We all know someone who enjoys taking on parts of a project that the rest of us hate, and one of those items towards the top of that list is electrical wiring. When done right, it can be a masterpiece; when done wrong, it can be a disaster. Most people don’t like wiring because it’s tedious and time consuming – not necessarily because it’s difficult – but it still scares some people away.
Champion Cooling Systems has a blog entry that takes on the aspect of making solid connections when wiring up simple systems such as a cooling fan relay kit. To help point out what makes that solid connection, Champion reached out one of its own solid connections: Scott Bowers, the wiring guru at Ron Francis Wiring. Scott is no stranger to his craft; he’s not only the president of the wiring company, but he’s been on the electrical end helping vehicles make a completely different kind of power.
Although excessive current load from using a wire that is too thin can lead to a meltdown, it’s pointed out that excessive heat can be generated through poor connections – including those that are not crimped properly.
To explain that a little further, Scott said, “If the terminal does not pull off, a poor crimp can result in resistance at that location. If power is flowing through that circuit, heat will be produced. Heat is the result of the resistance; over time, the connection can heat cycle and the metal will fatigue and become brittle, and at some point, the connection will fail.”
However, this doesn’t mean that crimped terminals themselves are the problem; Scott states that terminals can be soldered or crimped to be equally effective. The problem occurs when that crimp is not done properly, and using a standard pair of pliers doesn’t cut it.
Standard pliers are meant for gripping and squeezing things, but the jaws don’t have the right shape for making electrical crimps. Ron Francis Wiring offers an affordable crimp tool that will get the job done for your wiring job. It includes the proper jaws for crimping barrel-type connections, a wire cutter and a wire stripper all on the same tool.
When adding a new circuit, it’s important to make sure that your crimped connections are solid, and the blog points out a couple of tips for determining if you connection is acceptable. One method is to visually inspect your new connections once the current has been flowing.
If you start to see some discoloration or deformity in the plastic connection – or the plastic conduit used to protect the wires – that’s a telltale sign of too much heat in the wire or the connection. Another method is to simply feel the connection with your hand: if it’s too hot to touch, then you could be headed for a meltdown.
It’s always a good thing to check under the hood on a regular basis, you never know what problems might be lurking. If you’re stumped about a wiring issue, or you’re looking to add a new circuit or rewire your vehicle completely, get in touch with the team at Ron Francis Wiring. For tips about vehicle safety and functions, be sure to check the Champion Cooling Systems blog: Beyond the Checkered Flag.