012, 14:02   #10
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Re: Maintenance - Tricks of the Trade

Don't use Vaseline on rubber or plastics. Remember from chemistry that "Likes tend to dissolve likes"? Use silicon grease instead as a substitute for something to lubricate or to displace water.

In moist or wet situations with dissimilar metals use Tef-Gel. Tef-Gel has made Lanocoat obsolete.
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Old 18-02-2012, 14:08   #11
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Re: Maintenance - Tricks of the Trade

When using a larger connector with smaller gauge wire, strip the insulation off extra long and bend the exposed wire back on itself, otherwise double or triple up on it. That adds the bulk to make a good crimp connection
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Old 18-02-2012, 14:23   #12
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Re: Maintenance - Tricks of the Trade

Gord, the only trouble with "fully remove" screws is that once you've removed them, they usually drop and roll way way out of sight and reach. Nice concept, if you have trained mice to go fetch them.

"I'm amazed at the number of marine parts that have really bad quality (household) wires." You mean, like the gen-you-whine Best Maine made-in-china lamp fixture my friend got to replace the old one in the v-berth. Where the cheaply soldered wire broke off the switch DURING installation?

OTOH I've got an old fashioned toggle switch o an AC panel that I got from an army surplus electronics place in the...maybe 1960s, maybe 1970s. It was either WW2 or KW rme surplus, and still works just fine. I refuse to throw the old stuff out.<G>

"What do the experts do when you have to use a butt connector to connect a fat wire to a skinny one? "

There are actually special conectors that are, say 10/12 on one side and 14/16 on the other, made to step that stuff down. Again, I'm a bad boy, I'll use a crimp cap and just join the two together, or stick both in one side of an appropriate crimp, i.e. use a 10/12 crimp to join two 12's or one 12 and one of something else, in the same side. If you can pull on it with body weight and it doesn't come out--that crimp's just fine. Remind me to get some "step down" crimps oneathesedays.

"Anyone got a simple way to tell if the screw in a hose clamp is stainless or not?"

Know your vendor. Magnets don't mean much, and there have been plenty of "all stainless except the..." parts on the market. If it is rusty, get rid of it, replace with parts from a trusty supplier. I suppose you could do a spark test, hit it with an abrasive wheel and compare the sparks to a guide. Welders do that routinely but I have no idea if stainless shows up as different from regular ss.

The business about installing hose clamps in opposite directions? Assuming you can get tool access from both sides, sure.<G> Then there are other clamps, not slotted radiator hose style, that are wire not strapping. I probably have this wrong but IIRC Ford invented them because round wire won't cut hoses the way slotted steel will?
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Old 18-02-2012, 14:28   #13
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Re: Maintenance - Tricks of the Trade

It's quite possible that the screw on "all stainless clamps" is a harder stainless to avoid thread failure... could be 400 series etc..which is magnetic in all conditions...
Here ya go:
H Series – “Gold” Screw Clamps
Band and housing are 200/300 series stainless steel. Screw is 5/16” slotted hex head, heat treated carbon steel, double plated with zinc plus trivalent chromate for long lasting protection. Good general-purpose clamp.
HSS Series – With “400” Series Steel Screw Clamps
Band and housing are 200/300 series stainless steel. Screw is 5/16” slotted hex head, heat treated 400 series stainless steel. The high corrosion resistance of this all stainless steel band, housing and screw makes this the perfect clamp for numerous industrial installations.
HFSS Series - All “300” Series Stainless Steel Construction Clamps
Band, housing and screw are 300 series stainless steel. Screw is 5/16” slotted hex head. The all-300 series stainless steel construction provides better corrosion resistance than that available from the “H-SS” Series, making this worm drive clamp well suited for marine applications.
"T-SS" Series - With "400" Series Stainless Steel Screw
Band and housing are 200/300 Series Stainless Steel. Thumbscrew is heat-treated 400 Series Stainless Steel. General-purpose clamp for applications that require only finger tightening.
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Old 18-02-2012, 15:27   #14
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Re: Maintenance - Tricks of the Trade

Dielectric grease is non-conducting. It is silicone oil thickened with colloidal silica (cabosil).

AWAB hose clamps rule, basically all hoseclamps that use a 7mm socket for the screw tend to be okay while ones that need an 8mm socket are not okay. At least, that's how it is aboard Jedi, so whenever I can't see the clamp, one of my tests is to feel if a 7mm socket fits.

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Old 19-02-2012, 05:07   #15
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Re: Maintenance - Tricks of the Trade

Are you sure that dielectric grease is non-conducting? From the name one might think so but for about 40 years I thought it was conducting because of the way it was used in distributors. Maybe I can figure out a way to make a test.
I'm a huge fan of tefgel but I wouldn't put it in a crimp connector. Its main purpose is to isolate two surfaces to prevent galvanic corrosion. To me that means it's an insulator.

Regarding AWAB hose clamps. I just looked them up and Jedi, you are right, they are 7 mm heads on the screws. But if I tried to replace every hose clamp on my boat with AWAB it would cost a thousand or so. But, I'm thinking of checking all thruhulls and other supercritical hoses and ordering a boatload of them. Ideal also makes a 100% stainless hose clamp but it has the little slots in the band.
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