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Old 09-03-2010, 08:38 PM   #15
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1972 25' Tradewind
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McHenry County , Illinois
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I’ve been using the heat shrink butt connectors for nearly 20 years in the import auto repair biz. Never seen one fail that was properly installed.
You can get all the different sizes from a good auto parts store. They also are available with standard blade or bullet male and female ends and ring terminals.
You’ll also need a crimper that doesn’t puncture the heat shrink covering. You don't need a $100 specialty die crimper, just one that crimps insulated connectors. If you can find one with this feature on the business end of the tool, and not in the center, it will be a lot easier to work with.
When the shell is heated the inside coating melts, sealing the connection, and the heat-shrink snugs everything up tight. At this point I don’t use any else inside or out.


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Old 09-03-2010, 09:58 PM   #16
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Hi, wire nuts are for houses, [my opinion] because low voltage equals high amperage and loose connections melt. Twelve volt systems need a good solid connection. I use crimp connectors, a Thomas & Betts professional crimper, shrink tubing, and a propane Barbeque lighter to shrink the tubing. Also black plastic electrical tape is known for coming loose in hot weather. I have a roll of special Ford factory electrical tape, [not plastic] but I only use that for making looms. Click on my blog to see how my brake wires were put together from the factory, except one.

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Old 09-04-2010, 02:18 AM   #17
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2010 27' FB Classic
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Thomas & Betts crimpers, now your talking best of the best.
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:01 PM   #18
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Tyler , Texas
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Much thanks to all who helped me here. I guess there is no one way that is universally "the way" to make the connections. I've done 4 of six wheels (today) and decided to go the crimp/ shrink route for a lot of the reasons expressed in this thread. Doubling the small gage wire over did make a better crimp. I used the 12-10 crimps becasue I could insert the feed wire w/o distorting the wire. Used a small propane torch to shrink the connections (almost burned the coating off the brake wire once), and then wrapped the whole bundle w/ heat resistant electriclal tape made by DUCK. Also found a few placed where the feed wire was chafing and fixed that as well. Two wheels to go and thanks to you all I did not wrap connections in saran wrap, freezer tape, and bread bag twisties.

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